After a final 10 minutes of Sunday night's game that had me squirming miserably in my seat, knowing full well that Peyton Manning was going to lead the Colts to victory, this week is perhaps the first time ever that I haven't looked forward to seeing some more football.
I really am enthusiastic about Laurence Maroney, but he is in my dog house until further notice after coughing one up in the end zone. That touchdown would have put our lead juuuust out of reach, so not even Peyton Manning could touch it with one of his epic fourth quarter runs.
But alas, the NFL season isn't just going to grind to a halt just because the Colts have left little old me miserable, so us Patriots fans are just going to have to trudge onward and continue picking our winners and losers.
Am I the only one in complete disbelief that it's already week 11?
Thursday, Nov. 18, 2009
Miami @ Carolina
TR: These teams are remarkably well-matched in a number of ways. While the Panthers can make Double Trouble for anyone if they actually show up, it is worth noting that Miami has a good defense against the rush. The Fish have one of the worst pass defenses around, but the Panthers have a quarterback that could make any defense look good, so that‘s a wash. A big factor against Carolina is the loss of LT Jordan Gross with a broken ankle. Sorry, Panthers, the Dolphins will take you down at The Bank.
EA: The Fish have a great ground defense, and the only way the Panthers are a threat to move the ball is on the ground. DeAngelo Williams might bust off a couple good gains, but Carolina does not have the passing attack to get enough respect from Miami's defense to really leave a lot of holes for Williams. I'll take the Phins.
GC: The Panthers beat the Falcons last week, WTF. I didn’t see that coming. Now they go up against a Dolphins team working to keep playoff hopes alive. I’m going to give the Panthers the nod this week because they are playing at home.
DB: Even without Ronnie Brown I think the Miami is the better team and will win. Miami.
EA : It's not a matter of who is going to win, it's a matter of how big the score will be.
GC: In this age of parity in the NFL who thinks the Buccaneers can beat the Saints? I see no hands raised. None! Me neither, the Saints roll on undefeated.
DB: Tampa’s only chance is that they are at home, but they aren’t slowing down the Saints offense. New Orleans.
Atlanta @ New York
TR : The Giants were devastated by a four game losing streak before the bye, but I expect them to come back a little stronger. Atlanta has shown a bit of success here and there, but they are just a notch above mediocrity. Giants get this one done.
EA: The Giants have really cooled off after their great start, and I think Atlanta is just good enough of a team to keep giving the G-Men problems. Atlanta in a close one.
GC: The Falcons are coming off a loss and going into New York facing a rested Giants team; the Giants are going to win big at home.
DB: Weird game. Turner is out and Atlanta has faltered a bit lately. The Giants have lost their way. But I have to go with the Giants in this game. New York Giants.
EA: Maurice Jones-Drew will have more touchdowns on his own than the Bills will as a team. Hope TO got his popcorn ready.
GC: The Bills just lost their coach and there are just too many questions about this team to think they can go out and steal a win from the home team.
DB: Buffalo is obviously a mess and in flux and Jacksonville has been playing a little better of late. Jacksonville.
San Francisco @ Green Bay
TR: In perhaps the weakest division in the NFL, San Francisco can only manage to sit in second place. In this matchup, they meet a Green Bay team ranking second in run defense. It could be a long day for Frank Gore, especially at Lambeau. The Pack is all set to win this one.
EA: The 49ers will keep it close, but I'm going with Green Bay since they're on the home field.
GC: I am really liking what the 49ers are trying to do this year. The Green Bay Packers came up with a big win last week as well. The Packers are playing at home and I never pick against them when they are playing at Lambeau field.
DB: Interesting game, but San Francisco’s offense can’t generate enough points to beat the Packers. Green Bay.
Seattle @ Minnesota
TR: Seattle doesn’t have a chance. Favre just has too many weapons for the Seahawks to overcome. Sidney Rice has impressed me, and the ability of Adrian Peterson goes without saying. So I won’t say it. I’ll just say that Minnesota takes down the ‘Hawks.
