I built a nice, shiny, user-friendly record early going 7-3 before the afternoon games start, the same afternoon games that I usually kill. But, the usual doesn’t always happen, and I faltered a bit, going 1-3 with a tough Jets loss (thought I had that one as the Patriots stumbled and the Jets were down just 10), a tough Cardinals loss where Kurt Warner went down in the 2nd quarter, and the Cardinals early 21-3 lead didn’t hold the cover and they won by just 8, and of course that Bengals debacle in Oakland (at least that helped me win my survivor pool, though, silver lining is overrated, but it’s something). The Sunday Night game was tough one to watch, but a win put me to 9-6 going into Monday Night – another guaranteed winner! Believe it! Who else gives you all 16 games against the spread and wins week in and week out? Here’s how it went down this time around…
Miami Dolphins (+3.5) @ Carolina Panthers: (WINNER) The Dolphins proved that if your #1 running back goes down and you have a good rushing attack, you’re not going to all of a sudden struggle to run the football. A lot goes into a good rushing attack, and while Ronnie Brown’s vision, speed, power, and overall running ability surely helps the Dolphins do work, that offensive line makes the holes. Ricky ran through them all the way to victory.
Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions (-2.5): (Loss) What can you say about this game, but wow. It was all amazing. I’m not sure I believe it happened, but the Lions got a win, it was on an un-timed down from the 1 yard-line, and a QB with a separated shoulder was the guy that tossed the rock. I lost, sure, but in awesome fashion. How does one predict a Browns/Lions game anyway? And whomever did predict it probably didn’t think the two QBs would throw for nearly 800 yards together. Yahtzee!
Buffalo Bills (+9) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: (WINNER) Like I said in the write-up, the Jaguars will probably win but they don’t deserve to be 9 point favorites against anyone. The Bills had plenty of chances to put this game out of reach and didn’t. If you were watching, you knew the Jaguars were going to come back and win. It was never a worry as far as covering was concerned, TO took care of that all by himself.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-10) @ Kansas City Chiefs: (Loss) Well, what can I say, I didn’t know the AFC North was going to come out and poop away victories like it was the divisional motto for the week. Everyone loses, that’s not too crazy, but the fact that the Steelers lost to KC while the Bengals lost to the Raiders – good lord – what a crazy week on the road for the North.
Indianapolis Colts (+1) @ Baltimore Ravens: (WINNER) The Colts were better than the Ravens, just by a hair. They had this Peyton Manning guy, the guy that always does just enough to win. I think I might take the Colts anytime they are an underdog ever. Not guarantees, but I’m pretty sure that’s how I feel about it.
Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants (-6): (Loss) All the Giants had to do was stop a Falcons offense sans Michael Turner – but they stunk it up on one last game-tying drive by the Falcons, and pretty much pissed away any chance of me winning. My dream of a win was crushed as the game entered overtime, and a 7 point win became impossible. And the Giants won. It’s my worst nightmare!
San Francisco 49ers (+7) @ Green Bay Packers: (WINNER) The 49ers did what they’ve done most of the year, made a game close, but didn’t finish the job. The packers were just a little too much, and coincidentally it was their commitment to teh rushing attack and Ryan Grant’s efficiency that finished off the Niners. Still, San Fran lost by just 6 – good enough for me!
Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Vikings (-10.5): (WINNER) The Hawks stink. I was a little worried about this one early, into the 2nd quarter it was still scoreless, and 10.5 was looking like a daunting number to topple – suddenly, Brett went ballistic, threw 4 TDs, and the Hawks wilted like a flower in their crappy winter weather. On the bright side, with the way the Broncos are going, and the way they have played all year, two Top 15 1st round draft picks is coming closer to fruition.
Washington Redskins (+12) @ Dallas Cowboys: (WINNER) I saw great value in this game from the get-go, and I wasn’t the only one. The way the line moved and the way people ran from the big favorite despite the Redskins’ terrible start to the season proved just how ridiculous this line was. Dallas found a way to get a win, but the cover obviously was never an issue.
New Orleans Saints (-11) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (WINNER) “The Saints haven’t played well over the last few weeks, the Buccaneers have been pretty solid considering how pathetic they were to start the season. Those two things have to even out, I mean, the Saints are really good and the Bucs aren’t.” It probably wasn’t that simple, but it might have been. Listen, sports have a funny way of evening out. I know the Saints were a little banged up, but they were due to play well.
Arizona Cardinals (-8.5) @ St. Louis Rams: (Loss) Kurt got hurt in the 2nd quarter, and the Cardinals were up 21-3. With the USC guy in there, the Cardinals didn’t score another point and won by just 8. I was right about this one, injury problems cramped my style by a point. What can a guy do?
New York Jets (+11) @ New England Patriots: (Loss) I still think the Jets are a solid team, and I still think you don’t give a good team double digits. The Patriots were obviously very motivated in this one, but it was still the Jets’ cover to lose. They were down 10 and driving more than once. Those turnovers are a killer – no doubt -but I’d go the way of the Jets again in a heartbeat.
Cincinnati Bengals (-9) @ Oakland Raiders: (Loss) “Lets make something clear, in 7 wins this season, the Bengals have won by more than 10 just once. They’ve won by 7 or less 6 times, a field goal three times. They play close games. Even against Cleveland, the Bengals needed overtime to get the job done – and they needed every second of overtime, too. Not only that, but the Bengals are going to be playing without the most consistent piece of their offense, Cedric Benson…” I warned you and myself, but I didn’t listen. I said I’d be stunned if the Raiders put up more than 10 points, and that 3 Bengals TDs would have gotten the cover. I am stunned, but if the Bengals don’t turn a couple scores over, I think they put this game out of reach. The Raiders won because they deserved to after Cinci played not to lose. Garbage. Amazing.
San Diego Chargers (-4) @ Denver Broncos: (WINNER) This line didn’t show up until Saturday night, and it actually wasn’t as much of a beat down as the score shows. Sure, at some point it became a beat down, but the Broncos moved the ball well, had some tough things go the other way, and had Young Simms killing them early. It will be interesting to see how the Broncos respond to their recent tumble. The Chargers are playing some solid football.
Philadelphia Eagles (-2) @ Chicago Bears: (WINNER) Well, the Eagles didn’t play as well as I expected, but Jay Cutler was right about what I figured he’d be. He should have gotten two more balls picked off in this one, but he just throws the ball too damn hard for a lot of defensive players to handle. Lucky him. The Eagles got some offense together in the 1st and 4th quarters, and that was enough to take out the Bears. This game was UGLY!
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans (-4): (Loss) The Texans has this one. But they let it slip away. Kris Brown missed another game tying field goal with mere seconds left on the clock – what’s new. He might find himself having lunch with Steven Hauchdksajfslk, the kicker from the Ravens – or shall I say former kicker? The Titans won outright, but a cover here was going to be tough sledding, no doubt. I took my Monday Night lump and finished the week 9-7.