Friday, October 14, 2011

The Week 6 NFL Picks

We need to fill some air time until the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January and what better (and easier) way to fill that gap than to make some NFL picks and sprinkle in a little fantasy advice.  In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Ravens fan so I am inclined to pick against the Steelers because I simply hate them more than anything on Earth.  For example, I was coaching a little league soccer game on Saturday and a little girl who was probably about five years old was walking between the fields holding her mother’s hand and crying her eyes out.  The other dads and I turned to look and saw that both she and her mother were wearing Roethlisberger jerseys.  We then looked at each other and all thought the exact same thing.  “Good.”  And who buys their daughter a Roethlisberger jersey?  I hope it came with can of mace.  On with the picks: 

Green Bay by 14.5 over St. Louis:  The pick – Packers.
A winless team going on the road to play the best team in football that also happens to be an offensive juggernaut.  Feels like a 31-10 game.  We know why the Colts are 0-5 but what happened to the Rams?  Was Danny Amendola really that critical?  Look for James Starks to have a fantasy impact as the Pack protects a 21+ point lead from the second quarter on.    

Pittsburgh by 12 over Jacksonville:  The pick – Steelers.
Hey Blaine come over here!
I need to show you somethin'.
With no passing game, a lame duck coach and a brutal schedule from here on out, the Jags have to be considered a dark horse in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes which would make that Blaine Gabbert pick sting a bit.  The Steelers’ defense is going to have a field day in this one.  They’re playing at home against a rookie quarterback named “Blaine.”  He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t get a Port-O-Pot swirly on the way into the stadium.             

Philadelphia by 1.5 over Washington:  The pick – Redskins. 
I had the Eagles here because they can't be as bad as their record and I don’t believe in the Redskins yet but I think that’s a product of media influence and the fact that I hate the Skins almost as much as the Steelers.  Then I remembered the play with 8 seconds left in the first half last week when, instead of kicking the field goal with no timeouts left, Andy Reid had Michael Vick take a full drop and try to find a receiver in the endzone from 30+ yards out before he finally threw it through the uprights as time expired.  When they cut to Reid, he was standing there with a look that said “huh…didn’t see that coming.  Well…whatever.”  I’ll go with Mike Shanahan and the home team to cover as the Skins' underrated defense has a good day.

Detroit by 4 over San Francisco:  The pick – 49’ers.
The 49’ers have played three games on the road.  They’ve won two and lost to Dallas by 3 points in the other.  I see them keeping this one close or scoring a backdoor touchdown as time expires to cover because that’s the kind of thing Harbaugh coached teams do.  Look for Vernon Davis to catch at least 10 balls as Alex Smith audibles multiple 5 yard out patterns as Ndamukong Suh’s breath at the line of scrimmage gives off the scent of pure fear. 

Atlanta by 4 over Carolina:  The pick – Panthers.
Who impresses you on the Falcons other than maybe Roddy White?  Matt Ryan is overrated, Michael Turner has almost no tread left on his tires and they don’t have a defensive playmaker yet they were so arrogant about their talent level that they traded their whole draft for Julio Jones.  Whoops.  Steve Smith goes off in this game.

Cincinnati by 7 over Indy:  The pick – Bengals.
As a Ravens fan, the Bengals suddenly scare me which is what happens when you replace Carson Palmer and Ochocinco with Andy Dalton and A.J. Green.  Thank God Mike Brown is too stubborn to trade Palmer for a draft pick or some depth.  He’s every Ravens, Steelers and Browns fan’s favorite general manager.  A.J. Green continues to show why he would have been rookie of the year in most other seasons.

New York Giants by 3 over Buffalo:  The pick – Giants.
"The Seahawks?!?!  Are
you guys f--king kidding me?
The Seahawks!?!?!?!"
The Bills have been living off defensive touchdowns this year and who would you rather play when you’re on that kind of roll than any NFC East quarterback?  Two things have me leaning the other way.  Tom Coughlin must have challenged his one week f-bomb record after losing to the Seahawks last Sunday and the Bills have only played one decent team on the road this year and they lost that game to the Bengals.  Feels like a reality check for the Bills and a multi-touchdown game for Ahmad Bradshaw.  

Baltimore by 8 over Houston:  The pick – Ravens.
This spread clearly does not factor in the 4:05 start time.  I can tell you that it is very eerie in Ravens’ stadium when the sun goes down.    Whatever it is, when you see the opposing team’s quarterback, you feel a strange sense of sympathy for him like there’s chance he might never see the sun again.  After about his third series without Andre Johnson, don’t be surprised to see Matt Schaub pull a Jay Cutler/Lance Armstrong and hop on the bike for the rest of the night.  Joe Flacco will bounce back and play well like he always does against mediocre defenses.  

Oakland by 6.5 over Cleveland:  The pick – Raiders.
The Browns are improving but they’re not going into the Black Hole a week after Al Davis died and competing with the Raiders - especially with Peyton Hillis on the outs with his teammates.  “Oh, was I supposed to block the linebacker on that play?  I’m sorry.  Must have been thinking about my conract”  Jason Campbell is another quarterback who knows how to take it to a mid-level defense so he should have a good week. 

New England by 7 over Dallas:  The pick – Patriots.  
These teams seem pretty comparable to me everywhere but at quarterback.  I think that about covers it.  I don’t know what the record is for most combined fantasy points in one game by all tight ends is, but this game could give it a run.  

New Orleans by 4.5 over Tampa Bay:  The pick – Saints.
I feel like I’m missing something with this line.  The Saints are a good road team and the Bucs are coming off a blowout loss to the 49’ers and a home win over the Colts that was closer than it should have been.  They look like an 8-8 team and the Saints are heading for a first round bye and a dream NFC Championship Game match-up against the Packers in Lambeau which would be sweet.  Brees and Graham continue their roll.

Chicago by 3 over Minnesota:  The pick – Vikings.
The Bears’ line trying to stop Jared Allen eliminates any advantage they have at quarterback and that’s saying something considering who the Vikings currently have at quarterback.  Adrian Peterson is still the best pure running back in the league and that should be enough.  

New York Jets by 7 over Miami:  The pick – Jets.                                       
I didn't realize what a beaten down stock the Jets were until I saw this line.  Yes, they should be 1-4 and they have lost three in a row but those games were at Oakland, at Baltimore and at New England.  The Dolphins are the worst team in football, are starting a quarterback that most teams wouldn't even carry as a backup and their coach has been subtly clearing-out his office for the last two weeks to make his inevitable departure more efficient.  Rex Ryan will waddle out there and play nose tackle himself before he loses this one.  The Jets win big and Shonne Greene finally shows some signs of life.