Nov 12

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Week Ten Picks

Well, I didn’t get my picks up in time for the Thursday night game as I was having a busy week, but I did tweet my pick. Unfortunately, I was just plain wrong.

Raiders vs Chargers

I assumed that the Chargers were good enough to beat a team that brought a QB out of purgatory a couple of weeks ago. I was wrong. Chargers 21, Raiders 19.

Saints vs Falcons

The Saints have had an interesting season between running the score up on the Colts and having their ascots handed to them by the Rams. For this match up in the Georgia Dome, anything could happen between these two teams. The Falcons haven’t necessarily had the season they were expecting either, with the dominant Matty Ryan aerial show never really materializing. Given the inconsistencies in the Saints’ performance, and the home-field location, I’m going with the Dirty Birds. Falcons 24, Saints 20.

Titans vs Panthers

Chris Johnson raised the bar for Adrian Peterson’s contract, but that was the only bar he’s been able to raise this season. Matt Hasselbeck has been performing better than anticipated, but Cam Newton is being hailed as the rookie of the year – his losing record notwithstanding. Given the Titans’ inability to generate much offense, and having a defense in the middle of the pack against the pass, I believe the Panthers will manage a win here, so Cam doesn’t have to throw his kicker under the bus in the post-game presser. But… Newton has been added to the injury report, putting the passing game into question, causing me to think this will be a closer game than it otherwise would be.   Panthers 17, Titans 14.

Steelers vs Bengals

The Bengals have been a revelation to many this season, and Andy Dalton is a big part of the team’s resurgence. The Steelers, meanwhile, have been both surprising and shocking at times. Having lived in Cincinnati, I can tell you that the Steelers are not welcome on the banks of the Ohio River. Of course, the Bengals haven’t always been welcome, either, if their inability to sell out games is any indication. I think Big Ben’s veteran status and Polamalu’s presence on defense will give the Bengals a home loss. Steelers 27, Bengals 20.

Rams vs Browns

The Dawg Pound will be out in full force in Cleveland on Sunday. The Rams will have Sam Bradford behind center – but not their starting center as Jason Brown has been benched. Cleveland hasn’t managed any impressive wins this season, while the Rams took those Aints down a few pegs. With Colt McCoy still a question mark for the Browns’ management team, it’s not inconceivable that the Rams pull out a win in the Forest City on the shores of Lake Erie. Rams 21, Browns 17.

Bills vs Cowboys

The Bills let me down last week. Their fans probably cared, too. Romo alternately inspires and revolts the Cowboys’ fans. To add insult to injury for the Cowboys, Miles Austin is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a hamstring injury. Will that slow the Cowboys down against the Bills? Probably. But will the Bills have a way to not only hold back the Cowboys’ offense but also take care of the ball? If last week is any indication, likely not. Cowboys 24, Bills 19.

Jaguars vs Colts

Blaine Gabbert and Curtis Painter will be facing off this week in the Circle City. Indianapolis is probably reeling from the terrible season their perennial play-off favorite team is having. You can’t say that Painter isn’t giving it his all, however. Last week he managed to complete a pass to himself and try again – with an incompletion to an actual receiver. The Jaguars are 7th against the pass, so the Colts will likely need to rely on their running game. Personally, I don’t think the Jags have much to worry about here. Jaguars 19, Colts 10.

Broncos vs Chiefs

The Chiefs are suddenly hot (or rather, were, until that embarrassing loss against the Dolphins), while the Broncos are coming off a win against the Raiders – their first in a couple of seasons. One of two things will happen here. The key is to know which for those of us picking this week. Will the Broncos carry the momentum of their win against the Raiders to KC, or will the Chiefs be looking for redemption at home? I believe it’ll be more of the latter and less of the former. Chiefs 28, Broncos 24.

