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November 18, 2009

NFL Football Picks - Week 11

It's another week, and another abysmal performance in the old football prognostication department.  Let me put it in words that even Murph in Edmonton can understand. I. AM. NOT. VERY. GOOD. AT. THIS.  There we go.  One syllable. Ok, one word had two syllables.  I hope that won't be too hard for him. But hell, that's the fun, right?  Why actually be good at something when you can suck at it and laugh about it?  And have others laugh with you (you are laughing with me, right?) I think that's much healthier.

In other football news, the Buffalo Bills fired coach Dick Jauron yesterday.  Wonder if that will fire the team up this week?  Or will they say "Dick Jauron?  He was our coach?  Never heard of him, but I was wondering what that funny-looking guy was doing on the sidelines every week, ranting and raving like a madman."

I was 6-9 last week, with an overall record of 73-71.  This is the week I go under water, I'm sure!  Can I be the 2008 Detroit Lions of prognostication and go 0-16?  Does reverse psychology ever work?  And if it does, does it work on malevolent deities?  Or am I just out of luck?

Tally ho!!  Onward and downward!  That's what I say.  Here we go.
Carolina (-3.5) vs Miami
Both of Carolina's running backs are injured and may not play Thursday night.  That means that they may have to put the game in the hands of (*gasp*) Jake Delhomme!  He's actually been pretty good the last couple of weeks, not throwing any interceptions.  That can change quickly, though.  Carolina's going to have to try and stop the Miami running game, which they haven't shown any inclination to do with anybody else's.  They must think that the opposing team's rushing attack is one of those mythical concepts, like minotaurs.  Or Paris Hilton's virtue.

Baltimore (-0.5) vs Indianapolis
Ok, this is a joke, right?  They're actually picking Baltimore's defense to stop Peyton Manning?  They're predicting an end to Indy's unbeaten streak?  Maybe it's a misprint!  Baltimore showed no inclination to score against the Browns defense until the third quarter Monday night.  While Indy's defense is pretty average, they're no Cleveland.  The Ravens might stop Manning from having a marvelous game, but he's got enough game to handle the Ravens. Even if he has to audible them to death.

New Orleans (-11.5) at Tampa Bay
It pains me to do this, because the Saints have been really impressive this year.  However, they've shown chinks in their armor that haven't been devastating enough for a loss but have resulted in some blemishes that Proactive won't clear up that quickly.  Brees has been starting slow and hasn't been as brilliant as he was early in the season.  Heck, they barely beat the Rams!  How they will live down that embarrassment, I don't know (I could counsel the entire team for only a couple of million me!).  Meanwhile, Tampa's been coming on and not looking so....oh, what's the word.  Oh yeah, terrible.  New Orleans easily wins this one, but I'm not getting burned by these spreads again.  It will be by 10.
Tampa Bay

New York Giants (-6.5) vs Atlanta
The Giants are coming off their Bye week, probably with raw and red rear ends from the verbal spanking Tom Coughlin probably gave them.  They're trying to break a 4-game losing streak where they have not looked good.  At the start of the season, they were Angelina Jolie.  Now?  Maybe Susan Boyle?  Anyway, what better cure than the ailing Falcons?  The Falcons looked terrible against the Panthers last week, with QB Matt Ryan throwing lame ducks like it was already Thanksgiving (yes, I know, wrong with it).  The Giants are getting kind of pissed off at their current state, so I think they do a little Falcon-hunting.  They aren't on the endangered list, are they?
New York

Minnesota (-11.5) vs Seattle
Seattle has yet to win on the road this season.  It's like they get everything packed before boarding the plane, making sure they have their suits ready, spare cash for souvenirs, and then forget to pack their talent.  Whoever gets their stuff ready for the trip really should get on top of that.  Brett Favre is looking like the Favre of old, I'm sorry to say (no, I'm not a fan).  He doesn't start heaving interceptions until he's trying to win the game all by himself, and he hasn't had to do that this year.  It helps to have Adrian Peterson running through defenses like Brian Blessed chews through scenery (that joke is for you British fans out there).

Pittsburgh (-10.5) at Kansas City
I'm really reluctant to go with Pittsburgh and a double-digit spread.  As much as I love them and want to have their babies, they have been frustrating in their ability to cover spreads this year (when they actually win, which they haven't done as much of as I would like).  However, this is Kansas City we're talking about, and I just can't see them stopping Roethlesberger often, and I really can't see them doing much against the Steeler defense even if it is full of injuries.  The Chiefs equipment manager will be having quite a fun time removing James Harrison's fingerprints from Matt Cassel's jersey.  And his back, legs, various other parts of his body.

Jacksonville (-8.5) vs Buffalo
Dick Jauron is out as Buffalo's coach.  With a horrible career coaching record, that's not a surprise.  Will the team come out on fire for their interim coach?  Will he make any difference to their losing ways? Probably not.  I think they will play better than they have been playing, though.  I think giving a spread like this to Jacksonville is like giving the Big Red Nuclear Button to Mr. Bean.  They are definitely good at home, and I think they will win, but not by 9 points.

