I rocked with the picks last week, and I feel a bit good about this NFL seaosn as far as noticing the trends and picking the winners. I've been reading some new fiction and non-fiction books and trying to figure out some big picture things which I may write about soon. I think we as a society settle for mediocrity too much and in too docile of a manner.
BOYS - 9 over vikings Dallas will stack the line vs. Purple Jesus and force Tavaris Jackson the beat them. It won't work well for them. On the flip side, Minnesota's run defense is awesome, but their pass defense is horrible. This is not good when facing Romo and his cadre of options. The cowboys could enter the bye with a 6-1 record and a 3 week stretch of divisional foes that could determine the division title by week 12. If dallas swept, they would be up on the division foes by 2 games at the least and the tiebreaker over the giants. even going 2-1 would be solid and have them sitting at 8-2 with 6 games to go.
BILLS +3 over Ravens The ravens give me this paper champion feeling. they were very lucky in their run last year behind great special teams and defensive play with a sprinkling of lucky bounces on ill advised throws by McNair. They foolishly let Adalius Thomas go to the Pats, and that loss has not and will not be filled anytime soon. I can't believe I pikced them to win their division with the addition of McGahee. i still dont understand why ozzie newsoem keeps billick around. draft some o-linemen, grab a QB in free agency for the interim and try to get one big run with the defense you have right now.
LIONS -2 over Bucs I think the Colts showed teams how to stymie the Bucs offense. Oh yeah, the Bucs also are without their starting LT and RB. Garcia is a nice decision maker and can run a 2min drill. He just can't win games by himself at 38.
Pats -17 over Dolphins This line should be in the 20s. The Dolphins are old on defense and the Pats look unstoppable through the air right now. If the Dolphins can grind out drives with Ronnie Brown and keep throws to Moss to a minimum, they might be able to keep this to 31-17. i know the pats are primed for a 19-0 run but let's slow down as they have 1 win against a team over .500.
SAINTS -9 over Falcons With how ugly the NFC South is, the Saints could start the march to the playoffs with a second straight win. They need to tighten up their o-line blocking, make some tackles and get reggie bush to pound the holes rather than dance to them. The sked favors them with winnable games vs. the 49ers, rams, texans, panthers, bucs, falcons, cardinals and then two games that look much more winnable now comapred to a preseason vantage point: the iggles and bears. I count 9 more winnable games. Even at a realistic 7 of those 9, they would have 9 wins including this sunday if they beat the Falcons.
GIANTS -9 over 49ers The Giants are two more creampuff opponent wins away from getting everyone in the NY metro area to have high hopes. How trent dilfer is starting in the NFL at this day and age is a mystery. Is the NFL QB position that hard to fill with decent candidates? Have the 130 division 1 and 1aa schools failed that badly at prepping QBs for the pros? Yes. Yes they have. The spread offense has put a premium on QBs who can run first, throw second. This works in the college game because athleticism alone can win teams many ballgames, and a mobile QB can leave many 2nd and 3rd rate defenders in the dust. At the pro level, all fo that athleticism gets crammed into 1/3 the pool of eligible players. The LBs are suddenly faster, the Safeties tackle better. Mobile doesn't win like it could in college. Sorry Pat White. Therefore, the qualities that win at the QB position in college and diverging from the NFL requirements. Right now, many of the top programs in the nation have QBs who will not cut it in NFL style offenses but they surely can lead their teams to 8-4 or better records and good bowl games (most teams runnign the spread). It is a distinct possiblity that in 3 years, 4 teams in the NFL could be starting QBs from USC (Palmer, Leinart, Booty, Sanchez). Not solely because the talent is amazing for those QBs, but because they are the only guys who have run NFL style offenses during college against good competition. That's not right.
Cards +9 over SKINS The Skins are winning with defense and a running game. If you stuff the running game and then play a 2 deep zone man under, you should negate the deep to Moss plays, which kills their offense. I am not sold on Campbellas a QB, but as a game manager who is only asked to not throw INTs or fumble, he is ok. This might work vs. the Pats enough to cover witht he 10+ points they will get next week, but it isn't covering a 9 point lay vs. the cards.
TEXANS +1 over Titans The Texans are at home. The Titans are without vince young, which may not be a bad thing for their offense. I can see a Matt Schaub victory here and the people of Houston to feel a sense of pride. If they can scratch their way to .500 this season, it is a victory for their franchise. Their defense needs upgrading in the secondary.
BENGALS -6 over Jets Taking Cincy for two reasons: 1. Jets on the road, awul and 2. Jets defense, awful. Reality has caught up with the Jets, and this season is playing out as last season was suppose to play out. Last eyar, they were suppose to go 1-15 and draft Adrian peterson. Too bad they didn't.
RAIDERS -3 over Chiefs I'm going with the home team for this crappy AFC west match up. I sort of feel bad for Larry Johnson as he was destroyed by last season's workload, but then again, he is a punk. I found it funny that an upper middle to upper class kid could identify with a black coach better than to the white coach that grows grapes at a vinyard. I thought rich kids loved wine? I also don't understand why Priest Holmes is back. It's not the money, he's got plenty. He right now is playing russian roulette with his health. He'll be in a wheelchair in a few years because of this vanity project of coming back.
SEAHAWKS -8 over Rams I think I could make more money betting against the Rams than if I had a money printing press. Seriously, going against the Rams should be the lock pick for most people (the reverse fo the Pats covering). How the mighty offense has fallen. At this point, they could just keep losing, draft a giant LT in the top 5 and have a solid blocker for Bulger and Jackson next year.
Bears +5 over IGGLES The window has closed on these Iggles. It's over. They have never developed a running game, their QB is still recovering from his knee injury, and the WRs are horrible witht he exception of Kevin Curtis. The defense has a solid d-line and the secondary is ok but getting old and their LBs are unproven. I like takeo spikes but he is not the guy he was when he first signed with the bills after leaving that cincy hellhole.
Steelers -3.5 over BRONCOS Maybe shanahan can salvage something after the debacle at home against the chargers, but this steelers defense will be the best the broncos face this year. this could be one of those steelers games where they go up 21-3 at the half and then just pound the ball the entire 2nd half.
Colts -3 over JAGS The Jags are solid, but the Colts defense is a revamped, young beast compared to last season. The Jags will probably make the playoffs as a wild card but they just are not slowing Manning down. Manning is going to put up 24+ points, and I do not see the Jags doing that to this Colts defense.The Jags have had a problem with putting up points this year, and for some reason they are not pounding the ball as efficiently as last year in the red zone. If the Colts win this game, they have the afc south pretty much locked down. If they win, they will have the remaining 3 division games at home and have a 2 game lead on everyone in their division.