Posted on: February 7, 2010 1:08 pm

Superbowl Pick

Alright, I know I’ve been MIA for the second half and even the entire playoffs, but that’s the consequence of working to the bone and mimicking that movie “Up in the Air”.  But, there is no way I could miss out on giving my two cents in for the big game! 

Let me just say that I don’t have a horse in this race, so we could look at it subjectively.  With that said, I love the Saints story, but how could you root against the hometown workhorse in Peyton Manning

Let’s first discuss the current line of 5.5, originally the line was 7 but the Dwight Freeney injury is huge.  It allows the Saints O-line to potentially shift down and double on Robert Mathis.  With a decreased pass rush, that is going to put a ton of pressure on the secondary to cover the army of Saint wide receivers.  Let us not forget that Bob Sanders is also out.  The Colts have been playing outstanding defense in his absence, but that has been the result of strong play on the defensive line.

The Saints on the other hand have not played particularly well.  Let’s be honest here:  They are lucky to be here.  Minnesota dominated that game and barely lost despite 6 fumbles and 2 picks.  Unbelievable that the score in any game would be close when there are that many turnovers.  Now the Colts do not have the running game that the Vikings have, not even close.  On the other hand the Saints have not seen an architect behind center like Mr. Manning.  Unless you are in the AFC and face him often it is impossible to know how he operates and how quickly he gets rid of the ball.

The O-line for the Colts is just average.  Yes, despite giving up only 10 sacks all season, they are just average.  Why?  Well, they also rank 26th in rushing which tells you that those few sacks are a result of Peyton’s quick release and decision making. Perhaps D- Coordinator Williams should have kept his mouth shut because the flags will be prevalent on late hits for which the Saints have been making a habit out of in the playoffs.  This is going to hurt them.

I think we will see some surprises here and some other things play out as many have suspected.  I think the Colts will display a better rushing attack than originally thought.  I think the Colts will be calmer out of the gate and if they can withstand the initial onslaught, this may be theirs for the taking.  I see the Saints tiring as a result of too much adrenaline.  They are feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders because they feel they have to win for the people of New Orleans. The Colts on the other hand are just all business. The second half will be the story of this game.  I see the game starting off slower than people think, especially for two high flying offenses.  If it is within a touchdown in the 4th quarter it is all Colts, but I don’t see it being so.  While I wouldn’t bet against Peyton, I will say that sometimes things come to fruition if you believe it.  The Saints believe they are a team of destiny and this is going to play out as such.  Saints +5.5

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 7, 2010 12:39 pm

Why Not A Superbowl Saturday?

Superbowl Sunday, a day filled with euphoria for every sports fan, but every year a recipe for a miserable Monday.  Superbowl Saturday sounds every bit as good and would alleviate the usual fallout experienced by poor planning.  The NFL is the most progressive league of all the major sports.  They have historically been proactive to combat issues ranging from affirmative action to steroids.  Yet, this progressive league fails to recognize that the biggest game of the year creates a problem far bigger than a Janet Jackson clothing “malfunction”.

In a time when our economy is struggling and people are doing the best just to hang on to their jobs, employers can’t afford to deal with the economic burden placed on them due to the Superbowl.  Put aside the $3 million for a 30 second spot, that is not the issue here or even the fact that employers lose approximately $850 million in the week leading up to the big game because little can be done by the league.  The problem is the $150 million businesses lose as a result of the 1.5 million employees calling out sick or the over 4 million employee who show up late on the Monday after the game.

Even crazier are cities who have teams in the big game are now cancelling school the following day so kids can stay up and watch the game.  What are we teaching our children?  Move the game NFL and allow your fans to enjoy a Super Saturday without the consequences of a Miserable Monday.

Category: NFL
Tags: Superbowl
Posted on: December 10, 2009 5:59 pm

NFL Week 14 Picks - Thursday Game

Steelers vs. Browns
The Steelers at 6-6 are a desperate team right now and they have to be thrilled that they are facing the lowly Browns this week.  Even with Troy Polamalu out and potentially for the season they should have more than enough on defense to shut down the pathetic Browns offense, who has trouble scoring on anyone unless they are Detroit.  I really like good teams that are desperate for a win to cover.  The Steelers have disappointed me and most of us this season with their inept ability to cover, let alone win when they are supposed to.  That debacle last week versus Oakland was a complete embarrassment and they will be looking for blood.  I take the Steelers to cover the 10.  On a side note: much to my dismay I have yet to win a Thursday game this season, but I find it difficult to take the Browns in this position.

Category: NFL
Posted on: December 3, 2009 7:21 pm

NFL Week 13 Picks

My apologies for not posting last week, but hey holiday travels make it tough!  I hope you all had a good turkey day.  On a side note, for those who are curious I had 9 winners.  Not great, but certainly not terrible either.  Thanks for the comments and messages.  Here is what’s on tap for week 13:

Jets vs. Bills
In the NFL’s effort to show how paltry the CFL is we send them the Bills and the Jets?? Either way, Canada here we come!   Both of these teams have been somewhat of an enigma for me this season.  The Jets have been expectedly up and down as those are the growing pains with a rookie QB.  The Bills on the other hand seem to come out of nowhere and make games and even win a few against what should be superior teams.  Last week the T.O. and Fitzpatrick combination proved to be lethal against Miami and quite frankly it even had me scratching my head after the Bills crushed a really tough Miami team.  The Jets themselves had a nice win over a very streaky Carolina team with what looked to be the same dominating defense that started the season.  Both teams are confident right now and it’s probably a sucker bet, but I’m going to take a flyer and go with the Bills getting 3 points.

Broncos vs. Chiefs
The Broncos defense was stout last week versus the Giants.  Due to last weeks Thursday game they should be a little fresher than KC coming into this game who was crushed by the Chargers on Sunday.  The Broncos are just trying to keep up with the Chargers at this point.  They sure looked motivated after getting an earful from head coach Todd Haley who dropped more F-Bombs than a Chris Rock skit.  The Chiefs who have trouble beating the Broncos to begin will have their hands full this weekend just trying to keep it competitive.  I take the Broncos and give the 4.5.

Steelers vs. Raiders

Big Ben looks to take the field this week and that will be a welcome site for the Steelers.  I personally was shocked by how well Dixon played as QB, being a rookie and having practiced one day last week before the game.  The Steelers are having a hard enough time without Polamalu, they cannot afford to pay without Roethlisberger.  The loss last week if anything will have them up to play hard this week as they are on the cusp of missing the playoffs which would be a shame as they are possibly the most dangerous team given their record.  They will not over look the Raiders who surprisingly have taken out Cincy and the Eagles. Go figure?  The Raiders are getting some guys like Fargas back this week, but that won’t be enough to win, but should be enough to keep in within the 14.5 points.  Just too many for me not to take.

Jaguars vs. Texans

The Jags looked like a defunct division I football team last week.  Mistakes piled up and the Niners made them pay.  It was like watching one of those bad blooper highlight reels.  Very disappointing considering how well they were playing going into the game, (winning 3 in a row). Houston on the other hand, can’t buy a win.  They just find ways to lose.  They give away huge fourth quarter leads, and choke when it counts (down the stretch).  If I didn’t know better I would have though Matt Schaub had money on the Colts.  He gave that game away at the end. It just made me sick for the team, who I have been rooting for to make the playoffs this season.  This game is a pick’em, but at this point I have to think that the Texans are just a better team even though they have had a run of bad luck.  If they have any aspiration of salvaging the season it will be this week, if not then they are officially lost.  I’m taking the Texans to rebound from a heartbreaking loss over the Jags who just looked lost last week.

