Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Week 6 Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on October 14, 2010

Last Week: 5-9 Season: 39-38

Obviously we were terrible last week.  Granted there were a number of fairly major upsets, but still.  The good news is I’m still alive in my eliminator pool thanks to going with Indy over the Bengals.  Really, this is what makes the NFL so great.  You just never know what’s going to happen.  On to this week’s selections:

– Packers over Dolphins: I am stunned to see that six of the eight ESPN experts are picking the visiting Dolphins.  Really folks?  What are you smoking?  This game is at Lambeau Field.  Plus, the last time we saw the Dolphins, they got completely run off their own field by the Patriots.  Miami looked so lost and confused that game that they aren’t beating anyone unless they get major improvement in a hurry, especially on defense and special teams.  I know the Packers lost last week, but this team has way too much talent to lose a home game like this.  Aaron Rodgers has even been medically cleared to play so that is not an issue.  He will be out there, and that means he’s putting up his usual big numbers.  The Packers are Super Bowl contender and the Dolphins are not.  Did I mention the game is at Lambeau?  Case closed.

– Ravens over Patriots: I picked Baltimore to win the Super Bowl before the season started, and so far I have seen no reason to lack confidence in the selection.  The defense is its usual brick wall self, plus they are scheduled to get Ed Reed back in week seven.  The Ravens also have the offensive weapons to put 30 points on the board, as they did last week.  If the Ravens don’t turn it over, they might just be unbeatable.  The Patriots have played very well certainly, but I think they’re going to miss Randy Moss more than they realize.  Deion Branch should feel comfortable returning where he had success, and while I think the Patriots are still the best team in the AFC East, I don’t see them stacking up to the Ravens even at home.  Let’s not forget Baltimore torched them in Foxboro during the playoffs last year.  This will be closer, but the Ravens will still win.

– Broncos over Jets: UPSET ALERT.  All things being equal, the Jets are the better team.  Their defense has been outstanding (first in the league against the run), and their offense has done enough to win games.  LaDainian Tomlinson has somehow found the fountain the youth, and that is making things easier for Mark Sanchez.  I know this doesn’t look good for the Broncos with their complete lack of a running game (although Knowshon Moreno should be back finally), plus their assorted injuries on defense, but this smells like a big trap for the Jets.  New York has the bye following this, and they are coming off a short week with the Monday night win.  This is a long trip west plus they are going to altitude.  I think these factors coupled with possibly overlooking the Broncos could prove to be trouble for the Jets.  I think Kyle Orton has another huge day, especially if Darrelle Revis sits out as expected.  I think the home crowd gives Denver a lift and they find a way to pull the upset.

– Steelers over Browns: Ben Roethlisberger is back.  Colt McCoy is starting for the Browns.  The Steelers own this series.  Let’s just move on to a more competitive game.  The only reason this isn’t my eliminator pick is I’m saving the Steeelers for later in the season.

– Texans over Chiefs: This one is very interesting.  I am starting to think the Chiefs’ defense might be for real given the way they shut down Peyton Manning last week and held the Colts to a bunch of field goals.  The thing that gives me major pause though is Matt Cassel, who is continuing to prove he is nothing but mediocre.  At least the Chiefs are starting to give Jamaal Charles more carries, which is a really good idea given his explosiveness.  The Texans got mutilated in every way last week, but I would be shocked if their offense laid that big an egg two weeks in a row.  Plus, their defense should continue to get better as Brian Cushing gets settled back in.  This will be close and should be highly entertaining, but I’m taking the Texans at home on a hunch.

– 49ers over Raiders: I feel like Charlie Brown kicking the football when it comes to the 49ers.  I picked them to win the division at the start of the season.  I keep picking them to win every week.  Every week they hang another loss on my record in maddening fashion.  I guess I figure they can’t possibly go 0-16.  The talent is still there.  They have the ability to run, to pass, and their defense should be among the best in the league.  Part of me still says that if they can turn it around, they aren’t out of it because the NFC West is so atrocious.  I think they’ll get it done here because the Raiders have a proven track record of not coming to play two weeks in a row.  Last week they stunned the Chargers, but I don’t think they have it in them to care in back to back weeks.  If the 49ers lose this I’ll be the last one off the bandwagon.

– Chargers over Rams: San Diego is 2-3, which actually isn’t all that different from where they were a year ago.  The Chargers have the look of a team that just hasn’t turned the switch on yet.  Their two wins have been blowouts, and their three losses have been major head scratchers against teams they should have beaten.  I think the Rams could actually give them a challenge at home, especially given the way Sam Bradford is playing in his rookie season, but I also think they don’t have what it takes to stop all of San Diego’s weapons.  I am perplexed as to why they don’t use Darren Sproles more.  Perhaps this is the week they unleash him on the speedy indoor surface in St. Louis.

