Sunday, October 25, 2009

NFL Week 7 predictions

One of these weeks I need to go back and figure out what my running tally is for these NFL picks. I sense it's not very good, but I'll stick with it anyway. Here are this week's predictions:

Packers at Browns: While I suppose it's possible that the Browns are making slow progress toward becoming a competitive team, I don't think they get it done this season. Green Bay has been solid this year, and I think they manage to put together a running game this week and trounce Cleveland.

49ers at Texans: Word has it the long-awaited premier of Michael Crabtree could be on for this week. For the Niners' sake, I hope it's just in time. Houston has had an up-and-down year so far, scoring on big plays but losing some close games. Although it's a home game, I think I'm going to give the edge to San Fran; coming off a bye week, they should be healthy and well-prepared.

Chargers at Chiefs: So, the Chiefs finally got in the win column last week. It's unfortunate they can't play the Redskins every Sunday. The Chargers continue to be a disappointment, losing their past two. I think they turn it around this week though. The Chiefs are struggling to score points this year, and, even in losses, that's something San Diego has been able to do.

Vikings at Steelers: This promises to be one of the better games of the week. Both teams have tough defenses, strong rushing attacks and QBs that have been very hot as of late. My concern with Pittsburgh is its fourth-quarter defense. The Steelers seem to play well through the first portion of the game and then somehow give teams a shot to win late. I don't know that that's a luxury they can afford against the balanced offensive attack of Minnesota. Still, Pittsburgh hasn't lost yet at home, and I think this is the week the Vikings drop from the ranks of the undefeated.

Colts at Rams: Historically, the Colts seem to come out flat after a break in their momentum (bye week, first-round playoff bye), so if they were playing any other team, I would say they should be very careful. But with a team as bad as the Rams have been, I think Indy can afford to start slow out of the gate and still stay in control. Hopefully it will be a better game than I anticipate, but I still say the Colts win.

Patriots vs. Buccaneers (in London): With a long road trip to a neutral field, I like to think that anything can happen. But after watching the smackdown the Pats put on Tennessee last week, I've got a pretty good idea I know what's in store for Tampa today. The Bucs have resorted back to their old days as the Yucks, and I don't think a trip across the pond is going to do anything for them. Pats win big.

Bills at Panthers: Had it not been for a pitiful showing by Mark Sanchez last week, the Bills would have zero momentum heading into this matchup. Still they don't have much, averaging just nine points a game over their past four. The Panthers, meanwhile, are still far from a complete team, but they've been looking better since their early bye. I think they continue their winning streak with a win against a lackluster Buffalo team. This is my eliminator pick of the week.

Jets at Raiders: Even though Sanchez has been reminding us that he is still a rookie during the past couple of games, Thomas Jones has been proving that he still has a lot left in the tank. The veteran rolled up over 200 rushing yards in last week's loss to the Bills, and I think New York rides him to a victory against Oakland this week. The Raiders are still bad despite some signs of life against the Eagles last week. They still haven't scored more than 13 points in a game since Week 1.

Bears at Bengals: This is one of those matchups that I think could either way. Neither one of these teams has really shown me that they have what it takes to make a good run, yet both are finding ways to win. Each is coming off a tough loss, so they'll both be very motivated. Despite hanging out with a huge Bears fan last night, I'm going to give the edge to the home team. I'm not sure the Bengals are better, but they seem to be running the ball well, and controlling the clock with the fans behind you I think can go a long way.

Falcons at Cowboys: Atlanta seems to heating up at the right time this season, and I think they need this victory if they want to be ready for next week when they face division-rival New Orleans. The Cowboys have had their moments so far this season, but they've shown just as much ineptitude. I don't think they have enough weapons to contain or keep up with the Falcons at this point.

Saints at Dolphins: At 5-0, and with only three more games on the schedule against teams that look to be bound for the playoffs, I'm convinced the Saints are the real deal this year. Drew Brees started the season looking absolutely unhuman, then they won a couple with defense and the running game, so they seem to be pretty well-rounded. The Dolphins have their upside, but I don't think the wildcat will fool teams forever. I say New Orleans keeps the streak alive, at least for one more week.

Cardinals at Giants: After running all over their first five opponents, the Giants were pretty much embarrassed last week by the Saints. The Cardinals are 2-0 on the road so far this season, but I think their games are won or lost on the performance of Kurt Warner. This week, with Anquan Boldin kind of banged up, I think New York will have his number. The G-Men still have a knack for rushing the passer, and without a consistent running game, I think the Cardinals will struggle in this one. I'll take the Giants at home.