Colts vs. Titans

I’ve gotta admit, I am rooting for the Titans to make the playoffs. I think that would be the story of the NFL season and it just proves how good Jeff Fisher is as a head coach.  Vince Young as I have said in the past, wins ugly, but the SOB wins and that’s all that counts.  Speaking of just wins, I have to believe that the Colts luck has to run out at some point.  Peyton Manning is clearly the best QB and possibly player of our generation.  His calling of games, the audibles, the on the field coaching, and his performance is just out of this world and we haven’t seen anyone like him or even remotely close to him since Joe Montana and when its over Joe may even pale in comparison.  He can take anyone of us off the street and put up respectable numbers.  Not to mention he still has one of the best SNL skits of all time.  Everything says take the Colts playing at home, but until the Young train goes off the tracks, I think the Titans want it more than anyone at this point and they should at least keep it closer than 6.5.

Eagles vs. Falcons
The Eagles barely escaped with a win over the Redskins.  Everyone is talking about Mike Vick because they are taking on Atlanta this week.  The truth is he is not the same guy and will not be a factor even if he gets a sniff of the field this week. Furthermore, if your one of these fools still proudly wearing his jersey, you either hate yourself, hate animals, or your IQ is a few standard deviations below the mean.  Okay, enough Vick talk.  The Eagles defense gave up 24 points to the Redskins last week and they have not looked the same.  Yes they miss their D coach Johnson who recently died of cancer, but right now I think they really miss guys like Dawkins who is in Denver and their linebacking core is and has been beaten up, with  Omar Gaither, Stewart Bradley on IR and Akeem Jordan and White battling injuries.  This has not allowed them to do what they like and that is blitz, and blitz efficiently.  This is good for Atlanta, which has had trouble keeping backup quarterback Redman vertical.  They snuck by Tampa last week and may get a boost if Michael Turner comes back this week.  Westbrook likely to still be out and perhaps DeSean Jackson too, but without Matt Ryan I don’t think they have enough to keep it within 5.5.

Bengals vs. Lions
Bengals are just rolling right now and even with Cedric Benson still on the sidelines they have been able to keep the running game potent with the addition of Larry Johnson.  LJ with 107 was running like an angry man last week.  Nothing beats motivation.  This week it looks like Ced Ben is going to play and that does not bode well for the Lions who have done well to keep competitive this season.  This seems to be a case of bringing a knife to a gun fight.  The Lions just don’t have enough to match the Bengals right now and relying on a Matthew Stafford’s shaky shoulder is no place to start.  Cincy Covers the 13.

Saints vs. Redskins
Can I just say that I’m happy someone socked it to Bill Belichick last week?  After running up the score on just about every team he can, he finally gets a beat down of epic proportion and acts like a whiney child and yanks his guys with plenty of time to play.  Awful.  He should be ashamed.  The Saints are the cream right now and have risen to the top of the NFL heap.  So why are they giving only 9.5 to the woeful Redskins?  Because this is a classic trap game.  And quite frankly this is the type of game they tend to keep close after blowing out a quality opponent.  Everyone is taking the Saints this week and I’m headed the other direction.  Skins keep it within 9.5 in what should be a sloppy game.

Panthers vs. Bucs
The Panthers have been wildly inconsistent this season and were man handled by the Jets.  Now with Jake Delhomme apparently dealing with a broken finger it doesn’t get any easier for them when they play the invigorated Buccaneers who have been playing good football the past few weeks with Johnson at the helm.  What’s worse for the Panthers is the backup Josh McCown is out for the season as well and it looks like Matt Moore will be taking his place.  Not good news for a team looking to rebound.  The Panthers are giving 6.5 points and this is way too much for a team on the skids.  The Bucs keep this one close if not win the game.

Bears vs. Rams
There is so much dissention amongst the Bears these days its like watching a bad day time soap.  Jay Cutler once the savior of the franchise is now being criticized for being “too flashy” from Urlacher.  Are you kidding me?  Look at what this guy has to throw to.  He is trying to make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t and it has cost him.  Period.  The team is just dysfunctional, their offense has the ability to move the ball but just can’t score, the defense is woeful.  They are thanking their lucky stars the Rams are coming to town.  The problem for the Bears is that the Rams are no push over and give a quality game to most of their opponents.  The Bears are giving 9 and I just don’t see it.  I think the Rams keep this one close with Steven Jackson at the helm.

Chargers vs. Browns
Ugh.  I hate talking about any game involving the Mangini led Browns.  The Chargers have turned it around and are playing like the team we thought they were (Denny Green in my head). The Chargers could have laid a stinker last week versus a weaker opponent; instead they took care of business.  I have no reason to believe that Philip Rivers and company won’t have another big day and crush the woeful Browns.  The Browns were surprisingly competitive versus the Bengals, but this is not a rival and the motivation will not be there.  Chargers cover the 13.

Seahawks vs. 49ers
A pick’em game this week.  Both teams had dominating performances last week with the Hawks taking care of the Rams and the Niners crushing the Jags.  I put a little more stock in the Niners victory as they ended a good 3 game run by the Jags.  Not to mention, they play tough at home and they seem to be the more physical team at this juncture taking on their head coach’s mentality.  The Niners should bully the Seahawks and easily take care of business at home.

Vikings vs. Cardinals
Vikes have looked like the second best team in football right now behind the Saints.  As we all know they are a very complete team with Adrian Peterson running the ball, a dominating defense, and a quarterback who has been mistake free, and accurate in Brett Favre.  Brett who?  This is not the same guy we have seen throughout his career.  Completing 88 % of his passes and is arguably the most efficient QB in the NFL. Did I just hear there was a snowflake in hell?  Arizona on the flip side is still one of the scariest teams to play and are capable of taking out anyone.  They will be motivated to show their stuff against a team who is making a Superbowl run.  With a 7-4 record they are no slouches themselves and had a disappointing loss versus the Titans last week.  Before that loss they reeled off three straight victories.  They are getting 5 points at home and I have to take the dog here as Arizona should be able to keep it close.

Cowboys vs. Giants
My beloved Giants are just pitiful.  It pains me to see them play this bad.  I can only hope they muster up enough pride to beat their rival Cowboys.  The Giants are playing at home with those swirling winds and the weather will not be favorable for the Cowboys who will be playing away from the confines of that gorgeous dome. The Cowboys haven’t been over powering, but they have taken care of business.  The Giants on the other hand are scratching their heads since week 5.  Brandon Jacobs is not the same guy, the defense has had no consistent pass rush, and the secondary is a ticking time bomb.  This is going to be a battle in the trenches.  Normally I would favor the Giants, but the Dallas offensive line is big and beefy and should be able to drive the ball consistently.  Not to mention the WR in Roy Williams and Miles Austin should give the Giants secondary fits all day.  Cowboys are only giving 2.5 and I’ve gotta give it in this case.

