I am going to enjoy last week’s miracle 9-4-1 performance right up until the 1pm kickoffs on Sunday. I’ll probably never see a week that good again. Judging from the spreads for this week’s games, I could be in trouble. This has been, by far, the toughest group of games to pick. Out of the fourteen games, I really have no idea what to expect in ten of them—not that I know what’s going to happen in the other four but at least I have some sort of reference point in those games. This week could get ugly. It would be a miracle if I could finish at .500. What scares me even worse is that my picks differ from the Coin Flip’s on ten of fourteen games. That makes this the most important week to date. Even more frightening is that I like the Coin Flip’s picks better than mine! That’s not good. What follows is an unorganized/grasping at straws/totally in the dark analysis of the games this week.
NYG -2.5 was
The Giants impressed me last week by beating the Broncos. Granted, they needed a last second Eli Manning to Amani Toomer touchdown to pull it out but the Giants are a good team. Their annual collapse may not be so annual anymore. There’s really no reason to think these guys can’t make a run for the Wild Card or even the division title. On the other side, Washington scored more points than they’ve scored since Mark Rypien was in the league. Joe Gibbs has the ‘Skins playing at a very high level. Mark Brunell has been rejuvenated. The running game is working. The defense is strong. Basically what I’m saying is that I have no idea who’s going to win this game. I would normally go with the home team in this scenario, but, I came across a statistic that troubles me. Washington averages 65 MORE yards per game on offense than the Giants and gives up 146 LESS yards per game on defense. That’s a big discrepancy. I’ll take Washington.
CIN -9 gb
The Packers started the season with potentially the best QB/RB/WR threesome in the NFC. Now, it’s just Favre. Javon Walker and Ahman Green are both out for the season which is bad news for a team that only had three better than average players entering the season to begin with. Throw in the fact that Najeh Davenport and Robert Ferguson are also out and you have to wonder who’s actually going to play for the Pack. I don’t think the loss of Green will be that big of a deal for the Packers. Green was averaging a couple feet per carry anyway so their running game really can’t get any worse. I think Tony Fisher is good for a couple feet. I don’t think I would ever pick against Favre in a line as big as nine points. Just this season alone, the Packers have lost by 2, 1, 3, and 3. I might learn to regret that stance but I’m taking Green Bay to score two meaningless fourth quarter touchdowns to cover.
DET -3 chi
If the Lions had Dre Bly, Charles Rogers, and Roy Williams for this game, I would take Detroit. Instead, the Lions have R.W. McQuarterpounder, Mike “not Roy” Williams, and Scotty “Too Hotty” Vines. The Lions were dreadful on offense against the Browns. This is going to be a low scoring snoozer. In that case, I’ll take Chicago to keep it close.
CAR -7.5 min
Out of the five Minnesota games I’ve picked this year, I’ve been right exactly zero times. That’s right. I’m 0-5. But, I found a pattern from my failures. The Vikings always cover at home and never cover on the road. This game is on the road. I don’t need to know anything else. I’ll take Carolina.
oak -1 TEN
I don’t know what to do for this game. Oakland on the road scares me. Randy Moss has not been the deep threat that we’re used to seeing. On the other hand, Tennessee got blown out by Arizona last week. McNair will be playing instead of Volek but I don’t think that means too much. I just have a feeling that Oakland is going to win this game. Thus, I’ll take the Raiders.
DAL -8.5 ari
There’s no question in my mind that Dallas is going to win this game. The question becomes, will it be a close game, or a blowout? Arizona isn’t a good team anywhere but I can only imagine that they are even a worse team on the road. On the other hand, Drew Bledsoe is terrible on the road but plays OK at home. Dallas needs a win bad. I’ll take Dallas to dominate this game.
HOU -2 cle
Let me get this straight; Houston hasn’t won a game yet and probably will be without their starting QB and their starting RB, and they’re favored? I understand that Cleveland is terrible but this game should be a PK at the very least. I’ll take Super Bowl winning quarterback Trent Dilfer to cover.
NO -2 mia
These games are brutal. I suspect that New Orleans will be psyched to play a game in the state of Louisiana. That makes me think that the Saints might actually play inspired football. Although, New Orleans could not beat the Rams last week who were missing Marc Bulger, Tory Holt, Issac Bruce and their head coach. Miami has issues scoring which combined with the inspired Saints might mean a rare good performance by Jim Haslett and Co. So, I guess I’ll go with New Orleans.
jax -3 STL
If I picked St. Louis to win this game, I would have nightmares every night until Sunday. As tempting as that sounds, I’d prefer to sleep soundly so I’ll take Jacksonville to overwhelm the undermanned Rams.
SD -6 kc
I am a bit surprised by this line. Kansas City is a legitimate contender to make the playoffs and they have a prolific offense. San Diego is very much like Kansas City. If this game were being played in KC, I suspect that the Chiefs would be favored by two. So, that means Vegas thinks playing on the road is an eight point disadvantage for KC. That’s quite a bit. I’ll take KC.
tb -11 SF
I don’t think anybody really knows what kind of team Tampa Bay will field with Chris Simms at quarterback. Part of the reason that they have been so good this season was the play of Brian Griese. Simms is no Griese. The only problem I have picking TB is that they aren’t a prolific scoring team no matter who is at QB. Still, after last week’s disaster, I don’t think I could take SF against a defense as good as Tampa’s. I’m reluctantly taking the Bucs to cover.
DEN -3.5 philly
Two weeks ago Denver was favored by three over New England and I followed my rule of never picking against New England in a spread of three or more. I lost, but I remained undeterred. I have a similar rule for the Eagles. Philly has already beaten Kansas City and San Diego. I think those teams are every bit as good as Denver. I’ll take Philly to cover on the road.
NE -9 buff
This is a pretty big line for the Pats. They’ve struggled lately in getting pounded by Denver and San Diego. Buffalo wasn’t any better against Oakland last week. I would probably take New England with a line of -5 but -9 is just too high. I’ll take the Bills.
PITT -10 balt
Pittsburgh is a complete team and Baltimore is a disaster. Pittsburgh is at home and Baltimore is on the road. Pittsburgh is completely healthy and Baltimore is without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. I think this line is too small to be honest. I’m taking the Steelers.
Coin Flip’s picks: