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Week 9 NFL Thursday Pick
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Thursday October 30

Saints (3-4) @ Panthers (3-4-1)

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte 8:25 (NFLN)

Favorite Panthers by 3

Last Week Saints defeated Packers 44-23, Panthers lost to Seahawks 13-9

Fast Fact Saints have 10 game road losing streak

The Thursday game retreat back to a single network format for the back half of the season . Drew Brees might have saved the Saints season with by lighting up the Packers in front of a frenzied Superdome crowd. Now the Saints have to figure how to win outside of Orleans Parish, but the Panthers are just the kind of moody enigma that you just cant figure. They gave up 38 to Green Bay and 37 to Cincy but held the Seahawks to just 13. I think Drew Brees broke out of his first half funk and has the tools to strafe a suspect Panthers defense. Im still trying to figure where the Cam Newton that made numerous dynamic runs and passes against the Bengals three weeks ago disappeared to. I donít think he reappears this week

Pick-New Orleans

Musings From The Hoodwood 10-28
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL College Football MLB NBA

How did the Pokes lose to Washington?

Black Enough?

Recently the issue of race came up in the form of an anonymous quote in the Seattle Seahawks locker room disparaging Russell Wilson as ďnot being blackĒ enough. I hear about something like that and I bristle, no one would take ownership of the quote and it was black writer (I hate the term African-American) that reported the issue. I then thought, what is ďBlack enough?Ē Am I not black enough because I live in the suburbs and not in the hood? Im sorry I like to know I can leave my backpack in my car and it not get into, I like the quietness of my neighborhood. Its not a black/white thing its my home. Russell Wilson is a fine upstanding young man, and his race should not be a factor in how he is perceived. Iíd like to think that enough time has passed where the issue of a ďblack quarterbackĒ is a non issue. Geno Smith struggles in New York and might very well lose his starting job to another black quarterback Michael Vick but no one really cares about skin color here. They are concerned that Smith is throwing interceptions at a frighteningly frequent clip. RGIII looks to be coming back to play for Washington soon, his struggles only looked at from a playing perspective. I think enough time has passed from when a black quarterback was curiosity or novelty. When quarterbacks like Merlin Briscoe, Joe Gilliam and James ďShackĒ Harris were the rare exception as quarterback and Warren Moon had to go to Canada for seven years before someone happened on the idea that he might be a decent QB. Russell Wilson became the 2nd black quarterback to win a Super Bowl 26 years after Doug Williams did it (ironically in a blowout against the Broncos featuring an iconic QB), but when Wilson won there were few that talked about it. And that in itself was a good thing. Why? I donít care if the quarterback of my team is black white, a woman or a martian. If they are winning games and carrying themselves with the right kind of attitude, im good with it. I only see color when it comes to my team. And Iíll root hard for† or rail on a bad quarterback black or white.† Trust me, Tavaris Jackson made my blood boil, and Daunte Culppepper could be frustrating but I also railed on Christian Ponder, Gus Frerotte and Jeff George.† But I digress. Ultimately, the term acting black or not being black enough is a misnomer and something that is insulting. I spoke correctly in school and got called a punk for it. I was taught to speak clearly and correctly. Could I hood it up when the need presented itself? Of course I could and at when the scenario presents itself, do. But in my line of work, when the money is on the line I think I speak more ďproperĒ But the term to me in annoying and I think that the person that was responsible for the ďanonymous quoteĒ was the real coward.

Goodell continues to ruin the NFL

The NFL is hell bent on shoving the concept of a team in London down our collective throats. The Lions and Falcons played the second of the three scheduled games in Wembley Stadium. The Raiders and Dolphins played a snoozer last month. Now this game played this past Sunday was markedly differnet to be sure the Lions spotted the Falcons a 21-0 before roaring back to win 22-21 on a second chance field goal by Matt Prater. But now the NFL is looking to five games in London in 2015 taking another home game from a pair of teams but damn sure not reducing season ticket package prices. THe NFL wants to dominate the day watching. The Lions-Falcons game kicked off at 9:30a EDT to placate the locals who wanted a day game, and the talk is that more of the London based game will be kicking off at this time to get more TV coverage. Also London is clamoring hard for NFL team of their own, now not only is this sacrilege this smacks in the fast of continuing to ignore the nations #2 TV market LA. Which I think that Der Kommisar Goodell is wanting to remain open to use a leverage for cities that wont toe their stadium building line. The one off game in London is amusing and different but the increasing number of games in London at the expense of the American fans is stupid. Do you think that the Barclays Premier League would move a regular season match by two of its teams to America or that they think that they would try to get an American team here? It wouldnít happen, period.

