Friday, October 23, 2009

NFL picks, Week 7

Sorry that this is so late. I know that there are literally1 thousands2 of you waiting on me for recommendations on where to place your hard-earned shekels, and I'm sorry for any missed bookie deadlines. I'll try not to let it happen again.

Picks for week 7 of the 2009 NFL season...

New England (-15) at Tampa Bay - The Patriots are scoring 27 points per game, the Buccaneers are allowing 28. The Buccaneers are scoring 15 points per game, the Patriots are allowing 15. Seems that it would be pretty easy to pick a 28-15 final score. Except that the Buccaneers are a worse team than most (though not all) that the Patriots have played, and the Patriots are a better team than most (though not all) that the Buccaneers have played. It's concievable that this ends up being only a two-touchdown game, but I don't see any reason to expect it to be only a two-touchdown game. 35-10, or even worse, wouldn't surprise me at all.

Indianapolis (-13) at St. Louis - Seriously, what's the point? Who benefits from this game being played? Will the revenues taken in by the Rams on Sunday be enough to offset the loss of future revenues caused by people seeing the difference between a good NFL team and, well, the Rams?

Minnesota at Pittsburgh (-5.5) - I'd say that this was one of the contenders for game of the week, but I don't see another one. Maybe Arizona and the Giants. The home field is an advantage for the Steelers. So is the calendar, as he-who-must-not-be-named starts the yearly wear-down. The Vikings lost last week, except for a missed field goal. They've been life and death a couple of times, requiring a last-second missed field goal in one game and a miracle Hail Mary in another, both at home, to enter week 7 undefeated. This is the week the winning streak ends.

San Diego at Kansas City (+4.5) - I picked Kansas City because...they, um, have a good...well, the Chargers are missing...the match-up issues involved in the secondary... I have no idea why I picked the Chiefs. I suspect that it was a mistake. So I should change it. But I'm not. And again, I've no idea why. Sometimes, my subconscious stupidity gets very insistent.

San Francisco (+3) at Houston - I suspect that the San Francisco players are very concerned about the possibility of getting on a plane with Coach Singletary if they lose this one. Under the "the most desperate team wins" rule, I'm going with the 49ers here.

Green Bay (-7.5) at Cleveland - The Browns will win a couple more before it's all said and done. This won't be one of them.

Buffalo at Carolina (-7) - The Panthers aren't very good - can the Bills make it two in a row? No. But they'll lose close, by a field goal or so.

N.Y. Jets at Oakland (+5.5)- A fascinating game. The Raiders are on a, for them, huge roll, having won their last one game in a row. The Jets are struggling, as the magical mystery tour has hit a few speed bumps. As bad as the Raiders are, the Jets without Kris Jenkins and with Mark Sanchez are very hard to pick, particularly on the road. Heck, they just lost to Buffalo at home. In a last minute switch, I'm going to take the Raiders, with their head coach not going to be facing criminal charges, who just beat the Eagles, who were embarassed by a New York team two weeks ago, to actually get to two straight wins by beating the suddenly hapless Jets.

Chicago at Cincinnati (-1) - There are always a few notes that I write which I couldn't have imagined writing two months earlier. Notes such as, "hey, the Bengals are at home, and frankly, they're just a better team than the Bears."

Atlanta (+3.5) at Dallas - The traditional late-season, post-season meltdown has come early in Dallas this year. Fortunately for all involved, the Redskins are going to prevent them from being the biggest disappointment/embarassment in the NFC East.

New Orleans (-6.5) at Miami - Only if the Saints have a big letdown can I see them winning by less than a touchdown in Miami.

Arizona at N.Y. Giants (-7) - There's no doubt that the Giants are surly and embarassed after last week's butt-kicking at the hands of Drew Brees and the Saints. Arizona is very talented in many spots, but not trustworthy when traveling, and hard to pick in a situation like this.

Philadelphia (-7) at Washington - So the powers-that-be have neutered their head coach, and bypassed the entire offensive staff, in handing over play calling responsibilities to a guy that's been retired for the last five years until just a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, there's no way that could go wrong...

1 - That is to say, figuratively, in my imagination.

2 - Thousands being a euphemism for "no actual persons."

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