The 49ers have been one of the most consistent teams in football this seasob. Under Jim Harbaugh’s leadership the 49ers have moved past “trap” games or “letdowns”. They’ve moved beyond the phase of being “lucky” or “pretenders”. The 49ers vs. Steelers matchup was already enticing before the season even started. Tack on two of the top records and you now have one of the best matchups of the season.
A national game between two of the NFL’s top teams, in San Francisco no less!
Then it got weird.
Candlestick Park suddenly lost power due to a blown transformer (whatever that means). Now I’m not saying there was a conspiracy by Jed York or anything, but if he wanted to show the NFL that the 49ers really do need that new stadium, what better way than on national TV in one of the best games of the year? It showed the world what most Bay Area sports fans new already: that Candlestick is a dump.
It isn’t just San Francisco that needs a new stadium either. Both Bay Area football teams are sporting the most filthy, grimy and downright nasty stadiums in the NFL. Oakland has to share its trash to the MLB as well. That lovely baseball track during the first month of the NFL season is a beautiful sight. Sigh. At least San Francisco has AT&T Park.
This is no way breaking news. The Monday Night fiasco only highlights and hopefully accelerates the efforts in Santa Clara. I still dream of a joint stadium but that window is closing faster than Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. A new football stadium in the Bay Area is long overdue. The Bay Area knows it and now the sports world does as well.
5-10-1 last week
113-91-6 for the season
Home team in BOLD and CAPS
Texans (6½) over COLTS
Leave it to those pesky Titans to ruin my picks last week. All they had to do was beat the win-less Colts by a TD. I remember after the Colts victory that the Titans were also the ones who screwed me in Week 2 when they beat the Ravens. I vowed never to put money on either the Titans or Ravens. Lo and behold I did. My wallet suffers.
Raiders (+2) over CHIEFS
Did you know that the Raiders haven’t lost in Kansas City since 2006? A shocking statistic when you consider the Raiders recent history. The Raiders took care of Kyle Orton in Week 1, if they can limit Dwayne Bowe (i.e. not Calvin Johnson numbers) than the Raiders should win this game. If there is a clear definition to the phrase “letdown game” than this is it for the Chiefs.
Broncos (-3) over BILLS
The Patriot blowout last week was expected and anyone who thought otherwise was drunk off the Tebow Jesus Juice. Against a downtrodden Bills team Tebow and Co. should have no problem this week.
TITANS (7½) over Jaguars
The only reason I lean towards the dreaded Titans is the location of the game. By the way, is there a worse starting QB in the league than Blaine Gabbert right now? Sheesh. I know it’s only his first year and he doesn’t have any WR’s but I see no hope in sight for this guy. I’m not even mentioning the hair…
BENGALS (-4) over Cardinals
The Cardinals are playing well. Let me repeat: the Arizona Cardinals are playing well. John Skelton is Tim Tebow minus the Christianity, the national titles, the Heisman’s and the Skip Bayless-esque blowhards. Here’s a question, which deal was worse: the Kevin Kolb trade and immediate extension or the Carson Palmer trade? The Cardinals can opt-out of Kolb’s deal after this season while the Raiders have to give up (at a minimum) their 2011 first round pick and 2012 second rounder. Just win baby?
PATRIOTS (-10) over Dolphins
The last three meetings between these two teams have all been blowouts in favor of the Patriots. With the Patriots rolling I see no reason why this should be any different.
RAVENS (-13) over Browns
The Ravens at home + Baltimore defense + Ray Rice + Seneca Wallace = a multiple TD victory.
Giants (+3) over JETS
Leave it to Eli Manning and the G-Men to kill my holiday funds last week. In a must win game at home the Giants were giving seven points to the Redskins. They continued to not show up at all and talks of Eli being “elite” quickly flushed down the toilet. Since they played like dogs last week it’s only fitting they play like Super Bowl contenders this week. The universe will restore order.
Vikings (+6½) over REDSKINS
This will be ugly. Don’t expect a shootout. Don’t expect beautiful football. Expect a close game.
PANTHERS (-7½) over Buccaneers
The Panthers have quietly won three of four and sporting a very potent offense. If their defense was healthier they could be a .500 team this year. Watch out for them next year. This week? Take them against a horrible Bucs squad.
STEELERS (-13½) over Rams
Big Ben’s decision to play or to sit out doesn’t matter. The game is in Pittsburgh and the lowly Rams are opposing a tough Steelers defense that’s getting back James Harrison.
LIONS (-3) over Chargers
Whatever the over/under for this game is, take the over. Two of the best offenses in the league playing each other in turf. This will be a great game to watch. One late killer Rivers interception seals the deal for Detroit.
49ers (-2) over SEAHAWKS
Seattle is playing better, it’s always tough to play there and after the 49ers loss in Arizona a couple weeks ago I’m not as confident as I should be in this 11-3 team. The 49ers are oblivious to “trap” games at this point and I expect (once again) tons of FG’s. All they need is one.
