Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Most notably left off of either side was A BENGAL. The AFC-North conference champion did not have one player garner a Pro Bowl selection. Shocking. Johnathan Joseph should have made it at cornerback over Champ Bailey, and Cedric Benson would have easily made this team had he stayed healthy. This is the type of story that can really make this Bengals team scary come playoff time. If this team could stretch the field with their passing game they would be contenders.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
ATS winners in ( )
San Diego @ Tennessee (-3) - Doesn't it concern you that Vegas has the TITANS favored here? Rumors along the Charger front are that the starters will play at least the first half and part of the second half. I am anticipating Rivers, LT, Gates, and Jackson all to be off the field in the fourth quarter. This game bears no significance to the Chargers playoff standing. They will be the #2 seed, have a bye in the first week, and play a home game in the divisional round. End of story. The starters have to play at least the first half to keep their game sharp, but anyone that is banged up a bit (Merriman, Phillips, Weddle) will definitely get some time to heal up over the next two weeks of the regular season and into the first week of the playoffs. The Chargers are much more dangerous with healthy players than they are with a record of 13-3 vs 12-4 or 11-5. That being said, I think the Titans offense will throw the kitchen sink at the Chargers defense. Chris Johnson will get plenty of touches, and VY will make things happen in and out of the pocket. The Titans are a dangerous team, and when Jeff Fisher has never won against the Chargers, wouldn't this be a bit of a Cinderella win for him. I think so. TITANS over the CHARGERS 30 - 24.
Seattle (+14) @ Green Bay
Oakland (+3) @ Cleveland
Kansas City @ Cincinnati (-14)
Buffalo @ Atlanta (-9)
Houston (+3) @ Miami
Carolina @ New York Giants (-7)
Tampa Bay (+14) @ New Orleans
Jacksonville (+8) @ New England
Baltimore (+3) @ Pittsburgh
St. Louis @ Arizona (-14)
Detroit (+12) @ San Francisco
Denver @ Philadelphia (-7)
New York Jets (+6) @ Indianapolis
Dallas @ Washington (+7)
Minnesota (-7) @ Chicago
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
1. Indianapolis Colts (14-0) - Will they rest their players or will they play for history? I think a very physical first half from the Jets this week may force the Colts into resting Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne. It is not worth it for them to risk injury to their star players when their goal is to win the Super Bowl.
2. San Diego Chargers (11-3) - One of the hottest teams in the NFL. 17 straight December wins. Phillip Rivers is a beast.
3. New Orleans Saints (13-1) - They lost to the Cowboys...They lost to the Cowboys in New Orleans...I did not predict that to happen. I believe the Saints have been exposed.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (10-4) - Too hot too handle. DeSean Jackson is the MVP of the NFC-East. Eagles are a dangerous team.
5. Arizona Cardinals (9-5) - The Cardinals have the explosive offense, a running game in the works, and a defense that shows up for the big games. I like that mix.
6. Minnesota Vikings (11-3) - Finally the media has attacked the Vikings offensive line. Their is nothing wrong with AP or Brett Farve, the problem exists in the 5 in front of them. Didn't anyone think it was weird in week 3 to have 6 and 7 guys stay in to protect on 3rd downs for the Vikings? A contender must have a strong offensive line to challenge for the Super Bowl. Not so much here.
7. New England Patriots (9-5) - The experience will begin to shine through as the Patriots will try to lock up the #3 seed.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (9-5) - How much will the mourning of a fellow teammate and friend affect the Bengals the rest of the way.
9. New York Giants (8-6) - The power running game was back on Monday night. If the Giants are able to play with that type of physical nature the rest of the way, they would be a tough team to play in January.
10. Baltimore Ravens (8-6) - Perfect time for Ray Lewis and company to heat up.
11. Dallas Cowboys (9-5) - Tony Romo has had a tremendous season, if they fall short he is not the one to blame.
12. Denver Broncos (8-6) - The great teams beat the good teams. Therefore, the Broncos should lose this week to the Eagles.
13. Green Bay Packers (9-5) - Green Bay has had a good season, but they are 2-4 against playoff contenders this season.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7) - Huge last-second victory against Green Bay. But I think 9-7 won't be enough for the Steelers.
15. Miami Dolphins (7-7) - This team plays every game close. Houston and Pittsburgh at home are both possible wins for this club.
16. Tennessee Titans (7-7) - What a remarkable turnaround for a team that start 0-6.
17. New York Jets (7-7) - Someone let Rex Ryan know that the Jets still have a heartbeat for the playoffs.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-7) - An upset over Indy would have been huge, but the loss dropped the Jags to 7-7 and most likely out of the playoffs.
19. Houston Texans (7-7) - The Texans still have life, but they need to win in Miami and against New England, and they also need a lot of other things to happen.
All other teams will miss the playoffs
-Bengals players and coaches, as well as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, attended the services for the late Chris Henry. May he rest in peace.
-The Giants win against Washington on Monday night was huge for the G-Men but it also made them nervous for the fact that the Skins host the Cowboys this week. And after a performance like that last night, does anyone have faith in the Skins taking down the Boys?
-The AFC Playoff picture is still being calculated...it's ridiculous how many teams are still alive.
-After Week 6 the Titans sat at 0-6 and everyone and their grandmother believed Jeff Fisher's 15 year career as Titans head coach would be finished. If the Titans are able to upset the Chargers this week and beat the Seahawks in Week 17, regardless of making the playoffs, it is very possible Jeff Fisher will receive a vote or two for coach of the year. Crazy to fathom it, but it is true.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
-The Saints lost a pivotal NFC showdown against the Dallas Cowboys. The Saints are now 13-1 and have already secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With the loss to Dallas, the Saints now may be inclined to rest some of their stars in Week 16 and Week 17. On the flip side, the Cowboys got a huge win that puts them right back into contention with the Eagles in the East, and it also gets the "December Monkey" off of their back.
-The Colts won the game-of-the-week against Jacksonville on a huge pass and catch from Manning to Wayne in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. The Colts remained undefeated and have the Jets and Bills left on their schedule. It will be interesting to see how things are played out with this Indianapolis team and how their players are used, or not used.
-The Vikings have secured the NFC-North with the Packers loss on Sunday. But, with their loss to Carolina, the Vikings have opened the door to the Eagles. If the Eagles win their final two games, and the Vikings lose one of their final two, the Eagles move into 2nd place in the NFC. The Vikings are banged up, but I wouldn't expect them to rest their players, they need to secure the bye and the home field divisional game. I think the Week 17 matchup against the Giants will be a very tough home game for the Vikings. If the Vikings were to lose a game, the Eagles win out, and if the Vikings advanced to play Philly they would be heading into trouble. Vikings head coach Brad Childress is 0-2 against his former team (Philly) and the Vikings haven't won in Philly since 1985.
-The Eagles host Denver this week and then travel to Dallas in Week 17. Week 17 could be a preview of round one of the playoffs; it is possible that both the Packers @ Cardinals and Eagles vs Cowboys matchups could also be the wild card round matchups. A few things can rearrange the games, but there is a good chance they could play each other on back to back weeks.
-If the Cowboys lose to Philly in Week 17 and the Giants win out, the Giants get the playoff birth as the Giants swept the Cowboys this season.
-The AFC Playoff picture is crazy. Two teams have clinched; the Chargers and Colts, and 10 other teams still have a chance to make it in. The Jets, Titans, Texans, and Steelers have the least likely chance to advance due to their conference records, but all of them plus Jacksonville, Denver, Baltimore, Miami, Cincinnati, and New England all can get in. The Patriots and Bengals just need to win a game, while the Broncos and Ravens have very high chances with one win as well.
-With wins this week, the Patriots, Dolphins, Ravens, Colts, and Chargers would all but eliminate 5 teams in the AFC hunt. I do not foresee an 8-8 team advancing, even though it is mathematically possible. Their is a possibility that as many as 8 teams in the AFC could finish 9-7.