– Vikings over Cowboys: Call this the disappointment bowl.  Both teams were expected to be major playoff contenders.  Now, both sit 1-3 and in danger of completely falling off the map.  In some ways, this could be considered an early playoff game, because the winner can start to see the middle of the pack again, and the loser will pretty much be TKO’d.  I am highly amused by the way that Jerry Jones says he is not planning on firing Wade Phillips “at this time”.  That has all the makings of him feeling differently in a month.  I think both of these teams have talent that does not reflect their poor record, but something has to give here.  I think given that the game is in Minnesota, I am sensing a big breakout game for Adrian Peterson as well as the passing game.  I also don’t like this matchup for the Cowboys offense (remember the playoff beatdown last year?).  I think the Vikings still could be a playoff team if they can stay healthy, and it just doesn’t appear to be in the cards for the flawed Cowboys.

– Giants over Lions: This is my eliminator selection for the week.  I know the Lions routed the Rams last week, but they still have yet to take their act on the road in a number of years.  I don’t like their chances here with Shaun Hill still taking snaps for the injured Matthew Stafford.  I think the Giants for the past two weeks have been more than solid in every phase of the game.  The defense is getting tremendous pressure without having to use exotic blitz packages, and that is making them extremely effective against both the run and the pass.  I also think the running game is humming along nicely, especially now that Ahmad Bradshaw’s heel should be healed heading into this game.  I think the Giants offense could put up 30 points for the second straight week, and that should be more than enough.

– Falcons over Eagles: Michael Vick still looks to be out for the Eagles, although Kevin Kolb did play pretty well in the win over San Francisco.  Still, the Eagles appear to be one of those teams that looks extremely flashy but can’t seem to put things together on a consistent basis.  I think the Falcons are on the verge of really breaking out, to the point where they could be considered one of the league’s top five teams.  Their passing game in particular has been lighting it up, and I don’t see that changing against anyone.  Their defense has also been playing exceptionally well.  I take the Falcons on the road.

– Bears over Seahawks: Jay Cutler returns after sitting out last week with a concussion.  The Bears were able to win without him thanks to another outstanding defensive effort, plus, well, they were playing a Panthers team that wasn’t much opposition.  Still, the Bears have to rank as one of the early surprises of the season at 4-1, and they have another very winnable game Sunday at Soldier Field.  Seattle has been very up and down, but the one constant is they’ve been awful on the road.  If the Bears defense continues to play as well as it has, I think they’ll cause major problems for Matt Hasselbeck.  I’m still not sold on Chicago’s offense, but they won’t need to score very many points to win this game.

– Saints over Buccaneers: New Orleans losing to Arizona last week was one of many major upsets.  The Saints are starting to see what every defending Super Bowl winner sees: the absolute best effort from every opponent.  That should still be true against Tampa, where the Buccaneers are somehow over .500.  Last week they were able to take advantage of major errors by the Bengals, but I think the Saints have too much pride not to come out fighting after last week’s loss.  Plus, the last time I picked the Bucs to win they got shredded 38-6 at home.  Thus, I pick the visiting Saints.

– Colts over Redskins: Mike Shanahan has quietly put together back to back wins against quality opposition, and the Redskins are 3-2 and in the mix.  This game will tell us a lot about the progress Shanahan has made in D.C., because the Colts are the one team that always shredded his Denver teams no matter what.  The Redskins’ defense has been terrific the last two games, but of course they are about to tangle with Peyton Manning.  The Colts haven’t quite looked themselves this season, but I’m still not one to bet against Manning without a compelling reason.  I think he bounces back with a monster game on Sunday night, and I just don’t think Donovan McNabb and company can keep up.

– Jaguars over Titans: This is an upset alert of sorts, but I only say that because all eight ESPN experts are going with the Titans.  I don’t think a Jacksonville win can be considered much of an upset when they are at home on a Monday night and they are coming off back to back wins.  The Jags’ offense has scored a combined 67 points in their last two games, and David Garrard has shockingly thrown multiple TD passes each week.  The Jaguars also have Maurice Jones-Drew, who has owned the Titans in previous meetings (think multiple 80-yard touchdown runs last season).  Chris Johnson is of course a threat to score every time as well, but I think Vince Young might actually have a tough time with Jacksonville’s defense.  I pick the Jaguars, and I don’t think it’s much of  a stretch.

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