End of the Line for Nash?

The Lakers Steve Nash stayed around for the paycheck but it seems that the Lakers are paying for an expensive bench warmer. Nash reinjured his back and is likely out for the† season and possibly his career. The wily guard who was the point man for the high scoring Suns team of the mid to late 2000s played only 65 total game for the Lake Show and is likely †done for good itís a sad coda for one of the more brilliant ball handlers and scorers in the game. He was fun to watch and played the game with a fearless drive that made him easy to root for, he won back to back MVPís in 2005 and 2006 and many are left to wonder if healthy could he have made a real difference in preventing the Lake Show frightening slide into irrelavence in their own city. I would have liked to see Nash playing out this season, having has announced that this season upcoming would be his last. But it its not meant to be and we will have to wonder is the Canadian gem a first ballot hall of famer.

A world class world series

The World Series is looking like it could be a classic with the Giants now hold a 3-2 edge behind Madison Baumgartnerís complete game 5 gem as the series returns to Kansas City. The scrappy Royals are facing elimination for the first time since the wild card game against the Giants cross-bay neighbors in Oakland. †Here is where the Americans win in the all-star game is proving to be critical. The Giants will have to clinch it on the road in front the rowdy Royals fans who are unleashing 29 years of pent up playoff frustration. I think that the big city pundits that are whining that since the big names and big stars are not on the major stage the series isnít worth watching. I disagree, this is shaping to be one of the best series in quite a while. I mean seriously when did you remember a series this action packed? So what both teams won less than 90 games in the regular season, they are playing scrappy passionate baseball and you have to know that Bud Selig in his final series as commissioner is delighted that the small market Royals are standing tall in the mega spotlight of the World Series and are still very much in the hunt to take the title. But the battle tested Giants seem to never be rattled and just seem to have every answer.

Phat Dap

To Oak Harbors football team that forfeits game to give title to Marysville after a tragic shooting earlier in the day. Rather than rescheduling the game after the shooting. Oak Harbor forfeited the game to give Marysville the conference title and attended a vigil at Marysville that night. You have to give dap to Oak Harbor for thinking of their fellow football players in their time of grief and love to Marysville, Hoodwood grieves with you.

Head Slap

Lamarr Houston of the Bears who injured himself celebrating a sack. Did I mention that it was of Jimmy Garopalo? And that it was late in the Pats blowout of the Bears? Houston tore his ACL and is out for the season. What a moron

Quick Hits

82 points for TCUÖin a football game? The basketball team hasnít scored that much in 2 years

I like Peyton Manning (hes the QB of one of my fantasy teams) but the rant at the scoreboard operator was stupid

Why do I get the feeling that the college football playoff will find a way to get it wrong? If Notre Dame is anywhere near this or multiple SEC teams, this playoff scheme will be a sham

My first four teams Miss. St, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State

Is there a clear cut favorite for the Heisman?

Kobeís mad at his player ranking, why is he on the delusion that he is one of the best players in the NBA?

If the Giants take the series isnít it about time that we start talking about Bruce Bochy being one of the best baseball managers of this era, three titles in five years but he gets no love outside the bay area.

One of my fantasy teams is climbing back from an 0-4 deficit while my 6-1 team took an unexpected pratfall to the worst team in the league. THe natives are restless (when arenít they?)

Im no fan of Ben Roethlisberger, but you have to be impressed with him throwing for 5 bills against a Colts team that was coming off an impressive shutout of the Bengals

I donít know who I trust less Romo or Jay Cutler...how the hell do you lose to Washington and Colt McCoy?

Until Next Post fellow sports fans!

NFL Week 8 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

A decent week, but there were games that I should have known better and picked anyway. The picks will get better, Iím sure of it. The odds are provided by ESPN.com and are provided for entertainment and comparison purposes only. If you take the lines and get took, Iím way too broke to pay bookies for you.

