Friday, November 13, 2009

NFL Picks, Week 10

Because the NFL Thursday schedule starts this week...

Picks for week 10 of the 2009 NFL season...

Chicago at San Francisco (-3) - I know that the 49ers have come upon hard times. And it's hard to believe that there are any good NFL QB questions to which the answer is "Alex Smith." And I hate the '85 Bears. But I don't hate Mike Singletary, still have enormous respect for him, and have a lot more confidence in him to get a team playing over its than I do in Lovie Smith getting anything out of his team.


Atlanta (-1.5) at Carolina - Well, obviously the Falcons are a far superior team. I'm not sure that more commentary than that is really necessary.

Tampa Bay at Miami (-10.5) - With last week's shocker, we now know that the 2009 team isn't going to be the 2nd Tampa Bay Buccaneers team to finish a season winless. They also aren't going to be the second Tampa Bay Buccaneers team to win a Super Bowl. And they should savor that last win, as it's going to have to last them for a while.

Detroit (+17) at Minnesota - OK, you all know that I think the Vikings are overrated and the Lions are improving. And 17 is a huge number. But is there really any reason to think that it won't be all of that and more? Not a good one, not that I can see. And yet here I am, doing it anyway.

Denver (-4) at Washington - Now that the Broncos have learned how to lose, they're going to go into Washington and fall aga...never mind. It takes two to tango, and the Redskins can't seem to muster more than a waltz.

Buffalo (+6.5) at Tennessee - Do even the people in Buffalo and Tennessee care about this one? Is there anything interesting here?

New Orleans (-14) at St. Louis - This one vies with the Baltimore-Cleveland Monday-Nighter for the title, "Mismatch of the Week." The only question here is differential. Can the Rams, at home, keep it under two touchdowns? I think not.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh (-7) - The Bengals' win over the Steelers in September was an early sign that this year might be different for Cincinnati. If they go in to Pittsburgh and do it again, that gives them a huge advantage in the race for the AFC North title. But I think it unlikely. The Steelers started slowly, but they're playing well now, and I don't see them losing this one.

Jacksonville at N.Y. Jets (-7) - I think that this is a tough call. The Jaguars aren't a good team, but are the Jets? They've got a rookie QB hitting the rookie wall, they're missing their best defensive player, and they're 1-4 in their last five games, including two home losses to division opponents. And there's a risk of them looking ahead to their trip to New England next weekend. I'm picking New York, but it's a very lukewarm, not really trustworthy kind of pick.

Kansas City (+1.5) at Oakland - When some resource is limited by a rationing mechanism, care must be taken to use it at the right time. I've committed to using the Pete Axthelm line only once per year. Do I use it here, in week 10? Might there be a better choice in week 12 or 13? Will there be a time that I regret not having it available to me? I don't know. It's tough to picture that there's going to be a better spot, but I think I'm going to hold on to it a little bit longer.

Seattle at Arizona (-8.5) - If Arizona were consistent about being what they are, this would be a no-brainer. But they tend to be consistent only in their inconsistency.

Dallas (-3) at Green Bay - I hate the Cowboys, but the Packers seem to have justified every bit of my lack of faith in them. That might have been even a worse loss than Phildelphia's debacle in Oakland.

Philadelphia at San Diego (-1.5) - The Eagles' last trip to the Golden State didn't turn out very well, and the Chargers have started to look like a talented NFL team again.

New England (+2.5) at Indianapolis - Even if I didn't pick the Patriots every week, I'd pick them this week. The Colts have done a great job surviving injuries to their secondary, but it's hard to see how they get Brady and the Patriot offense off the field. I'm a little bit concerned about the Patriots defense still, but they've played well, and while I'm sure we're not looking at a shut-out, they should be able to make enough stops to allow the Patriots offense to win it. It should be a great game.

Baltimore (-10.5) at Cleveland - This one serves a dual theological purpose. It's shown as a blessing to Ravens' fans in Heaven, and as a punishment to Browns' fans in Hell.

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