Another 2-2 weekend has come and gone. Much like the previous weekend, almost nobody picked the biggest upset (even including the people in the winning team’s locker room). If the pattern holds up, then which game will be this weekend’s upset? Continue reading NFL conference title games
NFL playoffs picks (divisional weekend)
Went 2-2 last weekend, no thanks to the Colts’ coach’s idiotic timeout and the Seahawks proving the us-vs-the-world mentality works even for a 7-9 team.
Ravens @ Steelers
This rubber match should be the best game of this weekend. Those two rivals have decided their games by 3 points in 7 games in the past three years. The steelers’ run defense is absolutely ferocious and should stop RB Ray Rice. That forces QB Flacco to win the game with his arm. Although the Ravens’ D is full of great players, their corners are weak. QB Rothsliberger will exploit them with his targets WR Wallace & Ward. RB Mendenhall has not been dominant in their games, but he’s effective enough to keep the Ravens from making a beeline on Rothsliberger.
Steelers 21-17 Continue reading NFL playoffs picks (divisional weekend)
NFL wildcard weekend
Jets @ Colts
The 2010 AFC title game rematch should be much closer this time. Both teams are much weaker than last year, due to injuries and diminished rosters, but Peyton Manning is still the most feared QB in the league and Coach Rex Ryan still has the biggest mouth this side of Charles Barkley. The jets’ strongest edge is their running game, and they will stomp allover the Colts’ paltry front seven. If they establish the run, QB Sanchez will be free to run play-action fakes all day long. However, the Colts are at home and they seem a different team at Lucas Oil Stadium. If the Colts force Sanchez into 3rd and long situations, his confidence plummets quickly, and the pass rush will eat him alive.
The Jets have a sound defense, but they have trouble historically with Manning, and that goes double for their coach. Both teams will not have trouble scoring on each other, and I think Manning at home will pull this one out.
Colts 27, Jets 23
Saints @ Seahawks
The very fact that a 7-9 team is here and has homefield advantage over a 11-5 team is an insult to all common sense & clearly proves that the playoff seeding rules has to be tweaked. The Saints are forced to deal with a short week and a 2000 mile journey to a hostile stadium in Seattle, but in the end, their talent edge will prove to be too much. The game will turn into a blowout by the 3rd quarter. QB Brees already had his season high this year vs the Seahawks (382 yards, 4 TDs). If the Seahawks add more defensive backs to slow him down, the Saints will unleash RB Bush, much to his former coach Carrol’s chagrin.
Saints 35, Seahawks 13
Ravens @ Chiefs
Baltimore rolls into the playoffs with momentum, and is lucky to draw the inexperienced Chiefs instead of their nemesis, the Colts. Moreover, the Ravens’ RB Rice has resurged in recent weeks, and the Raiders just wrote the book on how to run on the Chiefs last weekend. The Ravens’ technicians along the front seven will slow down the Chiefs’ running game – provided they stay at home versus RB Charles and fill the gaps vs RB Jones. The Chiefs’ stout homefield advantage won’t affect the veteran Ravens much, and Cassel isn’t known for comeback wins. However, the Ravens have had trouble keeping QB Flacco upright recently, & the Chiefs have an excellent coordinator in Crennel. But that won’t matter, because the Chiefs have beaten exactly one good team the entire year.
Ravens 24, Chiefs 16
Packers @ Eagles
This is the most interesting match-up because both are led by Pro Bowl QBs and great playmakers and sturdy defenses. The Packers have a fleet of WRs, TEs and RBs who will see the ball short and deep. The Eagles’ defense is prone to giving up big plays, and they may be easy pickings for a couple scores.
QB Vick must be at 100% health to take full advantage of the overly aggressive Packers defense. His elusiveness will force the Packer pass rush to be extra cautious, but then again, Vick has had problems with the corner blitz in recent weeks. I would expect the Eagles to feed their electrifying RB McCoy, and keep the Packers D on its toes with strikes downfield to WR Jackson and Maclin. DB Charles Woodson must make plays or they’ll be burned.
