Yikes, this season isn’t going so well for me on these picks, but at least I didn’t get skunked two weeks in a row in the win column. If my picks were a team right now, I’d probably be the Bills. Unlike the Bills, I still have hope for this season, because it only takes a couple weeks to drastically turn it around. The Bills might need at least two years to turn things around in Buffalo…
Big week for me last week, as I finally showed some life, going 4/5 on my picks! But of course, the better news was the San Francisco Giants reaching the NLCS for the first time in eight years! Oh, and taking Troy Glaus out in the process! Aside from watching the Giants on Saturday, then a whole bunch of football on Sunday, I also have my fantasy basketball draft on Sunday, so needless to say, I’m a tad bit excited for the weekend to come! Until then, let’s do some lines, shall we!?!?
Week 5 (Chappy 2-4, By 4-1) Overall (Chappy 10-18-1, By 10-14-2)
Kansas City @ Houston (-5)
Chappy picks Kansas City +5, last Sunday morning I was handed the Chiefs and Colts game on TV, so I watched. It was a lot closer than the 19-9 final score indicated. The Chiefs played Manning tough at Lucas Oil, and seemed to frustrate him most of the game. Seeing how well they did against Peyton and Co. makes me feel like they could do the same against Houston with their third ranked defense. The Chiefs were a couple of Bowe drops away from winning or being in the game in the fourth quarter, unfortunately he forgot how to catch the ball even when he was wide open. The biggest question in my mind is can Cassel actually get over 200 yards passing? I think he can against one of the leagues worst pass defenses. They made Gradkowski look like a top QB when they played the Raiders so why not Cassel? The Texans only put up 10 points against the Giants, and looked pretty bad, so they should be fired up and ready. Problem is they aren’t usually that good at home going 4-5 in their last 9, so I think the Chiefs will be close enough to cover.
By picks Houston (-5): It’s hard to choose between these two teams, I like them both, but if it’s one thing I know about picking games, it’s not to have an emotional investment involved with it. With that said, a good 73% of my picks come with emotional attachments, so if I can’t take my own advice, then I deserve the record I have. Before I drown you all with self pity and sorrow, let me tell you why I chose Houston. Simply put, they’re better than their 3-2 record. They’re definitely better than what they put forth last Sunday versus the Giants, and you have to feel confident they won’t put up back to back stinkers at home. I need Matt Schaub to show up this week, or else my fantasy season is over in football. Kansas City hung with the Colts in Indy last week, but primarily based on their defense and Peyton Manning just having one of those games. Their offense isn’t putting up consistent points, which they’ll need this week against Houston. I have a feeling Houston’s offense will finally break out this week and turn this thing into a track meet.
Baltimore @ New England (-3)
Chappy picks Baltimore +3, there’s not much to dislike about this Ravens team. They play both sides of the ball very well, and between them and Pittsburgh, I can’t name a stronger division in football. The Ravens destroyed the Broncos on the ground last weekend with Ray Rice and company putting up over 230 yards rushing. This weekend might be different though with a lot of Flacco passing. The Pats pass defense looked decent against Miami, but that was because Henne was throwing it to them more than throwing it to his receivers probably made them look better than the 24th ranked pass defense. I doubt Joe will make those same mistakes. The only reason I’m second guessing this pick is because the Patriots are coming off their bye week, and giving Bellichick an extra week to prepare worries me a little. I see this being somewhat of a shootout, so it really depends on how well the Ravens can shake Brady up with pressure. Plus losing Moss in the Pats offense will give the Ravens one less big play guy to worry about. Even Branch said he’s no Randy!
By picks Baltimore (+3): Oh no, Chappy and I are on the same boat on this one, which means the easy money is on New England! I’ll approach this with the “glass is half full” mentality, in that Chappy and I can’t be that awful in which we constantly agree upon losers … right? Don’t answer that. Nevertheless, yes the New England turmoil is finally over with, but there’s no replacing a stud like Randy Moss, and as great as Tom Brady is, he’ll need some time to adjust to not having a safety valve in Moss when things break down. New England will be fine shortly, but I think Baltimore sneaks in just in time to take one from them during this transition period. On top of that, Ray Rice finally decided to show up this season, and his break out game last week may lead to many more. What can you say about Baltimore, there are no surprises when breaking apart their game plan. They hit hard, they’ll ground and pound you, and they’ll intimidate you. This team is built “Ford Tough” while New England bickers about shaving their beards and getting hair cuts.
Atlanta @ Philadelphia (-3)
By picks Atlanta (+3): I’m really high on Atlanta, and I have been since they drafted Matt Ryan. This team has all the right pieces to make a legitimate run at a Super Bowl, and yet, they continue to fly under the radar. Injuries caught up to them last season and they never recovered, but this season they’re healthy and clicking on all cylinders. They currently lead the NFC South with a 4-1 record, one of four teams with only a single loss under their belt, plus, they’re winning all the “grind it out games”. I’m no scientist, but I’m sure that’s some sort of formula for success. Meanwhile, the Eagles barely got by the weakest team in football history last week, and if Michael Vick can’t go this week, then that puts the onus on Kevin Kolb to perform at a high level against a real team and not a reject practice squad. Leave it to me to turn the Atlanta/Philly portion of the post, into a 49erbashing. Before I get off track, I like Atlanta by 7.
