NFL Week 11 Picks!

Quick picks cuz I’m out of time on a crazy early Thanksgiving weekend and well, yeah, so let’s just get to em.
Dolphins at Bills
I figured the Bills had an awful, underachieving defense and that the Phins would turn around their slide. I was wrong. Tannehill has been awful the last few weeks and Reggie Bush is fading fast.
Browns at Cowboys
The Cowboys are in prime position to take the NFC East as the leader, New York, has done nothing in recent weeks to build on a fast start. The Browns are currently in the way but are in so much flux, I cannot expect them to contend with a Cowboys team that just might be building a little bit of momentum.
Jags at Texans
The Texans will keep rolling. Look for their passing game to get it going again as they will really need to get the kinks out of that aspect of their game if they really do want to play in the Super Bowl. Everything else is pretty much dialed in.
Jets at Rams
Can the Jets’ season get any worse? Ownership “not sign[ing] up for 3-6” is not a ringing endorsement. Sanchez and co. have been awful offensively and that is no bueno going into St. Louis to content with the Rams who should have beat the Niners and are otherwise the other guys in a very tough and talented NFC West.
Bucs at Panthers
Tampa Bay has looked good and Doug Martin is a monster. Carolina has looked bad and Cam Newton is having a rough sophomore tour. That said, Cam has mostly struggled to throw this year and that is one area the Bucs are definitely soft. That and the Panthers always play their divisional rival tough at home.
Cardinals at Falcons
The Cards’ offense will continue to struggle putting up enough points to beat the elite teams in the NFL such as the Falcons. Their defense is good but they are unfortunately going to be visiting a Falcons team that has just had their first loss of the season which will have taken a lot of pressure off them to “stay unbeaten.” Meaning, the Cards are going to be playing a loose team that is considerably better than them in their house. ASSWHOPPN
Packers at Lions
Not a surprising road pick here. The Lions have come on a little bit as of late with their offense awakening but their defense has been so inconsistent and horrifying when bad that they don’t have the record to show it. Sure, Stafford can bring them back almost every time out but against Rodgers who will likely stake the Packers to a hefty double digit lead early, there is no coming back.
Eagles at Redskins
I’ve lost all faith in the Eagles and so should you. They looked horrible against the Cowboys and now that Nick Foles is under center, no, I don’t expect a better output for them. The fact is, Vick had less to do with their issues on offense than their offensive line that played better than they have all year this past weekend. That won’t matter in D.C. when RG3 rips the Eagles defense apart.
Bengals at Chiefs
The Chiefs came scarily close to a rare win and doing it on the road in one of the toughest places to play against a pretty good Steeler team. But alas, it was not to be. They return home to host a Bengals team that punked the Giants the week before with strong defense and timely big plays from QB Andy Dalton. Expect more of the same.
Saints at Raiders
Colts at Patriots
These used to be the Super Bowl before the end of December. This was the big game you fired up the grill, invited all your friends, bought a few 30 packs and got it going. After last year, it didn’t look like this rivalry would mean anything moving forward… except Andrew Luck changed all of that. On the road though, I have to give the advantage to the old guard of Belichick and Brady while Luck and Co. get accustomed to what it means to play in this game. You say it’s just another football game; I say Brady comes out and throws 4 TDs and the Pats win at home.
Chargers at Broncos
The Chargers cannot afford another loss on the season and to the Broncos no less. At this point, anybody with any sort of sense at all realizes that the Broncos are driving in the AFC West and if the epic comeback last month by them over these same Chargers in San Diego didn’t convince anyone that the torch in the division was being passed on, it will this week when the Broncos don’t need to come back in a huge way in the 2nd half because they’ll be up comfortably by the time that comes around. Peyton will looks crisp, defense will be tougher than usual, Rivers will be mistake prone, Mathews will be missing, Norv will be confused and the West is going to get a little closer to being won.
