Week 10 NFL picks

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I’m excited for this week in the NFL. I really am. Sure, the Bears suck, and they’ll probably lose another game to a team with less talent and better coaching. But we get to see some of the best matchups that we’ll see all season. We’ve got Cincy/Pittsburgh, Green Bay/Dallas, San Diego/Philly, Indy/New England, and Andy Reid/Norv Turner (in the matchup for “worst coach of a good team that will always lose in the playoffs”). All in all a very exciting week. Also, it’s halfway through the season, which means we get to read and listen to everybody’s mid-season awards, MVP, Offensive P.O.Y., Defensive P.O.Y.; all the usual stuff, and it just gets old. We all know that the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards will come down to Manning, Favre, Brady, and Brees. It’s too easy. Defensive Player of the Year will be Willis, Freeney, Dumervil, or Allen. There. I just saved you half an hour of reading on some other website. You’re welcome. Now we’ll move on to my midseason awards:

Best/Worst Uniform:
Best: Denver Broncos home jerseys vs. Dallas Cowboys . Hands down my favorite uniform of the 2009 sports season. This is the ultimate example of why we put up so many crappy throwback uniforms and alternative jerseys: eventually on of them will look really cool. I absolutely love the long striped socks, they look like baseball stirrups, and anytime I can see anything on a any uniform looking like baseball stirrups, I’m gonna be excited.  This uniform captures all the simplicity that you have in any good uniform without being dull or boring, once again, thank you stirrup socks. Also, the Broncos beat two teams that were better than them (Cowboys and Patriots), so that gives the uniform some instant credibility.

what's not to love about these?


Worst:  Tampa Bay Buccaneers home jerseys vs. Green Bay Packers.  Every good thing that I can say about the Broncos jerseys goes for these jerseys… .only the opposite. Good Lord. These are absolutely awful jerseys. Not only are the colors terrible, but it brings back memories of when the Buccaneers held the title of “worst sports franchise” in the late 1970’s. Throw in the gay vibe you get from the winking pirate, and there’s not much to love about this uniform. Yeah, they won a game wearing them, but is it really worth it? I say no.

There's gotta be a better way to win a game... right?

Celebrations: I’m not gonna lie, I miss the days of the “Dirty Bird” and the Mile-High salute. Hell, I even miss Randy Moss fake-mooning the Lambeau Field “faithful”. All great celebrations, all things of the past. What can I say, touchdown dances just aren’t what they used to be. That’s probably because the league doesn’t allow too much self expression these days (hence the name “No Fun League”), but there are still a few brave souls out there who actually have some sense of comedy.

Best : Chad OchoCinco (Lambeau Leap vs. Packers): What I love most about Ocho’s end zone celebrations is the build up during the week leading up to the games. Now that Joe Horn retired (master of the planted cell phone), OchoCinco is  the undisputed master of celebrations. He’s proposed to a cheerleader, mimicked Tiger Woods, hell, he wears gold teeth. But my favorite this year was his ballsy decision to do the Lambeau Leap when he scored a touchdown against the Packers. During the week, he declared that if he scored against the Packers he would jump into the stands to celebrate. After catching a 13-yard TD pass, he found a group of Bengals fans (how the hell did they get in there?) and jumped in. This earned him a beer shower and a few dirty birds from the Packers fans. Ballsy, obscene, and fantastic.

Worst: Shawne Merriman: Maybe it’s just me, but I really think that the sack dance should have died with Mark Gastineau. At least he had a reason to dance: it was the 80’s, Thriller was a big hit, and he and LT were scoring coke together in the Meadowlands locker rooms. Merriman just looks like an idiot. I can’t get the image of the entire Patriots team doing a version of  his “sack dance” after they knocked them out of the playoffs 3 years ago. Also, Gastineau set a sack record: Merriman does steroids…. Nuff said.

