Another decent week in the books, though there are still games that are head scratchers. Im finding out that the two teams on bye this week : Atlanta (1-4); Miami (3-2) are becoming increasingly unreliable picks, both those misses kept me from a crisp 11-3 week. Once again submitted for your perusal, review and approval are this weeks picks. Odds are provided by bodog.net with the exception of the starred ones which are provided by ESPN, these odds are only being provided for entertainment and comparison purposes only. If you take that ridiculous line and lose the house payment, you cant stay with me.
Sunday, October 13
Panthers (1-3) @ Vikings (1-3)
Mall of America Field @ HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Vikings by 3
Last Week Panthers lost to Cardinals 22-6, Vikings were on a bye
Fast Fact The Vikings have scored a touchdown in the first quarter in eight straight games, longest current streak in the NFL
The Vikings will be playing with extremely heavy hearts as their dynamic RB Adrian Peterson deals with the senseless death of his young son on Friday, as this column is written it is unclear if Peterson will play. I would think that even if Peterson doesn play the Vikings are still marginally better than the Panthers who other than running wild on the woeful Giants cant score many points. I think the Vikes rally hard for their grieving teammate and pull out a tough win.
Bengals (3-2) @ Bills (2-3)
Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Bengals by 7
Last Week Bengals beat Patriots 13-6 Bills lost to Browns 37-24
Fast Fact The Bills have won the last six meetings in Buffalo
The Bengals surprised many an expert by slogging through a rainy messy track to upend the Pats at home. The Bengals offense has been missing in action as of late but the defense has been solid enough to frustrate three different Super Bowl winning QB’s this season. The problem is that journeyman Thad Lewis is nowhere close to a Super Bowl QB and the Bengals have had trouble with the average QB…The Bengals have also had trouble in Western New York where they haven’t won since 1985 and are 3-9 but the Bengals are the better team, but why do I feel like they will make this harder than it should be
Detroit (3-2) @ Browns (3-2)
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland 1:00 FOX
Favorite Lions by 2 ½ *
Last Week Lions lost to Packers 22-9, Browns defeated Bills 37-24
Fast Fact Browns seeking their first four game winning streak since the close of the 2009 season
The Browns have been feeling quite froggy after a rip-roaring win over Buffalo last Thursday, the Browns have embraced their no-name commonailty and have ripped off 3 wins over favored opponents. Meanwhile the Lions up and down season continue to pitch and yaw in directions no one is sure of. With the uncertain status of WR Calvin Johnson, its hard to tell which offense will show up, the team that scored 40 on the Bears or the one than eked out 9 against the Pack. Though the Browns are back to Brandon Weeden at QB, I like the way the Browns are playing as of late and think that they will continue.
Packers (2-2) @ Ravens (3-2)
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Packers by 3
Last Week Packers defeated Lions 22-9 Ravens defeated Dolphins 26-23
Fast Fact The Ravens set a franchise scoring record (since broken) the last and only time the Packers came to Baltimore.
The Pack got back to even with a sluggish win over the Lions while the Ravens won a tight game in Miami. The Pack’s lack of a running game is hurting them more and more every week now their defense further weakened with the loss of Clay Matthews the onus is put even more on Aaron Rodgers. But for some strange reason, I see the Pack as a team that can go into Baltimore and steal a win. Is this an upset? No, I just don’t think Joe Flacco can really carry a team (beyond his fluky Super Bowl run of last year)
Eagles (2-3) @ Buccaneers (0-4)
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Eagles by 2
Last Week Eagles defeated Giants 36-21 Buccaneers were on a bye
Fast Fact The Bucs are last in the NFC in scoring (11 ppg) but the Eagles are 30th in points allowed
The Eagles were for one week the toast of the NFL then reality set in as their offense just had too many bugs to be turned around by Chip Kelly’s offense. The beat the equally sad sack G-Men to stay in contention in the weak NFC East. Their cause will be further bolstered by playing another sad sack team in the Bucs who ran Josh Freeman off and turn their QB duties over to the young Mike Glennon who is talented enough by inexperienced. Michael Vick is a tossup to be the starter and the tea leaves say that he will be part of the cap and clipboard ilk. Nick Foles would get the start in Vick’s stead and while not the household name Vick can pilot the offense with a fairly steady hand. I see an ugly game brewing and Eagles will make fewer mistakes and get the win.
