We are at the midway point of the regular season. At this point you’d think that the NFL would begin to make some sense. You’d think we’d have a clear grasp on most of the teams. Wrong! At this point in the season we still haven’t the faintest clue as to what in the world is going on. Every week there is some upset of monumental proportions. There’s more than a handful of Jekyll and Hyde teams. But, it is my duty to try and figure this season out! Let’s see if I can do it this week! Vegas odds are not in my favor.
My picks will be in italics. Should a pick be changed you can read about it in the comment section below.
Broncos @ 49ers- Why is the @ symbol in quotations? Well, dear friends and readers, that is because this matchup will be in London! What London did to deserve such torture is beyond me. The 49ers are coming off a loss to the previously winless Panthers and the Broncos are coming off an embarrassing defeat to the Oakland Raiders. The 49ers will be starting backup QB Troy Smith and that, combined with Denver’s undoubted desire to redeem themselves will lead to a Bronco victory.
Jaguars @ Cowboys – The mere fact that this game is difficult to pick is sad. Well, sort of. As an Eagles fan I love the fact that Dallas has fallen to far down. However, it is making picking this game very difficult. However, given Jacksonville’s recent ineptitude at anything involving football, I’m going go with the Cowboys at home. John Kitna can be serviceable for a few weeks and against a very poor defense he should have a solid day.
Dolphins @ Bengals – Something tells me the Dolphins are a little peeved about the outcome of their game last week. That doesn’t bode well for the Bengals. The Bengals are beginning to revert back to being the Bungles and I see no reason for that to change this weekend. Should the Bengals decide to go back to what works for them (running the football) they might be able to take this game. But, Marvin Lewis is one of the lesser head coaches in the NFL and will likely continue going with what clearly isn’t working. I like Miami on the road.
Bills @ Chiefs – The Chiefs are having a mighty fine season and are in prime position to win the AFC Worst. The Bills are having a mighty terrible season and I still don’t think they win a game in 2010. To make matters worse for Buffalo, the Chiefs are undefeated at home this season. The key for the Bills will be Ryan Fitzpatrick. Running on the Chiefs is very difficult but you can pass on them. However, the bigger key to this game is that the Chiefs are ranked first in the NFL in rushing and the Bills are ranked last in defending the run. Sorry Buffalo, it’s not happening. I hear you’ll have your pick of any player in the 2011 draft though!
Redskins @ Lions – This is the game where the luck will run out for the Redskins. They just barely beat the Chicago Bears, a team that gift wrapped the game for them. They are now facing a team that doesn’t seem to be allergic to footballs and that team is also getting their #1 QB back. I love the Lions to win this game. The Redskins have not been good on the road, while the Lions have been playing decent football at home, reaching a mark of 1-1 but still playing very well in that loss to the Eagles. Give me the Lions over the Redskins.
Panthers @ Rams – The Panthers finally got their win last week. Now they need to go on the road and do that and that’s not such an easy task anymore in St. Louis. Sam Bradford is averaging 243.75 yards per game at home and has thrown for five TDs and 5 INTs. More important, the Rams are 3-1 at home. The Panthers have yet to win on the road. The Rams are one of the surprises of the league this year and I expect them to get another win this weekend against the hopeless Panthers. RELATED: I just saw John Fox’s resume on Monster.com which I found very interesting. Did anyone know that he majored in physical education? Maybe Jamarcus Russel can hire him.
Packers @ Jets – The Packers could be a great team if they could stay healthy. On second though, maybe they should hire John Fox. That aside, I don’t see the Packers going into the Meadowlands and beating a Jets team that has had a week off. The Jets might be the best team in the league while the Packers aren’t even the best team in the conference. Aaron Rodgers is still standing behind a weak offensive line and there’s very few things the Jets enjoy more than beating up QBs. Give me the Jets, hands down.
Titans @ Chargers – I can’t figure the Chargers out. How does a team that ranks #1 in all most all phases of the game only have a record of 2-5? Well, poor coaching and stupid mistakes would be a great reason why. The Titans proved last week that they can play in the face of adversity and they’ll likely have Vince Young at the helm. The Chargers proved they can’t start a game. Another fun fact is that Chris Johnson is an absolute beast on the road. Guess those frequent flyer miles are paying off. Phillip Rivers will be under pressure all game and I see the Titans coming away with a victory. Vegas odds have place the over/under at the amount of pouting faces we see from Rivers at 23 1/2. I’m taking the over.
Vikings @ Patriots – I’ve stopped believing in the Vikings. I won’t let them drag me down anymore. Brett Favre is one hit away from a walker/dying on the field and the Patriots are somehow still making plays without any true talent at the skills position on offense. Oh wait, the reasons are Bill Billichick and Tom Brady. They could turn me into an effective WR. The only thing that makes me hesitate here is Randy Moss’s flair for revenge games. Very few players in the NFL history play as well as he does when he wants to prove something. That alone might make me change this pick later but for now, give me the Patriots at home.
Buccaneers @ Cardinals – How are the Cardinals 3-3? Seriously. They’re opponents have outscored them by a total of 62 points. I can’t even begin to figure this team out. They are a perfect example of what I mean about this season being impossible to predict. Here’s something else, there’s only two teams in the NFC with a better record than the Bucs. WHAT? I don’t get it either. I like the Bucs to win it on the road because this season makes no sense. And Josh Freeman is really clutch.
Seahawks @ Raiders – The Raiders had a huge win last week. 59 points score on the Broncos. Not too shabby. The Seahawks are coming off a victory over the Cardinals. One feat was very impressive, the other wasn’t. The Raiders were impressive. The Seahawks did something that my mother and her girlfriends could do. So why am I picking the Seahawks? Because the Raiders almost never have back to back wins and often follow up a a great game with a huge let down. Give me the Seahawks on the road.
Steelers @ Saints – A few weeks ago this would’ve been tricky. But now, it’s looking like the Saints are a team that just got hot at the right times last season. The Steelers are winning by big and small margins. The biggest key is that Pittsburgh has a turnover ratio of +9 while the Saints have a ratio of -5. That, to me, is the biggest key for the this game. The Steelers defense is taking the ball away and the Saints offense is happily giving it away. Combine the two and you got what should be a Steelers victory.
Texans @ Colts – Oh man, game of the week! The Colts are going to be without three of their main offensive weapons in Dallas Clark, Austin Collie, and Joseph Addai. The Texans continue to reel off victories in fashions they never have before. You can still run all over the Colts and that, combined with the serious injury issue in Indianapolis, is making me lean towards the Texans. Divisional show downs are never easy to pick and this is a game I am certainly reserving the right to change my pick on prior to kickoff. For now though, I like Houston. I think their time has finally come.