Another decent week, though that tie messed a lot of people up. I know that many people were stunned to see the woeful Chiefs take the fight to the Steelers and keep what should have been a walkover game in doubt. But nonetheless aside from the Titans and Cowboys continuing to cross and double cross me (No thanks Darrel & Reg’s Eagles on the latter) and the totally puzzling Bengals win over the G-Men were the only losses I took. Im still trying to wrap my head around the first NFL tie since 2008 though. Nevertheless present for your perusal, review and consumption are the fearless picks. Odds are provided by bodog.net for entertainment and comparison purposes only. If you get cleaned out this week betting the lines, I might take pity on you and cut you a slice of turkey next week. But you’ll get no stuffing or cranberry sauce and you will have to sit at the kiddie table! The final set of byes
BYE WEEK – Minnesota (6-4); NY Giants (6-4); Seattle (6-4); Tennessee (4-6).
Writers Note: I am reposting my Thursday pick along the rest of the picks since I actually got them all finished way ahead of time this week...Its amazing what you can get done without distractions...
NFL SCHEDULE – WEEK 11
Thursday, November 15
Dolphins (4-5) @ Bills (3-6)
Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard, Park, NY 8:20 (NFLN)
Favorite Bills by 3
Last Week Dolphins lost to Titans 37-3, Bills lost to Patriots 37-31
Fast Fact The Dolphins have not scored a touchdown in its last six quarters
The Dolphins got housed in their own crib by the Titans (the Titans???) and their offense has hit a dangerous lull. The Bills are the most confusing team in the AFC, they have yet to play complete game in a few weeks. The offense shows up when the defense is AWOL, then the defense comes to ball when the offense is MIA…make sense? No? Neither does this matchup of long time divisional rivals, flip a coin and go with the home team in the cold night in Western New York.
Sunday, November 18
Cardinals (4-5) @ Falcons (8-1)
Georgia Dome, Atlanta 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Falcons by 10
Last Week Cardinals were on a bye, Falcons lost to Saints 31-27
Fast Fact The Cardinals have allowed a NFL high 41 sacks
The Falcons took their first loss but are still a tough matchup with anyone. The Cards are sputtering badly and are looking nothing like the 4-0 team that started the season. Their weak defense will get picked on repeatedly by Matty Ice and his merry band of receivers and the Falcons defense will breathe easier having to just face Larry Fitzgerald. Another west team heading east…this isn’t as bad as some would think (I’ve made the 2 hour flight from Phoenix to Atlanta) but the Cards aren’t anywhere near close to pulling the upset.
Bengals (4-5) @ Chiefs (1-8)
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Bengals by 3˝
Last Week Bengals defeated Giants 31-13, Chiefs lost to Steelers 16-13 in OT
Fast Fact These teams have split 26 meetings
The Bengals stunned…well pretty much everyone, their fans included by housing the G-Men. The Chiefs played the Steelers a lot tougher than expected this past Monday. Andy Dalton is a young gun ready to strafe a weak Chiefs defense. Back in the day this would be a road nightmare for a team like the Bengals now Arrowhead doesn’t scare anyone anymore. Matt Cassel will likely get more boos, Jamal Charles will not be able to hold up the entire offense and the Chiefs are simply just not a good team, even the Bengals shouldn’t be able to mess this one up…I think…
Browns (2-7) @ Cowboys (4-5)
Cowboys Stadium; Arlington, TX 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Cowboys by 8
Last Week Browns were on a bye, Cowboys defeated Eagles 38-23
Fast Fact The Browns are one of the few teams that the Cowboys don’t lead their all-time series. The Browns hold a 15-11 edge
The Pokes woke from their slumber to pound an equally woeful Eagles team and face a Browns team that while showing signs of improvement are nowhere near capable of going on the road and winning. The Browns have a young offense that will be exploited by a Cowboys defense that can rush a weak line hard. Tony Romo will have the faithful singing his praises again…
Packers (6-3) @ Lions (4-5)
Ford Field, Detroit 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Packers by 3
Last Week Packers were on a bye, Lions lost to Vikings 34-24
Fast Fact Packers coach Mike McCarthy is 11-1 against the Lions
The Packers look like a team that is rounding into form at the right time, and their offense led by Aaron Rodgers is looking as crisp as ever. Their defense is decent but battling injuries. The Lions are about as maddeningly inconsistent as you could imagine, Matthew Stafford is throwing a bushel of passes but not as many to Megatron and their running game is here one day and gone the next, let’s not even start to talk about their defense. I think this game has the makings of another shootout, a game the Packers are better equipped to win.
Jaguars (1-8) @ Texans (8-1)
Reliant Stadium, Houston 1:00 CBS
Favorite Texans by 15˝
Last Week Jaguars lost to Colts 27-10, Texans defeated Bears 13-6
Fast Fact The Jags have only averaged 12.5 ppg during their six game losing skid
The Texans finally got a chance to shine in primetime as they won a sloppy, though gritty game in Chi-town. The Jags? They were on Primetime and just looked like themselves. Awful. This game has Boogie Down beatdown written all over it. The Texans are in no mood to play charity and will show the Jags no quarter.
Pick-Houston (Lock of the Week)
NY Jets (3-6) @ Rams (3-5-1)
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Rams by 3˝
Last Week Jets lost to Seahawks 28-7, Rams played 49ers to tie at 24
Fast Fact The last 5 tie games have involved at least one NFC team
The Jets are imploding to no one’s surprise but themselves. The anonymous quotes about Tim Tebow is about as indicative of how this dysfunctional this squad is. The Rams played the Niners tougher than expected and came away with a surprising tie. The Rams are playing hard and trying to build for the future while the smarmy remarks that used to once come from the grinning jeering Rex Ryan are getting fewer and further between. The Jets’ offense is just about as much of a joke as you can dream of. The Rams while nowhere close to being a world beater should be able to pound the Jets at home.
