September 26th, 2009
Another one in the books… and Al is on fire! 11-5 last week, now 21-11 for the season! I’m even doing OK with another 9-7 week, but that makes me 18-14 overall. I’d be happy to finish the season with a .56 winning percentage but if Al keeps this up, I won’t even be within shouting distance…
On to the picks!
Browns @ Baltimore(-13.5)
Last week I think we learned that the Ravens are very good and the Browns are horrific. Flacco is my new backup FF quarterback, and might even earn the staring job. I’ll lay the two TDs here.
Giants @ Tampa Bay(+6.5)
I watched some of the Tampa–Buffalo contest last week. Tampa is not good. The G-Men, on the other hand, are pretty good. We’ll see how those receivers pan out over the long term—personally, I’m hoping Manningham becomes a Pro Bowler—and if they can continue to play like that, the Giants will be tough to beat. Give the points against a hapless Bucs squad. (BTW, someone please explain to me how it worked out that Tampa’s defense is bad and Derrick Brooks is now an ESPN analyst. Was he really making that much? The Bucs defense looks like it completely lacks on-field leadership.)
Packers @ St. Louis(+7)
I’m not picking the Rams until they show me a reason to do so, and covering the spread against a bad Redskins team does not count as a reason. Right the ship, Packers.
Falcons @ Patriots(-4)
0-2 (well, they should be) vs. 2-0, and the Pats are giving points. Yeah, they’re at home, but I like Atlanta to keep it close. The Pats’ defense is suspect and Brady’s security blanket (that’s Wes Welker for those not paying attention) may still be out. (Side note: I do think blitzing Brady like crazy is a bad tactic in general but a great tactic if Welker is out. Well-played by the Jets, I have to say.) Anyway, Welker will probably be out, if for no other reason than I need in him in FF. I’m not sold on the Falcons’ defense just yet, but I just don’t see New England as dominant and the Falcons are good, so I’ll take the points.
Titans @ New Jersey Jets(-3)
People seem to be of the opinion that since the Titans were 13-3 last year, they cannot possibly go 0-3 this season. Well, they can. Something is very seriously wrong with the Tennessee secondary; in both their games so far, there have been a lot of receivers who were just… open. Is Sanchez good enough to capitalize? I think he probably is, and I’m starting to think the Jets might be the real deal this year. Give the FG.
Redskins @ Lions(+6.5)
Washington looked just plain awful last week and that’s a lot of points. On the other hand, the Lions haven’t beaten the Redskins since what, the 1980s? I don’t see them winning this, either, but can they keep it close enough? I’m thinking no, but I sure would like to see them get off the schnide.
Chiefs @ Philadelphia, no line
I presume the line is off because of the unknown QB situation. Since there are no points to lay, I’ll take Philly to win.
Niners @ Minnesota(-7)
The Vikings have looked pretty good, but against two really bad teams. I think the Niners are a pretty good team this year, and while the Vikings will probably still win, I don’t see them covering this big a number.
Jaguars @ Texans(-3.5)
OK, so I think us Texans fans are in for a roller coaster ride of a season with a lot of “which Texans offense is showing up this week?” Anyway, given that the game is in Houston, this says the Texans are a half-point better than the Jags. Neither of these teams has impressed me much, but I think the Texans may be a full point better on a neutral field so I’m going with them. If I’m really lucky, for FF purposes MJD will go off the hook like Chris Johnson did last week, but the Texans will still win, also like last week. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Bears @ Seattle(+2)
Isn’t Hasselbeck out? Without him I don’t see the Seabags doing a whole lot, so I’ll take Chicago.
Saints @ Buffalo(+6)
The Saints are the anti-Rams this year; I will continue to pick them until I see some reason not to. The Bills have shown me no reason not to, so I will once again go with the arena team.
Steelers @ Cincinnati(+4)
Pittsburgh is just a better team, though I think Cinci might not be the Bungles so much this year. Thankfully the spread is a manageable 4… I’m not sure I would give a full TD here. Stillers.
Dolphins @ San Diego(-6)
What a tough loss for Miami on Monday, and what a strange game that was. The Dolphins absolutely cannot move the ball quickly, but they sure can hold it against a mediocre defense. I’ve been a little underwhelmed by the Bolts so far this season, and they really need this win, but can they blow it out? I’m not sure they can, so I’ll be nutty and take the points.
Broncos @ Raiders(+2)
Based on the first week’s game, I don’t think the Broncos are good; I don’t think beating up on the Browns at home counts for much. On the other hand, the Raiders aren’t good, either—hey, JaMarcus, you’re trying to throw it at the guys’ chests, not just in the general vicinity of the guys with silver helmets. Of course, the Broncos often play like ass in Oakland… I think I’ll pick the Raiders for the second week in a row! (Looking around for other signs of the apocalypse…)
Colts @ Arizona(-2.5)
WTF? Wrong team favored, I absolutely love getting points here.
Panthers @ Cowboys(-9)
That’s an awful lot of points. I mean, sure, the Panthers aren’t very good, but nine points? Too rich for my blood. MNF has generally been close lately, right? Yeah, I gotta take the points.