ERIC'S RECORD - 7-3-1 ATS
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Kansas City Chiefs (-9)
Todd Bouman is the expected starter for this game. Bouman, 38 years young, last played in 2005 for the Saints where he amassed 7 picks and just 2 touchdowns. Not that David Garrard strikes fear in the hearts of defensive coordinators, but he's markedly better than Bouman. Romeo Crennel's defense will load the line to limit Jones-Drew and force Bouman to beat them. The Chiefs have the number 1 rushing offense entering this week and face a Jags D that ranks 20th against the run. I don't think they will ask Matt Cassel to do anything but hand the ball off and play it safe in the passing game. Rookie tight end Tony Moeaki continues to develop as a player in this league. The combination of Moeaki and Dwayne Bowe give the passing game just enough to be effective. Look for a big day out of Jammal Charles and a solid win for the Chiefs.
PICK: KANSAS CITY -9
New England (+3) @ San Diego Chargers
San Diego lost a lot last week. The Chargers lost Malcolm Floyd, Antonio Gates and Legedu Naanee to injury. Floyd will not play and the other 2 are game time decisions. Patrick Crayton filled in nicely last week. Crayton was the Cowboys' most consistent receiver over the past 3 years and despite being a bit older is a great route runner and a consummate professional. He will not provide Phillip Rivers with the deep threat he normally has, but he'll give him an option in the mid range passing game. Chargers' running back Ryan Matthews did not become the work horse head coach Norv Turner claimed he'd be prior to the season. Mike Tolbert has been just as effective and a much better red zone option. Matthews continues to struggle with a high ankle sprain and despite Rivers putting up good numbers, this offense will not have a good day.
The Patriots, on the other hand, enter the game with a rejuvenated Deion Branch headlining a no name receiving crew that appears to be hitting its stride. The Chargers have the number 1 defense against the pass, but Brady looks like he's in mid season form. The Patriots beat a very good Baltimore team and I think they keep rolling. The Chargers are (-3) underdogs and if they were at full strength, I'd take them in a moment. However, injuries will put more pressure on Rivers as well as the running game, and as a Ryan Matthews fantasy owner, I know the rushing attack isn't very good.
PICK: NEW ENGLAND +3