YouGabSports Blogs
Musings From The Hoodwood 11-25
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL College Football MLB NBA

This is sick...just sick...

Greetings from the Hoodwood, where the locals are preparing for a turkey feast

Leading Off: More Mad Money in MLB

Boston has the duckets and they are a spending them. The BoSox just dropped $88 Million on Hanley Ramirez the speedy former Dodger gives the Sawx some speed at the top of their lineup. But the Old Town team don’t seem to be done. It looks as if the Kung Fu Panda himself Pablo Sandoval will leave the Bay to ply his wares in Beantown and shore up a notoriously weak position on the Sox. Now keep in mind that the Sox are a year removed from winning the World Series but are coming off a last place 71-91 season will Ramirez and Sandoval make that big a difference or be another set of overpaid free agents in the 617…

NBA: Panic! In the 216 Are the Cavs in trouble?

It seems like the new big three in Cleveland aren’t clicking. The triumvirate of LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving looked to be the latest version of the hired guns who would come together and dominate the league. There is a small problem though, the Cavs at a pedestrian 6-7 are looking disjointed. James looks frustrated, Love looks like he wants no part of the paint, Irving looks like he doesn’t want to defer to James and David Blatt looks like a lost European coach way way out of his league. Now the Cavs won their latest, routing the youthful Magic, but the Cavs are looking up in the East at the Wizards and the rampaging Raptors who may be the best team that you’ve never heard of. The Cavs are taking time to jell but in this league, jelling better happen fast or things might get ugly. The natives are already restless.


MLB: Second thoughts about the Stanton deal

The numbers on the Giancarlo Stanton are staggering to be sure, 13 yrs $325 million. But this might be a more savvy deal than you first thought. Consider this: The deal is heavily backloaded, so the first part of the deal is really team friendly, the still have him at a fairly cheap price during his ascendant years. The deal also has an opt-out after six years so if Stanton is not happy he can head to another market. The move also makes other young stars like Justin Upton and Bryce Harper in rival divisional cities use that contract as a bar set for them to peg against. Don’t you think that those teams might have to feel the price sting of keeping their young studs and maybe having to let them go might benefit the Marlins. The number is mind blowing to be sure, but the Marlins might be crazy like a fox


Phat Dap

I gave dap to the awe inspiring performance of Melvin Gordon against Nebraska he broke a record that had stood for 15 years , but his record lasted barely 168 hours before Samaje  Perine rushed for an obscene 427 yards against Kansas Saturday. Here’s what is so cool, Gordon was super gracious when he found that his record was broken offering hearty congratulations to the Perine, who is a true freshman. Classy. Perine for his part when informed that he was closing on the record didn’t even want it, asking to be taken out to give others a chance to play. His offensive lineman heard this and demanded that Perine be put back in to break the record. He did and still unawares that he broke the record was carried off the field by his joyous linemen. Now Perrine had already ingratiated himself to his linemen by buying them boxes of pizza before the season started and after breaking the record let his linemen celebrate the record more than he did. According to Perine, he went back to his dorm and watched cartoons. That’s a player that Hoodwood can embrace!

Head Slap

To the Falcons Mike Smith who’s clock mismanagement may have critically damaged the Falcons playoff aspirations. Say what you want about the Falcons being the tied for first place team at 4-6 and the Browns being in last place at 6-4 but the Falcons were writing things late in the fourth quarter and were looking to take a late lead. With the ball nearing field goal range. Smith took an inexplicable timeout, and left the Browns with their full compliment of time outs which Brian Hoyer and the Dawgs took full advantage of to race back downfield on the subsequent possession and got close enough to bang through a field goal to steal a 26-24 win. The Falcons are shockingly still tied for first in the NFC South with a hideous 4-7 record while the Browns with the win are still tied for LAST in the AFC North.

Quick Hits

That catch by Odell Beckham Jr. Sunday night against the Pokes was SICK!!! Just ill to the maximum

Someone tell me why the Rays are overlooking a number of established managers like Dusty Baker, Ron Washington, Ron Gardenhire, and Kirk Gibson as well as noted younger talented skipper prospects like Barry Larkin,  Doug Mientkiewicz, and Doug Glanville  for bad retreads  like Manny Acta, Don Wakamatsu, Raul Ibanez and Kevin Cash?

Is Jameis Winston the most hated player in football?

