NFL Free Picks Review: Week 8 2009

So, 7-6 isn’t the glorious same as 10-3 but it’s a winning week nonetheless – yet another winning week, and the season continues to be good. Week 8’s preview is short and sweet, but you’ll see 7 winners and 6 that didn’t go so well. Here goes…

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Atlanta Falcons (+12) @ New Orleans Saints: (WINNER)  “It’s Monday Night Football, these are two good football teams, it’s an NFC South rivalry game, the Saints are coming off a lucky comeback win, the Falcons are coming off a disappointing loss, 12 points is just too much on that stage with those circumstances.  I know the big favorites have dominated the season thus far, but games like this just don’t get 12 points – that’s way too many.” I hope everyone going with the Saints learned a valuable lesson, no matter how good you are, the value can easily fall with the challenger.

Minnesota Vikings (+3.5) @ Green Bay Packers: (WINNER) “Now it’s very hard to beat a good opponent twice in the same season, but I just don’t see these two teams as equals.” I think that’s what it came right down to. The Packers have some great pieces, but the Vikings have a better offense and a better defense, and they showed that by beating the Packers twice in as many tries.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans (-3): (WINNER) It’s awkward, but Vince Young wins. His numbers aren’t great, but with a rushing attack like the Titans have, and now teams have to pay attention to Vince, that just opens up the run game for the Titans. Vince didn’t run for tons of yards, but him being a threat gave Chris that little extra room he needed – either that or the Jaguars are just brutal defensively – either one, got this one right on.

Oakland Raiders (+17.5) @ San Diego Chargers: (WINNER) “The Chargers aren’t a great football team. They aren’t in the Patriots, Giants, Colts, Saints, Vikings, type group. That pretty much makes them a bad-value-bet as a double digit favorite. When that double digit favorite moves over 3 scores (a couple touchdowns and a field goal) they move even farther away from value and into a whole new category of auto-fade. Can the Chargers beat the Raiders by 3 touchdowns? You bet. It’s just not a great bet to happen.” Like I said, the Chargers aren’t one of the best teams in football, and are basically an auto fade as a HUGE dog like there were on Sunday.

Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals (-10): (LOSS) “Many sharp bettors see this game as great value for the Panthers. They have a rushing attack that should be able to get some yards against an Arizona front 7 that has basically eliminated rushing attacks all season long (ranking #1 in stopping the run) and Arizona is coming off a huge win, almost surely ready for down game. And this line, in my opinion, is too close to wager too much, but I like the Cardinals despite the inflated spread.” So, everything except that last part pretty much spot on. The Panthers did run on that vaunted Cardinals defensive front, but even more surprising was the fact that their defense suckered Warner into a half a million turnovers. If John Fox (or whomever is in charge of the Panthers offense) doesn’t get in the way of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, this team can do some damage going forward.

St. Louis Rams @ Detroit Lions (-3.5): (LOSS) The Lions, in my opinion, have hit a new low. Sure, you say they’ve won a game, and that’s true, but last year they didn’t lose to the worst team in football. This year they did, well, they lost to Steven Jackson, and Jax is the greatest player on the worst team in football. I watched a lot of this game, because I’m a little bit sick, it was just as painful as it seemed.

San Francisco 49ers (+13.5) @ Indianapolis Colts: (WINNER)  “I liked the 49ers at -12 to start the week, but this one has a chance of getting to 14 points. Oh, that would make me feel so good. Still, 13 is a good number to get past as well, that way a touchdown and a couple field goals up still keeps me in the money. An out right win would surprise me, but don’t put it past the 49ers, staying within 13 seems like a good bet to me.” The bottom line is, and this should be universal, you don’t give a good team nearly two touchdowns. Say what you want about the Niners, but I’m thinking that by years’ end, you’ll come around, you’ll label them a good team. They proved their worth while holding Peyton without a passing TD, but some key injuries might hurt them a little.

Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets (-3): (LOSS) The Jets dominated this game offensively, but the Dolphins had Ted Ginn Jr.  – NOw lately that has been a bad thing to have, dropped passes, basically unreliable and almost a liability because defenses hardly have to get in his way because he’ll drop the passes all by themselves. But this week he was a kick returner, and on one return he was the sole reason for the touchdown. They say it’s the blocks and the lanes, but Ginn Jr. sat in one place, had 4 tackles go past, and went from 0-60 in about .5 seconds. It was dirty. Those special teams’ covers will kill a cover, just ask the Jets who played well both defensively and offensively.

New York Giants (+1) @ Philadelphia Eagles: (LOSS) Am I wrong about the Giants? I know Ellie is back in full force, but is this team really going to break my balls a fourth week in a row? I might just take them again. The Eagles have showed me some strength against a solid defense, they are really playing well, I’m sure that will come back to haunt me soon.

Denver Broncos (+3.5) @ Baltimore Ravens: (LOSS) The Broncos ran into a buzz saw Ravens defense that was tired of being labeled “losing their dominance” and they certainly got handled. It was a close game at half, but that kick off return TD reared it’s head again, and from then on the Ravens put it to the Broncos hard. I guess Josh McDaniels had to lose one sooner or later.

Houston Texans (-3) @ Buffalo Bills: (WINNER) It took a quarter or two, but the Texans just started handling the Bills. Buffalo is an absolute mess and Houston proved they can win running the ball as well, even if it’s with Ryan Moats. That’s right Moats blew up the Bills’ weak spot, run defense, while Matt Schaub took a back seat to get the W. Houston won easily.

Cleveland Browns (+14) @ Chicago Bears: (LOSS) The Browns have lost it, maybe even Raiders style. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, the Bears -14 seemed like suicide, but I have to realize going forward that some numbers look bad but some opponents look worse. Even Matt Forte ran well in this one – we’ll see how it goes next time out for Jay Cutler and the boys.

Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys (-9.5): (WINNER) “The Hawks have only played well against the league’s lesser teams, and while Dallas might not be Super Bowl bound, they are definitely a team fighting for a playoffs spot this season. All things considered, I just think Dallas’s pass rush will be too much.” That was a big difference in the game, the Hawks completion numbers were pretty high, but they had too many negative plays, and the Cowboys brought too much pressure for the Hawks to burn them deep. Matt just didn’t have enough time. Until the Hawks get healthy, pass rushing teams will eat them up.

NFL Free Picks Review: Week 7 2009

9-3-1… That is a record I would love every single week of the year. We could all be rich off that type of pick production and I’m going to do my best to make that happen the rest of the way. Of course, I’m always doing my best, making my picks, assessing the sitch-e-ation, and get the right side against that dreaded line. This week I missed on the Cowboys/Falcons game, and I didn’t give the Cardinals enough credit and might have given Eli a little too much after a nice start to the season, so those two games I fully accept as losses. But the Vikings? Please. They cover that game 8 of 10, and if it wasn’t for two freakish defensive touchdowns in the last 6 minutes of that game, the Vikings cover anyway. That being said, I must say I probably shouldn’t have covered the Saints/Dolphins game. So I guess 9 is right after all. Regardless, I won 9 games in a 13 game week, that’s good stuff, here’s the business….

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Philadelphia Eagles (-7) @ Washington Redskins: (WINNER) The Eagles were playing awfully poorly to be up 20-7 in this game, then on 3rd and 24 Donovan threw a bomb to DeSean Jackson for a touchdown to go up 27-7. It was over at that point, basically, because everyone knew there was no way the Redskins were going to score 20 points from there forward. The Eagles tried to dissolve their easy cover, but Washington just couldn’t do enough – lucky me. The Skins D was solid, despite some big plays they allowed, if they only had an offense…

Arizona Cardinals @ New York Giants (-7): (LOSS) Eli looked more like Ellie in this one, missing on passes, getting them tipped, having that pouty face, getting some drops from a couple of those young receivers, just having an all around tough go of it. And of course they forgot to run the ball despite the success they had early. Oh the Giants, this is what they’ll do to you every once in a while, can’t dominate for all 16 games. Kurt Warner and company played solid football, definitley, but it was Arizona’s secondary that stole the show.

New York Jets (-5.5) @ Oakland Raiders: (WINNER) “Unlike the Eagles, the Jets won’t forget the run, in fact, I think they’ll rely more heavily on it than any game this season. The pressure won’t be on Mark Sanchez’s arm, but the offensive line and a talented running back group. That should spell certain doom for a Raiders team looking to make it two wins in a row.” Well, the Jets lost one third of their talented running tree, but Shonn Greene came in and showed what he can do as the Jets had two runners bust well over the 100 yard mark. The Jets just flat out dominated, getting the Raiders to pull JaMarcus Russell, and think how bad he’s played this year while never getting the yank. Yeah, it was that bad.

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Atlanta Falcons (+4) @ Dallas Cowboys: (LOSS) Hey, I’ve always been here to take it when I lose, and I definitely underestimated the Cowboys in this one. That defensive front came to play, giving Matt Ryan trouble all day long, proving that you can still frazzle the young quarterback if you put the pressure on. With the Cowboys up big early, the Falcons pretty much abandoned the running game, taking away their strength on the ground with Turner and also Ryan’s most accurate part of his game, the play action. Kudos to the Boys. Great game for Mr. Romo as well.

Chicago Bears @ Cincinnati Bengals (-1): (WINNER) “The Bengals, favored at home, against a mediocre NFC team – yeah, I like my chances. Now, the Bears shot themselves in the foot all week long against the Broncos, and the game was still very close – but that doesn’t mean it’s going to carry over here. The Bengals also have a very good defense, a secondary that preys on mistakes by opposing quarterbacks, often baiting them into poor throws. Cedric Benson will have something to prove in this game, and I think he’ll get his teammates to climb on his back for this victory. He’s been running angry so far this season, and I think he’s been looking forward to this match-up for a long time.” Well, the Bengals preyed on Jay Cutler, baiting him into bad Jay Cutler-ish throws, and Cedric Benson stomped all over Chicago’s couches. It was a fun one to watch.

