Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Week Ten Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on November 7, 2008

Obviously we’re off to a flying start this week after being incorrect on the Thursday night game, but as I’ve said I am ecstatic that I was wrong and the Broncos didn’t lose.  Before we get to the picks, bad news for the Broncos today, as Ryan Torain is done for the year with a torn ACL.  Is there anyone out there healthy enough to play running back?  Anyone?  We’ll delve more into the Broncos’ running back quandry next week, but in the meantime, on to the picks. 

Last Week: 8-6 (.571)   Season: 79-50 (.612)

– Patriots over Bills: This should be a great game.  Both teams are coming off close losses, and both are in the midst of a three way tie for the division lead.  The Bills will be fired up after losing two division games in a row, but I pick New England mainly because they always seem to win every time I give up on them.  Bill Belichick has done maybe the best coaching job of his career this season, and the Patriots should have enough in the tank to win this big division game at home.  Trent Edwards has not played well on the road, while Matt Cassel has done more than a serviceable job for the Patriots, especially at Gillette Stadium.  In a close game like this, it will be the quarterback play that will make the difference and I actually give the nod to Cassel in this one.  Keep in mind these teams meet in Buffalo the last week of the season, and that could be for the AFC East title. 

– Dolphins over Seahawks: This definitely has the look of a mismatch.  The Dolphins have to qualify as one of the league’s top surprises with a 4-4 record at the midway point following a 1-15 effort last season.  Miami’s run defense has done a superb job all season, especially last week when they held the Broncos to just 14 yards rushing.  This spells bad news for Seattle, which has to start Seneca Wallace at quarterback for one more week while Matt Hasselbeck recovers from injury.  The Dolphins are believing that they are a contender, while the Seahawks are on their way to what is easily the worst season in the Mike Holmgren era.  Couple that with the fact Miami is at home, and you have what should be an easy Dolphins victory.   This is my eliminator pick this week mainly because the Seahawks have been so atrocious. 

– Jets over Rams: New York is also involved in the three way tie for the AFC East lead, and they should be able to enjoy an easy home win in this one.  The Rams showed life the first few games of the Jim Haslett era, but they have very quickly come back to Earth.  Steven Jackson is benched for the time being because Haslett doesn’t believe he’s giving full effort, and the Rams defense got exposed big time last week in the loss to Arizona.  The Jets have quietly won three of their past four games, including a surprising road win last week in Buffalo.  Even if Brett Favre goes into his throwing gift interceptions mode, the Rams won’t have enough horses to keep up in this one.  If nothing else, the Jets should be able to get a big rushing day from Thomas Jones.

– Ravens over Texans: This game was originally scheduled to be played in week two, but was moved due to Hurricane Ike.  Houston has come back to Earth after a scorching three week period after a loss to Minnesota last week and the injury to quarterback Matt Schaub.  This plays right into Baltimore’s hands: backup QB (Sage Rosenfels) versus the always tough Ravens defense.  Houston still has enough weapons in the passing game that they’ll be able to move the ball some, but the Ravens are quickly proving that they deserve to be in the playoff mix.  Baltimore’s defense is quickly regaining its reputation as one of the league’s best, and that has allowed them to be competitive in every game this season, even on the road.  The Ravens get the road win to keep Pittsburgh within sight in the AFC North.

– Steelers over Colts: There is a question mark for Pittsburgh at quarterback: will it be Ben Roethlisberger or Byron Leftwich?  Either way, the Steelers are in good shape because Willie Parker is back to anchor the running game, and Leftwich really played very well last week in the win over the Redskins.  The Colts gave a gutsy performance in their win over New England last week, but Heinz Field is always a tough place to play, and Peyton Manning and company have yet to give two solid performances in a row this year.  The Steelers defense will not allow the Colts receivers to get separation, nor will they allow a hobbled Joseph Addai to have a big day.  Indianapolis still has more than enough talent to make a run for a playoff spot, but they face too tall of an order in this one.  Pittsburgh gets the home win in one of the better games of the week.

– Jaguars over Lions: I have once again fallen into the trap of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but they can’t possibly fall flat on their faces in this one can they?  Jacksonville is an awful 3-5 after a surprise loss in Cincinnati last week, which means the Jaguars are at the very least a contender for most disappointing team this season.  My preseason AFC Super Bowl pick is really letting me down in more ways than one, but I still believe they are not out of it yet.  David Garrard has actually done a superb job despite the record, but the problem for the Jaguars has been their inability to run the ball.  That should change against a Detroit defense that has been gashed by everyone.  Daunte Culpepper gets the start for the Lions after being signed just last week, so it will be interesting to see how he plays.  I think the Jaguars will find a way to win this one on the road, but I have admit an upset is possible if Culpepper plays well.  If Jacksonville loses this one, it will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that my preseason predictions are good for nothing but kindling, but at least that would put me in good company.