The First game Tom Brady played in was a mop up loss in a Thanksgiving snoozer against the Lions in 2000, the Lions won 34-9, this year Brady was the dominant force in the game. The score 34-9 Pats….scary.

Is RGIII on the failed Heisman Heap?

Will the Sixers win ten this year? Will they win more than once a month?

Another scary figure…my odometer in front of the Hoodwood Hideout…

And later on that day I made a purchase for $7.77….kidding…

If Brian Hoyer keeps this up, Johnny Manziel will really be teaching those aerobic classes as Johnny Jammboogie

One week Jonas Gray was a pimp with 199 yards rushing, the next week he misses a meeting and doesn’t see the field at all…lesson here don’t cross Belichick.

Notre Dame??? Look Em up under the irrelevant column…again

My Fantasy Football team might just survive that three game November slide…

My beloved Bearcats gave up 50,41 & 55 points in 3 consecutive weeks, but have rebounded nicely to shutout UConn this past Saturday and that was a week after giving up 46 to East Carolina…go figure.

I despise Lasalle High School and their paid referees

Finally from the Hoodwood to your hood, have a safe, filling and joyous Thanksgiving! Until Next Post Fellow Sports fan





NFL Week 12 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions


Another middling week and I’ll try to get better, thankfully this is the last week of the byes as Pittsburgh (defeated Titans 27-24) and Carolina (lost to Falcons 19-17) are the last two teams to take a week off, odds are provided by ESPN and are strictly for entertainment and comparison purposes only. Since Im preparing for a Hoodwood feast I will have no money to spare you if you take the lines and get hosed.


Sunday November 23


Buccaneers (2-8) @ Bears (4-6)

Soldier Field, Chicago 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Bears by 5 ½

Last Week Buccaneers defeated Washington 27-7, Bears defeated Vikings 21-13

Fast Fact Bears QB Jay Cutler has thrown 6 of his 12 interceptions in his last four games.

The Bucs got a rare chance to be the bully in DC and rolled to an easy win while the Bears finally sent a home crowd happy as they rallied to beat the Vikings. I’m not really solid on either squad even less so on Jay Cutler, I’m so tempted to pick the Bucs as they have shown a tendency to win on the road, but I’m going to go with the home team and wish I hadn’t.



Jaguars (1-9) @ Colts (6-4)

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 1:00(CBS)

Favorite Colts by 14

Last Week Jaguars were on the bye; Colts lost to Patriots 42-20

Fast Fact Colts has won six straight division home games since a 22-17 loss to the Jaguars on Sept. 23, 2012.

The Jags are a week removed from a London beating, the head to Indy to face a Colts team that is looking for someone to beat on after taking an embarrassing beating at home last Sunday Night. While Blake Bortles and the Jags are showing signs of improving on all facets they are just catching the Colts at the absolute wrong time.

Pick- Indianapolis (Lock of the Week)


Titans (2-8) @ Eagles (7-3)

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Eagles by 11

Last Week Titans lost to Steelers 27-24, Eagles lost to Packers 53-20

Fast Fact Eagles are on a nine game home winning streak

Info on the game This is another gonna be painful game as the Titans as are coming in off a painful loss to Pittsburgh have to return to the Keystone State to face the Eagles who are coming off an awful beating in Lambeau. Mark Sanchez looks like he could have a nice bounceback after an atrocious showing the week previous. The Titans have been playing capably but have been on the wrong side of a few scoreboards, I just can’t take the Titans with the Eagles needing the win to keep pace with the Cowboys they will spare the Titans no quarter



Browns (6-4) @ Falcons (4-6)

Georgia Dome, Atlanta 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Falcons by 3

Last Week Browns lost to Texans 23-7, Falcons defeated Panthers 19-17

Fast Fact Before giving up 23 last week the Browns had allowed 11 points per game in their 3 game win streak.

