Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Week 8 Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on October 30, 2009

Broncos Chargers FootballLittle did I know how much producing a major college football radio broadcast every Saturday would add to my weekly workload.  Let’s just say there is a lot more to it than game day (but I wouldn’t trade it for anything, even though the CU Buffs have struggled to win games this season).  At any rate, the Denver Broncos have now had the bye week to rest and relax after their stunning 6-0 start, and they will continue with their rugged stretch of games that everyone thought would be their downfall.  I still think the next two games (at Baltimore and home against Pittsburgh) are two of the hardest games on the whole slate, so in some ways the Broncos still have a lot to prove.  However, I also think the Broncos have finally gotten the respect nationally that they deserve.  They are in the top five of virtually every power ranking out there, and people are acknowledging that last year’s embarrassing collapse is unlikely to repeat itself with this coaching staff and this group of players.  Think about this, if Denver goes just .500 the rest of the way, they would finish with an 11-5 record, which would virtually guarantee them the AFC West title unless San Diego were to win out or close to it.  The Broncos have their sights set on home games in January, and that certainly wouldn’t be a picnic for anyone that would have to come in and play them.  We’ve talked about many of the numbers that have made this team successful so far this year, but more than that I think it is a good blend of veteran leadership (Brian Dawkins in particular), great coaching, and a confidence that the team is never out of the game.  I think an overlooked factor also is the team’s outstanding conditioning level.  The Broncos have completely owned every team they have played in the second half on both sides of the ball.  That is a very good trend for the Broncos going forward.

Sunday’s game in Baltimore is needless to say a difficult proposition for the Broncos.  Denver has never won a game in Baltimore since the Browns became the Ravens in 1996.  Never, not one.  The last trip there was a complete disaster as the Broncos scored just six points and watched linebacker John Mobley suffer a career ending neck injury.  The time before was a Monday night embarrassment as Chris McAlister returned a missed field goal 100 yards for a touchdown.  The time before that the Broncos mustered just three points in a playoff loss.  You get the idea, Baltimore has been a house of horrors for the Broncos’ teams of the past.  The Ravens nasty defense has always been a trouble spot for the Broncos, but perhaps Denver can take comfort in the fact that this year’s Ravens defense is not the same as in past years.  Baltimore gave up 33 points to the Vikings last game and it really has been the offense that has carried the way for the Ravens so far this year.  Joe Flacco has already hit 300 yards passing in three of the six games so far, and last week he lit the Vikings up for a career high 385 yards.  Ray Rice has been a real threat receiving out of the backfield, catching 10 passes last game.

Something will have to give in this game.  The Broncos have allowed just 10 second half points in their six games so far, but the Ravens’ offense has really come alive in the second half of their games.  In fact, Baltimore ranks second in the NFL in second half points and leads the NFL with 13 second half touchdowns.  That is unheard of for a team that has long been defined by defense.  This will be a really fun matchup to watch in that regard, the old unstoppable force versus the immovable object.  It might be a game where it is important for Kyle Orton and the offense to get some points on the board so as not to put all the pressure on the defense to slow down Flacco and company.

This is a difficult game to pick and should be really close.  Baltimore has lost three in a row so they are desperate, plus they have had the bye to regroup.  Denver has had the bye too, but that could prove to be more of a detriment since they were playing so well.  I really want to pick this game with my heart but……

I just can’t.  Baltimore is clearly the more desperate team here and they will have the home crowd behind them.  Baltimore wins 23-17.

I hope I am wrong.  Now to the rest of the picks.

Last week: 9-4 Season: 73-29

– Texans over Bills: I have given up trying to figure out Buffalo.  When I pick them to win, they lose.  When I pick them to lose, they win.  Last week they showed great character winning on the road at Carolina, and now they return home for what should be a winnable game.  Houston however has an actual winning streak going, and if they can establish the run with Steve Slaton, they have a good chance to control the tempo here.  Houston’s defense needs more consistency, but a hunch says they’ll have enough here.  Houston wins a close one.

– Jets over Dolphins: This was a great game in the first meeting, with Miami winning 33-30 on a Monday night.  Now the Jets will want revenge and are coming off an easy win in Oakland.  The Dolphins are still trying to figure out how they let a 24-3 lead get away against New Orleans.  Miami’s Wildcat just hasn’t had the same success on the road this year, hence why I like the Jets in this one.

– Bears over Browns: Jay Cutler has to be pleased to return to Soldier Field, where he has fared a lot better than on the road.  He also has to be thrilled to see the hapless Browns are the opponent.  Chicago gets back on track with a relatively easy win.

– Colts over 49ers: It almost doesn’t seem fair that the Colts have one of the league’s best teams and their schedule seems to be very friendly just about every week.  Peyton Manning and company shouldn’t have much trouble here against a defense that has been shredded several times this year.  It will be interesting to see also how Alex Smith fares in his return to the starting role for the Niners.  In any case, a home game an automatic W for the Colts these days.

– Titans over Jaguars: Mini upset alert.  Tennessee has had they bye to regroup, and while I am very hesitant to pick any team starting Vince Young under center, the Titans have too much pride not to win a game at some point.  Their last outing in New England was a complete embarrassment, so you have to think that Jeff Fisher and company will have a little pride on Sunday.  I still think Jacksonville is a very mediocre team, and on the road this may not bode well for them.  I like the Titans to get their first win.

– Chargers over Raiders: This is the blowout of the week.  Oakland is awful in every way (still trying to figure out how they beat the Eagles).  San Diego showed its offensive talent last week and it will be on display again this week.  The question is how much San Diego wins this game by and how many snaps the Raiders allow JaMarcus Russell to take.

– Cowboys over Seahawks: Dallas played its best game of the season last week against Atlanta, and I like them to keep it going at home against the injury riddled Seahawks.  Seattle hasn’t yet been able to find any real identity, and that’s not a good sign heading out on the road.  If Tony Romo plays like he did last week, the Cowboys may be a playoff contender yet.

– Giants over Eagles: I know the game is in Philadelphia, but the Eagles didn’t exactly dominate last week in their win against Washington.  I know they won by double digits, but that should have been a real blowout and they missed chances to really put the Redskins away.  Brian Westbrook is hobbling again (so what else is new) and that is more bad news for Philly.  Besides, the thought of the G-men losing three games in a row is ridiculous.  I like Eli and company to bounce back here.

– Lions over Rams: This is another dud game, but it is an excellent opportunity for Detroit to get another win.  They have shown improvement over last season despite having only one win, while the Rams continue to make a compelling case for being the worst team in the NFL.  I think Detroit gets the win at home here to give their fans some faint hope.

– Packers over Vikings: Did I hear something about Brett Favre returning to Lambeau Field?  Whether you’re sick of hearing about him or not, it will be very compelling theatre to see how Favre is treated by his old fans.  As for the game, I expect it to be a typical Green Bay-Minnesota game, close, high scoring and down to the wire.  In the end I like Aaron Rodgers to carry the Packers’ offense through the air, and I think the emotion of the home crowd will lift Green Bay to victory.

– Cardinals over Panthers: This should not be close.  Arizona made a major statement last week winning in the Meadowlands on a Sunday night, while the Panthers continue to flounder and look nothing like last year’s playoff team.  I like Kurt Warner to hit his receivers early and often and for Arizona to pull away in this one early.

– Saints over Falcons: This will be a very good Monday night game.  Atlanta really got punched in the mouth last week in Dallas, so I’m sure the last thing they want to see is a trip to undefeated New Orleans.  I think the Falcons will make it a very close game and will stay in it, but if they can’t get Michael Turner going they won’t have a shot to win.  Drew Brees is too scary at home if the Falcons can’t keep up.


One Response to “Week 8 Picks”

  1. Doug Baker said

    I am picking the Rams to win their first game. I hope Steven Jackson has a good game, he’s on my fantasy team.

    I finally got up my comments for last week’s games today!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: