NFL Week 8: My Picks
Guess who’s back…back…back again…gain…gain…Shady’s back….back…tell a friend….
While my return to the blogosphere may be far less interesting than Eminem’s comeback on The Eminem Show (one of my favorite albums of all time by the way), I’m glad to be back.
The busiest three weeks of my life have now concluded. From caddying at The Institute pro-am to caddying at CordeValle to working at the Frys.com Open to midterms to anything else that may have distracted me (**ahem 2k12**), my comeback was long overdue.
I missed two weeks of picks during my absence, so let’s revisit what my picks would have been.
Home teams in BOLD and CAPS.
PACKERS (-15) over RAMS — W
STEELERS (-12½) over JAGUARS —L
EAGLES (-1½) over REDSKINS — W
LIONS (–4½) over 49ERS — L
PANTHERS (+4) over FALCONS — L
COLTS (+7) over BENGALS — L
BILLS (+3) over GIANTS — Push
RAVENS (-8) over TEXANS — W
RAIDERS (-7) over BROWNS — Push
COWBOYS (+7) over PATRIOTS — W
SAINTS (-4½) over BUCCANEERS — L
BEARS (-3) over VIKINGS — W
JETS (-7) over DOLPHINS — W
6-5-2 for the week
Bears (-1) over BUCCANEERS — W
PANTHERS (-3) over Redskins — W
JETS (+2) over Chargers — W
BROWNS (-3) over Seahawks — Push
Texans (+3) over TITANS — W
Broncos (+1 ½) over DOLPHINS — W
Falcons (+3½) over LIONS — W
RAIDERS (-4½) over Browns — L
Steelers (-3½) over CARDINALS — W
Cowboys (-13) over RAMS — W
Packers (-9) over VIKINGS — L
Saints (-14) over COLTS — W
Ravens (-8) over JAGUARS — L
9-3-1 for the week
15-8-3 for Week’s 6 & 7
All hell has suddenly broken loose in Raider Nation. The 4-2 start suddenly seems like eons ago after Jason Campbell’s injury, Carson Palmer’s interceptions and a 28-0 loss to the not-as-bad-as-we-thought Chiefs. My take? Relax. Kyle Boller was never going to do well, has never been good and anyone who thought that Boller was going to not lose that game was mistaken. Then, Palmer comes in and is given the keys to the franchise after only 5 days behind the wheel. Anyone that thought that was going to end well was also mistaken.
What seems to be lost in all the QB hoopla is the fact that McFadden only played two snaps in that game. Take away your starting QB, replace him with a lifelong backup, then a previously retired Palmer AND take away your Pro Bowl RB and you have a recipe for disaster. Are the Browns good? No. You know what’s also not good? Six turnovers. I expect Palmer to be much better after the Bye (it’s almost impossible to be worse), McFadden to play and the defense to get behind their new leader. Lose to the Broncos after the Bye and we have problems. But for now…take it as a slight bump in the long highway that is an NFL season.
TITANS (-9) over Colts
Holy shit. If the Colts aren’t tanking for Andrew Luck I don’t know what they’re doing. No NFL team can be that bad…can they? The Titans are nowhere near the Saints in offensive firepower, but that shouldn’t stop them from rolling over the inept, soulless Colts. Matt Hasselback is actually…dare I say it…good? Even with Chris Johnson suddenly losing his entire skillset in one off-season the Titans have looked like a good team at times this year. I like the Titans at home. By the way is it too early to give the 2011 Fantasy Football Bust Award to Chris Johnson?
TEXANS (-9½) over Jaguars
It sounds like Andre Johnson will be a game-time decision for this game. If he plays the Texans offense will be at full strength for the first time all season. While the Mario Williams injury will undoubtedly hurt the Texans in the long run (almost surely making them a first round knockout in the playoffs), the Texans offense is enough to put them past the bad teams in the regular season. I consider the Jaguars win over the Ravens on Monday night an anomaly. Expect MJD to get his but the Texans will win this one by two TD’s.
PANTHERS (-3½) over Vikings
If this game was in Minnesota I would take the Vikings, as the Vikings defense plays a lot better at home. I expect this to be a shootout with Cam Newton (I told you so) and Adrian Peterson to tear it up. 34-27 sounds about right here. Christian Ponder, who I thought was a HUGE reach in the 1st round and seemingly destined for failure…actually looks decent. Or maybe it was Donovan McNabb looking so horrific that makes Ponder look so good. Regardless, Cam Newton finds a way.