Eagles at Redskins: I'm not sure exactly what happened to the Eagles last week, but for some reason they could muster only field goals against an Oakland team they should have destroyed. After coming off that head-scratching loss, the last thing they can afford to do is lose to the Skins, a team that appears to be in total disarray. Over their past five games, Washington is 2-3 against teams with a combined record of 4-25, so I have to wonder what's going on down there. In a division rivalry, anything can happen, but I really feel that Philly is a much better team. I'll go with my gut on this one.

Friday, October 16, 2009

NFL Week 6 picks

Here are this week's winners (according to me, anyway)

Rams at Jaguars: The Jags looked awful last week against Seattle, but that seems to just be a continuation of the team's up-and-down trend of this season. The Rams on the other hand have been consistently bad all year. I'll take Jacksonville.

Giants at Saints: In a matchup of two unbeaten teams, this one is going to be a really great game. The Giants have done so much despite a ton of injuries, and I think their streak continues here. The Saints are going to be a tough opponent, but I'll stick with the G-Men.

Panthers at Buccaneers: Carolina snuck out a win last week, and Tampa is still looking for its first W. I don't think they find it this week either. Neither one of these teams is very good, but I'll give the edge to Carolina.

Ravens at Vikings: Minnesota has been rolling so far this season, while Baltimore has hit a couple of bumps the past two weeks against the Pats and Bengals. It's hard to imagine a team as good as the Ravens losing three straight, but I still need to go with Minnesota in this one. They'll find tough running against the stingy Baltimore D, but I think they come out on top.

Lions at Packers: Detroit is looking better each week and I expect another good fight out of them in this one. That said, when the weather turns cold, it gets pretty tough to win at Lambeau, and the Packers are a longtime rival. This isn't one of the four games I picked the Lions to win this year, so I'm going to go with Green Bay.

Texans at Bengals: Cincinnati continues to surprise me this season, winning games I didn't give them a chance in. If Houston can put together a few big plays, this game will be close, but I'm going to jump on the Bengals bandwagon and say they earn another win at home.

Browns at Steelers: This one should be a no contest. The Steelers are developing a nasty trend of going to sleep in the fourth quarter, but I think they should be far enough ahead in this one that it won't matter. Cleveland's win last week against Buffalo didn't really do anything to disprove my theory that they are a really bad team; it really just illustrated that the Bills are worse than I thought. Seriously, 23 yards passing and you win? Horrible. Pittsburgh will destroy them.

Chiefs at Washington: The Redskins have ended the losing streaks of both the Lions and Panthers and snuck out wins against the Rams and Bucs (a combined 0-10). The fact that the Skins are only 2-3 with that kind of cakewalk schedule doesn't give me much confidence in them. This week, they face yet another winless team, and I'm going to roll the dice and say that Washington's trend continues with the Chiefs getting in the win column, too.

Cardinals at Seahawks: In the two games that Matt Hasselbeck has played healthy, Seattle has shut out its opponents. I expected more out of Jacksonville last week, and the Seahawks thumped them. The Cards have been streaky so far, and not winning convincingly when they do. I'm going to say that Seattle is a better team with Hasselbeck and give them the win.

Eagles at Raiders: It's amazing how far the Raiders have fallen in just a few years. They aren't good at all, and even with the cross-country trip from Philly, I think the Eagles will dominate this game. McNabb didn't show any ill effects from his rib injury last week, and this one should be an easy win.

Bills at Jets: As I said earlier, the Bills were exposed last week by Cleveland for just how inept their offense is. The Jets have played a couple of tough games recently, but what they showed early in the season is enough for me to think that they are the better team in this matchup. I'll give them the fairly easy win at home.

Titans at Patriots: My preseason prediction for the Titans was so far from correct it's not even funny at this point. At 0-5, Tennessee is in desperate need of a victory if they have any shot at a postseason berth. Unfortunately for them, I don' think they're going to find that much-needed win in Foxborough. The Patriots, although not quite as good as in years past, still have a way of getting the job done, and I think they take this one and keep the Titans winless.

Bears at Falcons: I honestly didn't expect the Bears to be 3-1 at this point, but after a shaky Week 1, they've really come to life and are coming off a bye this week. The Falcons are also 3-1 and coming off a lopsided victory against San Fran. In this one, I'll give the edge to the home team. It will be a good game, but Atlanta has too many offensive weapons and I don't think Chicago will be able to keep up.