First glance at the team’s records and you would think that the Browns were the team in first and the Falcons were team in last, when the exact opposite is the case. The Browns took a nasty pratfall at home against a shorthanded Texans squad, while the Falcons stole a gritty gutty game against the Panthers. I still am reluctant to trust the Browns though I really like the no-frills style of Brian Hoyer, the Falcons are even worse in the trust department though they are fighting of control of the suddenly super weak NFC South. This is another one of these I’m gonna regret the pick no matter which way I go




Lions (7-3) @ Patriots (8-2)

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

Favorite Patriots by 7

Last Week Lions lost to Cardinals 14-6, Patriots defeated Colts 42-20

Fast Fact The Lions have the league’s best scoring defense while the Pats have averaged better than 40 points in their last six wins

Info on the game

A great interconference game on tap here. The Lions lost a tough low scoring affair in the desert now have to take on the Pats high scoring offense right after. The Lions are a solid team and will have their hands full containing the dynamic Brady led offensive unit coming off a crisp road win over the Colts. With Calvin Johnson being available the Lions will be able to stretch a sometimes suspect Pats secondary. The Pats are so money at home though it would be foolish to bet against them.

Pick-New England


Packers (7-3) @ Vikings (4-6)

TCF Bank Stadium; Minneapolis 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Packers by 8

Last Week Packers defeated Eagles 53-20 Vikings lost to Bears 23-14 Packers

Fast Fact Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is 6-1 in his last 7 meetings with the Vikings

The Packers are on a serious scoring roll and you think that the Packers hammered the Vikes in their last meeting what prevents a rerun? Nothing really, but something tells me that Vikings will keep it a bit closer at home.

Pick-Green Bay


Bengals (6-3-1) @ Texans (5-5)

NRG Stadium, Houston 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Bengals by 2½

Last Week Bengals defeated Saints 27-10, Texans defeated Browns 23-7

Fast Fact Bengals QB Andy Dalton has yet to throw an interception in a road game this season

Stunning most pundits, your humble scribe included, the Bengals rolled into the Big Easy and stomped the Saints while the Texans romped in Cleveland. The Bengals are one of the biggest enigmas in the AFC if not the whole league. Andy Dalton plays like the franchise QB he’s being paid to be one week then a clueless noob the next. It’s hard to figure which team will show up and the Bengals must keep a tight lid on the irrepressible JJ Watt or the game will get out of hand fast. If Arian Foster is a no-go the Bengals still have to be concerned with heretofore unknown Alfred Blue. Point blank, I do not trust the Bengals on the road.



Rams (4-6) @ Chargers (6-4)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:05 (FOX)

Favorite Chargers by 6

Last Week Rams defeated Broncos 22-7, Chargers defeated Raiders 13-6

Fast Fact The Chargers averaged 29.4 points and 395.8 total yards during a five-game winning streak but have scuffled of late with 13.5 points and 258.8 yards per game over their last four going 1-3

The Rams showed that they were no pushover by shocking the Broncos. The Chargers shook off their long losing streak by grinding out a win against the hapless Raiders. The Rams on the road are way more suspect than they are at home though Shaun Hill is proving to be a better QB than most thought. I’m not betting against the Chargers at home

Pick- San Diego


Cardinals (9-1) @ Seahawks (6-4)

CenturyLink Stadium, Seattle 4:05 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 7½

Last Week Cardinals defeated Lions 14-6, Seahawks lost to Chiefs 24-20

Fast Fact the Cards six game winning streak is their longest in 40 years

An absolute high stakes game here as the Cards fresh off a dominating win against the Lions are looking to put an hammerlock on the division but face the Seahawks who got edged in Kansas City and are in real danger of being made irrelevant in the NFC playoff race. Drew Stanton is playing decently as a caretaker QB but will need to play a lot better against a still solid Seahawks secondary and though  recalcitrant Marshawn  Lynch remains a moody enigma, this will be a much stiffer test for the Cards who face a brutal back quarter of the schedule. Though 9-1 I’m not calling this an upset, because the Seahawks are still ruthless in their crib.



Washington (3-7) @ 49ers (6-4)

Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, CA, 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite 49ers by 9

Last Week Washington lost to Buccaneers 27-7, 49ers defeated Giants 16-10

Fast Fact Washington’s defense has only forced 3 interceptions against opposing offenses

Washington is a mess and their play against the Bucs further solidifies that thought, while the Niners ground out a tough win in Gotham. RGIII is looking less and less like a franchise QB and more like another overhyped Heisman bust. The Niners have tons of flaws but they are still a dangerous squad nonetheless. I’m thinking if the Bucs gave RGIII and company fits what will the rugged Niners defense do at home….