New Orleans Saints (-6.5) @ Miami Dolphins: (WINNER) I really want to take the Dolphins here. I know the public is going to be jocking the Saints like nobody’s business, and Vegas is on pace to hit a few like that coming up. But I can’t buy enough into the Dolphins in the match-up. Why? The Saints have been too good against the run, and more importantly, too good running the ball. That’s right, you heard me. Lost in Drew Brees’s amazing season thus far is the glue that’s truly making this team great, the running back by committee approach. While Drew has been on fire, people forget to realize that this rushing attack has out-rushed every single opponent they’ve gone up against this season. That means two things, the offensive line has been dominant, and also, the defensive front has been stellar. You don’t out-rush every single opponent unless you can stop the run when you’re not on the field. That single aspect of this Saints defense makes me think the Wildcat might have met their match. I’d love to see the upset here, I just don’t think it will happen.

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Minnesota Vikings (+4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers: (LOSS) This should have been a cover. If you watched the game, you feel me. If you didn’t, just believe me. The Vikings were the side in this one, but sometimes you lose games you should win, and other times you win games you should lose – this time I was un-LuckyLester…

Green Bay Packers (-6.5) @ Cleveland Browns: (WINNER) “Big spreads for road favorites can often backfire with a pass happy team struggling to complete passes. But I see the Packers running the ball more this Sunday, holding the ball longer, and covering by at least a touchdown in Cleveland. Vegas or the people? Who wins this Sunday? Damn the man!” Hooray us, damn the man is right! Like I predicted, the Packers finally gave a good number of chances to the guy that should be their work horse, Ryan Grant. It kept Rodgers off the turf, and the ball in Green Bay’s hands. With that kind of attack, the Browns never stood a chance.

New England Patriots (-14.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (WINNER) When you have a great team against a crappy team, at least this season, the chances are really low that the crappy team is covering, even with a big bad spread like this one. The Patriots throw 5 touchdowns in a quarter, or anything like that, but this game was in hand very early. All these big favorites are covering, that goodness I had a bunch of them this week.

Buffalo Bills (+7) @ Carolina Panthers: (WINNER) “I don’t see what the Panthers have done to be a touchdown favorite against anybody in the NFL.” Regardless of what anybody thinks about these two teams, the bottom line was just as I wrote it, the Panthers shouldn’t be favored by 7 over anyone. The Bills didn’t do anything offensively, couldn’t really run it, and didn’t have great passing numbers, but they didn’t need to. The Panthers give points away weekly, and if you can just let them beat themselves, you’re in.

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San Francisco 49ers (+3) @ Houston Texans: (PUSH) The 49ers fell down early, 21-0, and the Texans were definitely in charge. A quarterback switch, an inspired defense, and some big plays from Vernon Davis got the Niners right back in it, but they fell short a field goal, getting me a push. I’ll tell you what, being down 21-0 at the half, without an explosive offense, and still getting a psu – if that’s what bad looks like, I’ll be alright.

San Diego Chargers (-4.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs: (WINNER) I was right on here, loved the Chargers by a touchdown or more, and they followed through and made me look good. The bottom line was that SD’s defense played very well last week, despite what most people remember from that Broncos’ game, and they continued that inspired play against the Chiefs, giving away absolutely nothing all day long. They won easily. Me too.

Indianapolis Colts (-13) @ St. Louis Rams: (WINNER) Just a gimmie, a no doubter, the Rams facing two weeks of prepared Peyton Manning – it was 42-6, and I don’t think it was that close, I’ve got to be honest.

NFL Free Football Picks Review: Week 6

After a little run of un-luck, if you will, the tables turned back around to give me a 9-5 Week 6. I’d take 9-5 the rest of the way, that’s for sure. There were a couple big one’s that didn’t go my way as Sunday saw the Eagles lose to the Raiders (even though Papa Weimer warned me), the Giants get trounced by the Saints, as well as Houston upsetting the Bengals in Cincinnati. But hey, you can’t win ’em all. But 9-5 is a win for Week 6, and that puts me 4 more games up over .500 for the season. Won this battle, still winning the war!!! Here’s the review:

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Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals (-4.5): (LOSS) The Texans through the ball all over the field, as they seem to be able to do against just about anyone. Matt Schaub can sling it, and Andre Johnson, Steve Slaton, Owen Daniels, Kevin Walter, and Jacoby Jones can catch it. They probably have more guys able to handle Schaub passes, but I can’t name them all. The bottom line is, the Texans set out to make sure Cinci wasn’t going to snipe the victory from their grasps at the end of the game, and going up two scores late finished off the cardiac cats. Houston’s dedication to stopping the run paid big dividends defensively, playing a big role in their win.

New York Giants (+3) @ New Orleans Saints: (LOSS) “The Saints have been solid, no doubt about it, but they have yet to show me they are the top team in the league, while New York has proven to be in that conversation over and over.” Consider the Saints proven. That doesn’t mean I’ll take them from here on out, but they have won me over. I’ve always been a hater of the way their head coach runs his squad. The way Reggie kept getting carries, or the way Colston had seemingly been frozen out of some games. But he’s figured it out this year, he’s giving the ball to the players that make wins happen, no matter what that guy’s name happens to be. This team in New Orleans is very good, not just offensively, but defensively they are stout all over the field. Consider me educated!

Kansas City Chiefs (+7) @ Washington Redskins: (WINNER) “This is a real excitement filled contest! For the fifth time this season (which makes that every single week so far) the Redskins are going up against an opponent without a win. Yes, despite being 2-3 on the season, 1-3-1 ATS, the Redskins opponents have been winless prior to meeting the Skins. Lucky for opposing teams, the Redskins have given opponents their first win of the season 3 times. They’ve managed to play close games, though, another reason to take the Chiefs this week in D.C. Another reason to take the Chiefs? They always cover against Washington, at least in the last 5 match-ups they have. What else? I like what I saw from Matt Cassel last week, and from the looks of it he’s getting a little more comfortable with his new offense. KC has played tough with some good teams this year, despite losing by double digits to both Baltimore and New York, they played solid football in both games. They’re winless so far, but if it’s up to the Redskins, that will change. KC’s secondary and run defense can be exposed, but there’s not much positive coming out of Washington these days, so I’ll just take the Chiefs and that free touchdown. This brings the question, should Washington be favored by a touchdown against anyone? I think not.” Can I just let this write up speak for itself? I mean, it was pretty accurate, thorough, and played out well. The Redskins favored by a touchdown, yes please opposing team!

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Carolina Panthers (-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (WINNER) John Fox and the Panthers tried to lose this one, but DeAngelo Williams and Jon Stewart wouldn’t be denied. Why the Panthers even allowed Jake Delhomme to throw a single pass is beyond me, bust out the freaking Wild Cat and if need be have a running back toss a deep one to Steve Smith. In the end, the Panthers took this battle of futile clubs – I don’t see many wins for either of these teams down the road, not unless the Panthers figure some stuff out. Yeah, that’s right Bucs fans, you’re already finished. At least there’s a couple big bad defensive lineman to be had at the top of next year’s draft.

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-14): (LOSS) “Taking the Steelers as a double digit favorite is always scary, and especially this season considering they haven’t beaten anybody by that kind of margin, even allowing a late touchdown last week to the Lions to win by just 8 – and yes, I’m still a little bitter about that. But this match-up begs me to take the Steel City, and I won’t fight it.” Should have fought it. Looking back on this game, I still don’t think the Browns cover two touchdowns half the times if these two played 10. But it is what it is, sometimes you miss a spread by a single point – this was one of those situations. The Steelers can’t buy a cover win these days, but hey, the only people effected by covers are us. One field goal away from 10-4…

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets (-9): (LOSS) “It’s very rare that when you look at tales of the tape and one side wins at every statistic – welcome to the Bills and Jets tale of the tape. Points, Yards Gained, Yards Allowed, Red Zone Efficiency, Time of Possession, Kicking, Penalties, Turnovers, hot wives, confidence – I mean shoot, the only thing these two teams are even close in is New receivers that were consistent problems for their former teams, and that’s a freaking tie, no winner there.” This is why numbers don’t really mean jack. One could say, this is why you play the game, or, you never know on any given Sunday – something in that virginity. All I’m saying is that the Bills came to play, and it might have taken a little luck to get the job done, but the bottom line is that they were the better team this Sunday. The took advantage of a rookie quarterback losing confidence, and they limited their mistakes. TO still dropped a few passes, but Lee Evans had a big play that put the Bills in the right spot. And Buffalo upsets the Jets in New York – very nice! Return of the underdogs!!!

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Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots (-9): (WINNER) “The Titans have been brutal, and I don’t think their secondary woes will get quelled when Tom Brady and the suddenly sputtering Patriots offense hosts them this Sunday. If anything, I expect Tom and company to beet down the 400 yard passing barrier, put up tons of points, and continue to play solid defense like they’ve done all season long. It may be a popular pick, and the Patriots may be a different offense than they were last year, but last year’s team would have ousted this year’s Titans 70-14. This year’s Patriots could do at least half that mark, and the defense can keep the Titans out of the end zone most of the day.” Amazingly enough, I think I underestimated the Patriots in this write-up. Apparently this year’s team could have outscored the Titans 70-14, but you got the picture I hope. Tom Brady grabbed hold of a record on Sunday, dealing out 5 TD passes in the 2nd quarter alone – I was watching and locked in, what a performance. It was as if the Titans were the only team playing in/on snow.

Arizona Cardinals (+3) @ Seattle Seahawks: (WINNER) “I don’t see the injured Hawks offensive line doing enough to slow that Cardinal pass rush. They have 3 back-ups on the O-line starting group, and that’s being generous with the word back-ups, some of these guys are back-up back-ups. And the Cardinals front four can bring it.” Lots of stuff happened in this game, but in my mind, that front four versus Seattle’s offensive line was the difference in the game. The RBs for the Hawks ran the ball for just around a yard per carry. Matt was constantly hurried, and that secondary which was one of the league’s worst barely had to pay any attention to throws of 12 yards or more. Locked in on short patterns, the Cardinals didn’t allow Seattle to do anything all day long. Called this one right on the button.

Philadelphia Eagles (-14) @ Oakland Raiders: (LOSS)  I still can’t believe the Eagles lost this game. But, that’s what the Eagles do. Sometimes they get way too pass happy and lose site of the things that would win them games like this in which they don’t play that well – like, um, running the damn ball. I should have listened to my crazy uncle, he picked the Raiders to cover, and their toughness shined on Sunday. I still think the Eagles lost this one instead of Oakland beating them, but Oakland definitely covered that big bad spread.

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Baltimore Ravens (+3) @ Minnesota Vikings: (WINNER) The Vikings magic continues. After playing better than the Ravens all day, Balitmore made some big plays, a couple much-needed stops, and Ray Rice took one to the house as Baltimore found themselves up 1 with just minutes left. Did I say just minutes, because any amount of time seems to be enough for Brett to get his team into a winning play. The Vikings did exactly that, moved down to field goal range with ease, and hit the game winner. But wait, it was too fast. Joe Flacco threw for more yards in this game than ever before, and the Ravens are in business to end the Vikings amazing start to the season – but wait – the powers that be pushed the Ravens’ kicker’s try wide left and the Vikings win by 2. Minnesota continues their winning ways, I cover and get the win, the only loser here was Baltimore. I can live with that.

St. Louis Rams (+10) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: (WINNER) “I’ve missed on the Jaguars a lot this year, but I still don’t think they deserved to be favored by 10 points against anybody. The Rams are getting healthy, as they should have the healthiest offense they’ve had all year. If they commit to the run, and I think they will, they have a chance to cover agaisnt the Jaguars.” The Rams had a chance to upset the Jags, and possibly get that single win they needed to not be this year’s Lions – but just as soon as Leonard Little returned an INT for a touchdown, the Jaguars marched down for the game tying field goal. Then it was overtime, and overtime meant an L for the Rams as Maurice Jones-Drew willed his team to victory, and Josh Scobey finished the Rams off with a game winning FG. The Rams covered easily, obviously, and luckily for me, the worst team in football remains victory-less in ’09.

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Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers (-13): (WINNER)  “The Packers coming off a bye week preparing for a Lions team that has a list of injured players you couldn’t count using just your fingers (who can count past their fingers these days anyway?) – It’s hard not to be all gung-ho about the Packers chances at winning by a couple touchdowns.” Well, the public wasn’t (favored the Packers), I wasn’t (picked the Packers) and hopefully after reading my picks, you weren’t (enter amount won picking the Packers here $____). The bottom line, the Lions weren’t healthy enough to compete with Green Bay’s big guns. I think they game will be closer next time around, but the Packers owned the day this time around.

Chicago Bears @ Atlanta Falcons (-3): (WINNER) I was confused about this line, I didn’t see the evenness of these two teams as the spread insisted. On that, I was wrong. The Bears and the Falcons are fairly similar teams. They are two squads that relied heavily on the run last season, but haven’t been able to get the ground game going full-speed thus far in 2009. Both passing games have won games, and the threat of the air attack will soon take pressure off the running game. Both defenses aren’t great, but they do hit hard, tackle well, and put pressure on opposing offenses. The Falcons are a little better, but the difference isn’t nearly as big as I thought it was. That being said, Atlanta covered. They needed some big plays on defense, some big turnovers, and a couple throws by Matt Ryan, but they covered.

Denver Broncos (+3.5) @ San Diego Chargers: (WINNER) I said that the Chargers are and have been overrated, and I still believe that to be true, but they played well on Monday Night. The offensive line couldn’t give Phillip enough time to really hurt them through the air, and the running game did some damage but San Diego’s final numbers weren’t much to be proud of. Denver got 2 special teams touchdowns from Eddie Royal, which they won’t get every night. But don’t be fooled, the better team was Denver, they played better, and they got the win. Nothing surprising here.

Free NFL Picks Review Week 5

A .500 free football picks week never gets a smile out of me, especially when I had so many great calls. Bengals over Ravens? You bet, 49ers getting ousted by visiting Falcons, yes sir! Cleveland getting 6? Great bet! Giants over the Raiders despite the public love? Any day of the week… But there were some games that didn’t go my way, a half point loss, a complete run through at the hands of the Hawks, and many more. Here’s everything I had….

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Cincinnati Bengals (+9) @ Baltimore Ravens: (WINNER) “I think the Ravens and Bengals are eerily similar as far as team skill is concerned. So 9 points obviously seems like way too much for me. Many are forgetting that the Bengals are one hail-mary away from being 4-0 to start the season. They haven’t dominated their competition, but 3 wins (two against quality opponents like Green Bay and Pittsburgh) give me a lot to like. A lot of people like to say that spreads don’t mean much, that the team that wins covers 80% of the time – and that may be true, but I think this game has the makings of a down-to-the-wire contest, with either team needing a big play to get the win.” If you watched this game, you’d see that these teams are very similar, in both style and talent. Both use a very solid defense to stay close, both rely heavily on the rushing attack, and both make big plays to win games with they have to. The Bengals got the ball last, they got help from some stupid Raven penalties, and they got the win, outright, over the Ravens. You bet!

Cleveland Browns (+6) @ Buffalo Bills: (WINNER)  “I hate to do this, because seeing Eric Man-Jina trade away his star offensive receiver only to put together his first win of the season in the process kind of makes me sick to my stomach. But, as the cards begin to stack, I can see too much to like about Cleveland and the points. They proved last week that they can run the ball well against a good defense. That should go a long way to covering the spread against the Bills.” What’s gross about this game is the fact that the team that won had a quarterback that completed just 2 of 17 passes for 26 yards, while throwing an interception. But like I said, the Browns ability to run the ball would go a long way in terms of covering the spread, and it definitely did. The fact that Cleveland covered and Eric Mangini has to feel like he runs the worst offense in the league makes me feel a lot better about this whole thing.

Washington Redskins @ Carolina Panthers (-3.5): (LOSS)  Damn both these teams, all the way to the bottom of their divisions as far as I’m concerned. I know the Panthers will have to fight softly and carry a little twig to finish below the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but I can only hope. The Panthers were down 17-2 halfway through the 3rd quarter, and yet they still managed a way to win and not cover by a half point. I feel used that I lost this game by a half point, but I also feel lucky for it to have been so close after it was 17-2. Either way I lose, look bad or look good, a loss stings.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-10.5) @ Detroit Lions: (LOSS) I hate the Steelers play calling. I’m pretty sure that is what keeps them in close games this season. What didn’t they like about handing the ball to Rashard Mendenhall and getting 5 yards a carry throughout the first half? They should have eaten clock through the 3rd and 4th quarters, but even then I should have covered this game. It took a 25 yard touchdown pass late in the 4th for the Lions to get back in coverage zone. Puke. This is how those double digit spreads come back to haunt you. Still, while I’ll take the loss with open arms, you have to see a bad beat here. They Lions got a pick 6 and a long 4th quarter touchdown pass to get within 8, this game belonged to the Steelers.

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Dallas Cowboys (-8.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs: (LOSS) I don’t know how the Cowboys didn’t cover this spread. Maybe it was the fumbles, maybe just the poor defensive secondary play? Maybe it was the entire first half of being so careful that my grandma would have been begging me to change the channel for some more action. Regardless, the Cowboys needed an out of this world performance from Miles Austin to win the game at all, an OT thriller indeed. I believed in the Cowboys again, it hurt my heart again.

Oakland Raiders @ New York Giants (-15): (WINNER) Thanks for the money, Oakland. I’m not sure where I heard it, but it still has my in stitches, “Roger Goodell needs to stop worrying about fining players for every thing they do and start trying to find a way to unplug the battery that is keeping Al Davis alive.” The Giants killed the Raiders, what’s new?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+15) @ Philadelphia Eagles: (LOSS)  I don’t know what to say, there was a time when a 15 point dog that played some decent games was on hell of a bet. That was another time, another place, not today in the NFL. The Eagles wear big boy pants, the Bucs are that weird pirate guy dressed up in the corner of a Halloween party, the guy nobody knows but everyone’s too nice to kick out because he’s just sitting there looking lost and innocent as can be. It’s hard. That’s a buccaneer, these are the Buccaneers.

Minnesota Vikings (-10) @ St. Louis Rams: (WINNER) “My opinion, the Rams are the worst team in football. Another opinion, the Vikings are one of the best. I know this game is on the road in a dome after a short week, but I can’t over-think this match-up too much. It’s the Vikings and the Rams – and I have to think the Vikings are at least 10 points better than the worst team in football. A dissolved offensive line, a running game that will find no room, and a quarterback issue that has no answer on the team.” Not over-thinking helped me a lot in this one, I wish I could have done that in the Eagle game.

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Atlanta Falcons (+2.5) @ San Francisco 49ers: (WINNER) “I want to take the Niners here, before any research I liked the 49ers, especially just -2.5 at home. I think the 49ers are one of the better teams in football. Atlanta travels a long way to play an old foe, and the Falcons offense hasn’t been nearly as successful as they were last year. The running game has slowed down to a crawl, and Matt Ryan hasn’t thrown the ball all that much, taking very few chances. But I wonder what a week away will do to the Falcons, and I wonder what a week away from playing the JV team in St. Louis does for the 49ers. What I’ve found in my research with Atlanta is that they generally struggle against teams that throw the ball real well, not necessarily a strength of the 49ers. Over their last 14 games, they’ve only lost to the Eagles, Patriots, Cardinals, and Saints – what do all those teams have in common? Prolific passers, air attacks that do most of their offensive damage. Atlanta isn’t great against the run, but they seem to do okay if they can key in on that part of an offense. Shaun Hill has done a good job, but the Falcons will make him win the game for the 49ers. History says he won’t be able to, and that has me going with the small road dog.” Bingo! Yhatzee! Right on the Money! A lot of my buddies called me nuts for this selection, and despite my admiration for Mike Singletary, it feels really good to be right in those situations. Stupid buddies, smart Lucky!

Houston Texans @ Arizona Cardinals (-5.5): (WINNER) The Cardinals are painful to watch. Often, in the same game, they seem like one of the better teams in the league and one of the worst teams in the league. They throw the ball too much, rely heavily on timing throws, and often get into 3rd and long situations. But sometimes they march down the field, scoring with absolute ease. The first half they were that good team, and the second half they needed an awesome goal line stand and a pick six to get the win. I’ll take what I can get.

New England Patriots (-3) @ Denver Broncos: (LOSS) Mike Holmgren-like play calling sealed the Patriots fate, as far as I’m concerned. Draws on 2nd and 3rd down forced punts in the 2nd half, giving the Broncos just enough opportunity to get a huge win. I feel cheated in this one, because the Patriots had to only continue doing what they were doing to succeed. But the Broncos did what they’ve been doing all year, found a way to win and took full advantage.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) @ Seattle Seahawks: (LOSS) The Hawks were hurting, but it didn’t matter. The Jags came out soft, Jones-Drew couldn’t find room to run, Aaron Curry was a beast, and Matt Hasselbeck took full advantage of his wide open receivers. How wrong was I here? Try 44-0…. What can a guy do? Sometimes you swing and miss, sometimes you swing and fall down, but times like this, you swing and miss and fall down and hit yourself in the head on your follow through. Yeah, tough one.

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Indianapolis Colts (-3.5) @ Tennessee Titans: (WINNER)  This one was easier than I thought. The public loved it and I went for it. Glad I did as Peyton has the league on lock-down right now.

New York Jets (-2) @ Miami Dolphins: (LOSS) The Jets defense gave up a lot in this one. Miami ran the ball with power and that wildcat did lots of work. They needed a late touchdown to win it, but with 7 second left Ronnie Brown gave his Fins exactly that. The Jets had their chances to get it done, but Miami had the last laugh, and too full advantage. 7-7 in Week 5, not much there to fall in love with.

NFL Free Picks Review: Week 4

Well, I’m eating in to my early winning ways, that’s for sure. Luckily I was up 9 games going into Week 3, because, 3 and 4 weren’t good to me at all. After 4 more losses than wins in Week 3 I finished Week 4 only a little better, 6-8. I’m still up headed into Week 5, but that hot early start isn’t as dreamy as it once was. Here’s the haps…

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Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears (-10): (WINNER) This was a pretty weird game, the Lions kept it a game for most of the day, but ended up losing by 24. It wasn’t that quite like that, tied at 21 going into half, but I have to say I was still thinking I was going to cover this one going into the second frame. The Bears got some help from the big play on special teams and defense, not needing to do much yardage-wise, but Jay and Forte did plenty, and the Lions gave me a winner to start my day. Needless to say it went down hill from here.

Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5) @ Cleveland Browns: (LOSS) The Browns came to play, no doubt about that, and the Bengals just kind of snuck by in this one. The Books moved and moved, but even the Browns at +3.5 ended up being a good bet. Weird, those tricky books. Cleveland ran the ball really well, something I didn’t think they’d be able to do. That right there was enough to keep them right in the hunt against the Bengals. I thought that I, and the rest of the public, was walking into some free money after the Bengals went up 14-0 early in the 2nd quarter, but the Browns fought back to take the lead, 20-14. The Bengals seemingly iced all hopes for bettors by scoring what everyone thought would be the go-ahead touchdown, only the extra point they actually needed to “go ahead”. That gave me just an ounce of hope, as a Bengals TD would get me the cover. It wasn’t to be, a field goal in the final seconds of OT (that looked like it missed by the way) was good, and the Bengals do just enough to win without covering. This, not the first game, was a sign of my day to come.

Oakland Raiders (+9) @ Houston Texans: (LOSS) The Raiders can’t run or throw, I feel like a took box for taking these gong-show outcasts in any game with any spread. How bad can a pro-team be? Poor Richard Seymour, I feel bad for the guy. Darren McFadden… Really? Al Davis is poison.

Seattle Seahawks (+10.5) @ Indianapolis Colts: (LOSS) Seattle couldn’t run the ball, and their play-calling sucked, for the second straight week. Peyton Manning was at the top of his game, and I again feel like a dope for thinking the Hawks had good value here. Damn.

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Tennessee Titans (-3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: (LOSS) “70% like Tennessee here. This is a very tough one for me, but in the end I’m with them. I would like to preface my selection with this: if the Titans weren’t 0-3 I would be taking the Jaguars here for sure. I think Jacksonville should find some openings in the Titan secondary, and MJD will probably have a decent day despite Tennessee’s stellar run defense. But the Titans can’t go 0-4.” Apparently they can. Like I said, this one was very tough for me, and I let the Titans “need” to get a win get in the way of me actual winning. Out-thought by myself again!

New York Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs (+9): (LOSS) “The Giants have beaten the Chiefs by 10 or more points every time these two teams have played since 1998. Now that doesn’t mean much to me, I’m just saying so you know. The Giants can really run the ball, the Chiefs can’t stop the run. The Giants take full advantage of the passes they do attempt, the Chiefs shoot themselves in the foot with penalties like it’s their job. The Chiefs struggle with pressure put on them by opposing defenses, the Giants can make life hell on most quarterbacks while rushing just four guys. Now, I wanted to let you know all that stuff before I told you this: I’m taking the Chiefs (+9). Call me nuts,” Hey, dude, you’re nuts! Out-thought by myself again! The Giants didn’t run real well, but the Chiefs don’t play to win and if it weren’t for two lousy touchdowns late this game would look even more pathetic than it does already.

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots (-1.5): (WINNER) This game was very tight, and I think the Ravens got screwed around a bit, plus a late dropped pass killed any chance they had. I still like the Patriots at home to win straight up against anyone. I always will, until Tom Brady hangs ’em up. He’s a winner, that’s what he does.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Redskins (-7): (LOSS)  After Santana Moss’s touchdown catch, from the human turnover machine, Jason Campbell, I thought the Redskins were going to walk away with this one, despite missing an extra point that eliminated my push. But I gave clown Zorn (who I once thought would be a good coach) too much credit. He started playing not-to-lose and everyone knows that’s a terrible way to score points. He didn’t lose though, only I did. Damn the man!

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Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins (+2): (WINNER) The Dolphins kicked around the Bills, and I’m actually hoping that TO holds it together in Buffalo and doesn’t flip out because this coaching staff is really too cautious for them to win enough games to keep TO smiling. And honestly, I’ve seen enough of TO pissed off, fighting off idiot media bastards, and just being sad. Guy can be the saddest man in the world some times. I hope he just fights it, keeps plodding on, and has some good games going forward. But I’m sure glad they got kicked around this week by Ronnie Brown and the youngster, Chad Henne, because I needed a win something fierce!

New York Jets (+7) @ New Orleans Saints: (LOSS) I don’t know. The Saints defense has made a magical change from last year to this. Amazing. They are good. They don’t give you anything, running or passing, and they come after you. I’m impressed. But the Jets still should have covered this game. If Sanchez doesn’t make a couple huge rookie mistakes, the Saits aren’t given 14 points to play with early. But, Mark is a rookie, and I took his squad, knowing damn well there was a chance the rook could make some of those mis-reads. I’ll take this one on the chin.

Dallas Cowboys (-3) @ Denver Broncos: (LOSS) I loved getting this game wrong. Josh McDaniels has been one of my favorites since he had no problem trying to help special princess players off the team from the beginning. That’s how you make a team tough. Is his team tough? Hell yes, tougher than any Bronco team has been in a long time. I missed on this one, though Dallas had all the opportunity to keep this from being a game early. Tony Romo and company just can’t get the job done when it matters most. And Roy Williams, you are a sandy-crotched marshmallow. Get in the damn game to try and help your team. Your ribs hurt? Good lord. Dude is a princess.

St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers (-9.5): (WINNER) “The 49ers are as good as they’ve shown. They have a stout defense that brings it every play. They have elite players in the secondary, in the line backing crew, and on the defensive line. They have an offense that pounds it until opposing defenses can’t take it anymore. The only reason I’d take the Rams here is because they actually have a chance now that Marc Bulger is out. I think last week’s last second loss puts some piss and vinegar into the 49ers this week. They should be 3-0 if black magic didn’t strike them dead in Week 3. St. Louis is still the worst team in football, even with Bulger finally on the sidelines. This win would make San Francisco undefeated against the entire NFC West to start the season, and I know Mike Singletary will have made that an emphasis for this playoff bound 49ers squad. Now the 49ers aren’t going to win a lot of games by double digits, but they’re not going to play the Rams very often, either. Take them here, despite the high spread.” Even on the tough weeks, you have to hit some right on the nail – this was one of those.

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San Diego Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5): (WINNER)  “Even the Steelers can run the ball against San Diego’s defense. Now Pittsburgh has played pretty poorly to start the season, never being able to finish, and lucking out to have just one win thus far (they should have lost to the Titans). But they’ll play better in this one. THe Chargers aren’t good defensively, and I don’t think they run with any success in Pittsburgh. I don’t think the world of the Steelers but doubt they drop to 1-3 to start the season, not with all that open room to accrue yardage against the Chargers defense. How does San Diego’s 24-20 win over Oakland look right now? How about their 10 point win against Miami when they were down 6-3 after Chad Pennington went down? Listen, neither of these teams is as good as everyone thought heading into the season, but Pittsburgh is still the better team. I like the over here a lot as well, but since I only take sides, I’ll just say I’m leaning on the over. Many big plays in this one, Steelers by 10 at home on Sunday Night Football.” It took just about 3 full quarters for SD to get anything going, but then they made me look brilliant. The Steelers win and cover by 10, the over gets smashed, everyone has to agree with me about who is the better team, and basically everything I said was true. And I needed this one really bad.

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings (-3.5): (WINNER) It wasn’t how I thought it was going to be, the Vikings didn’t run all over the Packers – Green Bay obviously focused a lot on stopping AP, and they did that pretty well. But Brett killed them. The last thing the Packers must have wanted was for Brett to come out like a cowboy and just shoot them down with a smile. But that’s what happened. The game got close at the end, and I was a little worried with the Packers marching down 10 – but the Vikings held and covered for me.

NFL Free Picks Review: Week 3

Ugh… I struggled with my NFL Week 3 free picks, had some tough luck in some games and floundered while riding some big dogs. They say, let the big dog eat, well this week the big dog got eaten and I was there as desert. I had a tough time with Week 3, most definitely, but when I win big I take some credit, and when I struggle I own up – so here’s my review for 2009’s first loosing week.

Cleveland Browns (+13) @ Baltimore Ravens: (LOSS) The Ravens did revert back to running the ball a lot more in this one, unfortunately for the Browns that just meant a slower death. Cleveland did nothing, nothing at all. Brady Quinn was brutal, but Derek Anderson was even worse. I think being forced to coach Cleveland was a perfect punishment for Mangini’s failure to keep running the ball while heading up the Jets. I was thinking that Cleveland would get some big plays through the air, as Baltimore’s defense had been giving those up over the first couple weeks, and Baltimore’s running game would slow the game down, keeping this relatively close. Nope. The Browns got slaughtered and I started out with a loss.

New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7): (LOSS) The Giant are a million times better than the Bucs, and I think I’m going to have to give up on my “The Bucs aren’t that bad” assessment. The Bucs can run the ball, and I thought Byron could throw the rock (and he did in the first couple weeks) but what Tampa can’t do is stop any offenses in the NFL. If they can’t do that, they’re going to really struggle to win a couple games.

Green Bay Packers (-6.5) @ St. Louis Rams: (WINNER)  “Marc Bulger is bad – the Packers put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, the Rams are missing their first round pick starting offensive tackle, and they are the worst team in football despite those things.”Okay, so I don’t think it was fair that Marc Bulger went down early in this one, that luck of the draw alone gave them a chance to upset the Packers. St. Louis went all in against the run, and the Packers needed some really big plays to end up covering this one. I’d take this bet again though, you can bet on that. It’s not every day that the Rams get lucky and lose Marc Bulger to injury.

Kansas City Chiefs (+9.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles: (LOSS) I really thought the Chiefs stood a chance in this one. I know Kolb has been winging it, but I thought KC could control the clock a bit on the ground and beat the Eagles in some blitzes – however, it seemed like Philly had their way from the get go, rather it was running or throwing with ease, and despite completing most of his passes, Cassel finished with under 100 yards passing. Weird. Another loss started the worrying. Penalties will kill a football team, just ask the Chiefs.

Atlanta Falcons @ New England Patriots (-4): (WINNER) Neither team played really well, Tom Brady struggled with some throws, and his receivers struggled to catch some of them. Still, the Patriots found a way to move the ball, it’s this crazy idea called handing it off. Yes, Fred Taylor burst onto the scene, picking apart the Falcons porous run defense to the tune of a 100+ yard game and a touchdown. That extra threat allowed the Patriots to get in a better flow, and they won the game with relative ease.

San Francisco 49ers (+7) @ Minnesota Vikings: (WINNER) The 49ers deserved this game but Brett pulled a laser out of his bag of tricks and Greg Lewis had one of the best last second catches I’ve seen in quite some time to get the win for the Vikings. Brett’s throw was amazing, and the Vikings did just enough, in just enough time, to get the 49ers. Both these teams are very good, and like I said, very similar, which is why that 49er cover was good value.

Jacksonville Jaguars  @ Houston Texans (-3.5): (LOSS) This game was disgusting to watch. It was 31-24, which may make people think there was some good football being played, but when it comes right down to it the Texans and Jaguars were just about equal parts mediocre on Sunday. The Jaguars had this guy named Maurice though, and he produced 3 touchdowns. The Jaguars fought like a team that didn’t want to see 0-3 while Houston played like a team that expected to win without trying. Houston as a favorite, always a scary thing apparently.

Washington Redskins (-6.5) @ Detroit Lions: (LOSS) “I want to take the Lions, I really do,” Yeah, I was a bit worried about this one, but I just didn’t think Matt Stafford could get it done. In fact, he really didn’t, and the Lions were lucky to see Al Haynesworth go down really early so they could run some what effectively with Kevin Smith. The Redskins had the ball inside the five on numerous occasions, but they couldn’t punch it in, getting stuffed on 4th and goal from the 6 inch line twice. Detroit gets a win, I get a loss, that combination hasn’t happened in a long time.

Tennessee Titans (+3) @ New York Jets: (LOSS) Mark Sanchez just climbed to the Top 5 in my favorite player lists when he lowered his head at the goal line willing himself in for the score. Stud. But even after some freak stuff, a fumbled kickoff return, etc, the Titans found a way to be up 17-14. But New York found a way to win, and they sent the Titans to 0-3, and idea I thought would propel the Titans to victory. Wrong again. Tough week.

New Orleans Saints @ Buffalo Bills (+6): (LOSS) “This game is very hard for me. I know, everyone says ride the Saints, but I really don’t think they are as good as they’ve been playing – they are missing Pierre Thomas (or at least he’s not healthy) and the same can be said for Mike Bell. Reggie Bush is not a runner. Now I know everyone thinks that Brees can just throw every down and be putting up 50 points, but what has been so great about the Saints offense this season is that threat to run.” Pierre Thomas ended up blasting through the Bills defense, but if you didn’t watch this game, you have to understand how close it actually was. The 20 point win was actually a tough-nosed game. The Saints were up just 10-7 with 11:20 left in the 4th quarter and the Bills had a 3rd and short. 27-7, sure, I know, what and idiot for taking the Bills – but I was feeling pretty good about my selection to start the 4th – but I should have recognized in Game 1 against the Patriots, the Bills aren’t much of a closer. Still, they played pretty darn well against a pretty solid team, and I think they’ll have nice value moving forward.

Chicago Bears (-2) @ Seattle Seahawks: (WINNER) The Bears shouldn’t have won this game. Seattle played better everywhere, gaining more yards, making bigger plays, and they did it all with many starters out. Still, the Bears found a way to win, and that was with a couple big plays and just enough grind it out to get the job done. I needed this one.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals (+4.5): (WINNER) “The Steelers’ offensive line is still brutal. The Bengals defense is a lot better than most people give them credit for.” That was enough for me, and it was enough for Cincinnati to get a big upset over the defending champs. This win was another good one. It always feels good when everyone you know calls you crazy for taking the Bengals at home against the Steelers, and not only do they cover, but they get the W. The may have needed a last minute touchdown, but they got the W regardless.

Denver Broncos (+1.5) @ Oakland Raiders: (WINNER) The Broncos have a good coach. They will beat teams they should beat. It’s a team that will get a lot scarier as soon as Orton gets on the same page with one of the more talented WR duos in the league. Eddie Royal hasn’t gotten involved, and Marshall is still limited by Orton’s dink and dump style, but I think the Broncos will get more and more offensive as the season moves forward. 3-0 sounds good Denver fans, huh? You ready to run Josh McD out of town now?

Miami Dolphins (+6) @ San Diego Chargers: (LOSS) I know injuries are part of the game, but they screwed me this week. I thought Bowe would be big against the Eagles, and he didn’t suit up last minute. Andre Johnson got hurt right before halftime and though he stayed in, he was obviously effected as he didn’t catch a pass the rest of the game. And then there was this game, it was tied when Chad Pennington went down, and the Dolphins kicked a field goal to go up 6-3. With Chad Henne at the Q, the Dolphins couldn’t get anything done and his mistakes ate up field position and opportunities, making life a lot easier on the Chargers. I’m not saying I would have won all the games if guys didn’t get hurt, but I am saying it makes covering tougher. Another loss broke my bowling units.

Indianapolis Colts @ Arizona Cardinals (+2): (LOSS) This game was a joke. The Cardinals fumbled and threw this one away. I didn’t even want to watch the second half, but I did anyway, just long enough for Kurt and company to give me hope before doing dick after scoring on the first drive. Inside the 10 twice, and two turnovers and no points to show for it kind of grossed me out. Let me tell you what I saw in Indy, a team on a short week flying home to Indy then back accross to the country to play a Cardinals team that needed a win. But that didn’t matter because Peyton Manning does a lot with gifts, and Arizona was in the giving mood. Even after the tough start to the week, I thought I was going to get back to 8-8 when AZ was at the 7 yard line about to go up 10-0. But then the Cardinals happened, and of course then this next thing happened, and good bye to 8-8, hello to 6-10…

Carolina Panthers (+9) @ Dallas Cowboys: (LOSS) I LOVED my chances at a cover in this one, even late in the 4th after Dallas went up 13-7. All Carolina had to do was try to score and NOT turn it over deep in their own zone. Jake Delhomme (and mainly Steve Smith’s crappy route) one-upped me; not only did Jake turn it over with a pick deep in his own zone, but Terrence Newmann took the interception to the house for what was basically a sure thing loss for me. The Panthers were doing everything they could not to cover. DeAngelo Williams was running with ease on the Cowboys and they started throwing. They were holding and pushing off and all that good stuff, but they were still going to cover and get me a win anyway. Too bad, so sad, Jake’s bound to throw one pick-six, I should know that. This tough week got even tougher with this one, I thought I was on the right side, and the funny thing is, that doesn’t even make me feel better. Lets get back to winning, this REVIEW is DONE!

NFL Week 2 Expert Picks Review: Football Handicapping

It would be easy to say that I should have won 11 for my Week 2 football picks for week too, because, honestly, I have to feel I picked that Monday Night game right on the button. But that’s just looking at what went wrong. If I was doing the what if business, or the should have business, I would have to admit the Giants probably shouldn’t have won on Sunday Night either… But I won 10 more games this week, starting out with double digit douzies in each of the first two weeks. Can’t ask for much more than that. This is how the cookie crumbled…

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Carolina Panthers (+6) @ Atlanta Falcons: (LOSS) This game was very close. I’m not saying I should have won, but I’m not saying I look like a dope for making this pick either. The Panthers had their chances, that’s for sure, and were driving the ball late in this game, going for a tie. Two times in the red-zone with no points ended things for Carolina, a team that I think should be a nice underdog going forward.

