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

Thursday

Chiefs (7-3) @ Raiders (0-10)

o.co Coliseum, Oakland 8:30†(NFLN)

Favorite Chiefs by 7Ĺ

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 apartÖ

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 hatersí 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 OíNeal. 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 didnít 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 ďitĒ 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 wonít 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 ďjealousĒ of the Spurs, a team that has aged quite gracefully and to Kobeís 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, doesnít quite get that his time has passed.

PHAT DAP/HEAD SLAP

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 againstÖNebraska. 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 ĺ 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 Barrettís way then sat tone deaf as Barrett pleaded for the ball. Williams claimed he didnít 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 Childrenís 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 Hawaiíi 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 Iíll 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. Iím going with the home team here but Iím not the most confident about it

Pick-Miami

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

Pick-Atlanta

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.

Pick-Minnesota

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 isnít 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

Pick-Cleveland

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

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Chiefs by 2Ĺ

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 dBÖyikes!

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 7Ĺ

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 itís 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 Iím 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 Iím 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 canít call an upset here and despite the records a Bengals win here would be an upset, but itís 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 wonít 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 3Ĺ

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

Fast Fact the Niners havenít 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. Iíve 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 Iím thinking that the G-Menís butter booty soft defense is in no shape to slow down the Niners rugged running game and Colin Kaepernickís 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 7Ĺ

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 Smithís 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. Iím thinking that the Bucs wonít be able to garner anymore road wins this season.

Pick-Washington

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

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:05 (CBS)

Favorite Chargers by 10Ĺ

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 havenít 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 canít 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 havenít 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 5Ĺ

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 isnít 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 wonít 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 havenít 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 Iím real curious which defense will come out looking better. Itís a tossup to be sure. Iím going to bet on the home team and likely be wrong.

Pick-Indianapolis

Monday November 16

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

LP Field, Nashville 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Steelers by 6Ĺ

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

Fast Fact Steelers have allowed 36 points on opponentsí 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 canít do it.

Pick-Pittsburgh

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

Overall: 89-57-1

Locks: 8-2

Upsets: 2-8

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

Greetings from the Hoodwood, where the proud men and women who served our country are always honored and revered. We salute our veterans today and everyday!

Leading off: Another wild weekend in football

I love this time of the year in sports, except for the shortening days, the football is what I crave and enjoy. High school is getting into the big time playoff atmosphere, colleges are grinding through the conference schedules with the stakes getting higher and higher every week. And the NFL is its usual wild and wacky self. Preps and Pros have a way of shaking themselves out as November progresses. Before this year I used to rail against the notion that the regular season was the playoff to shake the pretenders out, but what I like is that you have the conferences that play and the conference title games to follow. Then the plain jane named college football playoff its an exciting buildup and now you have the high powered games that really do act as a knockout stage. Examples:

Arizona State proves ND is fake again

Notre Dame Seems to always be the one team the pundits want so badly to be the great national power, but it seems that as of late the Irish seems to fold on the national stage. This time in Tempe in Sun Devil Stadium where Arizona State raced out to a huge 34-3 lead then weathered a hard charge rally by the Irish that had their faithful believing that they were going to rally for another predestined win. But a funny thing happened in the desert, the Sun Devils buckled but didnt break, cashing in on a pick six, they parried the Irish charge and rolled to a 55-31 win. I think we've seen the last of the Irish this year...good riddance. Ive long railed against the fake Irish and their supposed superiority, but playing all these cupcakes and soft teams in the friendly confines of South Bend and other Irish friendly venues like Yankee Stadium comes back to bite them hard when they play in a venue that isnt kowtowing to them and the audience is truly hostile. Both times the Irish played as a true visitor they have lost and Ill bet that they will lose when they play at USC too...

Ohio State: Comeback Bucks?

I saw the Buckeyes get taken to the woodshed by Va. Tech to begin the season. As someone who loathes the Bucks and their noisy arrogant fans, I saw it as a delicious comeuppance. I saw a flustered JT Barrett and thought that my beloved Bearcats had a real chance to pull an upset. Well of course we know how that went. The Bucks rolled the Bearcats on the last Saturday and September and have rolled to a number of wins. But after struggling with a so-so Penn State, went to East Lansing to face the 8th†ranked Spartans. Falling behind 21-14 in the 2nd†after Sparty lumbered downfield on a methodical drive the Bucks looked like they were actually in peril. But the Bucks began ripping off points. Barrett looked more and more poised as the game went on and shredded the vaunted Spartan defense. When it was all said and done the Bucks had a 49-38 win suddenly they look more and more like a formidable threat and nearing the head of the 1-loss teams that have a realistic shot at being selected for the College Football playoff. I still loath the Bucks make no mistake but as the wise philosopher Sheedy Wallace taught us here in Hoodwood ďBall donít lie.Ē The Bucks are balliní and are in position to make noise.

