Confused by Mediocrity… week 9 NFL picks.

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So, I officially can’t figure out the middle class of this year’s NFL season.

There are some teams on the top (New Orleans, Indianapolis, Minnesota, New England) and the bottom (Washington, Tampa Bay, Detroit, St. Louis, Oakland, Kansas City) that are very easily defined. You can watch five minutes of their game on Sunday and think to yourself… “wow, these guys really suck, I’m watching “the Hills” for the next two hours, or you can think, “dammit, the Saints are playing? Oh well, I’ll watch my DVR’d South Park  episodes later on”.  My point is this: these teams are easy to figure out and  by this point in the season, what you see is what you get. Period.  What isn’t so easy to figure out is how freaking inconsistent the middle class in this league is. One week you have the Jets beating up on the Patriots, the next they lose a sloppy game to the Dolphins. The Cowboys can go down to the wire with the hapless Kansas City Chiefs, and they blow out the Atlanta Falcons, a really good team in their own right. There’s just no predicting what these teams are gonna do week by week.

This week, we have a match-up of two perfect examples: the Bears and the Cardinals. In Week 2, Chicago knocked off Pittsburgh, and gave them themselves the appearance of a contender for this season. Later they played Atlanta tight on the road. The week after that, they got their asses handed to them by a Bengals team that isn’t very good. What the hell? How does that even happen? Arizona is even worse. They beat a  good New York Giants team on the road, and then got stomped by the quarterback formerly known as Jake Delhomme and the Panthers. What part of that makes any sense? Games like those are the reason I don’t gamble (much).
With  all that said, let’s move on to the NFL picks for week 9:

(Editor’s Note: starting this week I’m going to ask my friend, and NFL enthusiast Jacob Rose for his upset lock of the week, that way I don’t have to make any “lock” style predictions)

Falcons (-10) over the Redskins:

I read a list of the top 5 worst owners in sports recently, and two of them were NFL owners. Coming in at numbers one and two: Al Davis and Daniel Snyder: Just win baby!!. How do we let people this incompetent run sports franchises? Why is there no screening process involved with incumbent owners? We screen and review new potential owners, yet crappy guys who are ruining great franchises are allowed to run amok? I  just don’t get it.  I can’t believe I’m about to say this: We need to clone Mark Cuban.

Can we please have more of this?

Bears (-3) over Cardinals:

How is Chicago favored to win this game?  I agree with Vegas here, but somebody explain to me how that works. They were underwhelming against the worst team in the league, and just because Arizona laid an egg against Carolina they’re favored now? I don’t get that. Regardless,  I refuse to believe that Jay Cutler won’t win over the entire city of Chicago with a huge performance against this Cardinals secondary. Matt Forte should have early success, which will open up the play action game (just a thought, if you can trade for Matt Forte in your fantasy league, I would do it right now. Quit reading and make that trade.) Also, I don’t trust Kurt Warner to keep hold of the ball. Combine that with a terrible running game, and I could see the Bears getting a big win that they desperately need.

Ravens (-3) over Bengals:

I like the Ravens.  I said so last week before they beat the Broncos like an unruly step-child, and I’ll say it this week before they disembowel Cedric Benson on Sunday afternoon.  I like their defense, and Joe Flacco has one of my favorite football names (other notables: Hunter Hillenmeyer, Teddy Bruschi, Vincent Jackson, and Roddy White). There’s very little about this team that I don’t like; even Ray Lewis has grown on me.

Cedric after the Ravens game?

Texans (+9) over Colts:

The Colts are just a little bit too banged up this week, with too little time to adjust their game plan. And that’s gonna catch up to them in a major way this week. A side note here: if you were an opposing general manager, what would you give up to trade for Bob Sanders at this point? A 5th round draft pick? Two tackling dummies and a blocking sled? On one side, the man is an absolute beast on defense, one of the best safeties in the game: he’s a human missile. Unfortunately missiles don‘t really last all that long.

Chiefs (+6.5) over Jaguars:

Aside from giving the Colts a competitive game way back at the start of the season, and Maurice Jones-Drew, are there any positives to this Jaguars season? They play in a crappy stadium, in a crappy city, with a fan base that has switched over to “eff-you” mode when it comes to their football team, and a coach who doesn’t know the slightest thing about, well, um….coaching.

