Here are my Week 11 picks with home teams in CAPS.
Jets (-4.5) over BRONCOS
I really want to believe in Tim Tebow for this game, especially as one of his stronger supporters since the draft. But the Jets are too strong defensively to let a banged-up Willis McGahee and Timmy Tebow ruin their season. I’ll swallow the points and take the better team.
Bills (+2.5) over DOLPHINS
It’s going to take more than two weeks to change my mind on the Dolphins. But they had better stop playing well until they place themselves well past Andrew Luck and Matt Barkely towards Robert Griffin III territory.
RAVENS (-7.5) over Bengals
Maybe I’m being stubborn. Maybe I can’t accept the quasi-success of a ginger quarterback from the Mountain West. Or maybe I just want to stick by my Super Bowl Pick. But I’m going Baltimore big in this game–as long as Jim Harbaugh keeps feeding Ray Rice the ball. In the Ravens’ three losses, Rice was given a grand total of 26 carries. That’s 10 less carries per game than he receives when B-more wins. When he gets 19 touches, they average 31.3 points per game versus 12.3 points per game when he receives less. Not to mention that Joe Flacco isn’t that good.
Jaguars (-0.5) over BROWNS
Michael Vick got a broken leg. Shaun Alexander got a broken foot. Drew Brees got Marshawn Lynch-ed. And what did Peyton Hillis get for his Madden Curse? He got to be a big, slow, white full-back.
Cowboys (-7.5) over REDSKINS
What would Rex Grossman have to do for me to pick him without getting double-digit points?
a) Play the Colts
b) Be anyone other than Rex Grossman
c) Meet a frog genie who grants him the power to throw accurate passes to his own players
Panthers (+6.5) over LIONS
I can never pick Panthers games. Ever. But since Jahvid Best is still out, and Cam Newton is the best player in this game (yes, better than you, Ndamukong Suh), I’ll take the Panthers to cover. I’ll probably come to regret this, but I can’t trust a team who just lost to the Bears by 14 and is lead in rushing by Maurice Morris.
Buccaneers (+14.5) over PACKERS
The Packers are great, but their defense is suspect. I don’t think Tampa will win, but Joshy Washy Twinkle Toes will rack up enough damage to keep this one close. Or relatively close. Basically within two touchdowns.
Raiders (+1.5) over VIKINGS
I’m breaking my rule of never picking Carson Palmer, but Christian Ponder just isn’t good. Adrian Peterson will clean be phenomenal, but not ever Thor would help win this week.
Seahawks (+2.5) over RAMS
Is there any discernible difference between the levels of crappiness of the Seahawks, Rams, and Cardinals? No? I’ll take the points, please.
NINERS (-9.5) over Cardinals
The public may not believe in John Harbaugh, but his players do. He’s turned Alex Smith into a competent quarterback, Michael Crabtree into a good starting receiver and the NFC West into a fairly respectable division. Those three accomplishments sound pretty pedestrian, but he’s taken a team threatening to land Andrew Luck to a team within sight of a first-round bye.
Titans (+6.5) over FALCONS
I’ve completely turned around on the Falcons. I thought they had a chance to go deep into the playoffs, but now I’m questioning whether Matt Ryan or Michael Turner will ever be elite players. Chris Johnson looks like he finally turned the corner–although he may have just been playing the Panthers–but I think Matt Hasselbeck will be just good enough to win in the ATL.
Chargers (+3.5) over BEARS
Games like these are why Norv Turner is not fired yet. He is such a bad motivator and leader, but his players will out-talent other teams late in the season when the catch fire. But if the Chargers can’t win the division over teams led by Palmer, Tebow, and Tyler Palko, there’s no way Turner can come back next year. Actually, unless the Chargers go to the AFC Championship Game, there’s no way Turner can come back next year.
Eagles (+3.5) over GIANTS
I’m a big supporter of Vince Young. The man may not be the most conventional quarterback, but he flat out wins games. Jeff Fisher never supported him in Tennessee, but playing as a backup in Philly will allow the team to pound the ball and avoid risky plays, which has been the downfall of the offense. However, there could be a huge controversy in the making of VY puts up Newton-esque numbers in big wins while MV7 is out.
PATRIOTS (-14.5) over Chiefs
I’m going to introduce you to the new starting quarterback of the Chiefs, Tyler Palko. Since I already know you don’t know him, I’ll start at the beginning. He is a lefty and went undrafted out of Pitt in 2007, then bounced around with the Saints, Cards, and Steelers, not to mention the prestigious Montreal Allouettes and California Redwoods. Also, when he was chosen to be Pitt’s starting QB in 2005, Joe Flacco, then Palko’s backup, transferred to Delaware for a chance to start.
Why do I share this with you? Because this is the guy trying to beat TFB on Monday Night Football in Foxboro. How could this possibly end without the Patriots up by three to four touchdowns?
Last Week: 9-7
Lance in my Pants Lock o’ the Week: 7-3