Best/Worse hair:

Best : Troy Polamalu: Troy Polamalu has the seven key elements to a good looking man-do. I have no idea what those seven are, but I’ve been told that he has them. All I know is that he’s bad-ass enough to still look cool with flowing locks behind him while he’s on the run. Maybe it’s because he’s the best safety the game? I’m not sure, but I think that might be it. I just know he looks like Tom Chambers circa 1992, and we need more of that in sports today. (Also, here’s my all-hair lineup: ABA Dr. J., Tom Chambers, Steve Nash, Troy Polamalu, and Manny Ramirez. All hall of famers, all employed fantastic stylists.)

Worst: Jared Allen
: I’ll admit it: I’m biased, I hate Jared Allen. He’s uneducated, he’s a dick, and he plays for the Vikings. Although I think the first two are necessary adjectives to play in Minnesota. But biased or not, he just looks like a big hillbilly, and I get enough of that at family reunions and Cubs conventions.  As good as Polamalu’s do looks, that’s how bad Allen looks.  However, he has nowhere near the worst hair in the last five years of the league, let alone

I suppose things could be worse, eh Jared?

the history of the league.

Okay, now that I’ve got all the important stuff out of the way, let’s move on to this weeks picks. (Editor’s note: all picks are done against the spread. I’m picking teams to cover, not necessarily to win. That way I can be right without really being right.)

I try my hardest every week not to let my personal biases for or against teams to affect how I choose these games. But I just can’t help myself. When I see the Colts favored by ten over any team as solid as the Texans I’m gonna pick the Texans. Whenever the Bears are playing, I’m going to pick them. And above all else, I’m going to pick against the Cedric Benson and the Bengals (even if he is the 3rd best back in the league right now.) My point in all this, is that I’m not going to let my feelings interfere with my picks anymore; well, not very often at least. So, without further ado, onto this week’s picks:

Bears (+3) over 49ers: Yes, I know that the game was last night, but it would be dishonest to change my pick now. I genuinely thought that the Bears could pull this game out. But I guess I didn’t take into account Jay Cutler’s lapse into Rex Grossman territory. I need a drink.

Jets (-7) over Jaguars:
Hmmm… if I picked the Chiefs over the Jaguars last week, and they’re playing a good Jets team this week? I don’t think the Jaguars have enough offense beyond Maurice Jones Drew this year. Anytime someone like David Garrard is your starting quarterback, you know you’re in trouble. I love MJD and I base two of my fantasy football teams on his success, but I don’t trust anyone else on that team.

Redskins (+3.5) over Broncos
: This is the Jacob Rose Memorial upset lock of the week. Jake got off to a good start last week, successfully picking the Bucs over the Packers, so I’m going to ride him until he misses one. This week, I actually agree with him. The Broncos might actually suck, and I’m starting to suspect that Kyle Orton isn’t actually that good.  I know, it’s surprising to me too.  And I know the Redskins suck, but I’m hoping that Clinton Portis becomes a short term Ewing Theory Candidate and the ‘Skins will knock off the Broncos.

Steelers (-7) over Bengals: you knew this one was coming. I absolutely refuse to buy into Cedric Benson against this defense. In fact, I benched him in my fantasy league. There’s no doubt that the Steelers win this game in a romp. They’ve finally hit their stride with the running game and Mendenhall,  Roethlisberger’s on pace to set a record for completion percentage, and they look like the defending champs again.

Titans (-7) over Bills:
I’m really impressed with the way that this Titans team has responded after how bad they were to start the season. It’s not too surprising considering this is the same team that went 13-3 last year, and now they’ve upgraded their quarterback. Yes, I’m on board with the Vince Young era part two.

Lions (+17) over Vikings:
Here’s my absolutely insane upset pick of the week.  No, I don’t think the Lions will win this game, but this line is just too high to overlook, and,  with Calvin Johnson healthy again, and Minnesota lacking an explosive offense (not bad, just not explosive) I look for the Lions to keep this game close until Minnesota puts it away late on a Matthew Stafford pick-six.

