Week 6 Picks

Going to keep it short and sweet this week.

 

Indianapolis (+3.5) over NEW YORK JETS

 

Dallas (+3.5) over BALTIMORE

 

Cincinnati (-2) over CLEVELAND

 

St. Louis (+4) over MIAMI

 

ATLANTA (-9) over Oakland

 

Detroit (+3.5) over PHILADELPHIA

 

Kansas City (+4.5) over TAMPA BAY

 

New England (-4) over SEATTLE

 

Buffalo (+4.5) over ARIZONA

 

WASHINGTON (+3.5) over Minnesota

 

New York Giants (+6.5) over SAN FRANCISCO

 

HOUSTON (-3.5) over Green Bay

 

Denver (+1.5) over SAN DIEGO

Week 6 – Thursday Night

Pittsburgh (-5.5) over TENNESSEE

 

Until Chris Johnson can prove he’s not completely useless, the Titans offense will continue to struggle. Pittsburgh will dare Matt Hasselbeck to beat them, by loading the box and sending pressure. Kenny Britt looks like a go, which should help, but it’s hard to say how effective he’ll be. With the injuries to the Steelers D (LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu are both scratched), it’s tempting to take the points in this one, but the Titans have looked horrendous, and I have a hard time picking them to make this a one score game.

Week 5 – Primetime

.500 for the day. I’ll take it. With a one game lead on the Little Coin entering the home stretch of week, a strong pair of primetime games could keep me on top for the season.

 

NEW ORLEANS (-3.5) over San Diego

 

I don’t care if the Saints are 0-4, the Superdome is always a tough place to play. Drew Brees is on the cusp of breaking Johnny Unitas’s record for consecutive TD games with at least one TD pass. He’ll be fired up this evening and looking to further cement himself as one of the all time greats. I know they’ve looked bad this year, but I can’t see the Saints dropping to 0-5. 

 

Houston (-7.5) over NEW YORK JETS

 

Tough matchup for the reeling Jets. Mark Sanchez is going to have a tough time with this Texans D, and this week will pour gas on the fire that is the Jets QB controversy. Without Darrelle Revis, the Jets defense is simply average, and the Texans have the ability to beat teams on the ground or through the air. This one should be a laugher.

Week 5 – Afternoon Games

CAROLINA (-3.5) over Seattle

Seattle’s defense, particularly its pass rush, have been impressive this year, but I think the Panthers have the formula to beat them. They have a lot of quality ball carriers, who should do a consistent job of moving the chains. This will take the edge off Seattle’s pass rush and allow Cam Newton to take some shots late in the game. Panthers by a TD.

CHICAGO (-5.5) over Jacksonville

The Bears defense should slow down Maurice Jones-Drew, which will put pressure on the Jaguars passing game. Blaine Gabbert doesn’t have it in him, especially not with Peppers and up-and-coming DT Henry Melton in his face all day.

Tennessee (+5.5) over MINNESOTA

I expect Tennessee to try to keep Chris Johnson involved in the offense through the screen game today. They obviously can’t get anything going on the ground, and despite his lackluster season to date, he’s still their best offensive weapon.

Denver (+6.5) over NEW ENGLAND

Manning vs. Brady once again. I can’t help but think this game will be tightly contested. I expect a high scoring game. Ultimately, I think the Pats escape with the W, but it could take some late game heroics.

SAN FRANCISCO (-9.5) over Buffalo

The Bills have been gashed on the ground this year, which makes the 49ers a tough matchup. Combine that with the Niners fierce defense, and this looks like a long afternoon for the Bills. Per usual.

Week 5 Picks – Part One

Due to time constraints, I’ll be posting my picks for the early games separately from the rest of the week. If this is truly an issue, well, find a more professional site.

