Here are my picks for the NFL's Week Ten:
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Atlanta (2-6) at Carolina (4-4) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line – Carolina by 4½)
Atlanta beat the 49ers last week. They are winless on the road so far this season, and are also 0-2 against division opponents. They are ranked 30th in the league in points per game. RB Jerious Norwood may sit this week with an injured ankle. Carolina lost at Tennessee last week. They had just 191 yards of total offense in that game. QB David Carr, who was sacked seven times, suffered a concussion with three minutes left in the 4th quarter and was replaced by undrafted rookie Matt Moore. WR Steve Smith was also injured, although he is expected to start this week against Atlanta. Carolina is winless at home this season. If Moore starts under center this week, Atlanta has a good chance of pulling off an upset here. Heck, even if a dazed Carr or a gimpy Vinny Testaverde play, the Falcons have a decent shot in this one.
RJ's Pick: FALCONS BY 1
Buffalo (4-4) at Miami (0-8) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line – Buffalo by 3)
Buffalo beat the Bengals last week. And as I predicted, they had an explosion of offense, scoring a season-high 33 points and amassing 479 yards of total offense. They've now won three in a row. J. P. Losman is expected to start at QB again this week against Miami. The Dolphins mercifully had a bye last week. They are ranked 31st in the league in rushing yards allowed per game, so expect Bills rookie RB Marshawn Lynch to have another big game this week.
RJ's Pick: BILLS BY 7
Cleveland (5-3) at Pittsburgh (6-2) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line – Pittsburgh by 9)
Cleveland beat Seattle last week, in overtime. QB Derek Anderson threw for 364 yards and RB Jamal Lewis rushed for 4 TDs. Color me impressed. They've won three games in a row now, but are just 1-2 on the road this season. The Steelers dismantled the Ravens last week on MNF. The defense held the Ravens to just 104 total yards, while QB Ben Roethlisberger threw 5 TD passes. They have given up the fewest points in the NFL, just 98 through eight games, or a little more than 12 points per game. Meanwhile, they are ranked second in rushing yards gained per game and fifth in points scored per game. They are also one of just four teams that are undefeated at home. In Week 14, they face the Patriots in New England. Can you say Super Bowl 41.75? Anyway, this week will pit the Browns awesome offense versus the Steelers dominating defense. It should be an epic battle.
RJ's Pick: STEELERS BY 6
Denver (3-5) at Kansas City (4-4) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line – No line)
Denver was crushed by Detroit last week, 44-7. QB Jay Cutler injured his leg in that game, and may not be able to start this week. The Broncos are ranked 28th in points scored per game, and 29th in points allowed. Kansas City got beat by Green Bay last week. Although they are just .500 midway through the season, they remain in first place in the surprisingly-weak AFC West. RB Larry Johnson could be out for a couple games (or more) with a sprained ankle he suffered against the Packers. And Johnson's backup, Priest Holmes, ain't what he used to be. That is definitely not good news for a team that is already ranked 30th in total yards per game and 29th in points scored per game. Sheridan isn't giving a line for this game (at least not yet), and that's certainly understandable. This one could go either way, obviously. But the Broncos are in free-fall, while the Chiefs are still a semi-credible playoff team. So, go with Kansas City.
RJ's Pick: CHIEFS BY 1
Jacksonville (5-3) at Tennessee (6-2) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line – No line)
The Jacksonville Jaguars lost badly last week in New Orleans. The defense allowed 538 yards (most in franchise history), 445 of it through the air. QB Quinn Gray struggled, throwing 3 INTs. Thankfully for Jaguars fans, QB David Garrard might return this week. Even if he's on crutches, or in a wheelchair, or an iron lung, or whatever, this team needs him back out on the field ASAP. The AFC South can be a pretty unforgiving place to play in. You know you're in a tough division when a 5-3 record is just good enough for third place. The Titan beat the Panthers last week. QB Vince Young played like … Vince Young, throwing for just 110 yards and 2 INTs, but running for a score and getting the win. Tennessee has now won three games in a row, and is just one game behind the Colts for first place. The defense is giving up the second-fewest points per game and the second-fewest yards per game in the NFL. This is another game with no line (as of yet). If Garrard can play, the Jags have a chance. But I still give the edge to Tennessee.
