Seahawks at Giants
Although both Seattle and New York had the luxury of a bye week to prepare for Sunday's meeting, the Seahawks appear to have benefited far more from the extra week. After throwing together a motley crew of receivers over the first three games, the Seahawks expect injured wideouts Deion Branch and Bobby Engram to take the field on Sunday. While Seattle upgraded its wide receiver corps over the bye week, the Giants did the opposite, suspending star wideout Plaxico Burress for the Seahawks game due to a violation of team rules. Burress' suspension severely handicaps the Giants offense, taking away Eli Manning's favorite target and perhaps New York's best red-zone weapon. The Seahawks are better than they've shown thus far, so expect them to surprise the shorthanded Giants at the Meadowlands.
The Pick: Seattle
Bills at Cardinals
The Bills and Cardinals appear to be heading in completely opposite directions entering this week's game. Buffalo is off to its best start since it reached the Super Bowl in 1992, and currently sits in the driver's seat in the AFC East. Meanwhile, the Jets bullied the Cardinals defense into allowing 56 points last week, including six passing touchdowns by the ageless Brett Favre. Somewhere in Buffalo, quarterback Trent Edwards is salivating at the ostensible ease with which he will dissect Arizona's secondary this Sunday. This is Buffalo's game to lose, and Dick Jauron won't let that happen.
The Pick: Buffalo
Redskins at Eagles
So far, Philadelphia's defense has been something of an enigma. After holding the Rams to three points and 166 yards in the season opener, the Eagles were shredded by Dallas for 41 points in week two. Philadelphia then bounced back, swarming Pittsburgh for nine sacks and three takeaways in a 15-6 win. Most recently, Philadelphia surrendered 24 points to a largely underwhelming Chicago offense in a road loss. Conversely, the Washington Redskins have been an icon of consistency over the last three weeks, quietly putting together a three-game winning streak, including an upset of the Dallas Cowboys last week. Look for the Redskins to churn out another win against a wildly inconsistent Eagles team.
The Pick: Washington
Buccaneers at Broncos
Just as Denver's offensive prowess has exceeded expectations, so has the Tampa Bay defense. Written off by most pundits after a sub-par 2007 season, the Broncos have jumped out to a 3-1 start behind the second best offense in the league. Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal have emerged as one of the league's elite wide receiver tandems, and third-year quarterback Jay Cutler is off to a phenomenal start. On the other side of the ball, Tampa Bay's defense has looked impressive in wins over Atlanta, Chicago and Green Bay, and leads the league with eight interceptions. When forced to choose between the up-and-coming quarterback and the veteran secondary, I'll side with experience every time - football isn't politics.
The Pick: Tampa Bay