Saints (-14) over Rams
: This game is another one that I won’t be watching. The only redeeming quality from this game is the joy of watching Drew Brees solidify his MVP status for the season. I see him getting the Karl Malone-type MVP award this year. Manning, Brady and Favre are all better candidates, but the voters want someone else, I look forward to complaining about this at the end of the season.

Falcons (-1.5) over Panthers: As far as I’m concerned, the Panthers have already played their best football. Does everyone remember in 2007 when the Ravens put it all together to take the Patriots to overtime and then lost to the winless Dolphins?  The statistic back it up: when a team plays out of their mind against a quality opponent, they’re going to have a tough time the next week. Coach Bob Knight referred to it as the “last game-next game” theory.

If I'm wrong, don't blame me, blame the General

Also, Jake Delhomme sucks.

Bucs (+10) over Dolphins:
I was wrong last week about the Buccaneers, so I’m going to make up for it this week by picking them over the ‘Fins. This way I look brilliant when they knock off a Miami team that really can’t throw the ball. I’m a big fan of the Wildcat formation, but if Ronnie Brown is your best passer, you might have trouble putting big points on the board. I just don’t see them scoring enough to push this game into double digits.

Chiefs (+2) over Raiders: This game isn’t even worth talking about. As of 7:00 eastern time on Friday, this game was already declared a blackout in Oakland. I’m not too surprised that people are finding better things to do in Southern California this weekend. Just move on.

Seahawks (+8.5) over Cardinals: So let me get this straight, the Cardinals beat a crappy Bears team and now they’re good again? I don’t buy it. Boldin is either out or severely hampered, and eventually they’re gonna miss his production out there. Kurt Warner is somehow really really good, despite being older than dirt, but they just don’t have a running game. In this matchup of ancient quarterbacks, I choose Hasselback.

Chargers (-1) over Eagles: Question for you here: of the top 20 starting quarterbacks this season, who is the only player with a completion percentage below 60%? The answer? Donovan McNabb. Who’s responsible for the Eagles only averaging 3 points a game in the fourth quarter and for their 0-11 record in games they trailed in going to the fourth quarter? You guessed it. Andy Reid. Once again, I’m hoping that LT can snap out of his old-age slump and put up a decent fantasy day for me. So:  Go Chargers. (editor’s note: I can tell the Bears suck when I have to rely on my fantasy teams for enjoyment in football.)


Packers (+2) over Cowboys
: We’re one Green Bay Packers loss away from having three NFC East teams in the playoffs this year. Again. This can’t happen. Call up Mike McCarthy, tell him to do whatever it takes to keep this from happening. I’ll even root for the Packers for a week or two, hell may freeze over, but it’s worth it. I am a little worried about the quarterback situation in Green Bay.  Eventually Aaron Rodgers is gonna have to stop his David Carr impression right? I think it’s gonna be this week. He’s gotta be tired of being a weekly tackling dummy, and this could be a statement game for him and the rest of team.

Patriots (+3) over Colts: It was disclosed by many reliable Indy news sources last week that the concessions in Lucas Oil Stadium have been rampaged by the large number of mice and rats that have taken up residence in the facility. Ladies and Gentlemen, your brand new stadium. All the same problems (rats, artificial turf, full of Colts fans) none of the perks (crowd noise, cool name:Hoosier Dome.) I said last week that the Texans would exploit the Colts weaknesses in the secondary, and they did to some extent. However, Tom Brady is no Matt Schaub: he’s much better, and he’s absolutely going to torch the Colts on Sunday in their trip to the Lucas Oil Mouse Trap.

Ravens (-10) over Browns: Why the hell is this game on Monday night? Didn’t the NFL develop flex-scheduling for games just like this? Why not move this game to FX on a Tuesday morning and shift the Eagles/Chargers game to Monday night? What the hell NFL? What the hell.

Last week: 7-5-1
Overall:  15-9-1

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