Denver: Got lucky last week with favorable officiating and uncharacteristic Patriot mistakes and turnovers. Jake Plummer couldn't move their offense unless he was starting on the N.E. 30-yard line, and their defense didn't stop Tom Brady from moving the ball at will on them. If it wasn't for the turnovers, the Steelers would be in Foxboro this week instead of Mile High.
Pittsburgh: Beat Manning last week like they owned him, so who thinks they won't do more of the same against Plummer? Looks like Cowher's figured out what made Belichick so successful: NFL teams need to peak in January, not November.
Pick: Steelers 31, Broncos 27
Seattle: Won small against overmatched Washington team. League MVP coughs up ball on first series, then gets knocked out. I still don't believe in Matt Hasselback, and I'm really not all that impressed with what Seattle brings to the table.
Carolina: See comments above about peaking in January. Is anyone really playing any better than these guys? Note to other NFL coaches: the talent is all pretty much equal from team to team; it's all about game planning your own strengths and weaknesses against your opponents' strengths and weaknesses. The Colts lost last week because Dungy didn't game plan his team's weakness—their vulnerability to a 3-4 pressure defense—to Pittsburgh's strength, namely, the aforementioned 3-4 pressure defense. John Fox has game planned masterfully against both Tom Coughlin and Lovie Smith, and I think he's gonna clean Mike Holmgren's clock tomorrow night.
Pick: Carolina 38, Seattle 17