Kobe’s Week 11 Picks
Week 10 brought me a 2-2 record bringing my season total to 17 wins and 23 losses. That’s much better than the 1-3 records I have the past few weeks and I am hoping to turn things around and at least hit the .500 mark before the end of the season.
Two big take aways this week; we were able to watch the best finish to a game this season in Jacksonville defeating Houston on the last second pass Garrard threw up and we also got to see Michael Vick account for 6 TD’s 4 passing and 2 running in the best performance by a QB this season.
This season we have close Division battles throughout, each Division has at least 3 of the 4 teams within 1-2 games of the lead. It’s been a great season so far and this last stretch will be very fun to watch.
There are no Byes this week and for the rest of the season, until the playoffs of course.
Game #1: New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Prior to the Monday Night game I had a pretty good idea of who I was going to pick in this game and it wasn’t the Eagles. Even with the Cowboy debacle I felt the Giants could step back in and defeat the Eagles. However my thoughts have changed.
Michael Vick has gotten to the point where he is possibly the biggest Offensive threat in football. He has really taken this second chance and has learned from the great coaching staff is Philadelphia to become a much better player than he was prior to his days in Atlanta. He has thrown 11 TD passes with no interceptions.
The Eagles are not fielding the best Defense, ranking 22nd in points allowed, and that will help the Giants possible win this game but the Giants Defense will have to play a good controlled game to contain Vick.
What if: As stated above the Giants can contain Vick they can win this game.
Prediction: New York Giants 24 Philly Eagles 31
Game #2: Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots
Arguably the 2 best Quarterbacks of all time coming into this game Manning vs. Brady, fresh off appearances on the NFL Networks Top 100 greatest players list with Brady coming in at #21 and Manning coming in at #8.
Looking at this game statistically I would give the edge to the Colts for the following reasons: An 11th ranked Defense in points allowed at 20.6 pts a game and an 3rd ranked Offense scoring 26.7 pts per game vs. the Patriots 25th ranked Defense in points allowed at 23.8 and the 1st overall scoring Offense setting at 28.7 pts per game.
You could pick either team and have a great argument for your choice but this week I will argue that the home team has the edge and that the Colts are still dinged up enough to be an issue.
What if: The Colts Defense can put pressure on Brady they can win.
Prediction: Colts 28 Patriots 31
Game #3: Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Oakland comes’ riding into Pittsburgh fresh off a Bye week preceded by a big Division win in defeating the Chiefs. The Raiders should have Bruce Gradkowski behind center even though Jason Campbell has been playing well in the Raiders last 4 games winning 3 of the 4 however it’s going to take a poor outing from Campbell to make this happen. For the record, in my opinion Bruce should be the starter.
The Steelers come in licking their wounds from a sound beating by the Patriots. A lack of pass rush lead to Tom Brady imposing the Patriots Offensive will on the Steelers D, which doesn’t happen often. Brady passed for 350 yards and 3 TD’s and 0 interceptions and wasn’t sacked.
The Steelers running game didn’t get on track either only rushing for 76 total yards leaving it to Roethlisberger keep the Steelers in the game on his right arm.
I look at this game as being a good old fashion slug fest and giving the nod to the home team but I think it will be tight.
What if: If the Raiders can reversal roles with the Steelers and control the ball on the ground while playing solid run Defense they can pull this game out.
Prediction: Oakland 21 Pittsburgh 23
Game #4: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers
Statistically these 2 teams are very similar, the difference being that the Buccaneers have found themselves seemingly a franchise Quarterback in Josh Freeman while the 49ers are still trying to determine whether or not Alex Smith is their guy.
On the Defensive side of the ball the glaring stat that separates the two teams is the turnover ratio. The Bucs are setting at a +5 and the 49ers are setting at a -4 that’s a pretty large gap which is a good reason why the Bucs are setting at 6-3 and the 49ers have the inverse of that setting at 3-6.
Although traveling across country is rough, Josh Freeman just seems to find a way to win games. I am giving the edge to the Bucs in a tight one.
What if: The 49ers can pressure Freeman and stuff the Bucs run game they should be able to score enough points to win.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 27 San Francisco 24