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

 

 

Thursday October 23

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

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

Favorite Broncos by 9½

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 QB’s 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

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 ’71 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 9½

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 farces…uh matchups. I don’t 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 Flacco’s 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 5½

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 nation’s 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 Washington’s puts little fear in defenses. Who wins? Who cares? Toss a coin and hope that you don’t have seat near a TV that has this game. I’ll 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 ½

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 hadn’t 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 isn’t 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 can’t 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 couldn’t hold off a last second score. Jay Cutler plays mediocre at home, point blank and you just can’t trust his play. I’m 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 I’m less likely to trust Ryan Tannehill who has underperformed more often than not. I’m 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. I’m 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 6½

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 3½

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 team’s 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 QB’s I’m pretty sure that the points won’t 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 6½

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 hasn’t 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 TD’s surpass Brett Favre’s 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 can’t 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 don’t 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 isn’t an upset…

Pick-Houston

 

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

Overall: 51-39-1

Locks: 5-1

Upsets: 2-5

 

 

Musings From The Hoodwood 10-14
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL College Football MLB NBA

 

Bad sportsmanship on display in Philly

 

 

Greetings from the Hoodwood, where sometimes you are just trying to get by.

 

College Football: Look Who’s Running things…Mississippi State?

Most casual observers of college football would look at the fact that Florida State dropped from the #1 slot for an SEC team and shrug their shoulders, the fact that the team that replaced them is not one of the usual suspects from the SEC is the one that would be the eye catching fact. Its not Bama, not LSU not Auburn. Its Mississippi State. Read the following line slowly and digest it.

Mississippi State is the #1 team in the country in college football.

And their in-state arch rival Ole Miss, is lurking dangerously at #3. The oft maligned Magnolia State who was more infamous for the antics of Ross Barnett and the shameful chapters of the civil rights movement are now living large with two of the best teams in the country. From the Bulldogs do everything QB with the cool name, Dak Prescott to the Rebels junkyard dog tough defense that just abuses its opposition. These teams are fun to watch and are making the football world sit up and notice. The Egg Bowl on November 29th could be for a lot higher stakes than simple bragging rights, it could better the Iron Bowl as the conference’s big game in the SEC West as the gateway to the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. Mississippi State has only a trip to Tuscaloosa on its docket that may keep them from heading to their showdown game unbeaten. Ole Miss has a bit of a tougher run, they have head to Baton Rouge for a likely Saturday night tangle in the Bayou, never a good time then they host Auburn the very next week. The very idea that these team could be playing the final regular season game as unbeatens should quicken the pulse.

Meanwhile Florida State keeps chugging along, despite the growing noise that Jameis Winston may still face some sort of disciplinary actions for his alleged involvement in a sexual assault case, this all in front of a sort of conference showdown with Notre Dame who is still an independent but seem to be playing a few ACC teams here and there. But a matchup of unbeaten teams this late in October is always nice to see.

 

NFL: A tie?

For reasons I cant explain, Ive seen on TV each of the last three tie games. In 2012 I sat in my man cave and watched the Rams and 49ers slug into early evening but without a victor in a 24 all draw, last season I was visiting my Grampy and watched my Vikes and the Pack battle to a 26 all standoff, Sunday I again was visiting my Grampy and caught the tail end of a wild 37 all draw that set an NFL record for the highest scoring tie since 1974. The thing that amazes me about ties is the general football populaces ignorance about overtime and tie games. Tie games to be sure are a rarity nowadays, there have only been 20 ties since overtime has been instituted for regular season games in 1974. Before then overtime only happened in playoff games and only had happened four times in NFL history before the extra period was instituted for all games.  Since the overtime rules were instituted the Packers have had the most ties with 5, and all teams in the NFL except Houston, Jacksonville and Seattle have had ties. Though the Patriots have not had a tie game since the merger, their nine ties in their AFL days go forward with their overall won-loss total. Ties were a regular occurrence before 1974, if the 60 minutes were played and the score was tied that’s what it went into the books as.  There was at least one tie game in the NFL each season from 1952-1974 and as many as nine in 1967 & 1970, it wasn’t uncommon to see teams with 2 and sometimes 3 ties on their ledger the 1963 Bears finished 11-1-2 in their title season, I liked the 1965 San Diego Chargers who won the AFL West with a 9-2-3 record. More ties than losses, go figure. In 1970, every team in both the AFC and NFC West had at least one tie. 1975 was the first full season with no ties. And only 19 times since the Steelers and Broncos played to a 35 all draw in 1974, with the addition of sudden death then the modified possession overtime there have been more OT wins and fewer times that the game has ended in a draw. Ironically the Bengals last tie was at home due to a missed field goal.