Detroit @ New York Giants (-10)
By picks New York (-10): All my friends who are 49er fans also, tell me they cringe every time they see Aaron Rodgers lighting it up for the Packers. Then the “what could have been” conversations spark, but it all ends the same … f**k the 49ers. What’s funny is, just like me, they remain part of the “faithful” contingent. Before I turn every post into a 49er bashing, let me get to the point. While all 49er faithful cringe at the sight of Rodgers, we forget to also cringe at the sight of Shaun Hill! Who knew!? My god, he’s like Dan Marino over there in Detroit! What the hell!? All this does is bring up more questions if you’re a 49ers fan …
Anyway, as good as Shaun Hill has been in relief of Matt Stafford, Detroit doesn’t have enough to hang with a rejuvenated Giants team. They finally resembled the team that started last season 5-0 (I think, too busy at work to fact check this), the team that was supposed to not let there be a Super Bowl hangover from 2009. Don’t know what changed in New York, but my gut tells me they’ll ride it out. Manning to Nicks is looking as prolific as, well, the other Manning to Wayne. Brandon Jacobs was showing us some life last week, and the Giants defense looked like the defense we’ve expected over the past two seasons, putting the clamps on a high octane Houston offense. If the Giants walked all over the Texans, the Lions don’t stand a chance.
Cleveland (+13.5) @ Pittsburgh
Chappy picks Pittsburgh (-13.5), the Browns have played a lot of close games this year, but with Colt McCoy making his first start and Big Ben’s return, there’s no way not to pick the Steelers. This line could be 20 and I’d still probably take it. Noway this team comes out flat after a bye week if they really are a Super Bowl contender. Big Ben needs to send Favre a thank you card for taking all the attention off his return!
By picks San Francisco (-6.5): In all honesty, I think the Raiders are going to win this game, but if the 49ers want to salvage whatever is left of this season, then a win here is a must. The 49ers have struggled in all aspects of the game, but the most obvious is on offense. To be more specific, at quarterback. It’s no secret that Alex Smith is on the bubble this week, how his bubble hasn’t burst yet is the mystery, but regardless of how well he plays this week, San Francisco is moving on from the Smith era in the immediate future. I don’t care if he brings back the reincarnation of Joe Montana for the remainder of the season, Alex Smith has got to go. But as bad as he is, the problems just pile up on top of him for the 49ers. The o-line gets no push, hence Gore gets no holes. The wideouts have no separation speed, and are always covered. The opposing defenses gets to key in on VD, which makes Alex Smith that much worse. The coaching staff doesn’t know how to call a damn game. It feels like there’s too many issues for the 49ers to resolve. Meanwhile, the Raiders are coming off arguably their biggest win since defeating the Jets in the 2002 AFC Championship game. Only a fool would think the 49ers stand a chance … well, I happen to be an idiot.
Chappy picks Oakland (+6.5), last week I picked against the Raiders, and was pleasantly surprised that I was wrong. Picking with them goes against some of my “rules” starting with picking my own team to win. Also history goes against this pick seeing how the Raiders haven’t won two games in a row since 2008, and those wins made us think Jamarcus might be good. It’s a bizzaro year in the Bay Area. Usually it’s the Raiders that have all the coaching, and QB problems, but this time it’s the Niners that have all the baggage coming into the game. I hope that seven years of losing doesn’t make them take SF lightly, but judging on history, it could easily happen. With that said, I’d pick Campbell/Gradkowski (whoever starts) over Alex Smith. Even if the Niners get their first win this weekend, Smith will keep it within a touchdown with some untimely turnovers. I can already hear the Niners fans chanting for Carr to come in! Maybe the Niners have a Crabtree curse. Under Singletary they are 8-5 w/o Crabtree, and 5-12 with him. Maybe I’m finally glad we did pick Heyward-Bey over him…
Chappy picks Chicago (-6.5), Seattle is an interesting team this year. In the early stages of the year, By and I thought they’d be the worst team in the league. I guess they aren’t because they’ve beaten the Chargers and 49ers, but then lost to the Rams and Broncos. This weekend they take on a Bears team that will have the Cutler back in the lineup, and also came off a feel good win against a woeful Carolina team. There is one main reason I’m picking Chicago here. That reason would be the whole westcoast team traveling east to play in a morning game never works out well for the westcoast team, especially if that team isn’t good to begin with. I feel so good about this pick, I’m sure the Seahawks will find a way to cover…
Indianapolis (-3) @ Washington
By picks Indianapolis (-3): This could be a trap game, but then again, the Colts have Peyton Manning. The anti-trap. Well that might not be entirely true, but this week he is. When was the last time Peyton Manning had back to back pedestrian type weeks? I think the answer to that is, never. Manning didn’t even throw a single touchdown last week. Yikes. That’s not Manning-like one bit. You think the best quarterback in the game today might have a little something extra for the Skins this Sunday? I think so. Don’t get me wrong, the Redskins aren’t a walk in the park right now, especially with McNabb and Shanahan seemingly gelling, but if the Colts are only favored by three measly points, I gotta go with Indy.
Chappy picks Indy -3, The Skins have played a lot of close games against good QB’s this year. They’ve held most of them in check, and gotten lucky or had timely plays to pull out victories in those games depending on how you want look at it. I’d say they were lucky last week when Clay Matthews, Findlay, and Rodgers all got sidelined mid-game, and they still struggled to beat the Packers. I’m thinking the Colts finally start to get rolling, and we know they won’t want to go into the bye week with a loss. I’m not sure I agree with myself on this one, but it’s the sensible choice.