Thursday†October 23

Chargers (5-2) @ Broncos (5-2)

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver†8:25†(CBS/NFLN)

Favorite Broncos by 9Ĺ

Last Week†Chargers lost to Chiefs 23-20, Broncos defeated 49ers 42-17

Fast Fact†Broncos QB Peyton Manning has thrown at least one touchdown pass in every meeting against the Chargers

The Broncos have little time to celebrate their QBís record accomplishment, as they face a tough divisional opponent. The Chargers though are coming off a loss in which their potent offense saw very little of the field with only 21 minutes of possession time. To keep up with the high powered Denver offense, the Chargers may have to play some ball control of their own which means that Branden Oliver will have to play big. Whoever controls the ball will likely claim this critical midseason matchup. Im taking the home team

Pick-Denver

Sunday October 26

Lions (5-2) vs. Falcons (2-5)

Wembley Stadium; London, England 9:30a (FOX)

Favorite Lions by 3Ĺ

Last Week Lions defeated Saints 24-23, Falcons lost to Ravens 29-7

Fast Fact Falcons have won the last five meetings but have lost 11 of last 12 overall away from the Georgia Dome

That time for the game is not a misprint, the kickoff is at 2:30p London time which means this game will be done before many Atlanta and Detroit residents get home from brunch after church. The Lions offense has been fairly pedestrian with the absence of Megatron Johnson but the defense is just about lights out. I once trusted Matty Ice and the Falcons offense to be able to put up points but theyíve badly regressed and the Lions are just playing better.

Pick-Detroit

Seahawks (3-3) @ Panthers (3-3-1)

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 5

Last Week Seahawks lost to Rams 28-26, Panthers lost to Packers 38-17

Fast Fact

The Seahawks are suddenly looking very mortal falling to the Rams and their bevy of gadget plays, meanwhile the Panthers are winless in their last two after getting housed in Lambeau. Iím not real savvy on either team and with the Seahawks making another east coast trip Iím so tempted to pick the home team in a slight upset, but I really donít trust the Panthers on either side of the ball and I still like Russell Wilson running the Seahawks offense as efficiently as he has been doing

Pick-Seattle

Rams (2-4) @ Chiefs (3-3)

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite

Last Week Rams defeated Seahawks 28-26, Chiefs defeated Chargers 23-20

Fast Fact The Chiefs have averaged 28.8 points in winning three of their last four

The Rams surprised many in the football world, me included with a gadget play filled win over the Seahawks while the Chiefs rumbled their way over the Chargers. Iím thinking the Chiefs are getting their collective minds right at the right time. Though the young Austin Davis is looking like he could make the oft injured Sam Bradford expendable I donít think he will fare well against a tough KC defense and an amped Arrowhead crowd

Pick-Kansas City

Texans (3-4) @ Titans (2-5)

LP Field, Nashville 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Texans by 3

Last Week Texans lost 30-23 to Steelers, Titans lost 19-17 to Washington

Fast Fact

The Texans melted down in Pittsburgh last Monday while the Titans continue to spin their wheels fruitlessly. If there was ever a chance for a team to catch its collective breath and bear down on someone itís here. Rookie Zach Mettenberger is making his first NFL start and will likely get an up close intro to JJ Watt. Iím thinking that it wonít be pleasant and it may be done repeatedly

Pick-Houston

Ravens (5-2) @ Bengals (3-2-1)

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Ravens by 1

Last Week Ravens defeated Falcons 29-7, Bengals lost to Colts 27-0

Fast Fact Bengals outscored opponents 80-33 in 3-0 start but have been outscored 107-54 in going 0-2-1 to follow

The Ravens are looking fearsome in winning 5 of 6 while the Bengals have went from talking Super Bowl to fighting for their collective lives in an 3 game winless streak that has seen them fall all the way to 3rd in the division in a blink of an eye. Iíve never been a big fan of the laconic Joe Flacco but he seems to be on point when needed and the Ravens defense has been playing very well. The Bengals lack of credible running game is hurting them with the lack of a big play receiver. I want so bad to see the Bengals revert to their September modus operandi and knock the Ravens off. But I just canít see it happening.

