Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Week 9 NFL Picks

After it looked like things might get back on track, it all went south again last week with a 6-8 record highlighted by the Cowboys six turnover fiasco against the Giants and the Packers doing everything possible not to cover against the Jags including attempting a fake field goal where they showed they were going to fake the field goal long enough for the Jags to set-up their defense . . . and then faked it anyway. Needless to say it failed and now that play stands as the poster child for my 2012 NFL picks. Let's ride that positive energy into the Week 9 picks.

Denver by 3.5 over Cincinnati: The Pick - Broncos

Peyton Manning is hitting his stride and the Bengals are regressing. Eventually defenses were going to figure out that A.J. Green is the whole offense and shut him down like the Steelers did last week. At least that was the theory I was operating under when I traded him. Expect A.J. to throw-up a line of 10-165-2 today. (Crap).

Green Bay by 10 over Arizona: The Pick - Packers

The Cardinals 4-0 mirage has dissolved into an 0-4 run during which they are averaging 9 points per game. The Packers have been trending in the other direction averaging 30+ in their last five games. Based on my current record, I should probably stop making these picks based on trends but I just can't see John Skelton keeping the Cards in the game against Aaron Rodgers (you mean the way Blaine Gabbert kept the Jags in the game against him last week? . . . oh shut up).

Miami by 2.5 over Indianapolis: The Pick - Dolphins

"That's why the guys in my car
club call me 'The Cruiser.'"
All you need to know about the 2012 AFC is that at least one of these two teams is probably going to make the playoffs. I know Tennehill is probably going to start but I actually like the Dolphins with Matt Moore under center as a grind it out defensive minded team winning games 17-13 and finishing 10-6. At least Moore knows what teams are in their division - (Good Thing This Wasn't on the Wonderlic). The Colts are looking more like 8-8 with two games left against the Texans plus road trips to New England and Detroit.

Baltimore by 3.5 over Cleveland: The Pick - Ravens

The Ravens are right about where they always are after seven games. Banged-up, underrated and on pace to make the playoffs. Cam Cameron is up to his old shenanigans as Ray Rice is averaging 15 carries per game despite the fact that he has the 4th highest yards per carry of any running back in the top twelve rushing leaders. By comparison, Arian Foster is averaging 24 carries per game and, at their current rates, Foster will finish with 384 carries to Rice's 242. I'm going to continue to defer to the judgement of Cameron, however, as he is the offensive "guru."*

Houston by 10 over Buffalo: The Pick - Bills

I'm not sold on the Texans yet. Sure all of the pieces are there, but at this point their most impressive win was a home blowout of the Ravens the week after Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb went down for the season. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are finally both healthy again and, if Mario Williams is ever going to wake-up and start earning some of that ridiculous $96M the Bills are paying him, you would figure it would be in his homecoming game.

(Up against the deadline so we're going to rapid fire these last few picks).

Washington by 3.5 over Carolina: The Pick - Panthers

I was going to write something like, "it's Cam Newton versus Cam Newton 2.0" but that is so freakin' cheesy that I'm going to leave it for the Fox pregame show. I like the Panthers' underrated D to at least keep this one close.

Seattle by 4 over Minnesota: The Pick - Seahawks
In addition to the crowd noise,
every Seahawk player apparently
has his own "Locker Buddy."

I'm taking the Seahawks at home with any reasonable number for the rest of the season. Qwest field is rapidly approaching Jake Delhomme status as a gambling factor (and that's saying something). 

Detroit by 3.5 over Jacksonville: The Pick - Lions

The Jags' best player is injured and they're on a collision course for the #1 pick in the draft one year after Andrew Luck and RG, III were available. On the bright side, Cleveland fans finally have someone to look down on.

Chicago by 3.5 over Tennessee: The Pick - Bears

Tough to take the Bears and give points these days as Jay Cutler has gone into Motor Vehicle Administration Lifetime Employee Survivor Mode ("MVALESM") where he's doing just enough to keep getting promoted. Lucky for him, that defense is in the groove right now and I see a 12 carry 23 yard afternoon beatdown for Chris Johnson.

Oakland by 1.5 over Tampa Bay: The Pick - Bucs

The Bucs are still being underrated as they now have a flashy running back, a solid "B" quarterback and a stingy defense. Meanwhile the Raiders are coming off of uninspiring wins against the Jags and Chiefs who are a combined 2-13. Despite my pick, I'm rooting for the Raiders in this one so we can watch Raider Nation's reaction to the Bucs crashing the "V" formation.

N.Y. Giants by 3.5 over Pittsburgh: The Pick - Steelers

The Giants were due for a letdown game against the Cowboys last week and they had it, only the Cowboys blew it thanks to their aforementioned turnover fest. So now the Giants are still due for a letdown game (especially at home) and look who's there to take advantage. If the Steelers win this game and the Ravens lose to the Browns, the FGR is going to be taking on a decidedly different tone next week (and that may not be such a bad thing).
"Wait, wait, wait . . . what are the
ways you can make the clock
stop running again?"

Atlanta by 4.5 over Dallas: The Pick - Cowboys

We are way overdue for a Falcons loss and for the Cowboys to play one game without their heads collectively inspecting their own colons.

New Orleans by 3.5 over Philadelphia: The Pick - Saints

About the only thing I've been right about all year is that Drew Brees is the guy you take in the first round of your fantasy draft if you want to eliminate the possibility of a bust as he is currently second in the league to Tom Brady in yardage and second to Aaron Rodgers in touchdown passes. Michael Vick, not so much. To the extent the implosion of the Eagles has been flying under the national radar, this Monday night should be their coming-out party.

Last Week's Record: 6-8 . . . Season Record: 53-63-3

Endnotes

* Just like Chan Gailey in Buffalo, Pat Shurmur in Cleveland and Jason Garrett in Dallas are offensive "gurus." I'm starting to wonder if I really understand the meaning of the word "guru."