Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week 11 NFL picks

Futility time again, as I make the rest of my week 11 picks, starting with: Baltimore Ravens @ Carolina Panthers: Whatever it is that the Panthers are selling, I aint buying. Hands up here anyone who knew who Brian St. Pierre was prior to this week? Anybody? I thought as much. It just seems like the Panthers are shooting for the number 1 overall pick, because I don't see how bringing in St. Pierre to start helps your football team. I understand that Tony Pike is a rookie, but Pierre's career passing yard tally amounts to a whole 12 yards. I'd rather take the chance with the rookie if I'm completely honest. The only possible explanations other than the "number one pick solution" is that the Panthers are shielding Pike from the possibility of injury and disappointment at the hands of the Ravens D, or it's just a plain ruse to make the Ravens work harder in film study. Either way, Baltimore should -- theoretically -- walk this one. Ravens win. Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals: Hmm (one of them). How do you separate two teams like this? The Bills play defense like the Texans. The Bengals play offense like the Alex Smith led 49ers. It's madness. The Bengals really do have a good team that is loaded with depth. I'm being honest, they do! The trouble is that right now they're not loaded at the QB position. Carson Palmer is just inconsistent. For a whole half of football he'll throw the ball like it was made of lead and with the vision of Stevie Wonder. Then in the second half -- usually when it's too late -- he'll suddenly start channeling his inner Peyton Manning and hit some good throws. That for me poses a big problem and I can't help but go with Ryan Fitzpatrick for this one. Bills win. Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys: We have a problem to solve here; was that the real Cowboys playing last Sunday, or was it just the shock of getting a new head coach? Can we honestly predict that the Cowboys will repeat that showing? But then thinking about it, who cares? They're playing the Lions, a team that should have really done more with itself this season. The offense has been suspect and the defense has trouble showing up to every game. On balance, I have to go with Dallas here. Cowboys win. Cleveland Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars: The Browns have a problem. Josh Cribbs is out with a foot injury. That leaves the Browns with Colt McCoy, Peyton Hillis and who else on offense? I jest of course, but the Browns will miss Cribbs big time. He's one of the few threats to keep people away from loading the box on Hillis on first and second down. Which is precisely what I expect the Jaguars to do, putting Colt McCoy on the spot. And given that I'm a McCoy fanboy, I think he'll step up. The Jaguars have the potential to give the Browns defense a run for its money, but then we all thought the Patriots would do that too..... Browns win. Arizona Cardinals @ Kansas City Chiefs: Don't give up on the Chiefs just yet. Primarily this is because they're playing the Cardinals, but also because they still have a tough defense. Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali have done really well so far this season, but they still have more left in the tank. Meanwhile Eric Berry is developing into an excellent safety on the back end, all of which should be enough to keep the Cardinals in check. Ahh the Cardinals, how far they've fallen this season. Proof that even a receiver like Larry Fitzgerald is worth little without someone to get him the ball. Chiefs win. Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings: This is it. This will be Favre's last shot at Green Bay. I think even if he wants to come back next year, his body wont let him and nobody will be that desperate. Ok, maybe the Panthers, but other than them nobody will be that desperate. So, will we see Monsieur Favre (fact: I failed French in school) go out with a bang? Well that depends what type of bang we're talking about. If it's the bang where Favre dances in the middle of the field with his arms in the air after throwing a last second TD, then probably not. If it's the bang where Clay Matthews and Desmond Bishop meet in the backfield and have their attempt at a man-hug rudely broken up by Favre inconveniently standing between them, then I think we might be on for a winner. As will Green Bay. Packers win. Houston Texans @ New York Jets: The Texans could do a lot worse than to sit down and take comprehensive notes of the Jets defense on Sunday. If the Jets D is close to being the cream of the crop in the NFL, then the Texans D are one of those irritating bits of instant coffee that never seems to fully dissolve, no matter how much boiling water it comes into contact with. In fact, the Texans D is so bad this year that they might just make Mark Sanchez look like Peyton Manning for the day. The big question mark for me though is this; what the hell happened to the Texans offense? What happened to Matt Schaub? What happened to Arian Fosters early start? They've just disappeared into the NFL abyss. Which means only one thing. Jets win. Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Strength vs. Strength time, as the Raiders rushing attack matches up with the Steelers rush defense. I so badly want to take the Raiders for this one. So badly. But I just don't know if I can. How much do I trust Jason Campbell to put the ball up in the air for Jacoby Ford and Zack Miller (you mean Zach Miller) knowing that Troy Polamalu is lurking in that secondary? I've also become an Ike Taylor fan in recent weeks, which doesn't help the cause. But then on the flip side, I don't trust Roethlisberger either. Lately, under pressure -- which he's sure to receive with Richard Seymour and Kamerion Wimbley on the field -- he just seems to lose sight of the field and panic. And with the Steelers getting away from their running game, I just can't ditch that niggling feeling in the back of my mind. Ah screw it, Raiders win. Washington Redskins @ Tennessee Titans: I know I've