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Archive for November, 2009

Week 12 Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on November 26, 2009

While I clearly misfired on last week’s upset special, several others occurred that no one saw coming.  That is life in the NFL.  It will be interesting to see how everything unfolds going forward, but I think we’re starting to see a clear separation of teams at the top.  That said, maybe some of the teams we thought were really bad are starting to get better.  The bottom line is no team is safe in this league in any given week.

Last week: 11-5  Season: 107-51

– Packers over Lions: Unfortunately the Thanksgiving holiday starts with its usual dud of a Lions game.  Detroit did show offensive spark last week, but Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are both unlikely to play against the Packers as of this writing.  Aaron Rodgers is starting to cut down on his sack total, and it’s paying big dividends.  Green Bay rolls so easily that you may want to check out some of the college hoops going on if you’re looking to avoid helping in the kitchen.

– Cowboys over Raiders: Dallas squeaked one out against the Redskins last week, while the Raiders pulled off their second major upset of the season.  However I don’t buy Oakland’s chances of winning on the road right now, especially in the Jones Mahal with a fired up Thanksgiving crowd.  I expect the Cowboys to have no trouble running the ball, and I think they’ll get enough big plays from Tony Romo to pull away relatively easily in the second half.

– Broncos over Giants: I know I’m probably picking with my heart more than my head here, but the Broncos cannot possibly get any more rock bottom than Sunday’s loss to San Diego.  A player’s only meeting called Tuesday by Brian Dawkins seems to have woken the players up.  You can tell in the comments leading up to this game that there seems to be a renewed attitude and vigor in the team.  It also seems clear that Kyle Orton will get the start, which he clearly should have against the Chargers.  Meanwhile, Ahmad Bradshaw will not play for the Giants, and Brandon Jacobs is really banged up as well.  Thus I think the Broncos will completely shut down the Giants running game, which will allow them to put some pressure on Eli Manning.  The deciding factor for me though is this will be Denver’s first home Thanksgiving game since 1963, and I think the team will get a tremendous lift from a fired up night game crowd.  I also think the Giants are at a tremendous disadvantage with the long travel and the short week.  Broncos win 21-13.

– Dolphins over Bills: The Dolphins proved last week that they can run the ball even with Ronnie Brown out for the year.  If Ricky Williams continues to play like that, Miami could be a interesting team to watch down the stretch.  The Bills finally had a Terrell Owens sighting last week, but otherwise let another winnable game slip away.  I think even in the wind and cold of upstate New York, I like the Miami running game to carry the Dolphins in this one.

– Panthers over Jets: Carolina has been a really tough team to figure all year long, but I like their running game on the road.  The Jets also have a solid running game with Thomas Jones, but Mark Sanchez has really struggled as of late (even more so than Jake Delhomme in my opinion).  This could end up being a very ugly game, but I like the Panthers to steal this one on the road.

– Bengals over Browns: Many times meetings between these two teams seem to take odd turns with unexpected results, but I don’t see that happening this time.  The lock of the week has got to be that Brady Quinn will absolutely not duplicate his performance of a week ago when he tossed 3 TDs against Detroit.  I think the Bengals looked past the Raiders last week, and they will not make that mistake two weeks in a row.  I think Cincinnati wins in a blowout.

– Texans over Colts: UPSET ALERT.  This is a very intriguing game in Houston, being that the Colts won a thriller in the first meeting.  Also, the Colts come in off several very fortunate wins while Houston has a short week to recover from a crushing loss.  Call this one a hunch, but I think the Texans are due.  There is way too much talent on that team for them not to be in the playoff discussion one of these years.  Houston has come very close against Indianapolis more than once and I think this is their chance to break out.  Peyton Manning is having a great year, but the Colts have undoubtedly caught quite a few breaks along the way so far.  Besides, I don’t think any team in this league is ever good enough to go through undefeated (even the Patriots couldn’t quite get it done in 07, even with a perfect regular season).

– Jaguars over 49ers: Jacksonville has very quietly muscled their way to the top of the wild card standings in the AFC.  They don’t score a lot of points, but as long as they have Maurice Jones-Drew I wouldn’t want to have to face them as a defensive coordinator.  Home field hasn’t been much help for the Niners in a long time, and while they always play hard, they don’t seem to have enough there to really compete on a week to week basis.  I think the Jaguars carry their momentum into a west coast road win.

– Cardinals over Titans.  There is huge caveat here.  I change this pick to the Titans if Kurt Warner doesn’t play.  As of right now, Warner says he is going to play after suffering a concussion last week, and if he does I like the Cardinals to keep their momentum going and stop Tennessee’s hot streak.  The Cardinals have proven that they can win on the road (in fact they’ve played better there than at home this year).  I will say that Vince Young seems like a completely new player and person and Chris Johnson is incredible, but if Warner plays I like the Cards.  If he doesn’t, than Tennessee will have a chance to roll with poor play from Matt Leinart.

– Chargers over Chiefs: I am still attempting to figure out how Kansas City beat Pittsburgh.  All I can figure is that any outcome is bound to happen once out of every 100 times.  As for the Chargers, they are starting to look scary good.  San Diego has rebounded to win five in a row and they show no signs of slowing down.  LaDainian Tomlinson is back to his old self, and that means the Chargers have once again been balanced on offense instead of completely relying on Philip Rivers.  The defense is also stepping up with key turnovers.  If San Diego is focused, they will win this one going away.

– Eagles over Redskins: Washington’s defense actually hasn’t been half bad recently.  They allowed just seven points to Dallas last week and they’ve actually kept the team in more games than not.  The problem for the Redskins has been the offense, and that will be enough to doom them against Philadelphia.  The Eagles are starting to show signs of life offensively, and while they have yet to meet preseason expectations, they are showing that they could be a player in the NFC East with a few breaks.  The Eagles already handled Washington once without any real difficulty, and I like them to do it again.

– Vikings over Bears: I think Minnesota is the best team in the NFL.  Keep in mind their one loss came in Pittsburgh thanks to two long fumble returns.  They have the running game, the passing game and the defense.  Last week against the Seahawks it was clear that the Vikings are incredibly difficult to even compete with when they are clicking on all cylinders.  I don’t see any way they slow down this week in the Metrodome against a Bears team that is needless to say limping in.  Chicago has lost three in a row and continues to be plagued by incredibly poor decisions by Jay Cutler.  Perhaps he can learn a thing or two Sunday by watching Brett Favre, who is having one of the best years in his career.  Minnesota wins easily.

– Falcons over Buccaneers: Atlanta suffered a rough overtime loss last week to the Giants, and now the Falcons are in a position where they can’t afford any missteps if they want to actually make the playoffs for the second straight year.  They have the pieces in place offensively, but defensively they’ve given up a ton of big plays.  That shouldn’t be a problem against Tampa Bay, who last week reverted to form after two weeks of playing better.  Atlanta may not have enough to quite be in it at the end, but they’ll get this one at home.

– Seahawks over Rams: St. Louis has given some good effort in recent weeks, but it won’t quite be enough without Marc Bulger, who will possibly miss the rest of the season.  Seattle has been really up and down, but I think they’ll have enough in this one (Watch for T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who got shut down last week by the Vikings, to rebound with a big day).  This is a dud game, so my sympathy if you’re stuck with it.

– Ravens over Steelers: Minor upset alert in a good Sunday night matchup.  The Ravens have really underachieved this year, while Pittsburgh is still trying to figure out what happened in Kansas City last week.  I think the Ravens know that Pittsburgh beat them three times last year, and I think there is no way they allow the Steelers to beat them this time.  Baltimore’s nasty defense will tee off on Ben Roethlisberger early and often to test him after he left last week’s game with a concussion.  I expect a low scoring hard hitting game, and that gives the Ravens a chance to gain the edge with just one big turnover.  I think they’ll get it, and the win.

– Patriots over Saints: It doesn’t usually happen that the game of the week ends up the Monday nighter, but that’s what we have this time.  New Orleans certainly deserves a ton of credit for an outstanding season so far, and they certainly have an ability to light up the scoreboard quickly, but their defense has also given up its fair share of large point totals.  I think the Patriots have shown that they have an ability to put up big numbers even on the road, as indicated by their 34-point night in Indy two weeks ago.  If this game turns into a shootout as I suspect it will, I actually like New England’s defense to hold up a little better than New Orleans.  This is almost too close to call, but in the end I like New England in this one.


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Week 11 Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on November 22, 2009

My apologies for last week’s incomplete post.  (For the record I blame the awful Internet at the Des Moines Marriott).  I thought I had included the Saints-Rams game but somehow neglected that one.  As such that will count as an incorrect pick.  In any case, more quickie picks here, realizing that I am already off on the wrong foot this week with a wrong pick in the Thursday night game (see my Twitter account).  That loss is included in the overall season total.