Ravens at Steelers
I find the hopefuls that think that the Steelers are somehow going to survive the B-Left phase while Ben is out to be just that… hopeful. And adorably unrealistic. The Steelers barely have a running game (Mendenhall is supposed to be back but we don’t know how effective he will be) and their defense is not what it used to be. And anyway, Leftwich’s sluggish delivery spells bad things for ball hawking defenses like the Ravens. I don’t expect the Steelers to survive this one.
Bears at Niners
Would have been the game of the week… might still be the game of the week even if Cutler isn’t playing and Alex Smith a gametime decision. That’s just how well these two teams are coached and how tough as nails both of these defenses can be. In the event that this is reduced to backup-a-backup, I give the edge to Kaepernick as I don’t like what I see from Campbell. I think Campbell is not a good fit for what the Bears need him to do (feed Marshall the ball) while Kaepernick is perfect for what the Niners try to do (he’s a faster, more agile Alex Smith even if he isn’t as good a QB yet). Plus it’s in San Francisco.
Dig it.

NFL Week 10 Picks!

The fascinating thing about predicting anything is that the prognostication itself is a function of existing data and the better (and if you’re doing it on the fly, the faster) one is able to collect, prioritize and analyze relevant data, the easier it is to make a prediction. In a sport with as many moving parts and dynamic variables as Football, the game is exciting as a result.
That said, I consistently prove that while my football knowledge is elite (or at least I think so lol)… my gambling skill is worse than the Kansas City Chiefs. For a second consecutive week, I did not play the pool and again I finish with a strong 11-3 count.
It’s also apparent I should never pick the Raiders if I ever want to see them win anything ever again. #weepfailsleep
After a horrendous start to the year, I’m storming back. Cue the Black Stallion theme.
Colts at Jags
It’s really exciting to see a young team led by a rookie getting the game quickly inspired by their coach’s off-field fight to bring the fight on the field week in and week out. After last year’s awful season, the Colts are turning in one of the best stories of the year and at 5-3 are looking playoff bound. Luck gets a chance to show off his wares on the road against a division rival, albeit the bottom feeder Jags, and cement the Colts as a favorite for a wildcard spot. There are still questions about the Colts defense but fortunately for them this week, the Jags are unlikely to take advantage of it. It’s a pity to see Jacksonville’s defense go to waste every week.
Lions at Vikings
Tough call. The Lions are on a roll climbing back to respectability after looking really bad for the first portion of the season but at the half way point, they’ve revitalized themselves on both sides of the ball.  They’ll need it; Adrian Peterson comes in playing better football than I have seen him play since his rookie campaign. The Vikes are looking to bounce back after a tough loss to the surprising Colts and, at home in a divisional rivalry, should be able to hang a few scores, dominate the clock with AP and suffocate the Lions’ offense just enough to win out. It’s a tough call but I’m going with the home team.
Giants at Bengals
Boy it couldn’t be a worse time for the Bengals to host the G-men. The Giants certainly can go through funks (as we’ve seen over the past few years)  but they lost a heartbreaker at home in the wake of Sandy and have otherwise been one of the stronger squads this season. The Bengals are reeling with four straight losses so expect the Giants to do the same as the last four have.
Titans at Dolphins
Titans have looked resilient at times this season for a 3-6 team but that defense is still swiss cheese and the Dolphins even at a middling 4-4 have looked strong. At least strong enough with Tannehill at the helm to put up points and win at home. I like the Dolphin defense at home, too and that should seal the deal if they can bottle up CJ2k.
Bills at Patriots
The Patriots already own the Bills to begin with but Buffalo is moving backwards and moving backwards fast. It’s disappointing that a team with both CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson can put up duds on offense regardless of the competition but that’s the kind of offense the Bills have. After getting smacked by the Pats in Buffalo earlier in the year, I don’t expect them to come into town and beat the Pats coming off a bye, coming off a beatdown.
Falcons at Saints
My upset bid of the week. The Falcons are the class of the NFC right now at 8-0, no doubt but they are due for a loss and it is better to get it out of the way and there is no better game to do it than against an explosive offense like New Orleans’. It’ll allow them to reassess what they need to do on defense to shut down big game QBs, something they’ll have to deal with if they hope to win a Super Bowl. The Saints have turned their season around and may be feeling a little bit of their own magical Cinderella pixie dust with all the turmoil and chaos surrounding their franchise right now. The Saints are still fairly whack on defense but they are also at home in tha Bayou and I just think the Falcons are due for a let down.
Chargers at Bucs
The Bucs ran the ball something wicked all over the faces of the Raiders. I yelled. I cursed. I wept. The Bucs are stronger than most realize and Doug Martin didn’t run shod on a bad Raider run D (in fact they had been good most of the year)… he ran all over them like he had run all over the Vikings who are ALSO strong against the run. The Chargers are tough against the run too but I don’t expect that to matter much as the rookie has really found his groove and it really opens things up for what is also a big game passing attack for Tampa. Expect VJ to light up the Charger secondary, Rivers to continue making peculiar errors and the Chargers to shoot themselves in the foot on the road, traveling East against a tough Buccaneer team.
Broncos at Panthers
So this guy Peyton’s pretty good. I can’t even imagine what the win +/- is for the Broncos without him. Definitely a 3-5 swing from 5-3 but probably even worse than that. He has revitalized the organization and they are looking primed to win the West. They’ve won a lot of close games which leaves the door open for a strong opponent to give them trouble but the Panthers are not that strong team even coming off their second win of the season over the struggling Redskins. I still have questions about Cam’s new offense as it still looks all over the place and the Panther defense is a mess (which sucks when you have to deal with Peyton). Even on the road, the Broncos should continue their roll.
Raiders at Ravens
I’m not even going to mess with this.
Ravens (go RAIIIDERRRRSSS now you have my blessing, JUST WIN BABY!)
Jets at Seahawks
I can’t seem to figure out what my opinion on the Jets actually is. They aren’t very good. They’re not good in the passing game, they aren’t good in the running game, they aren’t as good as they usually are on defense, their special teams are meh, and their coach has just been voted the most overrated coach in the league. All that amounts to a rank mediocrity. The Seahawks on the other hand, despite being manned by a rookie QB, are underrated offensively, powerful defensively and even more intimidating at the latter when at home. Which they are. Lynch runs rampant. Wilson throws a couple scores. Defense gives up nothing. Carroll hustles Sanchez.
Cowboys at Eagles
If you thought the Eagles were bad against the mediocre Saints’ rush, then wait until you see how offensive their offensive line will be when the Cowboys come to town. The Cowboys are solid on defense and would be a top five unit if it weren’t for the unending vomit of mistakes from the other side of the ball that puts them in a position to fail. That won’t be a problem on the road against Philly where they will play tough divisional ball, chase Vick around the field all day, and play better away from big D as they almost always do.
Rams at Niners
The Rams look so promising at points. It just really won’t matter when they travel to San Fran and deal with a surging Niners team. This can, like all NFC West games these days, be a tightly contested one but I just don’t see the Rams being able to bottle up Frank Gore all day long and I can’t even imagine how much of a difference Amendola will make in scoring on the Niner defense at home. Niners continue to roll.
Texans at Bears
The game of the week no doubt. Two 7-1 teams that run the ball well, play stellar defense and have enough moxie and guts to win any game on any day. However, only one of these teams walks away 8-1 and that team will be the Houston Texans. It’s true that the Bears defense has been monstrous all season and that Cutler has consistently shown a chemistry with Brandon Marshall that seems to supercede every coverage and doubleteam. The wildcard for the Texans’ offense will be to balance Arian Foster with the passing game where Andre Johnson has been shut down by strong corner play and there isn’t anyone in football playing better than Charles Tillman right now. I had initially picked the Texans to win for a couple of reasons but mostly because of Tillman’s possible absence for the birth of his child. So why am I changing my pick? Because if there was a player in this game that could change the way the game might play out, it’s Tillman. I don’t even know why I’m starting Andre Johnson in my fantasy league. Game of the week, I tell you. You may as well toss a coin. But I’m going with the
Chiefs at Steelers
Yawn. It would take a grand meltdown or injury-fest for the Steelers to lose this one. The Chiefs are a mess. If they win this week, I’m sending Romeo Crennel a bouquet of roses. It’s a really good thing I won’t have to do that.

