But haven't we been just fine without those guys and maybe team chemistry has improved without the big names? So we only lost to the Iggles by 10 last time and are kind of playing better right? The Iggles have been slumping the last 3 games, with 2 losses and an unimpressive win over da Bears, so are ripe for the picking, just like the Broncos right? Color me pessimistic after the 1-2 punch of a surprise win and almost win left me with crushed hopes again. Just when I thought I was at peace with this season, the Skins basically picked me up off the canvas and then kicked me in the spleen.......thanks, but no thanks. I'll keep the bandwagon parked until next season. On the bright side, 2 weeks until we are favored against the Raiders!
On to the picks..........FO's 'locks of the week' are now 6-8 with 2 'locks' this week, their 'reasonable' picks are 17-25, and their 'stay away' picks are 55-47. The top 3 picks this week are all considered locks. After, posting an apology for their awful picks thusfar, FO rebounded with a strong week. Please note that differences in total games picked is a result of us using slightly different spreads.
The standings (with pushes excluded):
Sports Guy: 6-9 last week, 90-67 overall (57.3%)
Monkey throwing shit at a dartboard: 79-79 overall (50.0%)
DCLS: 8-7 last week, 78-80 overall (49.4%)
Football Outsiders: 9-6 last week, 78-80 overall (49.4%)
As usual, the FO picks are listed in order of confidence, and I have bolded a team wherever I differ (home teams in CAPS).
- Kansas City +14 over SAN DIEGO - The Bolts are only FO's #9 straight-up pick, so they must really like the 14 points here. KC is their #27 ranked team, and the Bolts #13, which would be enough to pick SD, but I think KC's recent improvement is the big reason. Interestingly, the only game thusfar in which the Chiefs have lost by over 14 points was to the Chargers, at home, 4 weeks ago. FO's certainty is swaying me here.
- Indianapolis -3.5 over HOUSTON - There is something very wrong with this line. Maybe the insanely long injury report is pushing this line down, but I am ready to make this my lock of the week. FO has Indy as their #2 straight-up pick. Fun fact of the week, Matt Schaubb is FO's #3 ranked QB, behind only Brady and Manning.
- DALLAS -14 over Oakland - There should not have been much reason for concern because their offense struggled against the league's #1 defense and #11 defense in back-to-back weeks. Nothing like a little Raider-tonic to cure everything.
- CINCINNATI -14 over Cleveland - So the Bungles lost to the Raiders and are still giving 14? Looking a little closer, the Bengals outplayed the Raiders and were just a bit unlucky, whereas the Browns were badly outplayed by the Lions (outgained by over 100 yards) and were lucky to only lose by 1 point thanks to a trick play and a 2-0 advantage in turnovers. Cincy is FO's #1 straight-up pick this week.
- BUFFALO +3.5 over Miami - I am not sure what FO is seeing in the Bills here, they couldn't even beat the Jags last week, whereas Ricky Williams and co. showed me that they may be just fine without Ronnie Brown. If Williams can continue to perform as he did last week, it will put quite a damper on how good a player Ronnie Brown is perceived to be.
- DENVER +7 over New York Giants - Wha, wha, hap, happe...? The Giants embarassed themselves and I am finally convinced that they may not be a good team. FO had them as their #11 team, just ahead of Miami, going into this week, with the #14 offense and #13 defense; sounds perfectly mediocore to me. Not sure what to make of the Broncos after this.
- Pittsburgh +3 over BALTIMORE - Interesting that FO has their #10 team over their #6 team, on the road. The Steelers are also 2-3 on the road this year, with those 2 wins over the Lions and slumping Broncos (same ones the Skins beat), and their starting QB is hurt and Dennis Dixon may play, yikes. Sounds like an obvious fools-pick right? Well the the Ravens are 5-5, with those wins over Cleveland (x2), KC (home), slumping Denver (home), and at San Diego. All of their losses have been close to good teams, so this sounds like a close Steelers win, either way I'll take the points in what should be a low-scoring game. If Dennis Dixon does play, I'll probably have the same face Chris Simms did before attempting a winning final drive against the Skins.
- New England +3 over NEW ORLEANS - Make no mistake, the Pats are the best team in the league right now. The home-field is a big deal here, but I will still take the points.
- Carolina +3 over NEW YORK JETS - Never a good sign when you install a new system to help your QB and explain, "Basically it's helping him manage when he gets out on the field to understand maybe the parameters, maybe the game situations and all that kind of stuff."
- DETROIT +11 over Green Bay - Not sure why Sports Guy and FO liked the Lionesses here. Although the game wasn't a total blowout, Detroit was never closer than 2 scores after halftime, so this game lived down to expectations.
- Arizona -3 over TENNESSEE - Very interesting in what will be the first test for the VY-led Titans. Their wins under VY have not been against anybody as good as the Cards, so I'll take the favorite here.
- SAN FRANCISCO -3.5 over Jacksonville - I am sticking with Coaching Jesus, but did you know the Jags are in the playoffs if the season ended today?
- Tampa Bay +12 over ATLANTA - FO already flipped on this pick and I am having trouble with this as well. My general rule is to go with the team I think will win, so I'll take the Falcons to bounce back from 2 losses. I also just noticed that Atlanta is in 2nd place in their division and still 5 games behind the Saints.
- Chicago +11 over MINNESOTA - The nation will delight in Cutler learning about the subtle tasting notes of turf.
- Seattle -3 over ST. LOUIS - Honestly, who cares?
- Washington +9.5 over PHILADELPHIA - So much for picking against the Skins. Not only did we lose the game last week, but I also missed the pick. FO has Philly as their #6 straight-up pick, and as a 'lock' to win.
(Image courtesy of hogshaven.com)