From the Bleachers - NFL picks – Week 11
NFL Week 10 results 8-6
Season to date 91-53
Tricky little week, last week. Happy enough with some picks (Jacksonville, Atlanta andThe Patriots stood out) and even some of the incorrect ones, like Dallas, were still pretty accurate, and I quote; ''I may be alone here, but I can see Dallas staying within the 14 point spread this week.''
Of course you have to put your hands up to the picks that bomb too, and boy oh boy was that Chiefs pick a stinker! Nevertheless, onwards and upwards! To the picks!
Bears @ Dolphins
(Posted last night)
One team is riding high after a big win over the Vikings, the other is preparing to start its third string QB in a game they have to win to keep pace with other AFC East rivals. The Chicago Bears appear to be catching Miami at the right time. The fact that Miami are at home shouldn’t scare any potential Bears backers off, Miami have been pretty poor in their own stadium so far in ’10. Their win over Tennessee was admirable, but remember, Miami had started Chad Pennington in the hope to give a spark to an offense that entered last weekend ranked last in the AFC with 17.9 points per game. Meanwhile, Chicago's awesome defense has been instrumental to the team's success and will try to force third string trigger man Tyler Thigpen into making mistakes. The Bears are second in scoring defense at 16.2 points, fourth in total defense at 311.6 yards and first in turnovers with 24. If Miami decides to try and run the hell out of them, Chicago is second in rush defense at 82.3 yards and limited Adrian Peterson to a season-low 51 yards on 17 carries last Sunday. The bottom line is, the QB is still a vital position in the NFL, and Jay Cutler is streets ahead of Tyler Thigpen.
The pick: Bears 24-21
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Devin Hester to score a touchdown at any time (13/10) - with Hester now returning kicks and catching passes, we are on Hester alert the rest of the season.
Bills @ Bengals
The battle of the cellar dwellers, the Putrid Bowl, the Superbowl of Suck. This is truly a pointless game, and should be treated as such when wagering! Who do you trust? The mouthy, vocal and ultimately punch-less Bengals, or the pathetic Bills, with their one win, which they earned only because the Lions missed on a two point conversion last weekend? It would be nice to pick the Bills if only because they have a faint whiff of life about them, but their completely spineless defence can’t force turnovers, and even the Bungles, surely, are too good for them.
The pick: Bengals 17-10
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Bengals last team to score (4/5)
Lions @ Cowboys
Jason Garrett has the Cowboys finally heading in the right direction. The Lions can only wish they were healthy and keep building towards next season. The Lions haven’t won a road game since 2007, and they may be distracted too, hosting the Patriots just a few days later, Thanksgiving Day next week. All things point to a home win.
The pick: Cowboys 30-24
A little something for the weekend, sir? - Calvin Johnson to score a touchdown any time (10/11)
Redskins @ Titans
Terrible situation for the Redskins to be in. A short week, followed by a trip to a hungry team licking their wounds from a bad loss last weekend. Tennessee will have watched the Eagles rip the Skins to shreds, and will be licking their collective lips in anticipation. The best running back in the league, Chris Johnson, torched Miami for 117 yards last week. If Tennessee gets a lead, the Skins defenders better be ready as the Titans will be throwing a whole lot of Johnson at them, mixed in with play action passes targeting Randy Moss downfield. The short week and traveling to Tennessee adds up to nothing but a Skins loss.
The pick: Titans 28-21
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Randy Moss to score a touchdown any time (7/4)
Cardinals @ Chiefs
Get burnt by the awful Cardinals last weekend? Now is your chance at revenge. Derek Anderson flattered to deceive as the Cards QB last week, his 322 yards look great, but his third down conversion figures were horrendous. His accuracy levels can only be described as ‘Lindsay Lohan doing a sobriety test’ level. An interesting subplot is that Chief’s coach Todd Haley served as Cardinals offensive coordinator in 2007 and - he knows the Cards inside and out, and Kansas will be able to exploit that knowledge. For the record, I think Haley had every right to not shake Denver’s Josh McDaniel’s hand after last weeks game, the Broncos definitely ran the score up, max protecting and throwing deep in the fourth quarter with 50 points already on the board. People shouldn’t be questioning Haley, they should be asking why a pathetic team like Denver thought it was cool to run the score up.
The pick: Chiefs 42-17
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Over 44 points (10/11)
Packers @ Vikings
The Packers look like one of the NFL elite at 6-3, it’s easy to call them elite as two of those losses were games they should have won. If those two close losses were played now, the Packers would win. They have gelled, they look smooth on offence and terrifying on defence. The Vikings? That 3-6 is for real. You worry for the physical health of 41 year old Brett Favre going up against this tenacious Packers ‘D’.
The pick: Packers 27-20
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Packers D to score a touchdown any time (3/1)
Texans @ Jets
You would love to see a way the Texans could beat the insufferable, mouthy Jets, however it just doesn’t look possible, The Texans seasons started so brightly however they are currently in the process of disappearing without a trace. They lost their third straight and fourth in five games Sunday in stunning fashion, 31-24 to Jacksonville. People are saying the Texans secondary may be one of the worst collections of defensive backs in NFL history. That’s bad. The Jets should find a way to score and should be able to get a few turnovers off the downward spiraling Texans.
The pick: Jets 24-17
A little something for the weekend, sir? –Jets D to score a touchdown any time (3/1)
Raiders @ Steelers
In having their backsides handed to them in all aspects of the game by the Patriots, the Steelers nevertheless didn’t turn into a bad team over night. Just a humbled one. All week prior to the Patriots game the talk came from the Steelers locker room. They were going to bring the pain. They would not hesitate to ‘hurt’ receivers in their way. As it turned out, the only people left hurting were Steelers fans. The thing is, the Raiders are not the Patriots. They have some injury problems and several of their five wins are against lower level opposition. The Steelers can right their ship with a close win at home.
The pick: Steelers 24-14
A little something for the weekend, sir? – First QTR handicap - Steelers -.05 (10/11) watch the Steelers come out firing.
Ravens @ Panthers
Unfair! The Ravens played Thursday last and thus had extra time to prepare to play the Panthers. Unfair! That’s what you call over-kill. Decent NCAA sides would have a chance against this brutal, punch-less incarnation of the Panthers. They are averaging 12 points a game! Unbelievably pathetic. Baltimore has a strong edge in every facet of the game, from QB to special teams. Add to all that the fact the Panthers have serious injury issues, and are currently trying to choose Tony Pike or journeyman Brian St. Pierre at quarterback. Basically that’s something like a death-row inmate choosing between chemicals or the chair. This could get ugly.
The pick: Ravens 34-13
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Ravens to score more than 22 points (10/11) what, so the bookies are now giving away money?
Browns @ Jaguars
Lets see how the Browns do on the road, outside their comfort zone, against a strong, progressive team with a QB who is starting to really show his potential. My guess? Not well. The Browns recipe for success, hand the ball to Peyton Hillis 30 times, has run its course, and teams will key-in on him from here on in. Too much Maurice Jones-Drew, too much David Garrard, easy Jags win.
The pick: Jaguars 27-17
A little something for the weekend, sir? – First team to score 10 points in this game - Jaguars (5/6)
Falcons @ Rams
Have you watched the Rams play? For some reason, they have been on Irish TV plenty this season. They are an odd team, they have some nice pieces (Jackson, Bradford) and look like they might turn into something decent down the road. They can not prevent fourth quarter come backs, though, having let games slip to the 49ers and the Buccaneers late on in. The Falcons are a well rounded team and probably won’t need it, but you can see Matt Ryan leading a game icing drive late in the fourth.
The pick: Falcons 24-21
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Falcons to win by 1-6 points (3/1)
Seahawks @ Saints
Another odd team, Seattle are generally tough at home in front of their vociferous fans, and poor on road trips. They did win away from home last week, but you have to remember that was against the awful Cardinals. Taking a road trip to the Saints, who love beating up suspect/bad teams? Seattle fans, turn away now while you can. The Saints will get a lead, and then force a few turnovers and turn this into a rout.
The pick: Saints 44-13
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Saints to win by 31-36 pts (20/1)
Buccaneers @ 49ers
San Francisco QB Troy Smith looks pretty special all of a sudden. Where has this kid been hiding? He looks like a bigger version of Vick basically, with possibly an even better arm. Tampa have a good, young signal caller of their own, Josh Freeman. He doesn’t have quite the athletic ability of Smith or Vick, but is perhaps already projecting to be a better in-game leader. One thing to remember here, the 49ers looked dead and buried against a pretty bad Rams team last week, before a late comeback. Lets go out on a limb, Freeman and rookie RB LeGarrette Blount help Tampa pull off a ‘shock’ win in San Francisco. This 49ers season has to end ugly, and this result would speed that process along nicely.
The pick: Buccaneers 24-23
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Tampa +3.5 (10/11)
Colts @ Patriots
Wondering how much pull Colts head honcho Bill Polian has in the NFL front office? The Patriots and Colts have met five times since 2005, only one of those occasions has been in New England. One! Well, Polian can pull out every stop, try every trick in the book and nothing will help the Colts this time out. They have to go to New England with an injury ravaged team this Sunday night. They are once again pulling potential receivers off the streets, and trying to get by with a Lada (Tamme) instead of a Ferrari (Clarke) at Tight End.
The Colts injury list is approaching ludicrous levels. Addai, Clarke and Collie are all unable to kit up for this game, and their absence takes away a key element at three essentially vital positions. Belichick and the Patriots will be able to focus on Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne, while Vince Wilfork and the Patriots sturdy front seven should have no problem containing the Colts backup running game.
Definitely the NFL game of the week, these are the two most dominant teams since the start of the 2000 season. The Patriots' 133-54 record is the NFL's best, while the Colts are second at 130-56.The Patriots are leading this match-up 7-5 since 2001, however there is no denying the Colts have had the better of things lately. Belichick and the Patriots coaching staff will have been hammering this home to the Patriots players all week long, this is a chance for New England to right their ship against their rivals.
Brady versus Manning? Brady is 7-4 in 11 career meetings with Manning, including two wins in three playoff games
One final caveat? The Patriots have very quietly positioned themselves as a dominant home team, they are 4-0 on the season at ‘The Razor’. To add to that, Brady (and, assumedly the rest of the Patriots too!) has won his last 24 regular-season home starts.
The pick: Patriots 23-20
A little something for the weekend, sir? – New England to be ahead HT/FT (evs)
Giants @ Eagles
Last week, in predicting that Dallas would easily stay within a huge 14 point handicap, we noted that the Giants had not actually beaten any NFL super power to date this season. They had instead handled the lower level teams, and done that admittedly well. Their winning streak was born on the back of wins against the NFL’s lower legions, however. Dallas completely exposed the Giants, and there is absolutely no reason to back off that logic now, as the Giants face one of the best teams in the NFL. The Eagles are riding a tidal wave of momentum. How do the Giants continuously fool people? They had a miserable start to the season and people were whispering about Tom Coughlin losing his job. Then they beat the teams they were supposed to beat, and they were suddenly being anointed Superbowl favourites. The Giants are missing their best WR (Steve Smith) and two starting Offensive linemen. Look for the Eagles to beat them up badly, and the rumours about Coughlin to start again.
The pick: Eagles 35-30
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Over 47 points (10/11)
Broncos @ Chargers
Intangibles rule the prediction process in this one. First, San Diego are at home, coming off a bye week. Look what the Browns did to New England under the same set of circumstances. It’s not 100% accurate, but it is close. Good teams, at home after a bye week, normally take advantage. Secondly, the Sports Karma Gods would not have looked kindly on the Broncos running up the score over Kansas last weekend. In a display of real arrogance, with 50 points on the board, the Broncos kept passing long out of max-protect formations last week. This will catch up on them, Sports Karma is particularly strong in the NFL.
The pick: Chargers 35-21
A little something for the weekend, sir? – Over 50 points (10/11)
Other weeks to date:
Week 10 (8-6)
Week 9 (10-3)
Week 8 (10-4)
Week 7 (10-4)
Week 6 (8-6)
Week 5 (8-6)
Week 4 (9-5)
Week 3 (8-8)