Pick-Baltimore

Dolphins (3-3) @ Jaguars (1-6)

EverBank Field, Jacksonville 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Dolphins by 6

Last Week Dolphins defeated Bears 27-14, Jaguars defeated Browns 24-6

Fast Fact After surrendering an average of 435.4 yards a game in their first five, the Jags defense only allowed 266 total against the Browns to snag their first win of the season

The Dolphins looked like the meant business as they stomped the Bears in the Midway while the Jags pulled a serious show shocker with a stunning rout of the Browns in front of a deliriously happy home crowd. The Jags are learning fast and look like that they could be the handful on occasion but I think the Dolphins are a little better than the Browns on both sides of the ball and will be able to force the young and improving Blake Bortles into enough mistakes to get the win

Pick-Miami

Bears (3-4) @ Patriots (5-2)

Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Patriots by 6

Last Week Bears lost to Dolphins 27-14, Patriots defeated Jets 27-25

Fast Fact Pats have won 12 consecutive home games and Bears have never won in Foxboro

I am getting to really dislike Jay Cutler his maddeningly inconsistent play is making it harder and harder to pick Bears games. Meanwhile the Pats are looking more and more like their reliable selves though they did struggle more against the Jets than I thought that they should have. But extra rested and at home, Iím banking on Brady on the more reliable Pats defense to give the Bears a hard time.

Pick-New England

Bills (4-3) @ Jets (1-6)

MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 (FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN)

Favorite Jets by 3

Last Week Jets lost to Patriots 27-25, Bills defeated Vikings 17-16

Fast Fact Jets have won 12 of the last 16 meetings and last four

The Bills played beat the clock and did so in knocking off the Vikings while the Jets played honorably in a tight loss to the Pats last Thursday. Iím liking the cohesiveness of the Bills play as of late, though I just have the bad feeling that the Jets are going to play them extremely tough

Pick-Buffalo

Vikings (2-5) @ Buccaneers (1-5)

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Buccaneers by 2Ĺ

Last Week Vikings lost to Bills 17-16, Buccaneers were on a bye

Fast Fact The Bucs have allowed a league worst 72 points in the 1st quarter

The Vikes lost a heartbreaker in Buffalo while the Buccaneers are still woozy from the beating they got before their bye. Teddy Bridgewater is due for a breakout game and I think that the Vikings running game will get healthy against the weak Bucs defense. Iím hoping that this is one of the rare weeks that the Vikes get to be a bully

Pick-Minnesota

Eagles (0-0) @ Cardinals (0-0)

University of Phoenix; Glendale, AZ 4:05 (FOX)

Favorite Cardinals by 2

Last Week Eagles were on their bye, Cardinals defeated Raiders 24-13

Fast Fact Cardinals have won seven of the last nine meetings in the desert

This is probably one of the best games that most people outside of Arizona, Philly and Cincy wonít get to see. Phillyís fast break offense, well rested after the bye gets to face a solid Cards defense who toyed with the Raiders in the east bay before easing to the win. Iím thinking that the Eagles offense will be a real test not so much for the Cards defense but their offense whom Iím still not wholly trusting under the stewardship of Carson Palmer

Pick-Philadelphia

Raiders (0-6) @ Browns (3-3)

FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite Browns by 7

Last Week Raiders lost to Cardinals 24-13, Browns lost to Jaguars 24-6

Fast Fact The Raiders 0-6 start is their worst since 1962, when they went 1-13

The Raiders are getting close to the hopeless case status while the Browns blew their chance to be a road bully in Jacksonville. This really should be a game that the Browns should roll deep on but the thing that worries me is that most of the time that you think that the Browns are ready to ascend that they fall flat on their collective faces. I really want to call this an upset for Oakland but I just canít

Pick-Cleveland

Colts (5-2) @ Steelers (4-3)

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite Colts by 3Ĺ

Last Week Colts defeated Bengals 27-0, Steelers defeated Texans 30-23

Fast Fact

The Colts were crisp and efficient in dismantling the Bengals while the Steelers took advantage of every Texan miscue to rally smartly for the win. As much as everyone wants to believe that the Steelers are still a viable playoff type team, they are a shell of their former formidable selves. If they plod along like they did in the first half against the Texans they wonít be down 13, theyíll be down 28 and they wonít come back from that. The Colts are scary fast and are playing with a chillingly ruthless efficiency that wonít allow for a lacking performance

