Saturday, November 12, 2011

2011 NFL Season, Week 10 Predictions

Week 10, the most difficult week of the year thus far, if you ask me.  There are a number of very interesting games on tap for this Sunday.  This schedule should make for some pretty good television drama.  This will truly be a shake-out weekend.

This is not a bye-week.  All 32 teams have been or will be in action.  The first game went down on Thursday night, and I think you all know that Carson Palmer won that game in fairly spectacular fashion for the Oakland Raiders.  Of course, I am too late to the betting window for that game, so here is my slate of picks.

  1. Bills @ Cowboys is an interesting match of two fading teams.  Most experts expect the Cowboys to prevail because the Bills are fading-out.  Believe me, they are not the only ones fading-out.  At the moment, the Bills are ahead of the Cowboys on total-defense and total-offense based on points.  I am going to have to roll with that, picking the Bills against the Cowboys' home-field advantage.
  2. Titans @ Panthers.  The Titans are fading, and they are struggling to score points now.  The Panthers are getting better, and they have not struggled much offensively, due to the horsepower Cam Newton provides.  I am taking the Panthers based on better scoring offense and home field.
  3. Texans @ Bucs is a pretty easy pick if you ask me.  The Bucs are struggling in many ways.  The Texans are beginning to hit on all cylinders.  I am taking the Texans on general superiority.
  4. Jaguars @ Colts.  The Colts have transformed from a an aerial circus offense directed by Peyton Manning to an erstwhile power-running team under Curtis Painter.  The problem is that they can't run.  The Colts are 27th in points scored, a place they never dwell.  Now the Jags are dead-last in points scored, but they also feature the #8 defense by points.  Honestly, if the Colts are going to win one this year, this might be the game, but I don't think they can score enough to win against the #8 defense.
  5. Cardinals @ Eagles is a big mismatch, and the Eagles have home-field also.  The Eagles are anything but the dream team, but the Cardinals are a whole lot worse, especially on the offensive line.
  6. Saints @ Falcons is the first meeting between these NFC South rivals this year.  One team will exit this match-up a contender, the other team will suffer damage to their playoff standing.  If you ask me this is the toughest game to pick on the entire board.  I almost punted by saying "Pick'em".  However, the Falcons are missing their crucial Left-Tackle Sam Baker.  He is out with a back injury.  I think this will be the difference.  I take the Saints.
  7. Rams @ Browns is a match-up of small-fries, and it is very difficult to pick because of that.  Most experts believe the Rams have to be favored because the Browns are suffering the #30 ranked defense against the run.  The Rams have a good line (for the run, at least) and Steven Jackson.  The reason for the Browns defensive problems is obvious.  They have not mastered team defense.  Their gap-discipline breaks down quickly.  They over-pursue a lot.  I am leery of this choice because the Brown are ranked higher than the Rams in points scored and points allowed, but I will make the homer-choice and pick my Rams.
  8. Redskins @ Dolphins features the DOA Redskin offense against a newly resurgent Dolphin defense.  I just don't believe the Redskins can score enough to win in this game.  I take the Dolphins and their home field advantage.
  9. Broncos @ Chiefs features my son, Tim Tebow, against the little girl with the curl. I don't think I have ever seen a Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde team quite like these Kansas City Chiefs.  When they are good, they are very, very good.  When they are bad, they are horrid.  This is the most inconsistent football team in the entire NFL.  They just laid a stinker against the Dolphins last week, and I cannot pick them with any degree of comfort this week.  I think Tebow wins again.
  10. Steelers @ Bengals.  Quick reality check for you:  Did you know the Bengals are currently the #1 seed in the AFC tournament at this stage of the season?  They have the #3 ranked defense, and they have a rookie QB/WR tandem that is the best in NFL history.  I think the Bengals are going to step up this week and make a political statement at home.
  11. Ravens @ Seahawks seems like a mismatch, but we have seen the Ravens look exhausted after victory over the Steelers before this season.  I worry about this match up because of the tremendous home field advantage the Seahawks enjoy in Qwest Field.  However, the Seahawks are a vastly inferior football team when compared to the Ravens.  I still believe the Ravens are the most powerful football team in the AFC.  I am taking the Ravens.
  12. Lions @ Bears is a really pesky match-up.  Those Bears... those fricken' pesky Bears...  They don't seem set to do anything this season, but they hang around and upset people who should beat them.  I believe the Lions are a vastly better team, so I am taking the Lions, but I will be monitoring this one closely.
  13. Giants @ 49ers is the game of the week if you ask me.  I doubt the Saints and the Falcons can match up with the Packers.  For some reason, I expect the Packers' chief rival for the NFC crown to emerge from this football game.  It seems like old times.  The Giants and the 49ers were once a premiere match up back in the 1980s and early 1990s.  Now it is again.  This game could go either way, but I expect the 49ers to prevail because of their [H]ardcore defense.  Did you know that the 49er defense is #1 in the league by points allowed.  Furthermore, Matt Millen says they have the best front-seven in the league.  Expect a low-scoring brutal grudge-match reminding us all of the 1990 NFC championship game.
  14. Patriots @ Jets is a rematch, and the final meeting between these two in the regular season.  In the first game, the Patriots prevailed 30-21.  I do not believe the Patriots have what it takes to sweep the Jets, and not on their home field.  I am taking the Jets.
  15. Vikings @ Packers is another mis-match.  I am taking the Packers in the easiest choice on the board.