St. Louis Rams @ Washington Redskins (-9.5): (LOSS)  “At first glance this one is tough for me to stomach. Take the Rams, a team I have claimed to be the worst in football, or the Redskins, a team favored by 10 that has shown very little ability to put the ball in the end zone with Jason Campbell at the point.” I followed this by saying some things that I wish I wouldn’t have. Things I may never say again like, “I believe in the Redskins’ offense”. Washington won, sure, but they didn’t even score enough to cover if they had shut out the Rams. The play calling in Washington is very dull, lacks any sort of creativity, and basically gives Jason Campbell no chance to succeed. I don’t know why coaches insist on doing this for quarterbacks that are struggling. Making a QB easier to defend is no way to help him out, to help him improve. Both of these teams were pathetic on Sunday, but the Rams are still the worst team in football.

Houston Texans (+8) @ Tennessee Titans: (WINNER) “From what I saw from the Titans last week, they have a very good run defense. But they have holes in that secondary if the offensive line withstands that immediate surge. I think the Texans were terrible last week, but not a terrible football team. So things have to even out. The Titans should have won against Pittsburgh, but some missed field goals kept the Steelers in the game. The Titans are solid, and should run the ball well against Houston, but the Texans are closer to the Titans than 8 points. This is a divisional game, and both teams should come in with a lot to prove. That usually keeps the outcome closer, I’ll take the points.” I’m glad I got this one. Lots of points early, and Chris Johnson’s very own highlight film had me on the ropes. But just like I expected, Houston’s offense came to play, and this game was tied late. With a certain cover in the cards, I loved seeing Houston come out and upset Tennessee at home. I think Houston has this kind of offense, and will continue to give good teams trouble all season long.

New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles (-1): (LOSS) “I don’t think this is a safe bet, but I’m taking the Eagles.” Hopefully you took my warning to heart, unlike myself, and didn’t wager on this game. I liked the Eagles, thought they’d be tougher defensively for Drew, but the 6 foot wonder kid torched his second straight opponent. It’s going to take a down game from Brees for his Saints to lose, and I’m not sure how easy that’s going to be to predict. The Eagles secondary is pretty solid, but Brees made them look like junior varsity most improved players… The Eagles put up lots of yards, but the Saints D made some big plays putting this one on the top shelf early.

New England Patriots @ New York Jets (+5): (WINNER)  “I don’t like taking a team that played poorly, should have lost, and won last week. So I’m not going to do it. The Jets do lots of little things right, and their defense is stout. I’m not sure the Patriots will be able to stop the run with Seymour stuffing the line of scrimmage in Oakland and Jarrod Mayo out for a few weeks. The Jets have a very solid offensive line, and I think they’ll be coming into this game with a chip on their shoulder.” You could see the chip on the Jets’ shoulders all game long. New York is too good defensively to be a 5 point dog, and their offensive line is too good for that as well. They do the little things right, they should have won this game, and they did.

Oakland Raiders (+4) @ Kansas City Chiefs: (WINNER) Well, JaMarcus Russell was brutal, the Raiders didn’t run all that well, but KC’s offense couldn’t put up points either, and the Raiders pulled out a win in KC. I liked the Raiders to win this one, and they did just enough to make that happen. I wouldn’t say the beat up on the Chiefs, but as a four point dog against a bad offense, you don’t need to kill to be an easy cover. I thought the Raiders were exactly that.

Arizona Cardinals @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-3): (LOSS)  Kurt Warner was amazingly accurate, and the Cardinals, never a good team playing on the East Coast, got to 1-1 on the season by smashing a Jaguars team that doesn’t look that good. Jacksonville needs something, and I’m not sure it’s players… Just saying.

Cincinnati Bengals (+9) @ Green Bay Packers: (WINNER)  “I hate to do this, because I think the Packers are a lot better than they played last week, but I can’t take a team that played poorly last week, pulled out a win anyway, and is now favored by 9 over a defense that looks much improved. I think the Bengals offense will improve every week, and from Week 1 to Week 2 will be no difference. People will look at this game and say, the Bengals suck, they lost to the terrible Broncos, but I don’t see it that way. I don’t think the Broncos are bad, they just aren’t great. And it took a pretty big fluke for the Bengals to get ousted in Week 1. Nine is a lot of points, and an improved Bengals defense should keep it closer than that. A couple big plays from Palmer and Chad, and this could be a big upset in Week 1. Survivor players, steer clear!” Please tell me you listened up and didn’t go with the Packers in your survivor games… I know I stayed away, and for good reason. That first part of what I said, never take a team that played poorly and just slipped by and is now a big favorite – write that down, put it in a safe, and look in that safe every week before making your picks.

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Minnesota Vikings (-10) @ Detroit Lions: (WINNER) Like everyone else, I liked the Vikings here. For all the obvious reasons that made them one of the more popular picks in Week 2 – so I don’t need to go into much detail. All I know is that Stafford still isn’t ready as his two more interceptions in Week 2 show. If the Lions want to win, Culpepper is their guy.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+5) @ Buffalo Bills: (LOSS) This was a tough one. Buffalo jumped out early, and honestly if it weren’t for some big dropped passes by TO, this game would have been an even bigger blowout. I really expected good things from the Bucs run game in this one, but like many running teams, if you start off way behind it’s tough to get the run game started. A swing and a miss no doubt.

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers (-1.5): (WINNER)  “I think the 49ers just play a tougher brand of football that makes a tough match-up for the Hawks. Frank Gore’s running style seems to eat up the smallish Hawks front 7, and especially with Leroy Hill out, Seattle should have trouble preventing Gore from averaging less than 5 yards a carry. I think San Fran will feed the man the ball, and that should be enough to pull a home win in Week 2.” My buddy, and fantasy writer on my site, Red Red Ryan, told me that I was nuts for taking the 49ers here, and when I told him that Frank Gore would dominate the Hawks, he asked me when the last time he had 100 yards against the Hawks was…. Well, needless to say, when I got a text midway through the 1st quarter, I was happy to see a reply saying: “Well that didn’t take long.” Sometimes you’re right, sometimes you’re right and your friend is wrong. Like my buddy Josh says, anything worth playing is worth beating your friends at.

Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos (-3) : (WINNER) I liked the Broncos at home, but I didn’t expect them to blow Cleveland out. Now it was just 13-6 going into the 4th quarter, but Denver really ran this game. I liked them a lot more than most people did, coming into the season, but their defensive prowess has been even better than I expected.

Baltimore Ravens (+4) @ San Diego Chargers: (WINNER) This game was pretty interesting. A couple huge plays defensively got Baltimore the win, but contrary to what I expected, it was offense that dominated this box score, but it wasn’t the offensive numbers that won the game. Phillip Rivers put up 436 passing yards against the Ravens, that’s nuts. But SD couldn’t run the ball at all, and the Ravens ended up eating up the clock and being more physical up front. Willis McGahee had a big day, but it was Ray Lewis that shut the Chargers down on 4th down in the 4th quarter, ending the game. The Ravens were going to cover either way, but the win felt nice.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Chicago Bears (+3): (WINNER) “The Steelers’ offensive line is pretty bad, just ask Willie Parker and his 19 yards on 13 carries last week… They played a poor game and should have lost last week against the Titans, but Tennessee kept pooping the bed every time they got into the red-zone area. …Cutler also has the ability to make some big plays too, and a couple big plays could be enough points to beat the Steel City. There’s no doubt in my mind that Cutler will be better in his second outing, and while the Steelers are very tough defensively, their offense isn’t strong enough to blow a solid team out. Chicago is a good team. I think this one is close, but I’m going against the defending champs here.” There you go. The Steelers’ O-line wasn’t good enough to beat up the Bears defense as Pitt’s run game never got on track. Ben threw the ball all over the field again, but like I said, that’s no way to get a sure win. Chicago took advantage, hung in, and used some big throws to get the win in a game nobody thought they had a chance in. I like to win, don’t get me wrong, but I love to win when I have readers writing in and telling me how wrong I am about said pick. Guys, I’m not mailing you back and telling you I told you so, because you know what’s up.

New York Giants (+3) @ Dallas Cowboys: (WINNER) So, when I pick a game wrong I admit it. And I’ve always been one to tell you if I pick a game wrong, win or lose. This is one of those cases. If I had to do it again, I’d probably go with the Cowboys in this situation. They played better. They were the better team, and they smashed the Giants around. New York needed some freak stuff to happen and a terrible game from Mr. Romo to win this game – and that’s what they got. In most instances, Tony doesn’t throw the ball around like Ryan Leaf, but thank goodness for me, and all those other Giant backers, that’s exactly what he did on Sunday Night. Don’t worry though, I took some Karma on Monday Night.

Indianapolis Colts @ Miami Dolphins (+3): (LOSS) “I think they’ll run the ball very effectively, and upset Indy. The Colts had a lot of big numbers last week, but just barely snuck by the Jaguars. Now, that’s what the Colts do from time to time, but I think it’s because Indy just isn’t as powerful as they once were. Basically, I expect the same Colts I saw last week and a much better Dolphins team than the one that lost a pushover to the Falcons.” What more can I say? Did I or did I not have this game right on the freaking button? The Dolphins ran the show on Monday Night, and all signs point to them winning the game. However, some pretty poor coaching, some terrible calls on their last field goal drive and on the final drive of the game, Ted Ginn Jr. dropping the game winner in the end zone, and this guy name Peyton Manning and his Colts barely sneaking by just happened to do me in by a single point. You win most of these, you lose some. That’s just the way it goes.

When all is edited and rephrased, I took ten this week. I’ll take 10 Wins every week for the rest of my life and smile from ear to ear. Until next week!