Bama still lurking

Speaking of lurking, that team from Tuscaloosa is hanging aroundÖagain. The Crimson Tide are like Freddy or Jason. You think that youíve killed them off and are just starting to relax and look for something to drink when they pop up again and start slashing. Most people wrote Bama off after they took a stunning loss to Ole Miss and struggled mightily with Arkansas but the Tide just keeps rolling. Now after thrashing Texas A&M and Tennessee then getting a crucial win in Death Valley over LSU donít look now but the Tide are right in the thick of things themselves. SEC honks think that they are deserving of two berth and Bama keeps making a case for one of them. But with a supershowdown on the docket against Mississippi State, this might serve as an elimination game.† With their hated rival Auburn out of the way with a loss to Texas A&M the path clears more for the Tide

Oregon plays it smart and wins

The Ducks were on the ropes to be sure. Utah had burned them on long pass play to Kaelin Clay and were about to go up 14-0 in front of a rowdy home crowd in Salt Lake City. When things turned bizarre, as Clay crossed the goal line† dropped the ball. But he hadnít crossed the goal line with the ball and the ball was on the ground on the 1 yard line. The refs stood there eyeing the ball suspiciously but not going near it, a couple of Oregon players and a Utah player trailing the play briefly tussled over the ball before Oregon linebacker Joe Walker emerged from the scrum and went trundeling back down the field toward the opposite goal. Now keep in mind that a third of the Utah players were in the end zone celebrating what they thought was a score and the other 2/3 was headed the sideline on the far side of the field. Meanwhile Walker was rumbling down the sideline with a virtual secret service convoy detail around him. Taking out the one Utah player that was still on the field, the Ducks scored on an improbable play and instead of the Utes being up 14-0 they were now tied and the air took out of a potential upset bid. The Ducks cruised to a 51-27 win behind the sharp play of Marcus Mariota, the player no one east of the Rockies really has seen much of but should be a shoo-in for the Heisman. Oregon is ranked #4 and is likely headed for a showdown with the aforementioned Arizona State for the Pac-12 title and a likely playoff berth. And what was it we were saying about every week a playoff?

In the Pros its just as nutty and fun

Detroit the quiet 7-2

Contrary to what many think itís the Lions not the Pack that are leading the NFC North and like their quiet coach Jim Caldwell, the Lions have adapted a more low key tone and are playing tough. They won a slugfest with the Dolphins on a last minute toss from Matthew Stafford to Theo Riddick gave the Lions a 20-16 win. The Lions now face the equally hot Cards in what could determine home field for the playoffs. You read that right the Cards and Lions, long sad sacks of the NFC are this years kingpins. Why couldnít the NFL flex this game to primetime. Donít they say in their own fact and record book that flexing games gives a chance for surprise teams to play their way on to primetime? I know that the Pats and Colts are division leaders in their own right, but it would be nice to see other teams get the primetime spotlight every now and then

Rodgers shreds Da Bears

I mean really, this is getting almost criminal. The Bears got throttled by Tom Brady and the Pats two weeks ago, then went on their bye. When they resurfaced after the bye they were in the Jaws like sight of Aaron Rodgers and the PackÖat LambeauÖon a primetime stage.† It was almost sickening to watch Rodgers abuse the Bear secondary again and again. 6 touchdowns in one half??? Are you kidding. What was sadder was watching Jay Cutler just flounder against a less than formidable Packers secondary. The Pack rang up a 55-14 thrashing and the Bears become the first team in the modern era† to give up 50 or more points in back to back games. The only other team to do that was the legendary Rochester Jeffersons, I think they beat the Raiders a couple weeks agoÖ

Phat Dap

Its rare when I give dap to a White Sox, since I still despise the team but you have to give it to Jose Abreu who was named the AL Rookie of Year unanimously. When you lead AL rookies in†home runs (36), RBIs (107), hits (176), doubles (35), runs scored (80), OBP (.383), slugging percentage (.581) and OPS (.964).†You are a lock to win the honors, hats off to a breakout star.