Pick-Indianapolis

Packers (5-2) @ Saints (2-4)

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Saints by 2Ĺ

Last Week Packers defeated Panthers 38-17, Saints lost to Lions 24-23

Fast Fact

The Packers are rolling along and dismantled the Panthers easily, while the Saints took a stunning late game pratfall to the Lions in Motown. The Packers will have their hands full dealing with the notoriously rowdy Superdome crowd who will be amped up for primetime. Drew Brees is needing a bounce back game but I just canít see it happening against a Packers defense that is quietly one of the leagues better units Iím calling this an upset only because a Saints loss in the Big Easy is super rare in the Brees/Payton era.

Pick-Green Bay (Upset of the Week)

Monday October 27

Washington (2-5) @ Cowboys (6-1)

AT&T Stadium; Arlington, TX 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Cowboys by 10

Fast Fact Cowboys five game win streak is its longest since2007

Last Week Washington defeated Titans 19-17, Cowboys defeated Giants 31-21

The Pokes are riding high after a solid divisional win while Washington was cheered by a tight win over the Titans. The Pokes running game is clearly the leagues best and has been the engine of their winning ways, meanwhile Washington might have to turn to Colt McCoy (Is he still in this league) to try to pilot their sputtering offense. This is almost too easy, Iím almost afraid to have any confidence in the Pokes for fear they might turn into the Bears. But as long as DeMarco Murray is lugging the loaf as well as he has been the Pokes will look really good. As much as I fear doing it

Pick-Dallas (Lock of the Week)

Last Week: 9-6 (Lock Correct Upset Incorrect)

Overall: 60-45-1

Locks: 6-1

Upsets: 2-5

Musings From The Hoodwood 10-21
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: College Football

Yes Irish fans...this is a penalty!

Greetings from the Hoodwood, where fall keeps creeping in ever so slowly and the natives are still not ready for it

College Football: The really big game that lived up to the hype.

When I saw that Notre Dame and Florida State were slated to play one another, I hoped that both teams would be undefeated because I knew that the hype would be over the top. I knew that Notre Dame would play up the poor pitiful underdog role to the hilt. I knew the lisping criminal Lou Holtz would wax poetic about how he knew that the Irish would somehow pull a miracle victory out. The added fuel of the increasingly controversial Jameis Winston for Florida State made this an intoxicating mix. Add the primetime stage of the nationally televised forum and you had an intoxicating mix. Every now and then you have a game that lives up to the hype, Notre Dame-Florida State in 1993 was a prime example, as was Ohio State-Michigan in 2006. When you have two teams of the first rank, two legendary programs that play the highest caliber of the sport. In any case, better than 82,000 fans jammed into Doak Campbell Stadium for the biggest regular season game in years. The game lived up to the hype. Irish QB Everett Golson and Winston played at a top notch level. Both defenses made key plays and the offenses seemed to play at a championship level. A back and forth game went down to the last minutes of the game where the Noles took a 31-27 lead on a Karlos Williams run. But the Irish came charging back down the field and converted two fourth downs in the drive, the Irish got to the Noles 2 and Golson threw a quick out to Korey Robinson (son of basketball hall of famer David) in the end zone and the Irish seemed to have pulled out an improbable, yet thrilling win. But not so fast there, there was late flag. THe Irish were flagged for offensive pass interference and call so controversial that Irish coach Brian Kelly was irate and was opening cursing at the referees. The call of course stood and backed to the 18 yard line, a desperate pass was picked off and the Noles survived. But the whining by the Irish and their fans continued to beef that they were robbed. I can almost guarantee that had that call would not have been made in South Bend. Not if the refs had valued their lives. But the call was correct and the Noles survived and remain unbeaten. But unlike other years one loss might not doom the Irish to bowl irreavency. THe Irish lost a close game on the road, that might get them more props than the victorious Noles who now face more and more questions about the tight win and the validity of their top five ranking. I myself likened the game to the í71 Ali-Frazier fight, there was no real loser Both foes were made better by the game.

Phat Dap

Have you ever seen a kicker return his own kick for a touchdown?

William Will of Dayton makes it happen, thats being Johnny on the Spot.

Head Slap

To one of my own sadly University of Cincinnati backup QB Jared Evans who was arrested for assault only a few hours after the football team returned from a 41-3 thrashing of SMU. Who gets back from another city and gets into a fight. Evans shamed the university and the football team in a way that a loss never could. Shame on you.

Ill post more later today.

NFL Week 7 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Week 7

Thursday

Jets (1-5) @ Patriots (4-2)

Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 8:25 (CBS/NFLN)

Favorite Pats by 9Ĺ

Last Week Jets lost to Broncos 31-17, Patriots defeated Bills 37-22

Fast Fact The Jets 5 game skid is the longest of the Rex Ryan Era

The grins and jeers long gone from Ryan he is just trying to make it through a season where almost everyone is in agreement that he will likely be fired. The Jets put a good fight up against the Broncos but their upset bid was poleaxed by a soul crushing pick-six late. The Pats look like they are fully recovered from their KC swoon that had the doubters out in full force but are now back grumbling† about Brady and his receivers. By and large the road team gets hammered in these Thursday night farcesÖuh matchups. I donít think the Jets care that much at present and the Pats are the better team on both sides of the ball

Pick-New England

Sunday

Falcons (2-4) @ Ravens (4-2)

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite

Last Week Falcons lost to Bears 27-13, Ravens defeated Buccaneers 48-17

Fast Fact Joe Flaccoís 5 TD passes were done in a mindboggling 18 minutes of gameplay

The Falcons look stunningly flat at home versus a middling Bears squad and got thumped, while the Ravens started nuclear hot and never let off the gas in their could have been much, much worse blowout of the Bucs. I doubt that Joe Flacco could pull a trick like he did against the Bucs this week. Or probably any more in his career, but I think he will be able to strafe the weak Falcons secondary

Pick-Baltimore

Titans (2-4) @ Washington (1-5)

FedEx Field; Landover, MD 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Washington by 5Ĺ

Last Week Titans defeated Jaguars 16-14, Washington lost to Arizona 30-20

Fast Fact Washington QB Kirk Cousins is 1-7 as a starter

A real snoozer in the nationís capital where Washington and the Titans have one thing in common beating lowly the Jags. Both teams do a lot of things and all of them bad, Washington has no running game though the Titans run defense is virtually no existent. The Titans passing game is nauseatingly bad, but then again Washingtonís puts little fear in defenses. Who wins? Who cares? Toss a coin and hope that you donít have seat near a TV that has this game. Iíll probably be wrong but Ill bank on Alfred Morris being overdue for a breakout game and that gets the home team the win.

Pick-Washington

Seahawks (3-2) @ Rams (1-4)

Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 7

Last Week Seahawks lost to Cowboys 30-23, Rams lost to 49ers 31-17

Fast Fact Seahawks have not lost back to back games since October 2012

Bottled up and beat down, the defending champs lost a tough one at home to Dallas, while the Rams came out fast then fizzled on Monday night. The Seahawks demise I think is greatly exaggerated and they are looking to take their anger out on someone. The Rams were a chic pick to make noise in the NFC look lost more often than not on both sides of the ball and lack a clear direction. The Seahawks should bounce back easily and whip the struggling Rams

Pick-Seattle

Browns (3-2) @ Jaguars (0-6)

EverBank Field, Jacksonville 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Browns by 5 Ĺ

Last Week Browns defeated Steelers 31-10, Jaguars lost to Titans 16-14

Fast Fact Browns offense will be playing without longtime center Alex Mack who before going down with a broken fibula last week hadnít missed a snap in his career, playing in all 5289 offensive snaps until injured

The Browns have had fewer satisfying wins than hammering their hated bullies in front of a happy home crowd last week, while the Jags are trying like the good scout but still have nothing to show for it. The Browns now have the rare opportunity to be the bully in matchup and the way that the schedule sits the Browns have the opportunity to get three wins over eminently beatable opponents. The Jags are showing some improvement but the Browns are much better

Pick-Cleveland

Bengals (3-1-1) @ Colts (4-2)

