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Week 10 picks

November 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Week 10 sees the first of the run of Thursday night games in the NFL as the Chargers play their third game in 11 days, against the Raiders. It’s also a week where all 32 sides are in action as we rapidly approach the business-end of the season…

Last week’s record: 10-3
Season record: 53-28

Oakland at San Diego
Both teams enter this game at a low-ebb, but this one has huge significance for the AFC West. Time for Philip Rivers and San Diego to cut out the mistakes, protect the ball and get the win. Should be achievable against a Darren McFadden-less Oakland outfit who are still getting to grips with Carson Palmer under centre. Chargers by 10

Jacksonville at Indianapolis
The Jags are 0-4 on the road, but the Colts are 0-9 overall. Two bad teams, but Jacksonville are the least worst. Jaguars by 4

New Orleans at Atlanta
The Saints are still in a healthy position, despite recents setbacks. The Falcons are looking for their fourth consecutive win, and getting it here might have serious playoff implications. Falcons by 1

Houston at Tampa Bay
The Bucs have gone off the boil, but they’ve had a tough run of games. Although the Texans are in good form, Tampa offers a more difficult challenge. Bucs by 4

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
A real letdown for the Steelers last week, and that might motivate them to beat a Bengals side who have surprised everyone at 6-2. Steelers by 7

Tennessee at Carolina
The Panthers have lost a lot of close games this season, but they should come out the right side of another tight contest on Sunday. Panthers by 3

Arizona at Philadelphia
The status of Kevin Kolb is a talking-point in this one, but the Eagles are another team with yet another point to prove. Should win comfortably. Eagles by 14

Denver at Kansas City
Hands up who saw the results for these two teams coming last week? Differing motivations therefore going into this important divisional clash. That, and home advantage might be enough for Kansas City. Chiefs by 6

Buffalo at Dallas
Could be a shootout in Dallas as both sides look to win this one on offense. It’s all the Bills know, and the cowboys have enough to punish any wrecklessness. Cowboys by 7

St. Louis at Cleveland
Hardly the most exciting prospect of the weekend, but it’s St. Louis who have shown a little promise of late and that could be enough to overcome a limited Cleveland side. Rams by 4

Washington at Miami
Miami are favourites for this game, which gives you an indication of the freefall the Redskins are currently experiencing. Expect it to continue this week against a rejuvanated Miami side. Dolphins by 4

Baltimore at Seattle
The Ravens are on a high after the late heroics at Heinz Field last Sunday night. The Seahawks might not score. Ravens by 17

NY Giants at San Francisco
The 49ers are just a very well drilled, tough team, who won’t give anything up easy. The Giants will struggle against that kind of opposition, despite their improbable victory in New England last week. 49ers by 10

Detroit at Chicago
This should be a very tough, physical, low-scoring encounter between two teams who are right on form. The Lions are coming off a bye week while the Bears might find it difficult to repeat the performance in Philly. Lions by 3

New England at NY Jets
New England will be keen to avoid losing thier third consecutive game, and they’ll not get anything easy against the Jets. Rex Ryan smells blood, but expect the Patriots to remain cool and stop the skid. Patriots by 6

Minnesota at Green Bay
Always a big battle in the NFC North, but the fortunes of both sides are at the extreme ends of the scale. Although the Minnesota are looking much better than they did earlier in the season, it’s hard to see them overcoming a Green Bay team seeking perfection. Packers by 9

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Categories: Picks

Week 9 picks

November 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Another mixed bag with the NFL predictions last weekend, but we posted a winning total nevertheless. This week’s slate contains some very appetising fixtures, on paper anyway. There might be a shootout in San Diego when the Packers visit the west coast, and the Sunday night game offers the Steelers a chance to avenge their opening week blowout against the Ravens…

Last week’s record: 8-5
Season record: 43-25

Seattle at Dallas
A chance for Dallas to recover from last week’s abject showing, and no better team than Seattle to allow for some therapy. Cowboys by 12

Atlanta at Indianapolis
A gruelling and unrewarding season continues for the Colts, but expect them to put up a strong performance against a fancied Atlanta. Falcons by 3

NY Jets at Buffalo
Buffalo are the type of team who might match up well for the Jets, who are coming off their bye week. Jets by 4