Eagles (3-6) @ Redskins (3-6)
FedEx Field; Landover, MD 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Redskins by 4
Last Week Eagles lost to Cowboys 38-23, Redskins were on a bye
Fast Fact Washington QB Robert Griffin III has a 93.9 passer rating, best among all rookie QB’s
The Redskins are still trying to get together with the solid play of RGIII while the Eagles are in a sad slow crumble. Nick Foles will likely get the start to see how well he will handle being the starter but for all intents and purposes the Iggles are playing out the string. The Redskins while not playing well are playing with some sort of direction and that’s more than the other team can say.
Buccaneers (5-4) @ Panthers (2-7)
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Buccaneers by 2
Last Week Buccaneers defeated Chargers 34-24, Panthers lost to Broncos 36-14
Fast Fact Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 151 attempts.
The Bucs are quietly in the middle of the playoff race and playing fairly respectable. The Panthers are regressing badly and got housed by the Broncos to no one’s surprise. If ever there was a trap game for the Bucs its right here. But for some reason, I just don’t see it happening. The Bucs are showing better balance on the offensive side and their defense is quietly one of the better units in the NFC. I’m seeing the Bucs baiting the Panthers into a few dumb turnovers and winning a grind it out game.
Saints (4-5) @ Raiders (3-6)
o.Co Coliseum, Oakland 4:05 (FOX)
Favorite Saints by 5˝
Last Week Saints defeated Falcons 31-27, Raiders lost to Ravens 55-20
Fast Fact You know the Saints as a passing team but they need to run too since 2010 the Saints are 27-4 when they have 21 or more rushes 1-9 when having less than 20 rushes.
As predicted the Saints defended their house against the formerly unbeaten Falcons and look like that they could make a second half charge into playoff contention. The Raiders took an awful beating in Baltimore and the thinking is if Joe Flacco could do a house job on the Raiders what would a beast like Drew Brees do? This is another shootout waiting to happen as the Saints defense is just as porous.
Colts (6-3) @ Patriots (6-3)
Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 4:25 (CBS)
Favorite Patriots by 9
Last Week Colts defeated Jaguars 27-10; Patriots defeated Bills 37-31
A lot of people were lamenting this matchup as a blowout waiting to happen when the schedule came out. They didn’t expect the Colts to come in a rough and ready squad of young bucks fast taking the mold of their inspirational coach and young QB, fearless, bold and a team not to take lightly. The Pats had best be careful, a sleepwalk type game may have gotten over against the Bills but to play as they have could get them upset. Will it happen? No, but this will be a game better than advertised. Tom Brady is now the grizzled sheriff and Andrew Luck is looking for that signature win, I think the young buck will give it a go but have to learn his lesson from the old sheriff.
Chargers (4-5) @ Broncos (6-3)
Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver 4:25 (CBS)
Favorite Broncos by 8
Last Week Chargers lost to Buccaneers 34-24, Broncos defeated Panthers 36-14
Fast Fact The Chargers are looking for their fourth straight win against the Broncos in Denver
The Chargers are teetering dangerously on the precipice of the cliff of playoff irrelevancy while the Broncos are playing solidly and are starting to look like they will be a tough playoff out. I just can’t believe how badly Philip Rivers has fallen off; he made a bushel of dumb passes which hurt their chances to take a winnable game in Tampa. This looked like a premier matchup of QB’s at seasons beginning…now not so much.
Baltimore (7-2) @ Pittsburgh (6-3)
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 8:20 (NBC)
Favorite No line due to injury statuses
Last Week Ravens defeated Raiders 55-20; Steelers defeated Chiefs 16-13 in OT
Fast Fact The 55 points that the Ravens scored against the Raiders was a franchise single game record. The Steelers look as if they are rounding into their usual playoff contending self but the injury to Big Ben has cast a huge shadow of doubt over the team. Not the shoulder which they were expecting and have well-traveled vet Byron Leftwich at the ready but the dislocated rib that threatens his aorta (that’s near the heart, folks) and may sideline him for a greater length of time than the Steelers can afford. The Ravens are walking tall after ringing up a double nickel on the Raiders but their run defense is uncharacteristically weak and you would think that the Steelers will try hard to exploit that. The Steelers are usually money at home, but I’m not too sure about Leftwich. How is this the upset? Beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh is always an upset
Pick-Baltimore (Upset of the Week)
Monday, November 19
Bears (7-2) @ 49ers (6-2-1)
Candlestick Park, San Francisco 8:30 ESPN
Favorite No line
Last Week Bears lost to Texans 13-6, 49ers played Rams to a tie at 24
Fast Fact Offense will be at a premium, The Bears lead the NFL with 30 turnovers and 19 interceptions. The Niners allow only 292 yards a game and 196.2 of that via the pass.
ESPN is thinking “Finally we get a good one for Monday Night!” But both teams are coming in off of puzzling games. The Bears slogged through a muddy mess and their offense was non-existent and turnover plagued against the Texans. The Niners found every way not to win against the Rams and were fortunate to come away with a tie all things considered. Which QB will answer the bell and then which backup will be better if the starters are a no-go. I like Colin Kaepernick; he is what everyone thinks Tim Tebow is or should be. Good arm, fearless outside the pocket and very mobile. Jim Harbaugh has used him on wildcat plays and he has played well when Alex Smith has been out. I wish I could exude the same confidence on the oft-traveled Jason Campbell (is he still in this league?) the Bears defense have the capability of making the big plays but I trust the Niners meat and potatoes offense more than I do the Bears offense.
Last Week: 10-3-1 (Lock & Upset Correct)