A decent week by your humble scribe, though there were a couple I wish I could have taken back (mention the Titans pick to me and you might get a knuckle sandwich) But aside from the surprises here and there (No one saw Doug Martin having that monster day...no you didnt!) everything dropped pretty much as I called it. Much earlier than last week, for your perusal consumption, review and approval are this weeks picks. Odds being provided by bodog.net for entertainment and comparison purposes only. I say that to keep from getting any backlash from the gamblers out there that bet the lines and want to look for me, you are on your own with the no-neck bookie enforcers if you get took.
BYE WEEK – Arizona (4-5); Cleveland (2-7); Green Bay (6-3); Washington (3-6).
Sunday, November 11
Falcons (8-0) @ Saints (3-5)
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Falcons by 3
Last Week Falcons defeated Cowboys 19-13, Saints defeated Eagles 28-13
Fast Fact The Falcons are the 15th team since the NFL schedule was expanded to 16 games in 1978 to start 8-0
Tosay the very least the Falcons are ummm...flying high. Their workmanlike win over the Cowboys showed many pundits that they can grind out wins that while not aesthetically pleasing are wins nonetheless. They are facing the Saints who have gotten off the 0-4 mat and are still very much a dangerous squad. This game screams trap as this is rareifed air for the Birds. Drew Brees is throwing a ton of passes and I know the Saints defense is nothing short of putrid, I just have that gut feeling that the Falcons are way overdue for a flat game. I think its here.
Pick-New Orleans (Upset of the Week)
Bills (3-5) @ Patriots (5-3)
Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Bills lost to Texans 21-9, Patriots were on a bye
Last Week Patriots by 11
Fast Fact The Patriots have won 11 straight meetings in Foxboro against the Bills.
The Pats rested and refreshed after a London style beatdown of the Rams in Week 8 return home to face a disappointing Bills team who's offense is MIA and defense is playing way below expectations. The Pats may not be the conferences glamour team this year but they are still the divisions resident bully and the Bills are getting a phobia about playing Foxboro...but can you blame them?
Pick- New England (Lock of the Week)
Broncos (5-3) @ Panthers (2-6)
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Broncos by 4½
Last Week Broncos defeated Bengals 31-23, Panthers defeated Redskins 21-13
Fast Fact This is only the second time that these teams have faced each other in Charlotte.
The Broncos make a rare trip to Tobacco road to face the Panthers who are as tough a cat to figure as any. While Im not going to say Peyton Manning is in beast mode, he is rounding back into the form that we have grown so accustomed to over the years and the Broncos are playing well because of it. On the other sideline, Cam Newton shows flashes of his brilliant rookie year but they have been just that flashes. This might be the best defense the Broncos have faced outside of the Texans, but I have the feeling Manning will do just enough to get the win
Lions (4-4) @ Vikings (5-4)
Mall of America Field @ HHH Metrodome; Minneapolis 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite No line due to C. Johnson injury status
Last Week Lions defeated Jaguars 31-14, Vikings lost to Seahawks 30-20
Fast Fact The Lions have not won back to back games in Minnesota since 1990-91
As most of you know your humble scribe is Vikings fan and watching this team week after week can be painful, aside from the resurgent resplendant running of Adrian Peterson, on the offensive side the Vikings are not very good. This puts way too much pressure on a decent defense that has to be on the field too long. A strong offense like the Lions is not what they need to see. Though their offense is a bit weakened with the questionable status of Calvin Johnson. I know betting on the Vikings offense is dicey at best, but Im not sold on the Lions on the road. I know Im gonna regret it but...
NY Giants (6-3) @ Bengals (3-5)
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Giants by 4½
Last Week Giants lost to Steelers 24-20, Bengals lost to Broncos 31-23
Fast Fact The home team has won every matchup
The Giants were cruising along against the Steelers when their offense went in to hibernation in the 4th. The Bengals are turning back into the same reliable hot mess that have been before. Im thinking the G-Men will sit back wait for the inevitable Bengals implosion and pounce. Eli Manning likely got some crib notes from his brother after he torched the Bengals D for three scores. This wont be pretty if you are a Bengals fan.
Pick-New York Giants
Raiders (3-5) @ Ravens (6-2)
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Ravens by 9
Last Week Ravens defeated Browns 25-15, Raiders lost to Buccaneers 42-32
Fast Fact The Ravens have won 6 of 7 meetings against the Raiders but Raiders QB is 9-4 against the Ravens.
The Raiders got run over, literally as rookie Doug Martin ran hog wild against them, and now they have to go cross country to face the rugged running of Ray Rice...That just smacks of a bad time. The Ravens arent winning pretty but they are winning. The west coast team coming east is usually dead meat and Im not budging from that one especially as bad as the Raiders played the last time they came east, im not getting suckered again.
Chargers (4-4) @ Buccaneers (4-4)
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Buccaneers by 3
Last Week Chargers defeated Chiefs 31-13, Buccaneers defeated Raiders 42-32
Fast Fact Bucs rookie phenom RB Doug Martin became the first RB since 1940 to have three rushing TD's of 45+ yards in the same game.