Head Slap

To the Arizona Cardinals. Not for their 8-1 start but locking up Carson Palmer on a 3 year $50 million contract with $20.5 million guaranteed then Palmer goes out the very†next Sunday†and shreds his knee the same one that he hurt in 2006 in the playoff against the Steelers.

Quick Hits

Could the Sixers tank as bad again?

Kansas State Fails another primetime test

I donít know how who is more on a downward spiral, Jay Cutler or Andy Dalton. I would say the former more than the latter,†

Is Charlie Strong really in trouble?

Why are my Wings so damn frustrating?

Dont look now but my Bearcats are still in a postion to shot call in the American (I know its not a power conference, but winning is winning)

A million apologies for the delay in posting, Routers and passwords and other things dont like IT guys like me...

Until next post fellow sports fans

Week 10 NFL Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Last week was a decent week of football for me in every aspect except my fantasy teams (Getting blown out in all three leagues is not fresh at all) The picks fell pretty much the way I called it except my upset, (my upsets havenít went my way most of the year) the Niners (Butterfingers Kap cost me there) and the Chargers (West coast team headed east, should have known better) Iíll try to keep the solid weeks up again with these picks submitted for your review, perusal and approval are this weekís picks. Odds are provided by ESPN strictly for entertainment and comparison purposes only. That means, donít call me if you bet the lines and lose and since I just paid my rent. Iím broke and would likely rat you out to your bookie for a finderís fee. Keep in mind that the following teams are on their bye: Minnesota & Washington (Vikings defeated Washington 29-26), Indianapolis (defeated Giants 40-24) New England (defeated Broncos 43-21), Houston (Lost to Eagles 31-21) and San Diego (lost to Dolphins 37-0)

Thursday November 6

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

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 8:25 (NFLN)

Favorite Bengals by 6

Last Week Bengals defeated Jaguars 33-23; Browns defeated Buccaneers 22-17

Fast Fact This is the first time since 1986 that these two teams have met this late in the season with winning records.

An in state rivalry takes on added significance in a fairly high stakes primetime matchup The Browns struggled more than they should have but beat the Bucs while Bengals tottered some themselves but got past the Jags. Both teams in reality should be 6-2 heading into this matchup but the Browns took a pratfall in Jacksonville while the Bengals frittered away chance after chance in a tie with the Panthers. Nevertheless both teams are good and need this win to stay on top of the ultra-competitive AFC North. AJ Green being back for the Bengals is a huge boon; he demands extra attention and can open holes for an often inconsistent running game. Meanwhile Brian Hoyer is making the locals forget about pining for Johnny Football. Both teams have decent defenses and can play a rugged slugfest type game.† If the Bengals can establish their running game, I think that makes them tough to beat. Keeping the defense fresh seems to be a key to the Bengals overall health. Meanwhile, keeping Hoyer upright against a big play ballhawking Bengals defense is crucial for a Browns win. Though it would surprise me little to see the Browns take the fight to the Bengals. I think a rowdy home crowd will be the key to a tight win.

Pick-Cincinnati

Sunday November 9

Chiefs (5-3) @ Bills (5-3)

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

Favorite Chiefs by 1Ĺ

Last Week Chiefs defeated Jets 24-10, Bills were on their bye

Fast Fact None of the 11 touchdown passes Chiefs QB Alex Smith have thrown have went to their wide receivers

The Chiefs made short work of the woeful Jets which was the team the Bills thrashed before their bye. This is a matchup of strikingly similar teams Both teams have journeyman quarterback and decent running games. The visiting Chiefs are 2-2 on the road while the Bills are 2-2 at home. This will be a tough game to pick. I donít know which QB I trust less, Alex Smith of the Chiefs or Kyle Orton of Bills. But I know I trust Jamaal Charles who will find the sledding tough against the rugged Bills defense who gives up barely 92 yards rushing a game.† But the Bills runners are battling injuries and I think that makes the difference. The Chiefs will be the more dominant team because I just have the feeling that Kyle Orton will suddenly remember why heís never been able to stick too long with a team and the vastly underrated Chiefs defense will make a real statement here.