Steelers (0-4) @ NY Jets (3-2)
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Jets by 3
Last Week Steelers were on a bye, Jets defeated Falcons 30-28
Fast Fact Steelers last 0-4 start was 1968, 4 years before Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin was born
The Steelers have had nearly two weeks to stew on their debacle in London while the Jets fresh of a short win upset win in the ATL are full of fire. Everything points to the surprising Jets continuing to play beyond all expectations. Geno Smith has looked like he could be a keeper and with the Steelers shockingly weak pass rush should be able to throw the ball readily. The Jets defense has played decent but has a predilection to giving up way too many big plays. The Steelers defense is getting pounded; their offense is still searching for a spark and with a miniscule running game you wonder where the points are going to come from. This game screams a walkover win for the Jets, but something keeps nagging at me that the Jets are overdue for a flat performance.
Pick-Pittsburgh (Upset of the Week)
Raiders (2-3) @ Chiefs (5-0)
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Chiefs by 7½*
Last Week Raiders defeated Chargers 27-17, Chiefs defeated Titans 26-17
Fast Fact Chiefs are off to their best start since starting 9-0 in 2003, but Raiders have won last trips to Arrowhead
The Raiders seemed to like the late night lights and ambushed the Chargers, meanwhile the Chiefs continue to be the under the radar hot team in their own division. The Raiders are a tough team to figure, Terrelle Pryor is suffering through the expected growing pains as a starting QB but has looked good at times, but with a skittish running game he’s often asked to do more than he should be expected to. Meanwhile Alex Smith is thriving, Jamaal Charles is running tough, and the Chiefs defense is playing ballhawking roughhouse again. The Chiefs are overdue for a flat performance themselves but are also overdue to beat their despised AFL rivals at home.
Rams (2-3) @ Texans (2-3)
Reliant Field, Houston 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Texans by 9
Last Week Rams defeated Jaguars 34-20, Texans lost to 49ers 34-3
Fast Fact Texans QB Matt Schaub threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown for the fourth straight game, an NFL record.
The Rams left the Jags in the game a little too long before pulling away for an expected easy win, while the whispers are turning to howls as the stunning regression of Matt Schaub continues to find new depths. Both teams are searching for consistent play and both teams are underachieving. I think that Schaub makes a last stand, albeit against a much weaker team. The Rams are still not strong enough on the defensive end to give a better balanced team like the Texans that much trouble. But if Schaub throws another pick 6…hoo boy, he might need to find a good realtor…
Jaguars (0-5) Broncos (5-0)
Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver 4:05 (CBS)
Favorite Broncos by 27 (that is NOT a typo)
Last Week Jaguars lost to Rams 34-20, Broncos defeated Cowboys 51-48
Fast Fact Only 5 times in the past 20 years have teams that are unbeaten in 5 or more games faced a team winless in 5 or more games. The unbeaten team has won and covered all 5 times.
Oh…boy…talk about a lamb being led to slaughter. This game is the classic mismatch, the Broncos have score more in single quarters than the Jags have in games. You wonder how long Peyton Manning will be allowed to brutalize the weak Jags defense. Hide your kids hide your wife, this one will be brutal. That line isn’t a typo the disparity between these two teams on both sides of the ball is shockingly wide. You wonder if a running clock will be needed here in the 2nd half or a boxing ref is waiting in the wings to cover the Jags up from getting punched….
