Friday, November 20, 2009

NFL Pick 5 -- Week 11

Week 11 is the hardest week of games to pick thus far in the NFL season. Period. I may have said that one or two other times that I recall here this season, but that's because it was true. At the time, some of those weeks were the hardest of the season to that point. Well this week sets a new bar. Week 11 is chock full of games between one decent team and one bad team, in one or the other's stadium, mostly carrying large spreads, making for a ton of games that are just really, really hard to pick. I did my part by starting off Week 10 on the wrong foot by taking Carolina and laying a few points at home against the Dolphins on Thursday night, a night which saw the Fins pound the ball on the ground and never give Jake Delhomme and the Panthers a chance to recover from some early mistakes and failures to score in the game. Sadly, that Thursday night game was the game I liked the most almost of the entire weekend, and I lost it. So there ya go. With that bout of confidence, here come my picks for Week 11, in no particular order:

1. Carolina Panthers -3 vs Miami Dolphins. Loss.

2. Indianapolis Colts -1 at Baltimore Ravens. I kinda like this Baltimore team, and I respect what they can do under the right circumstances, in particular on defense, having picked them to win a few big games earlier in the season already. But in this case I think this line is just plain silly to be this small, with Peyton Manning and the undefeated Colts coming in to a far older, slower version of the Ravens defense than what most people still think of for some reason when they think about Baltimore's NFL franchise. Peyton Manning has beaten down on this team the last two teams the two have met up, with Peyton throwing for more than 600 yards and 7 touchdowns with zero interceptions over those last two meetings. I'm not saying I'm calling for a Colts blowout here, but in essentially a pickem game I have got to go with the Colts here to win a good game on the road against a flat out inferior Ravens squad. Nobody passes against the blitz and the pressure defenses like Peyton Manning.

3. Minnesota Vikings -11 vs. the Seattle Seahawks. The Vikes have been great this year, and resurgent quarterback Brett Favre is on his way to one of his best seasons in years. At 8-1, the Vikings have scored at least 27 points in all 8 of their victories, including over 29 points per game at home in four tries so far in 2009. On the other side of the ledger are the Seahawks, who have been totally inconsistent this year either with or without Matt Hasselbeck at the helm, and whose only three wins this year have come against the Rams, the Jaguars, and the Lions. When the 2009 Seahawks play good teams, they get beat, especially on the road this year where they are 0-4 with a 13-point loss at San Francisco, a 17-point loss at Indy, a 21-point loss at Dallas, and most recently an 11-point defeat at Arizona. Do I like the Hawks to lose another double digit road game this year at Minnesota? Hells yeah.

4. New England Patriots -10.5 vs. the New York Jets. I am going against my better judgment here, as I am confident the Pats will emerge victorious this weekend but I cannot stand having to give more than a touchdown and a field goal in a game where the Jets held the Pats to just 9 points earlier in the season in a 16-9 defeat of the Pats in New Jersey York. But that said, I expect the Pats to beat down hard on the Jets this weekend for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they are better than the Jets. Clearly. In Week 2 when these two teams first matched up, this was the entire season for the Jets. It was their superbowl, and they were on their way to a 3-0 start and first place in the AFC East, new head coach Rex Ryan left a personal phone message for every single Jets season ticket holder about how much the team needed their support to beat the Pats at home for the first time since 2000. But now, it's all different. The Jets have imploded, Ryan Sanchez can't get anything done and Rex Ryan's vaunted defense has rolled over and caved repeatedly in five losses out of their last six games. Meanwhile, the Patriots return home this Sunday after that crushing loss to the Colts on Sunday night, where the team will likely not only be motivated by revenge after their Week 2 loss to the Jets but also by anger after all the harangue surrounding Bellicheat's 4th-and-2 coaching decision to lose that Colts game. And the Pats come home hot, averaging nearly 39 points per game over their last four against a team who has had trouble stopping the opposition as the game wears on. And let's not forget that the Pats haven't lost two games back to back in several seasons as I recall. I expect the Pats to put on a real show in front of the home town fans and to do their best to come out angry, aggressive, and exact their revenge. 10.5 seems a bit high for this game, but I will still take the Pats and lay the points here, expecting at least a two-touchdown victory in New England on Sunday.

5. New Orleans Saints -11 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Don't ask me why I'm taking the Saints to win big against another bad team this week, after they have failed to show up early in each of their last few games, all against subpar competition. But something just tells me that the NFC's best team is going to open a can of whoopass on the Bucs, whom I just don't think have the receivers to move the ball downfield, the running game to control the clock and keep the juggernaut Saints' offense off the field, nor the defense to hold the Saints under at least the mid-30s on the day. I'll take the Saints and lay the points, and just plan to hold my nose through the first half on Sunday.

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Blogger BadBlood said...

Dude - you're slipping. A whole paragraph on the Pats w/out using the term Cheatriots. :)

2:14 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Hey, I got in a couple of "Bellicheat"'s, didn't I?

F the Cheatriots!!!

4:01 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Saints safety Darren Sharper returns to the lineup after missing last week's victory over the St. Louis Rams. Howz that ?

7:30 PM  

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