Eagles (+1) over COWBOYS
OK, the Cowboys surprised me last week with their shellacking of the Bucs last Saturday. The Cowboys still haven’t convincingly beaten a great team this year. Have they had a “statement” game this year? When was the last time you combined the words “great win” and “Cowboys” in the same sentence? Take the soaring Eagles on the road.
PACKERS (-13) over Bears
It’s been awhile since anyone can say this but…the Packers COMING OFF A LOSS should be ready to roll over Josh McCown and the Bears. The game is in Green Bay too? Sounds like an easy victory to me.
Falcons (+7) over SAINTS
I was tempted to take the roaring Saints at home but the Falcons have been showing a lot of fight lately. Many wrote them off after a disappointing start to the season. Prediction: a lot of TD’s will be thrown. Expect a 34-31 or 27-24 type game. A great way to close out an otherwise horrible MNF schedule.
This was the last straw. I thought I hated Skip Bayless as much as I humanly could. This “All He Does Is Win” song, like all other DJ Steve Porter songs, is complete and utter garbage. As If we needed more of this guy, ESPN for some reason decided to make a one minute, glorifying music video to pay homage to Tim and Skip Tebow.
I have nothing against Tebow, but I have a lot against the coverage he’s getting. I finished my last final on Tuesday morning and got back in time to watch the replay of 1st&10. What do I see? A question regarding Tim Tebow. Fine, whatever. Wednesday comes, I wake up in time to watch the live version of First Take, what do I see? A topic regarding Tim Tebow. Thursday comes, once again I wake up and First Take is on, and WHAT DO IT SEE? A TOPIC ABOUT TIM FREAKING TEBOW.
ESPN knows what they’re doing. They did it with Brett Favre. I guess the ESPN formula is: constant coverage + viewers = must like the topic. No, no and no. I actually used to find the 1st&10 segment enjoyable, even in the (gulp) Woody Paige days. Now it consists of Skip yelling, Tebow, more Tebow, NBA, Skip yelling, Skip owning everyone but Stephen A. Smith, Tebow, NBA and finishing with Tebow. It’s unbearable.
I wish Stephen A. would be on every show with Skip, because Stephen A. is actually competent when he talks. Unlike the “analysts” or the “Two Live Stews” (I feel dumber just typing that), Stephen A. makes solid points to back up his Skip-like persona. I’m thankful that ESPN gave Smith his job back, his NBA insight is a welcome sight to a network that desperately seeks competence in all their sports coverage.
We watch ESPN because it’s the norm. It’s what we’ve grew up on. We aren’t going to watch VS or FoxSports. There’s a reason The Best Damn Sports Show Period didn’t make it. ESPN is king. This king is making Skip Bayless it’s self righteous prince. I hate it, I know plenty of other people that hate it and it MUST stop.
As if you needed another reason to hate Skip Bayless…
10-6-0 last week
108-81-5 for the season
Home team in BOLD and CAPS
FALCONS (-11½) over Jaguars
Yes this game already happened. Yes the Falcons covered. Yes I would have really chosen the Falcons to cover.
BUCCANEERS (+7) over Cowboys
Subtract the Cowboys fluke victory over the 49ers early in the season and you get a Cowboys team with not one impressive victory this whole season. They’re more famous for their colossal collapses then their victories. On the road in a must win game this has all the ingredients to a disappointing Cowboys loss. They might not lose but they sure as hell won’t cover.
GIANTS (-7) over Redskins
There’s no doubt that Eli Manning is an elite QB, there’s also no doubt that the Giants are the superior team this week. Take the Giants in a blowout.
Packers (-14½) over CHIEFS
The ONE week I didn’t choose the Packers in my pool was last week. Just my luck huh? Even though I picked them to cover in this post I decided to skip that game and pick the 49ers instead. Yay. That worked out well. The ½ point kind of scares me, but when in doubt, choose Rodgers.
Saints (-7) over VIKINGS
Last time the Saints were on the road in a dome they shockingly lost to the Rams. There’s no way that can happen again can it? CAN IT!!!??? I have faith in the Saints even with Peterson coming back.
Seahawks (+3½) over BEARS
I was going to choose the Bears at home, but then I remembered about Cutler…and Forte…and BEAST MODE. Take the Seahawks in the upset.
Dolphins (+1) over BILLS
Wow the Dolphins couldn’t wait to get rid of Sparano couldn’t they? After winning four of five they finally have a bad game and POOF, Sparano is gone. But heck, if it gets them that much closer to Jeff Fisher or Bill Cowher more power to them. I was getting sick of the whole “sunglasses at any time of the day” look anyway.
TEXANS (-6½) over Panthers
This could be a trap game for Houston coming off that amazing comeback. I emphasize could. Arian Foster and Ben Tate might be the best running back duo in the league, and the Panthers are near the bottom of the NFL in rush defense. TJ Yates could literally run it every play and the Texans could win by two scores. I wouldn’t mind seeing that actually…
Titans (-6½) over COLTS
If the Titans and Chris Johnson can’t beat a winless Colts team by a TD then the’re dead to me.
Bengals (-7) over RAMS
How good is AJ Green? Every time I turn to Red Zone on Sunday he’s making some spectacular catch over multiple defenders or sprinting past safeties for TD’s. Is he already a top-10 receiver? Expect multiple TD’s coming his way from Dalton this week.
