Last week was ugly.

I was able to salvage one win (Buffalo), but took a beating by taking Tim Tebow (ouch) and the inept┬áBaltimore offense. Despite a poor showing last week, I have three games on deck that I feel extremely good about. This week’s picks are centered around these three games:

  • Cleveland at Houston
  • Denver at Oakland
  • St. Louis at Arizona

    Running Like A Man Possessed--AP Photo

Game #1: Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans (-10.5)

Cleveland’s offense is bad. Quarterback, Colt McCoy has only topped 225 passing yards once this season. Madden ’12 coverboy, Peyton Hillis has been bitten by the Madden curse and second year rookie running Montario Hardesty is injured. While I do like rookie wide receiver Greg Little, he’s not exactly striking fear into the hearts of opposing defensive coordinators like his fellow rookie WRs are. Using the word bad to describe the Cleveland offense may be nice considering the opponents they have faced so far. The Browns still have to play the Ravens twice and have a match-up against the Steelers on deck. Things start to get a lot tougher this week.

The 5-3 Houston Texans are starting to play better football. On offense, Arian Foster is firing on all cylinders and Matt Schaub has been tossing the pig skin all over the field. The Texans are likely to be without wide receiver, Andre Johnson for the fifth straight week. A Johnson-Joe Haden match-up would have been entertaining, but the Texans are likely to play it safe and let Johnson heal into their Week 11 bye.

Cleveland’s rush defense has ranked among the top ten in the game, but this is the first week where they face a legit running back. Arian Foster is an absolute beast and should shred the Cleveland defense in front of 70,000 screaming Texan fans.

This one won’t be close.

Pick #1: Houston (-10.5)

Game #2: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (-7)

I’m a huge Tim Tebow fan. I love his heart, courageous, and tenacity. One problem?–He’s a major work in progress.

Tebow turned the ball over four times against the Detroit Lions last week enroute to their 45-3 blowout. Tebow was able to register 230 total yards, but the Broncos lost this game in the first quarter.

The Oakland Raiders had two weeks to think about their embarassing showing against the Kansas City Chiefs. During their Week 8 bye, report surfaced that Carson Palmer was eagerly digesting the playbook and getting up to speed. Palmer looked down right putrid in Week 7 (three INTs), so his play can only improve from here. The Raiders will not have running back, Darren McFadden this week. McFadden left the Kansas City game with an apparent injury and has been in a walking boot ever since. However, the Raiders shouldn’t miss a beat with Michael Bush and Taiwan Jones handling the carries. Bush had a 100 yard, 2 TD game against the Broncos in 2009, so he knows’em.

Tebow has been so turnover prone and the 4-3 Raiders desperately need a win to keep pace in the division. A big showing at home against the Broncos is vital.

The Pick: Oakland (-7)

Game #3: St. Louis Rams (+3.5) at Arizona Cardinals

This is the most mis-guided line of the week. The Rams are coming off a shocking, huge, mind boggling beat down of the New Orleans Saints. Steven Jackson rumbled for 150 yards. Brandon Lloyd scored a TD. The Rams defense played inspiring football for the first time all season. They made Drew Brees feel uncomfortable all game long. Imagine what they can do to John Skelton?

Arizona’s starting QB, Kevin Kolb (turf toe), is not expected to play. Enter John Skelton, the second year player from Fordham. Skelton had a very limited showing last season and the Cardinals throwing big bucks at Kolb in the off-season shows the Cards don’t think he’s the future. Arizona has to be demoralized after blowing a 21-point lead to the Ravens. Say what you want about bounce back games, emotional let downs, whatever…The Rams should have Sam Bradford back for the first time in weeks and the Cardinals are just a bad team. The Rams will have to account for Larry Fitz, but that’s a given. Watch S-Jax turn on beast mode and run all over this vulnerable Cardinal front.