Patriots vs. Dolphins
Well the Pats should be relatively fresh on offense after Bill Belichick whined like a baby and yanked the starters early last week.  Boo hoo…someone get him a tissue please? The fact is they were crushed by a better team, but they are still a very good team and should not be overlooked.  This is a huge game for them against the Dolphins and the victory would all but insure their playoff bid.  The Dolphins looked terrible versus the Bills last week and Chad Henne looked shocked and lost at times.  With a rotation of offensive lineman due to so many injuries this team is starting to break down.  Ricky Williams is still more than capable of carrying the load and was able to practice this week after suffering from an injury to his chest (not from smoking anything either).  Even with a banged up O line he still got 115 yards.  The Pats recover this week though and cover the 6 points.

Packers vs. Ravens
If there is one team I’m a little disappointed in this year it’s the Ravens.  They appeared to be a complete team at the start of the season and I thought Flacco would take off after such a good season last year.  They seemed to be a team ready to take it to the next level, but they just haven’t.  Yes they won last week, but they barely escaped with a win versus a rookie QB who practiced one day before the game.  The Packers on the flip side have sort of surprised me and have reeled off 3 in a row.  The beat the lowly Lions last week, but they have beaten the Cowboys and the Niners before that.  For me they only have one real good win this season and that was versus the Cowboys and their 7-4 record is deceiving.  The Ravens have faced better competition in Cincy twice, Pitt, Pats, Denver, Chargers, etc. Win or lose they have kept it close and I put more stock in their 6-5 record versus superior competition.  They are getting 3 points and though it is at Green Bay on a Monday Night, they are the better team.

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL, Picks
Posted on: November 19, 2009 6:01 pm

NFL Week 11 Picks

Loving a ton of the home dogs this week.  Sure there are many bad teams out there, but double digit victories in the NFL gets a little harder to do on the road this time of year when teams are better at game planning and know their personnel a bit better.  Up and down season for me thus far.  Thanks for all of you who continue to support and read.  Please post your thoughts on the games and why you agree or disagree with any of my picks.  With the one's I've selected this week, there is sure to be enough to talk about. 
- M

Panthers vs. Dolphins

Jake Delhomme has been able to keep the picks to a minimum and the Panthers running game has really taken off.  DeAngelo Williams is averaging a crazy 5.1 yards per carry.  This team appears to have turned the corner and has played really good football as of late.  Not to be out done Ricky Williams is averaging 5.3 yards himself, but the Miami running game will be missing one of the two headed attack as Ronnie Brown is out for the year.  Miami gets Joey Porter back on defense, but it may not be enough this week.  I’m taking the Panthers that are on a roll to cover the 3 points at home versus a Miami team that struggled to beat Tampa last week.

Lions vs. Browns

Snore.  Two proud franchises, two bad teams.  I don’t particular care for this game, forget watching it, I won’t even watch the highlights.  Both teams have actually played with some grit, though either team can’t find a win.  I really like Stafford.  He took a beating last week, but played tough until the clock ran out and I have to admire a QB like that.  I’m going with the team that can at least score and pick the Lions to cover the 3.5.

Jaguars vs. Bills
Buffalo has decreased their population by one Dick this season as Dick Jauron finally got the boot and is out as coach of the Bills after an embarrassing 41-17 loss to the Titans last week.  The team is a dumpster fire right now as the defensive coordinator who has taken over as head coach can’t even select a quarterback to start.  The team has gone to the point of selecting Green Bay practice squad QB Brohm (which tells you how bad it really is there). Jacksonville on the other hand is on an upswing and had a big win over the Jets.  In a game that went back and forth they showed some real toughness and came back for a good win versus a good team coming into the game on a bye.  Even if Maurice Jones Drew stops a yard short on a couple of sure touchdowns this week the team should put up enough points to cover the 8.5.

Steelers vs. Chiefs
The Steel Curtain got a taste of their own medicine last week as they were beaten at their own game by a very good Cincy team.  Troy Polamalu is out again this week with an injured leg.  Pitt should have more than enough to still beat the Chiefs who will be without a star of their own in Dwayne Bowe who got caught using diuretics to lose weight.  Personally, I didn’t think the guy was fat to begin with, but maybe he was trying to be more aerodynamic.  The good news for the Chiefs is that Jamaal Charles has taken over for Larry and has shown a big difference is speed in the backfield.  Even though I feel the Steelers will cruise in for the win, I am going on a flier and picking the Chiefs to cover the 10.

Ravens vs. Colts
The Colts had an amazing victory last week against the Pats.  Amazing because they were handedly beaten for most of the game and still managed to pull it out.  With all of that said I think they are going in limping to this game, emotionally and physically.  They seemed poised for a let down and the hard hitting Ravens are not the team to limp into a game with.  The Colts of course will be without Bob Sanders who is out for the season and that leaves the secondary with a huge hole that was exposed versus the Pats last week.  Now they go into Baltimore who is licking their chops at a chance to ruin and undefeated season.  The team didn’t look great versus the Browns but they may have been looking ahead a bit.  In a pick’em I will take the Ravens.

Giants vs. Falcons
The Giants went into their bye week with four consecutive losses, each ugly in their own fashion.  They were able to gain a game in the standings because they were off the field.  They have looked terrible and I’m not convinced one week can repair all that is wrong with this team.  The defensive secondary is horrid, which leads me to think that a top flight WR like Roddy White will be able to expose them.  That is of course if Matt Ryan, whose play has fallen off a cliff can turn it around and get him the ball.  The team has plenty of weapons with the likes of Michael Turner and Gonzalez and should keep it within 6.5, though I see the Jints getting the win.

Packers vs. 49ers
The Pack certainly proved me wrong and actually be someone who was good.  With a record that seemed to be smoke and mirrors I didn’t think they stood a chance versus Dallas who was playing really high going into the game.  The 49ers pulled out an unlikely win after giving up tons of yards to the Bears but in their credit stopped them with five picks last week.  The problem for the 49ers is their anemic offense.  Put that offense against a defense that held the Dallas juggernaut to 7 points last week and I see a huge problem for the red and gold.  Green Bay at home should have enough to romp the 49ers this week and cover the 6.5.

Vikings vs. Seahawks
The Vikings had 13 penalties last week, played like dogs and still managed to cover.  I don’t suspect they will do the same this week.  With Favre and his completion rate of a crazy 107.5 with 17 touchdowns finding a partner in Sidney Rice I see them steam rolling the Seahawks who have not won a game on the road this year.  Seattle can’t win on the road, playing in Minnesota, and Trufant out with a concussion is too much to overcome.  The Vikes crush the Seahawks and cover the 11.

Cowboys vs. Redskins
Just when you start believing in the Cowboys they find a way to disappoint.  They looked terrible last week versus the Packers.  Worse than looking disinterested, they looked unprepared.  In reality the Cowboys should crush the Redskins, the reality is they most likely won’t.  They may win, but I don’t see them covering the 11 points.  Throw away records and crappy coaches (in this case both teams have crappy coaches so it’s a wash), this is a rivalry and rivalry games are close because there is good ole’ fashion hatred involved.  The Redskin defense has been playing better and they may be able to keep this one close.  I’m picking them keep it within 11 points.