Pick-Denver (Lock of the Week)
Titans (3-2) @ Seahawks (4-1)
CenturyLink Field, Seattle 4:05 (CBS)
Favorite Seahawks by 14
Last Week Titans lost to Chiefs 26-17, Seahawks lost to Colts 34-28
Fast Fact The Seahawks have a 10 game winning at CenturyLink Field, the longest current home win streak in the NFL
The Seahawks got caught on the wrong side of a shootout losing a tough decision to the Colts, while the Titans couldn’t avoid the turnover bug and took a tough loss. The Seahawks defense was shown to be mortal than anything and can be scored on. The bad thing for the Titans is they don’t have the skill position player that the Colts have and even worse playing in the madhouse in Seattle.
Cardinals (3-2) @ 49ers (3-2)
Candlestick Park, San Francisco 4:25 (FOX)
Favorite 49ers by 11
Last Week Cardinals defeated Panthers 22-6, 49ers defeated Texans 34-3
Fast Fact Despite not having defensive aces Aldon Smith & Nnamdi Asomugha the past two weeks, the Niners defense has only allowed one TD, 501 total yards and forced 6 turnovers.
Both teams come off impressive home victories the Cards grinded out an ugly win while the Niners thrashed the Texans on Sunday Night. The Niners seem to have recovered from their two week sleepwalk and are playing much much better on both sides of the ball. Im nowhere near sold on the Cards even with a 3-2 record. The Niners defense will force Carson Palmer into his typical litany of dumb mistakes and should roll handily to the win.
Saints (5-0) @ Patriots (4-1)
Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 4:25 (FOX)
Favorite Patriots by 1*
Last Week Saints defeated Bears 26-18, Patriots lost to Bengals 13-6
Fast Fact Pats QB Tom Brady has yet to defeat Drew Brees as a member of the Pats (He was 0-2 vs the Chargers and 0-1 vs the Saints) his last win over Brees came while both were still in college. Brady’s Michigan squad defeated Brees’ Purdue team in 2000.
Now this is an interesting game to say the least. The Saints won a slugfest with the Bears while the Pats floundered in the Cincy rain. Both teams have future HOF QB’s who can put up good numbers but their defenses are sneaky good themselves. Getting Rob Gronkowski will help Tom Brady immensely, as you can see how the presence of Jimmy Graham is an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses to prepare for. The difference here will be the more diverse weapons that Drew Brees will have with Marques Colston and Darren Sproles these will make the difference in what should prove to be an entertaining game
Redskins (1-3) @ Cowboys (2-3)
AT&T Stadium; Arlington, TX 8:30 (NBC)
Favorite Cowboys by 6
Last Week Redskins were on a bye, Cowboys lost to Broncos 51-48
Fast Fact Cowboys QB Tony Romo threw for a team record 506 yards in a loss to the Broncos last week, he not only became the 15th player to pass for more than 500 yards in a game but the 5th to do so and throw for 5 TDs in the same game
The Pokes were on the wrong end of a thrilling shootout, but Tony Romo might have gotten more dap for his heroic effort had he not thrown a damaging late INT that marred an otherwise sparkling performance. The classic rival is next and you have to wonder if the Pokes can bounce back strong. The Redskins went to Oakland two weeks ago and grinded out a needed win but this team still has some serious flaws, with Alfred Morris still trying to get back into full health the pressure rises on RGIII. Though I really like his growing trust in Leonard Hankerson, something tells me that the Pokes at home in primetime will shine. (I know im going to regret this)
Monday, October 14
Colts (4-1) @ Chargers (2-3)
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 8:30 (ESPN)
Favorite Colts by 1½ *
Last Week Colts defeated Seahawks 34-28, Chargers lost to Raiders 27-17
Fast Fact Chargers have won five of the past six meetings
The Colts rallied smartly the Seahawks and are are brimming with confidence. The Chargers continue to be a puzzling squad, a week after beating the Cowboys they fall behind badly against the Raiders and never recover. Andrew Luck is a keeper and he plays with a poise way beyond his years. Trent Richardson is still working his way into form with the Colts offense. The Chargers have a passing attack but their running game is skittish at best and unrealiable more often than not. This should be an interesting game but I think that young Luck will be able to get a tight win
Last Week 9-5 (Lock & Upset Correct)