Broncos at Chargers: I keep waiting for Denver to lose because I don't really think they're good enough to be an undefeated team, but somehow they keep proving me wrong. Still, this is one bandwagon I'm refusing to jump aboard. With a rookie running back and head coach and Kyle Orton at the helm, the streak can't go on forever. San Diego should be well rested and well prepared after last week's bye, and I think they will give Denver's record its first blemish.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

NFL Week 5 predictions

Generally, I like to make my predictions earlier than Sunday morning before game time. Unfortunately this week, I found that there's something about a Friday evening spent with Busch Light and $2 Cabernet Sauvignon that completely destroys the ability to think clearly on a Saturday. So, waiting until the last minute, here are my picks for this week:

Bengals at Ravens: The Bengals have won some close ones this year and have already exceeded most people's expectations of sucess for the season. That said, Baltimore is the better team, and should win this one.

Browns at Bills: Tough one. Both of these teams are no good, but I'll stay with earlier assessment of the Browns being one of the worst clubs in football and take the Bills at home in this one.

Redskins at Panthers: You have to figure that with the talent at the running back position that both of these teams possess, they would eventually be able to work out a way to control a game. Yet, it hasn't happened yet for either one. I'll take Carolina here in what should be an error-filled game.

Steelers at Lions: I've been surprisingly encouraged by what I've seen so far this year out of Detroit, at least to the extent that I don't think they should be considered a gimme for losing each week. But I think the Steelers are still better this week and should get a victory here.

Cowboys at Chiefs: Dallas isn't really all that good this year (as evidenced by Emmitt Smith's preseason prediction of a 7-9 team), but I think the Chiefs continue to look more abyssmal each week. So the Cowboys should come out of this one with a W.

Raiders at Giants: Even with Eli slowed with a bum wheel, the Giants should take this game. The Raiders just don't seem motivated to move the ball offensively this season.

Buccaneers at Eagles: Top to bottom, I would say the Eagles are the better football team in this matchup. Tampa doesn't have much to boast about at any position on the field, and Philly should rally around the return of Donovan McNabb for an easy win.

Vikings at Rams: This is a lopsided game. Minnesota looks to be one of the most well-rounded teams in the league, while St. Louis is one-dimensional at best. The Vikings get the equivalent of a forfeit win this week.

Falcons at 49ers: These next two are kind of tough to pick this week. Atlanta and San Fran have both played really quality games so far this year and this one should be a thriller. If you like hard-nosed, grind-it-out kind of football that is. Anyway, I think that the Niners will put up a good fight defensively, but in they will be outmatched as far as offensive weapons are concerned with Atlanta. Falcons to win a close one.

Texans at Cardinals: It's hard to predict whether or not either one of these teams is going to show up ready to play from week to week. Both have looked really good, and really bad. This week, I'll take the home team in a high-scoring affair.

Patriots at Broncos: If it's possible, the Broncos are the worst undefeated team in the league. The first few games were against seemingly bad teams, and last week they beat the Cowboys in what I think was somewhat of a fluke. But the Patriots don't seem to lose a lot of fluke games. I'll take the Pats to win this one.

Jaguars at Seahawks: I thought that the Seahawks would be much better than they have been this year. Sure they've had more than their share of injuries already, but they don't seem to have the luster of a winning team. The Jags started out bad but seem to be building momentum. I'll take them to continue their roll and win on the road.

Colts at Titans: I said last week that I would just keep picking the Titans until they eventually won. Of course, I said that because I thought they would win. This week, I need to back off of that statement and pick Indy. The Colts just don't show much sign of slowing right now.

Jets at Dolphins: I expected that the loss of Chad Pennington would doom the Fins this season, but last week they still had a solid outing without him. Of course, it was against a poor Buffalo team. This week should be a little tougher. The Jets looked great up until last week when they met a better Saints club. I think they get back on track this week and do enough to beat Miami.

In summary, it seems like I've picked quite a few road teams this week. Always dangerous, so there could be some upsets if home teams can get the crowds behind them with some big plays early. We'll just have to watch and see.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

NFL Week 4 picks...

Since I'm kind of waiting until the last minute to do this and I kind of want to go to bed, I'll forego the analysis and just post my picks. There's really no reason for me to do this every week except for I like to go on the record about something, and if I pick a major upset correctly, I like to be able to prove it afterward. So here goes:

I don't think it's a gimme, but I'll take the Bears over the Lions

The Colts easily over Seattle

I'm just going to keep picking Tennessee until they win. This week, they beat Jacksonville

Lock of the week: Giants over Kansas City

Redskins over Tampa. If they can't win this one, they are in serious trouble.

One of the tougher picks of the week, I'll take Baltimore to win in New England

Houston at home over the Raiders

Cincinnati to beat Cleveland (might vote for worst team in the league)

I'll take Buffalo on the road against Miami.

Saints at home against the Jets. It's time someone really tested that New York defense.

Dallas to end Denver's winning streak. The cakewalk is over.

A resurgent 49ers team over the Rams

Pittsburgh to get back on track in a tough game against the Chargers.

Minnesota at home over Green Bay on Monday.