Buccaneers vs. Saints
Tampa Bay has been playing inspired ball lately.  I didn’t think they could keep the game close last week, but they have proven me wrong.  On the other side, I thought the Saints would continue to blow the doors off of people, but they have been squeaking by their games of late.  So we have a David and Goliath situation here.  David is getting 11 points and I’m thinking why not?  Go with the hot hand until it proves you wrong.  Saints should win, but the Bucs will cover.  In a surprise I’m going to take the newly inspired Bucs lead by the impressive Josh Freemand to make it a game as the Saints have looked very sloppy lately and may overlook the Bucs who will put up a fight.

Rams vs. Cardinals
The Rams like the Bucs have been playing really good ball in the past couple of weeks.  They surprised the world and gave the Saints all they could handle last week.  Arizona has looked even better the past couple of weeks and has the wins to accompany their good play.  Their offense has really taken off and the defense has turned it around.  The Cards defense while good has given up at an average of 25 points in their last 3 games.  That might be enough to give the Rams enough to keep it closer than 9 as they are playing at home.  It’s too bad the Rams are so awful, no one is getting a chance to see what might be the best running back in the league in Steven Jackson.  The guy simply does it all.

Patriots vs. Jets
All the tears in the world not help the Jets this week as they are taking on the rejuvenated Patriots.  The Pats though coming off a loss appear to be capable of returning to their 2007 form which was one of the more dominating offenses in league history.  Rex can cry to his team all he wants, the fact is the Pats are coming into this game hungry, angry, and firing on all cylinders.  The Jets are a good football team, but Mark Sanchez is a year or two away from becoming the quarterback the Jets have been searching for to knock the Pats off their AFC east throne.  Rex is also a year or two away from creating the defense that can take over a game themselves.  Since we are not a year or two away, the Pats will take it to the Jets this week and cover the 10.5.

Bengals vs. Raiders
JaMarcus Russell has been mercifully benched.  The bad news is he is being replaced by a guy who has 9 picks and 5 fumbles in his limited starts.  The good news is he can probably hit an open receiver and the defense has been able to keep the last two games within 8 points despite their handicap at quarterback play.  The Bengals have been steam rolling everyone this year and demonstrated why they are a team to be reckoned with this season when they handedly beat the Steelers last week.  With Cedric Benson missing and coming off a big win last week, they may be poised for a let down.  Even with a bad week they should be capable of beating the Raiders but I will take the Raiders to keep it within 9.5 at home.

Broncos vs. Chargers
A tale of two teams headed in different directions.  The Broncos got off to a hot start and looked like a team to be true contender in the AFC, and the Chargers who got off to a miserable start are the hot hand right now and are winners of four in a row.  Teams seem to have figured out the Broncos offense and Orton is not the same QB he was earlier in the season.  Brandon Marshall who might be the NFL’s best WR has virtually disappeared and the Denver running game has been on a decline.  The Chargers on the other hand have showed some serious toughness beating the Giants in the Meadowlands and followed that up with a dominating performance versus the EaglesPhilip Rivers is a stud at QB and has found his weapon of choice in Vincent Jackson.  LT showed flashes of his old self last week and when that happens this team is very tough to beat.  Denver is a tough place to win, but the Chargers are on a roll and I have to take them and give the 3 points.

Eagles vs. Bears
Chicago has looked putrid.  Yes they were able to move the ball versus the 49ers, and Cutler literally threw the game away, but that was against a very bad 49ers team.  Cutler seems to be a man on an island and is trying to do everything himself.  When a QB does that there are bound to be mistakes.  The Eagles are a team loaded with weapons, and are capable of beating anyone, but they have not played like themselves much this season.  McNabb does not appear to be the same QB that he’s been in recent years for whatever reason and that has to be concerning to Eagles fans.  Either way, I don’t care for the Bear right now and Lovie Smith has got to be on his way out soon as the fans there will be seeking blood if the Bears don’t turn this thing around.  I will take a good NFC East team versus a bad NFC North team any day of the week and give the 3 points to the Bears.

Texans vs. Titans

I have been very high on the Texans this year.  They are quietly one of the best teams in football and are coming into this game off a bye week.  The Titans have looked like a completely different team the past few weeks and that 50 point beating by the Pats and Jeff Fisher wearing a Manning jersey seemed to wake this team up.  The team feels perfectly content with playing spoiler and even has the 86 year old Bud Adams giving people the finger.  You have to love the new attitude by the team which seems to be sparked by the reemergence of Vince Young.  The guy wins ugly, but at the end of the day he wins.  The Texans though playing at home, and with good offensive power are going against a team with a swagger right now that could care less and that makes them dangerous.  I am going against the majority on this one and think the Titans cover the 4.5.  Crazy I know, but Tennessee still has a good defense and poses matchup problems for the Texans, not to mention its Monday night and they don’t want to be embarrassed again

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks
Posted on: November 12, 2009 5:31 pm

NFL Week 10 Picks

49ers vs. Chicago
Will Chicago be fired up due to Vernon Davis’ recent comments?  Sure.  Will it matter? No.  Chicago has done a nice job this season versus lesser opponents, but against quality teams they have not measured up.  A 20 point loss last week to Arizona is a recent example of this.  The defense is smoke and mirrors and any team with an offensive coordinator worth a salt is exposing them.   San Fran has not looked that much better recently and losing to the Titans on their last go around is not exactly a vote of confidence, but to their credit the Titans have been playing much better and it seemed to be a case of bad timing.  A four game losing streak to mostly really good teams has the 49ers desperate for a win. S.F. is giving 3 points playing at home versus a lesser opponent on a short week.  I’m taking the 49ers.

Jets vs. Jaguars
Coming off a bye week the Jets are taking on the up and down Jags.  The Jags are wildly inconsistent and quite frankly, I don’t know what to make of them.  They have busted me a few times with the spread this season.  Mike Sims-Walker is clearly falling into a dominant #1 receiver in the NFL, MJD has been very quiet this season, and David Gerrard looks great one week then falls flat the other.  What I do know about them is that their last two games consisted of a bad loss to the Titans and squeaking by the Chiefs.  I’m taking the Mark Sanchez freight train this week as he continues to improve and a bye week can only help him more.  Give Rex Ryan another week to prep defensively for an uncomplicated offense and the Jets will dominate this game.  Jets cover the 7 IMO.

Broncos vs. Redskins
The Broncos have been reeling lately with two straight losses.  Their only losses however are to two very top notch teams in Baltimore and Pitt.  Both defenses were able to stop the short passing game by the Broncos that is the heart of t the offense.  Look, Denver is not a superbowl contender, but they are much better than people thought they would be and are a very capable and complete team.  Even if Kyle Orton is their quarterback (there I go again, off the Orton bandwagon).  The sweet ‘stache will be at it again this week and in full force against the hapless Redskins.  Who are led by their defiant coach in Jim Zorn (he’s still the coach, right?).  Either way, that team can’t play their way out of a paper bag and they are a dumpster fire right now.  The Broncos only giving 3.5 is a joke and the Denver defense will crush what’s left of poor Portis and Jason Campbell.

Steelers vs. Bengals
If there is one bandwagon I’m happy I got on early it’s the Bengals.  I said they would beat the Ravens twice and they have.  They are a complete team and are still under the radar for the most part.  I am surprised of how well their defense has been playing.  This week will be very tough as Chris Henry has been lost for the season and that puts a huge dent into the vertical passing game.  The Steeler engine is running on full cylinders and Troy Polamalu is the NFL’s best defensive player.  This will be one of the few good NFL matchups this week and Cincy will be eager to measure themselves up against the reigning champ.  My head says take the Steelers but my gut tells me that Cincy has the capability to keep it closer than a touchdown.  I’m taking the Bengals as both teams are coming in off a big win and will be eager to prove their dominance.  At the end of the day the Pitt d-line is a little more banged up and Cedric Benson is just a stud.

Titans vs. Bills

The Vince Young lead Titans have a little more pep in their step and have won two in a row.  The fact that they are 6.5 favorites versus the Bills would have been unimaginable a few weeks ago, but the truth is these two teams are headed in different directions.  The Bills season is slipping away and T.O. is unlikely to play this week.  Would you believe he has only one offensive touchdown this entire season?  That’s what happens when you continuously open your trap and end up with a lesser quarterback year after year (McNabb, Romo, Edwards/Fitzpatrick?)  you get the point.  The Bills offense is a sputtering mess and the Titans defense has stepped it up especially after solidifying their secondary with the return of some key players.  The Bills will have no where to go this week with the ball and if your looking at the line assuming this is the old Titan team and 6.5 is too much, then you are kidding yourself.  Titans cover and crush the Bills to win 3 in a row.

Vikings vs. Detroit
Do we really have to watch this?  Thank goodness for the Red Zone.  I like the Lions, I really do and would like them to become a quality franchise.  This week however, is not the time they will get a chance to do so.  The Vikings are hitting stride and returned strong after their bye week.  They have already crushed Detroit with a healthy Calvin Johnson a.k.a. Megatron.  Not sure if he will be available this week or if it would even matter.  Vegas must hate this game and wants to put up a line big enough to discourage betting.  Jared Allen will be all over Matthew Stafford and the Viking offense is sure to run all over Detroit.  Don’t think so?  Name one Detroit defensive player.  That’s what I thought.  Now name the running back of the Vikings.  Can you say All Day?  Crazy, I know, but I’m giving 16.5 and taking the Vikes.

Saints vs. Rams
Ugh…another snoozer.  The NFL should put some collegiate teams in place of some of these terrible NFL teams.  I think they would provide a better matchup.  Vikes & Detroit, now Saints & Rams.  The Rams beat Detroit last week.  Who cares beyond the players and their family members?  No one.   Steve Spagnoulo should quit and immediately book a flight back to NY to help raise another banner in Giant land.  This team has nothing going for it besides Steven Jackson who continues to just impress me.  As for the Saints, you just can’t say enough.  They are clearly the crème de la crème.  They have so many guys on offense they could beat the Rams with their second string. 13.5 points is not enough to discourage me.  The Saints are not the Lions and the Ram offense will not look as polished.  Vegas hates yet another one and cannot find a line big enough to discourage bettors.

Falcons vs. Panthers

How the Panthers beat Arizona a couple of weeks ago is still amazing to me.  The Panther boat is taking on water fast and the banjo music is getting louder.  Good for them to make it a game versus the Saints last week.  The Saints were sleep walking through most of the game until they realized they were losing and snapped out of it to dominate the rest of the game.  DeAngelo Williams has a bum knee and may not play this weekend, LB Thomas Davis tore his ACL and is done for the season, and Dante Rosario is still up in the air for the Falcon matchup.  The injury list is huge for the Panthers and they are taking on an Atlanta team that does not take lesser opponents likely.  Just ask Washington, who was annihilated by the Falcons 31-17 last week.  After two losses to good teams in Dallas and New Orleans, the Matt Ryan lead Falcons will take care of a battered Carolina team and cover the tiny 1.5 spread. 

Dolphins vs. Buccaneers
Good for the Bucs to get their first win in last week.  They played strong down the stretch and pulled it off.  This week they get a chance to test themselves versus the Wilcat led Fins.  They saw a vanilla version of it during preseason, but now they get the whole enchilada.  The Dolphins are 3-5 which is hard for me to believe given how good this football team is, but their losses include the Patriots, Saints, Colts, and Falcons.  This is a good team, make no mistake about it.  They are in desperation mode right now and need to win games if they hope to make the playoffs.  The Bucs will be victimized this week as Miami will be angry from a loss to the Pats.  They will have little to no success stopping the Wildcat and Miami will not crumble like the miserable Packers.  The Fins cover the 10.

Raiders vs. Chiefs
If this were the last NFL game to ever be played, I may still not watch it.  This is the worst thing to happen to NFL fans since the wave.  I would rather watch that women’s soccer player kick the snot out of the opposing team.  When I say kick the snot out of, I mean it literally.  Raider fan save it.  I have spent too much time talking about how you have the worst quarterback in the NFL.  Seriously, JaMarcus Russell has worse numbers than some backups.  If you are backing up this kid that should tell you that it is time to look for work elsewhere beyond playing in the NFL.  As for the Chiefs, buh bye Larry.  Thanks for cashing in on your contract.  Your lack of effort has you watching football on Sundays like me now.  I cannot in good conscience pick the Raiders at any point to win.  Yes they beat the Chiefs earlier this season and maybe that is why they are favored this week but this is not the same Chief team and the Chiefs cover the 2 points and win this game.

Cardinals vs. Seahawks

Kurt Warner has been a touchdown passing machine the past few weeks and there is no reason to believe he will stop versus the Seahawks.  The Seahawks lost just three weeks ago to the Cardinals 27-3 and I have to believe they are in store for more of a beating.  The biggest reason for the Cardinals turnaround is the defense, which has looked like the D that got them to the superbowl last season. This week they get to play at home and I expect them to crush the battered offensive line of the Seahawks.  The Cards give 8.5 and I think they cover and don’t even look back.

Chargers vs. Eagles
This is a very intriguing matchup.  The Chargers have been playing remarkably better, and the Eagles have been struggling.  Both have recent wins over the Giants and this may be a good barometer on how to measure these two teams.  The Eagles are more capable of handling the rush and have proven to be a very dynamic offense when they get going.  The Chargers have won three in a row, but I’m not impressed.  They beat the Chiefs, Raiders, and Giants.  If you look at the Giants game they were pretty much dominated the whole game and had 130+ of total offense until that last drive.  And that was from a pretty bad Giants defense.  The Eagles are coming off a loss to Dallas and will not be as kind as to let them march down the field so easily to win the game.  I just don’t see this game as close as some would have it.  I think the Eagles are still a much more complete team and the Chargers defense will do nothing to intimidate an Eagles team that is accustomed to playing against the best defensive teams in the league.  Philly is getting points and I have to take it.  Philly +2

Cowboys vs. Packers

I have a love hate relationship with the Packers.  I love their rich history, I love what they mean to the NFL, I love their fans and the fact that they are the only publicly owned franchise.  Now that I have said that I can say that I hate this team.  In the great words of Bill Parcells, “You are what your record says you are.”  I’m tired of people trying to make this an elite team.  They are not.  They only have wins versus the Bears, Rams, Lions,  and Browns.  They have not proven they can beat any elite team, even if by accident.  Last week they lose to Tampa Bay.  If there is a faster sinking ship in the NFL I cannot think of one.  They have burned me in the spread all season and I will not be picking them again to cover in the foreseeable future.  Dallas on the other hand has sprung to life on the heels of a good defense and the emergence of Miles Austin.  They travel to Green Bay to take on an angry Packer team, but that doesn’t matter.  Dallas is the much better team and if this game were being played anywhere else the line would be much greater than 3.