Speaking of the hot Bucs runner he is fast making believers of a lot of people, your humble scribe included. The Chargers defense will present a decent challenge. Though like their west coast brethern are making a cross country flight to play an early game in the East. Im thinking that Martin will have another solid day running past the heavy legged Charger defense. Philip Rivers is trying like a scout but his offensive weapons are simply just not what they used to be.
Titans (3-6) @ Dolphins (4-4)
SunLife Stadium, Miami Gardens 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Dolphins by 6
Last Week Titans lost to Bears 51-20, Dolphins lost to Colts 23-20
Fast Fact After allowing a modest 317 last season the Titans have given up 308 in 9 games so far this season.
Titans owner Bud Adams apologized for the Titans horrid performance against the Bears in which it seems like everyone on the Bears defense was playing scoop and score. The Titans will have no respite against a Dolphins defense that plays tough and despite a couple close losses are playing every game full tilt. Ryan Tannehill has tp be the most overlooked rookie QB's but has been quietly putting up solid if unspectacular numbers. I dont trust the Titans hit or miss offense any further than the end of my nose. Im not buying them going in South FLA and getting a win.
NY Jets (3-5) @ Seahawks (5-4)
Century Link Field, Seattle 4:05 (CBS)
Favorite Seahawks by 6
Last Week Jets were on a bye, Seahawks defeated Vikings 30-20
Fast Fact Seahawks QB Russell Wilson has thrown for eight touchdowns and no interceptions at home with a solid 120.2 QB rating
Ther Jets have had better than a week to lick their collective wounds after nasty beating at home, the grinns and jeers from Jets head poobah Rex Ryan are getting old ral fast. The Jets go cross country to face a wildly inconsistent Seahawks squad that has a devil of a time staying out its own way in spite of the dymanic running of Mrshawn Lynch. This team is basic going on the growing pains of rookie QB Russell Wilson. Though it wouldnt surprise me to see the Jets confound everyone and steal an unlikely win in the Pacific Northwest, Im just not seeing it happen. CenturyLink field is not a place to steal a win.
Cowboys (3-5) @ Eagles (3-5)
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia 4:25 (FOX)
Favorite Cowboys by 1½
Last Week Cowboys lost to Falcons 19-13, Eagles lost to Saints 28-13
Fast Fact This is the first time since 1990 that both teams come into the matchup with losing records
How far have these two teams fallen? Both desperate for a season boosting win, both with enigmatic underacheiveing quarterbacks, both with coaches under heavy fire. Expect to see both team lay it all out. Im leery of picking the Pokes for the simple reason is that they are so undependable to pick for or against. The Eagles are just as bad, with Michael Vick ducking and dodging onrushing lineman behind a porous line. This is likely going to be an im going to regret this pick, (My homies Reg & Darrel will hear about it spades) but I will trust the Eagles can defend their house against the Pokes.
Rams (3-5) @ 49ers (6-2)
Candlestick Park, San Francisco 4:25 FOX
Favorite 49ers by 11½
Last Week Both Teams were on a bye
Fast Fact The 49ers are allowing an NFL low 12.9 points per game.
The Niners are clicking on all cylinders while the Rams while showing marked improvement are still the Rams and can get housed at will. Witness the Pats London shellacking two weeks ago. This one could get ugly fast.
Texans (7-1) @ Bears (7-1)
Soldier Field, Chicago 8:20 (NBC)
Favorite Bears by 1
Last Week Texans defeated Bills 21-9, Bears defeated Titans 51-20
Fast Fact Since Lovie Smith became coach Bears lead the NFL in takeaways
Easily the marquee game of the week, the conferences best teams meet in the Windy City. The Bears defense is getting scary good and dont need Jay Cutler to put up herculean performances. While not a game manager, Cutler does what he needs to do, has been limiting his tendency to make dumb mistakes and has been winning in spades, the same can be said for Houston where Matt Schaub, Arian Foster and Andre Johnson have been having decent seasons but nothing to really shout about, but that defense? Ohhhhh. The Texans lost Brian Cushing and didnt miss a step as J.J. Watt has been the defensive anchor. This will be a tight contest, but Im thinking the Bears are overdue for a klunker and the Texans are overdue for a chance to shine in primetime.
Monday, November 12
Chiefs (1-7) @ Steelers (5-3)
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 8:30 (ESPN)
Favorite Steelers by 12½
Last Week Chiefs lost to Chargers 31-13, Steelers defeated Giants 24-20
Fast Fact The Chiefs are the first team since 1929 to have never held a lead in any of their first seven games in regulation.
Im sure that there will be a ref on standby waiting to cover the Chiefs up like a punchy boxer that has been beat on too much. The Steelers are rounding into their usual ready to roll in to playoff contention form, while the Chiefs are simply putrid. This is another one that ESPN is wondering, how did we get stuck with another clunker game.
Last Week 10-4 (lock correct, upset incorrect)