Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NFL picks week 8.

Seattle at Dallas (9.5): Which Tony Romo will show up? The one who torched the Falcons last week, or the one who played the other five games for the Cowboys this season? I don't think it matters. The Seahawks are weak and just getting weaker. But they aren't 10 points weaker than Dallas. Cowboys, 27-20. Verdict (Cowboys, 38-17): I didn't think the 'Boys would stomp Seattle this badly, but all those injuries on the Seahawks are taking their toll in a big way. This will be a pretty bad team from here on in.

St. Louis at Detroit (no line): Well, this is the game everyone will be recording on their PVR, isn't it? Or not...the Lions have a chance to win two games, which is better than most thought they could do. This might also be the best chance the Rams have for a victory all season. My bet is that they won't get it. Lions, 21-20. Verdict (Rams, 17-10): Barnburner! Now Tampa Bay is the only winless team. And the only one with a chance to match last year's Lions!

Miami at New York Jets (4): The Jets looked incredible while thumping the Raiders last week, but then it was the Raiders. Miami looked incredible (for the first half) against the Saints. I'll take one half of terrific football against New Orleans over ten games of terrific football against Oakland. Miami wins this one as long as they can hang on in the 4th quarter. Dolphins, 33-30. Verdict (Dolphins 30-25): Pretty darn close. The Dolphins' wildcat didn't look terribly effective against a tough Jets defense, but Ted Ginn is worth something after all! He sure can't catch, but if he does that every week, keep the man around! Even if he does it once a year, keep him around!

San Francisco at Indianapolis (11): Poor Niners. They had a chance for a big comeback win over the Texans, but fell just short. Now they have to go to Indy, where they will be running into the Peyton Manning buzzsaw offense and a pretty darn good defense. The Niners will need to throw the ball well to stay in this game - but they haven't thrown for more than 200 yards all season. It won't happen this week. Colts, 37-24. Verdict (Colts, 18-14): Those Niners made it pretty dang tough. I like San Fran still, and I think they will have a reasonably successful season, but the Colts proved at the end that the Niners are still not in Indy's league, even when they have an off day.

Cleveland at Chicago (13.5): Just the tonic the Bears need to wash the taste of last week's beating out of their mouth. The Bengals crushed Chicago about as thoroughly as one team can beat another. As did the Packers, to the Browns. The Bears are a better team. Much, much better than the Browns, who are putrid. Bears, 20-6. Verdict (Bears, 30-6): Close, again. The Browns are indeed putrid.

Denver at Baltimore (3.5): The Ravens have lost three in a row, thanks to questionable officiating in the first two (against very good teams) and a last-second missed field goal against the then-undefeated Vikings. What this means is that the Ravens are not as good as we thought they were three games in. But they are awfully close. And coming off the bye, they are going to turn things around. It starts with Denver at home, and another undefeated team comes back down to earth. But the Broncos will cover. Ravens, 17-14. Verdict (Ravens, 30-7): Well, I picked the Broncos to cover. And they sure didn't. I think it's back down to earth time for Denver, and the Ravens are headed back to the top of the league. Finally.

New York Giants at Philadelphia (3): A lot depends on the health of Brian Westbrook, who suffered a concussion on Monday night against the Redskins. And who would have thought the Giants would lose two in a row after starting 5-0? Who would think they could lose three in a row? Well, me. If Westbrook is healthy, the Eagles win this game. I'm betting he will be. Eagles, 36-31. Verdict (Eagles, 40-17): Even without Westbrook, the Eagles hammered the Giants. After that Saints game, it looks like every team knows just how to exploit the Giants defense, which has been hurt by some injuries. Things aren't looking up in NY.

Houston (3.5) at Buffalo: The Texans sure are Jeckyll and Hyde. I'm thinking, however, that the Bad Texans showed up in the second half against the 49ers, and therefore it's out of their system for this game against the weak Bills. Despite some surprising wins against better teams, the Bills are still terrible. Texans, 24-17. Verdict (Texans, 31-10): Houston is, again, Jekyll and Hyde. This time, Hyde showed up in the first half, while Jekyll pulled out a destructive attack in the second. If this team could put a full game together, they'd be formidable.

4:00 -- Jacksonville at Tennessee (3): The Titans are, without a doubt, the biggest disappointment of the season. They have looked absolutely dreadful in just about every single game, since taking the Steelers to overtime in Week One. Both these teams are coming off a bye, so there is no edge there. But the Titans are coming off a bye and a 59-point drubbing at the hands of the Patriots. If nothing else, they have had two weeks to find a way to restore their pride. I'm betting they have done so. Titans, 21-17. Verdict (Titans, 30-13): The Jaguars are awful. Simply awful. A little bit (a very small amount) of pride is back in Tennessee.

Oakland at San Diego (16.5): The Raiders are back where they should be - getting hammered by teams like the Jets. And the Chargers are back where they should be - destroying teams like the Chiefs. Kansas City and Oakland are similar teams. So this game should end with a similar result. Chargers, 33-13. Verdict (Chargers, 24-16): You just can't trust those Chargers to cover a spread, ever. And you also can't count on the Raiders to lie down and take it when they ought to. Big win, however, for San Diego.

Minnesota at Green Bay (3): I'm holding my breath here. I am picking against the Vikings for the second straight week. I have yet to be wrong on a Vikings game all season, and they looked pretty darn good even in losing to the Steelers last week. The Packers looked fantastic against the Browns, but then that's a poor indicator of their actual level. I thought Minnesota would win in Minnesota, and I thought the Pack would win in Green Bay. I still think that. Packers, 23-21. Verdict (Vikings, 38-26): It looked like a blowout for a while, but Aaron Rogers and the Pack are a tough bunch. I loved the way Rodgers played in this game, but Favre always seems to rise to the occasion, doesn't he?

Sunday night -- Carolina at Arizona (9): The Cardinals are coming on, in a big way. The Panthers are falling farther and farther every week. But I think they still have some pride left and will make it fairly close. Cardinals 29-22. Verdict (Panthers, 34-21): Maybe it was moving the game to make room for the World Series. Or maybe it was just the Cardinals having a really, really off day. Either way, this one seems to be more of an anomaly than anything else. Delhomme outplays Warner, by a lot. On what planet?

Monday night -- Atlanta at New Orleans (8.5): This will be something of a test for the Saints. But if they get through this game with a win (and I think they will), then they will be playing Carolina, Tampa and St. Louis in weeks 9 10 and 11. Which means we will see them go to 10-0. Saints, 38-28. Verdict (Saints, 35-27): Darn close. If only the Falcons had gone for the TD instead of the field goal at the end there, and missed...anyway. Now the Saints have won games every possible way this year, even those games (this one) where they tried to give it away. The Falcons could prove to be the toughest opponent the Saints face all season, as they steamroll through a pretty easy schedule from here on in.

I am 10-3 this week straight up (79-37 overall) and 7-6 against the spread this week (65-50-1 overall).

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