The same can be said in having a .500 week making NFL picks.
That’s what I had last week, thanks to a flat-out stupid day from Kenny Britt, the greatest fake punt in football history, a puzzling call by the officials in Miami and the always-predictable pick six from Brett Favre that’s now bitten me twice.
Frankly, I’d rather go 3-11 than 7-7. Let’s hope neither happens this week.
(Home team in caps)
Denver (+1) over San Francisco (in London)
Please accept our sincerest apology for sending you the 1-6 San Francisco 49ers and the 2-4 Denver Broncos across the ocean to you. In our defense, both teams looked to be contenders this preseason, so we thought we were giving you a decent matchup. Instead, you’ll get Troy Smith at quarterback for the Niners and a Broncos team that just lost by 200 points to the worst team of the past eight years.
Just please don’t judge the NFL based on what you see in this game. And pray that Mike Singletary keeps his pants on.
Jacksonville (+6.5) over DALLAS
Anyone who watches the Bruins knows that coach Claude Julien‘s favorite made-up term is “compete factor.” What does it mean? Well, it essentially means that players are trying, which really shouldn’t be rewarded for millionaire athletes, but that’s the way it is.
Though I haven’t asked Claude what he thought of the Cowboys’ effort on Monday night at home with the season on the line, I don’t think he’d be complimenting their compete factor. Granted, losing a starting quarterback to injury is a bit of a shock to the system, but that was pathetic.
It looks like the Cowboys officially shut it down for the season. Thankfully, there are billions of Cowboys fans who bet on football games, thereby skewing this line so severely.
Miami (+2.5) over CINCINNATI
Three underdogs right off the bat. That can’t be great, right?
Well, I did hit on four of my six underdogs last week, so that’s a positive sign. The other is that the Bengals have been Bungle-rific all year. And nobody’s watching The T.Ocho Show. The Bengals simply don’t look capable of competing with moderately decent NFL teams. The Dolphins are, in the words of Greg Focker, strong to very strong.
And there you have it.
Washington (+2.5) over DETROIT
Another underdog, but there’s an old NFL rule that says the Lions are never really a favorite. It’s just a trick.
The average score of the Redskins’ seven games has been 19-19. I like their chances to topple the Lions, particularly with a potentially rusty Matthew Stafford back under center for the first time since Week 1.
KANSAS CITY (-7.5) over Buffalo
Finally, a favorite I can get behind.
I said last week that the Chiefs are one of very few teams in the NFL that looks good just about every single week. They didn’t let me down with their 42-20 thrashing of the Jaguars, and they shouldn’t let me down against the Bills. For now, I think we can chalk up last week’s performance from Buffalo as being nothing more than aberration. I think. I don’t want to live in a world where Ryan Fitzpatrick puts up 382 yards on a regular basis.
NEW YORK JETS (-6) over Green Bay
I wonder about a bye week for a team like the Jets. For some reason, I just can’t picture Bart Scott hunkering down for some extra film study over the weekend or Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes getting in some extra reps to get their timing down.
Still, that Jets defense is worth seven points in this one, and a rested LaDainian Tomlinson might come out on fire.
ST. LOUIS (-3) over Carolina
This one gets this week’s honor of “Good God, Stay Away From This Game” status. And that’s mostly because Matt Moore came out of nowhere to throw for 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns last week.
Moore in first three appearances of season: 25-for-59 (42.4 percent), 342 yards, 2 TDs, 6 INTs
Moore last week against San Francisco: 28-for-41 (68.3 percent), 308 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
And you want to try and predict football?
SAN DIEGO (-3.5) over Tennessee
We’re all waiting for the Chargers to turn it around. If they didn’t drop footballs all over the place for an entire half last week, they’d have gotten that movement started.
The problem is, they did drop footballs all over the place, so they could do it again at any moment. Here’s hoping the return of Legedu Naanee is the difference this week.
Ridiculous Quote From Last Week’s Picks: “The [Eagles will] be OK against Tennessee on a short week, particularly if Kevin Kolb can channel his inner Joe Montana again.”
Note: Kolb went 26-for-48 with two picks.
Seattle (+2) over OAKLAND
What’s more startling: The fact that it’s becoming difficult to pick against the Raiders or the fact that it’s becoming difficult to not pick the Seahawks?
A 45-point win for the former and a 4-2 record for the latter have us in that scenario. While every ounce of my body wants to pick against the team whose coach spends his time on Twitter asking fans for ways to get more pumped and jacked, I’ve been raised to believe it is unlikely for the Raiders to play well for two consecutive weeks.
The fact that they’ve won two straight games just once in the past two-plus season helps drive that belief home.
RQFLWP: “The Raiders haven’t been blown out in far too long.”
Note: Forty-five point victories aside, that statement remains true.
NEW ENGLAND (-6.5)* over Minnesota
At this point, you have to think Brett Favre is hurting the Vikings, so if he doesn’t play, that may not be a bad thing for Minnesota.
It will be interesting to see whichever Vikings quarterback take the field and lob bombs to Randy Moss all evening, as rookie Devin McCourty will likely be assigned the duty of covering the Hall of Famer. The two were matched up quite often in training camp, and, well, it didn’t always work out so well for McCourty.
While a potential start from Tarvaris Jackson could cause some confusion for the Patriots, it could also help them stack against the run to limit Adrian Peterson. Jackson’s starting may also force Brad Childress to actually use Peterson like the best running back on the planet, which would be terrible news for New England. There are, obviously, quite a few “ifs” in this one.
(And if Favre doesn’t play, what happens to the line? This is weird.)
Tampa Bay (+3) over ARIZONA
It’s just hard to pick a team with no quarterback. Or a running back, for that matter.
NEW ORLEANS (-1) over Pittsburgh
It’s easy to pick the Steelers here. A little too easy if you ask me.
Now, I’ve been saying since the summer that the Saints celebrated a little too much, that they’d be absent that championship focus that drove them through February last season. Through seven weeks, that’s been true.
But, it’s largely the same team, and I find it hard to believe that they’re going to put up consecutive stinkers in front of their home crowd — and on national TV, no less.
RQFLWP: “Colt McCoy played in some raucous environments in college, but he’s in for a treat in New Orleans this weekend. I’m thinking a few sacks and a few picks are in his near future.”
Note: This quote wasn’t all that ridiculous, as McCoy went just 9-for-16 for 74 yards, but Drew Brees was the one throwing four picks. Go figure.
INDIANAPOLIS (-5.5) over Houston
Revenge game for Peyton Manning. On Monday night. Gotta go with 18.
Last week: 7-7