-Quick Prediction- I think the Patriots and Bengals win this week and clinch a playoff birth. (The Patriots clinch the AFC-East division with a win this week). I think the Jets, Dolphins, Jaguars, Titans, and Texans all finish 7-9 or 8-8. I think the Ravens and Broncos get into the playoffs and the Steelers are nipped in the end due to their poor conference record. Therefore, the Ravens would get the 6th seed, Broncos the 5th, Patriots the 4th, Bengals the 3rd, Chargers the 2nd, and the Colts have already locked up the #1 seed.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Indianapolis @ Jacksonville (+3.5) - Prediction: Indy 24 - Jags 21
Dallas @ New Orleans (-7.5) - Prediction: Saints 31 - Cowboys 20
Miami (+??) @ Tennessee - Prediction: Titans 20 - Miami 17
New England @ Buffalo (+7.5) - Prediction: Patriots 20 - Buffalo 14
Arizona (-12) @ Detroit - Prediction: Arizona 38 - Detroit 20
San Francisco @ Philly (-??) - Prediction: Eagles 24 - 49ers 10
Atlanta @ New York Jets (-???) - Prediction: Jets 10 - Falcons 0
Chicago @ Baltimore (-11) - Prediction: Ravens 28 - Bears 14
Cleveland (+1.5) @ Kansas City - Prediction: Browns 17 - Chiefs 13
Houston (-??) @ St. Louis - Prediction: Texans 42 - Rams 14
Cincinnati @ San Diego (-7) - Prediction: Chargers 24 - Bengals 13
Oakland @ Denver (-14) - Prediction: Denver 27 - Oakland 6
Green Bay (+1) @ Pittsburgh - Prediction: Packers 20 - Steelers 16
Tampa Bay @ Seattle (-7) - Prediction: Seahawks 30 - Buccaneers 17
Minnesota (-9) @ Carolina - Prediction: Vikings 28 - Panthers 10
New York Giants (-3) @ Washington - Prediction: Giants 30 - Redskins 24
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
1. Indianapolis Colts (13-0) - On the road to perfection, but will the starters play the entire game this Thursday night @ Jacksonville.
2. New Orleans Saints (13-0) - I am still convinced the Sean Payton will continue to play his #1's.
3. San Diego Chargers (10-3) - The Chargers keep winning games and their defense continues to get better each week. This team is a playoff contender.
4. Minnesota Vikings (11-2) - The Vikings bounced back and beat up on the Bengals. Brett Farve looked sharp and AP looked like he's coming out again.
5. Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) - The Eagles will be tested this week against the G-Men, a win would make this team a legitamate contender in the NFC.
6. Arizona Cardinals (8-5) - This team is dangerous, but the lack of focus and preparation for a nationally televised Monday night road game to lock up the division scares me a bit.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) - Huge test last week against Minnesota, and their inability to stretch the field with Carson Palmer cost them the game.
8. Green Bay Packers (9-4) - They haven't been truly tested, but this team is playing very good football.
9. Denver Broncos (8-5) - The Broncos played a good football game against Indy last week, picking Peyton off 3 times. But their inability to capitalize on the turnovers left them on the short side.
10. New England Patriots (8-5) - The Patriots have been exposed, Randy Moss is being a baby, and the Patriots are not convincingly beating teams.
11. Baltimore Ravens (7-6) - This team didn't just win on Sunday, the destroyed the Lions. That is what you do to bad teams. I think the Ravens are on the way back to old form.
12. New York Giants (7-6) - Played hard against Philly. I like their final three games to get them in the playoffs.
13. Dallas Cowboys (8-5) - @ New Orleans this week, then @ Washington, then against Philly. Tough road for the Boys.
14. Miami Dolphins (7-6) - The Phins are still breathing. But one loss just about does it.
15. New York Jets (7-6) - With a win this week against Atlanta, the Jets would be 8-6 heading into the final two weeks where they play @ Indy and home against Cincinnati. Both Indy and Cincy will have clinched by then, could the Jets sneak in the back door to the wildcard?
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-6) - Their schedule has Mia, and Cle left on it, but also Indy and NE...9-7 won't do it in the AFC, they need to get to 10 wins.
----cannot lose in order to keep playoff hopes alive-----
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-7) - Experience must step up for this team. Without Polamalu, the Steelers are 2-6, this defense is better than how they have been performing.
-------will not make playoff's------
San Francisco 6-7
Kansas City 3-10
St. Louis 1-12
Tampa Bay 1-12
Friday, December 11, 2009
#1 Seed - New Orleans Saints -The Saints are the clear favorite in the NFC. With the MVP-caliber season that Drew Brees is having, the Saints should have home field advantage all the way to the NFC-Championship, and they also could have a shot at making history by going 19-0 for the entire season. Looking at their remaining schedule; the Saints face Atlanta, Dallas in New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and then Carolina in Carolina. I do not see the Saints resting their players once they secure home field advantage. The New Orleans head coach, Sean Payton, is the type of guy that I think will want to make history. Drew Brees believes that this is the Saints destiny this year, and that they will go 16-0. I believe him. I think the Saints run through Atlanta this week, win a close one against the Cowboys and Tony Romo who is notorious for losing in December, beating up on the Bucs, and then a tough matchup on paper against a Panthers team that has given the Saints so much trouble in the past. However, if they are 15-0 entering the game against Carolina, I will bet the farm that they get the win and go 16-0. The Saints have so many weapons on offense: Brees, Thomas, Bell, Bush, Colston, Shockey, Meachem, and Henderson. They have 19 players on their offensive roster that have scored touchdowns this season. That is unheard of. Defensively, the Saints have upgraded drastically since last season, and Darren Sharper has been fantastic in the secondary. This team is for real, and they are extremely tough to beat when they are playing in New Orleans. The Saints are the clear favorite to win the NFC this season.
#2 Seed - Minnesota Vikings - Brett Farve played poorly last December with the Jets because he had an injured shoulder. This year will be different. I like that the Vikings have a tough home matchup against Cincinnati this weekend. This is a huge test for a team that hasn't been in too many tough games this season (@Pittsburgh L, Baltimore W, @ Arizona L). The key for the Vikings during the month of December is to ready their defense for the post season. The secondary must step their level of play and energy up to the highest degree possible. Jared Allen and the defensive line must get better pressure on the opposing quarterback, much better than they did against Arizona where Kurt Warner had all day to pass on the Vikings. Minnesota's offense is explosive and they have one of the best running backs in the game that not only has the ability to break loose every single run, but he is a great back to have to close out a game in the fourth quarter. I like Brad Childress as a head coach, and I believe his preparation for games is tremendous, due in large part to his teacher while he was in Philadelphia, Andy Reid. The Vikings have a tough end of the season facing Cincy, @ Carolina, @ Chicago, and closing out against the Giants where the Giants will most likely play their hearts out in order to make the playoffs. The Vikings will win at least two of their final four, I think they get three. They will rest their players against the Giants in Week 17, they cannot afford to lose Farve, Peterson, Harvin & Rice, or anyone on their defensive line. The Vikings will finish 13-3 and have home field during the divisional matchups.
#3 Seed - Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles love playing in December. McNabb plays better at the end of the season every year, Andy Reid is a tremendous coach and prepares his players very well for the games during the month of December. That being said, you have to love the Eagles remaining schedule where they travel to play the Giants this Sunday night, home the following two weeks against the 49ers and Broncos, and then travel to Dallas to close out the season. I like the Eagles to win their final four games, close out the season on a seven game I predict that the Eagles will end up playing the Giants in Philly for the wild card matchup, and then have to travel to Minnesota in the divisional round. The Eagles are a dangerous team to play once they reach the playoffs, so I am sure all the big dogs in the NFC will be routing against them the next four weeks. Eagles finish 12-4 and receive the #3 seed.