Pick-San Francisco

Dolphins (6-4) @ Broncos (7-3)

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver 4:25 (CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN)

Favorite Broncos by 7

Last Week Dolphins defeated Bills 22-9, Broncos lost to Rams 22-7

Fast Fact The Broncos 7 points and 24:10 possession time were the lowest for the team since 2012

While the Dolphins looked a bit sluggish, they got a ragged win over the Bills. The Rams dropped a stunning beatdown on the Broncos which shook their confidence something awful. I’m still not really sold on the Dolphins on either side of the ball and I think that their defense will get exposed in the thin Denver air against Peyton Manning looking for someone to take it out on.

Pick- Denver


Cowboys (7-3) @ Giants (3-7)

MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Cowboys by 3½

Last Week Cowboys were on their bye, Giants lost to 49ers 16-10

Fast Fact The Cowboys own the league's second-ranked rushing attack with 153.2 yards per game, while the Giants are last in the NFL at stopping the run, giving up 145.0 a contest.

The Pokes are ready and rested after their bye and head to Gotham to face the G-Men who are a train wreck. The bye couldn’t have come at a better time for Dallas as Romo and Murray got time to heal up from minor nicks. Eli Manning looks more and more lost every week, the Pokes defense will exacerbate this





Monday, November 24



Jets (2-8) vs Bills (5-5)

Ford Field, Detroit 7:00 (CBS)

Favorite No line

Last Week Jets were on their bye Dolphins lost to Bills 22-9

Fast Fact With the change in venue, all the tickets for this game in Detroit were distributed free of charge and a capacity crowd is expected

This game was rescheduled from Sunday due to the snowstorm that hit Western New York. This is the second time in four years that Detroit has been the substitute venue for a game, with limited practice time due to the venue move the game suddenly gets a lot more even. The Bills got ground up by the Dolphins in the South Florida heat. For some stupid reason, I have a feeling the lack of preparation due to the snow will haunt the Bills.

Pick- New York Jets (Upset of the Week)



Ravens (6-4) @ Saints (4-6)

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

Favorite Saints by 3 ½

Last Week Saints lost to Bengals 27-10, Ravens were on their bye

Fast Fact Saints QB Drew Brees has defeated every NFL team but the Ravens (He led the Chargers to a win 43-17 win over the Saints in 2004 and defeated the Chargers 37-32 in 2008

The Saints are falling apart and losing at their once impregnable fortress home, the Ravens come in rested but there is something I just don’t trust about the Ravens inconsistent play and though Drew Brees is not playing at his fearsome level there is something that just screams that the Saints won’t lose three home games in a row.

Pick-New Orleans


Last Week: 7-7  (Lock and Upset Incorrect)

Overall: 96-64-1

Locks: 8-3

Upsets: 2-9



NFL Week 12 Picks Thursday Game
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions



Chiefs (7-3) @ Raiders (0-10) Coliseum, Oakland 8:30 (NFLN)

Favorite Chiefs by 7½

Last Week Chiefs defeated Seahawks 24-20; Raiders lost to Chargers 13-6

Fast Fact The Raiders losing streak is currently the fourth longest in NFL history, behind the 2006-07 Dolphins (17 games), the 2008-09 Lions (19 games) and the 1976-77 Buccaneers (26 games).

This matchup looks like a gross mismatch, the Chiefs are nicely balanced between the rugged running of Jamaal Charles and the conservative throws of Alex Smith. They pounded the Seahawks and won a taut victory while the Raiders played gamely but are still stuck on winless island. Where there is the temptation to call the massive upset, say the Chiefs will look past the Raiders to their Thanksgiving weekend showdown with the Broncos. Im not that brave or crazy

Pick-Kansas City


Musings From The Hoodwood 11-18
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL NBA MLB College Football

You'd smile too if you was getting the jack he was...

Greetings from the Hoodwood where the snow falls and my fantasy team is falling apart…

MLB: Stanton gets paid

I like Giancarlo Stanton. He is a talented outfielder for the Miami Marlins who is fast growing a rep for being one of the best young sluggers in the game, finished 2nd in the NL MVP behind Clayton Kershaw and might have won it had he not missed the last three weeks of the season with a frightening injury after getting hit in the face with a pitch. Stanton has routinely smashed long homers and is gaining the title of one of the best young sluggers in the game but with still two years to go before he would hit the free agent runway, many pundits felt that while Stanton would continue to see his paychecks increase he was still a couple years from the Yankees, Red Sox or hometown Dodgers swooping in with a monster contract and spiriting him out of perennially cash strapped Miami. The Marlins however did a total script flip and stunned the sports world by inking Stanton to a stunning 13 year $325 million dollar deal. That $25 million a year kids. The deal makes Stanton the richest player in team sports, period. The deal makes the Pujols, Fielder, Cabrera, Trout and Votto deals look like bargain basement raids. Stanton is a quality player and the Marlins were prescient in locking him up but 13 years? Stanton will be a Marlin unless they decide to fire sale and the only teams that will be able to afford him would be the big markets, so one wonders how wise this deal really is. If Stanton is getting $325 million how much will players like Clayton Kershaw and Andrew McCutchen get?