Saints (-13½) over RAMS
The most fascinating aspect of the whole Andrew Luck Sweepstakes: the Rams getting the #1 pick and the frenzy that follows. Will they take Luck and trade Bradford? Will they trade the pick for multiple picks? Will Luck pull a Eli Manning? That’s one thing to keep an eye on come next April. This game? Saints keep it rolling. Maybe only 42 points this week though.
Ravens (-13) over CARDINALS
The Ravens are mad, the Cardinals are bad. Even at home I like Baltimore here. Expect at least one defensive TD from that fierce defense. By the way, Worst Off-Season Trade/Way Too Soon Extension Award goes to Kevin Kolb. Ray Rice has a huge game. Ravens soar over the Cardinals in this one. See what I did there!
GIANTS (-10) over Dolphins
The Giants got their yearly “WTF!!!!!!!!!!!???” loss out of the way with the Seahawks loss at home. How many survivor pools were killed after that game? In one of the pools I’m in 32/28 teams were eliminated after that game. The Giants are at home, coming off a Bye and are playing Miami. Anymore reason to take the Giants here?
Redskins (+6) over BILLS
The Bills have quietly gone back to being the Bills. Still good but not AS good as everyone was hopping on that bandwagon the first month of the season. I don’t know why but I have this weird fascination with Ryan Torain, I think he’s a great RB stuck in a horrible situation. With Hightower out expect Torain to go off. The Bills can’t stop anyone and the Redskins aren’t much better. That 6 points seems like too much here. I like Washington.
Lions (-3) over BRONCOS
Sounds like Stafford is going to play. Heck, even if Shaun Hill played I would still take the Lions. I’m so sick of hearing about Tebow that I would pick the Lions even if Drew Stanton was starting. Tebow isn’t playing the Dolphins, he’s with the big boys now. Beat the Lions and then he’ll deserve some credit. For now? He’s getting on my nerves. Lions are the better team and Vegas is jumping on the Tebow bandwagon. Good for us smart betters. Lions roll in what should be a 9 point spread.
STEELERS (+3) over Patriots
Steelers as home dogs? Count me in! The Patriots can’t stop the pass and Roethlisburger is ROLLING right now. A week after torching Arizona Big Ben keeps it going against the weak Patriots defense. These two teams know each other very well, but the Pats defense isn’t what it normally is. Expect a huge game from Mike Wallace…a statement that is really the most obvious thing I can say. Oh well. It’s true.
49ers (-9) over Browns
What happened to Peyton Hillis? Oh yeah…reality sunk in. HEY! I’m not saying a white RB can’t succeed in the NFL, but a white RB can’t succeed in the NFL…ESPECIALLY against the 49ers. They still haven’t allowed a rushing TD all year, which might be the most impressive stat of the year. Alex Smith controls the game…and by controls I mean hands it off to Frank Gore 25 times and let’s him torch the Browns. Until the 49ers DON’T cover a game I’m picking them. Count me in.
Bengals (-3) over SEAHAWKS
I used to think Ginger’s couldn’t succeed in the NFL either. Andy Dalton, consider this an apology. The Dalton-AJ Green connection is quietly becoming one of the most productive in the league. Although playing in Seattle is extremely tough, the Bengals defense is good enough to overcome what the fans will bring to the table.
EAGLES (-3½) over Cowboys
Consider this the start of the Eagles resurgence. I still believe the Eagles are a force to be reckoned with. They have too much talent to not contend and become what they should become: a Super Bowl contender. Andy Reid is 12-0 coming off a Bye and I see no different here. Although the Dallas defense is pretty good the Eagles simply have too many weapons. Yes, this can be said about anyone who plays the Eagles but Vick…Sunday Night…Cowboys…remember this last year?
Probably my favorite TD celebration of all time. Yeah, I like the Eagles.
Chargers (-3½) over CHIEFS
Antonio Gates is back. Sounds like he’s back to 100%. The Chiefs aren’t as bad as we thought they were (insert Dennis Green clip here), but they’re still not a good team. The Chargers should beat them by double digits. But the Chargers should beat a lot of teams. I’ll take the Chargers, but I’m not all that confident in the pick. Hey, no one said I had to be confident in my picks did I?