Well, the NFL season is past its midpoint and we’re enjoying some great football. Vegas was hammered last week because the favorites largely won, but some of the upsets, most importantly, the Colts win over the Dolphins, will have reverberating effects into the rest of the season… Let’s see which games this week will do the same.
Thursday Nigh Football:
The Colts have lost the past 3 games to the Jags, a team led by Maurice Jones-Drew and a pounding running attack, which has largely been an Achilles heel of the Colts defense. So while MoJo helped the Jags beat the Colts in Indianapolis on Sept 23rd with 177 yards and a touchdown, he is not playing today. Can Rashard Jennings take up for him, fantasy players hope so, but Colts defense of today is no the same Colts defense that was bulldozed last year, having given up 92 fewer points through 9 weeks of action. Luck grew up a lot winning his first road game in Nashville 2 weeks ago and position to position, the Colts win. I expect the scoreboard to reflect that as well. Colts win.
Raiders run defense was embarrassed as badly as the ‘professional’ team to the south, the USC Trojans. Ray Rice should have a big day. Carson Palmer could also, and Marcel Reece should be a good fantasy play, but ultimately, Ravens win.
While the Panthers beat the Redskins on the road, and the more I see Luke Kuechly, the more impressive he is, and I want to pick the Panthers for the upset, the fact is, Eric Decker and Peyton Manning are clicking, as is Manning and Joel Dreessen who, since 2011, has quietly amassed 10 touchdowns, good enough to be tied for 2nd most among TE in the AFC. Decker gets his 6th straight game with a TD catch and Broncos win.
Seems like the Bengals are always in a fight to get noticed in the AFC North. Also seems they’re always on the cusp of being a good, legitimate team. They gave the Broncos quite a game last week and had Dalton had a little more experience under his belt, he likely wouldn’t have confused Champ Bailey for AJ Green. The Giants are coming off a tough loss to the Steelers and the Bengals will have to wait another week to log a win. Giants win.
Jake Locker will be back for the Titans which means they’ll have difficulty finding some offensive rhythm. Dolphins win.
I have a friend who started 3 Seahawks players against the Vikings in fantasy, and granted, the Seahawks were at home, but he scored more than 190 points with Tate, Lynch and Wilson going for him. Somewhere Alan Page is curled in the fetal position wondering where the Vikings defense has gone. The good news, they’re at home. The bad news is Detroit won the last meeting, in overtime by a field goal. And that’s how the Lions seem to want to win games. Close til the end and by a slim margin. Lions win.
I don’t think Chan Gailey survives this season. The Bills have been such a disappointing team. Meanwhile, the Pats have won 22 of the past 24 and Belichick had an extra week to prepare for this one. Pats win.
Mike Smith is 2-6 against the Saints, or Sean Payton. But he’s not around. The Falcons are offense is uniquely balanced. Matt Ryan has thrown 4 touchdowns to both Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White, Julio Jones has 5 while Michael Turner has rushed for 4. They’re very balanced in their scoring, can gash any team with big plays and have that chip on their shoulder from ‘haters’ that apparently don’t think they’re very good. I think they’re good enough to be the Saints. Falcons win.
This is simple. Chargers get Norved. But they’ll score some points. Problem is the Bucs are going to score more. And a lot. This game looks something like 35-23 final and Warren Sapp joins Alan Page quietly weeping in a corner at the memory of a sturdy Bucs defense long forgotten behind a potent offense led by Josh Freeman and Doug Martin. Bucs win.
Oh boy. Mark Sanchez, if you thought your butt got handed to you by the 49ers at home, wait until you play at Century Link Field… This could be ugly. Thing is, I love Sexy Rexy. I disagree with the sentiments that he’s overrated as a coach. He just doesn’t have many pieces to work with. He’s trying to prepare lasagna when Tannebaum has stocked the cupboard with ingredients for rice crispy treats. Seahawks win.
So a couple teams that find new and creative ways to lose games they should win meet. One of them has to pull out a victory. With DeMarco Murray out and the Cowboys on the road, you’d have reason to believe the Eagles would pull this out, but watching the Saints defense devour the Eagles patchwork offensive line will make Rob Ryan salivate all week. His unit is superior to the Eagles in terms of talent. Cowboys win.
Well, the Rams are more than likely who we thought they were and Danny Amendola comes back just in time to be greeted by the league’s stingiest scoring defense. Last game at Candlestick, Harbaugh’s crew won 26-0. Both teams are coming off a bye week. 49ers win.
Sunday Night Football
I love this game. Going to be worth the price of admission. Got two of the league’s best defenses going up head to head. Each offense also has big play potential, but only one of those two offenses tends to give up stupid turnovers at will. That’d be the Bears’. That and the strength of the Bears offensive line is going to be tested by JJ Watt who is on pace to challenge Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record. After this game, I think he’s much closer to that mark. Texans win.
Monday Night Football
Gosh, kinda wish I could go out with a bang… something to make you think, ‘Wow, I have to make sure I read this EVERY week.’ – But, that’s not happening. I think Todd Haley and the Steelers offense will embarrass the Chiefs, who have a very low bar, having been desperate enough to start Brady Quinn. Steelers win.
Went 11-3 last week, including handing myself a loss for not calling the Redskins/Panthers game. I got them all in this week’s picks… Thanks for reading… don’t forget you can listen every day to Buehler’s Day Off at 12 pst right here at Team1010.com.