Lions (-1½) over RAIDERS
This will be a slow, ugly, nasty, turnover filled game. What’s the over/under on penalties? 25? 30? The Raiders have shown no signs of life the past two weeks. Ford and McFadden are out per the usual. I don’t see Stanford Routt (or whoever has to help him) limiting Calvin Johnson. Titus Young is a name to watch here too. Sadly, I can see at least two long bomb TD’s from Stafford to either one of those guys. I haven’t even mentioned Mr. Suh’s return…
Patriots (-7) over BRONCOS
Tebow finally failed to cover last week. Why do I say this? Well because I put money on him of course! Facing such an explosive offense like the Patriots is something the Broncos haven’t seen since they played Detroit, and we all know how that game went (in Denver too). The Broncos will score, probably 20+, but it won’t be enough to get within the seven points. The Patriots win by double digits.
Jets (+3) over EAGLES
So the Eagles win one game convincingly and they’re suddenly three point favorites against the Jets? Huh? The Jets have been lighting it up as of late, scoring at least 28 in their last three games. I have very little confidence in a still bewildered Eagles team covering three points against a very hot Jets team.
CARDINALS (-7) over Browns
The Browns will be without Colt McCoy, which might not be horrible actually. Seneca Wallace isn’t a terrible QB. He can run, throw some good passes and has been in the league for a long time. Wait…did I just spend two sentences praising Seneca Wallace? Ugh. Take the Larry Fitzgerald’s instead.
Ravens (-3) over CHARGERS
Ray Lewis is back, the Ravens are in full playoff mode and the Chargers are still very turnover prone. The Chargers have been showing signs of life lately, but against the best defense in the league I can’t see them competing with Baltimore.
Steelers (+1) over 49ERS
I went back and forth on this one. Apart of me likes the 49ers at home, to pound the rock with Gore and Hunter and feast on Big Ben’s leg. The other part of me has seen Big Ben play with terrible injuries before, I’ve seen the Pittsburgh receivers tear it up and I’ve seen what Polamalu and Co. can do to offenses. The 49ers need to convert all those FG’s to TD’s if they have any chance at winning a playoff game. Does it start here? I don’t think so.
It’s about time Marshawn Lynch got some love. Sure he got a little love his rookie season after his 1,115 yard, 7 TD season, but he’s a top 10 running back that is rotting on a terrible team. First Buffalo and now Seattle, Lynch is prone for the highlight real. His “Beast Mode” reached astronomical heights in the playoffs last year with the infamous run against the Saints. He’s since followed that up with a very strong season (854 yards, 8 TD) that has the NFL buzzing in appreciation.
Born in Oakland, it seems that Lynch often goes unnoticed when talking about the best running backs in the league. He’s not as elusive as Adrian Peterson or as good a receiver as Arian Foster but he’s formidable at both. Is it because he played for Cal? Is it because he’s played for two bad franchises throughout his career? Is it because he scares little children?
The fact he plays in the wretched NFC West has hindered his popularity and awareness through the league. After his primetime performance against the Eagles last Thursday and his continued success on the field we should be hearing A LOT more of Marshawn Lynch in the future. Hopefully in Pro Bowl discussions.
For old times sake…
9-7-0 last week
98-75-5 for the season
Home team in BOLD and CAPS
Browns (+ 14½) over STEELERS – W
Yes this game already happened. Yes the Browns covered. Yes I would have really chosen the Browns to cover 14½ points.
RAVENS (-17) over Colts
I’m always hesitant to choose big spreads, especially after I got screwed last week courtesy of the New England Patriots. The difference here is the Baltimore defense. Baltimore always plays better at home. The Ravens have had some horrible losses this year (JAX, SEA, TEN) but all have been on the road. Expect 27-3. Maybe worse.
Texans (+3) over BENGALS
There are two types of backup QB’s in the NFL: 1) The guy that looks like he doesn’t belong anywhere near a football and 2) The guy that looks like he could be starting somewhere. I’m not saying TJ Yates is better than Schaub, but the team hasn’t lost a step with him behind center. In other words? He’s no Kyle Boller.
PACKERS (-11½) over Raiders
My Twitter companion and fellow sports blogger Bay Area Sports Guy brought up a great point when talking about this matchup. To paraphrase, BASG said that this would be the type of game the Raiders would win. The Raiders would be the ones to screw up the Packers perfect season. Why? Because the Raiders are a screwy team. One game they look like AFC contenders the next they look like bottom feeders. Les we forget they’re playing the Packers this week at Lambeau. I see bottom feeder Raiders this weekend. “My heart….is…telling me YES!!!!….but my mind…is…telling me NO!!!!”
JETS (-9) over Chiefs
I hate Shonn Greene. I was on the fence of the playoffs in my fantasy league: I was in the 7th spot and the top six teams make the playoffs. I needed the 6th seed (my dad) to lose (he was playing my little brother, 3rd seed) and I needed to win against the worst team in the league. I won my match handily, but thanks to a certain Mr. Greene, who scored a blasphemous 29 points thanks to garbage time TD’s, my fantasy playoff hopes were thrashed. What does this have to do with their game against the Chiefs on Sunday? Not a god damn thing.