Week 1 NFL Picks REVIEW

Let us just say that the first week of football picks was good for me – and I hope it was good for you too. I didn’t have everything go my way, but there was a lot of lucky stuff that luckily helped out my free football picks. I started with a big win Thursday Night, then busted out 9 more wins on Sunday, getting me into double digits before Monday Night’s double header. Where did I go right or steer you wrong? Follow me…

Tennessee Titans (+6) @ Pittsburgh Steelers: (WINNER) “a hard nosed game, that promises to be an ugly smash mouth defensive battle, has me thinking 6 is just too much. Last year’s Super Bowl winners usually aren’t very good beginners – write that down. Their offensive line isn’t great, and that’s enough for me to take Tennessee on opening night.” I read this game pretty well. I think the Titans outplayed the Steelers big time early, but they didn’t score enough on the chances they got as Rob Bironas’s missed field goals killed the. Still, the Steelers didn’t do enough early to capitalize on Tennessee’s missed chances, putting this game into overtime, and guaranteeing me, at the very least, a push. A short field goal for Pittsburgh won the game, and gave me a victory to start off the season as well.

Denver Broncos (+4) @ Cincinnati Bengals: (WINNER) Basically everything I said I thought about this game was right on the dot except for Knowshon being dynamic from the get go. Moreno looked like a college running back out there, not trusting holes and being a little rusty. But the Broncos defense was very good, much tougher and more aggressive than last season. Carson Palmer was healthy enough to play, but just as I said, not quite back to his old touchdown slinging self. A couple more weeks and I might be leading that bandwagon, but not quite yet. The Broncos got a late miracle to get a win in this one, but they were never in the covering question. Their stellar defensive performance locked that up.

Minnesota Vikings (-4) @ Cleveland Browns:  (WINNER!) Despite the public loving this bet, I believed as well. I didn’t bet the house, but felt pretty good going in despite the line feeling too good to be true. Like the rest of you, I got a win in this one.

New York Jets (+5) @ Houston Texans: (WINNER)  “Mark Sanchez is the real deal. He has great feet, watch him, his confidence in the pocket is awesome. That offensive line is one of the top 5 units in football, and I haven’t even gotten to talking about the Jets defense yet. They may be missing Calvin Pace, but with David Harris and Bart Scott at linebacker, and Kris Jenkins protecting them, I think this team has plenty of playmakers and ball hawks to make some big plays happen. The Texans won’t be able to run, and the Jets will. That’s why I’m taking the points.” Well the Texans couldn’t run, the Jets could, and Mark had great poise, confidence, and strength in the pocket. I think Pete Carrol was wrong, Mark made a good decision coming out of college.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts (-7): (LOSS) I thought this line was too good to be true in favor of the improved Jaguars – so I picked the Colts, basically over-thinking the entire thing. I had one too many thoughts on this one. The Colts as a big favorite in a game that was usually close – what was I thinking? Took my first L of the week in Indy.

Dallas Cowboys (-6) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (WINNER) I liked Dallas to win by double digits on the road here, and they did – but watching this game was a different story. I thought the Bucs played really well, much closer than the final score signified, and Leftwich was pretty solid as well. Caddy Williams was awesome, and there’s no single player I root for more than Carnell. The Cowboys used some really big plays to down the Bucs, but some luck easily could have turned this game around, and I can only imagine this being a tough loss for those that took the Bucs. That being said, I’ve lost my fair share of those ones, and I can’t feel too bad about getting the win here. Romo’s numbers were awesome, and this Cowboys team definitely has a lot of game breaking ability.

Miami Dolphins (+4) @ Atlanta Falcons: (LOSS) “I’m such a baby, the Dolphins make me cry…” This game wasn’t very close, it was very weird. Neither team looked good doing what they do. Atlanta didn’t run it that well, and Miami just couldn’t get anything going. It was a pretty ugly game, but Tony Gonzalez definitely made his presence felt. I thought all along that his “not going to be a big part of the offense, but whatever is best for the team” quotes during camp were a little ridiculous, and he was the leading offensive asset for the Falcons on Sunday. I didn’t get a very good feel for either of these teams on Sunday, so I’m back to the drawing board for both.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens (-13): (WINNER) I’m really, really lucky to get a win in this one. There’s not much else to say about it. Todd Haley knows what he’s doing. His team is going to be a good one in the next couple years, no doubt in my mind. A late touchdown and another late add-on put the Ravens two scores up, but KC played better than that, and I know I could write a tear-filled Bad Beats column about this one if I were on the Chiefs side of the fence. But like I said, I’ll take a win, as ugly as a win can be.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Carolina Panthers (+1.5): (LOSS) I love the Eagles this season, really, I do. But I won’t love them against one of the best rushing attacks in the league until they do something or prove something with that front seven. They couldn’t stop the run this pre-season as I watched opponents run freely over the Eagles. Philly should put up a lot of points, and I fully understand that the Panthers have no interior defensive line either – but the Panthers will fully take advantage of that while the Eagles instead decide to throw the ball 4 out of every 5 downs… Just in this match-up, I like the underdog, hometown, returning best record in the NFC. Call me crazy. The Eagles just have too much hype for me.

Detroit Lions (+13) @ New Orleans Saints: (LOSS) This is another game that was a heck of a lot closer than people might think. If Stafford doesn’t toss a million interceptions, the Lions cover easily. New Orleans toyed with the rookie, and maybe, just possibly, showed me they might have enough defense to make some noise this season. Or maybe it was just the rookie? We’ll see. All I know is that Drew Brees has amazingly quick feet in the pocket. The way he evades the rush, resets his feet, and fires all at the same time is very impressive. So many times, that one extra move bought him just enough time to get a TD throw off. Impressive. I still like the Lions as a double digit dog,  but maybe I’m giving Stafford too much credit. He has yet to impress me as an NFL player, but I still like the Lions to cover their fair share of games this year.

San Francisco 49ers (+6.5) @ Arizona Cardinals: (WINNER) The Niners dominated a lot of this game, and were never really in a situation where I was worried about covering. Anything can happen any time, don’t get me wrong, but I liked the 49ers for lots of reason, one of which was their toughness and will. The Cardinals defense was much better than I thought they’d be, and looking back at it, that makes sense. Dockett is a beast in the middle, Dansby is elite at LB, and they have a pretty strong secondary as well, not to mention plenty of other good defensive players. However, just like I said, the offensive timing and production was bad most of this game. Where was the gun-slinger deep throws and chances? Warner spent more time throwing crappy short passes than anything else. If it was SF’s scheme, then kudos to them – whatever it was, the Niners pulled a nice upset and gave me another W.

Washington Redskins (+6.5) @ New York Giants: (WINNER) I don’t think the Giants are scary enough offensively to bust the Skins through the air. Washington will get more pressure on opposing offenses this season as Haynesworth really is that good. Al will also help ease the pain against one of the best offensive lines in the league, and I think Washington stacks the line against the Giants in this game. I think 6.5 is too much in a game that looks to have very few scoring opportunities.

St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks (-8.5): (WINNER) “Its hard for me to be too excited about the Rams, I called them the worst team in football last season, and despite the Lions hideous record, I stand by that claim. There was no team that was more pathetic than this Rams team a year ago. They no longer have Orlando Pace, but Alex Barron and Adam Goldberg at the edges instead. They don’t have Torry Holt or Isaac Bruce, but Laurent Robinson and Donnie Avery. Steven Jackson is still there, but unfortunately still is Marc Bulger. The guy kills more drives by hanging onto the ball than any QB I know. The defense is aging and hurting (like Leonard Little) and failed draft picks over the last couple years are coming back to haunt the new regime. That being said, it’s still 8.5 in Week 1 against a Hawks team that hasn’t proven to be beastly quite yet. I’m going on record and saying this spread is too high. It’s bad value, and I don’t know what I’m thinking by taking the Hawks anyway. It’s one of those times where I just have that feeling…” Hey, I went with my feeling despite reading a bad value. The Hawks are back, and looked very good after a shaky start to the game. I expect Housh to me more involved as the season moves forward, and I even think Julius will continue to put up solid numbers, especially as the offensive line gets healthy. I didn’t expect this big of a win, but the Hawks defense absolutely shut down the Rams. A big Hawks win made me undefeated in afternoon games. Lets keep that going!

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers (-3.5): (WINNER) This game was just plain weird. Cutler and Rodgers were off, Jay more than Aaron, their were lots of drops, neither running game looked good, and while both these teams have talented defenses, I’m not sure they’re that good. Still, the Packers had more balls – that’s right, they took more chances, played the smarter game, and in the end beat the Bears, something they haven’t done all that much over the last five seasons. A close cover, might have gone either way, luckily Jay Cutler did a lot of Jay Cutler type things. Going into Monday Night, I rocked double digit wins.

Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots (-10.5): (LOSER) I was pretty impressed with just about everything the Bills did. Even the last play, Leodis just gave too much effort. He was stupid to take the ball out of the end-zone anyway, but once he got it out, he took a big hit, stayed on his feet, and just got stripped barely by the 3rd guy that hit him. His extra effort probably lost the Bills the game. One thing is certain, Richard Seymour’s going to be missed on that defensive front. He was a beast in the Raiders game, one of the best players on the field. Jerrod Mayo is injured as well, and I’m not sure Pats fans will like the diagnosis tomorrow. The Bills should have won this game, but Tom Brady is a winner. Nothing was more perfect than Tom walking up the field with 1:18 on the clock and ticking: he was just relaxed as could be, looking like a guy walking on the beach. He knew. The Pats obviously didn’t cover, and I take my 5th and final loss of the week.

San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders (+9): (WINNER) “This line will likely move to 10 if you wait. Oh well, I still like the underdogs in this divisional match-up. I know, the Chargers get to show up and win, they can sleep through the season and easily take the division, and they have more talent in 5 positions than the Raiders have all over the field. I don’t care. What I care about is that the Raiders will be able to run enough to keep themselves in it.” The Raiders are going to win some games this year. They gave the Chargers all they could handle and more. JaMarcus Russell needs to be a lot more accurate if the Raiders want to get out of the cellar, but there’s lots of talent on this Oakland team. Zach Miller played like a stud, and McFadden/Michael Bush looked good as a powerful 1-2 punch in the backfield. Oakland pulled ahead with a ballsy 4th and 15 TD pass late in the 4th, but Phillip Rivers and company drove down the field and Darren Sproles polished off the victory for San Diego. It was much tougher than many expected. Just about how I thought it would be, but then again, that’s why I call ’em! 11-5 this week, folks. Lets keep it going in Week 2!!!