But now you have the crying wonks. “Uhnnnnh there should be a winner, keep playing.” Can you imagine if either of these teams had to play on Thursday and had to keep playing till there was a winner?

 

 

Phat Dap

Its rare when I give dap to a St. Louis Cardinal, since Im not a big fan of them, but I always like to see someone gain a measure of redemption. And Kolten Wong got a bit of it Sunday night against the Giants. Wong got picked off to end a World Series game last year and in some circles wore the goat horns for the Cards lost to Boston. But Wong had a solid year for the RedBirds and clubbed a walk off homer in Game 2 to level the NLCS at a game a piece heading to the Bay Area. I still think the Giants are the better team and will win in 5 or 6 but Wong won a game by himself Sunday.

 

Head Slap

To the useless jerk in Philly that was clapping over the prone figure of Victor Cruz as he lay in agony on the Lincoln Financial Field turf Sunday. Cruz tore his patella tendon and is out for the rest of the season and the picture in the NY Daily News said it all, that was uncalled for.

 

Quick Hits

 

The TCU-Baylor game was a fun shootout to watch, Ill bet the score of either of their basketball games doesn’t match the 61-58 score

 

The Rain was the only thing that could stop the Royals, good to see that Buck Showalter hasn’t lost his overmanaging touch

 

KD out for 6-8 weeks with a foot injury…not fresh at all. You know Russell Westbrook is salivating at the chance to jack up shots

 

Ok so Romo and the Pokes beat the Seahawks…when he wins in the crunch let me know

 

Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!

 

NFL Week 6 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

If not for a mistype (I wanted to pick Cleveland and typed Tennessee) and a pick that I even said as much that was going to be a pick that I was going to regret (Cincinnati) I would have notched 11 wins, but 9 is still a decent number. Still nonetheless I strive to get better and submitted for your review perusal and approval are this week’s peerless picks. The Chiefs (lost to 49ers 22-17) and the Saints (defeated Buccaneers 37-31 in OT) are the only teams with a bye this week.  Odds are provided by ESPN.com and are strictly for entertainment and comparison purposes only. I will not hesitate to rat you to your bookie if you go into hiding after betting the lines and losing.

 

Thursday

Colts (3-2) @ Texans (3-2)

NRG Stadium, Houston  8:25 (CBS/NFLN)

Favorite Colts by 2½

Last Week Colts defeated Ravens 20-13, Texans lost to Cowboys 20-17 in OT

Fast Fact Colts lead the series by the count 20-4; a visiting team has yet to win a Thursday night game this year

The week leads off with a crucial divisional showdown. The Colts are fast putting their 0-2 start further and further in their rearview as they have reeled off 3 straight quality wins. Andrew Luck is looking more and more like one of the elite signal callers in the game with his crisp precise passing. The Texans took a tough loss to the Pokes but have one of the more feared defensive units in the game with the brooding bruiser JJ Watt leading the charge. This is a game way too close to call and happily for CBS and NFLN will be a tenser drama than the five previous Thursday. I think that the Colts should be able to control the offensive tempo and put enough points to outslug the home team.

Pick-Indianapolis

 

Sunday

Patriots (3-2) @ Bills (3-2)

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

Favorite Patriots by 2½

Last Week Patriots defeated Bengals 43-17, Bills defeated Lions 17-14

Fast Fact This is the first pro football that Wilson family has not been involved in since 1959

Shaking off rumors of infighting and an imminent collapse, the Pats throttled the Bengals on Sunday Night looking like Pats teams that we’ve grown accustomed to, while the Bills gave the Wilson family a nice sendoff as former owners with a win in Detroit (where the Wilson family is originally from) I don’t think the Pats demise was seriously exaggerated and the Bills are still a team searching for a real identity. The Pats have been dominant in B’Lo and I don’t see a real reason why they shouldn’t win

Pick-New England

 

Panthers (3-2) @ Bengals (3-1)

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Bengals by 6 ½

Last Week Panthers defeated Bears 31-24, Bengals lost to Patriots 43-17

Fast Fact The Bengals are tied with the Pats for the longest current home win streak at 11

The Panthers remain one of the more puzzling teams in the NFL, playing like a team with something to prove they rallied smartly to beat the Bears. While the Bengals hoping to make a big impression on a national stage got housed on Sunday Night. I don’t think that the previous game were true indicators of the teams’ outlook for the season. The Panthers still have no running game and the return of Vontaze Burfict will bolster a defense that got trampled by the Pats two tight end sets, though their offense will be missing star wideout AJ Green (no relation) The Bengals have played a lot better at home and I don’t trust Carolina to be able to play good enough offensively to change that thinking.

