Saturday, October 11, 2008

NFL Predictions: Week Six

I've thrown out my back and I'm battling a day-long bout of the hiccups, so I've been a little too miserable to post my picks. There's a bit of respite now, so I'm going to take advantage of the window. Here you go . . .

JETS (-5.5) over Cincinnati

If Palmer was playing, I’d take Cincinnati here in a heartbeat, and even advise you to grab Chris Henry. The Jets passing defense is atrocious, after all, and the Bengals were due one break-out game. Good thing I didn’t write this up last night like I normally do. Palmer is now a Friday scratch, the Bengals are stuck with Fitzpatrick, and the Jets are off to the races with a blowout win.

ATLANTA (+3) over Chicago

Chicago has been a weird team to watch. They seem, at times, really intimidating and decent. And then, if you watch closely enough, they look really soft and mediocre. Atlanta is not as bad as we want them to be. I think they scare the NFC South this week with a nice win.

INDIANAPOLIS (-4) over Baltimore

I’m all over the place with this Colts team. I really have no clue what kind of shape they’re in. Granted, they should not have covered last week. And, granted, they should not have beaten the Vikings either. BUT … they did! We can bitch and moan about the cheapness of the wins all we want, but until that stake pierces the heart the vampire he’s still dangerous. I’ve no doubt that Baltimore’s defense will cause a lot of problems, but I have just as little doubt that their offense will make just enough mistakes on their own side of the field to give the Colts a chance at the end to pull out another cheap cover. This will result in me & everybody else writing off the Colts, and then watching them knock make the playoffs as a wildcard and knocking off the AFC West champion in the first round.

Carolina (+1.5) over TAMPA BAY

I’m starting to like this Carolina team. I see them winning this one, and still nobody paying attention to them. They’ll drop a few along the way, but they’re nothing to stop them from peaking at the right time of the season and running through the playoffs. They are solid on both sides of the ball, especially on defense, and give me a reason (barring injury) their offense won’t get better as the season progresses.

Detroit (+13) over MINNESOTA

Maybe this is why that ex-goalie shot himself in the face. He looked at his tv listings and saw he was going to get stuck with this crap-fest. I don’t blame him. I really hate this game. Hate it even more that I feel like I have to take Detroit. I don’t trust Minnesota to score thirteen against LITERALLY the worst defense in the league. At some point the Lions have to find some element of pride, right?

WASHINGTON (-13.5) over St. Louis

Washington, on the hand, I’m learning to trust.

NEW ORLEANS (7.0) over Oakland

Oakland could have some success against New Orleans’ defense. They run the ball pretty well – and this should be bolstered by Fargas coming back. And Russell is competent enough to complete passes if you give him time (much like Frerotte did on Monday against the Saints). So, this game could be closer than what one might expect. But in the end, the Saints just have too much firepower. Even if the Raiders get an early lead, as they’ve been doing all season, I see no reason that the Saints can’t reel off seventeen straight in the second half. Not to mention this is basically a must-win for New Orleans.

Miami (+3) over HOUSTON

For a long time, I’ve been kind of infatuated with the Houston Texans. Really, for no reason at all. Sort of like obsessing over the really plain-looking girl in the office. The one who is never flirtatious. Who never dresses provocatively. Who has been married faithfully for ten years and has four kids. And is likely a Mormon. Really, just let it go. What transpired last Sunday against the Colts was a bit like learning that the object of your office obsession was actually one of the stars of 2 Girls 1 Cup – you just didn’t realize it because at work she wasn’t cover in shit. Likewise, now, the Texans will never but be shit-stained to me.

Jacksonville (+3.5) over DENVER

Let’s see … Denver’s defense is awful. Denver’s offense is playing without Royal and Scheffler. And yet at 4-1 are sitting pretty in the AFC West. Meanwhile, Jacksonville is coming off a tough loss to Pittsburgh, and has everything to lose by losing this week. I’ll go with the desperate here.

Dallas (-5) over ARIZONA

There are going to be a lot of people taking Arizona here, I think. They’ve seen the Cowboys stink it up the past couple of weeks, and they’re worried about “America’s Team.” Oh dear, they’re not even the best team in the NFC anymore, we’re told. This may be so, but Arizona is the all-time king in suckering people into overestimating their potential. A bit like, say, Arizona’s most famous politician, no?

SAN FRANCISCO (+5) over Philadelphia

Word has come down today that Westbrook is out. Philly is not just a different team without Westbrook … they may actually think they’re playing a different sport. It’s something to behold, actually. Plus, again, San Francisco is not nearly as bad as what we think they are. They’re bad, don’t get me wrong. But they’re getting close to that coveted “competently bad” tag. I am a bit worried, though, that Sullivan might not make it out of this game alive.

Green Bay (+2) over SEATTLE

Green Bay is suddenly as crappy as Mike Holmgren is fat. I did not see this coming. I thought they’d have a nice bounce-back win last week against Atlanta, but that defense of theirs stunk it up once again. If they do so again, this time against a worse offense, then they’re really toast. This game is not worth watching, listening to, watching recaps of, thinking about head of time. I feel dirty for even writing about it.

SAN DIEGO (-5) over New England
The conventional wisdom is that anytime Norv Turner gives Bellichek five points you take the points and run. Maybe I should, considering San Diego's deer-in-the-headlights game last week in Miami. I think they throw a wrinkle in what we think we know, though, and win convincingly this week.

New York Giants (-7.5) over CLEVELAND
I'm clearly not ready for a world in which Eli Manning is better than Peyton Manning. That must explain my present condition. At least you East Coasters have a reason to go to bed early on Monday.

Last week: 5-7-2
Season: 33-38-3