The Coin Flip challenge should really start to pick up now that there’s two extra games each week. We had been picking 14 games per week but that gets bumped up with the bye weeks out of the way. This week there are more differences than similarities which usually means it’s a pretty big week. We have nine different picks. There are a lot of big spreads this week which makes me a bit nervous. I have managed to get above .500 on three different occasions this year (all in the last three weeks) midway through Sunday. Each time the evening games didn’t fall my way and I fell below the marker when the day was over. Hopefully I can get a break or two this week and get above the .500 marker for a whole week.
car -2.5 CHI
The Bears have been almost as unimpressive as the Lions in their six victories this season. They have a good shot at becoming the worst playoff team in NFL history. Kyle Orton is a brutal quarterback. I would be surprised if the Bears hold off Minnesota for the NFC North Title. The Panthers, on the other hand, are killing teams. Steve Smith is making 40% of the Panthers receptions which is just ludicrous. I don’t see how the Bears can stick with Carolina. The pick here is Carolina.
jax -4 TEN
The Jags play an outclassed Titans team this week. Jacksonville has been in a similar situation two times in the past couple weeks. They totally blew a game against the Rams who were fielding a group of no-name backups. Then, last week, they dominated the Ravens. This game could really go either way. The Jags play to the level of the competition at times which makes them a gambler’s nightmare. However, Tennessee has been struggling recently. I’m reluctantly going with Jacksonville.
ind -6 CIN
I think it’s safe to say that Las Vegas loves the Colts. They are six point road favorites over a 7-2 team. I have a feeling that the Colts will have some Foxboro flashbacks this weekend. They probably feel pretty good about themselves for dismantling the Patriots at home. But, the Patriots are clearly not the same teams of years past. Cincinnati will be cold and very reminiscent of the environment that plagued the Colts at New England the last few years. Six points is a lot of points to give up to a team that can score like the Bengals. I think a field goal decides this game so I’m taking Cincinnati.
NE -9 no
I’m not sure how New England earned a nine point spread against New Orleans. The Patriots have either lost, or won close in virtually every game this year. They have one win by more than seven points. The Saints are abysmal no doubt. This is one of those games that I know whatever team I pick, the other team will inevitably cover. This is definitely the most difficult game I’ve picked all year. I’ve gone back and forth in my head for the last hour trying to decide who I want to pick. I have no idea how this game will play out. Will the Saints give up before the snap or will Aaron Brooks throw for 400 yards and keep it close? Aaron Brooks and Joe Horn are just stubborn enough to show up and lose by eight this week in Foxboro. But, if I take New Orleans and they don’t cover, I’m going to be kicking myself. So, the pick is New England.
STL -9 ari
Having their whole cast of characters healthy last week against the Seahawks didn’t seem to do the Rams a bit of good. They just don’t have a great team. A lot of their problems come from the defense but the offense has been disappointing as well. Whereas I don’t trust the Rams against any team with a pulse, I think they are the kind of team that will rout a bottom-feeder like Arizona. Plus, St. Louis is at home which could make this game ugly. I’ll take St. Louis.
ATL -6 tb
Before last week, I would not be surprised by this line. However, Tampa Bay and Chris Simms beat a pretty good Redskins team last week. They put up over 30 points against the ‘Skins powerful defense. I said last week that I wouldn’t pick Chris Simms until he proved he could win a game. He did that and more last week. Six points seems a little high to me so I’ll take Tampa Bay to keep this close.
WAS -6 oak
I’m definitely surprised by this line. The Raiders have been a tough out this year. The Redskins have had split personalities. I just don’t see how Vegas thinks Washington is a six point favorite. The Raiders can score and should keep it close. I’ll take Oakland.
DAL -8.5 det
This line is surprising considering that Detroit is finally healthy. I don’t expect the Lions to win this game but I would be surprised if they were blown out. Roy Williams has brought some respectability to the offense would should, in turn, open up the running game a little bit. The Lions have a tough defense which should also keep this game close. I’m taking Detroit.