Patriots vs. Colts
The two best quarterbacks in the NFL will go head to head yet again in this intense rivalry.  The Colts are undefeated due in large part to the unflappable Peyton Manning.  This guy is clearly the best and has to wish he had the weapons that Tom Brady has.  Both teams are great, both teams are playing at a very high level, both teams have tremendous talent, both teams hate one another, but only one team has a huge gaping hole in its defense.  That gaping hole is Bob Sanders. While the General on the offensive side of the ball may be Manning, the Colts defense goes by the way of Sanders and he is done for the season.  They will struggle with a Pats team that features several offensive weapons.   I take the Pats+3.

Ravens vs. Browns
Monday night snooze.  It’s a good thing too, because we will all be refreshed for work on Tuesday.  If you’re a Raven fan, don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone you didn’t watch and if you’re a Browns fan, then you just shouldn’t watch.  Go to sleep, watch a movie, do something useful with your life.  Time is precious.  What can I say here, the Browns are changing quarterbacks yet again.  Surprised? Manginius is awful.  The Browns are awful.  Baltimore on the other hand is very good.  The Ravens will beat on the Browns and just because it is Monday night and they may have a fan or two watching they will beat them by more than the 10.5 points to cover the spread.

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL, Picks
Posted on: November 6, 2009 5:32 pm

NFL Week 9 Picks

Jaguars vs. Chiefs
Larry Johnson will not be in pads for the Chiefs this weekend when they take on the Jags.  Not that it matters though, as the guy averages only 2.7 yards per carry when he’s not busy making gay remarks about his coach.  Not smart at all, and reminds me of T.O. talking about Jeff Garcia, “Like my boy tells me: 'If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, by golly, it is a rat.”  Jamaal Charles will get the carries this week and is averaging 5.0 yards per carry, so there is hope in Chief land as they take on a Jags team that rates among the league worst in defense.  The Jags are an up and down team and just got crushed last week 30-13 to the Titans who rushed for over 300 yards.  This game is a coin flip, as you never know which team will show.  The loss was so bad, Del Rio had these guys if full pads on Wednesday.  With that said, I think Jax bounces back this week after an embarrassing performance and takes it to the Chiefs covering the 6.5

Ravens vs. Bengals
Wow, I was surprised by the whooping the Ravens put on a very good Denver team.  They were all bully all the team.  This team as I have said is one of the best and balanced teams in the league.  This week they have a must win game at Cincy.  Usually this would be a no-brainer but the Bengals have already beaten the Ravens and have shown to have a balanced attack of their own.  The game was closer than the score if it weren’t for the D-stud in Reed.  With Cedric Benson as the leagues fourth best rusher, I think the Bengals will put up another good fight.  The Bengals are getting 3 at home and you have to love a home dog with a better record.

Colts vs. Texans
The Colts barely escaped last week with a win versus the ‘niners.  It appeared as though they were going through the motions and expected to win, only to be surprised of the dog fight they were in.  The Texans on the other hand have been getting better and better.  They are truly fun to watch.  Too bad they are going into Indy this week.  The Colts own anyone who comes in this place.  The Texans defense is no match for the great Peyton Manning.  Not to mention Steve Slaton was benched last week, after fumbling yet another ball (someone get this guy some stickum) and replaced with Moats.  To make matters worse, the Texans will be without their second biggest weapon in Owen Daniels, who will be out for the rest of the year after suffering a knee injury.  I give the 9 points and take the Colts.

Falcons vs. Redskins

Matt Ryan has been eating a ton of turf lately and has to be just sick with how this team has played in the past couple of weeks.  Playing against a motivated Dallas team coming off a bye week and at the Saints will put you in a really bad spot.  Let’s not forget how good this team is though.  They did hang in there versus the Saints and this team is capable of beating anyone.  They will have a chance to remedy their woes against the hapless Redskins who can’t get out of their own way.  Washington with nothing to play for, and who can’t wait until the season ends ventures to Atlanta this week.  I expect the Falcons to exact some revenge and just dominate this game.  They will easily cover the 10.

Packers vs. Buccaneers
Aaron Rodgers will be more than happy to see the Bucs pass rush after being hammered by the Vikes last week.  The poor Bucs have little going for them other than the fact they will be playing at home this week and won’t have to travel to another country for a butt kicking.  The passer rating versus the Bucs is over 100 and Rodgers will be more than happy to keep the trend up with two fantastic receivers that will continue to expose a porous pass defense.  The Bucs are starting a rookie QB in Josh Freeman.  With that said they should continue the trend of allowing more than 5 double digit losses for the season.  I take GB and give the 9.5.

Bears vs. Cardinals
Both teams are 4-3 and look every bit as such.  I can understand Chicago being 4-3.  They have taken care of lesser teams and have played valiantly versus some good teams, but the reality is they are just not that good.  A nice team yes, but a contender, absolutely not.  Arizona on the other hand is just inconsistent and drives me nuts.  They look like world beaters one week, then lose to the lowly Panthers at home.  Warner threw 5 picks and even managed to throw in a fumble for good measure, just to make sure his team had no chance of winning.  They visit the Bears this week and are getting 3 points.  I’m going to take the more talented team here getting 3 points, as I just don’t see Chicago beating a better Arizona team despite their inconsistencies.

Patriots vs. Dolphins
The Patriots are shaping up to be the class of the AFC again and Brady is once again shaping up to be that top tier QB we all love to hate.  The pretty boy, with a cannon for an arm who has super models at his beckoning call, gives us all the more reason to despise him.  This team is coming off a bye and is taking on a really tough Dolphin team that I have really come to respect this season.  I was surprised with their win against the Jets as I thought the Jets would have a better showing against them.  They have proven they are the better team, and despite that hurtful collapse against the Saints they have been rolling.  This is going to be a good game this week.  The Pats are giving 10.5!!!  Yes, they are a juggernaut, and yes they beat the hell out of people, but 10.5?  For a divisional rivalry, against a team that has proven they can match up against a high powered offense?  I’m taking the 10.5 and the Fins.

Saints vs. Panthers
The Panthers absolutely shocked me last week with that victory over the Cardinals.  I don’t think this team has turned it around.  Chalk that up to Warner just having a terrible day at the office.  The Saints are an elite team with Drew Brees at the helm with the likes of Marques Colston, and the reemergence of Jeremy ShockeyReggie Bush seems like an after thought in this offense, which speaks to how good they are.  The Panthers have some talent of their own, but with Jake Delhomme struggling this season, I think the Saints are going to have a field day when the Panthers get behind and have to start flinging the ball.  This does not bode well for the Panthers who are in for a long day.  I give the 13 points and take the Saints.

Seahawks vs. Lions
Wow, the NFL has be so proud of some of their matchups.  Who wants to sign up to see the 1-6 Lions take on the 2-5 Seahawks?  They must be giving tickets away to see this thing.  Seattle was trounced last week at Dallas and the Lions lost to the Rams.  That’s all you really need to know here.  As Bill Parcells says, “you are what your record says you are”, and these two teams are bad.  If the Seahawks are spotting you 10 points then you know things have gone from bad to worse.  Poor Stafford can’t seem to complete a pass without Megatron (Calvin Johnson), great nickname by the way.  I take Seattle and give the 10 points.  If you lose to the Rams and only put up one touch down and your best player is out, then I have to believe your in for a tough week.

