So, while I have no way of proving my legitimacy in making these picks, I do have proof of my somewhat schizophrenic powers of clairvoyance below:
The Steelers won Week 9 by four, so a little off there. But, The NFL has been a crap shoot up to this point.
We’re at the stage where the narratives that will define the post-season are beginning to materialize. Green Bay is good and getting better. The Ravens look explosive, but there are days when Joe Flacco might forget his antidepressants. Quarterback concussions.
Do not bet against the Rams or the NFC West, except the Kolb and Skelton riddled Cardinals. We knew it would take time, but Peyton “Frankenstein” Manning looks reanimated and soon preparing a revenge upon it’s creator.
I am going to attempt, impotently, to pick the spreads for Week 11.
My Pick: Dolphins (+1.5) @ Bills
This is a tough one. On one fin/hoof, we have the consistently putrid Bills who are due for a return to the gutter after hanging with the Pats last Sunday. On the other, we have fledgling Dolphins led by a suspect Ryan Tannenhill, who looks unreliable. But, its Ryan Fitzpatrick on whom the outcome of this one rests.
Miami will score points on the Bills defense. CJ Spiller will show up, but Miami’s defense ranks 5th in rushing yards allowed. Those same Dolphins are 28th against the pass. Does Fitzpatrick show up?
Naaaa. I grabbed him of the waiver wire this week cause Eli’s on a bye and Alex Smith got injured and Kapernick is playing the Bears. Guaranteed bust.
My Pick: Texans (-15) vs. Jacksonville
Jacksonville is bad enough to lose to the Texans by 16. At first blush it seems impossible, but MJD is out, Gabbert often poops himself, and the Texans defense forces turnovers. Indy beat them last week by 17 and so did the thoroughly illegitimate Detroit Lions.
My Pick: Browns (+7.5) @ Cowboys
Stay away from this game. These teams are both firmly embedded in the erratically soul-crushingly-bad-but-inexplicably-competent-and-capable-at-times-enough-to-ruin-a-whole-week-for-you zone.
Cleveland can reach lows unknowable to most but Dallas is also well oiled in asinine inefficiency. I really don’t like either of these teams, but Dallas has beat the bottom feeders. They beat Philly last week, Cam in week 7, and the per-renaissance Bucs in week 3.
Although I just explained to you why you should pick Dallas, I’m loathing the Browns and know they’ll cover if I take the Boys.
My Pick: Bengals (-3.5) @ Chiefs
Pretty easy. A couple of misgivings, but come on, it’s the Chiefs.
My Pick: Falcons (-9.5) @ Cardinals
Not as easy. Arizona’s secondary and special teams have the potential to make this problematic.
The Falcons will show up unreasonably ready to play this game. While their overconfidence and egoism builds from blow-outs doesn’t compare to the heights of the Bears, now and again they like to boost themselves by stomping all over a lesser team. Especially in a situation where the Falcons believe a victory over the Cardinals as a feat because they were once 4-0.
My Pick: Redskins (-3.5) vs. Eagles
Vick is out. Griffin got a week-off of grabbing his ankles coming off the bye week. The line opened at an amazing -1.5.
My Pick: Rams (-3.5) vs. Jets
The Jets blow. They may not score.
My Pick: Panthers (+1.5) vs. Bucs
I do not like this one either. The Bucs offense is clicking away and the Scam Newton led Panthers have taken serious steps backward. Every statistic screams Buccaneers: Doug Martin is wrecking, Josh Freeman looks vintage, and the Bucs defense can stop the run. I am definitely being irrational.
My Pick: Packers (-3.5) @ Lions
Stafford to Megatron finally looked sexy last week with Calvin snatching 12 of 13 targets for 207 yards, a TD, and a lost fumble. And Detroit is shaking off their inexplicable rust after finding some dude off the street to rush the football. But, a divisional game, and Green Bay is motivated. Plus, they have the Giants next week. Pretty clean-cut.
My Pick: Saints (-4.5) @ Raiders
I have believed in the Saints all year. I have a man crush on Drew Brees. I believe they string another victory. The Saints D is terrible and Carson Palmer is annoyingly effective, but the Saints offense can run-up the score with the best.
My Pick: Colts (+9.5) @ Patriots
The line is just too high. Indy is approaching decent. I still think the Pats win, but they won’t cover. If this line gets any higher, definitely take the Colts.
My Pick: Broncos (-7.5) vs. Chargers
The Chargers were originally erratically bad with a chance to show up and screw you, but now their just bad.
My Pick: Ravens (+2.5)@ Steelers
Really a shame. Typically a great match up, this one is derailed by injuries to Big Ben, Antonio Brown, and Rashard Mendenhall (who, in my opinion, may be done altogether). Flacco poured it on the Raiders last week, but he has been inconsistent and could choke whenever. If the Steelers were healthy they would win.
My Pick: 49ers (-5) vs. Bears
With both starting quarterbacks out, this is all defense and special teams. Though this would normally favor the Bears, this game is a total crap-shoot, lots of variables:
1) the Bears actually suck 2) Jim Harbaugh is a tool 3) Lovie Smith is secretly one of the worst coaches in the league 4) Kapernick fake punts 5) the Bears running game.
If Hester returns a kick for a TD, the Bears win…but:
My Stone Cold lock of the Century of the Week: Niners over Bears.