Pick-Cincinnati

 

Lions (3-2) @ Vikings (2-3)

TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Vikings by 2

Last Week Lions lost to Bills 17-14, Vikings lost to Packers 42-10

Fast Fact The Vikings have won 13-4

The Lions whined about the Bills carrying Jim Schwartz off the field as their defensive coordinator but the fact remains they took another puzzling loss and had no one to blame but themselves. They head to Minnesota to face a Vikes team that got strafed and steamrolled on Thursday night. With the return to health of their dynamic QB Teddy Bridgewater the Vikes have high hopes for a better offensive output, but facing a stingy Lions defense who lead the league yards and first downs allowed. With Megatron Johnson slowed and possibly out with an injury the onus falls on Golden Tate to pick up the slack. I will go out on a limb and say the more things change…

Pick-Minnesota

 

Steelers (3-2) @ Browns (2-2)

First Energy Stadium, Cleveland 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Browns by 1

Last Week Steelers defeated Jaguars 17-9, Browns defeated Titans 29-28

Fast Fact The Browns 25 point rally to win over the Titans last week was the largest comeback for a road team in NFL history

The Steelers have been tottering along, their offense and defense is becoming the textbook definition of inconsistent. That said the Browns have quietly gotten rather dangerous with a heroic rally from a 28-3 deficit to shock the Titans before a stunned Nashville throng. I really don’t trust either team but I’m looking at the Steelers propensity to blow leads. I’m going to regret this but the Browns have been more sharper on offense and play tough in the second half. If they have a lead at halftime they could run the Steelers out. Here goes nothing, I call this an upset because the Steelers like to lord their dominance over the Browns and I think that they get another comeuppance this week.

Pick-Cleveland (Upset of the week)

 

Ravens (3-2) @ Buccaneers (1-4)

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Ravens by 3½

Last Week Ravens lost to Colts 20-13 Buccaneers lost to Saints 37-31 in OT

Fast Fact Both teams sport 3 game winning streaks against their opposite conference

The Ravens were hampered by a stunning inability to move the ball at all against the Colts, after moving the ball easily the week before. They should be able to get their offense back rolling against the Bucs who give up points by the bushel and yards by the acre. I’m looking at Joe Flacco to get his touch back against a putrid Bucs secondary while Mike Glennon continues to struggle against the Ravens rejuvenated defensive corps

Pick-Baltimore

 

Packers (3-2) @ Dolphins (2-2)

Sun Life Stadium; Miami Gardens, FL 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Packers by 3

Last Week Packers defeated Vikings 42-10, Dolphins were on their bye

Fast Fact The Packers are 3-10 against the Dolphins, their worst ledger against any team

The Packers barely broke a sweat in thrashing the Vikes while the Dolphins are well rested after a bye following a London style beatdown of the Raiders. I think that the Dolphins will be able to move the ball against the weak Packers run defense. I know I should go with the Packers crisp offensive efficiency but something just tells me the Packers will melt in the south Florida heat. Call it a hunch

Pick-Miami

 

Broncos (3-1) @ Jets (1-4)

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

Favorite Broncos by 8½

Last Week Broncos defeated Cardinals 41-20, Jets lost to Chargers 31-0

Fast Fact Peyton Manning needs five touchdown passes to match Brett Favre’s record career mark. Manning has thrown five touchdowns eight times in his career, including twice last season

The Broncos toyed with the Cards for a while then blew them away behind PMannings precise passing, while the Jets are looking more and more confused with each passing week. Geno Smith is looking like more and more like a buster quarterback than the long awaited franchise savior. I don’t care if the Broncos are a western team heading east, they are just that much better than the Jets and the grins and jeers from their buffoon coach are getting more and more far in between. This game shouldn’t even be close.

Pick-Denver (Lock of the Week)

 

Jaguars (0-5) @ Titans (1-4)

LP Field, Nashville 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Titans by 4

Last Week Jaguars lost to Steelers 17-9, Titans lost to Browns 29-28

Fast Fact Since allowing ten points in their opening win at Kansas City the Titans have allowed 32.3 points a game in their four game losing streak

The Jags have been playing better as of late but have no wins to show for it, meanwhile the memory of the upset win in Kansas City is but a distant memory as the losses are piling up none more painful than the fall from ahead loss to Cleveland. I like the development of Blake Bortles, though the Jags have no wins to show for it. There will be one for his efforts today

Pick-Jacksonville

 

Chargers (4-1) @ Raiders (0-4)

O.Co Coliseum, Oakland 4:05 (CBS)

