17 November 2006

Weekly NFL Related Humiliation (Week ELEVEN)

Here we go again. Another week closer to the real season, the playoffs. Only four games with both teams above .500 and still entertaining serious hopes of the playoffs. Those will be the games I'll hazard a guess as to the outcome.

Chicago at NY Jets (+7)
Chicago (8-1) love NYC (or East Rutherford, New Jersey, anyway) so much they play there on consecutive weeks. Last week they started poorly, but finished very strong. Rex Grossman settled down and looked solid for the first time in about 10 quarters. The NY Jets (5-4) beat division rival New England, and looked good doing it. But Chicago has a disruptive defense that will destroy Chad Pennington's rhythm, if not his body. It's going to be another miserable day for those rooting for the home team. Chicago will win and cover the touchdown spread with ease. Chicago -7

Atlanta at Baltimore (-4)
Baltimore (7-2) would seem to be in for an easy home game this week. They've won 3 in a row, and their foes, Atlanta (5-4) are riding a two game losing streak to Cleveland and Detroit. But, if Atlanta plays smart on offense, and does enough on defense to disrupt McNair, they have a real chance in this game. You never know which Michael Vick you'll get from week to week. Given the aggressiveness of Baltimore's linebackers, a running QB can roll up big yards if he doesn't get killed first. Atlanta plays like a young team, poorly against poor teams, but they'll get up for this battle and play over their heads and defeat a tough Ravens squad on the road. Or not. Atlanta +4

Indianapolis at Dallas (+1)
Dallas (5-4) despite their mediocre record, seem like a really talented team. Also, Tony Romo has proven worthy of the starting job these past few weeks. Indianapolis (9-0) continues to be the crappiest looking 9-0 team in football history. This is the Cowboy's first home game since October 23rd. I think they'll give the home fans a good show and contain the potent Indianapolis offensive attack while putting up some big numbers themselves. Dallas +1

San Diego at Denver (-2.5)
Denver (7-2) hosts San Diego (7-2). This game will go a long way towards deciding which team wins the AFC West, and which team ends up as a wild card with a 4 or 5 seed in the playoffs. Both teams have the same records, but they got there in very different ways. The Chargers are the number one in the NFL as far as points per game at 33.0, while Denver is in the back of the pack with only 17.6. But that's only one side of the story, Denver's defense is formidable, they just don't let other teams in the end zone averaging a league best 12.3 points per game allowed. The Chargers are respectable in that statistic as well (despite giving up 41 points to Cincy last week) at 19.4. It's strength against strength when the Chargers offense lines up against the Broncos defense. This game will be decided while Denver has the ball. If Plummer plays mistake free ball and doesn't turn the ball over. Denver will win at home. But that's not going to happen. Offensive mistakes by Denver will put too much pressure on their defense, and they'll allow an uncharacteristic 3 or 4 touchdowns and San Diego will win. San Diego +2.5

There are other games that might end up having playoff implications. Other games to keep an eye on NE at GB, MIN at MIA, CIN at NO, STL at CAR, and SEA at SF. Quick non-binding picks on those, NE, MIA, CIN, CAR and SF (I'll only count them if I turn out to be right).

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