#4 Seed - Arizona Cardinals - The Cardinals have their division locked up. The 49ers will make a valiant effort, especially with a possible upset against Arizona this week, but the Cardinals have too much offense to lose to the Rams or the Lions. I think the Cardinals will rest their main players in Week 17 against Green Bay, which will clearly help the Packers assure themselves a spot in the post season. The Cardinals are a hot team right now, and beating the Vikings with ease last week opened up the eyes of the NFL nation and allowed everyone to see that the Cardinals are back and are ready to get back to the Super Bowl. Kurt Warner is having a fabulous season, falling in the top ten in almost every offensive category (QB rating, completion percentage, total passing yards, passing yard per game, and touchdowns). How Warner goes is how this team will go. They must utilize Tim Hightower and Chris Wells in the ground attack in order to keep away from being one-dimensional with the pass. The Cardinals won the NFC last season and almost won the Super Bowl, let's not forget that ladies and gentlemen. This team is for real and they will be a tough matchup for the Saints if they are able to win their wild card matchup against Green Bay.
#5 Seed - Green Bay Packers - The Packers are on fire right now. They are peaking at the right point of the season, Aaron Rodgers has played superb behind center in all but one game this season (@ Tampa Bay) and the offensive line is staying healthy and developing a good bit of chemistry. The Packers have a challenging remaining schedule as they have to travel to face Chicago this week, take on the desperate Steelers, the Seahawks in Week 16, and then they finish the season against the Cardinals (a game that I believe we'll see Matt Leinart and not much Warner). The Packers have the makings of a very good football team. Their defense allows the fewest total yards per game in the NFL, they are 4th against the run, 3rd against the pass, and they lead the NFL in turnover margin (+26). Clearly the defense is extremely formidable in Green Bay. What do they have to do to make a run in the playoffs? They have to protect the football and limit the turnovers. If they can win the turnover battle in the playoffs like they have been in the regular season, they will give themselves the best opportunity to win a ball game. I really like Aaron Rodgers, to me he is a very good Jay Cutler. I think Arizona vs. Green Bay in the wild card round would be an absolute shootout that would come down to whoever has the ball last. Packers finish 11-5 and receive the #5 Seed.
#6 Seed - New York Giants - The Giants have been up and down this season. They won five straight games against opponents that are currently a combined 19-40. Then they lost four straight games against teams that are currently a combined 37-11. After a bye week, they are currently 2-3 against teams that are a combined 22-14. So, if you get the idea here, the Giants beat the bad teams and struggle against the good ones. With that, looking at their upcoming schedule; the Giants face the Eagles (8-4), the Redskins (3-9), the Panthers (5-7), and the Vikings (10-2). So you should anticipate the Giants going 2-4 in December, but I think they will get a third win against Minnesota as the Vikings should be resting their stars for at least half of that game. I think the Giants "A" team should be able to beat the Viking "B" team with Tarvaris Jackson behind center. The Giants have to get back to being the bruiser, not the one getting bruised. It all starts with Brandon Jacobs. Jacobs must play physical, hard-nosed football and run right up the gut getting big chunks of yards. Eli Manning plays 1,000 times better when the Giants are winning the battle up front and are running the ball effectively. I think the Giants get it done the last three weeks of the season, and they sneak into the playoffs thanks to another Cowboys December fallout.
-NFC TEAMS THAT HAVE A CHANCE, BUT I THINK WILL FALL SHORT:
-Dallas Cowboys - It is well documented how much the Cowboys and Tony Romo struggle in December. In his career, Tony Romo has a September QB rating of 100.3, an October QB rating of 93, a November rating of 111, and then a December rating of 76. That is a huge drop in a QB rating, and whether it is nerves or just bad luck, Romo struggles significantly during the final month of the NFL season. Looking at who he has to play against this December to try and defy the odds; the Cowboys face the Chargers (9-3) this week, the Saints (12-0) in New Orleans, the Redskins (3-8) in Washington (where he is 1-2 in his career with a 70.2 QB rating), and then against the Eagles (8-4) to finish the regular season. Last year the Cowboys went to Philly in Week 17 in a must win game to make the playoffs and they got trounced on 44-6 with Romo having 3 turnovers. This year it will be the same situation except the game will be in Dallas. Dallas has to win two out of their next three in order to have hope in that game against the Eagles. I don't believe they will beat either San Diego or New Orleans, I think the Cowboys finish 9-7, at best, and miss the playoffs once again. Wade Phillips gets the axe the following week and look for either Jason Garrett, Mike Shanahan, or possibly Bill Cowher to get the nod. Cowboys come up short again and miss the playoffs.
-No one else in the NFC comes into play for the playoff picture in my opinion. The Falcons will be out after this week, the Panther/Seahawks/49ers won't have enough either.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Over the next four weeks in the NFL the good teams should separate themselves from the bad ones. The desperate teams will either come out on top, or swallow the pride after week 17 and try to enjoy the time away from the field. A few headlines to keep an eye out for are the "Undefeated's" (Colts & Saints), the NFC-East division battle, and the Pittsburgh Steelers attempt to repeat. So let's take a look at where I predict everyone will end up in the
#1 Seed -
#2 Seed -
#3 Seed -
#4 Seed -
#5 Seed -
#6 Seed -
-Miami Dolphins - The Dolphins with Reggie Brown would have a great chance at making the #6 spot in the
Here are my selections for Week 14 in the NFL
-ATS selections are the teams with the (spread) in the parentheses
-Straight Up selections are in BOLD
Pittsburgh @ Cleveland (+10.5)
**Denver (+7) @ Indianapolis - I like the Broncos to win this game outright. Peyton Manning struggles against 3-4 defenses and I think the Broncos are riding high on the current 2-game winning streak they have. Colts are fine either way, win or lose, but I think they let their guard down this week. Moreno and Buckhalter can run against the Colts defense. Denver 24 - Indy 20.
**Cincinnati (+7) @ Minnesota - Minnesota needs to bounce back from last weeks brutal loss in Arizona. Unfortunately, the Bengals come to town. The Bengals will keep this game close with the commitment to running the ball with Benson and Johnson. I hope Ocho Cinco scores a TD just to see him blow the Vikings mascot's horn. Minnesota wins the game but the Bengals cover the spread. Vikings 17 - Bengals 13.
New York Jets @ **Tampa Bay (+3.5) - The Jets are coming off a nationally televised win on the NFL Network against the Bills, and the Bucs are coming off a sloppy loss to the Panthers. I like the Bucs to bounce back at home this week to take down the Jets who are starting Kellen Clemens at QB. Tampa Bay 20 - Jets 16.
***Buffalo (-1) @ Kansas City - The Bills have the defense to shut down the Chiefs passing attack, but can they keep the ground game in check. I thought the Bills looks good against the Jets last Thursday, but the Jets O-line was too strong. The Chiefs O-line is not too strong and this gives the Bills the edge. Fred Jackson will have success against the Chiefs defense. Buffalo 24 - Kansas City 13.
**Green Bay (-3) @ Chicago - The Bears would love to upset the Packers this week and shake things up in the NFC playoff race, but the Packers are too strong on both sides of the ball, and the Bears don't have anything to keep up with the Packers offense. Cutler is not himself, his is being contained by the coaches, and Matt Forte has been ineffective all season. Green Bay 27 - Chicago 17.
Detroit @ Baltimore (-13.5) - Ravens have to get it back on track with a dominating performance this week at home.
**New Orleans (-9.5) @ Atlanta - Matt Ryan is now listed as questionable? I still doubt he plays. All week every website, radio show, and ESPN analysts has said that Matty Ice is out this week. No Ryan, no Turner, means no "W" for the Falcons. Saints roll 38 - 10 over Atlanta.
Miami (+3) @ Jacksonville - The Dolphins proved that they can pass the ball last week against New England. Let's see what they do this week against a Jaguars defense that is bad against the pass and gets NO pass rush whatsoever. Dolphins get the road win 24 - 17.
Carolina @ New England (-14) - Two straight losses for the Patriots. Watch out Panther fans, this will be a blowout. New England 35 - Carolina 7.