Since Vick isn’t at full strength, and strangely enough, isn’t as effective at home as he is on the road, and the Eagles’ defense isn’t as strong as the Packers’ D, Packers steal this one. Packers 31-28
NFL week 17 picks
A strong 10-5 record last weekend has me grinning ear to ear and slapping high fives with strangers. Here’s an e-five. As always, week 17 is probably the toughest weekend to predict for a couple of reasons: teams that already clinch a spot in the playoffs may pull their starters, or not, and teams that are already out may decide to show up and play spoiler, or not.
Game(s) of the week
Bears @ Packers
Although the Bears already won the division, they still can clinch a bye with a win. Packers must win in order to get a wild card spot. They still can get in if both the Giants & Bucs lose, but that’s out of their hands. Both teams seem to be peaking at the right time: the Packers offense under QB Rodgers has become a machine and both teams’ defense has grown stronger. QB Culter got over the early season inconsistency and seems reliable. Surprise, surprise! But I’m picking the desperate team. Packers by 3 Continue reading NFL week 17 picks
NFL week 16 picks
I finished 9-6 in week 15. Totaling at 100 to 65. A marginally better weekend than the previous, but hey, I broke .500 at least. The closer the playoffs get here, the more meaningful each game gets, and the better the play gets. Can’t ask for anything more – except a magical remote that fast forwards all those leftover games even the hardcore fans wisely skip.
Game of the week
Saints @ Falcons
Too bad the Saints lost last week, or otherwise this game would be much more meaningful. The Falcons have nothing to play for in this game, other than bragging rights of sweeping the Saints after beating them earlier this year. The Saints will bring it, but Matt Ryan doesn’t lose at home. Falcons by 3 Continue reading NFL week 16 picks
NFL week 15 picks
With 3 weeks left, it’s all about the playoffs: clinching a spot or fighting for a favorable seed. 23 teams are still alive! The Pats are the only one so far officially in. about 4 games qualify for the “Game of the week” honors, so it should be a great weekend! Hopefully I’ll improve on last week’s crappy 8-6 result.
Games of the week
1. Jaguars @ Colts
This game will determine the difference between a division title and a shot at a wild card. The Colts seem to be back after last week’s win over the Titans, but then again, it was the hapless, rudderless, imploding, Moss-infected Titans so we shouldn’t read too much into it. Manning is getting back some of his weapons in RB Addai and WR Collie and the Colts have extra time to prepare. As for the Jags, they’re on a roll, and after last week’s win over the Raiders, you have to tip your hat to hard-charging RB Jones-Drew. Jags always play the Colts tight (check recent history, it’s always 3 points or less). However, it’s next to impossible to count out Manning when he smells the playoffs and they’re back at home. Colts by 3
2. Eagles @ Giants
This game will decide the NFC East. Philly has a psychological edge after beating them a couple of weeks ago. But they lost rookie LB Graham, and thus their pass rush is weaker. The book on the Giants is to pressure QB Eli into difficult throws on the move. Luckily the Eagles still have all their weapons on offense, and their chief speed threats (WR Jackson, RB McCoy, Vick) can take it to the house anytime. QB Manning has one of the most potent running games in the league to fall back on. Yet he’s been making dumb throws lately. Moreover, i feel Vick is on a mission this year. Eagles by 1 Continue reading NFL week 15 picks
NFL week 14 picks
A successful 9-4 weekend has put a bounce in my steps. Now sitting pretty at 85-53. On with the picks!
Game of the Week
Eagles @ Cowboys
Should be the most fun game to watch. After stumbling about like a drunk Quasimodo for half of the year, Cowboys are entirely rejuvenated under interim coach Garrett, beating legitimate teams like Colts & Giants, and losing to the Saints by 3. The Eagles are no longer invincible (Bears exposed them) but they’re still an elite team. This game should be a high scoring shoot-out, unlike last night or the Ravens-Steelers tilt. Vick will make enough plays to steal this one. Eagles by 4
Patriots @ Bears
Stumbling a bit vs. the Lions last Sunday (4 point win) proved that the Bears aren’t truly an elite team. Their powerhouse defense will always keep them in a game, but I still don’t trust Cutler to pull off a clutch victory. The Patriots OTOH are on a high, after destroying the Jets, along with every shred of Rex Ryan’s credibility. No, the Pats won’t treat the Bears the same way, but they’ll win comfortably. Pats by 8 Continue reading NFL week 14 picks
NFL week 13 picks
I went 11-3 last weekend, my best this year so far. That brings me back over 60%. We have plenty of rematches in week 13, and that will separate the contenders from the pretenders as this crazy season finally winds down.
