- Associated Press - Thursday, September 15, 2011

Call it lockout brain lock.

That’s what Pro Picks suffered from in a wild, totally unpredictable first weekend of the season. Yes, six road teams won. Unfortunately, we had only two of them.

And six underdogs were winners. Unfortunately, the four favorites we had losing were victorious.

Things didn’t go any better with the Best Bet or the Upset Special. Looks like Pro Picks was about as prepared for the openers as the Colts, Steelers, Chiefs and Falcons.

That makes it critical to find a solid choice this week to get on track, and the spotlight falls on one of those teams that got routed last weekend: Pittsburgh.

There’s just no way the Steelers can play so poorly again, and they’re fortunate to get another club that struggled mightily in its first game, Seattle. Pittsburgh is a 13 1/2-point favorite, a huge spread, by far the biggest of the NFL’s second week.

But the Steelers were embarrassed at Baltimore, and their frame of mind will be to re-establish themselves as a powerhouse. A nasty powerhouse.

“I think that people that know and compete in this league understand there’s a fine line between drinking wine and squashing grapes,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “Obviously last weekend we were grape squashers.”

Having the retooling Seahawks, out of the league’s weakest division, coming to Heinz Field is the right tonic.

STEELERS, 30-10

San Diego (plus 6 1/2) at New England

Until otherwise notified, the Patriots will be the choice to cover, whatever the spread. San Diego was fortunate to win at home against Minnesota, which in no way resembles New England.

BEST BET: PATRIOTS 35-20

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