Sunday, October 23, 2005

Week Seven NFL Picks: Supah Stees vs. Da Bungles Edition

So apparently the new scheme Nick Saban is putting in involves getting ran all over by every team we play. Interesting concept. It's also fun that The Gus Frerotte Experiment is ending really badly already, Ricky Williams doesn't look to be worth half the massive amounts of ink and HTML spent on him this summer and Ronnie Brown might actually be an NFL-level back if he can get a solid line in front of him. The wait for Philip River/Marcus Vick begins...

Tennessee (+3) over ARIZONA- Pardon me if I take Billy Volek and the points over the Josh McCown/Kurt Warner duo of the Cardinals.

CHICAGO (-1) over Baltimore- The Ravens probably have to be wondering where exactly things went wrong. Was it back when they traded a number one to move up and get Kyle Boller, or when Jamal Lewis got convicted of cocaine trafficking and his offseason schedule led to Chester Taylor becoming the leading rusher? Or maybe it goes all the way back to the Elvis Grbac Experiment, when they let Trent Dilfer go after he won them a Super Bowl. I’ll go with that, with Kyle Boller’s flummoxing in Brian Billick’s “genius offense” a distant second.

Meanwhile, the Bears need their Kyle – Orton – to just not turn the ball over and they’ll win their putrid division. The race to seven wins and the NFC North title looks to be Lovie Smith’s crew’s to lose.

CINCINNATI (-1) over Pittsburgh- I was talking to Kody last night, the only person I know who has a Tommy Maddox jersey, and we decided that people are being pretty quick to heap credit upon Big Ben after the Gun’s performance against Jacksonville. Playing a good Jaguars team without All-Pro Hines Ward, Maddox turned the ball over four times, yet the game still went to overtime. If he had simply not sucked that bad, the Steelers are 4-1.

Instead, they’re 3-2 and facing .500 against a Bengals team looking to prove themselves. So far, they’ve taken care of business against crappy teams – which is not to be looked down upon in the NFL, as it will get you far – and lost a close game against Jacksonville at night. Carson Palmer needs this game to legitimize his season – his team’s season – and I think he’ll do it in front of his fans. The Steelers must have this game if they want to win the North, because if they don’t, they’ll be two and a half games behind a Cincy team that only has three or four losable games left (home against Indy and Buffalo, at Pittsburgh and KC).

Big Ben’s return versus the Golden Boy. This is going to be fun.

CLEVELAND (-3) over Detroit- If you were giving out grades for the NFL teams so far, how low of a grade would the Lions get? F? F-? Could a team be more disappointing? Does Nike ever wonder why they spent so much money on that stupid Times Square billboard for Joey’s Heisman campaign? How excited is Jeff Garcia that he’s going to be the most popular guy in Detroit as soon as he gets back? How many teams could use Trent Dilfer right now?

Green Bay (-2) over FRED SMOOT’S LOVE BOAT - You know, Brett Favre generally is terrible in the Metrodome, and the Packers are pretty terrible overall, but do you want to bet on the Vikings right now? Mike Tice’s press conferences are starting to take on the Dead Man Walking-feel that Steve Lavin’s last few months or so had, so they’re the best thing going on ESPNews right now. I think the Vikings might rally together and win this one, just because I imagine a couple of their players have some manner of self-respect, but I’m willing to put money on them unless this things played out on one of Minnesota’s many lakes.

Indianapolis (-16) over HOUSTON- Remember when I asked if there was a more disappointing team in the NFL than the Lions? It’s interesting how of the David Carr/Joey Harrington/Andre Johnson/Charles Rogers, the Texans twosome are by far the better selections, but that’s only because Rogers and Harrington have been the definition of bust. Johnson has flashes of brilliance and Carr might have turned into something if he had an offensive line, but Mike Tice and Dom Capers might need a nice cruise together by Thanksgiving.

Denver (+2) over NY GIANTS- Fun, fun game. I think this will be a great little shootout, because Eli is exponentially better at home, but the Giants defense is going to give way to some nice, juicy runs for Denver that keeps their counterparts off the field. What’s more amazing: The fact Jake Plummer hasn’t thrown a pick in over four games or that he didn’t get his first completion until the second quarter against the Dolphins? It’s got to be the pick statistic, because the type of offense Shanahan is running now is perfect for the Broncos, as it’ll get them into the playoffs and promptly eliminated due to their one-dimensional fact.

Buffalo (+3) over OAKLAND- The first thought thing that popped into my mind when I saw this game was “Kelly Holcomb In The BlackHole”, but then I realize that this same Kelly Holcomb dropped 500 yards in Pittsburgh during a playoff game, and that was without Willis McGahee gutting the Oakland defense. Not that it matters since Randy Moss is banged up, because Kerry Collins’ offense is slowly unraveling around him.

San Diego (+4) over PHILADELPHIA- This will be my game of choice for the 4:00 slot, as I’ve yet to see the Eagles extensively and there isn’t a team in the league more fun to watch than the Bolts. If KC was able to gut Philly with an underachieving Green/Gonzalez connection, imagine what San Diego will do with Brees and Gates clicking on all cylinders? The MVP is LT’s to lose right now, although Palmer will put some heat on him with a good performance against the Supahs.

Dallas (+3) over SEATTLE- The Seahawks lost their playmaking safety Ken Hamlin not to a freak injury in practice, but to a bar fight. I’m thinking that might be difficult to get over emotionally.

ST. LOUIS (-3) over New Orleans- The Saints put in one helluva effort against the Falcons in front of their San Antonio fans, but they’ve been anything but consistent this season. Plus, Jamie Martin isn’t nearly as bad as he showed against the Colts Monday night, and he’ll be much more comfortable starting at home as opposed to being thrown in against Dwight Freeney in the RCA Dome. Could have been the upset pick, but that’s not happening.

WASHINGTON (-12.5) over San Francisco- I didn’t think I’d ever support a 75-year old Mark Brunell attempting to hold a 12.5 spread, but Tim Rattay is out of town and Alex Smith is going to have a few more growing pains before people realize he’s a bust on the Joey Harrington-caliber. Do you think the GM’s of the bottom-feeder NFL teams aren’t excited to see Matt Leinart, Marcus Vick, Vince Young and Omar Jacobs put a little fresh blood into the QB position?

ATLANTA (-7) over NY Jets- The two items to weight here are 1) How insanely loud the Georgia Dome crowd was on Monday Night Football against Philly/how much fun Patrick Kerney and Rod Coleman are going to have smothering Vinny versus 2) The fact the Dirty Birds needed an interception and blocked field goal returned for touchdown just to stay within striking distance of a Deuce-less N’awlins squad.

I’m taking the Falcons on the merits of their defense, not the offense, although Vick is due for a breakout game, and this seems about the right time.

No comments: