Saturday, November 19, 2011
Week 11 Picks
Nevertheless, the show must go on. I'm back to my strategy from two weeks ago of making my picks based on where I thought the line would be after my worst week of the season.
Buffalo (+2.5) vs MIAMI
My favorite AFC team this year is quickly spiraling out of playoff contention, while the Dolphins are on a 2-game winning streak, something not seen in South Beach since Lebron's talents were taken there. Yet, I feel really good about this game. The Bills are due for a bounce-back game and Miami is due for a loss, albeit a close one. This is a game Buffalo has to have if they're going to stay alive in the playoff race and I think they know it.
Bills 27, Dolphins 16
Cincinnati (+7.5) vs BALTIMORE
I feel worse about this game than I did after sitting through an episode of The Big Bang Theory. I just want it to be over so bad so I can chalk up my L and move on.
What I don't get is how Joe Flacco can look so good one game and so much like Joey Harrington the next. There's no consistency with him at all. Good against a great Steelers defense, awful against a mediocre Seahawks defense. Flip a coin and hope for the best. I'm thinking he calls it wrong against a decent Bengals D, but he still finds a way to win.
Baltimore 20, Cincinnati 13
Jacksonville vs CLEVELAND (+0.5)
I can't think of anything less interesting to do on a Sunday than watch the Jaguars travel to face the Browns. So let me take a moment to talk about a new thing I've noticed in football.
I've watched both pro and college football since I was growing up. Never before this season have I heard of the "victory formation." I understand what it is (lining up to take a knee, ending the game) but is this a new thing? NFL Red Zone's Scott Hanson says it during nearly every game and the announcers for the Washington-Oregon St. game just dropped it. What was wrong with "So-and-so lines up, takes a knee and that will do it?"
Browns 17, Jaguars 13
Dallas vs WASHINGTON (+7.5)
The Cowboys looked way too good last week and the Redskins usually find a way to play them tough. To be honest, I have no idea who starts between John Beck and Rex Grossman, but either way, I like the defense to keep it somewhat close in this rivalry game. Count on at least two interceptions from Tony Romo.
Cowboys 24, Redskins 20
Carolina vs DETROIT (-6.5)
I know Matthew Stafford has a broken finger on his throwing hand and I know the Lions don't have a running back that has done anything this season, but I also know that they're playing Carolina and the Panthers are terrible. Cam Newton was transcendent in his first few games in the NFL, but he hasn't done much since. The Lions have to have this one and the crowd in Detroit will be ready to rattle the rookie QB.
Lions 34, Panthers 16
Tampa Bay (+14.5) vs GREEN BAY
Tampa is bad, but over two touchdown underdogs? I find that hard to believe, especially considering I'm still not buying the Packers D. The Bucs will be able to move the ball enough to keep the game close and I don't expect the defense to be as absent as it was for the trouncing they received from the 49ers. I just really wish this game was in Florida instead of Wisconsin...
Packers 36, Buccaneers 23
Oakland (+1.5) vs MINNESOTA
How many things go into trying to make sense of THIS game, you ask? Well, a lot.
Minnesota: Getting routinely destroyed lately, but against good teams. Lost to Kansas City. Play well at home. Can't stop the pass.
Oakland: Carson Palmer. Beat Houston. Lost to Kansas City by 28. Beat the Jets. Lost to Denver by 14. Carson Palmer. Good on the road. Carson Palmer.
I'll take the point and a half. I guess.
Raiders 24, Vikings 21.
Seattle vs ST. LOUIS (-2.5)
Hey, it's another game nobody outside of these cities will want to watch! This has Seattle scoring 10 points or fewer written all over it. Call it a hunch and a really good one at that.
Rams 20, Seahawks 9
Arizona (+9.5) vs SAN FRANCISCO
You know me and how I love my 49ers. But I have to stick with the system here. I think the Niners will win this game and with little trouble and I also think Arizona is good for a late touchdown, just to cover. The one thing I'm really interested in is how Jake Skelton (I think that's his name, but like The Rock would say, it doesn't matter what his name is) matches up against San Francisco. He's really thrown the ball well lately, but against the Rams and Eagles, that's not exactly shocking.
49ers 24, Cardinals 16.
Tennessee (+6.5) vs ATLANTA
The way the NFL has gone, nobody not named the Packers, 49ers or Colts have really played consistently this season. That's why I'm terrified of this game this week. Tennessee looked awesome against Carolina, but A) It's Carolina and B) when they don't play the Panthers, all bets are off. Atlanta, meanwhile, has gone loss, win, loss, win, loss, win, win, win, loss.
So really, all I'm asking for here is for these two teams to play like they did last week. One time. Please.
Falcons 27, Titans 23
San Diego vs CHICAGO (-3.5)
Everybody has been saying it all week, but the cold, soft California team is going on the road to face a hot, tough Midwestern team. Everything about this game screams blowout. If you're a fantasy football player and have the Bears defense, you probably have already won. Expect somewhere between three and six turnovers, at least one of which will be returned for a touchdown.
Bears 33, Chargers 10
Philadelphia vs NY GIANTS (-3.5)
I made this pick even before Michael Vick was ruled out and I stand behind it a lot more with Vince Young playing. Young is like Vick, except he's worse at throwing, worse at running and worse at killing dogs. Two of those three things aren't good if you're trying to beat a team that came into your house earlier this season and beat you by 13. And the third, while good, probably won't help you much.
Giants 31, Eagles 20
Kansas City (+14.5) vs NEW ENGLAND
Tyler Palko. Or Balko. Or whatever it is. Anyway, there's worse defenses for someone whose name nobody knows to go up against than the Patriots' D. And that's way too many points for a team to lay when they're only really good on one side of the ball.
Patriots 30, Chiefs 19