Any way, I’m going to have to start pretending every game is played on Thursday nights. If I can convince myself of this, it will drastically improve my win percentage. So, without further ado:

CINCINNATI (-4.5) over Miami

This is a tough game, but the Bengals’ offense has been nothing short of explosive. With the help of AJ Green, Andy Dalton seems to be more than the game manager he was for the better part of last year. The Dolphins run D has been the best in the league so far, but that shouldn’t matter too much; their pass D has been atrocious. Against a sharp Bengals passing attack, I have to imagine the Bengals put up 30+, which will be too much to allow the Phins to hang around. 10 point W for the Bengals.

Green Bay (-7.5) over INDIANAPOLIS

Aaron Rodgers and co. are still due for a major offensive outburst. The Colts D shouldn’t give them too many problems, and conversely, the Packers D should be able to create enough pressure to stay in Andrew Luck’s face for much of the day. Have to imagine the Pack come up hot and put up points today. The Colts are a team on the rise, but they haven’t risen enough to take down the Packers just yet.

Baltimore (-4.5) over KANSAS CITY

There’s no way around it; the Chiefs are just a bad football team. There are a lot of games the Chiefs can stay in because of the brilliance of their O-Line and Jamaal Charles, but this will not be one of them. The Ravens will stack the box, and trust their secondary to handle 1 on 1 matchups when they’re presented. Simply put, the Ravens are going to make Matt Cassel beat them, which is something I don’t believe he can do.

NEW YORK GIANTS (-9.5) over Cleveland

Yes, this is a typical stumble for the Giants. An emotional loss on the road against a division rival, coming home to play a game they SHOULD control throughout. I’m not the only one who’s said that this week. In fact, it’s been said so much, that even the Giants have commented on the measures they’re taking not to overlook their week opponents. I think Eli Manning, even without Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, will still have a big afternoon against a putrid Browns secondary that is missing their best piece in Joe Haden.

Philadelphia (+3.5) over PITTSBURGH

This should be a defensive struggle throughout. Whoever wins the turnover battle will probably win the game. I like this to come down to a field goal. Not terribly confident in this pick, but I think the battle of Pennsylvania will be a hard fought, nail-biter.

Atlanta (-3.5) over WASHINGTON

One of, if not the toughest game of the week for me. I like RG3, Alfred Morris, and the rest of the Redskins young, fast offense. Their defense just does not strike me as tough enough to contain an Atlanta team that looks as strong as any team in the league. Bottom line, it’s hard to pick against Atlanta the way they’ve looked so far.

Week 5 – Thursday Night Football Pick

Well, Week 4 was certainly nothing to write home about, but I did manage to keep pace with my nemesis, the Little Coin. But now we’re at the quarter pole of the 2012 NFL season, and as the season marches on, I have fewer excuses for performances like Week 3. This is not to say I expect perfection, just gradual improvement. We’re learning more about the landscape of the NFL. We know Sean Payton and Gregg Williams were extremely valuable to the Saints. We know the NFC East is, per usual, going to be a dog fight. We know Matt Ryan has taken a major step in his development as a quarterback. We know Peyton Manning may not be the Peyton Manning of old, but he’s damn sure better than Tim Tebow, who managed himself a playoff W in 2011. We know to stop and think before we scoff at the idea of the Arizona Cardinals winning the NFC West….

 

…which is a convenient place to segue into my Thursday Night Pick.

 

ST. LOUIS (+1.5) over Arizona

 

Yes, I know I just discouraged dismissing the Cardinals as contenders in the NFC West. I’m not. Their defense has been other-worldly. Patrick Peterson has taken a major leap, and is no longer just a tremendous athlete playing corner, but a legitimate Pro-Bowl candidate at CB. The Cardinals have had some good fortune and won some tight games to be where they are, but I’m not sure their offense is reliable enough to continue to win tight contests. I like the Rams to pound the ball on the ground tonight and to keep Sam Bradford’s drop backs short and his release quick. Short slants, bubble screens, curls. The Ram D will also benefit from a home crowd in the Edward Jones Dome, which should generate enough noise to rattle Kevin Kolb. Put me down for an upset special and a one game edge on the Little Coin.