Quiet here on the blog lately but NFL season gets my butt back in gear. Doing NFL picks started on the radio show in 2008 and then I moved it over to the blog. The name came from a listener who asked if I’d ever thought of using “Carnell Knowledge” as the name for a segment. Works for this so I’ve used it the past few seasons.
On Twitter, I picked Denver over Baltimore on Thursday. I’ll use Twitter to make the Thursday picks since that game is so much earlier than the majority of the week. For those new, I just pick winners. No point spreads. I list the games, then my pick followed by any comments I might have.
OAKLAND AT INDIANAPOLIS
Indy made the playoffs last year at 11-5. However they were outscored by opponents by 30 points. Huh? No wonder many people like me picked them to lose in that playoff game. They were beat by the eventual Super Bowl champions 24-9. Meanwhile the Raiders are the Raiders.
MINNESOTA AT DETROIT
Vikings made the playoffs thanks to Peterson but Ponder is still their QB. Lions I think is an 8-8 team who will surprise Minnesota in Week 1.
MIAMI AT CLEVELAND
2 teams who should be better than last year, just going with the Browns on a whim.
CINCINNATI AT CHICAGO
Quietly the Bengals have made the playoffs 2 years in a row. Even I forgot about that until the pre-season. Chicago has Jay Cutler and I’m never sold on him.
SEATTLE AT CAROLINA
Super Bowl contender against one of the most overrated QB in the league, easy pick for me.
KANSAS CITY AT JACKSONVILLE
Andy Reid now coaching KC with Alex Smith. A QB who has won a Super Bowl, well he lost his job to the guy who got them to the big game but a ring is a ring. Jaguars are airing the NFL Red Zone channel on their jumbotron during home games. All you need to know about that franchise.
TAMPA BAY AT NY JETS
Neither team I have much faith in this season. A pick em.
ATLANTA AT NEW ORLEANS
Sean Peyton back as head coach after his suspension, New Orleans had one of the worst defenses ever last season. So they can’t be that bad again.
TENNESSEE AT PITTSBURGH
Who do the Titans have at quarterback? Jake Locker or Ryan Fitzpatrick. Dog’s breakfast there.
NEW ENGLAND AT BUFFALO
Pats usually pound the Bills so that’s enough time on this one.
GREEN BAY AT SAN FRANCISCO
49ers spanked the Packers in the playoffs last season and this game is San Francisco so I’ll go with them.
ARIZONA AT ST. LOUIS
Carson Palmer now in Arizona. Cardinals were in such bad shape that Palmer is a big upgrade. In one of the strangest stats of 2012, what team in the NFC West had the best division record? It wasn’t Seattle or San Francisco, it was the Rams who were 4-1-1. Go figure.
NY GIANTS AT DALLAS
Early season big games, Dallas likes to show up. End of the season is a different matter altogether as we’ve seen many times.
PHILADELPHIA AT WASHINGTON
My team is the Redskins but I don’t know what to expect in Week 1 with RGIII. And the Eagles a re a mystery too since new coach Chip Kelly has kept things under wrap. Flip a coin and I went with Philly.
HOUSTON AT SAN DIEGO
Chargers finally fired Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith. Too little, too late for the Chargers. And it is now 10 years ago when they traded Eli Manning to the Giants and got Phillip Rivers. Eli wasn’t going to play for them so can’t blame them too much for that. However San Diego later on letting Drew Brees leave and going with Rivers? Not the best decision.
Houston is a team I never believe in. Last year was that comical Monday Night game against the Patriots. Where they showed up all wearing custom made Letterman jackets like a high school team, and proceeded to get their ass kicked 42-14. Playoff time they get the Patriots again and lose 41-28.
They did make the playoffs however, so this week I’ll pick them over San Diego.
Another year of a blog on Super Bowl Sunday with myself and others doing picks.
But first up, somehow on January 16th, 2012 I predicted the media coverage of this year’s game.
I decided before the 2012 AFC/NFC Championship games to write on what the possible Super Bowl
storylines could be. Since Baltimore-San Francisco was an option last season this was what I
thought might happen.
“49ers-Ravens. By far, the one the media would have the easiest time with. John Harbaugh, coach
of the Ravens. Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers. 2 brothers against each other. They played each
other this season on Thanksgiving Night, so they can grab the videos done for that week and
recycle them quite easily. Piece of cake.”
Got that one correct. I’ve seen those Thanksgiving clips so much during the last 2 weeks it’s
crazy. John and Jim before the game, the brothers with their parents after the game, etc. It
took 12 months but that paragraph came true.
I’ve gone back and forth on who might win. First other people and their choices.
One of the many Queen’s Alumni that are around, Andrew Bucholtz. Who runs the Yahoo! Canada
“55 Yard Line” blog.
“I’ll go San Fran 28, Baltimore 24. Kaepernick and Gore too tough for Ravens to stop, in my
Matthew Bisson, who I used to work with at the CFRC Sports department. Now a News Editor at 1310
News in Ottawa.
