Home > Uncategorized > Week Ten Picks, post-Thursday night edition

Week Ten Picks, post-Thursday night edition

November 13th, 2009

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen two teams try so hard to lose a game as I did last night. Let’s hope that fiasco doesn’t set the tone for the weekend. Here’s what not to expect.

Detroit (+16.5) at Minnesota
Do you need me to say something about this game? God, I hope not. Because I’ve got nothing. Not one blessed thing. Vikings by 10.

Denver (-3.5) at Washington
I’m very confused by the line on this game. In six losses this season, the Native Americans have once come within three and a half points of their opponent. That was Carolina. And that was with Clinton Portis, who won’t be available for this game. So how does that math work out? For me, it works out to taking Denver and giving the points. Hell, I’d give twice the damned points if I had to.

Tampa Bay (+10) at Miami
You can’t have success against the Dolphins if you can’t play run defense. And man alive can the Bucs not play run defense. Miami by 17.

Buffalo (+6.5) at Tennessee
There are two teams in the NFL that aspire to defend the run as “well” as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do. One of them is the Buffalo Bills. Titans by a touchdown.

New Orleans (-13.5) at St. Louis
There is the potential here for an entire NFL game to be played without a single punt. Why? Because the Saints are likely to score every time they get the ball. And the Rams are equally likely to see their every offensive possession end in a turnover. I’m thinking I don’t really need to say this outright, but, yeah, I’m taking the Saints and giving the points.

Jacksonville (+7) at NY Jets
There’s a perception out there that last week’s win may signal that the Jaguars have figured out how to right their problem defense. And you never know; that could be the case. But you’ll forgive me if I say I’d like to see Jacksonville perform well against a team that isn’t rebuilding before I come to any conclusions. Jets by a touchdown (yes, with the extra point).

Atlanta (-1.5) at Carolina
This is the game for week 10 that’s gonna go the other way no matter how I pick it. I’ve got exactly two thoughts, both of them purely hunch based. First, I think Carolina’s inability to hold onto the football is more likely to be a problem in this game than Atlanta’s inability to stop the run. (But, honestly, it could easily work out the other way around.) Second, I have a feeling last weekend’s collapse will ultimately prove more deflating to the Panthers than their 0-3 start. I’m taking Atlanta and giving the point and a half, knowing I’m gonna be wrong.

Cincinnati (+7) at Pittsburgh
The Bengals took care of business when they got the Steelers at home back in week three. And they handled the Ravens, who run a similar D to Pittsburgh’s, pretty good last week. And they’ve got a damned good run defense and some pickoff specialists lurking in the secondary. So you’ve gotta figure they’ve got a shot here. I’m not sure any of that will be enough, frankly. But it’s something to pin your hopes on if you’re a Cincy fan. And reason enough for me to feel pretty good about the Bengals at least covering. Pittsburgh by three.

Kansas City (+2) at Oakland
Neither of these teams is worth the time it’s gonna take me to type out this pick. But here it is: The Raiders offense manages an average of 9.8 points per game. 9.8. That’s not even two scores. And what’s crazy is, Oakland’s not the lowest scoring team in the league. They’re tied with Cleveland at 31st, .2 points per game ahead of St. Louis. You know where else the Raiders are tied for second-to-last place? Giveaway-takeaway. They’re at -9. And while the Chiefs have shown me very little by way of promise this season, I can’t pick a team as awful as the Raiders. I just can’t. Kansas City by three.

Dallas (-3) at Green Bay
Yeah, I know. The Cowboys are on a nice little run since coming back from their week six bye. And the Packers have looked … let’s say less than good in back-to-back losses to Minnesota and, ulp, Tampa Bay these last two weeks. Still, I have a hard time picking any team to beat a second consecutive strong opponent on the road. And I have to imagine the Packers are gonna be pissed off and looking to prove something (even if only to themselves). So I’m looking for the home squad to pull of the upset here. Packers by six.

Philadelphia (+2) at San Diego
Given the way they’ve been playing of late, I’m not sure I’d be willing to pick the Eagles if they had a secondary. And apparently they don’t. So I’m taking the Chargers and giving the points.

Seattle (+8.5) at Arizona
A team is going to win the NFC West this season. Just like every season. And it’s going to be every bit as much an injustice as it ever is that whatever team that is gets a home playoff game. Oh, well. Cardinals by 13-ish.

New England (+3) at Indianapolis
If I thought there were anything, like one single thing, I could write about this game that hasn’t been said or written a million times in a million other places this week, I’d get right to it. But, let’s face it, this is the most overanalyzed game not just this week but this season. There’s nothing left. So I’ll just point out that the difference in this game will almost have to come by way of defensive plays. Because, look, both teams bring powerhouse offenses to the field. And neither team has been anything more or less than middle of the pack in terms of special teams play (overall, that is; the Patriots are near the top of the list in field goals and the Colts are at the bottom in terms of kickoffs and punting, but overall it comes out to average on both sides of the ball with New England having maybe a very slight edge). So it’s about D. That pretty much means it’s a matter of whether you believe the Colts’ pass rush or the Patriots’ secondary will be the unit that makes the two or three big plays that will decide the game. And I have more faith in New England’s O line than I have in the Colts receivers, particularly given the fact that Indy doesn’t have a running offense you have to worry all that much about, which should free up the Pats DBs to maintain tight coverage. I expect to see a game that’s competitive from start to finish, but I expect the Patriots to come out ahead, by the margin of one score (whether it’ll be a field goal or a touchdown, I can’t say, but it doesn’t matter since the visiting Patriots are getting points).

Baltimore (-10.5) at Cleveland
Nice bit of scheduling here, NFL. I mean, I get that this is a rivalry game (of sorts), but, hell, I knew the Browns were gonna suck this season. Most of the football watching world knew the Browns were gonna suck this season (even Cleveland fans knew it). So how did you not pick up on that? Ravens by 17 (at halftime, which is about as late as anyone will still be paying attention).

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
Comments are closed.