Dig it.

NFL Week 9 Picks!


Great. I skip a week of the pool and not get around to blogging the picks and I go 12-2 like a boss. Way to go, guy. How much do you want to bet my projections are absolutely abysmal this week?
Carry on.

Chiefs at Chargers
The bottom line here is that while both teams stink, the Chargers clearly stink less. The Chiefs barely got a TD in at the end of their game with the Raiders and that’s because the Raiders aren’t very good either. The Chargers probably shouldn’t have lost to the Browns (even though I picked them for precisely the reason they ended up beating the Bolts but nevermind that) but inconsistent play by Rivers and a relatively nonexistent running game can be blamed for that. Chargers are going to bounce back in a big way and unlike other teams that are capable of taking advantage of San Diego’s penchant for choking away big leads, the Chiefs don’t have the ability to do that really. But then again, you never know in a divisional match up between these guys. I’m still going with the
Ravens at Browns
That was a nice win for the Browns. I am convinced this team’s future is bright. Their defense is solid against both the run and the pass, Trent Richardson is coming into his own as a big league half back, and Weeden has surprised in the passing game with young talented receivers like Gordon and Little. The Ravens are falling fast in public opinion now that their decimated defense looks beatable and faith in Flacco, again, fading. They’re still talented enough to make the playoffs and maybe win a first round match up but title hopes should be tempered. They’re good enough to beat the Browns on the road, though and as much as I’ll personally be rooting for the Brownies, I think there are still too many experienced playmakers in Purple n Black to bet against them.
Cardinals at Packers
Two teams headed in opposite directions; the Cards are flailing helplessly after starting the season fast and the Packers are finally getting into a groove after looking ordinary for the first couple of weeks. The Cards pose a threat because they have a strong defense but after what accuracy Alex Smith showed in the passing attack last week, one has to wonder what A Rod will be able to do with his plethora of weapons. The Cardinals offense is a non factor against the Pack at Lambeau.
Bills at Texans
The Bills are one of the least predictable teams in the league except for one thing: their defense gives up yards and points like the Salvation Army. It almost doesn’t matter what their offense is capable of because they’re going against a strong defense and they won’t be able to stop the Texans who are rolling right now in almost all facets of their game. Arian Foster is going to have a monster game.  And any drives that stall will probably do so in or around the red zone which will mean a big day for Shayne Graham as well.
Dolphins at Colts
I’m liking the Dolphins this year and how tough they play under coach Philbin but I wonder if their general lack of talent will eventually catch up to them. The Colts are starting to get into a groove now that they are thoroughly motivated and inspired by Coach Pagano’s illness and the way it galvanized their play and vitalized rookie Andrew Luck who is playing every bit the 1st overall pick we expected him to be. There is simply more talent on the offensive side of the ball for Indy than there is for Miami. Miami can bottle things up in a hurry with an active defense but I expect the Colts to prevail at home.
Bears at Titans
The Titans have at least shown that they can still run the ball and I’m not sure they should go back to Locker even after he comes back now that it’s apparent Hasselbeck still has the veteran know-how to make tough passes when it matters most. Well, against teams that the Titans have a chance to beat, that is. The Bears aren’t one of those teams. They’ll struggle to stop all of Chicago’s offensive weapons especially without much of a passrush on Cutler and the Bears defense has been suffocating people all year.
Lions at Jags
Don’t overlook the Jags defensively; they’ve given all sorts of teams fits when they expect to come in and trounce them. The only concern here being that the Lions seem to have finally got their offense clicking as Stafford and co. put in their best game of the year thus far last week. Look for that trend to continue with Detroit’s defense doing just enough to stifle Jacksonville’s punchless offense and win on the road.