49ers vs. Titans
The 49ers have lost four in a row and are beaten up.  Nate Clements is now out with a broken right shoulder blade and their tackle Joe Staley will also be out this week.  Alex Smith has looked better, but doesn’t seem to have much help beyond Frank Gore.  The WR’s still need some time to develop.  With that said, they will be happy to see the 1-6 Titans come to town to heal their losing ways.  The problem is the Titans are sporting the freshly minted Vince Young who appears to have over come his psychological issues enough to show some promise.  Can you believe this guy is 19-11 in his career?  Say what you want, as ugly as he plays, this guy is a winner.  Add to this that Chris Johnson looked like a stud RB again, makes this team very dangerous.  Despite having won only 1 game this season, this team has talent and doesn’t have anything to lose.  They bring in a rare swagger for a 1-6 team and are getting 4.5 points.  I have to take it and roll with that Young/Johnson train combo.

Giants vs. Chargers
My beloved Giants have looked just terrible.  They have given up more points than defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan can count.  Yes, the Giants have lost some key guys in the secondary, but every team has injury problems.  This guy is no Steve Spagnoulo and is just terrible at calling a game.  With no ability to stop the passing game I find it hard to believe that they will be able to stop the great passing game of Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson, Gates, etc.  Tom Coughlin can make all the speeches he wants, and the Giants can vow to all the things they should be doing, but in the end until it happens, there is no reason to think they are going to stop a good passing team.  They are giving 4.5 this week and much of that has to do with what they are capable of, not how they are playing.  I’m taking the Chargers +4.5 and hope I’m wrong.

Eagles vs. Cowboys
Two teams playing at very high levels right now.  The Eagles are fresh off their win over the tumbling Giants, and the Cowboys dishing out a beat down of their own over the Seahawks. The Eagles bring back Brian Westbrook this week and the offense looks very healthy.  The Cowboys are playing very well with Miles Austin taking over as the number one WR, despite what Roy Williams says.  I just don’t like Tony Romo against teams that provide a good deal of pressure and the Eagles are going to bring it all day.  They are one of the league leaders in sacks and will be playing at home.  Dallas has been very comfortable at home, but on the road I expect them to struggle.  There has been a ton of chatter between both teams leading up to this game, but the only one who can really back it up is the Eagles and I expect them to do just that.  I give the 3 points.

Steelers vs. Broncos
The Steelers will be coming into town fresh off a bye week.  The Broncos are home licking their wounds after a whipping at the hands of the Ravens.  The Steelers are tough and disciplined, but should have lost that game versus the Vikings.  This is a much better match up than most would expect at the beginning of the season.  I think the Broncos at home are the pick here despite some of the pundits.  The Steelers haven’t won in Denver in almost 20 years.  Pittsburgh’s defensive line is put together with duct tape right now and I think they have some serious problems in this match up.  Kyle Orton is no Joe Montana, but he will pick you apart with Eddie Royal.  Not to mention they have no one to stop Brandon Marshall (does anyone?).  So with no pass rush and a good running game provided by Knowshon Moreno, I think Pitt’s defense is going to be on the field a long time in that thin air.  Big Ben is awesome and his receiving corps are as well, and with a big o-line they will be able to move the ball running with Mendenhall.  What makes the difference is Denver’s motivation, and the home field advantage.  Denver is a home dog this week getting 3 points and I have to take it.

Hate to Read? Here you go:
  • Jaguars -6.5
  • Cincy +3
  • Colts -9
  • Falcons -10
  • Packers -9.5
  • Cardinals +3
  • Dolphins +10.5
  • Saints -13
  • Seahawks -10
  • Titans +4.5
  • Chargers +4.5
  • Eagles -3
  • Broncos -3

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL, Picks
Posted on: October 29, 2009 6:43 pm

NFL Week 8 Picks

Vegas last week suffered their worst loss with NFL games.  They just can’t seem to make the lines big enough to scare away bettors from taking the favorites and last week most covered.  The NFL clearly is a league of have and have nots and there have been too many unwatchable games this season.  With that said, I have had only one losing week thus far in the season and I’m holding up in my pool league.  I have had a few break even weeks and even managed to sprinkle in a couple of 10 win weeks against the spread.  Here is my lineup with reasoning of course for week 8.  As always, best of luck.
- M

Ravens vs. Broncos
This should be one of the best games this week as both teams are very complete. The Broncos have been one of the best teams in the NFL this season and have been playing with an extremely high level of confidence and deservedly so.  They have beaten some of the best teams in the league and will once again have to rise up to the challenge when they face the Ravens.  If you haven’t been able to tell already that I love really good teams coming off a bye week.  Give a good coaching staff, a quality team, and two weeks to prepare for the opponent usually spells bad news for anyone playing them. The problem is what do you do when both teams are coming off bye weeks?  Given that the spread is more than a field goal, and both teams seem evenly matched, I’m taking the Broncos on the road getting 3.5.  Eddie Royal looks to be coming around, Brandon Marshall is too much for any cover guy, and the running game is solid on Denver’s side.  The surprise for me has been the Denver defense that has great defensive backs especially with the addition of Brian Dawkins.  Flacco and the Ravens defense are great, but I don’t think better at this point.

Bears vs. Browns
Can I have a refund if I’m a season ticket holder and have to attend this game?  The Browns are pitiful and the Bears are on the verge of becoming irrelevant, especially if they lose to the Browns.  Chicago was embarrassed last week versus Cincy as I expected they would be.  They will be very motivated to beat up on the Browns this week who rank near the bottom in every statistical category for offense and defense.  For as bad as the Browns have been this year they have managed to keep most of their games close for some reason.  Though they were killed by the Packers last week (31-3), they were also out for most of the week recovering from the flu.  I think Chicago is obviously the better team, but I’m not confident they are two touchdown favorites versus anyone.  Jay Cutler does not look confident at all and he is really missing that beast Brandon Marshall who can make even the likes of the great porn ‘stache having Kyle Orton look like a stud.  I take the Browns this week and the 13.5 points.

Texans vs. Bills
Houston has come around as I expected they would and Matt Schaub has been one of the leagues best leading the team to three straight victories.  Andre Johnson appears as he will play this week after being out with a bruised lung.  Owen Daniels may be the leagues best kept secret as he may be the best TE in the league.  The Bills on the other hand have really surprised me and have put a string of victories together of their own.  I have to say that I’m truly shocked that this team has won some unexpected games.  I’m not sure if Ryan Fitzpatrick is the answer but he was effective.  I think this may be smoke and mirrors as they beat lowly Carolina last week and beat an unimpressive Jets team at the time.  Lets not forget that they lost 6-3 to the Browns two weeks before that.  I have to go with Houston giving 3.5 points here.  They are the better team, their defense has been playing much better and they only thing that may keep it close is the bad weather that is expected for this game as it may slow down the Houston passing attack.

