The NFL Picks Column: Bills, Cowboys, Titans, Broncos Will All Remain Undefeated
Has September been the worst month in NFL history for quarterback play?
Think about it. The following quarterbacks have logged significant playing time this month:
Beyond them, Derek Anderson has been terrible.
Matt Schaub has been worse.
Carson Palmer is struggling.
Marc Bulger has been benched.
JaMarcus Russell hasn’t been good.
By my count, that’s thirteen NFL teams that have had bad-to-terrible quarterback play this month.
Even Peyton Manning has struggled at times.
I miss Tom Brady.
(Home teams in CAPS)
Denver (-9.5) over KANSAS CITY
Sometimes, picking games against the spread comes down to simple math.
Denver’s offense has scored 114 points over three games. Kansas City’s offense has scored 32 points over three games. That’s a difference of 82 points.
To put that point differential into perspective, only six NFL teams have scored 82 points this season. And the Broncos have scored 82 points MORE than the Chiefs.
Do you really think they’ll have trouble covering a 9.5 point spread?
CINCINNATI (-3.5) over Cleveland
Back in the late nineties, it was pretty awful being a Boston sports fan. Cleveland isn’t exactly on that level, but they’re close.
Their baseball team is constantly one or two players away, and when they finally put it together, they blow it all up the next season.
Their basketball team has one of the greatest players in the NBA and is one of the top teams in their conference, yet all anyone can talk about is when, not if, LeBron James leaves for New York.
Their football team was supposed to be one of the best teams in the AFC, now I’m picking them to lose to the winless Cincinnati Bengals.
Come to think of it, it might be as bad in Cleveland as it was in Boston back in the late nineties…
JACKSONVILLE (-7) over Houston
Houston’s world has been turned upside down this season with the hurricane and the unexpected bye week. But that’s not their only problem. I’m watching their quarterback, Matt Schaub, looking tentative, slow, and sometimes downright frightened.
This is a serious problem.
Five interceptions and only one touchdown is a problem. Eight sacks in two games, and about thirty additional quarterbacks hits is a problem.
I’m not sure if Schaub is the problem—I’m more inclined to blame it on the offensive line. But a switch to Sage Rosenfels, who played pretty well last season, should probably be on the table right now.
NEW YORK JETS (-1) over Arizona
I’m not on board with the “Jets are playoff bound” crew, but I’m not counting them out just yet either. The Jets aren’t great, but they’re too good to start the season 1-3.
They know they have to win this game. They will win this game.
Plus, let’s be honest, if their offense needs to get healthy the Arizona defense isn’t the worst medicine for them to take.
NEW ORLEANS (-5) over San Francisco
Martin Gramatica, he of the dancing Gramaticas, should have been cut before he reached the sidelines last week.
By all rights, the New Orleans Saints should be 2-1 right now. They lost last week because, to coin a Peyton Manning phrase, their idiot kicker couldn’t put the ball between the uprights.
As punishment, since apparently there’s nobody else in the country who is available to play kicker, they should have made him play scout team linebacker in practice.
Atlanta (+6.5) over CAROLINA
Couple of interesting stats: Michael Turner is averaging 6.2 yards per carry so far this season. His backup, Jerious Norwood, is averaging 6.0 yards per carry.
You want to know why Matt Ryan has looked so good this early in his NFL career? Look no further than those two statistics.
In the end, I think Carolina is the better team and they pull this one out. But the Falcons aren’t pushovers anymore, and they will keep the game close.
TENNESSEE (-3) over Minnesota
The Titans’ defense is insane right now. Defense wins championships.
Minnesota’s defense is pretty good. But Gus Frerotte can’t beat a defense as good as the Titans’ defense. He’s good for three or four picks this week.
Green Bay (+1) over TAMPA BAY
OK, slow down here people.
I’m on board with the world underrating the defending NFL South champions. But to make them one point favorites over the defending NFC North champions is vastly OVERRATING the Bucs.
Buffalo (-8) over ST. LOUIS
I’m not sure there’s much to talk about here. The Bills are good. The Rams are a mess. This will be a massive blowout.
I wonder, should the Patriots come calling (they won’t, but I can dream), what the Rams would want for recently benched quarterback Marc Bulger.
Bulger replacing Matt Cassel? Can I have that for Christmas? Or Halloween?
San Diego (-7.5) over OAKLAND
Is Lane Kiffin still employed? Was he fired? Did Al Davis fire him, but forget to tell him?
The Oakland situation is a mess. Worse than the Rams situation, because their team has talent. Al Davis should be forcefully removed from the front office of the Oakland Raiders. Replace him with one of those Halloween costume wearing guys in the stands.
Heck, replace him with recently fired Matt Millen. Someone, ANYONE, with a pulse who will back his head coach.
Oakland would be better off with me running their front office. And my first act as GM would be to trade Nnamdi Asomugha to the Patriots for a late round draft pick.
THAT’S how bad Al Davis is right now.
DALLAS (-11) over Washington
Yes, I keep picking against Washington. Yes, they keep winning. No, I don’t understand how.
If you’re a Washington fan, why complain? Clearly, we have an understanding here. Whatever I say the Redskins are going to do, they won’t do. So you better hope I don’t ever pick them to win…
Philadelphia (-3) at CHICAGO
Kyle Orton, meet the defense that transformed Ben Roethlisberger into Drew Bledsoe last week.
Here’s the question: If they can turn a quarterback as good as Ben Roethlisberger into Drew Bledsoe, what can they turn Kyle Orton into?
Baltimore (+5.5) over PITTSBURGH
If Ben Roethlisberger were healthy, I’d have no reservations taking Pittsburgh to cover a relatively small 5.5 point spread at home. But there are some things working against the Steelers that make me think, at the very least, this game will be close.
First, Ben Roethlisberger isn’t completely healthy.
Second, he’s not healthy because the offensive line can’t pass protect. Think the Ravens’ defense won’t take advantage?
Third, one of their rookies was dumb enough to send a taunting text message to one of the Ravens’ rookies.
Fourth, I’m not sure I’m all that impressed with Mike Tomlin.
The Steelers should win this game, but I’m thinking this is a field goal game, not a touchdown game.
Last Week: 8-7
Season Record: 23-22
Sean Crowe is a Senior Writer and an NFL Community Leader at Bleacher Report. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His archive can be found here. You can find everything he writes, including articles for other publications, here.
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