Thursday, December 06, 2007

Week 14 - NFL picks

Will update tomorrow with Sunday's games...

Chicago at Washington (-3) - One of the things that has been sad to see over the past couple of years is the failure of the Redskins to improve with Joe Gibbs at the helm. Gibbs is one of the guys for whom I have enormous admiration, and I thought bringing him back was the best thing that Snyder could have done. It has not worked out that way. And this is a ridiculously tough situation for that team, having lost, late, on Sunday, and then spent Monday at the funeral of a teammate. But I have a feeling that they rise up with a big effort tonight, and the Bears aren't good enough to prevent it.

UPDATED:

Carolina at Jacksonville (-10.5) - As much as I don't care for the Jaguars giving more than 10, the Panthers are just pathetic.

Dallas (-10.5) at Detroit - I can see the Lions coming up with a big effort here. Dallas has had defensive struggles at times, and they aren't a great pass defense. It would not be shocking to see Detroit keep this close, or even win. You just can't bet that way, because the Cowboys are a much better team.

Miami (+7) at Buffalo - This is a bad situation for the Bills. One of the things that happens enough for it to be a trend is a team that is better than expected but not great, not fully mature, facing a team that is apparently much worse, and failing to take it seriously enough. Not that they don't, on the surface, understand the threat and attempt to prepare for it, but subconsciously, the Bills are thinking that this is an easy game. It won't be. The Bills will win, but it will be close, as the Dolphins lose another field-goal heartbreaker.

N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia (-3) - AJ Feeley last week put the Eagles' fans back into "support Donovan McNabb" mode. McNabb comes back, the Eagles run the ball with Westbrook, and the Eagles play-off hopes live for another week.

Oakland at Green Bay (-10) - Does anyone, anywhere, seriously believe that Brett Favre isn't starting for the Packers? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone? Yeah, me neither.

San Diego (+0) at Tennessee - The Chargers have been a disappointment, the Titans have played better than many expected. Which shows the power of expectations. The two teams have the same record, while the Chargers have both scored more points and allowed fewer than Tennessee. San Diego is getting ready to clinch its division, the Titans are one of four teams fighting for two AFC Wild Card slots. It took a while for San Diego to get it figured out with the new coaching staff, and they aren't what people thought they were going to be, or a real threat in the playoffs, but they'll win this one.

St. Louis (+7.5) at Cincinnati - What have the Bengals done that justifies making them a touchdown-plus favorite anywhere or against anyone? That's right, nothing. They probably win this one, but close.

Tampa Bay (-3) at Houston - With the bye weeks over, every week features three-five games that I cannot even begin to generate interest in. Tampa Bay's a better team, Houston's at home, I don't care. Not even a little bit.
Buccaneers win, and I don't care,
Buccaneers win, and I don't care,
Jimmy cracked corn and I don't care...

Arizona at Seattle (-7) - So the Cardinals, in back-to-back weeks, lose to San Francisco and beat Cleveland. Logically, you can't derive any logic for picking for, or against, the Cardinals.

Minnesota (-7) at San Francisco - The only football team that's scored fewer points than the 49ers this fall is Notre Dame. The 49ers have scored 164 points in 12 games. As a comparison, the Patriots scored their 164th point just after the two-minute warning, in the first half of their game against Cleveland. In week 5. Minnesota's inconsistent, but San Francisco just can't score, and won't this week either.

Pittsburgh at New England (-13) - I'm seeing more and more people pick Pittsburgh, which makes me more and more comfortable with my feeling that the Patriots win by two touchdowns or more.

Cleveland (-3.5) at N.Y. Jets - The play to have the biggest impact in this game is the last play of Cleveland's loss at Arizona last week. The Browns are in a similar situation to the Bills, a team exceeding initial expectations, getting more confident, approaching cocky, and facing a team with a horrible record that they should beat. Had they won last weekend, you could see a letdown here. As they didn't, they won't, and that's bad news for New York, who has one shocking upset over the Steelers, two wins over winless Miami, and losses everywhere else.

Kansas City at Denver (-6.5) - Denver is a better team than Kansas City. There. How's that? You can't get scintillating commentary like that just anywhere, can you?

Indianapolis (-9.5) at Baltimore - If Baltimore were to play this week the way that they played last week, this could be a close and competitive game. But they won't. They pulled out all of the stops against New England, and collapsed at the end. This one won't be close.

New Orleans (-4.5) at Atlanta - The New England-Baltimore game last Monday was the highest-rated program in the history of cable television. This one won't be.

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