Last week: 8-7 Season: 96-47

– Jaguars over Bills: Jacksonville continues to surprisingly have a pulse.  I still think they aren’t a great team but they keep figuring out ways to win.  Buffalo is in shambles, and that means the Jags will win this one at home relatively easy.  Jacksonville is quietly sneaking into the wild card discussion.

– Patriots over Jets: New England is reeling after a blown fourth quarter lead in Indy, not to mention the now infamous 4th & 2 decision.  The Jets are coming off a home loss in a game they probably should have won.  I like New England here for two reasons: their ability to bounce back from adversity and a strong desire to avenge their week two defeat in New York.  Besides, Tom Brady has now long erased any doubts about his health.

– Bengals over Raiders:  Oakland is starting Bruce Gradkowski at quarterback.  That is all you need to know about this game.  Being that Cincy is definitely for real at 7-2, the only question here is margin of victory and what kind of TD celebration we’ll see from Mr. Ochocinco.

– Lions over Browns: If a game was played with no one in the stands, would it make the highlights?  Why anyone would pay any amount of money to watch this bore is beyond me.  It’s too bad there isn’t a rule allowing a tv blackout in both cities.  For picking purposes I go with the home team because I think Cleveland is just a bit worse.

– Colts over Ravens: This is interesting, but we’ve been down this road before.  When these teams square off, the Ravens defense holds Indy in check for roughly a half, and then Peyton Manning carves them up in the second half.  I expect that scenario to play out again, especially now that the Ravens defense isn’t what it used to be. (Last week doesn’t count because it was against the Browns).

– Steelers over Chiefs: Pittsburgh suffered a tough home loss last week, but they’ll have no issues getting well here.  This is another game where the only question is margin of victory.  I’m just wondering if there will be more terrible towels than Chiefs fans in the seats at Arrowhead.

– Chargers over Broncos:  I really want to go with the home team here but I just can’t do it.  Chris Simms is the likely starter here at quarterback, and the Broncos just haven’t been right since the bye week.  The offense isn’t consistent, and the defense is starting to wear down.  San Diego has not lost since the Broncos beat them in mid-October, and they will be highly motivated for this one.  I hope I’m wrong, but I go with the Chargers 24-17.

– Cowboys over Redskins: Dallas is coming off a loss while the Redskins are coming off a surprising win.  I wasn’t sure I would be writing that sentence, but there you go.  I expect the Cowboys to rebound in this one without too much difficulty and bring the Redskins back to reality.

– Giants over Falcons: Both teams are extremely desperate for a win, but at some point the G-men have to rebound.  New York is perhaps more desperate knowing they have to go to Denver on a short week for Thanksgiving, and therefore I will go with the home team here.  I do think the Falcons will keep it close with Michael Turner, but in the end I just think the Giants have to win eventually.

– Packers over 49ers: Green Bay has been somewhat of an enigma, but I think I like them to hold off the Niners at Lambeau.  The Niners may have gotten a win against Chicago last game, but I think that had more to do with Jay Cutler than anyone on their own team.  Aaron Rodgers is quietly having another very good year, and I like that to continue on Sunday.

– Vikings over Seahawks: This is yet another complete mismatch on tap for Sunday, especially in the Metrodome.  I still think the Vikings are every bit as talented as any team in the league and I stand by my preseason pick that they will win the Super Bowl.

– Buccaneers over Saints: Yes you read that correctly.  This could be somewhat interesting for New Orleans considering they are on the road and have struggled to beat some inferior opponents in recent weeks.  Tampa Bay meanwhile is starting to show some improvement and an ability to be competitive even when it is not expected.  The Saints also have the Patriots on tap next week.  So…..ah what the heck UPSET ALERT.  I think this shapes up to be a trap game for New Orleans, especially considering that Reggie Bush is officially out.

– Cardinals over Rams: What is it with the NFL and mismatches this season?  Arizona wins this one at home by a lot and without much extra effort on their part.  Arizona’s season in quietly showing a similar pattern to last year.

– Eagles over Bears: NBC somehow got stuck with a mediocre Sunday night game even though we are now supposed to be into flexible scheduling.  I think both teams have underachieved this season, but I think Philadelphia gave a better effort on the road last week in San Diego.  I just don’t see the Eagles losing three games in a row.

– Texans over Titans: A somewhat intriguing Monday nighter being that the Titans have won three straight and the Texans have started to live up to the promise they’ve shown the last three years.  I think Houston is showing they have the ability to be a playoff team, and I think they’ll win this one at home behind the Monday night crowd.