NFL Free Picks REVIEW: Week 17

Not a terrible way to end the season, not a big winner, but a winner nonetheless! The playoffs are just around the corner, and I’ll certainly be getting my picks out for those games by mid-week as well. As for week 17, it was good for some, that’s for sure – but it was a heck of a lot worst for most of those teams with playoff dreams… This is how it went down.

Oakland Raiders (+14) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (WINNER) Well, the Raiders upended the Bucs playoff hopes, opening the door for the Eagles to run the Cowboys and take the 6 seed. Like I said, Oakland does their best work against smaller defense, not unlike the Bucs. 14 points was way too many, ha.

Detroit Lions (+10.5) @ Green Bay Packers: (WINNER) Well, they couldn’t pull off the win, allowing one or two too many big plays down the stretch, but this game was close, and the 10 points difference writes a different story. Either way, the Lions covered for me.

Dallas Cowboys (+2) @ Philadelphia Eagles: (Loss) I was dead wrong here. The Eagles came to play, and everything worked out for them to own the final playoff spot. Do they keep their go for it attitude and make a run at the NFC crown or will they parish into their play not to lose alternate personality? Good question, I know, but they kicked some Cowboys tail this Sunday! I lose.

New York Giants (+7) @ Minnesota Vikings: (WINNER) The Giants should have won this game, but they didn’t really go for the throat and they let the Vikings hang around. Either way both these teams were in the playoffs, with the same seed, but Minnesota might come out of this one with a little more hope. AP had a big day for the Vikings. But I still won this one easily.

Chicago Bears (+3) @ Houston Texans: (Loss) “I love the Texans. They play very tough at home, and I see them throwing the ball around against the Bears secondary – but how about the will to win? The Bears have that. I hate betting on teams that won last weak where I thought they should have lost. That’s the Bears to a T. But what about the will?” – Here’s my answer – the will isn’t strong enough to go against my betting rules. When I learn that I’ll win more.

Carolina Panthers (-3) @ New Orleans Saints: (Loss) Well, this one was close. The Panthers wanted a suer thing bye, but the Saints weren’t about to roll over for them. Drew Brees was on his game, finishing just shy of Marino’s single season yardage record. The Siants pulled it out, but by just enough to make me a loser, 2….

St. Louis Rams (+15.5) @ Atlanta Falcons: (WINNER) I had this one right on the button – I hope the Falcons keep finding ways to win with a big playoff game coming up next week. What a rushing attack in Week 17, Turner and Norwood did work.

Kansas City Chiefs (+3) @ Cincinnati Bengals: (Loss) The Bengals really learned to play some defense as the season moved forward. If they keep that up next year, they might be alright. The Chiefs didn’t impress me much, and as it turns out I may have expected a little too much out of a 2 win team.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens (-12): (WINNER) I was right on the button with this one too. The Ravens are a terrible match-up for the Jaguars, or at least this Jaguars team. Baltimore’s tough nosed, grind it out style, with the ability to get first downs through the air, was just too much for the Jags.

Tennessee Titans (-3) @ Indianapolis Colts: (Loss) Weird game. The Titans didn’t do much, and it looked like the Colts turned into the team I thought Tennessee was. Both teams had their 2nd teamers in there, but it was the Colts that dominated from the get go, and they rode their momentum all game long.

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-10): (WINNER) The Steelers lost Big Ben in a meaningless game, but hopefully he’ll be alright for the playoffs. They dominated the Browns, though, putting up 31 and shutting out Cleveland’s anemic offense. I needed this one.

Miami Dolphins (+3) @ New York Jets: (WINNER) “If the Jets’ play calling is stupid enough for them to lose at home to Denver, in San Francisco, and then in Seattle in 3 of their last 4 games, then it is probably bad enough to choke this one away too. I don’t know about the average football mind, but if I had an old quarterback that got respect on his deep passes, one that was having shoulder issues, I would probably run the ball more than I threw it. If the Jets did that, they’d have won against the Hawks last week. They would have beaten the 49ers as well. But Man-Jina loves to throw the ball, regardless of the auto five yards Thomas Jones is getting and the great back-up speedster they have in Leon Washington. All things being equal, that stupidity should get Miami into the playoffs.” As soon as the Jets are down at all, they immediately turn to throwing the ball every single down. Their play calling sucks. Miami was the better team by season’s end, and that’s because their coaching is much better. There you have it. Hooray Miami! Hooray me!

New England Patriots (-6) @ Buffalo Bills: (WINNER) It was windy, it was nuts – the Patriots held on to the ball as long as possible and made some great moves that kept Buffalo out of the end zone. They won a big game, finished 11-5, but still found themselves up and out of the playoffs.

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals (-6): (WINNER) “I have to pick this game as if the last couple weeks didn’t happen to the Cardinals. The Cardinals are 6 points better than Seattle, especially at home, and especially after getting slammed each of the last two weeks. They have to get it together now or never, and I think their offensive firepower will be tough for the Hawks to handle. Big tough receivers aren’t the easiest on the little coverage guys in Seattle’s secondary.” There you have it. And it was Kurt and his crew of big receivers tormenting the Hawks secondary all day long, especially late. Larry Fitzgerald had a big day, catching two touchdowns in the process. Yhatzee!

Washington Redskins (+3) @ San Francisco 49ers: (PUSH) For the second straight week the 49ers found a way to win. They were down, but not out, and it might be Big Mike. I hope Singletary is exactly what the 49ers need to get back to respectability. Winning a bunch of games down the stretch probably helped them out a ton heading into next season. I didn’t win or lose, just pushed all the way to my money back on this one.

Denver Broncos (+9.5) @ San Diego Chargers: (Loss) This game was awesome – if you hate Denver. I thought the Broncos would put up more of a fight, but this was consistent with the entire season, I once again had trouble predicting the Broncos. That damn Splinter is always confusing me.

9-6-1 to finish – 23 games up on the season…

NFL Free Picks REVIEW: Week 16

A nice start had me excited before I fell right on my face just like the Jets and Eagles did – coincidence? I picked both of those teams to step up when their games mattered most. I should get a nice slap on the face just for imagining that they’d play with some urgency.

Thursday Night
Indianapolis Colts (-6) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: (WIN) It was just barely, but they pulled it off late, a nice 7 point win on a 6 point spread. The Jaguars played like the Jaguars should have played all year, where were they?

Saturday Night
Baltimore Ravens (+4.5) @ Dallas Cowboys: (WIN) I did say that I saw the Ravens winning outright in Dallas, I just didn’t think they’d run the ball for that many yards. However, watching the game you know they got most of those yards in the last 5 minutes. Either way though, the Ravens were in control of this one, they are the tougher team.

Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5) @ Cleveland Browns: (WIN) “I don’t think Ken Dorsey is worth a bet.” That pretty much says it all right there, and his game against the Bengals “awesome” secondary definitely confirms it.

New Orleans Saints @ Detroit Lions (+7.5): (Loss) The Lions didn’t win. They are 0-15. They played with absolutely no heart, and even though more than 40 players from the Lions had the flu, I have to be considered dead wrong on this one.

Miami Dolphins (-4) @ Kansas City Chiefs: (WIN) This game was very tight, and it came down to a score. That score just happened to be a touchdown and the Dolphins won. I win and I’m happy. What are the fins doing with Ronnie Brown? That guy is a beast, and I know they don’t want to wear him down, but he’s not getting enough touches. Maybe they’re kind of resting him for the playoffs?

Arizona Cardinals (+9) @ New England Patriots: (Loss) Am I just wrong about the Cardinals and not willing to admit it? I’m beginning to think so – we’ll see next week when they are supposedly approaching the last game of the year like it’s a playoff game.

San Francisco 49ers (-4.5) @ St. Louis Rams: (Loss) San Francisco pulled one out, but they didn’t deserve it. They couldn’t run the ball against the Rams, which is pathetic in and of itself. They got a little luck going their way late and won by one, but they didn’t have the brass bowling balls to cover for me.

Pittsburgh Steelers (pk) @ Tennessee Titans: (Loss)This game was just about what I expected early but then the Titans started taking it personally. I was wrong here.

San Diego Chargers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3): (Loss) The Bucs have really hit the skids. Think, a few weeks ago they had the NFC South crown in their grasp, now it’s probably out of the playoffs for the Buccos – gotta love that. Can’t love my miss on this one though, how about them Chargers about to battle for the playoffs? Awesome.

Buffalo Bills (+7.5) @ Denver Broncos: (WIN) You know I was loving this one, and the Broncos really tried hard to make it come true for me. Jay Cutler is like one of those guys on Madden that pick who they are throwing to when they select the play, no matter what the defense is doing. He has great games when the defense guesses wrong, but with the season on the line and Brandon Marshall double teamed, the defense guessed right.

Houston Texans (-7) @ Oakland Raiders: (Loss) The Texans aren’t a road team. I need to pound that home in my memory, even if they are playing a terrible Raider team.

New York Jets (-4.5) @ Seattle Seahawks: (Loss) This one was worth it. The Jets play calling is trying not to lose – and you know what that means. I thought they’d run and run against the Hawks, but instead they passed and passed, unsuccessfully at that. Eric Man-Gina is brutal lately. His genius is making him do sick things.

Atlanta Falcons (+3.5) @ Minnesota Vikings: (Loss) The Falcons won in Minnesota, locking up their spot in the playoffs. Gotta love that.

Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) @ Washington Redskins: (Loss) Haha – Eric Mangini and Andy Reid game plan together – no doubt in my mind. I hate that teams like Philly can trick bettors as much as they did this week, they should be beaten for that, or at least fired.

Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants (-3): (WIN) The Giants were the better team, but this came down to the end, and I was sure an overtime field goal was going to push me to a tie. Nope, the Giants didn’t want to mess with kicking – and Tom Coughlin stepped right out of my dog house because of it. They won big, and they relied on what got them there, the running game.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (-4): (Loss) I hate the Packers and the Bears. I hate losing. Cry.