Favorite Chargers by 7½

Last Week Chargers defeated Jets 31-0, Raiders were on their bye

Fast Fact The Raiders have the longest NFL losing streak at 11

The Chargers looking chillingly crisp in dismantling the woeful Jets, and get another joke team to play in the Raiders who have just looked abysmal. Do the Chargers have the tools to challenge the Broncos and Chiefs in the AFC West, playing like this? You betcha. They are solid on both sides of the ball and Philip Rivers is enjoying a renaissance as a signal caller. The game? You think the Raiders are really going to give it a game? Ok it’s in Oakland, and it might stay close for a while over under is one quarter

Pick-San Diego

 

Cowboys (4-1) @ Seahawks (3-1)

CenturyLink Field, Seattle 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 8½

Last Week Cowboys defeated Texans 20-17 in OT, Seahawks defeated Washington 27-17

Fast Fact Seahawks QB Russell Wilson leads the NFL in completion percentage at 70.3 Cowboys QB Tony Romo is second at 69.2

The Pokes continue to be the darling of the media pundits with their continued strong start, while the Seahawks dominated the game more than the scoreboard would show in DC. The Pokes offensive balance has been their strength and DeMarco Murray has been dominant but they have played weak teams with the exception of the Texans. The Seahawks were three dumb penalties away from blowing Washington out, those three penalties wiped out 21 points. I refuse to jump on the Pokes bandwagon (I never will to be sure, but I’m still leery of their legitimacy as an NFC contender) yet. I think winning the noise factory that is CenturyLink is too tall an order and that Seahawks defense will stop Murray and badger Romo into mistakes. The spread is way too high, but the Seahawks still win.

Pick-Seattle

 

Washington (1-4) @ Cardinals (3-1)

University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, AZ 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Cardinals by 2½

Last Week Washington lost to Seahawks 27-17, Cardinals lost to Broncos 41-20

Fast Fact Washington has won the last seven meetings

Washington got trampled on something serious on Monday while the Cards hung with the Broncos for a while then got worn out late. I just do not trust Washington’s ability to move the ball in spite of Kirk Cousins discovering that DeSean Jackson is a viable offensive threat. The Cards defense while not as good as Seattle is good and should rebound nicely but their lack of offensive punch is going to be a troubling point on more than a few occasions though I don’t think that this will be one of them.

Pick-Arizona

 

Bears (2-3) @ Falcons (2-3)

Georgia Dome, Atlanta 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Falcons by 3

Last Week Bears lost to Panthers 31-24, Falcons lost to Giants 30-20

Fast Fact Falcons WR Devin Hester recorded 19 of his 20 return TD’s with his opponent

The Bears are a tough team to figure, and Jay Cutler is regressing to his usual maddening inconsistent play. The Falcons for their part are looking like a one dimensional team, tough at home but road kill outside of the friendly confines of the ATL. The thing I detest about the Bears is the minute you write them off they roll to wins and when you think that they are coming together they fall flat. I don’t trust Matty Ice that much anymore but I trust Cutler less.

Pick-Atlanta

 

 

Giants (3-2) @ Eagles (4-1)

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Eagles by 2 ½

Last Week Giants defeated Falcons 30-20, Eagles defeated Rams 34-28

Fast Fact Giants QB Eli Manning is completing 70.1 percent of his passes and has a 115.2 passer rating in the Giants three game win streak

The G-Men have looked sharp in their 3 game win streak and head into Philly to face their bitter divisional rival. The Eagles are 4-1 but their offense is far from the juggernaut that it was last year. They are winning games with defensive and special team’s proficiency. It seems that Eli Manning is getting the hang of the new offense that was installed and is spreading the ball around more. I don’t know why but I can’t shake the feeling that the spotty play of Shady McCoy isn’t a temporary thing and that Nick Foles was a one season flash. The G-Men are a ragged mutt of a team but they seem to always be right there in the mix when you are ready to write them off.

Pick-New York Giants

 

Monday October 13

 

49ers (3-2) @ Rams (1-3)

Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite 49ers by 3½

Fast Fact The Niners have allowed 282.8 yards of offense a game and have held the last two passers to under 200 yards passing

Last Week 49ers defeated Chiefs 22-17, Rams lost to Eagles 34-28

The Niners grinded out an ugly win against the Chiefs but winning ugly beats the pretty losses in St. Louis where the Rams rally in Philly fell short. Jim Harbaugh’s seat seems to get warmer by the day. But the offense still plays efficient and the defense is still its rugged self. The Rams are just a mess, their offense is way too inconsistent and though rookie Austin Davis seems capable he will make mistakes and you can’t make mistakes against this defense.

Pick-San Francisco

 

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

Overall: 43-33

Locks: 4-1

Upsets: 1-4

 

 

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