EA: Brett Favre. Jared Allen. Adrian Peterson. Sidney Rice. Hell, even Percy Harvin. Seattle is so incredibly outmatched on either side of the ball, they don't have a chance.
GC: I just don’t like the Seahawks and they can’t seem to win an away game. The Vikings with Favre under center will be eating the Seahawks' lunch.
DB: Minnesota is on a roll and they are playing Seattle, which not a very good team. Minnesota.
Indianapolis @ Baltimore
TR: I expected more from the Ravens this year, but injuries and age on the defense have become a problem. Nevertheless, they remain strong against the run and have allowed only 17.1 points per game. Their weakness is in pass defense, and sorry to say, that guy who quarterbacks the Colts will pick them apart. Offensively, the Ravens have some serious weapons, but I fear it won’t be enough. I really dislike saying it, but the Colts will remain undefeated. I hope I’m wrong.
EA: I expected more from the Ravens as well, not to say that they aren't doing OK. I thought New England was going to do it last week, but I'm going to make a bold move and predict the Ravens hand Indy their first loss of the year.
GC: The Colts finally got tested last week and they proved they do have a chance to go undefeated this year. The Ravens had an easy game last week and get to play at home but against one of this years' stand-out teams. The Ravens play tough at home and I’ll pick them as the winner in this game as my upset of the week.
DB: It’s a shame Suggs got hurt on a dirty play by Brady Quinn. That will really hurt the Ravens' defense. But my gut tells me they are going to pull off the upset. Baltimore.
Washington @ Dallas
TR : Clinton Portis is still suffering the effects of the concussion he suffered in the Atlanta game, but his absence didn’t stop the Deadskins from defeating Denver last week. However, this is a different matter altogether. The Cowboys, who were defeated by Denver in week four, were riding a four-game win streak until they hit the wall against GB last week. This is one of those old rivalries that are almost impossible to predict, but I think Dallas has the horses here.
EA: The Redskins have been pathetic. No way can they beat Dallas on the road. Better luck next week.
GC: This is a rivalry that usually spells for a good game but I don’t think the Cowboys are going to give the Redskins a chance.
DB: I don’t believe Washington is as good as they played last week. Dallas.
EA: I think the end result goes without saying.
GC: The Steelers need to keep on the winning side of the tote board at this point, and they are going to make the Chiefs pay for their most recent loss. Steelers win with big numbers; this may even be a shut out.
DB: Really, do I need to make a pick here? Pittsburgh.
Cleveland @ Detroit
TR: I would rather watch one of those home improvement shows with my wife than this train wreck. Thankfully, I don’t have to make that choice. These teams, ten weeks into the season, have a total of two wins between them. The only fun in this game would be in watching Fredo Mangini have an aneurysm. There is chaos at every level in both organizations. My dog says go with Detroit.
EA: Deeeeeeetroit!!!! In the 2009 Last-Chance-for-a-Win Bowl, Detroit makes a remarkable improvement, getting all the way to two wins. While it would be cool to see this mark the end of Mangina's coaching career, there's just something about watching him and the Browns drown in ineptitude that amuses me.
GC: Who cares really? Lions at home.
DB: Cleveland looked like a bad Division III team last week. Detroit.
Arizona @ St. Louis
TR: It is pretty clear how much Kurt Warner loves playing in St. Louis. He won when he played for the Rams, and now he has a knack for defeating the Rams, who will lose this game. Badly.
EA: Steven Jackson will put up a valiant fight to try and get St. Louis a win, but unfortunately for this kid, he can't muster up enough on his own to get the job done. Arizona just has too much firepower.
GC: The Rams are getting beat every way except sideways. The Cardinals are not going to take it easy on them either.
DB: I think the Rams could get some yards and points against the Cardinals with Steven Jackson. Arizona.
Cincinnati @ Oakland
TR: Somehow, I am not entirely sold on the Bengals, even though they have swept both the Ravens and the Steelers. Maybe I just have too many friends from the Baltimore community, I don’t know. The Raiders do have the benefit of playing at home in this one, and they have a halfway decent pass defense. I said halfway, not great, and Palmer is putting up some pretty good numbers. Try as I might, I cannot see the Bengals losing this one.
