Thursday, October 29, 2009

NFL 2009: Week 8 picks

Here's my Week 7 Review.

On to the picks.....

Texans (-3.5) at Bills
Even though the Texans managed to hold on for their win last week against the 49ers, they sure show signs of inability to finish off games. A couple weeks earlier, they could not score from the Cardinals 1 yd line with 3 chances to do it. But against the Bills, they should have enough offensive fire power to get it done.
My Pick: Texans

Browns (+13.5) at Bears
The Bears would definitely like to clean up their defense. They have to stop Jamal Lewis and the run. They should be fine against Derek Anderson's throws in the secondary, but need to shore it up for future tougher opponents. Jay Cutler will not be as bad as last week when he's not trailing in the game. But I will not be surprised if the Browns do cover the spread.
My Pick: Bears

Seahawks (+9.5) at Cowboys
The Cowboys looked good against the Falcons, but there are a few things that still needs fixing apart from their secondary. Romo should prove he is capable of playing a string of games at the level he did last week. He also needs to invent some kind of chemistry with Roy Williams, even though Miles Austin has emerged as his premier target the last 2 games. The Seahawks will want to redeem themselves after that miserable thumping they took against the Cardinals. Even if they have some of their injured defensive starters back after the bye, its a tough ask trying to win one at Dallas stadium.
My Pick: Cowboys

Rams (NL) at Lions
In this clash of the minnows, a lot hangs on who starts at QB for the Lions. If Stafford is back from his injury, he brings a lot to make the Lions competitive and the Lions have a strong chance winning their second game of the season. If he cannot start, I think the Rams get their first win of the season.
My Pick: Rams

49ers (+11.5) at Colts
Alex Smith was named the starter for the niners this week, after his almost miraculous come back last week. Although it was an inspired and impressive showing by him last week, it was just one half of football. We have seen him show promise before, only to show up with inaccurate thrown another day, and capable of bad decisions. But is the new Alex any different? But it may not matter much this week as they are facing the Colts, who in my opinion, are the best team in the NFL right now.
My Pick: Colts

Miami (+3.5) at Jets
The Jets had it easy against the Raiders last week. The visiting Dolphins will not be so kind. No more sideline hot dogs for you Mark Sanchez. Only large doses of the Wild cat to chew on.
My Pick: Dolphins

Giants (NL) at Eagles
The Giants have had a horrible two weeks. First, their secondary was torn apart by Brees and the Saints. The next week, the Giants offense was tormented by the swarming Cardinals defense. The Eagles did follow their loss to the Raiders with a win against the Redskins. But how much is the beating of the lowly Redskins, who are deep in internal turmoil, an indication of progress for the Eagles? Also, the Philly fans may just not be into this game as they will be gearing up for the World Series game to be played a couple hours after this game Sunday right across the street.
My Pick: Giants

Broncos (+3.5) at Ravens
The Broncos are back after a bye week to face the Ravens in their house. The Broncos do have a stout defense and a very efficient offense. But the Ravens have been at the receiving end of 3 heart-breakers in a row. Even though I am wary about picking against the Broncos, I still think I will do it. After this week, there is gonna be one less undefeated team in the league.
My Pick: Ravens

Jaguars (+3) at Titans
Jeff Fisher didn't have to wait to go 0-6 to let Vince Young start. Even now, it required some arm twisting from the owner Bud Adams. But, we'll soon know why Fisher has so little faith in the young QB soon. It is on Vince to disprove his detractors. The Jaguars are not going to make it easy in any way this week.
My Pick: Jaguars

Raiders (+16.5) at Chargers
The Raiders are stuck with JaMarcus Russell. Not only in terms of the money they have invested in him, but also his potential replacements; Bruce Godowski and Charlie Frye are not upgrades by any means over Russell. The Raiders would rather keep throwing Russell into the pond and let him learn the hard way. The Chargers just beat the Chiefs pretty convincingly. But there is no room for complacency, especially with the Broncos already almost in the un-catchable position in their divisional standings.
My Pick: Chargers

Panthers (+10) at Cardinals
Only John Fox knows how in the world is Jake Delhomme still the starter in Carolina? It shows the confidence the coach has in Jake or the lack of in backup Matt Moore. The Cardinals are on a roll with a string of impressive wins. And the memories of their thrashing of the Panthers in last year's playoffs will be fresh in their minds.
My Pick: Cardinals

Falcons (+10) at Saints
This is one of 3 match ups this week, where the division leader faces the second place team in their division. The Saints though, should have no problem separating from them with a win and marching on through their upcoming soft schedule.
My Pick: Saints

Vikings (+3) at Packers

Aren't people tired yet of the hype and hoopla over Favre's return to Lambeau? I sure am. It obviously is a very meaningful game for him and the Packer fans, especially the ones, unlike me, who can't get over the fact that the Favre who was a packer is retired and GB has a new young talented guy deservedly taking over from the legend. The Packers have the youngest roster by age in the NFL and most of the young guys haven't played with Favre in his hey-day. So except for people like Donald Driver, this whole return of Favre doesn't mean so much to the team as a whole.

Even without all these sub-plots, this is an important game for both teams this season. A Vikings win separates them from the Packers with a 2.5 game lead. A Packer win brings the Packers within half a game of the division lead. Throw in the fact that this is a divisional rivalry with a lot of bad blood on both sides even before the Favre saga, by no means is this just another game.

Talking about the actual football factors that might affect this game, the Packers will come in with the same game plan as last time, only with better execution. They will hope to hold Adrian Peterson to less than 100 yards, and let Favre win the game with his arm. With Atari Bigby back at Strong Safety in the secondary this time around, it isn't going to be easy picking for No.4. The injury that might sidebar Bernad Berrian doesn't help their cause. To keep the pressure on Favre, apart from better pass rush than last time, the Packers offense needs to score and stay ahead as much as they can and as long as they can. For this, they need their offensive line to show up. You cannot have a game like the 8 sack outing they had against the Vikes on Oct 5. Also a little run threat could open up passing lanes for Aaron Rodgers. With Antoine Winfield likely out for this game, the Vikes seconndary is not going to be as good as it was last time. But again, I cannot say this enough, it all boils down to the protection Aaron gets up front and his ability to get rid of the ball before the rush gets to him. Jermicheal Finley will likely miss the game giving way to Spencer Harvey try make an impact again on the big stage. Also, Percy Harvin for the Vikes is banged up, but will likely play.

The Packers do think they have addressed these issues since their last meeting 4 weeks ago. We will know for sure Sunday.

My Pick: Packers

Last Week: 9-4
Year to date: 72-31

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