30 October 2012

2012 NFL Week 9 Picks

Not that many games this week are matchups of a pair of clubs with winning records but I bet you did not expect both the Miami Dolphins and Vick Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts to have winning records at this point in the season (or maybe you did). Those two teams featuring rookie quarterbacks in Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck go at it in the Circle City this Sunday, who will come out on top? How about the other games this week? It's my week nine selections, coming at you right now.

Last Week: 6-8
2012: 65-55

Thursday, November 1
Kansas City Chiefs (1-6) vs. San Diego Chargers (3-4) - NFL Network, 8:20
 
The Chiefs are a real disaster right now and they do not look like they cannot beat anybody right now. They could not run the ball last week against Oakland and while Matt Cassel looked somewhat decent but since the Raiders have a mediocre pass defense, I would not put much stock into that. San Diego's handicapped as always by awful coaching but they should take advantage of a crap Kansas City team to get a needed victory to hang around in the division.
Chargers 28 Chiefs 17

Sunday, November 2
Miami Dolphins (4-3) vs. Indianapolis Colts (4-3) - CBS, 1:00
Liked I mentioned in the open, I have been pretty surprised with both of these teams thus far, as I did not expect both to be 4-3 at this juncture and in the playoffs if the season ended today. Andrew Luck has played pretty well as home but after that dominant victory over a listless Jets squad, I have to go with a confidant Dolphins club that is starting to find its groove.
Dolphins 19 Colts 14

Baltimore Ravens (5-2) vs. Cleveland Browns (2-6) - CBS, 1:00
If the Browns want to upset the Ravens, this would be the week to do it. Cleveland is riding high off a home victory against the Chargers, the Ravens are reeling a little and got blasted the last time they played, plus the Ravens are awful against the running game while Trent Richardson has been tremendous this season and is the Browns offense, essentially. You know what, give me the Browns this week, what the hell.
Browns 17 Ravens 13

Buffalo Bills (3-4) vs. Houston Texans (6-1) - CBS, 1:00
Buffalo comes into this game as they come off their bye and the stinging taste of that one point home loss to the Tennessee Titans, where they got killed by a late Ryan Fitzpatrick interception. Houston comes into this game also off their bye as they last blasted a reeling Ravens club. I think you can tell where I am going with this pick and in fact, the Texans are my Lock of the Week.
Texans 31 Bills 13

Denver Broncos (4-3) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) - CBS, 1:00
Cincinnati is facing Denver at a pretty bad point as it appears that the Broncos are starting to put things together as they are coming off that impressive comeback against the Chargers and a beatdown of the Saints on Sunday night. Peyton Manning is looking very good as he should take advantage of an inconsistent Bengals pass defense.
Broncos 35 Bengals 24

Detroit Lions (3-4) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) - FOX, 1:00
You have to give the Jaguars a lot of credit because a lot of folks (including myself) thought Green Bay would beat the crap out of them and they hung around for the whole game, and might have had a chance to win it had Blaine Gabbert not turned into Blaine Gabbert in the second half. The Lions have struggled on the road this season and will come away with a closer than expected victory because the Jaguars' offense will be stagnant once again.
Lions 17 Jaguars 12

Carolina Panthers (1-6) vs. Washington Redskins (3-5) - FOX, 1:00
I go to school in Washington, D.C. and while I am not that close to Landover and the dump that is FedExField, I am smelling an upset this Sunday. For one, the Redskins are not a very good home team. And second, the Skins are awful against the pass. I think Cam Newton comes in with something to prove and delivers a much needed victory for Carolina.
Panthers 24 Redskins 21

Chicago Bears (6-1) vs. Tennessee Titans (3-5) - FOX, 1:00
We very nearly saw an upset last Sunday at Soldier Field as the Panthers came damn close to defeating the Bears before Robbie Gould nailed a game-winning field goal at the horn. I would not be considered if I was a Bears fan and I think they will take a dominant victory this week in Nashville. A great Bears defense will hinder whoever is playing quarterback this week for the Titans and Matt Forte and Michael Bush will have no struggles running the football against a defense that just got shredded on the ground by the Colts.
Bears 27 Titans 13

Arizona Cardinals (4-4) vs. Green Bay Packers (5-3) - FOX, 1:00
Nobody thought the Packers would be coming into this game off a hard-fought win against the Jaguars but that's the deal, with the offensive struggles particularly eye opening. While they may struggle to move the ball in the air against the league's third best passing defense (although they did get smoked by Alex Smith), the Cardinals are in free fall right now with three straight losses and they can't run the ball nor can they protect the passer at all, so you know Clay Matthews is licking his chops.
Packers 20 Cardinals 10

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) vs. Oakland Raiders (3-4) - FOX, 4:05
This should be a tight game, a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVII, as both Tampa Bay and Oakland will look to pound the ball on the ground with Doug Martin and Darren McFadden, respectively, but with the Bucs having the sixth best rush defense and the Raiders completely shutting down Jamaal Charles on Sunday, something will have to give. That said, I think the Buccaneers are coming around and I'm buying into them after that big Thursday victory over Minnesota.
Buccaneers 19 Raiders 14

Minnesota Vikings (5-3) vs. Seattle Seahawks (4-4) - FOX, 4:05
Speaking of Minnesota, they really sleptwalk on Thursday night against Tampa and ended up getting defeated by 19 at home. Now they head to a pretty tough place to play and one of the best defenses in football. I like the Seahawks, even though they were terrible against the pass and were shredded by Matt Stafford, because they are very good against the run and can contain Adrian Peterson.
Seahawks 20 Vikings 17

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) vs. New York Giants (5-2) - CBS, 4:25
New York may be 5-2 and in command in the NFC East, but they have a major problem with their secondary, as highlighted by them blowing a 23-0 lead in the second half, getting absolutely scorched by Jason Witten over the middle and coming so close to losing when Dez Bryant's fingers barely hit the out of bounds line at the back of the end zone. They will struggle to slow down Ben Roethlisberger, who is rolling right now, the and the Steelers will hold off Eli Manning just enough.
Steelers 35 Giants 28

Dallas Cowboys (3-4) vs. Atlanta Falcons (7-0) - NBC, 8:20
You know, I just don't get it with the Dallas Cowboys. Yes that rally was impressive, but let's not forget that they also put themselves in that 23-0 hole. They did do a good job against Eli Manning and they have the third best passing defense in the league but with how the Falcons looked against the Eagles on Saturday, I can't see the Cowboys pulling the upset.
Falcons 31 Cowboys 21

Monday, November 5
Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) vs. New Orleans Saints (2-5) - ESPN, 8:30
Both of these clubs are in rough shape right now. The Saints looked awful on Sunday night, punting the ball eight times and getting blown out by Denver while the Eagles looked awful on Sunday afternoon as they got blown out by the Falcons. This is a tough game to pick as I really have no confidence in either club but I give a slight edge to the Saints for their homefield advantage (yes a lame reason, I know) but since I think this game will turn into a shootout and I do not have the confidence in Michael Vick to not turn the ball over like he has thus far this season.
Saints 34 Eagles 28

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