Panthers at Redskins
I’m tempted to give Cam Newton and the Panthers another shot but I’ve literally struck out completely on them this year as they have basically stunk up the joint with their “vaunted” rushing attack in what has turned out to be a busted sophomore effort for the stud QB. The Redskins have been up and down. One week, they look great behind their own young, exciting QB and then they fall just short the following week. In this case, I’ve got to go with the home team coming off a tough loss. The Redskin defense is decimated by injuries and can be exploited by a rejuvenated Cam and co. (if they’re rejuvenated that is which they’re probably not) but I’m not counting on them doing anything, especially on the road. Watch me be completely wrong about that but then that wouldn’t surprise me when it comes to Carolina anymore.
Broncos at Bengals
I hate to admit it but the Broncos really are looking like the class of the AFC West and with how dismally mediocre most of the AFC looks, they might be in line to make some noise in the playoffs, too. Peyton is going to win against Cincy because it really does just seem like Peyton is winning against everyone. The Bengals will be able to move the ball on Denver’s overrated defense but I’m not sure that Dalton will be able to go toe to toe with Peyton if the going gets rough (as it did for Brees last week). Don’t be surprised if Dalton lights up the Bronco D with Aj Green reaping most of the benefit but as far as the end result, it’ll most likely be the road team that pulls it out.
Bucs at Raiders
So everyone is picking the Bucs in this one and it’s understandable why. They boast a nice passing game with lots of options, a very strong running game and a defense that started off the season very well but has slightly tapered off since. However, let me put on my homer contrarian hat. The Raiders have won back to back games out of the bye after nearly taking arguably the best team in the league in their own house before losing on a pick six. The defense is tightening up (and getting healthy) and they’ve shown improvement in not shooting themselves in the foot with stupid penalties and giving up poorly timed big plays… basically what doomed them in losses to the Broncos, Dolphins and Falcons. There can’t be enough said about confidence and building momentum and even though the Jags and Chiefs are bottom feeders, a win is a win is a win. And so it will be on Sunday.
Vikings at Seahawks
The Vikings are reeling. Ponder is coming back down to Earth. The defense is still good and Adrian Peterson can run on just about anyone but one has to wonder if the Vikings will be able to ride just that on the road in one of the toughest places to do anything productive against one of this year’s best defensive units to begin with. The Seahawks will bounce back from a tough loss against the Lions last week.
Steelers at Giants
 The Steelers did appear locked back into Steel Curtain mode last week but it should be noted that they dialed up some of those old demons that have haunted the Cincinnati Bengals for years and is not as indicative of how they’d match up with an elite team such as the Giants in New York. Given the circumstances surrounding the big apple and its bout with Sandy, I’m counting on one of those epic New York type of nights when the result of the game is greater than the sum of all its parts, the Giants come together the way the Saints did following Katrina and Eli Manning has one of those Eli nights and lights up an otherwise strong Steeler D. Sorry Pittsburgh but this really was the wrong week to be playing the G men.
Cowboys at Falcons
The Cowboys are having one really bad season. I picked them last week to pull it out against the Giants and they nearly did before, as has become routine, they somehow did not get the break they needed or turned the ball over one too many times. They don’t get any easier a matchup this time around as they travel to Atlanta to take on the undefeated Falcons. About the only thing going in Dallas’ favor right now is the fact that Atlanta is statistically due for a loss with every passing week and the only thing that can help Romo and co. is luck. I, however, am obviously a terrible gambler and don’t put much stock in luck as it is so throw that out the window, I’m expecting the better team to win and that team is the
Eagles at Saints
The Eagles are a mess. The starting QB fiasco of this past week is proof of that. With how poorly coached the Eagles have been for years, now and how Reid has managed some of the extraneous issues that have surrounded this club (I mean, he actually has done an excellent job, it’s just that I wonder if he isn’t partly the reason why it all happens to begin with), I’m still surprised he’s coaching them. That’s organizational loyalty. I love the guy but the one consistent bottom line in the Eagles saga over the past decade has been him. Their defense is really going to need to step it up because a very angry Brees is going to be operating at home coming off a very uncharacteristic performance against the Broncos. Granted, a date with the New Orleans defense is just what the doctor ordered for Philly’s funky offense but I just don’t know if it’s going to be enough to keep up with the Saints at home who can drop 40 in a heartbeat. I’m going with the home team on Monday night.
Dig it