College Football: Is Bama back?

You had the feeling that Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide were playin possum, that they watched as first Ole Miss then Mississippi State took the early reigns as College footballs top dog, knowing sooner or later that they would have a hand in their downfall. Though the Tide had a couple games where they would be pushed to the brink, most notably the OT thriller in Death Valley against LSU, they continue to move stealthily if not steadily up the ranks and after dominating then #1 Mississippi State in a 25-20 win that was not as close as you would think, the Tide now seem poised to get back on the inside of the college football playoff picture. There are other contenders to be sure, Oregon, unbeaten Florida State and a growing list of 1-loss teams like Ohio State and TCU but Tide are there to many of the Tide haters’ chagrin.

NBA: Is Kobe getting his comeuppance?

I grew up loving the Lakers, I was a big Kareem and Magic fan. I wanted to play that roughneck defense like Michael Cooper and the team just seemed like the essence of cool. When the Lakers fell on hard times after Magic retired, I still was a fan at a distance since they had drafted a fellow Bearcat Nick Van Exel (I even had his poster) But when the Lakers pulled a draft day coup to acquire the precocious Kobe Bryant (most forget he was not drafted by the Lakers but by the Charlotte Hornets, the team that is now the New Orleans Pelicans not the current Hornets) I fell out of favor with the Lakers. Despite the fact that they had acquired Shaquille O’Neal. There was just something that always rubbed me the wrong way about Kobe. I always thought him too preppy and not a real urban baller. Did he have game, there was no denying that fact. I just thought he was just a suburban rich-nik who was the beneficiary of having a ball player father and was more snobby than baller. The more I tried to like Kobe the more he kept coming off a self-centered spoiled asshole. After he got caught up with rape accusations in 2004, he just seemed like he was trying to weasel his way out of the charges. The fact that he more or less first paid hush money to the alleged victim then tried to implicate Shaq on the sly made him seem more weasely to me. Throw in some selfish play like no shooting in a whole quarter during a critical stretch in an elimination game in the playoffs and the Kobe mystique to me was always tarnished. But the Lake Show was always in contention and when they fell on some harder times and missed the playoffs, I really didn’t feel sorry for him, I knew that the Lakers would bounce back and Kobe would be playing for a contender. He led the Lakers to titles in 2009 and 2010 and kept them in contention for years but the signs of wear were showing, the Lakers were crumbling and were not able to lure talent to LA, nor keep the talent they had. Players like Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol left at the first chance that they could get leaving Kobe all by himself. His Kobe against the world mantra is not playing very well and with the cross-locker room Clippers now the “it” franchise in LA the Lakers are not even the marquee team in their own building, heck some would say that they are third behind the LA Kings who have won two Stanley Cups in the past three seasons. The Lakers are just plain horrid, and they have limped out to a 1-9 start dead last in the West even behind the neophyte Timberwolves. Lake Show fans put on a brave face but the reality is Kobe is the centerpiece of a shell. A team that once was great and now scares no one, though Kobe thinks that he can will his team to wins like Jordan did. Kobe aint MJ and won’t get any more titles, unless he jumps to the Clippers and tries to gravy train to a title which aint guaranteed in the uber deep West. He opined late last week that he was “jealous” of the Spurs, a team that has aged quite gracefully and to Kobe’s chagrin has as many titles as he does. The reality is that Kobe is reaping what he has sown and like a punch drunk boxer who is hanging on too long, doesn’t quite get that his time has passed.


Phat Dap

Goes to Wisconsin Running back Melvin Gordon III who rushed for a mindboggling 408 yards last Saturday. Now keep in mind a few things. Gordon did this on 25 carries, in 3 quarters and against…Nebraska. No not a directional FCS team. The famed blackshirt defense of Nebraska. How dope was the performance. Gordon outrushed a teams rushing output for the year in ¾ of a game. Gordon had 408 yards, Wake Forest has 341 yards for the entire season! Gordon broke the record set in 1999 set by LaDainian Tomlinson who gave Gordon mad props via Twitter for breaking his record. Hoodwood salutes Gordon on an unreal performance.