Buccaneers (+9.5) over Packers:

This is the initial Jacob Rose memorial Upset Special of the Week. However,  I don’t agree with him on this one. I think the Packers are going to be pissed off from last week and Aaron Rodgers will have a huge game. In my mind, he’s been earmarked for Peyton Manning-early career status: fantastic when games are out of reach one way or the other, and he’ll put up big numbers against awful team. Will he develop into one of the top five big-game players in the NFL? Not likely, but his careers on a good path as we speak.

Dolphins (+10) over the Patriots:

I apologize to New England fans and offer a hearty “you’re welcome” to Colts fans  for what I’ve done to the Pats this year. I recently acquired Randy Moss for my fantasy football team, which gives me both Moss and Brady. On paper, that’s an amazing trade by me (and it was an amazing trade) however, I have officially placed the kiss of death on the entire Patriots team. Combine that with a rusty Patriots team coming off the crappy part of the schedule and a better than they look Dolphins team? Bad news for  the Foxboro… I mean Gillette Stadium faithful.

Titans (+4) over 49ers:

I backed Vince Young last week, and I’m gonna ride the Titans the rest of the season. Also, Chris Johnson is an absolute beast. I can’t think of a better match-up of running backs than Johnson v Gore, both backs that nobody really wanted when they were coming out of college and that seems to work for some guys. Seriously, how do so many players slip through the cracks in this league? And why has this trend never been adequately studied? Does it just motivate the players more? If so, then why not just work that hard your whole career, college included? My head hurts.

Saints (-13) over Panthers:

This is my hands down, no doubt lock of the week.  This game is only viewable because the sheer joy I get from watching the Saints offense operate. Phenomenal.  The Saints will blow this game absolutely wide open, it will be ugly and it will happen quickly. I promise you that much.

Seahawks (-10) over Lions:

The Lions are 2-29 over their last 31 games, and the Seahawks have arguably the best home-field advantage in the league.(an obscenely loud Qwest Field)  Nothing about this scenario makes me think the Lions can win this game. Don’t worry Lion’s fans, things get worse: there are so many bad teams this year, that  the lions could easily go 2-14 and get the 4th overall pick in the draft: not a good time to cheer for Detroit teams.

Chargers (+4.5) over Giants:

So, are the Giants good? Does Eli suck? I’m so confused right now. Would somebody please explain which of these teams are actually  good this year, because I have no clue. Either way, I need LDT to continue his recent upturn in production, so I’m counting on the Chargers to pull off the win. Another random thought here: does anyone remember when Tomlinson came into the league and there was about five seconds worth of “can we call him LT without completely jinxing his career” discussions? Fantastic. What better way to welcome a young player to the league: “hey, no pressure, but we’re gonna call you the by the same nickname as the most explosive defensive player in league

What does Tyrone have in common with Lawrence Taylor?

history, oh yeah, he also smokes rocks.


Eagles (-3) over Cowboys:

This is one of those “okay, they’ve been good lately, but are they really good” games for both teams. The Cowboys are hot, the Eagles are hotter, and everybody’s in a hurry to hype them up, but let’s not forget something, the Eagles lost to the Raiders, and the Cowboys went to overtime with the Chiefs. Were those games flukes? I say yes for Philly, and no for Dallas. Philly might just be legitimately explosive this year, and  there’s no way that Tony Romo doesn’t throw three or four picks this week. Easy win for the Eagles.

Broncos (+3) over Steelers:

This should be one hell of a game. The Broncos got brought down to earth a little bit last week, and need to win this game to avoid going into a panic. Remember, they started off great a season ago and then imploded. That won’t happen this year. The running game is greatly improved, they actually have a defense, and thanks to his bear-like gene pool, Kyle Orton is impervious to wind, snow, and ice. Oh yeah, and the Steelers aren’t actually that good this year. I almost forgot that they could be the third best team in their division. This week, they go down to Kyle Orton and his glorious mane.

Fear the Neard

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2 Responses to “Confused by Mediocrity… week 9 NFL picks.”

  1. ben Says:

    34 car, 117 yds, 1 td = disembowel?? Haha it’s ok, I understand your hate for Benson. Thanks to him though, my team is finally worth talking about again!

    • haggles1986 Says:

      haha, yeah, they’re pretty good. and if they win this week then I’m officially on the bandwagon. I just hate him so much.

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