Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Football picks week 3

I like to get my picks in early...some may change if some players get better and rejoin their teams. Or if Adrian Peterson suffers a lawnmower accident and is out for Sunday. Barring that, here goes...(by the way, I'm 24-8 straight up so far, and 19-13 against the spread)

Cleveland at Baltimore (13.5): The Browns were embarassed by Denver last week. Hammered. By the Broncos. That indicates to me that they are an absolutely dreadful team, and I think that their QB situation is still not fully decided. That, and the Ravens are possibly the best team in football right now. I think this one's a lock, but I'm not picking it in my suicide pool because anything can happen in a division game. Ravens to cover and win big. Ravens, 33-14. Verdict (Ravens, 34-3): Ravens won, covered spread, hammered the Browns. How did the Browns even score three points against this defense? Derek Anderson had 92 yards passing. And his completion percentage was above 50. The Ravens really are a legitimate Super Bowl contender, even this early in the season.

Tennessee at New York Jets (2.5): There are serious problems with the Titans. Who would have thought that the team with the best record last season would be 0-2? Or that the Jets, who lost Favre and are starting a rookie QB, would be 2-0? I certainly wouldn't. But I'm not entirely sold on the Jets yet. I think they spent the entire offseason preparing for the Patriots, and they caught them at a great time as New England is still trying to find their way. I think this game will be a matter of pride for the Titans. Titans, 21-20. Verdict (Jets, 24-17): I really think the Titans outplayed the Jets throughout most of this game. But they couldn't close, they turned the ball over in the worst spots imaginable, and they were down 14-0 before the game really began. The Titans will be OK this year, they will win their share of the remaining games, but the playoffs are looking to be more and more distant already. I'm still not entirely sold on the Jets.

New York Giants (7.5) t Tampa Bay: I hate to take a road team as my suicide pool pick, but I think I will here. The Giants are as good as they were (right now at least) in their Super Bowl winning season, and the Buccaneers are simply abysmal. Don't start Cadillac in your fantasy pools this week. Giants, 28-17. Verdict (Giants, 24-0): Well, the Giants won, and they covered. And then some. And I remain alive in my suicide pool (although I wager everyone else is still in as well, what with no massive upsets this week). This game said nothing about either team, except that which we already knew. New York is very good. The Bucs are abysmal.

Green Bay (6.5) at St. Louis: Was last week an aberration? Or was it indicative that the Packers are still having trouble feeling out the 3-4 defense they installed for the first time this season? I don't yet know. But it doesn't matter against the Rams, who would have trouble beating my high school team. Packers, 26-13. Verdict (Packers, 36-17): doesn't matter. But giving up 17 to the Rams indicates to me that the Packers are still feeling out that defense a little. Nice to be able to tune it up against St. Louis, though, eh?

Kansas City at Philadelphia (no line): Another terrific idea for a pick in a suicide pool. I have no idea whether McNabb will be back for the Eagles. Or whether Michael Vick will see the field more than twice. Or whether Jeff Garcia will get into the mix. Or whether I'll even remember the name of that other guy three weeks from now. Again, it doesn't matter. Philadelphia can hammer the Chiefs with their fourth-string QB. And they likely will. Eagles, 35-10. Verdict (Eagles, 34-14): So they won by 20, not 25. I'm not psychic, ok? I would have thought the Eagles would put Vick in a little more simply because they were playing the Chiefs, and it's kind of like a scrimmage. So I still have no idea how dangerous Vick will be this season. But Kolb looked pretty good, at least until he is gone forever next week.

Atlanta at New England (4.5): I'm not ready to give up on New England yet. Yes, Brady appears to be tentative, and he isn't the same QB in the last two minutes of the game as he once was. Well, yet. He will get there, and although Atlanta poses a serious test, I think Brady will get it done here. Barely. Patriots, 23-22. Verdict (Patriots, 26-10): I am still not entirely back on the New England bandwagon. I'm still not sure they can beat an elite team at this point. Atlanta proved one thing - and that is that they are not yet an elite team. That's all. But they are above-average in the NFC, and this year I think that means they are very good.

San Francisco at Minnesota (7): The Niners are not getting much credit here. They are 2-0 now. And a win against the Seahawks is no gimme, nor was their season opener against the Cardinals. The Vikings, so far, have been a second half team, and no one is going to slow down Adrian Peterson, but the Niners are not a touchdown worse than the Vikes, even on the road. Not right now. Vikings, 28-23. Verdict (Vikings, 27-24): Well, I was right about the win and the spread. But wow. So, Brett Favre, eh?

Jacksonville at Houston (4): The close-fought loss to the Colts in Week One appeared to take a lot of the wind out of the sails of the Jaguars. I am predicting it will take them one more week to get it back, and the Texans are flying high after their win over Tennessee. I hate betting big on the Texans, because they will always have the capacity to lay a giant egg, but I don't think it will happen this week. I think. Texans, 31-21. Verdict (Jaguars 31-24): I think wrong. It did happen. It happened this week. The Texans laid a giant egg. It doesn't matter how you lose, but a fumble recovery in the end zone? That's a pretty bad way to do it. Look for the Texans to spend the rest of the year covering the spread against every good team and not covering the spread against the bad ones.

