It's about that time!!!
This week has some good match-ups with playoff implications. You've got Ravens/Steelers, Pats/Jets, and Falcons/Bucs. Not to mention some other divisional rivalries that'll can potentially impact one team's playoff chances (Bears/Lions, Kansas City/Denver, Giants/Skins, and Chargers/Raiders).
Before I get into my picks this week I have to comment on the Johnson/Finnegan "fight".
This was a decent semi-scrap slash skirmish or whatever. But based on Goodell's reputation for being a disciplinarian I can't see how Andre Johnson didn't get suspended a game for this, if not both of them. I mean he two-pieced Courtland pretty good there. If this were James Harrison of the Steelers connected to someone's dome he would have gotten a 4-game suspension I bet. Even Finnegan said if he'd have swung like Johnson did, he'd probably be suspended (Finnegan has a reputation for being a dirty player). I'm really surprised the NFL only levied $25K fines for both players and didn't suspend. Is the league saying it's ok to fight? Really? I wish they'd have done more to show that this type of behavior is intolerable, even if it meant that arguably the best WR in the league would have to sit out a week.
Now for my picks. I'm betting the Ravens/Steelers game will be the best game this week and I'm picking the Ravens to win this one at home. As for the full list of picks, here ya go:
Philly over Houston: Houston's pass defense is statistically worse than the Redskins. Remember what the Eagles did to the Redskins?
Saints over Bengals: I thought about taking the Bengals but then I came to my senses. It's gonna be cold in Ohio and the Saints are a dome team but in the end, I just don't think the Bengals are gonna pull it off. Nor do I think they can stop the Saints from scoring.
Bears over Lions: I'm not as convinced as to how good the Bears are after last week's win over Philly but I do think they're going to beat the Lions. Jay Cutler is always one game away from being horrible so it wouldn't surprise me if he plays mediocre. But after Julius Peppers's last game, I just don't see the Lions offense being able to manage a win.
Packers over 49ers: The win against ARIZONA didn't fool me, San Fran isn't that good. They're relatively good. That is, relative to everyone else in their division. Go to Green Bay and pull out a win against a team that can score on just about any defense? I think not. Especially when Green Bay's coming off a loss.
Jacksonville over Tennessee: Jacksonville's a lot better than I give them credit for (I think it's because MJD started off so slowly this year for my fantasy squad) and Tennessee seems to be a team headed in the wrong direction.
Kansas City over Denver: After their last meeting and the embarrassment the Chiefs must have felt, I don't think there's any way they lose this game. And Dwayne Bowe is playing like a beast right now.
Miami over Cleveland: I really wanted to pick Cleveland in this one (and I still kinda do) but I think Jake Delhomme is going to be the weak link, especially considering Miami is ranked 4th against the pass. Stack the box to stop Peyton Hillis and defend the pass, that'll hopefully be the game plan.
Buffalo over Minnesota: Upset special. Minnesota squeaked by the Redskins last week and I think Buffalo's playing with the most heart of any mediocre (lol) team in the league right now. They're in just about every game and they've got some talent in Fred Jackson, Stevie (last week we could have called him "Stonehands") Johnson, and Lee Evans. This is my gut feeling pick of the week.
Giants over Redskins: The Giants are the better all-around team. I don't think my Skins are going to Giants stadium and pull out a win. Sorry fellas.
Chargers over Raiders: If the Chargers defense shows up, this should be a fairly easy win. I don't think they'll blow the Raiders out but I do think they'll dominate.
Indy over Dallas: I totally picked Dallas to win this game initially then decided against it. Peyton had a bad game last week so I'm 100% sure he's been studying his azz off this week and will find a way to take advantage of Dallas's iffy corners. The only problem here is that Indy cannot stop the run or run the ball AT ALL. But I don't think Dallas can stop Indianapolis from scoring if the Colts o-line can keep DeMarcus Ware in check. I'm going to go with the older Manning brother in this one.
Rams over Cardinals: Arizona proved to me on Monday night that they are not worth picking anymore this entire season. Depending on the match-up I may go with them (similar to why I went with them last week) but this week the Rams and Sam "I'm playing better than Mark Sanchez already" Bradford along with Steven "Yup, I'm still really really good but stuck in the 'Lou" Jackson will rip them a new one.
Seattle over Carolina: Seattle's not very good. But they are good enough to beat the Panthers after the Panthers have had to travel across the country. I still expect it to be close and I expect Mike Goodson to have a solid game nonetheless.
Falcons over Bucs: Falcons overall balance as a team gets them the win. The Bucs are a solid team and they will play well but I think the Falcons are just a better team. If the Falcons don't turn the ball over too many times and create points for Bucs I expect them to win this one.
Ravens over Steelers: The Ravens haven't lost at home. I think their pride won't let them lose this one. It's gonna be a tough game and it's gonna be close through-out but I think the Ravens will pull this one out at home. And yes, it's hard to fathom that the Ravens will sweep the Steelers this year but they got the tougher win (the at Pittsburgh one) already. And I don't think they'll take that for granted and fail to prepare well for this game.
Patriots over Jets: Bill Belicheck's defensive schemes > Mark Sanchez's QB abilities. Aside from that, the Pats lost to the Jets earlier in the year and I'm sure they'll be out for a little payback in a big time Monday Night divisional match-up. I fully expect Tom Brady to get his Peyton Manning on this week.