RJ's Pick: TITANS BY 4
Minnesota (3-5) at Green Bay (7-1) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line – Green Bay by 6½)
The Vikings ran all over (literally) San Diego last week, winning 35-17. Rookie RB Adrian Peterson ran for 296 yards, setting an NFL record for rushing yards in a single game. This guy runs like Barry Sanders in his prime, on steroids and HGH. Also, robot legs. Sadly, the Vikings are still being quarterbacked by some junk DNA named Tarvaris Jackson, who not only is a terrible passer and a horrible decision-maker – and has a broken finger! – but is now apparently recovering from a concussion as well. A couple more concussions and this guy will have the decision-making skills of Terri Schiavo. And she's dead. The Packers beat the Chiefs in Kansas City last week, 33-22. That was their third straight win, and they remain undefeated on the road. They have the league's eighth-ranked run defense, and they are sure gonna need it this week.
RJ's Pick: PACKERS BY 3
Philadelphia (3-5) at Washington (5-3) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line – Washington by 3)
suck lost to the Cowboys on SNF last week, 38-17. They are 0-3 against division opponents so far this season. You've gotta feel bad for head coach Andy Reid – and I don't mean just because his sons are criminal druggie scum. The Redskins beat the Jets in overtime last week. RB Clinton Portis carried the ball 36 times for 196 yards and a TD. Good thing, too, because the passing attack was anemic as usual. Through eight games, no Redskins wide receiver has even a single touchdown reception. I've picked eight Eagles games so far this year, and gotten seven wrong. So, basically, if I pick the them to win, they'll lose. And if I pick them to lose, they'll win. You've been warned.
RJ's Pick: REDSKINS BY 8
St. Louis (0-8) at New Orleans (4-4) – 1:00 pm (Sheridan's line – New Orleans by 12)
The Rams had a bye last week. I bet they enjoyed that. They have scored the fewest points in the NFL, and allowed the most in the NFC. And, to paraphrase Forrest Gump, that's about all I need to say about that. The Saints won their fourth in a row last week, whipping the Jaguars 41-24. Not to toot my own horn, but I pretty much called this turnaround right after their Week Six win at Seattle. Now I'll call something else: New Orleans is going to win the NFC South, unless QB Drew Brees suffers a season-ending injury sometime in November or early December.
RJ's Pick: SAINTS BY 28
Cincinnati (2-6) at Baltimore (4-4) – 4:05 pm (Sheridan's line – Baltimore by 5)
The Bengals lost to the Bills last week. They are in an absolute tailspin, having lost six of their last seven games. The defense is giving up almost 400 yards per game, and is tied with Miami for last in the league in points allowed. WR T. J. Houshmandzadeh is a bright spot, however, with 10 TDs on the season, and at least one in every game. Baltimore got shredded by the Steelers on MNF last week. RB Willis McGahee was injured and had to leave the game in the 4th quarter, but it was just a little brain trauma and had nothing to do with his knee, so I'm sure he'll be okay. The Ravens have dropped two in a row, and now find themselves in third place in the AFC North. Wasn't this team 13-3 last season? What the hell happened? Anyway, they should be able to score bunches of points on Cincinnati this week, get the win, and remain undefeated at home.
