Kurt and Jeff’s Pigskin Picks

Last Week 0-3 , Season 2-7

Games of the Week

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (Sunday, 1pm, CBS) This game is going to be a thriller, as both teams are looking to rebound from surprising losses. Miami has been successful by featuring RB Ricky Williams, while the Patriots’ offense is riding on the arm of QB Tom Brady and a receiving corps led by WRs Troy Brown and David Patten. New England’s defense has struggled against the run the last two weeks, and if they can’t stop the run this week, watch out. Prediction: Dolphins 23, Patriots 17.

Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills (Sunday, 1pm, CBS) Bills’ QB Drew Bledsoe has been a huge success in Buffalo, leading his team to two overtime wins and two close losses. The Raiders have been nothing short of spectacular in the early going, beating teams by an average of 18 points a game. Bledsoe will keep the game close for the Bills, but the Raiders offense is too much for Buffalo’s defense. Prediction: Raiders 34, Bills 24.

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (Monday, 9pm, ABC) The big inter-division game theme continues this week as two of football’s oldest rivals square off on Monday night. All this game is missing is a storied stadium, as Chicago’s Soldier Field is being renovated and the game will be played at the University of Illinois-Champaign. These two teams have played close games all season, and this one will be just as exciting. The difference in this game will be turnovers. Both teams have given the ball away a lot this year, but the Bears have been able to take the ball away more. Expect this trend to continue, and the winning score to come as a result of a Green Bay turnover. Prediction: Bears 27, Packers 24.

Power Poll

Cream of the Crop

1) Oakland Raiders (3-0, 4) – The Raiders do the little things right, thanks to the leadership of veterans like QB Rich Gannon and WRs Tim Brown and Jerry Rice.

2) San Diego Chargers (4-0, NR) – The Chargers are the good surprise of the NFL this year, and their win over the New England Patriots proves that they are no fluke.

3) New England Patriots (3-1, 1) – New England struggled mightily against the run. They must prepare to stop the run if they want to win this week against the Dolphins.

4) Miami Dolphins (3-1, 2) – QB Jay Fiedler threw 4 interceptions last week against the Chiefs. He cannot do that this week against an opportunistic Patriots defense.

5) Philadelphia Eagles (3-1, NR) – QB Donovan McNabb is arguably the most indispensable player in the league. Their defense is as good as ever.

Bottom of the Barrel

28) North Jersey Jets (1-3, NR) – The Jets look like vintage early 90s Jest (not a typo). QB Vinny Testaverde finally played himself onto the bench.

29) Washington Redskins (1-3, NR) – Coach Steve Spurrier is quickly learning that he needs a real quarterback to succeed in the NFL, not “quarterbacks” like Shane Matthews and Danny Wuerffel.

30) Houston Texans (1-3, 28) – QB David Carr is a solid player, one of the few on this young roster.

31) Minnesota Vikings (0-4, NR) – The Vikings were expecting WR Randy Moss to create headlines, but not the kind he created when he pushed a traffic officer over with his car last week.

32) Cincinnati Bengals (0-4, 32) – Cincinnati looks to be an NFL punchline for the 9th year running.