Washington (6) at Detroit: All those McDonalds-working Washington fans won't be around to boo their team this week. The Lions fans will be around to boo theirs, though. This could be the one game in the past 20 where the Lions have a legitimate chance to win, taking advantage of a team that is playing very poorly. The Skins beat the Rams by 2 points, and I think the Lions are at least as good as the Rams. Redskins, 14-12. Verdict (Lions, 19-14): Who woulda guessed? The Lions are better than the Rams. And the Skins have been over-rated this season. Not any more. They will now be rated accurately - as an awful team.

New Orleans (5.5) at Buffalo: I know the Bills are 1-1 (and should be 2-0), but is anyone really looking that hard at their almost-win against New England now? Like that makes them that good? Terrell Owens will have a monster day against the porous Saints defense, yes. So will every other member of the Bills offense. But it will not matter. Drew Brees will throw for four more touchdowns, the Saints will rush for 150 yards, and they will batter Buffalo. Saints, 44-30. Verdict (Saints, 27-7): Well, they certainly beat the Bills by a bunch. But seriously, Buffalo? You could muster a mere seven points against this defense? And even that came on a fake field goal? Really? And holding that offense to 27 points is actually fairly impressive. It would have been more so had the Bills' offense come along for the ride. No TDs for Brees, but 190 yards on the ground.

Chicago (1.5) at Seattle: The Seahawks, so far this season, have shown nothing of interest. They have done nothing to indicate that they are able to take the next step and get back to the middle of the pack. The Bears bounced back from a disasterous opening week, they pulled together without Brian Urlacher, and if Jay Cutler has found his rhythm (and I think he has) they ought to dismantle Seattle. Bears, 23-17. Verdict (Bears, 25-19): Well, the Bears didn't exactly dismantle Seattle. And toward the end, the Bears really looked as though they were desperate to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But on the plus side, I managed to accurately predict the spread, and was almost bang-on with the score.

Pittsburgh (4.5) at Cincinnati: Was last week an aberration? For either team? Do the Steelers miss Polamalu that much? Are the Bengals really capable of beating a top-tier team? Are the Packers even a top-tier team at all? I think Pittsburgh really is in trouble, and they need to find their running game desperately. And I think the Bengals have a lot of confidence right now. Not enough to win, but enough to make it close. Steelers, 22-20. Verdict (Bengals, 23-20): Well, I was right about Cincy covering the least...the thing is, Pittsburgh really did find their running game in this one. At least for a while. But the Bengals have that heart, they have that confidence, and that last-minute drive for a touchdown was the kind upon which this team might be able to build a season.

Denver at Oakland (1.5): The Broncos are 2-0 now. Seriously. And I still think they are the worst team in football. Oakland has actually looked fairly good in the first two games. And although the schedule remains incredibly easy, as easy as is possible in the NFL, this week, they will not go 3-0. God, I hope not. I would be so wrong if they did! Raiders, 23-15. Verdict (Broncos, 23-3): I am so wrong! The Broncos, who I thought would be the worst team in football, are 3-0. They are still dreadful. I am still convinced of this. All it means is that Denver has beaten three really really lousy teams. And one decent one on one of the world's all-time flukes. And the Raiders are even worse than they once appeared.

Miami at San Diego (6.5): The Dolphins are getting little respect here, I guess because they are 0-2. But they showed some serious offensive capabilities in that Monday nighter against the Colts, and I really think San Diego doesn't care much about games outside their division. They win their division games, they win their division. It's that simple for them. Dolphins, 32-30. Verdict (Chargers, 23-13): When Pennington went down, it was all over. Without him, the Dolphins will not win this game. Although they showed a little grit toward the end. It does show, however, how much the wildcat relies on the people who know it best staying healthy.

Indianapolis (1.5) at Arizona: The toughest game of the week to call, I think. The Colts have that incredible quick-strike offense, but the Cardinals do too. The Colts have looked a little porous on defense this season, but then so have the Cards. I think this game will come down to the last possession, and I think Peyton Manning has a little bit more of a shot to put that final possession in the end zone than does Kurt Warner. Colts, 29-27. Verdict (Colts, 31-10): Just like last season, when the Cardinals look bad, they look awful. Now, Manning and the offense look like they are in full form - Addai and Wayne and Brown and Garcon look amazing right now, and I just don't see anyone beating the Colts in the coming weeks. Also amazing - Dwight Freeney and that front four.

Carolina at Dallas (9): Seriously? I know it's Monday night, in that new Dallas stadium and all, but NINE points? Against a Panthers team who was far better than the Cowboys were last season? I highly doubt it. I think the Cowboys must win this game, for their own pride. But I'm not sure they have a huge amount of that. I'm betting they don't. Panthers, 16-14. Verdict (Cowboys, 21-7): I am still not buying into the Cowboys. And I still don't think they are nine points better than the Panthers. But Delhomme needs to show that he isn't inept, and that Panthers defense needs to stiffen up long before their opponents get into the end zone. If Julius Peppers really gets going, this season could look a whole lot different after the bye week. But boy, do they need that bye week.

This week, I am 9-7 straight up, and 10-6 ATS. That makes me 33-15 straight up and 29-19 ATS so far this season. I'm pleased with the spread numbers, but not so much with the straight-up ones.

No comments:

Post a Comment