Redskins vs Dolphins

Neither of these teams is starting the QB they had at #1 on the roster in week 1. The Redskins benched Grossman while the Dolphins lost Henne to injury. Matt Moore is looking like the right ingredient to pump up the Dolphins’ offense while John Beck continues to deteriorate. So much so that Grossman & Beck split the first team reps this week, indicating that Beck better perform or he’ll be pulled. Given the Miami location for this match up, and the fact that the game sold out (with considerable help from local TV stations and sponsors), Matt Moore could be in a position to get another AFC Offensive Player of the week award. Dolphins 27, Redskins 17.

Cardinals vs Eagles

The Cardinals beat the Rams last week, while the Eagles lost to the Bears. Yeah – these were 2 of the games I chose incorrectly last week. I hopefully won’t make the same mistake twice! Kevin Kolb is listed as questionable this weekend, which is for the best as he probably doesn’t want to face off against Vick after the whole debacle last season in Philly. That means John Skelton will likely get the start. While he was able to lead the Cards to victory last weekend, I don’t see that happening this weekend. In the City of Brotherly Love, there’s not a lot of love for teams that aren’t the Eagles. Eagles 31, Cardinals 17.

Texans vs Buccaneers

The Texans are building up to their first play-off berth while the Bucs are playing erratically from week to week. Matt Schaub has a Passer Rating of 92.6 while Josh Freeman is at 76.8, illustrating the difference in these offenses and their ability to put up points. Add the Texans’ #1 ranked defense and it’s not hard to imagine that the Bucs would have a tough time winning this game, even at home. Texans 34, Bucs 20.

Ravens vs Seahawks

The Ravens have been perplexing at times this season. Example: losing to the Titans. The Seahawks are just fairly bad. Pete Carroll’s experiment with former Vikings doesn’t seem to be paying dividends. Meanwhile Joe Flacco is alternating between terrible and elite – and you never know which version of him is going to show up on the field. Seattle is typically a tough place to play, but I think the Ravens will rely more on their running game and run right out of The Emerald City with a victory. Ravens 20, Seahawks 13.

Lions vs Bears

Soldier Field is hosting the Lions with their Roar restored this weekend. However, the Lions look like they’ve been suffering from some laryngitis as of late and that roar is a little raspy.  Mike Martz, Lovie Smith and Jay Cutler have arrived at a consensus about using more max-protect schemes to ensure that Cutler isn’t subjected to hit after and hit and that’s led to the Bears steadily improving and Matt Forte making a case for a hefty contract at the end of the season. The Lions won’t be embarrassing the Bears in this go-around. Bears 28, Lions 24.

Giants vs 49ers

The 49ers are having a solid season and the Giants have been amassing a few wins as of late. Analysts are starting to infer that Eli is “elite”, while Alex Smith’s star continues to rise. Eli & Alex are #5 and #6 respectively when ranked by QB passer rating, so they’re both having a good year. Some might say that the Candlestick Park locale of this match up will ensure that the 49ers secure a win. I’m not convinced. Giants 23, 49ers 20.

Patriots vs Jets

The Jets and the Patriots don’t have a very friendly rivalry. And Mark Sanchez is no Tom Brady – if you know what I mean. The Patriots occasionally fall down and the Jets sometimes surprise. Sanchez is too erratic in his performance to ensure a win at home. And I think the Patriots have no intention of suffering another loss, which would take their losing streak to 3. Patriots 28, Jets 19.

Vikings vs Packers

Well. I haven’t picked the Vikings for real at all this season. Is this the time to start? After watching the Packers last week, I was left with the impression that they are not invincible. The fact that they are worse than the Vikings against the pass should tell the world that they are not going to end the season at 19-0 – no matter how much those stupid homers across the border think they might. And that goes for those Sconnie infiltrators that realize the MN quality of life is far superior to that in WI and sneak through the Cheddar Curtain. The Packers are going to lose and I don’t see why it shouldn’t (or wouldn’t) be the Vikings that break their winning streak. Vikings 28, Pukers 24.

Those are my picks for week 10. Skol Vikings Nation! Let’s look forward to ARodg getting his face stuffed into that Odin-forsaken frozen tundra repeatedly on MNF!


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