LIONS (-8) over Vikings
I was watching Sound FX on NFL Network yesterday while they were showing the Vikings-Broncos game. The piece focused on Leslie Frazier and the Vikings sideline. If there was ever a coach that just knew he was going to get fired it would be Frazier. Uninspired, slow and seemingly dead was the Vikings sideline. I feel bad for two elite talents like Jared Allen and Adrian Peterson who are just rotting previous years off their illustrious careers. Let the Bill Cower rumors start in 3…2…1…
Saints (-4) over TITANS
All three of New Orleans losses have been on the road (Green Bay, Tampa Bay, St. Louis). Their largest margin of victory on the road was 16 against a hapless Jacksonville squad. Translation? The Saints are not the same team outside of the Superdome. With this in mind I still like them to cover against the Titans. Chris Johnson seems back to normal but the Titans still are an average team to me despite their 7-5 record. Cortland Finnegan can’t cover everyone either. Take the Saints.
Eagles (+3) over DOLPHINS
I’ve been wanting to bust out my Michael Vick Eagles jersey for the longest time. I got it last off-season and wore it at my offline fantasy draft…a lot of good that did me. Since then its been grabbing dust in my closet hoping for a significant weekend for me to put it back on. With Vick coming back from injury and playing a now formidable Dolphins team I feel like this weekend could be the one. Whether that’s a good thing for the Eagles still to be determined.
Patriots (-9) over REDSKINS
If it weren’t for the Colts the Redskins would easily be the worst team in the league. Why is Mike Shanahan coaching this team? Why is he coaching at all? How is it that Dan Snyder has no GM yet? The Patriots win this one easily.
Falcons (-3) over PANTHERS
This will be a great game. The Falcons must win this game to keep in the playoff hunt. The Panthers are a one man show with Cam Newton looking more and more like a superstar QB. Get this Panthers team a defense and another WR and they’re easily in the playoff discussion next year. For now they’re facing a healthy Falcons offense and a team desperate for a win. I wouldn’t be shocked if this is a push but take the Falcons regardless.
Buccaneers (-1) over JAGUARS
There’s always one game every week that no one really cares about. The game NFL Red Zone cuts to and everyone cries “Why are they cutting to this game?” With Josh Freeman back I like the Bucs to steal one in Florida. Not that it really matters.
49ers (-4) over CARDINALS
Since Thursday I’ve been trying to figure out why this spread is so low. Is Patrick Willis really worth six points to the spread? The 49ers are beyond the “trap game” syndrome and have shown no willingness to let up. A late Patrick Peterson punt return TD aside I see no reason the 49ers shouldn’t cover.
BRONCOS (-3½) over Bears
The Bears were already decimated with Cutler gone. Now add Forte to the injury list and you have a team that resembles the Minnesota Vikings. Forte accounted for roughly 70% of the Bears offense. Sure they still have their defense intact…but does that even matter with Tebow God behind center? Until proven otherwise take Denver.
CHARGERS (-7) over Bills
San Diego is coming off a blowout victory against the Jaguars. The Bills have lost five straight games. Take the Chargers.
Giants (+3) over COWBOYS
The Cowboys don’t have one impressive victory all season. Sure they beat the 49ers but that game was outrageous fluke. The Giants have lost four in a row but three of them to playoff teams (SF, New Orleans, Green Bay). The Giants are clearly the better team and I expect them to get back on track this week, even on the road against a division foe.
SEAHAWKS (- 4½) over Rams
“Beast Mode” indeed. Even with teams stacking the box Marshawn Lynch still is running like crazy. Too bad Lynch has never had a consistent QB or he can be even scarier. Combine the game being played in Seattle, Bradford and Feeley banged up, Lynch beasting and a very underrated Seattle defense and you have a formula for disaster for the Rams. Take the ‘Hawks with confidence.
My dad: “I bet Tebow takes down the Jets this week.””
Me: “No way, Jets with Revis and that complex defense will make Tebow look stupid.”
My dad: “Wanna bet? Money talks son.”
Me: “Come on that’s easy money. $10?”
My dad: “Make it $20 Mr. Confident.”
Me: “You got it. Wow, that was the easiest $20 I ever made.”
I really would have gone more if my dad wanted to, I was that confident that the Tebow Express would make a valiant stop against the Jets this week. Me and my dad bet football spreads all the time, but this one was, in my opinion, one of the easiest ones of the year.
The Broncos were coming off an emotional high after their win in Kansas City that Sunday. The Jets? The exact opposite. They were obliterated by the Patriots Sunday night. Great defenses travel, so I thought even off a short week the Jets would give Tebow enough looks to really make him struggle.
I’ve seen Denver’s defense shine before, specifically against my Raiders a couple weeks back in Oakland, but I still wasn’t a believer. Mark Sanchez has always been a late in-season bloomer, playing better as the season went on, so I was expecting a turn of the corner type game for him.
My last reason? The Jets are simply the better, more talented team. No way were the Jets going to not come into this game fired up, desperate for a win after their embarrassing loss at home last week.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong again.
