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NFL Weekly Picks: Are Upsets Looming in the Desert and the Windy City?

Dilip Vishwanat - Getty Images
Welcome to another week of NFL Weekly Picks! This week, our Las Vegas Sports Book master is getting married. All the best to Rick and Melissa Siegel on their big day. I hope you'll take a moment to send the happy couple a quick e-mail with your congratulations, as well as any marriage jokes that come to mind...

This week's guest Turf Show Times prognosticator is Mike Adams. Here's a brief Bio in Mike's own words:

"Hi all,

I want to first thank Rick and the TST crew for the great opportunity to participate in the weekly picks. Hopefully I don’t embarrass myself with my picks. First a little about me, my TST username is Rant_21, I’ve only been a member for 6-7 months but I have been lurking the site for a few years.

My real name is Mike Adams, I’m 27 and I live in Illinois. I was too young to have been a Cardinals fan when they were still in St. Louis, and sadly my parents are Cowboy’s fans; so when the Rams came to town in '95 it was my first real taste of the NFL. I’ve not missed a snap of Rams’ football in 17 years, I’ve been to dozens of games and go to training camp every summer. My dad and I even used to make a weekend trip out of going to Macomb when they still held camp up there.

On Sunday my favorite game time snack is my wife’s homemade chili with a Schlafly Dry Hopped APA. Or sometimes Imo’s pizza and hot wings.

My favorite Rams’ moment is probably Ricky Prohel’s catch in the 1999 NFC Championship Game. My family and friends almost tore the house down after that game and it is something I will always remember."

So let's get to it. You may recognize the person who's in the lead? Hmm? It's a close race though, and will more than likely stay this way throughout the 2012 NFL season. I'm pretty sure Mike D is sandbagging us all, since he owned the weekly picks competition almost every week last season. After the jump are the three featured games of the week, and brief comments about each - plus the Big Board, featuring every pick for the week.

New England @ Baltimore
Mike D
Both team coming off tough losses but I see the Patriots still trying to figure out what they are trying to do offensively and the curse of Josh McDaniels and loss of Aaron Hernandez. The Ravens should have won the game other than the awful offensive pass interference call. Raven win this by 10 points.

DouglasM - I'll take Baltimore in this one. They have to be fired up after last week's one point loss to the Eagles. If Flacco stays true to his 2011 form, he'll bounce back this week, at home, and look like a star quarterback for at least a week. New England has play calling issued on offense, and a couple rookies that have to much on their plates on defense. Tom Brady looked flat in their home opener against the Cardinals, and his first half performance may be a sign of things to come in New England. Once touted as the best of the best in the NFL, they'll need answers at the wide out position sooner, rather than later.

Mike Adams - New England @ Baltimore
New England was just embarrassed by Kolb and the Cardinals. New England has a reputation of coming off a bad loss and destroying the next team they play. This may be different though as the root of their problem isn’t bad play as much as it is bad coaching, sub-par talent and injuries, primarily on their offensive line and at tight end. McDaniels seems to have brought some of what he learned in St. Louis to New England…watch out Brady! Even with a much improved defense Brady won’t have enough to overcome the new look Ravens who know how to score points now.

DC - New England @ Baltimore
If the Patriots couldn't score on Arizona, they won't find much success IN B-More. Baltimore, coming off a tough loss to Philly, will bounce back in this one. Ray Rice has a big day. The Patriots shattered any hope of winning when they cut their best player - Greg Salas. Lastly, and most importantly, Josh McDaniels likes the Patriots in this one....his ability to run an offense is extremely questionable

3k - New England @ Baltimore
I'm buying in on Baltimore. They almost pulled off a road win over the Eagles. I think they make a solid run this year.

Rick - New England @ Baltimore
I thought Baltimore was the best team in week 1. Then they were outplaying Philly most of last week, and I was already getting ready to give up on my Texans-to-win-the-AFC bet. Then the Ravens showed no heart or fight as Philly came back in the fourth quarter to beat them. New England played awful all game, but fought like hell, and were a missed Gostkowski chip-shot (for him) from coming back and beating Arizona, despite Arizona dominating that game start to finish. Give me the team that showed a bit of heart. New England wins this one late.

Atlanta @ San Diego

Mike D
The San Diego offense continues to move the ball even without a #1 receiver and without gates last week. They also have an improving defense led by their new DC John Pagano. While the Falcons are 2-0, they are traveling across the country after a late Monday night game where manning tried to give them a blowout which they refused to take and let it go right down tot the end. Chargers win a very comfortable game.