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Colts by 3

Last Week Bengals tied Panthers at 37, Colts defeated Texans 33-28

Fast Fact Bengals have not won in Indy since 1997 when current Bengals QB Andy Dalton was all of 10

The Bengals started fast with three wins but have been winless in their last two after failing to secure a win in a long overtime draw with Carolina. The Colts have been flying high with a string of wins offsetting an 0-2 start. The Bengals offense isnít a real problem, they get they get the points, the problems is that after giving up 11 points a game in their first three wins they have given up 80 points in their last two and facing the high energy attack led by Andrew Luck. The knock against the Colts is that they are piling up the numbers against so-so divisional foes and that the Bengals defense should be a real defensive test. I just canít shake that fast fact line, the Bengals just have trouble winning just 112 miles up the road. I see another shootout.

Pick-Indianapolis

Dolphins (2-3) @ Bears (3-3)

Soldier Field, Chicago 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Bears by 3

Last Week Bears defeated Falcons 27-13, Dolphins lost to Packers 27-24

Fast Fact The Bears last shutout was against these very same Dolphins in 2010

The maddingly inconsistent Bears knocked off the Falcons in the dirty dirty, while the Dolphins battled the Pack to the wire but couldnít hold off a last second score. Jay Cutler plays mediocre at home, point blank and you just canít trust his play. Iím almost afraid to pick the Bears here for fear that Cutler will make a liar out of me yet again. The Dolphins offense is just about as inconsistent as the Cutler is and Iím less likely to trust Ryan Tannehill who has underperformed more often than not. Iím gonna regret this one

Pick-Chicago

Vikings (2-4) @ Bills (3-3)

Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Bills by 5

Last Week Vikings lost to Lions 17-3, Bills lost to Patriots 37-22

Fast Fact Bills have yet to surrender a rushing touchdown and allow and NFL best 67.5 yards rushing

The trials of Teddy Bridgewater continue as the Vikings continue to struggle offensively, the defense plays decent but with little room for error. The Bills have a stout rushing defense and a respectable offensive output with the oft traveled Kyle Orton bringing some needed stability to the offense. I so want to see Bridgewater and the Vikes have a breakout game, but against that defense that may be wishful thinking.

Pick-Buffalo

Saints (2-3) @ Lions (4-2)

Ford Field, Detroit 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Lions by 2

Last Week Saints were on their bye, Lions defeated Vikings 17-3

Fast Fact Opposing quarterbacks have an 103.2 QB rating against the Saints defense, and has only forced one interception

The Saints are a week removed from their best offensive output of the season against the Bucs will have a much steeper test against the Lions who are much more stouter defensively. The Saints are very weak defensively but the Lions are missing many key components of their offensive arsenal as Megatron Johnson remains out of action and Reggie Bush is nursing a bad ankle. Iím always a fan of the electric Drew Brees but I think that the Lions defense should be able to carry the day in a low scoring slugfest

Pick-Detroit

Panthers (3-2-1) @ Packers (4-2)

Lambeau Field, Green Bay 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Packers by 6Ĺ

Last Week Panthers tied Bengals at 37, Packers defeated Dolphins 27-24

Fast Fact Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is the first to have thrown 15 TDS with only one interception in his first six games and has thrown 170 pass attempts without a pick.

The Panthers hung tough in a wild shootout with the Bengals that ended in a draw while Aaron Rodgers okey doke got the Pack a last second win over the Dolphins. Both teams have played uneven as of late but Rodgers peerless play has been the real catalyst for the Pack over the last three weeks. Though Cam Newton has been playing a lot better and reincorporating his dangerous mobility to the Panthers offense, the Packers are a tough draw in Lambeau.

Pick-Green Bay

Chiefs (2-3) @ Chargers (5-1)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:05 (CBS)

Favorite Chargers by 3Ĺ

Last Week Chiefs were on their bye, Chargers defeated Raiders 31-28

Fast Fact Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles needs 53 yards to surpass Priest Holmes as the teamís all-time rushing leader

The Chiefs had a week off †after their loss to the Niners at the big blue jean to get ready for this divisional duel, the Chargers struggled with their upstate rivals but got the win, the Chiefs were scoring a high clip until being held scoreless in the last 26 minutes in their last outing. Points have been no issue for the Chargers but you have to wonder if their running game will continue to run smoothly with neophyte Branden Oliver handling the bulk of the work as long as Philip Rivers is the QBís Iím pretty sure that the points wonít instantly dry up anytime soon. Andy Reid is a master of the post bye week game, having won 11 of 13 in Philly but he has yet to do so in KC and thought the Chiefs are a talented team on both side of the ball I think that they will have a hard time on the road in SoCal.