I guess I have to start respecting this Tebow guy now. It’s not that I don’t like him, it’s just I’m so damn sick of hearing his name that I wouldn’t be surprised if he surpassed “Brett Favre” on my “If I Hear His Name One More Damn Time I’m Going To Punch A Whole In My Wall” list.
Yes, “he just wins games” is a phrase that also is getting severely overplayed, but it’s true. The Broncos are winning, albeit the ugliest possible way a football game can be won, and at the same time chasing the Raiders for the division lead in the AFC West. If Tebow was in the NFC South I would care a little bit less than I do now, but the fact he’s in my own division makes it even worse. He’s winning and hurting my team at the same time.
Tim, I respect you, you’re a man of faith, spirituality and whole-heartedness, but I beg you, stop winning games. Stop haunting my TV with constant coverage from ESPN and more specifically Skip Bayless, who, if you are indeed the second coming of Christ, be my Judas to your Jesus.
It has to end eventually right?
7-8 last week
73-55-4 for the season
Home team in BOLD and CAPS
Jets (+7) over BRONCOS — L
FALCONS (-6½) over Titans
Everything in my head is saying “Don’t pick the Falcons. Don’t pick the Falcons. Don’t pick the Falcons”. So why am I picking them? Good question. And honestly I still don’t know why I am. Maybe because they’re the more talented team. Maybe because they’re at home. Maybe because they’re determined to comeback after their heartbreaking should-be-win-but-loss-because-of-the-stupidest-call-I’ve-ever-seen last week. I like the Matt Ryan to Roddy White connection to win by a TD this week.
Bills (+2½) over DOLPHINS
I’ve been a big proponent of the “Dolphins aren’t as bad as they look” mentality. They’ve covered the past two weeks and have looked like a team that actually cares about their play on the field (Hear that Colts?). I’ve also been a big proponent (except last week) of the “Bills aren’t as good as they look” mentality. So what gives this week? The Dolphins normally are terrible at home. They beat the Redskins last week but really, the Redskins are just as bad as the Colts. This won’t be a barn burner, but I like the Bills to win outright.
RAVENS (-7) over Bengals
I hate the Ravens. No, not because I hate the dumb look that Joe Flacco has after every incomplete pass or the city of Baltimore (seriously though what’s there to like?), but because of how awful it feels to bet on them. I lost a survivor pool in just Week 2 of this year because of them. They didn’t cover last week against the Seahawks a week after a great comeback win against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. What the hell? Without AJ Green I give the edge to the Ravens. I’d be lying if I said I was confident in this pick though.
Jaguars (-1) over BROWNS
I only picked this game because I had to. Really, does anyone care for this game? I’m 95.9% confident than the state of Florida could care less for this game. Heck I’m not even sure if they know they have a team. Cleveland? I’m sure they’re still lying in their corners wondering how Lebron left them for Miami. Yeah…shocker!
Raiders (-1) over VIKINGS
Adrian Peterson vs. the Raiders 25th ranked rush defense. Jared Allen vs. Carson Palmer. Jared Allen vs. Michael Bush. Jared Allen vs anyone who gets in his way. LOUD Minnesota crowds vs. Carson Palmer. For a 2-7 team the Vikings present tons of problems for the Raiders. I had my doubts last week on the road against the Chargers. Palmer proved me wrong. Here’s hoping that Palmer me right this week. Take the residents of the Black Hole. And no I’m not talking about Ray J or Reggie Bush (Kris didn’t hit it).
Panthers (+7) over LIONS
This could be my genius pick of the week, or it could end up like my Bills and Vikings picks last week. The Lions are banged up: Calvin Johnson is dealing with concussion symptoms, Jahvid Best is out (what else is new?) and Mathew Stafford is dealing with a broken right index finger (what else is new?). Cam Newton is playing on turf. Let me repeat: Cam Newton. Turf. I expect this to be high scoring and a fun game to watch. Lions take it in a close one.
PACKERS (-14) over Buccaneers
I finally manned up and decided not to choose the Packers last weekend. I tried to buck the trend after they failed to cover a couple big spreads earlier in the season. Well, they sure made me look like a moron. Home, again, facing a below average Buccaneers team? Take the two touchdowns. Heck, tease that sucker up.
Cowboys (-7½) over REDSKINS
“In the 11th round Team Rubicon selects Demarco Murray!” ……. **everyone wonders in silence for 20 seconds who the hell Demarco Murray is** ……
Yes, Demarco Murray was actually drafted in our family fantasy league. I honestly didn’t know who he was until I searched his name seconds after he was drafted.
The funny thing? Team Rubicon dropped, yes dropped, Murray the week before his huge debut start for the Cowboys.
As you would expect he was picked up immediately the next week off the waiver wire.
It’s safe to say Team Rubicon isn’t very happy with that drop.
Did I mention his other running backs are Shonne Greene and Ahmad Bradshaw?
49ERS (-9½) over CARDINALS
A wise man once said: “Good teams win, great teams cover”. The 49ers are 8-0-1 against the spread this season. Until they prove us wrong, take them.
Seahawks (+1) over RAMS
Another game that I pick because I must. After the Rams lost in OT to the Cardinals by the single worst way possible I will forever hold a grudge against them. Marshawn Lynch is also quietly having a very good season. Take Seattle against the Rams in a game that no one really wants to watch.
BEARS (-3½) over Chargers
I sorta kinda but not really wanted to pick the Chargers in the upset here. I also sorta kinda really believe the Bears could kill the Chargers. San Diego, traveling across the country against a tough Bears team that seems to be in NFC divisional round mode already. Can the Chargers stop Forte? Can the Chargers be smart enough not to kick to Devin Hester? Can FOX not zoom in on Norv Turner’s horrendous neck wrinkles, forcing me to vomit whatever food I’m currently chewing at that time? No, no and no.
GIANTS (-4½) over Eagles
No Michael Vick. No Jeremy Maclin. A sleepy, broke DeSean Jackson. The Eagles are on the road. The Giants are coming off a tough loss to the 49ers. Andy Reid is still coaching the Eagles. Need I go on?
PATRIOTS (-14½) over Chiefs
Tyler Palko is starting for the Chiefs. You’re welcome.
My fantasy football team may be in trouble. In my most important league, a league in its 2nd year that includes numerous members of my family, I’m 1-2 with a very murky outlook. In our first offline draft I drafted Peyton Manning and Frank Gore in the 4th and 5th rounds back to back (I had the 12/12 pick). Peyton is obviously done for the year and Frank Gore’s best years are behind him. Ugh. Thought they would be worth the picks at the point in the draft but so far they haven’t panned out.
I don’t want to bore you with my fantasy team lineup or waiver wire pickups or my ridiculous trade proposals that I hoped the other owner would accidently click “Accept Trade” (Don’t act like you haven’t proposed those before) so they went through. I just needed a little venting. I haven’t missed the playoffs in fantasy football at all. Ever. That includes the last 5-6 years or so. We’ll see how this year goes: a $300 prize is on the line. Not to mention the trash talking, trophy and year of bragging rights I get if I win.
Here’s hoping I get back on track this week after two straight heartbreaking losses (both by less than 5 points).
9-7 last week.
Home teams in BOLD and CAPS
Lions (+1) over COWBOYS
Another favorable Cowboys line. The Lions should be 3.5 point favorites here. As long as Stafford and Megatron are healthy I like the Lions most weeks to cover. The Cowboys are banged up. They haven’t scored a touchdown in two weeks. Not to mention they’re playing a Lions team ON FIRE. Take. The. Lions.
Saints (-7) over JAGUARS
For my fantasy team’s sake I hope MJD goes off here. Knowing my luck he’ll carry the ball 24 times for 56 yards and a fumble. We know the Saints can put up points and we know the Jags can’t. The Jags are starting Blaine Gabbert and the Saints have Drew Brees. Both defenses are below average but the Saints will win this by 10+. Here’s hoping the score is 40-30 with MJD scoring three times. Yeah…right.
49ers (+7) over EAGLES
I’m riding the 49ers cover train baby! They’re 2-0-1 against the spread this year. The Eagles look like the worst best team ever. What would you give me for: the Eagles NOW vs. the Miami Heat during their terrible 9-8 start? This will be Kendall Hunter’s breakout game. With Gore likely to be active but be on the sidelines the stage is set for Hunter to show what he’s got against the league’s worst run defense. Hunter looked good last week while Gore has looked sluggish. Will Vick stay on the field long enough to secure a W? I think he will. I like the Eagles to win 21-17.
RAMS (+1) over Redskins
This is the start of the Redskins coming back to reality. They aren’t that good. Before the season I thought they were the worst team in the league. Coming off a short week and a loss traveling away to St. Louis I like the home team here.
Titans (PICK) over BROWNS
I really can’t explain how the Titans are 2-1 right now. CK2K has played about 1/4 of himself. Their defense doesn’t jump off the page screaming “GREATNESS” like the old Titans. Somehow Matt Hasselback has looked like his Super Bowl self (Yeah…remember he started the Super Bowl?). Meanwhile the Browns are back to being the Browns. This will be the “Chris Johnson is Back and 412409810948190849140384 Fantasy Owners Rejoice” game.
Bills (-3) over BENGALS
OK, remember how I said I wasn’t a Bills believer? For three quarters I was feeling pretty smart. Then the Tom Brady pick-fest happened and the Bills 4th quarter swag came back. The Bills can put up points anywhere and Cincinnati is no different. Bills win big.
Vikings (-2) over CHIEFS
After Adrian Peterson’s lack of touches/complaints last week I expect 93 carries against KC this week. Wouldn’t be surprised if his stat-line is something like: 382 yards, 6 TD, 135 receiving yards, 1 passing TD, recovered fumble & 4.5 sacks.
PANTHERS (+7) over BEARS
My readers/Twitter followers know I’m a firm Cam Newton believer. What has he done this season so far? Just rank 3rd in the league in passing yards with a 59.8% completion rate and 4 TD’s/4 INT’s. Not bad for a rookie that can’t play in the NFL. The Bears? They can’t block anyone. Seriously. NO ONE. Panthers win this game outright.