NYG -7.0 phi
Are the Giants, at home, 7.0 points better than the Eagles without Donovan McNabb and T.O.? I think they are. My only apprehensions are that the Eagles still have a good defense and this is a divisional game. However, the Eagles are Filet Mignon right now and Mike McMahon isn’t going to change that. The Giants have been extremely impressive at home this season so I’ll take the NY Giants.
CLE -2.5 mia
I think Miami is a better team than Cleveland. I’ve been awful in Browns games this season. My record is an embarrassing 1-7. Whatever I’m doing in the Browns games is clearly wrong. The last time I was this bad picking one team was the Minnesota Vikings. I took a look at the Vikings trends and I covered two weeks in a row. So I’ll try to do the same with the Browns. Never mind that I think Miami is going to win this game, the Browns were in a similar situation with the Detroit Lions. They had a -3 point spread playing at home against Detroit. I thought the Lions would win straight up and I was right. Detroit and Miami are comparable teams. I have a similar feeling in this game so I’ll take Miami to cover.
SEA -12.0 sf
If this game were -14.5 I would have big time issues taking Seattle. It’s hard to win by more than two touchdowns in the NFL. All it takes are an off day from a quarterback or a hot fourth quarter by the opposing team for the underdog to cover. But, since two touchdowns would allow Seattle to cover, they seem like a good pick. Shaun Alexander has dominated the Cardinals twice this season and the 49ers having nothing on the Cardinals. Seattle should come out smoking at home against an overmatched defense. I’ll take Seattle and, more importantly, Shaun Alexander to cover.
SD -11 buf
My eyes just about popped out of my head when I saw this spread. I know San Diego is the better team and I know J.P. Losman sucks but Buffalo has a decent defense and a strong running game. I thought Buffalo would get a little more respect. There was a similar game just two weeks ago when San Diego was a heavy favorite over the Jets. There was every reason in the world for San Diego to cover and only one reason for them not to cover. That one reason is Marty-ball. It is for that reason that I have to take Buffalo.
DEN -13 nyj
I think this week has the biggest spreads of the season. There are ten games with spreads of six or more. The Jets have been an elusive correct pick for me this year. Whenever I think they’ll get blown out, they show up, whenever I think they’ll play hard, they get blown out. The Broncos dominated the Raiders last week at Oakland. That opponent was much tougher than the Jets will be this week. The Broncos play like Super Bowl champs at home so I’ll take Denver to bring down the hammer on the Jets.
pit -3.5 BAL
The happiest place in the world this week may just be the Ravens locker room. If nothing else, they get to beat the living daylights out of Tommy Maddox. The Ravens played the Steelers tough just a few weeks ago at Pittsburgh. Tommy Maddox’s only extended playing time this season was his overtime debacle against the Jags earlier in the season. I have a dilemma here. There’s no way I can pick Tommy Maddox on the road against a good defense. Conversely, there’s no way I can pick the Ravens in this game. So, I have to make a pick that I can’t do. That’s never a good sign. I’m going to pretend that Tommy Maddox isn’t the quarterback this week and pick the Steelers to cover.
kc -6.5 HOU
The wheels have fallen off KC’s wagon. Not only has their defense been a bit disappointing, but their offense has been even more disappointing. They can’t score through the air or on the ground. They’re just a disaster right now. Houston, on the other, hand, has been fairly competitive lately. They have covered three straight spreads. This is a tough one because KC will break out offensively if only for one game. If it’s this game, then they’ll cover for sure. The Chiefs are still a respectable 5-4 on the season. They still have slim hopes for the playoffs. If there’s any professionalism on the KC team at all, they will show up and take care of business against a terrible Houston team. I’ll take Kansas City to cover.
GB -4.5 min
Apparently the people in Vegas are not impressed with Minnesota's two game winning streak over Detroit and the NY Giants. I have been impressed. They aren't the bungling fools that they were for the first half of the season. They aren't going to the Super Bowl anytime soon but they're a decent football team right now. Meanwhile, Green Bay has two wins on the season! I'm surprised with how big this line is. I've had luck picking with Brad Johnson and I'm not going to stop now. I'll take Minnesota to continue their march to the top of the NFC North.
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