I never thought that not writing would benefit me so much. Two of the last three weeks, I haven’t submitted any football picks. That was the best choice I made relating to football all season. Week 5 I was 4-6 picking college football, bringing my record to 25-15 (yikes) and 7-7 picking NFL which brings my NFL record to 36-26 (WTF!) Goodness that is pathetic. Someone was on their high horse before the season saying he was going to pick 75% of the games correct. I said last week if I didn’t turn things around I might need a pep talk from Dr. Lou. If I don’t put up a good week this week, it’s time for that pep talk.
I think there are two main reasons my picks have been atrocious.
Reason One: I’ve been working tirelessly on an NBA preview which is without question the best thing I have ever written in my blog, and most likely my entire life. You are in for a serious treat two days from now.
Reason Two: The NFL and College Football seasons have been more unpredictable than ever. To illustrate this, I raise a point about each. The last remaining undefeated team in the NFL was the Kansas City Chiefs, who were 3-0 at the time. A Kansas City Chiefs team which was nowhere close to the playoffs last year. In college football, the two teams who most experts predicted would play in the BCS Championship (Oh crap, I forgot! No mentioning BCS. I broke my own rule) have gone down in back to back weeks (Alabama to South Carolina and Ohio State to Wisconsin.) Those aren’t the only instances. Underdogs are having a field day considering in the NFL there are only two truly crappy teams, Buffalo and Carolina. The saying “Any Given Sunday” or Saturday, applies more this year than ever.
So how do I possibly decide who is going to win this week? Well, I’m going to pick college games as usual. But for NFL, I want to talk out what I feel about each game. Think of it as a self-help pep talk. And if worst comes to worst, we bring Dr. Lou in next week.
Michigan St. over Northwestern
Notre Dame over Navy
Auburn over LSU
Wisconsin over Iowa
Nebraska over Oklahoma St.
Clemson over Georgia Tech
Kentucky over Georgia
Miami over North Carolina
Missouri over Oklahoma (It's a stretch, but I say 3 weeks in a row number 1 goes down)
TCU over Air Force
Atlanta at Cincinnati- Okay, this one is easy for me. I haven’t felt strong about Cincinnati all year long. Carson Palmer is as mobile of a quarterback as Y.A. Tittle would be, right now. It’s about time people start realizing the guy stinks. Then we have Atlanta who has lost to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, which makes me both question if Atlanta is actually that good and if Philadelphia is better than I thought. In the end, I’ll take Atlanta.
Washington at Chicago- Two more consistently inconsistent teams. Washington looks terrific some games, but then get handled by the Rams. Chicago takes out Green Bay, but then goes down to Seattle. These are two teams I cannot figure out. One thing I know for sure is Chicago cannot protect Ed Norton’s brother at all. That is a major problem. However, I have faith in my team and I’m not totally sold on Washington yet. I’ll reluctantly pick Chicago.
St. Louis at Tampa Bay- Hey, what do you know? Two more teams that I can’t figure out. I like this Tampa Bay offense, even though against Pittsburgh and New Orleans they’ve been less than impressive. St. Louis, like every other team in the league looks good some weeks (wins over Washington, Seattle and San Diego) and awful other times (losses to Arizona, Oakland and Detroit). The common trend with St. Louis is their inability to win on the road. I’ll take Tampa Bay.
San Francisco at Carolina- San Francisco. Since this game doesn’t mean anything, let me give you my UFC 121 predictions.
Lesnar over Velazquez
Shields over Kampman
Thiago over Sanchez
Hamill over Ortiz
Gonzaga over Schaub
Buffalo at Baltimore- Baltimore. Sing it with me Bills fans, “Hey ay ay ay! Let’s Go Buffalo!” You’re half the season away from making history as the worst team ever.
Philadelphia at Tennessee- Alright let me break this one down real quick. Philadelphia losses to Green Bay, then win with Vick at QB at Detroit and at Jacksonville. Then they go down to Washington. And the last two weeks they get wins over San Francisco and Atlanta. Now, we look at Tennessee who beat Oakland, New York Giants, Dallas and Jacksonville and lost to Pittsburgh and Denver. What do I gain from these results? Tennessee beat Jacksonville 30-3 and Philadelphia beat Jacksonville 28-3. Tennessee is two points better than Philadelphia. Tennessee gets the win.
Jacksonville at Kansas City- For some reason I really like Kansas City. They aren’t flashy, but they do things right. They have the best rush offense in the league (hard to believe right) and the fifth best rush defense. They’ve dropped two straight, but they were both on the road and were to quality competition (Indy and Houston) and really they played both games very competitively. Jacksonville on the other hand doesn’t give me too much to be excited about, especially since Trent Edwards had to come in for David Garrard last week. Kansas City wins, and goes to 4-2.
Pittsburgh at Miami- Miami is undefeated on the road, winless at home. And Pittsburgh, who now has Big Ben back, could be considered the best team in the league. Pittsburgh wins and Miami stays winless at home.
Cleveland at New Orleans- I know New Orleans has looked far from a Super Bowl contender, but there is no cause for concern in a home game versus Cleveland and their rookie quarterback Colt McCoy. New Orleans wins big.
Arizona at Seattle- Seattle proved last week they could win on the road. Arizona proved two weeks ago they could win a fluke game at home. I hate to say it, but I kind of like this Seattle team. Not in an actual contender way, more like a “whoa, they could actually get 9 wins” way. Seattle wins at home, as expected.
New England at San Diego- Could San Diego’s time at the top of the AFC West be coming to an end? It’s not like they’ve lost to teams that are real contenders (Kansas City, Seattle, Oakland and St. Louis) and they haven’t beat anyone good either (Jacksonville and Arizona.) Their offense is dynamic, but they can’t find ways to win games like good teams should. I love the Randy Moss trade that New England made. In fact, I think getting rid of Moss and signing Deion Branch makes them better than they were with Moss. A bit of a throwback to the Patriot teams that won multiple Super Bowls in the early 2000’s, minus the good defense. I know San Diego is good at home, but I think New England continues to roll.
Oakland at Denver- Denver is a tough place to play (despite their 1-2 record at home this year.) That is solely what I’m basing this pick on. Denver beats Oakland.
Minnesota at Green Bay- This game is a win-win for me. If Chicago wins, we gain a game in the division no matter what. Minnesota is 1-1 since the Randy Moss trade, and won the Panic Bowl last week. Green Bay should be just as panicked as Minnesota. Things are going south quick for the pre-season NFC favorite. Injuries have plagued them and they just don’t look as good as expected. If Minnesota vs. Dallas was the panic bowl, then Minnesota vs. Green Bay is Panic Bowl II. I think Minnesota continues to turn things around.
New York Giants at Dallas- No logic goes into this one. Dallas was my pre-season NFC Super Bowl representative, and if they have any chance of getting there, they must win this game. Dallas wins or their season, and Wade Phillips job effectively crumble.