Around Week 10, we have found out if teams with good record just had a hot start or are for real. Two teams that would fit that bill are the Broncos and Bengals. Are they for real? Maybe, maybe not. The Bengals have swept their season series with Baltimore and will put themselves in position for a division title if they beat the Steelers. The Broncos, on the other hand, will make us wait until Week 11 when they play the Chargers. Remember, there is still space on the Bengal Bandwagon. Home teams in CAPS.
49ERS (-3.5) over Bears
In the first game of Thursday Night Football, two mediocre teams face off to see who can stay near .500 for the longest. The Bears are at 4-4 and the Niners at 3-5, but really, San Fran is better. The Bears have no defense ever since Brian Urlacher has been out for the year. Alex Smith may not be that bad. He was drafted at age 20. Give him some time and he will succeed.
Saints (-13.5) over RAMS
The Saints nearly lost last week while the Rams had the week off. The Saints played the Panthers and their number one pass defense (at the time). The Rams have the 22nd ranked pass defense. No contest here, the only concern is if the Saints will cover the spread.
DOLPHINS (-9.5) over Buccaneers
The Dolphins may be the best 3-5 team in the past few years. They have two running backs in the top 20 rushing leaders and an incredibly hard to defend Wildcat offense. The Bucs won their first game of the year under rookie Josh Freeman. My message to the Bucs: don’t get cocky…you’re going to lose.
VIKINGS (-16.5) over Lions
Minny had 2 weeks to think about their loss at Heinz Field and the Lions had one week to think about how they blew a 17 point lead to the Seahawks, eventually losing by 12. The Vikings lost valiantly. The Lions lost horrifically. You know how this will end, and that’s not well for the Lions’ D and Kevin Smith with his mostly healed shoulder.
Jaguars (+6.5) over JETS
Just in case you didn’t know, the Jaguars are 4-4, the same record as the J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! Also, when was the last time Mark Sanchez played the game in cold weather? Home in October isn’t cold. And he played college and high school ball in Cali. It’s going to hit lows in the 40s in East Rutherford. Gimme the Jags with the points.
TITANS (-6.5) over Bills
The Bills are bad. T.O. has destroyed yet another locker room and Lee Evans is a shell of his old self. The running game is the only semi-bright spot on the team with the tandem of Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson. Unfortunately, the Titans can stop the run. Also, Tennessee is undefeated since Jeff Fisher donned that Peyton Manning at a fundraiser with Tony Dungy saying, “I just wanted to feel like a winner today.” This will make him a winner for the third straight week.
Bengals (+6.5) over STEELERS
How much does a team have to do to get some respect? The Bengals beat the Ravens twice, Green Bay, Chicago and the Steelers. This team has accumulated five 1st-rounders on defense and Chad Ochocinco and Cedric Benson are on fire this year. This will prove to people that the Bengals are truly for real, if they haven’t convinced people already.
BRONCOS (-4.5) over Redskins
The only thing the Broncos haven’t done this year is win in Baltimore and versus Pittsburgh, and they shouldn’t be disappointed in either loss. The Redskins, on the other hand, are awful. They lost to the Lions, Panthers, and Chiefs. Their top two offensive weapons, Chris Cooley and Clinton Portis. My only question about this game is who came up with this ridiculous line? The Lock of the Week
Falcons (-1.5) over PANTHERS
Both teams had high hopes going into the season and both teams have been very disappointing. The loser of this game is pretty much done for the year so both teams really need this division game. In reality, the Falcons are better, seeing as the Panthers couldn’t hold a two touchdown lead last game.
Chiefs (+1.5) over RAIDERS
The Chiefs finally rid themselves of troublesome running back Larry Johnson, a move fantasy owners, including yours truly, did weeks ago. New starter Jamaal Charles will get a great chance at a second impression as he faces off against the 29th run defense. One side note is that the Raiders number one pick Darren McFadden will make his first appearance since his Week 4 knee injury.
CHARGERS (-2.5) over Eagles
This would be the Game of the Week, if not for the Pats/Colts game. You get two high-powered offenses and two declining defense. In other words, we’ll have a shoot-out here. I believe more in the Chargers’ skill players, LT, Darren Sproles, Antonio Gates, and Vincent Jackson, than inexperienced first and second year players for the Eagles: LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin. I usually ignore spreads under three, so I’ll take the Bolts here.
Seahawks (-8.5) over CARDINALS
This is a bad game to watch. The Cardinals have been up and down and so have the Seahawks. But if you take a closer look at the Cardinals, they are 4-0 on the road and 1-3 at home. In fact, they have been dreadful at home, including 20-16, 31-10, and 34-21 versus the 49ers, Colts, and Panthers respectively. Therefore, seeing as the Cards are at home, I’ll take the ‘Hawks and the points.
Cowboys (-2.5) over PACKERS
Here’s something to chew on: what is good about the Packers? Greg Jennings is having a down year, Aaron Rodgers is on pace to fall just short of David Carr’s sack record, and they are 4-4. The Cowboys are finally showing up with big play threats Miles Austin, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice finally showing up. This line is way to small to contain the Cowboys.
Patriots (+2.5) over COLTS
Ahhh, the Game de Jour. The undefeated but overly injured Colts face off against the two-loss but red hot Patriots. Tom Brady seems to be back in 2008 form, and they are not a team to mess with. He will be able to pick his way through the Indy secondary that is missing Pro-Bowlers Bob Sanders and Marlin Jackson. This will be a 100% fantastic game to watch. But how can you pass up the Pats with points?
Ravens (-10.5) over BROWNS
Who ever scheduled this Monday Night game should be ashamed of themselves. The Ravens get back on track and the Browns stay on their losing track.
Last Week: 8-5
Lock of the Week: 4-4