Head Slap

To Tony Williams the selfish Saints fan that got in the middle of what should have been a cool exchange. Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham scored his 2nd receiving touchdown in the midst of the Bengals 27-10 rout of the Saints in the Superdome on Sunday. Gresham tried to toss the ball to Christa Barrett a Bengals fan formerly from Versailles, Kentucky now living in the Big Easy. Williams elbowed Barrett out of the way and snatched the ball Gresham was trying to toss Barrett’s way then sat tone deaf as Barrett pleaded for the ball. Williams claimed he didn’t intend to elbow Barrett and was getting the ball for his grandson but instead came off looking like a chauvinistic self-centered asshole. The story does have a happy ending as not only the Saints gave Barrett a ball which she would donate to the Cincinnati Children’s hospital but Gresham autographed another ball and gave it to Barrett.

Quick Hits

I love the 24 hours of hoops going on today. You can guarantee that Hawai’i will be in the mix for that super late/super early game

Why is my fantasy team crumbling?

Bad week for the Mannings Eli looks like a boob in Gotham and Peyton has a horrid day in St. Louis

After much ado about the Bengals looking bad in primetime, they bounce back whip the Saints and are back in first

Will seven wins take the NFC South while there could be as many as four teams winning ten and sitting home?

I think the MVP voters got it right with Kershaw and Trout

The less you mention to me how horrible my picks were this week the better off you are...

Why do the pundits want Cincy to jettison Johnny Cueto so bad?

My beloved Bearcats tried to give it away but they bounced East Carolina and not only are bowl eligible for the 8th time in 9 years but still has an outside shot at taking conference.

My alma mater Mt. Healthy is shooting for its first ever regional title as they take on Cincinnati LaSalle at 12-0 the Fighting Owls are having their best season ever and I’ll be there to watch them hopefully take the next step to the State Semis!

Until Next post fellow Sports Fans!

NFL Week 11 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Thursday November 13

Bills (5-4) @ Dolphins (5-4)

SunLife Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL 8:25 (NFLN)

Favorite Dolphins by 4

Last Week Bills lost to Chiefs 17-13, Dolphins lost to Lions 20-16

Fast Fact The Bills allowed 405 rushing yards in their first six games but 460 in their last three.

Both teams are coming in the short week off of tough close losses, Ryan Tannehill should be a go for the  Fins who need their running game to play light years better than the puny 50 yard output against the Lions if they hope to keep the withering Bills pass rush totally honest.  Kyle Orton is playing respectably for the Bills and having a hale Sammy Watkins will help his numbers immensely. As tight as the AFC playoff picture is this may very well be a virtual elimination game. I’m going with the home team here but I’m not the most confident about it



Sunday November 16

Falcons (3-6) @ Panthers (3-6-1)

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

Favorite Falcons by 1

Last Week Falcons defeated Buccaneers 27-17; Panthers lost to Eagles 45-21

Fast Fact Panthers QB Cam Newton has taken 561 hits (tackles, sacks, pressures) since coming in the league in 2011. The next closest QB has barely half that total in the time frame

What most would say would be a throwaway game is actually a game to stay in the divisional race. Both teams are a mess, though the Falcons are coming off a decently played win over the hapless Bucs while the Panthers are bedeviled by a nonexistent pass rush and a porous offensive line.  This game is a tossup but for some reason I trust the Panthers less than I do the equally weak Falcons



Vikings (4-5) @ Bears (3-6)

Soldier Field, Chicago 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Bears by 3

Last Week Vikings were on their bye; Bears lost to Packers 55-14

Fast Fact The Bears are the first team since the 1923 Rochester Jeffersons (yes that was an NFL team) to give up 50 or more points in back to back games

The Bears are imploding badly, their nationally television destructions at the hands of the Pats and Packers are telling a grim story. The well-rested Vikes are no juggernaut but have been slowly improving and while not likely to have the service of Adrian Peterson will have a decent running attack at their disposal and a withering rush to bother an increasingly erratic Jay Cutler. The Vikes are dicey on the road and the Bears are winless at home. But I think the Bears are quitting on themselves and the Vikes are more than happy to help turn the out the lights further.



