There is no rhyme or reason to the 2012 season. Consider the AFC standings. Only two teams, the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans, both at 5-1 have winning records. They are two games out in front of any competitor. As karma would have it, they meet in Houston this weekend, but they'll still be leading the pack regardless with one team having a one game advantage over the the other.
It certainly looks like that team won't be the Baltimore Ravens who have looked sloppy so far this year despite their record and their defense has not been effective against the run -- a longstanding Baltimore strength. The unthinkable happened in their squeaker of a win over Dallas last week, their leader, linebacker Ray Lewis, tore his tricep muscle and is surely out for the year as is Ladarius Webb, their top corner back with a torn ACL. The bye for week eight won't come soon enough for Baltimore -- who could conceivably just go 5-5 for the rest of the year and still make the playoffs. They still haven't faced Pittsburgh, a team that sure seems to have gotten old in a hurry.
Finally the Washington Redskins have something to brighten their future with QB Robert Griffin III. For a rookie quarterback, he's generating a lot of excitement and the Skins are getting harder to count out of any game.
We'll give our picks for the week, but even that endeavor is way off so far. We're about 10 points down from our typical results in most years even suffering a losing week last week.
Seattle at San Fracisco (-7)
The surprise Seahawks will give the 49er's all they can handle with the Niners prevaling.
Baltimore at Houston (-6.5)
Our heart picks the Ravens, but this one goes to Houston.
Tennessee at Buffalo (-3)
Buffalo is impossible to predict but Tennessee is starting to get some firer.
Cleveland at Indianapolis (-3)
Here's a good game for Andrew Luck to gain confidence beating the miserable Browns.
Washington at New York Giants (-6.5)
Too soon for their young QB to beat the defending champs, this one is the Giants.
New Orleans (-3) at Tampa Bay
A smile in a downer season for the Saints.
Dallas (-2) at Carolina
It's time for Cam Newton to rise up and beat the 'Boys.
Green Bay (-6) at St. Louis
In their dramatic win over Texas, the Packers showed the fire that seemed absent all year. They'll handle St. Louis with ease.
Arizona at Minnesota (-6)
The Vikings are one of this year's pleasant surprises. They'll handle this one.
NY Jets at New England (-10.5)
The Patriots will feel like their old nasty selves versus the Jets. Will this be the game Tebow gets moved in?
Jacksonville at Oakland (-4)
Far from home, the Jags probbly don't have enough juice to beat the Raiders.
Pittsburgh (-2.5) at Cincinnati
Neither team is as good as last year, but the Steelers should handle the Bengals.
Detroit at Chicago (-5.5)
When will the Lions show up in 2012? The Bears go this one.