Seattle @ Houston (-6) - Seattle is coming off a big win, Houston is coming off a big loss. I like the Texans to bounce back here. Houston 28 - Seattle 14.
St. Luis (+13) @ Tennessee - Vince Young is questionable with a sore knee, but I think he will play. He should just hand the ball off to Chris Johnson on every play anyway as the Rams boast the NFL's 5th worst run defense. Tennessee 24 - 13.
*****Washington (-1) @ Oakland - Washington's offense is playing at a much higher level than we are used to seeing. Quinton Ganther and Rock Cartwright should have big games against the Raiders pathetic run defense. I think Gradkowski struggles against the Redskins defense. Washington 24 - Oakland 10.
San Diego (+3) @ Dallas - Huge game for Dallas, everyone knows Romo struggles in December. What shouldn't be forgotten is that as bad as Romo struggles, the opposite happens for the Chargers in December who are 14-0 in their last 4 seasons with Rivers under center. After reading that, is anyone else jumping on the Chargers this week with me? San Diego 27 - Dallas 24.
***Philadelphia (+1) @ New York Giants - How the Eagles are getting points this week is insane to me. The Eagles are the better team and they have consistently played great football in December the past 8 seasons. That being said, I do expect this game to be pretty tight. It is going to be cold on Sunday night, it will probably be windy, David Akers never kicks well in the Meadowlands, and I am sure the Eagles will see a lot of Brandon Jacobs running the football. I still like the explosiveness of the Eagles offense. DeSean Jackson should be back this week after suffering a concussion against Washington two weeks ago. Eagles have too much for the Giants in this one. Philly over New York 20 - 17.
Arizona @ **San Francisco (+3.5) - The Cardinals are coming off a huge win last week against the Vikings. It was a nationally televised game so all of the Cardinals probably got caught up in the hoopla that followed that huge win against Farve and the Vikings. I still think Arizona wins this game, but San Francisco will give them everything they have and will put up a good fight at an upset. This has all the makings for a 49ers upset as they are playing on Monday night for the first time in a while, and the home crowd will be going NUTS. I think Arizona sneaks out of San Fran with a win 17 - 16.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Here are my NFL Power Rankings entering Week 14
1. Indianapolis Colts (12-0) - How focused will the Colts be this week after locking up the division? I think it's a let-down week vs Denver.
2. New Orleans Saints (12-0) - Seems like fate for the Saints this season.
3. San Diego Chargers (9-3) - The Chargers keep winning games, a win this week in Dallas would make them a legit contender.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (9-3) - Huge test this week against Minnesota.
5. Minnesota Vikings (10-2) - The Vikings were tested and they failed. It was a good loss for Minnesota, in my mind, because they found out what they need to get right before the playoffs.
6. Arizona Cardinals (8-4) - Kurt Warner's is an outstanding quarterback, and when he doesn't get pressured he can make it rain out there.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (8-4) - The Eagles will be tested this week against the G-Men, a win would make this team a legitamate contender in the NFC.
8. New England Patriots (7-5) - The Patriots have been exposed.
9. Green Bay Packers (8-4) - They are getting healthy and peaking at the right time in the season.
10. Denver Broncos (8-4) - The Broncos are back, and with 2 of the remaining 4 games going against Oak and KC, I predict the Broncos will make the playoffs. I also like them to upset the Colts this week in INDY.
11. New York Giants (7-5) - What is the identity of this team? Jacobs is not running as hard and strong as last season.
12. Dallas Cowboys (8-4) - This team just doesn't get it done in December. Don't trust them for anything. The hardest remaining schedule in the NFC-East, the Cowboys WILL NOT make the playoffs with a loss this week against San Diego.
13. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5) - Their schedule has Mia, and Cle left on it, but also Indy and NE...9-7 won't do it in the AFC, they need to get to 10 wins.
----cannot lose in order to keep playoff hopes alive-----
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6) - Experience must step up for this team. Without Polamalu, the Steelers are 2-5, this defense is better than how they have been performing.
15. Baltimore Ravens (6-6) - One and done for the Ravens. Win or go home. Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Oakland are the one's left to knock them out.
16. Miami Dolphins (6-6) - Ronnie Brown getting injured ended this teams chances.
17. New York Jets (6-6) - Rookie quarterback, don't like the chances. Expect the Jets to be legit next year.
-------will not make playoff's------
San Francisco 5-7
Kansas City 3-9
St. Louis 1-11
Tampa Bay 1-11
Friday, December 4, 2009
ATS: 95 - 79 - 2 (Week 12: 10-4-1)
SU: 115 - 61 (Week 12: 14-1)
-Missed on Thursday night as the Bills could not get it going against the Jets. Boring game to watch, and Mark Sanchez went down with a PCL strain. Good win for the Jets to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Denver Broncos (-5) @ Kansas City Chiefs - The Broncos are on a mission to keep pace with the red hot San Diego Chargers. The Broncos brought their A game against the Giants on Thanksgiving and I believe that type of play will continue this week in Kansas City. The Broncos defense will step it up, get the pass rush on Matt Cassel, and create turnovers. Offensively, Kyle Orton will steady the ship through the air and create some plays with Brandon Marshall against a Chiefs secondary that is allowing 258 yards per game (3rd worst in the NFL). PREDICTION: BRONCOS 27 - Chiefs 13
Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-14.5) - The Steelers are going to "UNLEASH HELL IN DECEMBER" according to Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin. I agree that they will unleash hell in the first week of December against the Raiders. Pittsburgh shows up big time this week, Big Ben and Hines Ward will connect for a huge day and end all possible story lines that their relationship is rocky due to Ward's comments last week. Pittsburgh's defense will be on fire this week. PREDICTION: STEELERS 30 - RAIDERS 3
Houston Texans (PK) @ Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jaguars are clearly in the AFC Wild card hunt. The Texans are mathematically still in the hunt as well. Coming off a bad loss against Indianapolis last week where they had the game in their hands, the Texans will be ready to explode this week against the Jaguars. If the Texans can shutdown Maurice Jones-Drew, and limit David Garrard from connecting on big plays, the Texans should have this one in the bag. However, the Jaguars have the playoffs in their picture and they know that this is the type of game they must win to make the jump from mediocre into contender. I don't think they do it. The Texans have too much fire power in their arsenal, even if Steve Slaton sits this one out due to arm numbness, the Texans will still be able to run the ball with Chris Brown, but more importantly, Andre Johnson is well over due for a huge game. I say he has it here. The Texans get it done on the road. PREDICTION: TEXANS 27 - JAGUARS 20
Tennessee Titans (+7.5) @ Indianapolis Colts - This was a very tough pick for me. It is hard to pick against the Titans as they are playing with such chemistry and unity. But the Colts are the teams to beat in the AFC. Peyton Manning's is having a career year, and is further illustrating how elite of a quarterback he truly is. The Titans defense has played well since the 59-0 beat down from the Patriots 6 weeks ago. But still, the home field advantage of the Colts is the edge in this matchup. The Colts will win this game, the question is by how much. I can see double digits, but I can also see a hard fought comeback by the Titans. Vince Young has the offense moving at a high level, and if Chris Brown (the leading rusher in the NFL) can break loose, the Titans have a great chance to not only cover the spread, but even win the game. I think the Colts keep Johnson in check, and win the turnover battle to get their 12th win of the season. PREDICTION: INDIANAPOLIS 27 - TENNESSEE 20
**Philadelphia Eagles (-5) @ Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan is out, Michael Turner is doubtful, and Chris Redman is making his first start of the season after barely scraping out a win against Tampa Bay last weekend. Donovan McNabb will be okay without DeSean Jackson (concussion) as Shady McCoy and Jeremy Maclin will be enough to get through an Atlanta defense that allows 374 total yards per game (27th in the NFL). Look for the Eagles defense to mix it up quite frequently to keep Redman unaware of what the scheme is and to create turnovers. When the Eagles CB Asante Samuel grabs an interception in a game his team is 25-2 overall. Look for Samuel to get another pick this week and lead the Eagles defense in shutting down the Falcons backup offense. PREDICTION: PHILADELPHIA 27 - ATLANTA 13
DETROIT LIONS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS (-13.5) - The Bengals get Cedric Benson back this week, and after a pitiful performance through the air last week I expect Benson's presence to open up the aerial assault by Carson Palmer. The Lions season is over, the Bengals season is just beginning. December is the time of the NFL season where the good teams separate themselves from everyone else. Cincinnati is one of the good teams, and a dominating win this weekend will start their separation from the bad teams. PREDICTION: CINCINNATI 40 - DETROIT 14
New Orleans Saints (-9) @ Washington Redskins - No trap game here. The Redskins entire organization has issues. The Saints are on a roll and it will continue this week. The Redskins have a good defense, but do not forget that the Saints have a pretty good defense themselves. A defense that ranks 1st in the NFL in turnover margin, the Saints defense will cause problems for Jason Campbell. Saints win easy on the road in Washington. PREDICTION: NEW ORLEANS 34 - WASHINGTON 10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers (-5) - The Panthers are starting Matt Moore at quarterback. Moore has been with the Panthers for long stints of time and he knows Coach Fox's offense. Moore is also a very athletic quarterback, similar to Ryan Fitzpatrick of Buffalo, and his mobility should help this Panthers offense. The Panthers defense will be the key factor in this game. If they can create turnovers from Josh Freeman's arm, and limit the Bucs rushing attack they will win this ball game. DeAngelo Williams will most likely play, but if not, Jonathan Stewart is a fine backup for the Panthers. PREDICTION: CAROLINA 20 - TAMPA BAY 13
St. Louis Rams @ Chicago Bears (-9) - Always take the desperate team at home when their quarterback is due for a monster game. If the Bears are able to slow down S. Jack, the Rams don't stand a chance. Look for Bears S Charles Tillman to create a few fumbles and have the momentum stay with the home team the entire game. PREDICTION: CHICAGO 27 - ST. LOUIS 9
San Diego Chargers (-13.5) @ Cleveland Browns - The Chargers are the hottest team in the AFC, yes I know the Colts are undefeated, but the Chargers have been playing superb football over the past 6 weeks. That being said, the Browns don't stand a chance. PREDICTION: SAN DIEGO 38 - CLEVELAND 14
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks (+1) - The Seahawks have home field advantage this week, and the 12th man in Seattle is truly home field advantage. The Seahawks would love nothing more but to spoil the 49ers season this week and close out their own season on a winning record. Look for the 49ers to attack with Frank Gore, but Alex Smith is due for a let down game and I see it happening in Seattle on Sunday. PREDICTION: SEATTLE 17 - SAN FRANCISCO 16
Minnesota Vikings (-3) @ Arizona Cardinals - I am banking on Warner not playing this game, even if he does I think the Cardinals will struggle due to the Vikings vicious pass rush. Brett Farve is playing too well right now, and Adrian Peterson is set for a break out game (especially after getting a speeding ticket this week for going 109!). PREDICTION: MINNESOTA 30 - ARIZONA 20
Dallas Cowboys @ **New York Giants (+2.5) - Everyone knows Tony Romo's performance at the end of the year significantly declines. He does not play well in December or in January, it is well documented. The Giants on the other hand are in a must win situation. Fortunately, they play this game in the Meadowlands, but the Cowboys lost to Eli and the Giants early in the season and I see the same happening this week. I believe the Giants will come out playing physical football, pounding the ball with Brandon Jacobs, and Justin Tuck will be a beast to deal with on the defensive side of the ball. Wade Phillips is not a good coach in games like these, and I think both he and Romo will choke, allowing the Giants to escape with a much needed victory. PREDICTION: NEW YORK 27 - DALLAS 24
*****New England Patriots (-4.5) @ Miami Dolphins - Does anyone this the Patriots will lose 2 in a row? Lose to a team that lost to the Bills last week? And lose to a team that doesn't have the best player in the lineup? I didn't think so. Randy Moss and Wes Welker will eat up the Dolphins young secondary. PREDICTION: NEW ENGLAND 38 - MIAMI 17
Baltimore Ravens @ Green Bay Packers (-3) - The Packers are getting healthy at the right point of the season. The offensive line is protecting Aaron Rodgers, and Ryan Grant is starting to run the ball hard for the Green Bay offensive. For the Ravens, they had a tough win last week against a Pittsburgh team that was without their best offensive and defensive players. So, I believe the Packers are too explosive for the Ravens, and Joe Flacco has not been consistent during the second half of this season to count on him for a good game. PREDICTION: GREEN BAY 30 - BALTIMORE 20
Thursday, December 3, 2009
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills (+3) - I like the Bills again this week as they are coming off a huge win against Miami where both the offense and defense played well. The Bills tend to play better at the end of the season, because they are usually out of the playoff race, open up their offensive playbook, and love to play the role of "SPOILER." And that is exactly what they will do tonight. Thomas Jones cannot shoulder the load tonight, the Jets will have to pass the ball and Sanchez is too conservative and hesitant with his throws. I do not have confidence in Sanchez to perform to the ability at which I think he will be at in a year or two. With the Bills utilizing Owens in the passing game, Freddy J in both the ground and air attack, and Ryan Fitz running the show, I like the Bills to win at home and take away every glimmer of playoff hope in the Jets locker room. Bills over the Jets 24 - 20.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Here are my NFL Power Rankings entering Week 13
1. Indianapolis Colts (11-0) - Between the Colts and the Saints, you could have either at the top. I am sticking with Indy as I have had them here for the last few weeks.
2. New Orleans Saints (11-0) - Impressive and dominating win against New England on Monday night. This team, in my opinion, is at the very least, NFC-Championship bound.
3. Minnesota Vikings (10-1) - As good as Brett Farve and this Viking offense has been, the defense has been just as impressive.
4. San Diego Chargers (8-3) - The Chargers are heating up at the perfect time, LT is getting better by the week.
5. New England Patriots (7-4) - The Patriots will bounce back after getting smacked around by New Orleans.
6. Cincinnati Bengals (8-3) - Benson is expected to start Week 13.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (7-4) - With Matt Ryan out this week, expect the Eagles to shut down DeSean Jackson and let him rest get over his mild-concussion in preparation for Week 14's matchup vs the Giants.
8. Dallas Cowboys (8-3) - It's December, let's see how Romo plays.
9. Denver Broncos (7-4) - Big time win at home against the Giants on Thanksgiving.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) - Big Ben is expected to start this week against the Raiders. W for the Steelers.
11. Arizona Cardinals (7-4) - Kurt Warner's status is questionable.
12. Green Bay Packers (7-4) - Aaron Rodgers has been superb this season, if his O-line gets healthy this would be a dangerous team to get in the playoffs.
13. Atlanta Falcons (6-5) - Matt Ryan is out this week with TURF-TOE. Going to be a tough game against the Eagles.
14. Baltimore Ravens (6-5) - Big win for the Ravens, they should be in MUST-WIN mode for the rest of the season.
15. New York Giants (6-5) - What is the identity of this team? Jacobs is not running as hard and strong as last season.
16. San Francisco 49ers (5-6) - You have to love Mike Singletary and what he has done with this team. If the 49ers are able to take down the Cardinals this week, they will be one game out of the division lead.
----cannot lose in order to keep playoff hopes alive-----
17. Tennessee Titans (5-6) - Big test vs Indy this week, but with the way VY is playing I am expecting a thriller.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5) - Their schedule has Hou, Mia, and Cle left on it, but also Indy and NE...9-7 won't do it in the AFC.
19. Houston Texans (5-6) - I think the season is over for the Texans, I had high hopes for them this season but they did not come through in the clutch. Now they get to play spoiler for teams.
