Well, I did pretty good in Week 1, all things considered.
Record straight up: 10-6
Record against the spread: 7-7-2
The point spreads this week are being provided by USA Today's "Zen Zone" feature. Again, I'll hold off on making my pick for the Vikings' game until the open thread tomorrow at noonish.
Standard Disclaimer: These picks are intended to be used for entertainment purposes only. If you take Gonzo's picks, use them for gambling purposes and proceed to lose a bunch of money, you really have nobody to blame but yourself. Of course, if you win, it's because Gonzo is a freaking genius, and as a result you owe half of any profit made to Gonzo. Mailing address for cashiers checks and money orders will be provided at a later time.
Houston's defense looked pretty good last week. . .but, as people have said about Minnesota all week, they may have played the worst offense in football. Carolina, on the other hand, had a surprisingly good showing in St. Louis last week on both sides of the football. I think the Texans will keep it close, but they're not ready to win a game against a decent opponent on the road yet.
Panthers 20, Texans 16 (Carolina wins, Houston covers spread)
The Browns started Charlie Frye at QB in Week 1. . .this week, Frye is busy learning the Seahawks' playbook after being traded. Hallmark doesn't even make cards for "sorry your ass got traded after one start," I don't think. But, much like last week, it doesn't make a lot of difference who they start at QB. . .they're not winning this football game.
Bengals 34, Browns 14 (Cincy to win and cover)
I fear that it's going to be a long season for Atlanta. I base that on Joey Harrington still being their quarterback, because. . .well, Joey Harrington is terrible. (I can't help but think I've said this before.) The Jags should also be sufficiently pissed off after the way they got thrashed by Tennessee last week. I see no reason to pick against Jack Del Rio's team here.
Jaguars 23, Falcons 10 (Jacksonville to win and cover)
This game has been taken off of most boards due to the uncertain status of Eli Manning, so we're going to make it a straight-up pick 'em. The Packers got a real gift last week, and really showed nothing offensively. I know the Giants' defense isn't great by any stretch, but with the non-existence of Green Bay's running game, that should get better. I think that if Eli Manning starts and plays, the Giants will win this football game. If the Giants have to go with Jared Lorentzen. . .well, go with the exact opposite of this pick.
Giants 23, Packers 20
Aside from the Kevin Everett injury, the Bills had a pretty terrible Week 1 as far as injuries are concerned. They lost some players for the season to injury, and their offense didn't look very good outside of Marshawn Lynch. Now all they have to do is head to Pittsburgh for the Steelers' home opener. Unfortunately, I see a Buffalo team that a lot of folks had as a potential sleeper will drop to 0-2 after this week.
Steelers 27, Bills 17 (Steelers to win and cover)
Both of these teams played some ugly football in Week 1. The difference is that San Francisco got an ugly win, while the Rams suffered an ugly loss. . .a loss that was only made uglier by a season-ending injury to all-world offensive tackle Orlando Pace. The Rams are getting the standard 3-point "home field" line for the NFL, which shows that these teams are pretty evenly matched. The loss of Pace, however, pushes the arrow to San Francisco, in my opinion.
Niners 24, Rams 20 (Niners win outright)
I'm not sure why the Saints are only favored by three points in this game. After the curb-stomping they suffered in Indy on Thursday night, I think they're really going to take it out on the Buccaneers in this one. I'm not sure if Jon Gruden is still playing QB roulette, and honestly it doesn't matter if he is or not.
Saints 27, Bucs 10 (Saints to win and cover)
Both teams looked impressive in victory last week, with the Colts thrashing one of the NFC's best, and the Titans running wild against what was supposed to be one of the NFL's best run defenses. On paper, the Colts should blow the Titans out in this one. . .but the games between these two teams always seem to be closer than they should be, and I don't think this one will be any exception.
Colts 30, Titans 24 (Colts win, Titans cover the spread)
Seattle (-3) at Arizona
The Cardinals were the sexy pick to be a force in the NFC West by many people. . .myself included. . .for the 15th year in a row (or so). But no team is going to win football games by committing the number of stupid penalties that Arizona did on Monday night. Looks like the same old Cardinals to me, and the Seahawks should be able to pick up a win in the desert.
Seahawks 24, Cardinals 20 (Seahawks to win and cover)
Another case of "I'm not sure why Team X is only favored by this many over Team Y." The Dolphins were impressive defensively in Week 1, but they'll be facing a much better offense this week than they saw at FedEx Field. I don't like Miami's chances very much this week, but I've been wrong before.
Cowboys 31, Dolphins 16 (Cowboys to win and cover)
The Jets have a quarterback dilemma this weekend. Either they'll be starting Chad Pennington, who has a pretty nasty ankle injury and still can't throw the ball farther than 25 yards. . .or Kellen Clemens will be making his first ever start against Ed Reed, Samari Rolle, Chris McAlister, and the rest of the Ravens defense. In either event, it doesn't look good for the J-E-T-S.
Ravens 24, Jets 10 (Ravens to win and cover)
My mother always told me that if you can't say anything nice, you shouldn't say anything at all. With that in mind, I'd like to observe a moment of silence for the Kansas City offense.
Bears 20, Chiefs 3 (Bears win and cover)
This is the 25th installment of the Shanahan Bowl, and said coach is going for his 20th win over the Raiders. Even though the Raiders offense looked better last week and they'll be giving Daunte Culpepper the start this weekend, there's no reason to think that it should take more than one try for Mike Shanahan to get that 20th victory.
Broncos 30, Raiders 20 (Broncos win and cover)
San Diego at New England (-4)
Since all anyone has done since Monday is talk about Cheatergate, it's now time to see how much it's actually going to affect the Patriots. Last season, the Chargers walked into Foxboro and laid a pretty good beatdown on the Patriots without all the distractions New England now faces. I know the Chargers' offense didn't look great last week against Chicago, but I have a hunch that they can get it going this week.
Chargers 27, Patriots 24 (Chargers win outright)
Philadelphia is a much better team than they showed last week, and this week re-signed Reno Mahe, who can actually. . .get this. . .catch the football after it's been punted by the other team! That alone should be enough to help the Eagles secure a victory on Monday night against a Washington squad that had to battle a pretty bad Miami team to squeak out a victory in Week 1.
Eagles 24, Redskins 13 (Eagles to win and cover)
That's all for now, folks. . .less than 24 hours to game time! Remember that kickoff tomorrow isn't until 3 PM Central, so you can mow the lawn or something before the game starts. But when you get done with that, we'll still be here.