– Bears over Titans: I smell an upset here, mainly because the Titans have won a ton of close games this season, and odds are that one of them will go the other way at some point.  I do put an asterisk by it in the sense that it is unknown whether Kyle Orton or Rex Grossman will get the start for Chicago.  In either case, the Bears will be extremely fired up for this one at Soldier Field, especially since they have an opportunity to extend their lead in the NFC North.  Tennessee has played great defensively, but Chicago’s defense has also forced a ton of turnovers.  If the Bears can win the turnover battle, which is not farfetched by any means as aggressive as their defense is, they will have an opportunity to give their offense a short field, which could easily make the difference in the game.  In typcial Tennessee fashion, the game will once again come down to the wire, but a hunch says the Soldier Field crowd sways the Bears to their biggest win of the year.

– Panthers over Raiders: This will be one of the blowouts of the week.  Carolina is fresh off a bye, and their offense is really clicking with Jake Delhomme and company putting up points.  Oakland is in shambles (what else is new) after releasing big ticket free agent signee DeAngleo Hall and getting shut out at home last week by Atlanta.  The Panthers have too many weapons for the Raiders to contain, especially now that Hall is gone.  Carolina is in position for a bye right now in the NFC playoff picture, and they know they have to keep winning to maintain it.  If I hadn’t already used the Panthers in my eliminator pool, I would be sure to use them here.  Carolina wins big. 

– Chargers over Chiefs: San Diego is also coming off a bye, and is still very much in play in the AFC West despite a 3-5 record.  Even after Denver’s win over Cleveland last night, the Chargers are just a game and a half back in the division with a very friendly schedule awaiting down the stretch.  San Diego for whatever reason has yet to consistently put anything together, but they have now had the bye week to figure it out.  They do get a Chiefs team that has really shown improvement and signs of life the last two games, but Kansas City has still not been able to win.  The Chiefs may well win another game or two before the season is finished, but it won’t come here.  San Diego wins easily at home to kick off their post-bye schedule.

– Vikings over Packers: I really went back and forth on this one, and in the end you might as well flip a coin.  This is a really intense division rivalry, and both teams have been up and down this season.  Both teams have experienced success offensively in recent weeks, and both have outstanding running games, so this has the potential to be a shootout.  The Packers won the first meeting at Lambeau Field in week one, but that was with Tarvaris Jackson under center for Minnesota.  Gus Frerotte has done an admirable job in the that role for the Vikings, and they have a lot of momentum after a home win against Houston last week.  The Metrodome will be rocking for this one, and that will ultimately prove to be the difference in this one as Minnesota jumps back into the NFC North race.

– Falcons over Saints: This game has the potential to be a shootout too.  New Orleans will be without Reggie Bush for one more week, which means the onus will be on Drew Brees and the passing game to move the ball, which they have been very effective doing all year.  The Saints are also coming off a bye, which has helped them recover from the London trip.  The Falcons have been a tremendous surprise at 5-3, and Matt Ryan is playing not only well for a rookie, but he has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league this season (and a borderline must start in fantasy the way he keeps improving).  Atlanta will have no trouble scoring points at home in the Georgia Dome, and they will pull out a narrow win at home in what should be a very entertaining game.   

– Eagles over Giants: The Sunday night game will be dynamite.  Not only is this one of the most intense rivalries in football, but this game matches two of the top teams in the NFL.  The Eagles are right in the thick of the NFC race even though they’ve battled numerous injuries at virtually every position.  Now that they are starting to get healthy, they are starting to show how good they can be.  The Giants are of course the defending champs and have been very tough on the road, including their win two weeks ago in Pittsburgh.  The Giants have to absolutely be considered at the very least in the top 2 or 3 teams in the league right now, and probably are the top team considering they are the defending champs, but a hunch says Philadelphia will get a tremendous lift from a raucous crowd that is still on cloud nine from the Phillies’ World Series victory.  Philadelphia wins what could out to be one of the best games of the season, not just the week.  Regardless of how this one turns out, both teams will be right in the thick of everything at the end.

– Cardinals over 49ers: It has to be a sign of the apocalypse to see the Arizona Cardinals hosting a Monday night game doesn’t it?  Or is it more of a shock that they have a commanding lead in the NFC West, and should pummel poor San Francisco in this one?  The 49ers have had the bye week to regroup, and they do have one of the league’s top running backs in Frank Gore, but that’s about all they have going for them.  No doubt interim coach Mike Singletary is intense, but no amount of intensity will be able to help the Niners stop Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin from running wild.  Remember when it was a question whether it would be Kurt Warner or Matt Leinart under center for the Cardinals this year?  That seems like ancient history.  The Cardinals with a win would be 6-3 and clearly on track to host a playoff game, no that would have to be a sign of the apocalypse.  Arizona wins this one so easily that viewers will flip away by the third quarter.

BYE: Bengals, Cowboys, Redskins, Buccaneers – these are the last of the byes this season


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