Cleveland at Houston
This should be a third consecutive win for the Texans against a Browns outfit who have struggled against even intermediate opposition. Texans by 10

San Francisco at Washington
It’s very hard to see where the Redskins will get scores, both in general and against at tight San Francisco defense. 49ers by 6

Tampa Bay at New Orleans
Only three weeks ago Tampa defeated the Saints, but this game offers New Orleans a chance at revenge and to make up for last week’s loss. Saints by 10

Miami at Kansas City
The Chiefs are in a bit of a letdown spot following Monday night’s victory. Miami have looked better of late and this could be their day. Dolphins by 7

Cincinnati at Tennessee
The Bengals are looking for five wins on the trot, and an inconsistent Tennessee side might be vulnerable here. Bengals by 5

Denver at Oakland
After last week’s dismal display form the Broncos, Carson Palmer and the Raiders – coming off a bye – should be able to make hay. Raiders by 8

NY Giants at New England
A chance for the Patriots to bounce back from last week’s defeat in Pittsburgh. The Giants are 5-2, but will reach .500 soon. Patriots by 10

St. Louis at Arizona
Excellent win for the Rams over the Saints in Week 8, and with Sam Bradford back they will have the confidence to get their second win. Rams by 7

Green Bay at San Diego
Many thought this might be the biggest test of the Packers’ potentially perfect season, but the Chargers just aren’t in the form to stop them. Packers by 5

Baltimore at Pittsburgh
Big revenge factor here in for the Steelers, and the are possibly the AFC’s form team. Ravens defense needs to be on top form. Steelers by 6

Chicago at Philadelphia
The Bears won’t lie down like the Cowboys did in Philadelphia last week, but they are too limited to produce the scores required to win this one. Eagles by 9

Categories: Picks

Muddying the Waters

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Week 8 in the NFL was one of shocks, both big and small, as we came no closer to finding out how things might pan out in the remainder of the 2011 regular season. It only succeeded in complicating matters significantly.

Saints at Rams

Just one short week ago it was a no-brainer. The Patriots would carry the flag for the AFC, whilst Green Bay’s closest rivals in the NFC would be the New Orleans Saints. The Philadelphia Eagles were well out of the equation and the early pace-setters from Detroit and Buffalo had already faded into the background. Very clear cut.

Scrap all that.

The biggest shock this weekend came in St. Louis, where the previously winless Rams stormed to a 31-21 victory over the Saints. That the win came despite the absence of quarterback Sam Bradford made this result all the more surprising. And it must have been a real hammer blow for the Saints. They still hold a 5-3 record, but division foes Tampa Bay (4-3) and Atlanta (4-3) are closing in.

The road to the playoffs has now become a much more difficult and treacherous one for Sean Payton’s men.

Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh – where no home victory will ever be classified as a major shock – we had a minor upset. But a very significant one. The Steelers defense came up big in a solid 25-17 victory. It was the Patriots second defeat of the season. Ben Roethlisberger was at his clinical best, throwing for 365 yards, whilst Tom Brady was limited to 198 yards.

The Patriots’ postseason appearance is not under threat, but the Steelers are emerging as the AFC’s best. Again.

Then there’s the Eagles. If Sunday night’s win over rivals Dallas was predictable, the manner in which they achieved it certainly wasn’t. A rout from start to finish, Michael Vick was back to something approaching his best as his side romped to a 34-7 victory. Vick threw for 279 yards and ran for 50, signalling an awakening in Philadelphia from their early-season slumber.

Now 3-4, the Eagles are hitting form just in time to launch an assault at the playoffs.

As are the Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills. Two teams that surprised everyone with their form through the first five weeks, regained some momentum in Week 8. Detroit hammered a hapless Denver 45-10, whilst Buffalo shutout the Redskins 23-0, in Toronto. With these important wins to get their respective seasons back on track, don’t rule out the Lions or the Bills just yet.

If the two conferences are difficult to predict, then the individual divisions are downright problematic. None more so than the AFC West, where Kansas City’s overtime victory against San Diego on Monday night threw the division wide open. Two weeks ago the Chargers were cruising at 4-1, but they now find themselves tied with both the Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders at 4-3. Only the Denver Broncos (2-5) can be safely ruled out of the playoff equation.

Some things are as predictable as ever.

Categories: Uncategorized