Pick-San Diego

Cardinals (4-1) @ Raiders (0-5)

o.Co Coliseum, Oakland 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite

Last Week Cardinals defeated Washington 30-20, Raiders lost to Chargers 31-28

Fast Fact A win would give the Cards their first 5-1 start since 1976 when they finished 10-4 as the St. Louis Cardinals

The Cards bounced back strong from their first loss to whip Washington, while the Raiders may have a budding talent in Derek Carr who played smartly against the Chargers in a tough loss. The Cards are doing it with a tough defense and an offense that is looking that much better with the return of Carson Palmer who spent three hellacious years in the East Bay and was 8-16 as a starter. I think that the Raiders are improving and will get a win or two before too long. Will it happen this week? Nope

Pick-Arizona (Lock of the Week)

Giants (3-3) @ Cowboys (5-1)

AT&T Stadium; Arlington, TX 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Cowboys by 6Ĺ

Last Week Giants lost to Eagles 27-0, Cowboys defeated Seattle 30-23

Fast Fact Tony Romo has had 197 pass attempts through 6 games, his fewest since he has become the Cowboys starter in 2007

The Giants were plumb humiliated on national TV in Philly last week while the Pokes confidence hasnít been this high in some time after rolling into Seattle and outslugging the defending champs before a stunned Seahawks crowd. DeMarco Murray is the reason why the Pokes are growing into a formidable threat. Not having to rely on Romo to be the savior seemed to suit the Pokes well. Meanwhile, Eli Manning has painfully regressed and looked like a QB with no clue. Everything is really pointing to the Pokes looking like the heavy favorite to roll to the win, but something keeps telling me that the Pokes, gassed up on their pub and the media wonks nearly genuflecting before them on their 5-1 start are way overdue for a flat performance.

Pick-New York Giants (Upset of the Week)

49ers (4-2) @ Broncos (4-1)

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Broncos by 7

Last Week Broncos defeated Jets 31-17, 49ers defeated Rams 31-17

Fast Fact Peyton Manning needs 3 TDís surpass Brett Favreís all time touchdown passing mark (508)

The Broncos struggled mightily in Gotham and needed a late pick-six to ice their win over the Jets, meanwhile the Niners spotted the Rams a big lead and then stormed back with 31 straight points to win. Ordinarily I would like this as an upset for the Niners, but having back to back road games on a short week and going to Mile High on top of it is just too much. I think that Colin Kaepernick is playing fabulous and is looking more and more like a comfortable pocket passer who is very mobile instead of a running QB. I just canít see Manning not shining in primetime and not cashing in the chance to ride a record to a win. I think this game will be a fun shootout to watch.

Pick-Denver

Monday October 20

Texans (3-3) @ Steelers (0-0)

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Steelers by 3

Fast Fact In most recent back to back losses the Texans have allowed 694 passing yards and five touchdowns

Last Week Texans lost to Colts 33-28, Steelers lost to Browns 31-10

The Texans fell behind big to the Colts but rallied hard to make it a game late though they lost, the Steelers just got housed in Cleveland and are now in dead last in the AFC North. I think the scare factor of the Steelers is over, Their running game is inconsistent and though Big Ben is still the formidable factor he can only do so much and the once proud Steelers defense is getting trucked. I donít think that even the factor that they are playing at home holds sway as the Bucs rallied late to upset them. JJ Watt must be accounted for on every play, and I think he will be the disruptive force that makes the difference. On offense I think that Arian Foster has a breakout game and Andre Johnson makes a ton of big plays. This isnít an upsetÖ

Pick-Houston

Last Week: †8-6-1 (Lock & Upset Correct)

Overall: 51-39-1

Locks: 5-1

Upsets: 2-5

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