Dallas (-11.5) vs Washington
Sometimes I wonder if the oddsmakers take rivalries into account.  Washington really sucks this year (though they did convincingly beat Denver last week...damn them), but this is Dallas!  How often does a battle between NFC East teams end up with more than a 10-point differential?  Besides, Dallas (and Romo specifically) looked like arthritic llamas last week against Green Bay.  They managed to get to Aaron Rodgers a few times, but overall the defense didn't amount to much and the offense sputtered like me trying to get on a treadmill.  Dallas could very well win this game (though it won't shock me if Washington does), but it won't be by 12 points.

Detroit (-3.5) vs Cleveland
So Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas comes out and says that she didn't realize that having lesbian sex while she was married counted as infidelity until her therapist told her that.  Is that clueless or what?  Probably as clueless as anybody picking the Browns would be in any game that involves a pigskin ball being thrown or carried up and down a grass (or turf) field.  Ha!  See how I connected those dots?  I'm a master at this sort of thing.  I still don't get Fergie, though.
Clevel....I mean, Detroit.  (Fooled you!)

Green Bay (-6.5) vs San Francisco
San Francisco looked pathetic last week against the Bears, only winning because Jay Cutler is a tool.  The Bears have an injury-racked defense and they could only score 10 points.  Green Bay, meanwhile, manhandled Dallas.  This game is in the frozen tundra of Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers might actually be able to feel a little less pressure instead of feeling like he's in a diving bell being coming to the surface at breakneck speed.  This one is a no-brainer (which means, of course, that San Fran will win by 30).
Green Bay

Arizona (-9.5) at St. Louis
The poor Rams, not only are they never the bride, but they can barely make it into the wedding, much less be the bridesmaid.  This team is just a sorry excuse for playing football.  On the other hand, they gave New Orleans quite a scare last week.  I think that was their Halloween celebration a few weeks late, though.  Kurt Warner is a God-fearing man.  He can face up to the demon that is Leonard Little.

San Diego (-2.5) at Denver 
Uh oh.  Kyle Orton, the wizard of Denver, has a bum ankle and could very well miss this week's game.  Maybe he injured it crashing back to Earth (being beat up by the Redskins can do that to you).  I wonder if Chris Simms has matured since his time in Tampa?  I guess we'll find out this Sunday.  It's the second half of the season now, so it's time for Denver's yearly swoon.  This time without Mike Shanahan to propel it, too!  Will they win another game?  Of course.  But not this week.
San Diego

Cincinnati (-9.5) at Oakland
The Bengals showed last week that they are no longer the Bungles.  They are a team to be reckoned with.  They've now swept the Steelers and effectively (though not officially) locked up the AFC North division.  They'd have to majorly take a dive to give up a 3-game lead on the Steelers.  Don't get me wrong.  Coach Marv Lewis is perfectly capable of coaching his team to that dive!  But not against Oakland, who just can't score.  After a piss-poor game, coach Tom Cable replaced JaMarcus Russell with Bruce Gradkowski.  That lifted the "Suck-o-Meter" from "Rap Music" to "Britney Spears."  Not much of an improvement, but noticeable.

New England (-10.5) vs New York Jets
Bill Belichick is an asshole.  Yes, I said it.  However, he's not a stupid one.  Yes, that 4th and 2 play really backfired on him and the Patriots, resulting in a crushing loss.  But Belichick's a gambler, and he wanted to try and make sure that Manning didn't have a chance to beat them.  He lost that gamble.  I think the Patriots defense will take out their anger at not being trusted by Belichick by physically assaulting Mark Sanchez so often that he may want to call the police.  Or at least an Offensive Line coach.
New England

Philadelphia (-2.5) vs Chicago
Jay Cutler is the first Bears QB in many a moon to have two 4-interception games, and this week he managed to throw 5!  Against the 49ers!  The Eagles will be without Brian Westbrook, who came down with a concussion after returning from his last one.  Brian, you're not supposed to string them together like this!  Personally, I think he should think about retiring, because he seems prone to them.  And that's a totally serious point.  On the frivolous front, McNabb should have a lot easier time throwing against the Bears than San Fran did. He has that unusual thing called "talent" to help him get by. I think 2.5 is being optimistic, despite the Bears being tough at home.

Houston (-4.5) vs Tennessee
Tennessee is really coming on!  Three wins in a row, a running attack that has to be seen to be believed, a coach with a moustache to die for.  It's all good in Nashville right now.  Houston, meanwhile, is coming off a Bye week and a close loss to the Colts.  This will be an intense match-up, and I wouldn't be surprised if RB Chris Johnson has a huge game for the Titans.  The Texan defense may just see a ghost fly by.  Even if they do manage to pull the game out, it comes down to a field goal.


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