“Cheering for the 49ers, but expecting a Ravens win. Just seems to be their year. Hope I’m
Another Queen’s/CFRC Alumni, Julie Stewart-Binks. Sports Anchor on CTV Regina and also
involved in hockey scouting.
My Scouting Geekery: A Brief History
Julie went with the 49ers as did Jody Vance who is now at Breakfast Television at City in
Formerly known as CityTV. They all dropped the “TV” part of the station name this month. Just
“City” now. One of those random little tweaks a company will do.
Up next a pick from Natalie Thomas, who is on maternity leave from The Weather Network. Someone
who defeated me in 2011 doing NHL playoff picks on this blog. You can look that up and see.
She had it clinched before the finals. We both picked Boston over Vancouver since obviously
that was the only choice.
“Hmmmm. I’m out of the loop…but I’ll take Baltimore. :)”
Since Natalie just had a baby girl in January that explains her being out of the loop. Finally BJ Stewart,
Weather Network Morning Show Producer
“Geography says I should go with the Ravens…but I kinda like the 49ers grit. Think I’ll go with SF”
I’m picking Baltimore to win, 24-13. I can see 49ers winning but after the Ravens knocked off Manning
and Brady in back to back weeks they are on a roll. Also the 49ers defense hasn’t been great lately.
I’ll be rooting for the Niners since Ray Lewis is unbearably annoying at this point.
Since I predicted the media coverage a year ago, I will predict the shot from this game that will be
run for years to come. The handshake or hug at the end of the game between the coaches. Easy
prediction of course. One brother just won the biggest game of his life, and the other one
just lost it. You never see the coach’s handshake in the highlight package but every channel
will be showing that on Monday morning.
NFC/AFC Championship today. 3 out of the 4 teams were all in the same place last season. For all the talk of “parity” we get a rematch of Patriots/Ravens and the 49ers are back again after losing to the Giants a year ago. Both games are tough to call, so I could 2-0 or 0-2 pretty easily.
Ravens at Patriots
Baltimore always plays well against New England. Steam rolled them in the playoffs 4 years ago. Almost beat them a year ago to make the Super Bowl. The Week 3 game where Baltimore won in Foxboro was one of the ‘replacement ref’ games. Which I haven’t heard one person mention this week. A win is a win, but that game was one of the worst games when it cames to the officials. The game dragged, it was on national TV Sunday Night with the announcers pointing out the bad calls. And at one point the crowd started a “BULLSH*T” chant after a call. What crowd gets that riled up about Week 3? And Bill Belichick grabbed an official after the game. It was that bad.
Saying that, I am picking New England. Pats easily beat Houston last week. And they had a first round bye. Usually that can help a team, but Baltimore is also coming off a Double Overtime game. A game where running back Ray Rice said it was one of the toughest games he’d ever been in with the cold conditions. I see their run of playoff wins coming to an end.
No way I’m picking a team that messed up like that. Atlanta was up by 2 so a long Seattle field goal would’ve won it for the Seahawks. 49ers are better coached than that.
Divisional Weekend, which doesn’t have the same ring as ‘Wild Card’ Weekend. We’re stuck with the name though.
Baltimore at Denver
Peyton Manning’s playoff record, 9-10. Cold weather playoff games where the temperature is below 40F, 0-3. Amount of times he’s been ‘one and done’ in the post season, SEVEN. That`s a lot for one of the so-called greatest quarterbacks of all time. Heck, Eli has twice as many Super Bowl rings as him.
Denver is on an 11 game winning streak, however how many of those wins against winning teams? Two. And by the end of the year the Broncos had the 2nd easiest strength of schedule in the NFL. Colts last week came in with 11 wins, and Baltimore beat them pretty soundly.
Houston at New England
No chance I`d put money down on Houston after not showing up earlier in the season against the Pats. And barely beating the Bengals last week. Not much else to add.
Seattle at Atlanta
It`s Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. If you’ve read the blog during the season you know I’m no fan of them. Seattle playing great and this is a road game in a dome. Which negates a lot of home field. Falcons had Green Bay at home couple seasons ago, didn’t help them any.
Green Bay at San Francisco
Aaron Rodgers against the team he grew up rooting for, and who ended up drafting Alex Smith over him. Smith is on the bench right now by the way. Rodgers is a guy who holds a grudge very easily as the 60 Minutes piece on him showed. So now he gets one of his BIGGEST grudges in the playoffs. Not a recipe for good things.
Also San Fran’s defense hasn’t been that good lately. Giving up 34 points to New England, then 42 points against Seattle. Ended the season with a 27-13 win over Arizona, a team whose coach and GM were fired the following day so not exactly a good team. A shootout with Green Bay is not a good idea.
Almost typed 2012 in the title. Back to picking NFL games after a 2 week absence.
Bengals at Texans
After all these years it is time to pull out a saying. Houston, we have a problem. Had a chance for a bye and lost to the Colts last week. Had a chance to be 1st seed in the AFC and pissed that away over the course of December. Had a chance to prove critics wrong against the Patriots on national TV, lost 42-14. I can’t pick Houston against the Bengals.
Vikings at Packers
Minnesota beating Green Bay 2 weeks in a row? Their quarterback Christian Ponder did play well last Sunday. Odds of that happening a week later I’d say is slim.