TEXANS (-4) over Steelers
The Steelers look bad this year. Not just bad by their standards…but BAD by any standards. The Texans should have beaten the Saints last week after failing to score in the red zone numerous times. Houston is home, Arian Foster is back and the Steelers are coming off a CLOSE win against a Peyton Manning-less Colts team. The Texans roll.
Giants (+1) over CARDINALS
I guess Vegas thinks the Cardinals are better than they actually are. I don’t see how Vegas favors the Cardinals here. I guess they see the Giants will have a letdown game after their beat down of the Eagles last week. I don’t see it. The Giants are better. Osi is back. Eli may not be completely average. Giants all the way.
Falcons (-5) over SEAHAWKS
I thought about this one for awhile. By awhile I mean about 45 seconds. Still, I think the Falcons take this by a TD. The Falcons have looked horrible this year. Yes they beat the Eagles but that was at home, with Vick hurt against the worst rush defense in the NFL. The Falcons are simply too talented not to win this game by a TD. Just typing that sentence had be re-considering this pick. Oh well. Too late to go back now.
Dolphins (+9) over CHARGERS
Even though the Chargers are 2-1 they’ve been looking like the Chargers of September we all know. Barely beating the Vikings at home, losing to the Pats and beating the horrific Chiefs by a mere FG all show signs of a Norv Turner team. I think Brandon Marshall goes off in this game and Reggie Bush doesn’t look entirely useless. I like Miami.
PACKERS (-13) over Broncos
Aaron Rodgers. Lambeau Field. Broncos defense. That is all.
RAIDERS (+4.5) over Patriots.
Like the 49ers I’m riding the Raiders cover train until it stops baby! In my season preview I liked the Raiders to win the AFC West and win 10 games. Prediction looks pretty solid right now as the Raiders come off a convincing win against a supposed Super Bowl contender. The Patriots are pissed after losing a 21 point lead against their division rival Bills. The “Richard Seymour Comeback” game is in full effect. We’ll hear his name a few times in the broadcast. This will be a great game to watch…a straight shootout. Until the Raiders prove me otherwise I’m rolling with them. Oh yeah and Run DMC is pretty good too.
Jets (+4) over RAVENS
I had a tough time with this one. Like I stated last week I hate betting on the Ravens, you never know what you’re going to get. Both good defenses. Both with iffy QB’s (Yes Flacco thew 3 TD’s last week but that Titans game I still can’t get over). I expect at least one defensive TD from the Jets D in this game. The Jets have a nice comeback win after their loss last week.
Colts (+10.5) over BUCCANEERS
Am I crazy to think that Curtis Painter may not be a terrible thing for the Colts? Seriously. At least he can move around a little bit. He kept the Colts in their game last week against the Steelers. 10.5 is a ton of points to a Bucs team that doesn’t score a lot of points. I like the Colts to cover here.
I’m planning on having short descriptions for each game for my weekly picks, but due to reasons outside my control (Mayweather/Ortiz, parties, etc.) I wasn’t able to last week. I still went 11-5-1. Maybe I should make my picks slightly buzzed all the time?
Also, so you know where I’m at mentally, I will never ever ever ever ever put money on the Ravens (or Titans) again. I chose Baltimore in not one, but TWO survivor pools last week and they screwed me. Seriously, how does a Super Bowl contender, after de-pantsing Pittsburgh the week before, lose to a Matt Hasselback led Titans team against one of the top defenses in the league? I will try to avoid putting my money on any Ravens game this year because of this game. I can’t trust Baltimore.
That’s the NFL for you. Time for the picks.
11-5-1 last week.
Home teams in BOLD.
49ers (+3) over Bengals
This game is entirely dependent on Frank Gore. He hasn’t looked like Gore this year at all. I don’t see the explosion or cuts out of his legs like I usually do. Can it be because the line is bad? Sure, but the 49ers have never had a particularly great line. Can it be the poor QB play? Sure, but 49ers QB’s have never torn it up. If Frank Gore turns into Frank Gore (125+, 1 TD, 40 receiving yards), then the 49ers win this game straight up. This will be a close one.
Patriots (-9) over Bills
I’m not a believer in the Bills yet. They beat down a horrible Chiefs team and an unproven Raiders secondary traveling across the country after a Monday night game. The Patriots pass defense isn’t that much better, if at all, but the Bills gave up 35 points to a depleted Raiders offense at home, not a good sign with Tom Brady and Co. coming into town. The Bills will get their usual 17-24 points, but the Patriots will go for 35+.
Saints (-3.5) over Texans
The Shootout in the Superdome. The Saints made Jay Cutler look like a rag doll last week but the Houston offensive line isn’t as bad as Chicago’s. Houston’s secondary is better but not good enough to contain the Saints. Arian Foster is most likely out while Mark Ingram has yet to show up in the NFL. Something’s gotta give right? Both teams will put up points but the home factor will push the Saints to victory. I see a 31-24 or 34-27 game here. This will be a fun one to watch.
Eagles (7.5) over Giants
Michael Vick will play, but will he finish the game? I don’t think he will, but the Philly defense will blitz and haunt Eli Manning’s dreams for games to come. The Giants won’t score more than 14 points in this game. So can Vick put up enough points by the time he gets another concussion? I think he will. His backup’s backup didn’t look to bad last week either. Seriously though, how is Vince Young hurt right now? Anyone remember? I can’t.
Dolphins (+3) over Browns
I saw this stat this week where it said the Dolphins are 1-13 in their last 14 home games? I could be off by a game or two but that’s ridiculous. I guess you can be better away than at home? Didn’t think that was possible. Anyway, the pre-season hype for the Browns quickly died after Colt Mccoy started to look like a bottom 10 QB and people finally figured out that Peyton Hillis is white. I like the Dolphins to take this one easily.
Titans (-7) over Broncos
Ugh. I guess I have to pick this game. The Broncos are atrocious and the Titans aren’t very much better. I still am confused about the Titans win last week. I probably will NEVER get that one. Titans are home here and the Broncos look like a team waltzing their way towards a top 5 pick next year. Wouldn’t be surprised if Brady Quinn saw some snaps here late either. I think CJ2K looks like CJ2K here too. Expect 100+ yards and multiple touchdowns from him.
Lions (-4) over Vikings
The Lions are for real. I know I know you’ve heard that 10392398149 times this NFL season but I had my doubts. With Stafford healthy this is a playoff team. They put up points like nobody’s business and put pressure on the QB like no other team in the league. McNabb has looked BAD two games in. Peterson will get his usual but the Lions, in a dome, with everyone healthy? Double digit win for them on Sunday.
Jaguars (+4) over Panthers
Just a gut feeling here. No reason to believe Cam won’t throw for another 350+ and 2+ TD’s. No reason to believe Blaine Gabbert will come in and actually show signs of a passing game. Can MJD play like the MJD of old? I think he can, especially against a depleted Panthers LB corps. Jaguars by a FG here.
Chiefs (+15) over Chargers
The Chargers will still win this game but the Chiefs will cover. Why? Because the Chargers are always due for a stinker game (or four) the first month of the season. The Chiefs know the Chargers being in their division. The Chiefs can’t be THAT bad can they? OK, with Berry and Charles out they might be. That’s a lot of points the Chargers are giving knowing their early season struggles.
Raiders (+3.5) over Jets
Upset special: the Raiders will beat the Jets outright. The Raiders defensive front is quietly one of the best in the league, and when Sanchez gets pressure he looks nothing more than an average QB. Heck, even without pressure he looks like an average QB. The Jets aren’t an high scoring team. So can the Raiders offense put up points against a tough Jets D? That’s the question. Revis will most likely roam considering the Raiders have no true No. 1 receiver. Look out for whoever Cromartie is covering (especially if its Waka Flocka Denarious Moore Flocka Flame) to break one for a big gain. Raiders home opener with the Jets traveling cross country. I like the Raiders.
Ravens (-3.5) over Rams
As I said before I will not be putting money on the Ravens the rest of the season. But the Rams are without Steven Jackson and have the most injuries in the league. Baltimore was embarrassed last week and this week they get back on track. Expect at least one defensive TD from them on Sunday too. This line should be double what it is. Oh well. Take the Ravens. Can’t believe I just typed that.
Falcons (+1) over Buccaneers
The Falcons got the win last week, but if Michael Vick plays out the game the Eagles win it. The Bucs were down by 17 points to the Vikings before making a comeback in the Metrodome. With that said the Falcons are the better team. They have the better supporting cast on offense and the better defense. Talib on Roddy White will be fun to watch but keep an eye on Julio Jones, this could be his breakout game.
Seahawks (+3.5) over Cardinals
Can’t believe I’m picking the Seahawks here. They are absolutely atrocious. The Cardinals SHOULD win this game. This game won’t be for the faint of heart. No one outside of Arizona and Seattle should be watching this monstrosity of a game. One thing going for Seattle: their at home. Seattle is one of the toughest places to play and the Cardinals aren’t good enough to win big despite that. At worst the Cardinals win by a FG.
Packers (-4) over Bears
The Bears can’t stop ANYBODY from taking down Cutler. The Saints ripped him a new asshole last week. Figuratively and literally. The Packers blitz and blitz and blitz and today should be no different. The Packers put up points and I expect the Packers win this game by double digits. The Packers are clearly the better team, so the fact that they play each other twice a year doesn’t have much bearing with me. Expect Rodgers to have a big deal and Cutler to get sacked…and sacked…and sacked.
Steelers (-11) over Colts
The Steelers defense…playing a Peyton Manning-less Colts…starting Kerry Collins…anything else need to be said here?
Redskins (+6.5) over Cowboys
This line is a typical Cowboys line. The line-makers always give too much credit to the Cowboys. No way should they be 6.5 point favorites after barely squeaking by the 49ers last week. Romo, Felix and Dez are all banged up. Miles Austin isn’t playing. The Redskins are actually playing pretty well this year, Grossman is looking like an actual NFL QB, Hightower/Helu are running well and DeAngelo is a ball hawk. Take the Skins.