20. Miami Dolphins (5-6) - Ronnie Brown getting injured ended this teams chances.
21. New York Jets (5-6) - Rookie quarterback, don't like the chances. Expect the Jets to be legit next year.
-------will not make playoff's------
Kansas City 3-8
St. Louis 1-10
Tampa Bay 1-10
Monday, November 30, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Dallas Cowboys (-14) over Oakland Raiders - Prediction: 27 - 9
Denver Broncos (+6.5) over New York Giants - Prediction: 17-6
Picks for the rest of Week 12:
-Indianapolis Colts (-3.5) over Houston Texans - Prediction: 31 - 27
-Cincinnati Bengals (-14) over Cleveland Browns - Prediction: 34 - 17
-***Philadelphia Eagles (-9) over Washington Redskins - Prediction 20 - 6
-**Buffalo Bills (+3.5) over Miami Dolphins - Prediction 20 - 16
-*****Seattle Seahawks (-3) over St. Louis Rams - Prediction 27 - 10
-Atlanta Falcons over Tampa Bay Buccannears (+13) - Prediction 31 - 20
-**Carolina Panthers (+3) over New York Jets - Prediction 24 - 17
-San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars - Prediction 20 - 13
-San Diego Chargers (-14) over Kansas City Chiefs - Prediction 38 - 10
-Minnesota Vikings over Chicago Bears (+11) - Prediction 27 - 20
-Tennessee Titans (-3) over Arizona Cardinals - Prediction 24 - 17
-Baltimore Ravens (-0.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers - Prediction 17 - 14
-New Orleans Saints (-3) over New England Patriots - Prediction 34 - 30
Entering Week 12 in the NFL here are my Power Rankings:
1. Indianapolis Colts (10-0)
2. New Orleans Saints (10-0)
3. Minnesota Vikings (9-1)
4. New England Patriots (7-3)
5. San Diego Chargers (7-3)
6. Cincinnati Bengals (7-3)
7. Arizona Cardinals (7-3)
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4)
9. Philadelphia Eagles (6-4)
10. Dallas Cowboys (6-4)
11. Green Bay Packers (6-4)
12. New York Giants (6-4)
13. Denver Broncos (6-4)
14. Houston Texans (5-5)
15. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4)
16. Atlanta Falcons (5-5)
17. Miami Dolphins (5-5)
18. Baltimore Ravens (4-6)
19. San Francisco 49ers (4-6)
--------will not make playoff's------
20. Carolina Panthers (4-6)
21. Tennessee Titans (4-6)
22. Chicago Bears (4-6)
23. New York Jets (4-6)
24. Washington Redskins (3-7)
25. Kansas City Chiefs (3-7)
26. Seattle Seahawks (3-7)
27. Buffalo Bills (3-7)
28. Oakland Raiders (3-7)
29. Detroit Lions (2-8)
30. St. Louis Rams (1-9)
31. Tampa Bay Buccanears (1-9)
32. Cleveland Browns (1-9)
Saturday, November 21, 2009
ATS: 77-66-1 ( Week 11: 0-1)
***Picks are in red
Cleveland @ Detroit -3.5 - Boring game that no one will even watch. Edge goes to the home team here, as Matthew Stafford's quarterback play will be better than that of Brady Quinn's. Calvin Johnson is due for a big game as he has been quiet this season due to inexperience at the quarterback position and injuries. Lions over the Browns 20 - 13.
Buffalo @ *****Jacksonville -8.5 - Easiest pick of the season. Buffalo fired their coach midweek, and their interim head coach has never been a head coach in any level of football. Maurice Jones-Drew has singlehandedly carried this Jaguars team into the playoff hunt. Jaguars over the Bills 30 - 10.
Pittsburgh -10 @ Kansas City - Pittsburgh will be out for blood this week. And they will get it. Big Ben is poised for a big game, and the Steelers need to get back to hardnosed running the ball up the gut football. This game should be over by halftime. Steelers over the Chiefs 27 - 6.
Indianapolis -1 @ Baltimore - Everyone likes the Ravens chances in this matchup because of how emotional the win against New England was last week. Let's not forget that Peyton Manning is the most prepared quarterback in the NFL and this week his preparation will be on full display. I like the quarterback matchup in this game as Manning takes on the up and coming, Joe Flacco. Flacco has been up and down this season, after a stellar rookie campaign, and Manning has been sensational. Manning will win this game and further solidify his hold on the MVP award this season. Baltimore's defense will keep it close, but I suspect the Colts defense will rise up in the 4th quarter and get the key stops. Colts over the Ravens 31 - 24.
Atlanta +6.5 @ New York Giants - The Giants are with a banged up secondary, questionably injured quarterback, and now are without MLB Antonio Pierce. The Giants are coming off a bye week, while the Falcons are coming off a tough loss to Carolina last week. Everything points to a Giants win here, but I think their is trouble within the game planning of the Giants, and it will haunt them this week. Falcons will step it up to get a must needed win, and Matt Ryan will have a very good performance against the Giants secondary. Falcons over the Giants 24 - 21.
San Francisco +6.5 @ Green Bay - The Packers defense showed up last week in a huge win against the Cowboys, the 49ers defense shows up every week. If the 49ers win this game it is because the score stays below 20 points on both sides, but I do not see that happening. Green Bay has too much, and they will put up the points to get the win. Green Bay over San Francisco 27 - 24.
Seattle @ Minnesota -10.5 - Minnesota's defensive line > Seattle's offensive line. End of story. Vikings should take care of business at home this week. Vikings over the Seahawks 34 - 20.
**Washington +10.5 @ Dallas - Tony Romo has been too inconsistent throughout his short career in the NFL to think the Cowboys will explode this week against the Redskins. Washington's defense will keep it close. Dallas over Washington 20 - 13.
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay +11.5 - New Orleans has struggled to put away games the past few weeks and I think that continues this week against the Bucs that are taking each game as serious as a Super Bowl. The Bucs want to improve each week, and since the birth of the Josh Freeman era, they have played much better. New Orleans gets the win in Tampa Bay 38 - 30.
*****Arizona -9 @ St. Louis - I love Arizona in this matchup. They can stop the run, and the only way the Rams play well on offense is when Steven Jackson is running successfully. Not going to happen this week. Kurt Warner will throw for big yards all day. Beanie Wells is a sleeper in this game***. Arizona over St. Louis 27 - 10.
New York Jets @ New England -10.5 - Tom Brady coming off a loss is not someone I would want to play against. The Patriots game plan will be perfect this week, and the Jets may see more tears from head coach Rex Ryan after the game. Patriots over the Jets 30 - 14.
Cincinnati -9.5 @ Oakland - No let down here. Carson Palmer has been very consistent all season, and the Bengals defense has played exceptional as well. Cincinnati over Oakland 24 - 6.
San Diego (off) @ Denver - If Simms does get the start this week, don't even think about taking the Broncos. Phillip Rivers has been terrific over the past 5 weeks, and I expect him to continue his great play this week against a Broncos defense that got torched by the Redskins last week. San Diego over Denver 27 - 13.
***Philadelphia -3 @ Chicago - Chicago doesn't have enough offense to keep up with Philly's. Donovan McNabb threw for 450 yards last week in what should have been a win against the Chargers, but red-zone struggles continue to haunt the Eagles offense and they were unable to get the win. As long as the Eagles aren't exchanging touchdowns for field goals again this week, I expect them to handle the Bears fairly easy. Eagles over the Bears 34 - 17.