Pick-Kansas City

Dolphins (5-3) @ Lions (6-3)

Ford Field, Detroit 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Lions by 2Ĺ

Last Week Dolphins defeated Chargers 37-0, Lions were on their bye

Fast Fact The Dolphins are coming off their first shutout win since 2006 and largest win since 1995

The Dolphins are feeling their oats after throttling the Chargers while the Lions come in well rested after their London jaunt and subsequent bye. Though both teams have a winning record, I have no faith in either team long term. Ryan Tannehill seems to be finally getting it as the Dolphins have played fairly well as of late under his leadership. The Lions are the NFC version of the Bengals, they have talent and so much potential, the problem is that they always seem to seize up at a critical juncture. Both teams could use this win as a real resume builder toward legitimacy. I know Iím going to regret it either way, but I think the home team will do just enough to eke out a gritty win.

Pick-Detroit

Cowboys (6-3) @ Jaguars (1-8)

Wembley Stadium; London, England 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Cowboys by 6Ĺ

Last Week Cowboys lost to Cardinals 28-17; Jaguars lost to Bengals 33-23

Fast Fact The Cowboys have yet to lose when RB DeMarco Murray has over 20 carries this season, in both losses he has had 19 carries

Two weeks ago all the pundits were ready to canonize the Pokes as Super Bowl winners, Romo was finally ready to ascend to the heralded spot of top dog QB. DeMarco Murray was making Jim Brown look like a run of the mill back and everywhere you saw Jerry Jones or Jason Garrett being lionized as the dynamic force behind the Pokes 6-1 start. Then come back to back losses at home to Washington and Arizona the latter a nasty whipping by the ascendant Cards and the questions have flared anew. Iíve been the voice crying loud and long that these are the same old Pokes, no better than a .500 team in reality. But everyone call me a hater. Iím sorry, I donít think the Pokes are that good. Put on the world stage (as a road team, you know Jerry Jones would have a Texas size tantrum if they took a home game from him) against the woeful Jags seems to be the perfect antidote for the moment. The Jags showed some real growth against the Bengals but itís way too much to ask them to beat a clearly better team this far away from home.

Pick-Dallas

49ers (4-4) @ Saints (4-4)

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

Favorite Saints by 5

Last Week 49ers lost to Rams 13-10, Saints defeated Panthers 28-10

Fast Fact The Saints have an 11 game home winning streak

Iím sure most people saw this matchup wouldnít be of a pair .500 teams. The Niners gambled on a goal line score and came up snake eyes in a loss to the Rams, while the well-rested Saints pummeled the Panthers on Thursday. The Saints have suddenly found their stride to shake off a middling division morass. Meanwhile the Niners are coming to the cold realization that .500 wonít get them in the same area code as the playoffs and that their middling play will keep them right around that winning percentage. Iím liking Drew Brees to be able to pick on a defense noticeably weakened by injuries and a saints defense that should be able to limit the suddenly punchless Niners offense in check.

Pick-New Orleans

Titans (2-6) @ Ravens (5-4)

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

Favorite Ravens by 10

Last Week Titans were on their bye; Ravens lost to Steelers 43-23

Fast Fact The teams have split their last eight meetings

The Titans picked the absolute wrong time to cross the Ravens path; though coming off their bye they catch the Ravens annoyed at having lost a pair of road divisional games and are looking for someone to take it out on. The Titans are just not ready to deal with the rugged dynamic Ravens offense and their one dimensional offense will get hammered by the Ravens veteran defense. This is almost comical (save for the next matchup listed) I wonít bore you with why I think one team will win, at in front of a welcoming home crowd the Ravens should roll pretty easy

Pick-Baltimore (Lock of the Week)

Steelers (6-3) @ NY Jets (1-8)

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

Favorite Steelers by 3Ĺ

Last Week Steelers defeated Ravens 43-23; Jets lost to Chiefs 24-10

Fast Fact Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger needs three TD passes to match the NFL mark for most TD passes thrown in a 3 game stretch

The Steelers have the opportunity that they always seem to get, with the Browns decimating the Bengals Thursday the Steelers have the perfect opening to slide into first and facing a Jets team that is just criminally bad itís almost laughable that the Steelers are getting this chance. Ben Roethlisberger has been on another level slinging the rock and facing a Jets secondary that isnít stopping anything living these days itís almost amusing to see how bad he might punish them, but the Jets played honorably against Peyton Manning a month ago when he was closing on the lifetime TD mark and one would think that they would rise to the occasionÖNaaaaah

Pick-Pittsburgh

Falcons (2-6) @ Buccaneers (1-7)

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Falcons by 2Ĺ

Last Week Falcons were on their bye, Buccaneers lost to Browns 22-17

Fast Fact Something has to give here: The Falcons are winless on the road, while the Bucs have yet to have a home win

Both of these teams are pretty bad, the Falcons have been getting housed week after week after they destroyed these same Bucs in mid-September. Meanwhile aside from an extremely fluky win in Pittsburgh the Bucs have been nothing short of putrid themselves. Though they have had two OT losses and a five point defeat to Cleveland to show that they are at least giving a good outing as of late. I wonder often what happened to that dynamic offense the Matty Ice used to pilot, they just havenít been putting up the kind of points that weíre used to and the defense is horrid. This is a tossup. Iíll take the home team and call it an upset only because of the records.

Pick-Tampa Bay (upset of the week)

Broncos (6-2) @ Raiders (0-8)

o.Co Stadium, Oakland 4:05 (CBS)

Favorite Broncos by 11

Last Week Broncos lost to Patriots 43-21; Raiders lost to Seahawks 30-24

Fast Fact The 21 points scored by the Broncos was 16 points below their average during their previous four game winning streak

The Broncos got uncharacteristically housed on a national stage against the Pats while the Raiders showed some moxie in rallying back to push the Seahawks hard at home. This is another comical matchup. Peyton Manning rarely has back to back bad outings and the Raiders defense isnít anywhere close to the Pats. Manning will redeem himself nicely and the Broncos will get back on the winning track.

Pick-Denver

Rams (3-5) @ Cardinals (7-1)

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

Favorite Cardinals by 7

Last Week Rams defeated 49ers 13-10; Cardinals defeated Cowboys 28-17

Fast Fact The Cards are gunning for their first 8-1 start since 1948

The Rams stunned the Niners in the big blue jean but the learning curve gets a whole lot steeper as they head to the desert to face a Cards squad who are raising a lot of eyebrows with their strong start. The Cards winning handily in Dallas quieted some critics who said that they had no quality road wins. The Cards rueful of their past history of bad finishes want to keep the accelerator to the floor and have the chops to do it. I think the Cards are for real for real. The Rams, while no pushover are just catching this team on a serious roll

Pick-Arizona

NY Giants (3-5) @ Seahawks (5-3)

CenturyLink Field, Seattle 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 8Ĺ

Last Week Giants lost to Colts 40-24; Seahawks defeated Raiders 30-24

Fast Fact After only ever facing each other 8 times in the first 25 years of the Seahawks existence, the teams have split 8 meetings since the Seahawks switched conferences in 2002

The G-Men head to the Pacific Northwest off their bye and face a Seattle team that nearly took a humiliating loss to the woeful Raiders. Eli Manning is trying like a scout but in reality the Giants losing Victor Cruz and having no real running game is taking its toll having lost its last three by an average of 17.7 points. The Seahawks are getting bit hard by the injury bug and Russell Wilson has regressed some and the defense isnít as fearsome as it was last year. But at the end of the day, the G-Men are in over their head going to Seattle.

Pick-Seattle

Bears (3-5) @ Packers (5-3)

Lambeau Field, Green Bay 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Packers by 7

Last Week Both teams were on their respective byes

Fast Fact Bears QB Jay Cutler is 1-9 against Green Bay with 19 interceptions

Both teams are coming off their bye and humiliating road routs the week before. But in reality the Packers loss was just a hiccup while the Bears are coming apart at the seams (again). Rodgers is throwing the ball well though the Pack defense has a tendency to get suspect at times. Jay Cutler needs to be arrested for stealing paychecks as his laconic attitude is really affecting his play. The weak running game and mediocre defense isnít helping matters but Cutler is really to blame here. I picked the Bears at home against the Pack and got burned. †Iím not stupid enough to pick against the Pack in Lambeau at night.

Pick-Green Bay

Monday November 10

Panthers (0-0) @ Eagles (0-0)

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Eagles by 7

Last Week The Eagles have an 11 game home winning streak, matching their longest run since 1993

The Panthers have had a long time to think about their downward spiral. The minute you think that Cam Newton is ready to become that transcendent QB, he regresses badly and the Panthers got housed badly in front of a sullen home crowd. Meanwhile the Eagles got a high-priced tough win at Houston that cost them Nick Foles AND DeMeco Ryans to long term injuries. Mark Sanchez gets his first start in better than a year and while not expected to be the force that Foles was is going to have to learn the high speed offense fast. As much as I want to call the upset here, I canít do it. The Eagles are too tough in their South Philly crib.

Pick-Philadelphia

Last Week: †10-3 (Lock Correct/Upset Incorrect)

Overall: 80-53-1

Locks: 7-2

Upsets: 2-7

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