DouglasM - San Diego kind of pisses me off. They usually flounder a bit at the start of the season, then make a run at the end of the year. This year they've taken off like a shot, and quarterback Phillip Rivers has thrown fewer interceptions than anyone would have believed possible after last season. Atlanta didn't look all that great against the Denver Broncos. Sure, three INTs in the first quarter looked great, but they only came away with 10 points. Roddy White had a great game, but he's not at his best playing outside like he will be in San Diego. Julio Jones will have a good game, but it won't be enough. Chargers win.

Mike Adams - Atlanta @ San Diego
Atlanta is coming off a huge win on Monday night against a good defense in Denver, so they should be riding high. Going into San Diego is no easy task though. Phillip Rivers has the Chargers playing well and they currently hold the best run defense in the league. But I’m not sure forcing Matt Ryan to throw the ball is a good strategy when his options are White, Jones, and Gonzalez. It’s going to be a shoot out but I think Atlanta wins it.

DC - Atlanta @ San Diego
Road game or not, Atlanta remains undefeated. To me, it's a matter of whose aerial attack is superior. Until proven otherwise, Matt Ryan will continue to make it look easy hitting his targets - Roddy White and Julio Jones. And even though Michael Turner is just as serviceable at foosball as he is football, San Diego lacks real depth at any position on the offensive side of the ball. Arnold Says, "No, Chargers No!"

3k - Atlanta @ San Diego
Atlanta all day, err day.

Rick - Atlanta @ San Diego
Was the Falcons win over the Broncos the least impressive primetime win against a Hall of Fame quarterback ever? Denver looked like a bunch of high schoolers out there for moth of the game, but Atlanta allowed them to hang around, and almost lost the game because of it. San Diego thoroughly dismantled the Titans despite not having All Pro tight end Antonio Gates. After San Francisco, that San Diego defense looks like the best in the league to me. Give me the Chargers in a close one.

Philadelphia @ Arizona

Mike D - The Eagles have luckily received numerous turnovers and continue to turn the ball over themselves at a high rate, this will bite them in Arizona who are usually very solid at home while Eagles are the lucky to be 2-0. Arizona in an upset in the revenge game for Kevin Kolb.

DouglasM - Philadelphia is going to make this game look closer than it should be, but they'll win despite quarterback Michael Vick throw at least two more INTs this week. I like the Eagles defense against a clumsy Arizona offense that can't find a way to get Larry Fitzgerald more involved. This one will bring the "Red Birds" back to earth, and make Eagles fans happy as their team goes to 3-0.

Mike Adams - Arizona has fared well vs mobile QBs in the past, beating both Cam Newton and Vick last year, and they are riding high off a huge upset over the Pats. However, Philly’s defense is much improved this year (4th against the pass and 15th against the run) and should contain that mess they call an offense in Arizona. If Vick avoids the interceptions and Trent Cole has a big day, Philly travels west and wins easily.

DCRamfan - All good things must come to an end, and for the Arizona Cardinals the time is now. Philly has one their first two in less-than-stellar fashion, while Arizona has surprisingly...well...won two games. Eagles D is too much for Skelton...or Kolb. Who is the QB in AZ? Lastly, and most importantly, Mike Ditka likes the Cardinals in this one...his ability to recognize talent is extremely questionable.

3k - I think we've gotten a bit out of hand with the NFC West love. In our case, I think that's ok. For the rest of the world, perspective is a good thing. I think this game brings the Cardinals back to Earth.

Rick - This feels like a classic letdown game after a big upset for the Cardinals. They played absolutely lights out defense against New England last week, but Kevin Kolb is still their starting quarterback. Philadelphia has to be the luckiest 2-0 team ever. They can't keep falling behind the whole game, then coming back in the fourth quarter. It will catch up to them in the end. But I don't think it will catch up to them this week. Philly's offense is too explosive for Arizona, and Philly takes it down by 10+ points.

Here's the rest of the picks for the week:

3K DCRam DouglasM Mike D Rick TST Guest
Mike Adams
Season Total 16-14 19-11 21-9 19-11 17-13 15-15 107-73
Win % YTD 53.3% 63.3% 70% 63.3% 56.6% 50.0% 54.4%
Last week 6 - 9 9 - 6 11 - 4 10 - 5 8 - 7 6 - 9 50-40
Total Points 20 22 25 23 19 16 N/A
@ Arizona
Atlanta @ San Diego
New England @ Baltimore
St. Louis @ Chicago
Buffalo @ Cleveland
Tampa Bay @ Dallas
Jets @ Miami
San Francisco @ Minnesota
Kansas City @ New Orleans
Cincinnati @ Washington
Detroit @ Tennessee
Jacksonville @ Indianapolis
Houston @ Denver
Pittsburgh @ Oakland
Green Bay @ Seattle