Week 11 begins with another Thursday night match that, thanks to the narrowly available NFL Network, you may get to watch. Fortunately, tonight’s game is between the Bears and Dolphins, though the NFL is coming dangerously close to using teams that people actually care about.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Chicago Bears v Miami Dolphins -1
Miami will be starting Tyler Thigpen, their third string Quarterback. Fortunately for them, Chicago will be starting their first string QB, Jay “Jump Ball” Cutler. Cutler will likely complete as many passes to the Dolphins as anyone else. This could be the week to re-emphasize the Wildcat, and let Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams throw the ball to each other. If either of them can get the ball to Brandon Marshall, they could wind up with a touchdown pass or two. Pick: Miami -1
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals -5.5 Looking ahead, from around Week 7, this game was going to garner interest as being the Bills’ best chance for a win. Well, the Lions screwed that up last week, and now even Bengals and Bills fans will be hard pressed to tune in. From the gambler’s perspective, when both teams stink, take points. From the I-like-to-gamble-but-don’t-have-a-gambling-problem perspective, do not bet on this game, then you won’t be compelled to watch it.
Pick: Buffalo +5.5
Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys -6.5
Warning: the Cowboys are not back. Granted, they looked rather good last week, caught the Giants off guard, and embarrassed them. They are likely to look just as good against the Lions, who they will beat, whether Detriot is ready or not. This is unfortunate as we are now going to have to weather 24-hour a day Cowboy’s revival news coverage. Luckily, Dallas will get right back to their losing ways against the Saints on Thanksgiving, and we can drift comfortably to sleep next Thrusday night knowing the Cowboys have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Pick: Dalls -6.5 (yes, we just said, ‘when both teams stink, take points, but the Lions have started to reek).
Washington Redskins v Tennessee Titans -6.5
Signing Donovan McNabb to a contract extention on Monday is tantamount to giving Bernie Madoff your PIN number. Perhaps Daniel Snyder was jealous of all the airtime Jerry Jones was getting looking devastated in his luxury box. Congratulations Danny.
Pick: Washington’s Opponent, the rest of the year, regardless of the spread.
Arizona Cardinals v Kansas City Chiefs -8.5
In the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s one fine way to end a losing streak was with a game against the Cardinals. For a few years recently, this was not the case. They even made their way into a Super Bowl recently. With last weeks home loss to Seattle, it looks like they are back to their old ways.
Pick: Kansas City -8.5
Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings +3.5
This game will remain relevant for as long as Favre remains in the league, regardless of how badly he is playing. The Vikings as a team are a mess. The Packers are making a serious push toward the playoffs. People are simply lining up to apologize to Aaron Rodgers for what they said when he took over in Green Bay. This last part isn’t true, and y’all should be ashamed.
Pick: Green Bay -3.5
Houston Texans v New York Jets -6.5
Last week the Texans lost a true heart breaker. If you’ve had a chance to watch video of that final play, you can see that is a team that has been kicked, and not in the heart. It is hard to rebound against a defensive team like the Jets, and even harder when you can’t stop anyone from scoring.
Pick: Jets -6.5
Cleveland Browns v Jacksonville Jaguars -1.5
Jacksonville was the benefactor of the fortunate bizarre bounce against Houston, though are still facing a most disappointing season. The Browns know a thing or two about disappointment, themselves, and with some untimely QB issues, their bad season is turning lousy. Pick Jaguars -1.5
Baltimore Ravens v Carolina Panthers +10.5
The Ravens don’t blow many teams out. The last time they gave double-digit points was in a scrimmage against their practice squad, and they didn’t cover. The current Panthers’ roster may not be as good as the Raven’s 4th string, but that is a boatload of points. This may be a game to avoid. Pick: Baltimore -10.5
Oakland Raiders v Pittsburgh Steelers -7.5
Oakland put together some reasonable wins, and that is very nice for the Raiders’ lovely and loyal fans. Unfortunately, for them alone, they don’t have any more games against the NFC West. Now they face a Steeler team that outclasses them on an average day. And, surely, a Steeler team that is looking to turn someone inside out after the Patriot game. Pick: Steelers -7.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v San Francisco 49ers -3.5
Take the points, or better yet, take a walk, or do something besides watch these teams play football. Pick: Tampa +3.5
Seattle Seahawks v New Orleans Saints -11.5
The Saints are fairly healthy, had a good few weeks, just had a bye, and now get to play the Seahawks at home. Seattle was soundly thrashed by Oakland and the Giants before bouncing back against Arizona, who doesn’t count. Pick: New Orleans -11.5
Atlanta Falcons v St. Louis Rams +3.5
Atlanta has played wonderfully at home, but are unpredictable, at best on the road. The Rams are having a reasonable year themselves, despite losing three of their last five, all road games. St. Louis just gave away a game to the 9ers on some big pass plays. In San Francisco, the Rams did not face anyone with the talent of Matt Ryan and Roddy White. Pick Falcons +3.5
Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots -3.5
Every game the Patriots play is becoming the game of the year. This means they are good. Also means their opponents are good, and yes, we could have quite a game here. The Peyton Manning v Tom Brady story is captivating on its own, without the winner of this game looking well placed to secure home field in the playoffs. It is as difficult to give points to Peyton Manning, as it is to pick against the Patriots at home. I prefer to do the latter. Pick: Colts +3.5
New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles -3.5
Well, the NFC East appears to be in a fair bit of disarray. The Giants were running away until getting run over by the Cowboys, who were dead in the water until Wade Phillips shipped out. The Redskins were hanging around, somehow, until getting hung out to dry by the Eagles. Philadelphia now appears to be the class of the Division, which is interesting as they owe their success to a classless Michael Vick.
Pick: Eagles -3.5
Denver Broncos v San Diego Chargers -9.5
Two or three times per year the Chargers put a win or two together and everyone puts them right back in the Super Bowl. So, here we are again. The Chargers have won their last two games, and are now favored by 9.5-points. The Broncos just won an important game over the Chiefs, which may not be that impressive. But, unless the Chargers spent the entire Bye week practicing punts, this spread is insulting.
Pick: Broncos +9.5