Packers vs. Vikings
Everyone is jumping on the Packers bandwagon.  Why?  They beat the dreadful Browns at home and Detroit the past two weeks.  Their other two wins were against the Rams and Chicago.  I’m not sold and I’m not impressed.  I saw and remember the beating Aaron Rodgers took the last time these two teams played.  Rodgers is still among the league leaders in sacks and the offensive line is horrid.  They are also thin at running back and recently re-signed Ahman Green.  Minnesota to me is the much better team and it’s not like they are going into unfamiliar territory.  As I recall Favre played here once or twice.  They should have won their last game versus the Steelers and gave it away by allowing two defensive touchdowns each from the opponents red zone.  The Vikings will be angry here and Rodgers will once again be running for his life.  I take the Vikings and the 3 points.

Colts vs. 49ers
San Fran made a very nice comeback versus the Texans last week and looked like a different team in the second half.  With Frank Gore back and still getting healthier and newly minted Michael Crabtree they will have a full compliment for what appears to be late bloomer Alex Smith.  Too bad they are facing the Colts in the dome this week.  Would like their chances if they were playing in San Francisco, but with Peyton Manning hitting full stride no matter who he plays with, any team coming into town is in trouble. Bob Sanders is also back and Dwight Freeney should be ready to go.  Spells doom and gloom for the 49ers. I hate giving up this many points to a good team but I think the Colts are likely to cover the 12.5.

Jets vs. Dolphins
This game is always fun to watch no matter which team is good or bad.  Some how it always ends up in a shoot out and as a fan you have to love it.  It’s nice to see that both teams are good and it makes for great drama.  Mark Sanchez will take a break from his Kobayashi impersonation to take on a tired and battered Miami team.  That loss, for me last week was unbearable.  Miami let it slip away and my pick with it.  After watching both teams over the past few weeks it seems clear that the Jets are a very nice team, is capable of beating anyone, and goes as their young quarterback goes.  He is still learning and this team while nice is a season or two from taking that next step.  Miami just seems more comfortable on offense and they know who they are.  They beat the Jets a few weeks ago and now they are getting 3 points this week.  Why?  Because they lost to the best team in football in the Saints, or because the Jets destroyed the horrible Oakland Raiders?  I take the 3 points and the better team at this point in Miami.

Lions vs. Rams
Another refund alert!  The NFL must be pissed this year with how bad the teams are divided.  The have and have nots have such a wide margin that there haven’t been many good football games to watch this season and in fact even I have been a little bored at times.  With that said, I would rather watch paint dry than watch these two terrible teams play.  Matthew Stafford appears as he will play this week but Calvin Johnson does not.  Does it matter for the Rams?  Beyond Steven Jackson they don’t have a starter in anyone else for any other team other than the Raiders and the Browns.  The Lions are giving 4 points and just because they are playing at home (where they are tough) and coming off a bye week I think they will cover.

Cowboys vs. Seahawks
The Cowboys looked very impressive versus a very good Falcons team last week and Miles Austin is a beast.  Roy Williams who?  DeMarcus Ware just got paid and big time with a $40 million extension.  With him anchoring the defensive line they have been playing much better and made Matt Ryan look pedestrian as they pummeled him all night.  The Falcons unlike the Seahawks have a very good offensive line and this should be a long day for Matt Hasselbeck who will be under pressure all day.  It’s tough to play in Dallas let alone from your back.  I will take Dallas and give the 9.5 points as the offense is coming together and the defense will be dominating versus a bad o-line.

Chargers vs. Raiders
The Raiders beat the Eagles and shock the world, they almost had us all believing, then we were reminded that they are the Raiders and we were thrown back to reality when they got crushed by the Jets.  The Raiders seem to play hard when they are in the game, but get them down two touchdowns and this team seems to quit.  The last game with the Chargers was a close one, but Oakland and the Chargers have gone in different directions since then.  The Chargers offense is explosive and should get up on them in a hurry leaving Oakland to ponder why they dressed for the game in the first place.  LT seems to still be fighting injury but they should still have enough.  McFadden will not be back for this game, and not that it would matter because the offense is terrible no matter who is in the backfield.  It is a huge line but what the heck…teams have been covering any ways.  I give the 16.5.

Titans vs. Jaguars
The up and down Jaguars are coming off a bye week as are the Titans.  In their last games the Jags barely got by the Rams and the Titans will be coming back after that 59-0 drubbing by the Patriots.  So many questions surround Tennessee.  Now it is uncertain who will be the quarterback, Kerry Collins or Vince Young.  All things are pointing towards Vince as the owner is asking for it and usually coaches follow the guy who cuts the checks.  This does not bode well for a team already defunct and who has cashed in the season.  The Jags on the other hand have a ton to play for.  Though they have not impressed at 3-3 they are pretty much still in the thick of things and need to start beating bad teams like the Titans.  I haven’t picked the Titans since week 3 and there is no reason to start, especially with a motivated opponent coming to town.  Jacksonville is getting 3 points and I’ll take it.

Cardinals vs. Panthers
These are two teams going in the opposite direction.  Arizona is on the rise and the defense played very well versus the Giants, and the offense has begun to come together since that game versus the Texans.  Anquan Boldin appears as though he will play this week and Beanie Wells has given them a running game when he is not putting the ball on the ground.  This high powered offense is capable of taking it to anyone, least of all the Panthers.  The Panthers on the other hand are a wild card.  This is a team with a ton of talent in DeAngelo Williams, and Steve Smith, but their only two wins were against the Redskins and the Buccaneers.  With Jake Delhomme passing more picks than TD’s and an Arizona defense on the rise, it doesn’t bode well for the Panthers playing at Arizona.  The Cardinals are the pick for me and I think they cover the 10 points.

Giants vs. Eagles
Two of the NFL’s best teams (although not playing like it) will square off for what should be one of the most entertaining games of the week.  Philly has looked pretty bad in their loss to the Raiders and didn’t look that good in a win versus a very bad Redskin team.  The Giants on the other hand were destroyed and exposed during the Saints game and again showed their weakness in the defensive secondary in their loss to the Cardinals.  Both teams are capable of beating any NFL team in the league, but at this point no one is sure which team is going to show up.  The Eagles have the vertical game to give the Giants an extremely difficult time, especially with Thomas still bothered by the hamstring and CC Brown is just terrible (Hint to Giants: if Houston drops you then there was a reason for it).  The problem with Philly is Brian Westbrook will be pulling his usual 2-3 games off due to some nagging injury as he seems to do every season.  I look for the Giants to have a bounce back game as the Eagles offense seems out of sync.  At least the Giants have been able to move the ball and score.  In a pick’em I take the Giants.

Saints vs. Falcons
Matt Ryan spent a good deal of time on the carpet during last week’s game against the Cowboys.  The final score for both weeks’ games does not tell the whole story as the Dallas & Atlanta game was not close at all and the Saints needed at miraculous comeback after a 28 point deficit to rally past the Dolphins.  With regards to this particular game, the edge has to go to the Saints who have been playing on another level.  Atlanta’s rushing attack did not impress last week and I suspect that this will be more of a shootout then a control the clock type of a game.  In the end you can’t have a shootout with the best offense in the league; therefore the edge has to go to the Saints.  Even with a line of -10 I think the Saints will cover.

For those who hate to read:
  • Denver +3.5
  • Browns +13.5
  • Houston -3.5
  • Vikings +3
  • Colts -12.5
  • Miami +3
  • Lions -4
  • Cowboys -9.5
  • Chargers -16.5
  • Jaguars +3
  • Arizona -10
  • Giants  PK
  • Saints -10

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL, Picks
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