RJ's Pick: RAVENS BY 3
Chicago (3-5) at Oakland (2-6) – 4:15 pm (Sheridan's line – Chicago by 3)
Da Bears had a bye last week. Minnesota won in Week Nine, so now last year's NFC champs find themselves at the bottom of the standings in the NFC North. Turnovers are killing this team. It would also help if they had a credible running game and/or a competent quarterback. Oakland lost at home last week to the Sage Rosenfels-led Houston Texans (Don't laugh; Rosenfels might be the greatest Jewish gunslinger since Gene Wilder starred in Blazing Saddles). The Raiders have now lost four in a row. If things keep going this way, Lane Kiffin might become the NFL's youngest head coach to use Grecian Plus.
RJ's Pick: BEARS BY 5
RJ'S GAME OF THE WEEK: Dallas (7-1) at New York Giants (6-2) – 4:15 pm (Sheridan's line – Dallas by 1)
The Cowboys spanked the Eagles in Philly on SNF last week. WR Terrell Owens caught 10 passes for 174 yards and a TD against his former team, gleefully taunted the crowd, and talked a lot of smack during the post-game press conference. We may now safely assume that Richard Dawkins is right – there is no God. Dallas leads the NFC in points scored by a wide margin. They are undefeated on the road so far this season. The Giants had a bye last week. They have won six in a row, and desperately want revenge for their Week One loss at Dallas. RB Derrick Ward might be able to start this week, or he might not. This is a tough one to predict, but I believe Dallas is the superior (and healthier) team.
RJ's Pick: COWBOYS BY 4
Detroit (6-2) at Arizona (3-5) – 4:15 pm (Sheridan's line – Pick 'em)
Detroit crushed Denver last week for their third win in a row. Their offense is ranked slightly above-average at 12th in yards per game, but is 6th in points per game. Defensively, they are fairly solid against the run, but still very iffy against the pass. Since their bye in Week Six, the Lions have given up just 30 total points in three games. They are fairly healthy right now, and they need to stay that way because their schedule for the second half of the season is hardly a cakewalk. Arizona lost to Tampa Bay last week, for their third straight defeat. QB Kurt Warner looked awful, completing just 10 of 30 passes for 172 yards, 0 TDs, and 2 INTs. RB Edgerrin James should have only limited success this week against the Lions defense.
RJ's Pick: LIONS BY 6
Indianapolis (7-1) at San Diego (4-4) – 8:15 pm (Sheridan's line – Indianapolis by 3½)
The Colts lost
Super Bowl 41.5 in Week Nine to the Patriots, 24-20. It was a close game to the end, and if only WR Marvin Harrison had played … oh, well. The Empire struck back last week, but maybe the Jedi can return sometime in January. "Tell, time will, yes." (That was in my Yoda voice.) The Chargers were humbled by the Vikings last week, 35-17. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie returned a missed field goal an NFL-record 109 yards for a TD in the loss. I see the Chargers losing this one badly.
RJ's Pick: COLTS BY 15
Monday, November 12, 2007
San Francisco (2-6) at Seattle (4-4) – 8:30 pm (Sheridan's line – Seattle by 9½)
San Francisco lost to Atlanta last week for their sixth consecutive loss. Luckily for them they play in the NFC West, so they are just two games out of first place. QB Alex Smith has a quarterback rating of just 57.6, and his completion percentage is below 50%. RB Frank Gore might sit out again this week with an ankle injury. Seattle lost to Cleveland last week in overtime. RB Shaun Alexander has been nagged by injuries and is having a very disappointing season. The Seahawks are 3-1 at home so far this year. There's no reason not to go with the home team here.
RJ's Pick: SEAHAWKS BY 5
[Bye week teams: Houston (4-5), New England (9-0), New York Jets (1-8), Tampa Bay (5-4)]
RJ's Week Ten Picks: FALCONS, BILLS, STEELERS, CHIEFS, TITANS, PACKERS, REDSKINS, SAINTS, RAVENS, BEARS, COWBOYS, LIONS, COLTS, SEAHAWKS
– I picked EIGHT Home teams and SIX Away teams
– I picked TEN Favorites and ONE Underdog [and three games had no favorite]Powered by Sidelines