The Mercury Morris Watch is on, as there are two undefeated teams left with four games to go. Will the Saints and/or the Colts pull it off, or will there be a collapse this week at the hands of the Broncos or Falcons? Well see on Sunday. As for my picks this year, last week killed me and my Locks of the Week haven’t been so solid either. As the Cubs fans say, wait ’til next year. Home teams in CAPS.
Steelers (-9.5) over BROWNS
Sure, the Steelers have not been playing too well lately, but that doesn’t make them this close to the Browns. Polamalu is out for the Steelers, but Brady Quinn is in for the Browns. It’s that simple.
FALCONS (+9.5) over Saints (with Turner or Ryan healthy)
The Falcons may be out of the playoffs for the most part, but this is their season. Can they stop the undefeated Saints, or at least, keep it in single digits? The Saints just came off a near loss, if not for a missed 23 yard field goal by the now cut Shaun Suisham. I can’t give a team with Matt Ryan and Michael Turner this many points and still expect to win. My one stipulation for this pick is that if Ryan and Turner are both out, I’m going with the Saints.
Packers (-3.5) over BEARS
I absolutely hate the Packers as a team this year, especially with Aaron Kampman and Al Harris out for the year, but I have to pick them if I only have to give just over a field goal. The Bears are horrid, even at home. Without Brian Urlacher, the Bear’s defense won’t be able to stop Aaron Rodgers and his long release time.
Broncos (+7.5) over COLTS
On a side note, if the Colts win the Super Bowl this year, it will officially be the worst year in Boston sports history, ever. The biggest three rivals in the three biggest Bostonian sports (Lakers, Yankees, and Colts) will have won a championship. So, after coming off five straight tough games, the Colts may be relieved to see a falling Broncos on their schedule. Most people would call this a trap game.
CHIEFS (-.5) over Bills
The Who Cares game of the week. Only difference between them is one team has a semi-competent quarterback (the Chiefs) while one has a QB from Harvard (Bills). Case closed.
Jets (-3.5) over BUCCANEERS
Rex Ryan brought in Yankees skipper Joe Girardi to teach Mark Sanchez how to slide last week. When Sanchez arrived to a sliding situation last week against the Bills, he dove and tore a ligament in his knee. That makes two below-average coaches in the greater New York area. I hate picking Kellen Clemens to win a game, but after Josh Freeman’s performance last week, I have to pick him to win here. To be clear, I would rather have Freeman than Sanchez, but the Jets are far more talented than the Bucs.
Dolphins (+2.5) over JAGUARS
The Dolphins are a hard team to figure out. They’ve beat the Pats but lost to the Bills. They have the Wildcat, but no Ronnie Brown. The Jaguars, on the other hand have been consistently mediocre. Home Field Advantage shouldn’t play a major role in the game, as 15,000 fans usually don’t. I think the Dolphins can contain Maurice Jones-Drew for the most part, and keep rolling on.
RAVENS (-13.5) over Lions
Historically, the Ravens have been an up-and-down team. Over the last 5 years, they have finished the season with 11, 5, 13, 6, and 9 wins. That would mean that this would be a down year. I loved them at the start of the year, and they continued the trend. I certainly love them against the Lions, though.
TEXANS (-6.5) over Seahawks
If the Texans want to make the playoffs or get above .500 for the first time in franchise history, they’re going to have to beat teams like the Seahawks. They need this, and they will get it.
Bengals (+6.5) over VIKINGS
This is just the game that the Bengals show up to win, on the road when everyone doubts them. Brett Favre will be hitting his annual winter wall as he stops the touchdown throwing and starts up the interceptions. If you’re going to give me nearly a TD, I’ll take it.
Panthers (+13.5) over PATRIOTS
Oh, Geez. I can’t pick against the Patriots normally and especially after a loss, let along two, but this is way too many points to give up. The Dolphins just broke the Pats streak of wins after a loss that lasted since 2002. Matt Moore is giving the Panthers somewhat of a spark on offense, so I’ll take the Cats with the nearly two touchdown.
Rams (+12.5) over TITANS
Who ever made the Titans good? They were dreadful for the first six games, then Vince Young decided to play, which wasn’t too hard against pretty bad teams. Now they’ve been exposed by the Colts. I am NOT giving them 12. points here…. this is the Lock of the Week.
Redskins (-2.5) over RAIDERS
Neither team is even decent, although both showed up last week. The ‘Skins were in it the entire game against the undefeated Saints and the Raiders came up with yet another win over a much better team. I still think the Redskins have more talent, especially in the defense, so I’ll take them.
Chargers (+3.5) over COWBOYS
The Cowboys are getting way too much love here, especially in December. Every NFL fan, especially Cowboys fans, knows that Dallas does NOT play well in December. San Diego fans know that the Chargers are fantastic in December. They also have way more talent. This is a really easy game to pick.
Eagles (+.5) over GIANTS
The winner of this game will likely win the NFC East, so this is a very, very important game. The Giants are hurting on defense, and the Eagles are on the top of their game. I’ll take the Iggles with the useless half point.
CARDINALS (-3.5) over 49ers
Like the Packers game, I don’t like the team I’m picking, but I dislike the team they’re playing even more. I like the Niners a bit more than the Bears, but a field goal in near to nothing to give up.
Last Week: 5-11
Lock of the Week: 6-6