Games of the week
Steelers @ Ravens
Steelers are #1 against the run, which should slow down RB Rice. Plus the Steelers’ running game has been very potent recently, and RB Mendenhall can chew up the clock. Ravens aren’t a 1 dimensional running team, and will exploit the Steelers’ suspect pass defense. QB Brady shredded them to confetti, so QB Flacco may repeat the trick. Ravens by 1
Jets @ Pats
QB Sanchez exploited the Pats’ secondary the last time. Now he has a brand new and far more dangerous weapon in WR Holmes, and there’s no way the Pats can stop that combo. But the Pats have won 25 in a row at home. Plus they have a strong WR corps and RB platoon helping Brady. Jets haven’t been world beaters lately with too-close for comfort wins over pasties in Browns, Lions, Texans the past month. Pats by 3
Bonima Game of the week
Skins @ Giants
Giants D have been inconsistent all year: Cowboys took advantage with their passing game, and the Jags, with their running game. Skins may pull it off with both. However, the Giants still have a balanced attack (run or throw effectively, and stop offenses, if on occasion). They must take advantage of the Skins’ weak secondary. Giants by 10 Continue reading NFL week 13 picks
NFL week 12
Last weekend restored balance to the NFL. Yes, I finished over .500 with 9-6 and that brings the total to 65-46.
Patriots @ Lions
NFL should get rid of tradition and slot “game of the week” here instead of forcing the Lions to play on thanksgiving. And they’ll get embarrassed by halftime. Patriots all the way, by 10.
Saints @ Cowboys
Naturally I would pick the superior team here, but I think the Cowboys have finally exorcised their demons. Thus they’ll beat the Saints for the second year in a row. Cowboys by 4
Bengals @ Jets
Bengals have officially given up, after going belly-up last week vs the Bills. Rex Ryan won’t let the Jets fumble this easy win away. Jets by 12 Continue reading NFL week 12
NFL week 11 picks
Now this season is finally turning interesting, after the schizoid, unpredictable roller-coaster of the 1st half. But my picks are taking a turn for the worse: 5-9 last week. 56-40 on the year. Tsk.
Game of the week
Both teams are tied for 1st place. Eagles completely destroyed the Redskins last night, and Vick is now the clear frontrunner for the MVP. Someone is controlling him in Madden football in real life! Eagles’ secondary is opportunistic, and they can snooker Eli Manning into errant throws. If they do, the game wont’ be close. The Giants are still stumbling about in a daze after last week’s buttkicking from the Cowboys. However, prior to that, they were a much more solid team and their pass rush is entirely capable of slowing down Vick. Their offense is explosive with RB Bradshaw and WR Nicks. If Manning doesn’t throw picks, Giants can keep this close. I shouldn’t pick against the Eagles, since they’re undefeated with Vick, but nothing is guaranteed this year. Giants by 1.
Colts @ Pats
The annual “Game of the year.” Pats are on a roll, despite a hiccup vs the Browns, and their D shut down the Steelers last week. Colts have historically had problems at Foxboro, and Brady is entirely capable of shredding the Colts’ D to confetti. expect Unsung RB Green-Ellis to feast on the Colts’ soft run D via playaction plays. Colts, OTOH, are still potent on offense, despite all their injuries. It’s due to the immortal Manning and his trusty sidekick, WR Wayne. Pats’ D isn’t anything to write home about so far, and Colts will not hold back. Normally i’d go with the Pats in this situation, but this time, i feel Manning is on a mission this year. Colts 34, Pats 31 Continue reading NFL week 11 picks