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Week 10 Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on November 14, 2009

ALeqM5iRDj0XZhPlmIlw-F3SmyaB3CRn-Q-1 I promise once college football season is done I will start posting more than just picks again.  Let’s just say that my workload week to week is getting insane.  I do however don’t want to miss an easy chance to rip Jay Cutler, who tossed FIVE picks last night in a 10-6 loss to mediocre San Francisco (picked correctly by me on Twitter: look at the time stamp, I got it in well before kickoff).  His last one in the final seconds was a beautiful throw right to three red 49er jerseys and Greg Olsen behind all of them.  Mr. Cutler has now tossed a league high 17 picks after throwing 18 all of last season.  His nine picks in the red zone the last two seasons are far and away an NFL high.  Let’s just say I am not crying as a Broncos fan that he is gone.  I’m not sure Kyle Orton is the answer long term, but at least he doesn’t gift wrap red zone picks like Cutler.  Now, on to the picks, last night’s correct pick not included in the overall record.

Last week: 8-5 Season: 88-39

Titans over Bills: Is there a resurgence in Tennessee behind Vince Young?  Time will tell, but as long Chris Johnson keeps running like he has the Titans may not be completely left for dead yet.  The Bills are a mess and Terrell Owens may not even play.  In any case, find the bar if you’re stuck with this snooze fest.

– Dolphins over Buccaneers: Tampa Bay got a very nice win over Green Bay.  If they don’t win again soon, petitions may start for those ugly bright orange uniforms.  Miami should get enough out of the Wildcat at home to get back on track.

– Jets over Jaguars: Maurice Jones-Drew is special, but the Jags are very mediocre.  The Jets are at home following a bye.  I like Sanchez and company here.

– Steelers over Bengals: Pittsburgh may not lose the rest of the year.  If you think I’m kidding, take a good look at their schedule.  It could pretty much be smooth sailing if they get by this one.  Cincinnati is legit, but Pittsburgh has revenge on their minds after week three.  Plus they are running the ball again, bad combo for opponents.

– Broncos over Redskins: Denver has not looked right offensively the last two weeks.  Don’t expect a blowout here considering the surprising stat that the Redskins allowed 30 points last week for the first time in three years.  The problem in Washington is the offense, especially considering Jason Campbell has ankle issues and Clinton Portis is out Sunday.  This could be very ugly, but I don’t see three losses in a row out of Denver.  The Broncos defense should be able to get a turnover or two and set up the offense with a short field.  I like Denver 13-3.

– Chiefs over Raiders:  I’ll admit it, I flipped a coin here.  Both teams stink.  The Chiefs may have found some life with new addition Chris Chambers, who had two touchdown grabs in Jacksonville last week.  Both teams are bad, but the Raiders have JaMarcus Russell, which makes them really bad.  This is another unwatchable game if you’re stuck with it.

– Eagles over Chargers: San Diego has won three straight, but I sense a letdown here since the Chargers have a showdown in Denver next week.  Philadelphia left one on the table last week against Dallas and should be motivated.  I do think the Eagles have talent offensively that is waiting to break out at any time, and they are due for a big day.  I also think they can slow down the Chargers offense.  I like Philly in a mini-upset.

– Cowboys over Packers:  Green Bay is really struggling to protect Aaron Rodgers.  If he has no time to throw, it doesn’t matter how good his arm is.  The Packers will have the home crowd behind them, but the Cowboys haven’t lost since week four.  If the Cowboys can win here, they can keep separating themselves in the NFC East.

– Vikings over Lions: I think Minnesota is every bit as talented on both sides of the ball as New Orleans.  The Vikings know they need to keep winning and have no margin for error if they want a potential playoff meeting in the Metrodome instead of in New Orleans.  This should be relatively easy for Adrian Peterson and company, and they shouldn’t have any issue slowing the Lions down either.

– Falcons over Panthers: Carolina is actually starting to show some signs of life, even having the lead much of the game in New Orleans, but I think the Falcons are ready to string some wins together.  Michael Turner is running hard again, and if they get the passing game going again along with that, look out.

– Cardinals over Seahawks: I am stunned that Arizona is in danger of a tv blackout here.  The Cardinals just made the Super Bowl last year for crying out loud.  Arizona has been really up and down offensively, but I think they will get two good games in a row from Kurt Warner here.  Seattle has been too inconsistent to rely on in an away game right now.