Texans (4-5) @ Browns (6-3)

FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Browns by 3

Last Week Texans were on their bye; Browns defeated Bengals 24-3

Fast Fact Browns run defense has allowed an average of 91.7 yards rushing a game in their 3 game win streak

Fresh off a bye the Texans head to the frosty climes of Northern Ohio to face the Browns who are flying high after a Thursday beatdown of their despised downstate rivals. The Browns stout run defense will face a stern test against the redoubtable running of the Texans Arian Foster. While Brian Hoyer isn’t flashy, he pilots the Browns offense like a grizzled vet and his poised play has kept the Browns steady and win playing well. In a super tough AFC North, that could keep them in the hunt as stakes on these games get higher. This will be a grimy gritty game, I keep waiting for the Browns to take their expected pratfall but with Texans still unsettled at QB, it bodes well for the home team here



Seahawks (6-3) @ Chiefs (6-3)

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Chiefs by 2½

Last Week Seahawks defeated Giants 38-17; Chiefs defeated Bills 17-13

Fast Fact This is matchup of teams that play in the loudest NFL stadiums as Arrowhead and CenturyLink in Seattle have traded the title at least six times over the last three years with Arrowhead holding the current record with an eardrum splitting 142.9 dB…yikes!

This ultra-noisy matchup features two team trying to stay in contention in their respective conferences. The Seahawks are trying to hold on to their champs mantle as long as they can but Russell Wilson is looking quite mortal and while Marshawn Lynch continues to run rugged, the defense is a shadow of its once formidable self. The Chiefs are staying strong with a super tight running game, and Alex Smith playing mostly mistake free ball, The Seahawks are a tough team still but going in to KC is a nightmare even for a noise tested squad like the Hawks. I just think that the Chiefs are a team to reckon with and catching them at their crib is not good

Pick-Kansas City 


Bengals (5-3-1) @ Saints (4-5)

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Saints by 7½

Last Week Bengals lost to Browns 24-3, Saints lost to 49ers 27-24 in OT

Fast Fact

Looking at the records you would think that the Bengals are the first place team and the Saints are the 3rd place team scuffling along, when it’s the exact reverse. The Bengals are scrambling after a humiliating home loss to their upstate rivals and the Saints while leading the woefully weak NFC South are scrambling themselves after a heartbreaking OT loss to the Niners. Both team are wildly inconsistent, but I’m just not real sold on the Bengals as of late especially on the road. Had the Saints won last week I would say the Bengals could use this as a real bounce back. But I’m not betting on the Saints to lose back to back at home. And given the Bengals Andy Dalton skittish play as of late, I just can’t call an upset here and despite the records a Bengals win here would be an upset, but it’s not happening here.

Pick-New Orleans


Broncos (7-2) @ Rams (3-6)

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

Favorite Broncos by 9

Last Week Broncos defeated Raiders 41-17, Rams lost Cardinals 31-14

Fast Fact The Broncos have never won in St. Louis (tied the then St. Louis Cardinals in 1973 and are 0-2 against the Rams)

The Broncos bounced back strong to whip the Raiders while the Rams struggled in the desert. Peyton Manning regained his touch and that really bad news for the Rams who have been up and down as of late, their pattern has been win-loss and are due for a win, but the Broncos look to be in no mood to play niceties here. I think Manning will abuse the Rams suspect secondary while the Rams are turning back to Shaun Hill for the ineffective Austin Davis. It won’t matter much as the Broncos should roll to the win

Pick-Denver (Lock of the week)


49ers (5-4) @ New York Giants (3-6)

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

Favorite 49ers by 3½

Last Week 49ers defeated Saints 27-24 in OT; Giants lost to the Seahawks 38-17

Fast Fact the Niners haven’t won in NYC against the Giants since 2002 (lost last two visits)

The Niners stole a controversial win in the Big Easy and stay on the fringes of the NFC playoff picture while the G-Men are crumbling badly as evidence by the whomping that they got in Seattle last week. I’ve long maintained that west coast teams going east for a 1p kickoff are often in trouble and I would think that the Niners would be in some kind of trouble but I’m thinking that the G-Men’s butter booty soft defense is in no shape to slow down the Niners rugged running game and Colin Kaepernick’s dynamic passing. I think the Niners grind out a tight win

Pick-San Francisco


Buccaneers (1-8) @ Washington (3-6)

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

Favorite Washington by 7½

Last Week Buccaneers lost to Falcons 27-17; Washington was on a bye

Fast Fact The Buccaneers are giving up 30.2 points a game only Lovie Smith’s former team in Chicago (30.8) gives up more.

The Bucs are wandering through this long season, while Washington is trying to wake up from this nightmare season after their bye. This is a real who cares game, the Bucs defense is pretty porous and while Washington welcomes back RG3 they lack a real direction and identity. I’m thinking that the Bucs won’t be able to garner anymore road wins this season.




Raiders (0-9) @ Chargers (5-4)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:05 (CBS)

Favorite Chargers by 10½

Last Week Raiders lost to Broncos 41-17, Chargers were on their bye

Fast Fact The Chargers were shutout in week 9 for the first time since 1999

The Chargers were flying high when they went to the East Bay to face the scuffling Raiders but haven’t won since they pulled out a 31-28 win four weeks ago. The Raiders are trying their best but find a way to come apart at critical junctures. The Broncos toyed with them a while before tearing them up last week while the Chargers have had a week to brood over their 37-0 implosion against the Dolphins before their bye. I want the Raiders to pick up a win since they are seriously looking like a reverse table run. But I can’t find a win here. The Chargers need a bounce back in the worst way and they will get one here.

Pick-San Diego


Lions (7-2) @ Cardinals (8-1)

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

Favorite Cardinals by 1

Last Week Lions defeated Dolphins 20-13; Cardinals defeated Rams 31-14

Fast Fact The Lions haven’t won in Arizona since 1993

The late NFC games are top notch, the Lions are playing like a tough team but have a steep challenge facing the Cards in their desert stronghold. The Lions are looking to follow up their gritty comeback win while the Cards are hoping that Drew Stanton will be able to fill in capably for the injured Carson Palmer. I think that the Lions rugged defense will be too tall a task for the young Stanton

Pick-Detroit (Upset of the Week)


Eagles (7-2) @ Packers (6-3)

Lambeau Field, Green Bay 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Packers by 5½

Last Week Eagles defeated Panthers 45-21, Packers defeated Bears 55--14

Fast Fact Packers have won its games at Lambeau by an average of 25.3 points this season

Both teams are coming off primetime beatdown wins, Mark Sanchez looked especially crisp in his return to starting duties, but the curve gets really steep facing the Packers in Lambeau who are coming off a thrashing of the Bears last Sunday night. Now while I like the Eagles high powered offense and think that Sanchez looks good running, better than he ever did with the Jets the Packers defense isn’t soft like the Panthers and you can believe the likes of Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and AJ Hawk will put more pressure on him. While Aaron Rodgers won’t come close to the 6 TD first half performance he had last week he should be able to get a solid performance enough to get the win.

Pick-Green Bay


Patriots (0-0) @ Colts (0-0)

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Colts by 3

Last Week Both teams were on their respective byes

Fast Fact The Pats have averaged 40.2 points during their 5 game win streak.

The Primetime matchup is a doozy both teams rested up for a high scoring shootout, The Pats have been scoring in obscene bunches during their 5 game win streak but aside from a quick run to Buffalo, they haven’t went far on the road during their win streak Tom Brady has been putting rumors of his slide to rest while Andrew Luck is representing the young guns very well with his sharp play. Both teams are strikingly similar but I’m real curious which defense will come out looking better. It’s a tossup to be sure. I’m going to bet on the home team and likely be wrong.






Monday November 16


Steelers (6-3) @ Titans (2-7)

LP Field, Nashville 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Steelers by 6½

Last Week Steelers lost to Jets 20-13, Titans lost to Ravens 21-7

Fast Fact Steelers have allowed 36 points on opponents’ first possession this season, league worst

The Steelers are coming in off an embarrassing loss to the lowly Jets and now have to face a Titans team that stood bravely against the Ravens before losing a tight game. The Steelers should be able to get their offense in gear against the Titans soft defensive front and Zach Mettenberger might have a more difficult time against the Steelers defensive rush. The Titans are not the best of teams but the Steelers for some puzzling reason struggle against weaker teams that they should drill. As tempted as I am to call another stunning upset of the Steelers here. I can’t do it.



Last Week: 9-4 (Lock Correct/Upset Incorrect)

Overall: 89-57-1

Locks: 8-2

Upsets: 2-8



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