New Orleans Saints (-11) @ Seattle Seahawks
Pierre Thomas isn’t that good, Chris Ivory is worse and they’re both on IR for the Saints. Reggie Bush and Julius Jones will attempt to hold down the running game for the Saints. Jones is a smoker (or at least he was as a rookie with Dallas), sure so was the Golden Boy Paul Horning, but that was a different day. Fortunately, the Saints are playing the Seahawks. Most NFL fans are aghast (rightfully so) that Seattle is 7-9 and hosting the defending champs. The Saints are going to win. They’re better in all facets of the game. Hasselbeck’s been a liability for two years but he’s a much safer option than Chuck Whitehurst. Chuck will play in this game, and it won’t be pretty. Seattle makes the thing interesting for the first 2 quarters with good defense and a time eating offense (but gets little more than a field goal or 2). The Saints will win. The running back issue makes this and interesting play. Seattle’s defense looked great shutting down the Rams and most are discounting the fact the NFC West was terrible. I refuse to take an underdog unless I think there’s at least a 10% chance they’ll win outright. Sean Peyton comes out in the second half and gets frisky. This thing ends in a blow out and the Saints win in a route and cover.
PICK- SAINTS -11
New York Jets (+3) @ Indianapolis Colts
ESPN’s Bill Simmons used a bad Colts team and good Pats team as an opportunity to proclaim Brady’s greatness with a level of passive aggressiveness the likes of which sports writers have never seen. I love Simmons, but he constantly references the Pats receiving corps like their autistic. Look Simmons, you have 2 great prospects at tight end, Deion Branch floundered in Seattle (see every other Seahawks receiver since a young Joey Galloway), and “the little white guy that could” Wes Welker. Manning makes decent receivers great and practice team guys pro bowlers. When he had a solid route runner (Harrison) he set records and when he had undersized white guys (Collie) he put up 4,000 yard seasons. They’re both great and both transcendent. It’s just the passive aggressive crap that drives me up the wall. Manning will play well. He’s got home field, the dome, the turf, and the reputation. However, there’s little else you can count on with the Colts. The Jets, on the other hand, have a handful of sure things -not to play great, but to play well. Essentially, playing the Colts to cover in the game is an affirmation of Manning’s greatness and playing the Jets is an assertion of the preseason hype. I don’t buy into the Jets but I also feel there’s a much better than 10% chance the Jets win this thing and Manning has a mini-meltdown. Take the Jets to cover and likely pull the upset. Any Given Sunday, it’s a game of inches but for Rex Ryan, its feet that are all around him. Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week.
PICK- JETS +3