NFL Week 11

Time for a long-overdue standings update. Week 9 was a complete disaster: I went 5-8 and Al went 8-5, putting me further in the hole. Week 10 went better, as I went 8-7, which is still not great, but Al put up a 6-9 week, so in the last two weeks… I still lost ground. Dammit. For the season I’m still under .500 at 70-73-1 and Al is way out in front, 82-61-1. Yikes. There’s barely enough season left to do anything with that, not good at all.

Oh well, on to the picks…

Sunday 1:00
Colts @ Baltimore(+1.5)
Indy is the team of destiny… or something. They shouldn’t have won last week, but they did. The charmed life continues, and with only 1.5 to give, I’ll give it.

Redskins @ Dallas(-11)
Washington has been playing great defense lately, but their offense… yech. What will Dallas do with this? I don’t see them losing, but that’s a lot of points against a good defense. I have to take them.

Browns @ Detroit(-3.5)
Cleveland is so bad it’s comical. Brady Quinn has no idea where his receivers are. Even the Lions, who are also completely bad, should be able to handle this. The real losers here, however, are the folks who paid money to watch it live…

Niners @ Green Bay(-6.5)
Lotta points for a team that cannot protect the quarterback. On the other hand, how awful is the SF offense right now? I don’t see them going east for an early game and then somehow playing decent offense. Packers.

Bills @ Jacksonville(-8.5)
Buffalo, besides being awful and having no coach, cannot stop the run. And the Jags’ best weapon is… a running back. This could get ugly. Jags all the way.

Steelers @ Kansas City(+10)
Tomlin will be reading the Stillers the riot act all week after that awful showing against the Bengals. They’ll pound the hapless Chefs.

Seahawks @ Minnesota(-10.5)
Seattle is bad enough when they play at home, but on the road they’re craptacular. Vikings by two TDs.

Falcons @ New Jersey [Giants](-7)
Will Turner play? Even if he does, will he be 100% or even close? Ryan has looked a little worse this year, overall, and without a running game to take of the pressure, the Falcons might not be very good. However, and this is a big one… uhh, have people been watching the Giants lately? Poster child for “not very good”? Yeah, this is too many points.

Saints @ Tampa(+10.5)
New Orleans beat the Falcons by only 10 at home, then proceeded to lay a stinker against the Rams. Yeah, they still won, but we’re talking about the Rams. Two conjectures: (1) The Saints’ pass defense is better than their run defense, and running up big scores has allowed them to hide this; (2) Darren Sharper has been hurt, and he means a lot to that defense. However, Sharper is listed as “probable” which almost always means “playing,” and Tampa can’t run anyway. Saints cover.

Sunday ~4:10
Cardinals at St. Louis(+9)
The Rams have actually been a little bit better lately, but Warner is clicking with his receivers again so they will steamroll the Lambs.

Chargers @ Denver, no line
The Broncos appear to be in a death spiral right now, don’t they? Never good when you’ve let teams like the Chargers back in. Recent history also indicates that the Chargers are a good bet in divisional games in the second half of the season, so I’m going with the Bolts.

Jets @ New England(-10.5)
OK, I have to comment on last weeks’ Pats game, which was at a minimum a very exciting football game, but definitely a story of two halves. The Pats looked like they were just on cruise control the first half; the Colts appeared to have no answers. But in the second half, especially the 4th quarter, the Pats defense looked confused and, frankly, gassed. They should have won that game. Something just isn’t quite right there yet, and I’m not willing to lay the big number, even though the Jets have been the Jest again lately.

Bengals @ Oakland(+9.5)
This has “blowout” written all over it. Give the big number.

Eagles at Chicago(+3)
Denver’s management doesn’t look so stupid now, do they? They’ll look even better when they cash in the draft picks. To quote an old favorite movie, Cutler might have a million-dollar arm, but he’s got a fifty-cent head, and the Bears have no Crash Davis to fix this one up. Iggles.

Titans @ Houston(-4.5)
Remember when I picked the Texans vs. the Colts, and I took the Texans because I figured they had to keep it close enough so that they could lose it in some heartbreaking way, and they obliged by missing the game-tying field goal? Stay tuned to that channel, Texans fans. VY has given them fits in the past and they’ll be overconfident going into this game given that they won the first one and aren’t well-coached enough not to have that attitude. I really, really hope the Texans pull this out, but there is no way I am giving these points.