Tennessee @ ***Houston -4.5 - I see a possible shootout here, Matt Schaub is fully capable for the Texans while Chris Johnson has his eyes on the end zone every time he gets the ball for the Titans. I don't know if the Titans can keep up with the Texans offense if Chris Johnson doesn't bust loose for any big gains. I like Houston here, the home team coming off a bye week. Sorry Vince Young, I really wanted you to go on a long streak, but this seems like a favorable matchup for the home team. Houston over Tennessee 35 - 24.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
In Week 11's Thursday night matchup, the NFL has scheduled the Dolphins against the Panthers. Prior to the season this game appeared to be quite the matchup on paper. With Miami's Wildcat offense featuring Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, and their spirited defense led by wild-man Joey Porter, the Dolphins looked to be a scary team to play all season. The home team, coming off their worst loss in franchise history (you know the one where Delhomme through 5 interceptions in the NFC Divisional game against Arizona), the Panthers still had a lot going for them on paper as well. Steve Smith is a sensational receiver that many thought would have a huge 2009 season. Well, the Panthers started off putrid, the Dolphins started off losing to better teams. Now, entering Week 11, this game is completely different than what we had expected. The Panthers are hot, one of the hottest teams in the NFL, as Jake Delhomme has not thrown an interception in 3 games and their running game has caught fire thanks to the emergence of a some-what healthy Jonathan Stewart.
The Dolphins lost Chad Pennington early in the season and put in Chad Henne who started out nicely against the Jets, however, Henne has been fortunate in his performances due in large part to Ronnie Brown running the ball. Well Brown is done for the season with a Lisfranc fracture and Ricky Williams will be the go to guy. Williams has looked great so far this season, but Brown and Williams countered each other perfectly and now the Dolphins do not have that. I expect Pat White to get more snaps in the Wildcat formation this week in order to keep the game plan similar for this offense. But with the way the Panthers have been running the ball, the way Delhomme has showed consistency over the past 3 games, and with a defense that has been more aggressive and made more plays over the past 3 games, how can I not take the Panthers? The Panthers are the better team, because the Dolphins no longer have their play maker. Ronnie Brown's absence will significantly hurt this Miami offense, but it does allow Miami to see more of Pat White and to show the Dolphin's faithful what a bright future this kid has in the Wildcat formation. All in all, the Panthers win this game for 3 reasons: 1- Their running game is too explosive to shutdown all game. 2- Jake Delhomme's arm has been consistent and I expect the play action pass to work nicely this week against the Dolphins young secondary. And 3- This defense plays much better when they are in Carolina (#1 home pass defense in the NFL, 10-3 SU in their last 13 home games).
Interesting stats to know for this game:
-In Jake Delhomme's 92 career games, he plays at an 89 QB Rating during the final 8 weeks of the regular season compared to a career 81 QB Rating during the first 8 weeks.
-Delhomme has 1 career start against Miami, and he had a 97 QB Rating throwing for 285 yards and 3 TDs.
-Miami Dolphins are 7-15 in their last 22 games straight up.
CAROLINA over MIAMI 24 - 10.
ATS: 77-66-1 ( Week 10: 8-7)
***Picks are in red
Miami @ ***Carolina -3
Cleveland @ Detroit -3.5
Buffalo @ *****Jacksonville -8.5
Pittsburgh -10 @ Kansas City
Indianapolis -1 @ Baltimore
Atlanta +6.5 @ New York Giants
San Francisco +6.5 @ Green Bay
Seattle @ Minnesota -10.5
**Washington +10.5 @ Dallas
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay +11.5
*****Arizona -9 @ St. Louis
New York Jets @ New England -10.5
Cincinnati -9.5 @ Oakland
San Diego (off) @ Denver
***Philadelphia -3 @ Chicago
Tennessee @ ***Houston -4.5
Here are my power rankings entering Week 11 in the NFL:
1. Indianapolis Colts (9-0) - Huge game against the Ravens this week, do they still have anything left in the tank after the emotional win Sunday night?
2. New Orleans Saints (9-0) - Not exactly the win I expected to see against the Rams last Sunday, however, any win in the NFL is a good win. I think they play better this week against Tampa Bay.
3. Minnesota Vikings (8-1) - Brett Farve has 17 TD passes and only 3 interceptions...Wow.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (7-2) - I am still surprised by how well the Bengals have played all season, their only let down was against the high-flying offense of the Texans. The Bengals defense should thrive against the Raiders this week.
5. New England Patriots (6-3) - What a performance out of Brady on Sunday night, that game was an instant classic. This is a very good offense, that has a defense that is getting better each week. But, Coach Belichick clearly does not trust the defense.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) - The Steelers never got it going on offense against the Bengals. In order for Pittsburgh to make a deep playoff run this year, they have to commit their offense to the running game.
7. Arizona Cardinals (6-3) - I believe in this team. The defense turns it on in the big games, but primarily they just rely on Kurt Warner's arm. And the arm is working just fine.
8. San Diego Chargers (6-3) - Big game against a desperate Broncos team. Kyle Orton's health is the key in that matchup.
9. Dallas Cowboys (6-3) - Major let down against the Packers. Offensively they need to run the ball more consistently and stop putting everything in Tony Romo's hands.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) - The Eagles are the most feared team in the NFC come playoff time, but, with redzone efficiency problems, the playoffs are not guaranteed for this Eagles team that still plays the Bears, Giants, Cowboys, Broncos, and 49ers.
11. New York Giants (5-4) - The Giants will have a tough game this week against the Falcons, but I think they get their stuff back on the right path.
12. Houston Texans (5-4) - This Texans team showed me a lot in the loss to Indianapolis. With a bye week to prepare for Monday nights matchup against Tennessee, I expect Matt Schaub to light up the Titans secondary.
13. Denver Broncos (6-3) - A major injury concern with Kyle Orton's ankle, cost them the game in Washington last week, and I believe it will cost them the game this week against San Diego even if Orton is able to go.
14. Baltimore Ravens (5-4) - An unimpressive win on Monday night, not exactly the type of game you want to have the week before you play the best team in football this week.
15. Carolina Panthers (4-5) - With a difficult schedule from here on out I find it tough for the Panthers to win more than 9 games, but with Delhomme passing the ball well the past three games, this offense is no longer one dimensional.
16. Atlanta Falcons (5-4) - The Falcons need Matt Ryan to step up during the time Michael Turner will have to sit out due to his injury.
17. Green Bay Packers (5-4) - The win against Dallas was huge for Rodgers, and huge for the organization. Another test this week against the 49ers.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4) - I think the Jaguars are a stone-cold-lead-pipe-LOCK to win big this week at home against Buffalo.
19. San Francisco 49ers (4-5) - The 49ers have the defense to keep them in games, but their offense needs to be able to pass the ball effectively in order to give them a chance to win games.
20. Chicago Bears (4-5) - Eagles come to town this week, that does not bode well for Bear fans.
21. Miami Dolphins (4-5) - Ronnie Brown is done for the year, and so are the Dolphins.
22. Tennessee Titans (3-6) - Can they make it four in a row against Houston this week? I don't think so, but I believe it will be very close.
23. New York Jets (4-5) - Rex Ryan cried during a team meeting this week, the Jets won't be in the post season this year.
24. Washington Redskins (3-6) - Betts and Campbell played well last week against Denver, and look for them to fair decently against the Cowboys defense this week.
25. Seattle Seahawks (3-6) - No running game and a broken down offensive line is not a recipe for success in the NFL.
26. Buffalo Bills (3-6) - Head coach was fired this week, big time loss in Jacksonville on Sunday is my prediction.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8) - What a great effort against Miami, came down to the wire.
28. St. Louis Rams (1-8) - Would have been insane if the Rams were the team that knocked off the Saints, they almost did!
29. Kansas City Chiefs (2-7) - They lost Larry Johnson for the season and now Dwayne Bowe for 4 weeks...excellent.
30. Detroit Lions (1-8) - I am prediction a good week out of Stafford this week.
31. Oakland Raiders (2-7) - No comment.
32. Cleveland Browns (1-8) - No comment.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
ATS: 72 - 58 - 1 (Week 1- 1-0)
SU: 83 - 46
***Top Plays for the Weekend
*SELECTIONS IN RED*
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets (-7) - The Jaguars put no pressure on the quarterback (8 sacks in 8 games), they get beat by the run (120 yards per game), and they get beat by the pass (243 yards per game). The Jets had an extra week to prepare for this game, Mark Sanchez has had two straight games of a QB Rating over 100, and the Jets running game is on fire (761 rushing yards the past 3 games). With the extra week to prepare for the Jaguars, I expect Rex Ryan's defense to come out and shut down the Jaguars offense. Mark Sanchez won't need to do much as the Jets will be running the ball early and often. New York Jets get back over .500 as they take down the Jaguars 27 - 14.