championed the Titans this season and they've basically fallen flat on their face time and again, but I'm going to back them once more. This has very little to do with the Titans themselves, and a lot to do with the Redskins. I watched in awe last week as what I previously thought was an ok defense just collapsed like a house of cards in strong breeze. And the offense did absolutely nothing to help the situation. They simply looked inept on a level not seen since the Lions went 0-16. I can't back that horse. McNabb is back to his inconsistent best (for now) and the legend that was Brian Orakpo appears to be on holiday. Ryan Torain can't buy 20 carries from his coaches, while Chris Cooley & Fred Davis are currently looking like the greatest double act that never was. In short, Titans win. Seattle Seahawks @ New Orleans Saints: Hahahahaha, c'mon. This is criminal. Of course, having laughed so heartily at the Seahawks I'm setting myself up for a fall, but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. Or more to the point, the way the Seahawks line crumbles. I swear that line couldn't block a pensioner on a mobility scooter. They just seem to flap and flail at the defensive line without doing a lot. The most stable base any of them have seen all season was at the bottom of a pizza box that they sneaked into training camp. For the Saints, this should be a Brees (chortle, chortle). Saints win. Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Fransisco 49ers: Do you know what the worst thing is right now about being a 49ers fan? We've won two games in a row and I still can't back my team. I was impressed at first by Troy Smith's attitude towards winning the starting job. But I'm a realist. What I see when I watch him play is a lot of balls being hurled into the air, followed by a little prayer. So far God has smiled on Troy, but it can't last. He misses clear reads down the field and throws into coverage far too often. Like Romeo and Juliet, it's destined to end in tears. Bucs' win. Atlanta Falcons @ St. Louis Rams: I'm loving the Rams this year and if it wasn't for the fact that they're in the 49ers division and therefore can die on steaks covered in salt, I'd probably cheer for them. The defense looks like it has life for a change and Sam Bradford is doing a pretty good job as the starting QB. All things considered though, I have to take the Falcons. "Matty Ice" is on fire. If that makes sense. More to the point, the Falcons defense -- spearheaded by LB Curtis Lofton -- is keeping the score down in the early stages, allowing the Falcons to stick with Michael Turner and their running game. This leads to opportunities for Matt Ryan to go play-action to Roddy White, with inevitable consequences (one day, people might even start talking about White in the same breath as Andre Johnson. One day). So yeah. Falcons win. Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots: I wish people would stop calling it a conspiracy that these two teams play so often. They both won their division last year, hence they both play each other, as indeed they will both play the winner of the AFC North (the Bengals) and AFC West (the Chargers). There, now you know why they keep playing each other, because they are both consistently very good teams that clock up division wins like they were being handed out for free. Which is why it always makes for compelling viewing. Probably the two best QBs of the modern age going head to head for bragging rights. Brady vs. Manning. And not forgetting Belichick versus Manning. And occasionally it would seem, Belichick versus the Patriots. I can't tell you how many times you're going to see that fourth and two attempt on TV this weekend, but I'm guessing it's going to run into the craploads. It'll be interesting to see how Belichick handles his fourth down decisions in this one. Oh, and the Patriots win. New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles: After his stunning show on Monday Night Football last week, Vick now faces a Giants defense that has earned a reputation this year for sidelining QBs. It'll be an interesting watch, that's for sure. Just how do you defend someone like Vick? If you sit back to stop him running, then you have to give him all the time in the world to pick apart your secondary. And if you go after him? You'd better darn well get home, or he'll find the gap and get on his horse downfield. Personally I'd favour going after him and potentially letting him run. That's preferable to sitting back and watching him sling the rock 60 yards to DeSean Jackson who then proceeds to toast your secondary on his way to the end zone. But it's not about what I'd do, it's about what the Giants will do. Which is lose, I think. Eagles win. Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers: The week that I said the Broncos had a roster capable of winning a Super Bowl, they bombed in spectacular fashion. The following week I said ok, have it your way, you suck. And they nailed the Chiefs into obscurity for 60 minutes. So I have no idea which Broncos team will show up this week. I also have no idea which Chargers team will show up. Will it be the "lots of yards, but few points" Chargers? Or the "Modest Yards, actually scores points" Chargers? And will they have closed the gaping hole in the middle (literally) of their special teams protection? Given the amount of variables, I will side against the Chargers. Broncos win. And there you have it. 15 of the best. I'm already one down after Thursday nights embarrassment by the Dolphins O-line. Here's hoping for a bit better luck. Have a great day everyone. (and just for Carson Palmer)

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Nice choice with the Lions game. Who would've thought they'd shoot themselves in the foot by getting 2 weak assed horse collar penalties. One was a hair pull. That's not a penalty. How many injuries really occured as a result of that "tackle"? T.O. got hurt that way...that's about the biggest deal I heard of. I need a kleenex for all my tears as a Det. fan. Mr. Ford, please let someone else be the guy in charge.