Okay, so last week the football gods blasted me off of whatever horse I was on. Each week there is always the chance of being humbled, whether you are making picks or your name is the Green Bay Packers. But that is what football is about, getting punched in the mouth and getting back up to take another stab at it. I got off on the right foot this past Thursday night with my Bengals pick (-12), hopefully I don’t screw the rest of this up.
Here is my record to last week, yeeesh. Straight Up : 6-8 Vs the Spread: 5-7
To date: Straight Up: 46-25 Vs the Spread: 28-24
After last week’s Broncos-like ass kicking, here are my Week 9 NFL Picks.
Packers @ Panthers / Line GB -2.5
This game scares me for all the reasons you saw on display last Sunday night. Panthers will have to lose eventually and Sunday could be it. While the Packers still have to navigate the toughest two game road stretch that any team in the NFL will have to deal within 2015. I hope to God I’m reverse jinxing myself but I don’t think Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have bottomed out yet.
Panthers 24 Packers 20 / CAR +2.5
Redskins @ Patriots / Line NE -15
The Redskins have proven to be frisky as of late. While the “Belicheck Machine” has turned in two very different performances at home; a squeaker versus the Jets and and ass kicking against the Dan Campbell’s (Dolphins). Multiple times have teams turned in a back door cover vs the Pats, I’m still picking them to win and win handily, just watch out for the late cover.
Patriots 34 Redskins 20 / WAS +15
Titans @ Saints / Line NO -9
Saint Drew Brees was resurrected last week, after everybody including myself left him for dead on the side of the road after the first 5 weeks. It’s amazing what throwing 7 touchdowns will do for the line. It doesn’t hurt when you fire the worst remaining coach (Ken Wisenhunt) with the best secret stat nobody knew about (4-31 in his last 35 games!). The Saints look to have their mojo back at home and well, the Titans are the Titans. At least they get Mariota back this week, still not enough to pick them.
Saints 31 Titans 20 / NO -9
Dolphins @ Bills / Line BUF -2.5
Lets have an applause for the pretenders of the AFC East division crown. There was a time when Buffalo looked good, and then we realized that Rex Ryan still does Rex Ryan things and he will never be good without a legit quarterback. The Dolphins had that look until last week when they realized they couldn’t keep playing the Titans and Texans every week. Plus the Cameron Wake injury most likely spells the end of their playoff hopes. But there still is 2nd place in the AFC East at stake! Although the winner of this game basically gets a gift bag saying you don’t suck as bad as the other two teams but “no playoffs for you”(Soup Nazi voice)…… Oh yeah, my pick.
Dolphins 23 Bills 20 / MIA +2.5
Rams @ Vikings / Line EVEN
A lot of story lines in this one. It is the quasi game of the week along with GB @ CAR. It could very well be the changing of the guard game for the “Best RB in the NFL”. Adrian Peterson has held the championship belt since 2007 when he wrestled it away from LaDainian Tomlinsen. Todd Gurley has the same look and his play has vaulted the Rams into a legit WC team and possible NFC West Crown discussion if Arizona suffers anymore hiccups on the road. I personally think Minnesota is fraudulent and if they are not, this is the game to prove me wrong……. The Vikings are not going to prove me wrong.
Rams 23 Vikings 20 / STL
Jaguars @ Jets / Line NYJ -9
After looking good against the Pats, the Jets had a WC team feel to them. Then the Raiders kicked their ass up and down the field and took a firm grasp of one of the AFC WC spots. Nothing like facing the Jaguars to get you back into your groove. Only thing, the Jags are not completely terrible as in years past. They have burgeoning offensive weapons in Bortles, Allen Robinson, Yeldon etc. Now while I’m not ready to take the Jags on the road just yet. With the uncertainty at the QB spot for the Jets, 9 is way too much to be giving.
Jets 24 Jags 20 / JAX +9
Raiders @ Steelers / PIT -4
Such a shame for the Steelers offense, their triplets (Ben, Brown and Bell) were on the field together this year for maybe 25 plays? Injuries have had the Steelers just barely hanging on. The Raiders have been impressive in back to back weeks. But now they must take their show on the road. While the Steelers are not at full strength, we have seen their defense make life hell for legit offenses when they play at home (vs AZ and CIN). The Steelers have been here before, the Raiders are now just learning on how to stack success, growing pains often are needed to make the jump to the next level. Gun to my head, I’m going with the Steelers to win but the Raiders to cover.
Steelers 24 Raiders 21 / OAK +4
Giants @ Buccaneers / NYG -2.5
We learned two things last week, the Giants defense is absolutely horrendous and Jameis Winston is starting to do things (“things” my next level analysis for he’s improving). I just can’t get a feel for this Giants team, which is basically the same line toted since the Tom Coughlin/Eli Manning era began. Eli and company can score with the best of them, Odell finally looks to be breaking out. The Bucs are still missing Vincent Jackson on the outside and Winston will need as many weapons as he can get. I just don’t see Jameis keeping up in a shoot out if Eli and Odell get hot.
Giants 27 Bucs 20 / NYG -2.5
Niners @ Falcons / Line ATL -7.5
Remember when these two teams played for the 2012 NFCCG? My god what the hell has happened to Kaepernick? He’s fizzled out faster than Linsanity. Ron Jaworski claimed Kaepernick to have the potential to be the greatest QB of all-time?! That is one more reason I hate ESPN for shuttering Grantland, this guy still has a job and Bill Barnwell does not?! Okay, okay, I’m getting off topic. Back to the prediction. Kaepernick is now benched for the 96th Jaguar quarterback to become a 1st RD bust, Blaine Gabbert. The Falcons might be the only team more smoke and mirrors than the Vikings so far in 2015. They have under performed for four straight weeks; after going 15 rounds with the Titans, yes the Titans, Jameis Winston and the Bucs beat them! The only thing saving Atlanta is a cup cake soft schedule, and it will only get easier in facing Blaine Gabbert.
Falcons 27 Niners 16 / ATL -7.5
Broncos @ Colts / Line DEN -5
Is it time to start talking about the 2015 Broncos defense as an all-time great unit? Up there with the ’85 Bears, 2000 Ravens and 2013 Seahawks? It might be. Now granted all the stars aligned for the Broncos on SNF, just like they did for Seattle in SB 48 (sorry Denver fans). But this defense has no weaknesses and I am very curious as to how they match up with the Matinee Idol Tom Brady in a few weeks. Throw along the fact that Peyton looked great last week, as did his offensive line for the first time all year. As for the Colts, the storm is coming, Andrew Luck has gotten the crap kicked out of him all year and is likely playing with fractured ribs for the sole purpose that Chuck Pagano is coaching for his job. T.Y. Hilton is not expected to play and the Colts can’t block. Given those two statements, I’m not sure Luck will make it out of this game alive. I do know one thing, one more ugly loss and Chuck Pagano will not.
Broncos 23 Colts 13 / DEN -5
Eagles @ Cowboys / PHI -3
In the putrid NFC East, everybody still has a shot. The Cowboys defense stood tall last week against Seattle but the same old story popped up again, they will do nothing till Romo gets back. Each week Dallas has needed 2 or 3 plays to turn momentum and win the game, Weeden and Cassell are not going to get it done. As for the Eagles, some how they are still in this thing. It will be interesting if DeMarco Murray can get going in Jerry World. I still don’t know what Chip Kelly’s offensive identity is. I don’t even know who wins this game, the NFC East is that unpredictable. I’m just going to flip a coin, heads its Philly, tails its Dallas…….flips………waiting……….really?! It landed on its side!!!
Eagles 24 Cowboys 20 / PHI -4
Bears @ Chargers / Line SD -4
The Chargers suffer another big blow in Keenan Allen being out for the remainder of the season. The Chargers have looked good in some games (on the road vs GB) and absolutely terrible in others (at home vs Oak). They have the worst home field advantage in the NFL, away teams routinely come in great numbers and force Rivers to go to a silent count at home (inexcusable for a fan base looking to keep its team). The Bears meanwhile have been frisky as of late and might have been on the road to making some noise but they absolutely blew a very winnable game against Minnesota last week. This is another toss up that I’m not really sure what happens. Screw it. I’m going with the Bears.
Bears 23 Chargers 20 / CHI +4