Denver Broncos (-3.5) @ Washington Redskins - The Redskins are without Clinton Portis, and let's not forget Chris Cooley, so I am already in trouble trying to find ways they will put points on the board. The Broncos need to get back to running the football with Moreno and Buckhalter, and using their ground game to open up the passing attack with Kyle Orton. Orton was playing above his potential the first 6 games of the season, but he is still a good quarterback that can win games for this Denver football team. The Redskins have a good defense that can keep them in games, but after Michael Turner burned them on the ground for over 160 yards, I really like the Broncos in this matchup. Favored on the road by 3.5 points, Vegas is telling you that they will win this game. Take the Broncos to win 20 - 10 in this defensive matchup.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-7) - Steelers nation will be in full affect this weekend as the Bengals come to town. Cincy is coming off a huge win over Baltimore last week where RB Cedric Benson went over 100 yards rushing for the second time this season against the Ravens, the first time that has happened since 1997 (Jerome Bettis PITT). Pittsburgh looked great last weekend, and Big Ben is playing at such a high level this season. So far he is 4th in QB Rating (104),1st in Completion % (70.6), 5th in yards per game (286), and has taken 3 less sacks than last year at this point in the season. Big Ben is the difference maker in this game. I take the better quarterback in this matchup, and the Steelers defense will shut down Benson. If Benson is unsuccessful running the ball, the Bengals offense will sputter. Steelers over the Bengals 27 - 13.
Buffalo Bills @ **Tennessee Titans (-6.5) - The Titans are rolling right now, while the Bills were lucky to have a bye week last week. That did nothing for them. The Titans are the hot hand and I will continue riding with them until they show me reason not too. Vince Young may not throw for over 100 yards, but I guarantee Chris Johnson runs for well over 100 yards. The Bills are dead last in run defense, giving up 174 yards a game, and I think that number increases this week. Tennessee all over Buffalo 24 - 7.
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings (-16.5) - Not much needed to say here. Minnesota coming off a bye week, Detroit's quarterback coming off a 5 INT week, yeah...Vikings win this one 34 - 14.
***New Orleans Saints (-13.5) @ St. Louis Rams - The Saints are due for a large win, and it just so happens they play the Rams this week. The Rams give up 28 points a game and Drew Brees and company will thrive on that this week. The Saints offense and defense are too much to control for the Rams. New Orleans over St. Louis 45 - 10.
Atlanta Falcons (-2) @ Carolina Panthers - DeAngelo Williams health is crucial in this game. If he is out the Panthers will really struggle on offense, but if he is healthy their offense will have a great opportunity against the Falcons run defense that ranks 24th in the NFL. For the Falcons, Roddy White is questionable, but they need to keep Michael Turner successfully running the ball. If Turner can run the ball for big chunks of yards and keep Williams and Smith off the field, Atlanta will win this game easily. I see the Panthers keeping it close, but a Matt Ryan touchdown pass to Gonzo of Jenkins will put the nail in the coffin. Falcons over the Panthers 30 - 20.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Miami Dolphins ****(-10) - Josh Freeman is making his first career road start in the NFL and they never go well. The Dolphins have played hard all season and they still have hopes for the playoffs. The Bucs, well, they are hoping to win more than 1 game this season. The Bucs defense will have a lot in front of them when trying to shut down the running attack of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown (averaging 150 yards per game). The Dolphins will have the home crowd behind them, and Joey Porter will be barking in Freeman's ear all game. This is a no-brainer. Dolphins over the Bucs 30 - 10.
Kansas City Chiefs (+2) @ Oakland Raiders - The Raiders do not have an edge because of being on a bye week, I actually see the Chiefs coming into this game with the edge as their offense was clicking in the 4th quarter of last week's game against Jacksonville. Matt Cassel and newly acquired, Chris Chambers connected for 2 scores and Cassel had a very productive 23-29 performance. I like the Chiefs to take down the Raiders 20 - 7.
Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals (-8) - The Seahawks will be playing catchup all game as the Cardinals offense is too powerful and has too many weapons to contain. The Cardinals will be able to pass and throw against the Seahawks defense that allows 320+ yards per game. The Cardinals will give up some points in the 4th quarter, as they did against Chicago, but if Kurt Warner protects the ball and if Wells and Hightower can run it successfully in their few carries the Cardinals will dominate Seattle. Arizona over Seattle 38 - 21.
***Philadelphia Eagles (+1) @ San Diego Chargers - Philly needs this game. Flat out, Philly needs this game. Phillip Rivers is a better quarterback right now than Donovan McNabb and usually I give the edge to teams with the better quarterback. But the Chargers defense is suspect. Merriman is not the same player "off the juice", and that is clearly evident in his play this season. Merriman has 4 sacks on the season (4 the past two weeks against Oak and NYG), 0 sacks during the first 7 weeks of the season. He is not the same GAME CHANGING LB that he used to be and that will be a big reason why the Eagles win this shoot out. McNabb has the weapons to exploit the Chargers defense, and now with a healthy Brian Westbrook who clearly should have fresh legs, the Eagles are just an offensive line away from having a Super Bowl caliber team. That being said, the Eagles defense will have to do their best to shut down Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates. The Eagles usually struggle against big games TE's (Cooley, Boss, Shockey, Witten) and Gates should have decent numbers this game. I still give the win to the Eagles, the last time they played out west they were spoiled by the Raiders, but this time they are playing at 4:15 (which is 1pm eastern time) so they shouldn't be out of whack at all. The Eagles over the Chargers 34 - 28.
Dallas Cowboys (-3) @ Green Bay Packers - Injury Report for the Packers: OUT TE Jermichael Finley (knee), LB Aaron Kampman (concussion), LB Brady Poppinga (quadricep), T Mark Tauscher (knee). This does not bode well for the home team. Romo is hot, and when he isn't getting rushed and taking sacks he is a very good quarterback. I do not see him get pressured too often from a Packers defense (minus Kampman and Poppinga) that only has 13 sacks on the season. It's not that the Cowboys are just that good, it's more that the Packers are struggling that bad right now and Dallas will capitalize on it. I like Dallas by double digits in this game. Dallas over Green Bay 34 - 20.
New England Patriots (+3) @ Indianapolis Colts - This is the Hall of Fame game for the NFL. Peyton vs Tom. There is no edge in quarterback's here, and honestly you could argue both this season. For the season Peyton is playing better, but the past 3 weeks Tom is playing better. Their stats are ridiculous: Peyton - 105 QB Rating, 1st in completion %, 2nd in passing yards, 2nd in TD passes, and is sacked less than 1 time per game. Tom - 99 QB Rating, 66 % completion percentage, 296 ypg, 16:5 TD to INT, and sacked only 10 times. These guys are phenomenal. However, the Colts secondary is in shambles. They are without Hayden, Jackson, and Sanders in their secondary. I am sorry Colts fans, but that is too easy for Brady. Quick Fact: New England is 15-2-1 ATS in its last 18 games when playing on the road against Indianapolis. Enough said. This is the bet of the weekend, New England easily over the Colts 34 - 24.
**Baltimore Ravens (-10.5) @ Cleveland Browns - Brady Quinn is getting the start for the Browns. This will be the lowest rated televised game of the season for the NFL, let alone the worst Monday night game of the season. Baltimore is coming off a bad loss in Cincinnati in Week 9, so they will be firing on all cylinders against Cleveland. This will be a blow out to say the least. Flacco, Ray Rice, MaGahee, Mason, and Ray Lewis should all have big performances. Baltimore over Cleveland 27 - 3.