– Colts over Patriots: The clear game of the week should be a great Sunday nighter.  I almost went with New England as hot as they have been, but if left tackle Matt Light doesn’t play, you might need more than one hand to count the number of sacks for Dwight Freeney.  I also think Peyton Manning is absolutely at the top of his game right now, especially considering some of his inexperienced receivers.  The Colts secondary could have a difficult time covering Moss and Welker, but I think the Indy offense will be able to put up enough points to compensate, especially playing at home.  Colts in a thriller.

– Ravens over Browns:  I really want to know what idiot keeps thinking it’s a good idea to put the Browns on Monday night (they had three appearances last season).  Seriously, even in April,

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Week 9 picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on November 7, 2009

Once again the weekend  has completely snuck up on me.  Let’s at least get some picks in. 

Last week: 7-5 Season: 80-34

– Patriots over Dolphins: Strange stat of the year: Miami is undefeated against AFC East opponents and winless against the rest of the league.  Last year they went into Foxboro and debuted the Wildcat to great success in a surprise demolition of the Patriots.  I don’t see a repeat this year, although this could be interesting.  In the end I like Brady and company showing up following a bye week.  New England wins a close one.

– Ravens over Bengals: This actually qualifies as a mini-upset since so many people are picking Cincinnati, and the Bengals did win in Baltimore already.  However, the Ravens defense proved last week they are still capable of completely shutting down an opponent, and they have an offense to go with it thanks to Ray Rice and Joe Flacco.  This will be a very good game, and I like Baltimore in a squeaker.

– Colts over Texans: This is a huge game for Houston in the sense that they have an opportunity to make a huge statement.  However, the Colts are playing lights out and shouldn’t have any trouble at home.  Incidentally, the Texans suffered a huge blow with the loss of tight end Owen Daniels for the season.

– Jaguars over Chiefs: My deepest sympathy if you’re stuck with this ugly game.  Jacksonville has Maurice Jones-Drew and the Chiefs have, well, ummmmm, let’s just say Jacksonville wins.

– 49ers over Titans: Tennesee did win a game last week, but now they head on a long west coast trip.  The 49ers have had several close losses and are due for a win.  They actually played Indy to within one score last week.  I like the Niners here.

– Giants over Chargers: The thought of the G-men losing four in a row is completely ridiculous.  The Chargers have won two straight but it’s been against the Chiefs and Raiders.  I still think the Giants are a playoff contender and they will step up with a big showing here.  Keep in mind the Chargers will have to deal with the east coast trip.

– Cardinals over Bears: Upset alert.  Call this one a hunch.  Arizona has been really up and down, and they seem to play best when no one expects them to.  The Bears have been best against mediocre competition, but somehow I think the Cardinals have the talent to win a game like this.  I also sense another pick or two for Jay Cutler.

– Seahawks over Lions: Detroit believe it or not is playing better, but they missed their best chance for a win last week against the Rams.  Seattle still feels like they’re in the NFC West race, and they smell blood in the water.  Seahawks win easily.

– Packers over Buccaneers: Green Bay now has the two Favre reunion games behind them, and now should be ready to focus on football.  Tampa Bay is the perfect opponent for Green Bay being that they are looking to get well.  Packers win easily.

– Falcons over Redskins: Another blowout here.  The Falcons showed well in New Orleans, and the Redskins have not come close to showing up at all.  Atlanta by a lot.

– Saints over Panthers: New Orleans is virtually unstoppable offensively, especially at home.  Carolina did get a nice road win last week, but reality hits them as they head into the Superdome.  Saints win with very little trouble.

– Cowboys over Eagles: This seem like an upset pick, but I really think the Cowboys are starting to play a lot better.  I know the Eagles will have Brian Westbrook back, but I have a feeling they’re due for a letdown after last week’s thrashing of the Giants.  I like Dallas here in an entertaining game.

– Broncos over Steelers: I am somewhat amazed how many people have quickly jumped off the Broncos bandwagon after one loss.  Virtually everyone is picking Pittsburgh to win this game, and while the Steelers have won four straight, two of them came against Detroit and Cleveland.  The Steelers also needed to two very fortunate defensive plays to beat the Vikings.  The Steelers’ run defense is still very stingy and Ben Roethlisberger is a terrific quarterback, but I like the Broncos to bounce back after last week’s embarrassment in Baltimore.   Denver will have the home crowd behind them on Monday night, and I like their ability to rise to the occasion on the big stage.  I like the Broncos to win 24-17. 


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