NFL Week 14 results 11-4
Season to date 136-70
Random thoughts. After a horrific 0-3 start to the early games last week, rebounded to go 11-4 the rest of the way (didn’t get the Thursday night pick ‘in’ on time so left it out despite getting it right, in the interests of transparency!) After the 0-3 start I went out back to bury my laptop, ala Rex Ryan, but it was too cold so I just went back in and played Madden on the PS3 instead. I chose the Jets, and in-game Santana Moss dropped eleven passes in a row and then called out his coaches and team mates. Or wait, was that Terrell Owens? Hey, was Rex Ryan a dog in a former life? Maybe that’s why he likes burying things. Had a commenter on last weeks picks that called me an ‘idiot’ and ‘garbage’, this despite the lofty 11-4. Hoping he ups his game this week and breaks out the real swear words, so I can finally go 16-0.
Meanwhile, if you have time, check out the Irish Central NFL Power rankings, written by Cian Fahey and myself.
Right, enough chit chat, on to the good stuff.
Browns @ Bengals
It would appear accountability levels are down to an all time low in the NFL this season. Terrell Owens has dropped more passes than anyone in the league yet called out everyone on The Bungles bar himself after last weeks loss. Terrell, maybe if you caught a few passes, The Bungles wouldn’t be in this position. Owen’s act is like himself, old. The Browns get Colt McCoy back this week, and his return and their excellent running game should prove too much for The Bungles, who have serious deficiencies at all levels of the game. Including you, T.O.
The pick: Browns 24-21
Redskins @ Cowboys
The Redskins were live on Irish TV last week, against Tampa, and goodness me that Ryan Torian ran like a possessed bull. He was sensational. For me though, Washington didn’t exploit play action enough to take advantage of that, and they lost a close one to rejuvenated Tampa. The problem for Washington is they don’t have the tools to keep up with Dallas, who have played very well, scoring plenty of points lately, despite losing two out of their last three. Those losses were to the Saints and Eagles, and both very, very close. Washington haven’t broken 20 points for five weeks, whilst Dallas, against great teams, remember, have put up 27, 38, 27, 35 and 33 in that time frame. It’s easy to see why there’s a six point handicap on this one.
The pick: Cowboys 28-16
Texans @ Titans
The stench of underachievement and relative failure hangs in the air over this game, both teams started the season with high hopes yet come into this game as dead ducks, both 5-8 and going home in a couple of weeks. Houston would appear to have a brighter future, of sorts. Tennessee will probably see widespread changes before next season. Kind of hard to see how Tennessee are favourites for this one. Houston shut them out 20-0 just a couple of weeks ago, and since then have played the Ravens and Eagles close. Tennessee? They have lost six in a row. All Houston has to do is shut Chris Johnson down, and it will be a seven game skid for the Titans.
The pick: Texans 23-20
Jaguars @ Colts
All the piped in noise in the world isn’t going to make up for the fact that the Colts are wafer thing right now due to injury. Stupidly, their players are also winding up the Jaguars, calling them their ‘little brother’ in the lead up to this game. The Colts have injury issues from here to Timbuktu, however there main issue is quite clear for all to see. People often debate as to who is better, Manning or Brady. The debate should really be, who is given more time to throw? Watch the Patriots right now. Brady has time to drop back, make a cup of tea, read the newspaper and get online to order some UGGs. Watch the Colts, Manning is being chased, harried and harassed, and actually hit, for what seems like the first time in his career. The glaring, massive elephant in the room that no one talks about?! The offensive line! The most under rated unit in team sports. Brady is throwing behind a very tight unit right now, Manning is not. I can’t believe more established analysts aren’t making more of this. They will, eventually. Jacksonville’s defensive line has been licking its lips waiting all week to pin its collective ears back and go after Manning. The Colts simply don’t have a run game, so the Jags can disregard play-action and just go right after the suddenly very exposed Manning. Meanwhile, the pocket-rocket, Maurice Jones Drew is playing great football right now, and you can not see the Colts defence stopping him. The Jags just need to get a lead, establish Drew on a downhill plane, and then go after Manning. There is no way this line should be close to a touchdown.
The pick: Jaguars 27-26
Chiefs @ Rams
Maybe we shouldn’t be so shocked by this Matt Cassel thing. Did you know he’s the fifth highest ranked QB in the NFL? Since his first taste of NFL action in 2008 though, he has been proving people wrong. If you recall, the Patriots were backed up in their own end zone against the Chiefs, everyone still reeling from the Brady injury. Cassel looked calm and focussed and threw a 50 yard dart to Randy Moss for a first down. The guy hit the ground running. His touchdown to interception ratio is nothing short of Joe Montanesue and he is the perfect fit for the Chiefs offence. Well guess what, he’s back this week, and that’s enough to tip this one in the Chiefs favour.
The pick: Chiefs 24-21
Bills @ Dolphins
Nobody gave the Dolphins a chance last week in New York. They played fantastic defensive football to come away with the win. Oddly enough the Bills are 1-5 on the road and the Fish are 1-5 at home. The battle of the 1-5s! The Dolphins home record is an anomaly. The Bills road record is not.
The pick: Dolphins 24-20
Eagles @ Giants
I have never seen as soft a schedule as the Giants have enjoyed in 2010. Remember they got off to that great start, beating up bad teams, then hit a wall against the good ones? Well they are at it again. Houston, Detroit, Washington, Seattle, all ‘Vanquished’. Dallas are the key to the Giants. Under Wade Phillips, the Giants beat Dallas. Under new management, Dallas beat the Giants. The Eagles, meanwhile, have beaten several really good teams, including ‘New’ Dallas, the Falcons, the Colts and, yep, the Giants. Telling you right now, that 9-4 Giants record is a fraud built on the flimsy foundation of beating bad teams.
The pick: Eagles 34-27
Lions @ Buccaneers
The Lions are a great story, and will be a really decent team in 2011. For now though, when thinking about this game, don’t lose fact of one statistic. Detroit are 0-6 on the road. As Rasheed Wallace used say; ‘’Ball don’t lie’’, well, 0-6 don’t lie either.
The pick: Buccaneers 28-21
Cardinals @ Panthers
We always joke about bad matchups at this time of the year, giving them catchy, derogatory names such as, ‘’The Suckerbowl’’ or ‘’The Loser Bowl’’. This is one of the worst regular season matchups in the history of the NFL. Seriously. The Cardinals travelling is never a good thing, and Carolina are showing faint, distant, light signs of having something almost resembling a pulse, so, go with the home team in this battle of the duds.
The pick: Panthers 17-10
Saints @ Ravens
Speaking of duds, can everyone just take a step back and stop throwing bouquets at Ray Lewis, please. They used to joke about David Beckham that he was always the first player to arrive and celebrate with a goalscorer. Ray Lewis takes it to another level, he is always the first guy to hit a ball carrier right after the initial defender got there. Meanwhile, you know what you are going to get from the Saints. They have won six on the bounce and score 30+ points every week. Look it up. The Ravens? Can you honestly say you know which Baltimore are going to show up? Go with the sure thing.
The pick: Saints 30-24
Falcons @ Seahawks
Man oh man, I have been reading established analysts the last couple of days actually picking Seattle (in fairness mostly with the six point spread). There is no bigger admirer of Seattle’s home field advantage, and I love Lofa Tatupu, but how can you back against Matt Ryan and the Falcons right now? There really isn’t any debate.
The pick: Falcons 34-24
Broncos @ Raiders
Darren McFadden ran for ten thousand yards on like, three carries, last time these two odd teams met. Denver turns to goo on the road, and Oakland raise their game considerably. You can see where this is going.
The pick: Raiders 28-17
Jets @ Steelers
If Bill Belichick had been told he could select the Jets next opponent during this despairing mini run they are on, and the only stipulation was it couldn’t be New England, who would he have picked? That’s right, Pittsburgh. The Jets are a pathetic mess right now. Where does Santana Moss get off predicting he is going to return a punt for a score this weekend? You know what, good for him, focussing on his desires, with his team in a slump. Pittsburgh’s special teams must be licking their lips waiting for this. Did you know Moss refused to return kicks last week, complaining the punter for Miami kicked them too high? What’s he going to do when a Steeler knocks his helmet off on Sunday? Also, quick question for New York’s goldfish like fans. A couple of weeks ago Sanchez was Joe Namath’s second coming. A couple of losses later you are calling for him to be benched. Which is it? As for the game itself, the Jets have scored a whopping 9 points across their last two games. The Steelers have conceded 17 across same. This isn’t going to end well for the Jets. Then, again, not much has gone right for New York this week, isn’t that right, Paul?
The pick: Steelers 26-10