EA: I have a vested fantasy football interest in the Bengals. On one team I have Carson Palmer, on another I have Chad Ochocinco, and on my other the Bengals' defense. I would definitely not complain if these guys explode for a huge game. And against Oakland, who is going to stop them?
GC: I’m not going to say the Bengals get a easy win this week but they will win against the Raiders. But expect the Raiders to keep it close.
DB: Cincinnati has proven to be one of the best teams in the league. This is a no-brainer, even on the west coast. Cincinnati.
San Diego @ Denver
TR: I have to go with Glenn here. These are two teams headed in opposite directions, at least for this season. San Diego’s running game hasn’t been too productive, but LT woke up last week, and I remain a big Sproles fan. Regardless of the ground game, Rivers-to-Jackson has been money in the bank. Going with the Bolts here.
EA: My opinion of this Denver team continues to quickly take a 180. Even in Denver, I'm convinced the Bolts are going to walk away with a win over the Broncs.
GC: You're supposed to fix things during the bye week, but the Broncos have lost every game since their bye. The Chargers on the other hand have been playing better ball down the stretch. I believe the Chargers have enough juice to take the Broncos in this match up.
DB: These two teams are going in opposite directions and Denver has lost Kyle Orton. These teams usually play very competitive games but San Diego is on its way up. San Diego.
NY Jets @ New England
TR: I need to say this before I go any further: the Patriots lost a tough one last week, the operative word being “one.” That’s that, water under the bridge.
Now that I have that out of the way, I will tell you that the Patriots will be loaded for bear against the Jets. These are two very different teams from what we saw in week two. Our Patriots will slice and dice these Jets at The Razor, end of story.
EA: Indy, NYJ, New Orleans. In this stretch of games, it is imperative for New England to win two of three. They already dropped one, which I didn't expect until going to the Superdome. After REALLY coughing one up to their hated rivals last Sunday, the Patriots will NOT let the Jets come away from the Razor with a win.
GC: The Jets have been reeling since their early success against the Patriots, and they have to go into the New England Patriots' “Razor” stadium and try to get back on track. Good luck with that. The Patriots remember their earlier loss to the Jets, and the Pats are playing a whole lot better now that Brady’s rust has been worked off.
DB: These division games are always tough but my gut tells me the Patriots are a better team than the last time we met the Jets and that we will pull out the win at home. New England.
Philadelphia @ Chicago
TR: The Bears just do not have it going on. Wherever Jay Cutler goes, well, there he is. Same guy. The Eagles have been confounding, losing to Oakland, defeating the Giants— a real rollercoaster ride. They are not a great team, but they are good enough to beat Chicago.
EA: Like TR pointed out, Philly may not be the elite team they seemed like earlier this year, but they aren't nearly bad enough to blow one to Chicago.
GC: The Eagles are having a hard time stringing a series of wins together. After early expectations we have found that the Bears are just not all that. I don’t care if the Bears are playing at home; they will lose to the Eagles.
DB: How many picks will Cutler throw this week? Philadelphia.
Monday, Nov. 23, 2009
Tennessee @ Houston
TR: True, Houston is still somewhat in the hunt, but the Titans have improved since Kerry Collins sat down and Vince Young got a shot. And Chris Johnson’s production has blown me away. He is the reason why his team is ranked second in the league in rushing yards. Neither of these defenses is great, but I think Tennessee is on the upswing and will put a dent in the Texans’ playoff hopes. This is my upset of the week.
EA: I'm also going to go with Tennessee. All of their eggs are in the basket of Chris Johnson, but is that necessarily a bad thing? So long as the defense keeps the Titans in the game, there is no reason why they can't deal a staggering blow to the Texans on Monday night.
GC: The Titans are looking better but the Texans are looking for a wildcard spot. This should be a hard fought game with the Texans coming out the winner.
DB: Houston has been a bit up and down and I have a feeling that Chris Johnson and the Titans are going to steal one from them. Tennessee