Colts at Ravens
Former Baltimore Colts vs Baltimore’s current team. Head coach of Indy, Chuck Pagano vs the team he was a coach with the previous 4 seasons. Neither team I believe in. Ravens do have a lot more playoff experience so I’ll pick them.
Seahawks at Redskins
Which team on a streak do I go with? Washington, just because they are home. Seattle 2-5 on the road, I don’t count the Toronto win against the Bills as a road game. That was neutral site as anyone here in Ontario would tell you. It was a game they were trying to sell tickets to by the fact a one hit wonder was playing halftime.
And I’m not picking against Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris. Seattle can win, however that road record is just not good enough for me to pick them.
End of the Queen’s Football season. Usually when a team is up by 22 points with 5 minutes to go you will win a playoff game. Not on Saturday though as Guelph came back to knock the Golden Gaels out of the postseason.
Onto the NFL Week 9 picks. My Thursday pick of Chiefs with an upset didn’t work out.
Denver at Cincinnati
I thought Denver would lose to the Saints last Sunday night, and that wasn’t even close. AFC West is pretty crappy so Denver should win that division without breaking a sweat.
Baltimore at Cleveland
Baltimore is running on fumes, last 2 games giving up 400 yards in each. The Browns are 2-6, yet they have played tough in a lot of those games. Picking the Ravens because they are coming off their bye week.
Arizona at Green Bay
Green Bay’s record is only 1 game better than the Cardinals. Strange but the Pack has woken up lately.
Chicago at Tennessee
While Green Bay is better than their record, Bears being 6-1 doesn’t sound right. Their offense is in the bottom third in passing yards per game for example. They have enough to beat the Titans, just don’t think Chicago gets far in the playoffs.
Miami at Indianapolis
Two surprising teams. Both with rookie QB’s so this one is a pure guess.
Detroit at Jacksonville
If Detroit can’t beat the Jaguars, that will be a tough hill to climb to even squeak in the playoffs. 3-5 with the Bears and Packers ahead of them in the divison. Wild Card the only route the Lions can honestly expect at this point.
Buffalo at Houston
Bills 3-4, even with their bad performances in some games that’s almost a .500 record. Not bad with the AFC being the weaker conference this season. Texans should handle Buffalo easily. I do get a feeling the Bills could lose by 20 or win by 10. That kind of team. Both squads coming off their bye weeks as well.
Tampa Bay at Oakland
Rematch of the ‘Chucky’ Super Bowl. Jon Gruden was the Raiders coach, got traded to Tampa Bay and the following season the Bucs crushed the Raiders in the Super Bowl. With the Jays trading their manager recently it reminded me of a previous time that happened. In that case Oakland started a downward spiral they still haven’t recovered from. Buccaneers won a Super Bowl so they won that trade.
Minnesota at Seattle
Seattle unbeaten at home, so an easy pick.
Pittsbugh at NY Giants
With Hurricane Sandy it has affected this game in one way. The Steelers don’t have a hotel to stay at, so they are flying in on Sunday morning. They did have rooms at a place in New Jersey however as of Thursday that hotel still did not have power. I would have leaned towards NY anyway, but that travel doesn’t help.
Dallas at Atlanta
Undefeated Falcons at home on NBC. Cowboys last week had a horrible first half, then almost came back to win. Which team shows up on Sunday? Knowing Dallas probably both.
Philadelphia at New Orleans
Eagles 3-4, Saints 2-5. A desperate game should arise since a loss for either side and the season is most likely over.
Another short one as it’s Sunday morning as I type this. Would’ve picked San Fran over Seattle on Thursday, if I had remembered to tweet that.
Tennessee at Buffalo
The AFC East is in a four way tie. All teams are 3-3, if you can believe that. First time since division realignment in 2002 that a 4 way tie has happened. So even though Buffalo has had 2 horrible performances they are tied with the Patriots. Might as well pick them to beat the Titans.
New Orleans at Tampa Bay
Saints playing in the division and I still trust them more than the Bucs.
Cleveland at Indy
Browns won last week, I’d say their new losing streak starts today.
Washington at NY Giants
Skins swept the Giants last year, without a decent QB. NY’s Super Bowl year and they couldn’t beat the Redskins in 2 attempts? Still strange.
Dallas at Carolina
Dallas played better than Baltimore, but still lost. That effort will be enough to beat Carolina.
Green Bay at St. Louis
Packers’ offense finally woke up on Sunday night.
Baltimore at Houston
2 teams that have better records than what they really are. Houston got spanked by Green Bay, and in the Ravens game they lost 2 more players on the defense.
Arizona at Minnesota
Vikings dug themselves too deep a hole last Sunday. Cards don’t have an offense that can score like the Skins did last week.
NY Jets at New England
If the Pats can’t beat the Jets at home, this season doesn’t look good for New England.
Jacksonville at Oakland
Feel sorry whoever gets stuck with this game in their region.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
I could see the Bengals winning. Can’t pull the trigger on picking them though.
Detroit at Chicago
Just since they are at home.