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.
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.
Day 5 of doing a blog every day, today the usual NFL picks. Which I’ll have to push up with Thursday Night Football coming. Or maybe I’ll just pick that game and save the rest of these long posts for the weekend.
Queen’s lost to McMaster Saturday afternoon, in a game that was not close. 40-13 and the game was worse than the score indicates. Golden Gaels threw 6 INT in the 1st half, 5 to the same guy. Considering that 40 points is kind of low. Next Football broadcast Labour Day 2012. Hockey/Basketball/Volleyball in January so there is live sports on CFRC after the holidays.
Onto the NFL. Rebounded with 9-4 record last week.
Seattle 2-5 (Road: 1-3) at Dallas 3-4 (Home: 2-1)
My pick of the Cowboys last week didn’t quite work. Thanks for not showing up. Seattle is bad, yet only 1 game behind Dallas in wins. Dallas to win this.
Atlanta 4-3 (Road: 2-2) at Indianapolis 0-8 (Home: 0-3)
Nothing else to say.
NY Jets 4-3 (Road: 0-3) at Buffalo 5-2 (Home: 4-0)
Picked Buffalo to beat my team the Redskins. I was REALLY glad not to buy tickets for that with the Skins performance. Wow.
Cleveland 3-4 (Road: 1-2) at Houston 5-3 (Home: 3-1)
Houston beating teams without having Andre Johnson in the lineup is a sign maybe they really have gotten better. 1st round exit for them in the playoffs, but this team has never been to the post-season so that’s an improvement.
San Francisco 6-1 (Road: 3-0) at Washington 3-4 (Home: 2-1)
Caroline Frolic’s 49ers to go 7-1 and for all intents and purposes clinching the division. Other NFC West teams are quite bad, and how many times has San Fran played in the division this season? Zero. 6-1 without games against the Rams/Seahawks/Cardinals. That playoff race is over.
Tampa Bay 4-3 (Road: 1-1) at New Orleans 5-3 (Home: 3-0)
Rams beat the Saints last week. Weird.
Miami 0-7 (Road: 0-4) at Kansas City 4-3 (Home: 2-1)
How Kansas City has come back from the brink at 0-3 I don’t know. Wasn’t 0-3 in close games they were getting blown out. Dolphins are 0-7 not as bad as Indy. Miami has some close losses.
Cincinnati 5-2 (Road: 3-1) at Tennessee 4-3 (Home: 3-1)
2 teams I am not sold on. Cincinnati has a good defense so I’ll go with that.
Denver 2-5 (Road: 1-2) at Oakland 4-3 (Home: 2-2)
Tebow looked atrocious. His problem is where he was drafted. 1st Round which never should have happened. He is someone who needed to learn for 2-3 seasons at least. Even then I don’t know if he would be an average QB. Coach who drafted him is gone and new people are in. So with the price of a 1st Round pick they throw him out there to see what he is. Wasn’t pretty.
NY Giants 5-2 (Road: 2-1) at New England 5-2 (Home: 3-0)
Super Bowl rematch. I wanted Pats to win that one since I am sick of the 72 Dolphins. That team is known for being undefeated but that’s it. Even that year they weren’t viewed as great. How do I know? Super Bowl that year was Redskins/Dolphins and Washington was the betting favorite. A Miami team without a loss, and people thought the Skins were better. Imagine that.
After losing last week I’d see Pats coming back. They don’t lose 2 games in a row very often.
St. Louis 1-6 (Road: 0-3) at Arizona 1-6 (Home: 1-2)
Remember what I said about the NFC West. Here is the proof.
Green Bay 7-0 (Road: 4-0) at San Diego 4-3 (Home: 3-0)
San Diego after choking that game away still might be smarting from that.
Sunday Night, Baltimore 5-2 (Road: 1-2) at Pittsburgh 6-2 (Home: 4-0)
Picked them in Week 1 so might as well try again.
Monday Night, Chicago 4-3 (Road: 1-2) at Philadelphia 3-4 (Home: 1-2)
Chicago handled Vick last season. That’s all I got.
After a Sunday with no football talk I’m back again.
No one picked Browns over Steelers, I’d say even family members of the Browns bet on Pittsburgh. Yahoo Sports said 3% of users picked Cleveland to win. Troy Polamalu is the most valuable player to his team this season. Difference between him playing and not is huge for Pittsburgh. Which is quite strange when you think he’s only one player on the defensive side of things. But, something happens to the Steelers without Troy.
Onto Sunday’s games. First up Saints over Falcons. Didn’t catch Redskins-Saints live last week thankfully. Slept a few hours after work and woke up right after the game had ended. Saw the score then saw how Washington let that one get away. Seems like New Orleans would go for 16-0 unlike the Colts.
Colts over Broncos. Sounds like Indy hasn’t learned the lesson from their SuperBowl year. Other years they always rested everyone for 1, 2 or 3 weeks. Never got to the SuperBowl when they did that. They won the season they didn’t have that layoff.
If they meet the Chargers in the playoffs they’ll lose anyway. San Diego is Indy’s Kryponite. They always struggle against them. Knocked them out of the playoffs last season and the last time they were undefeated this late in the season it was San Diego who ended that.
Seahawks over Texans. Both are 5-7 and you don’t know what you get each week.
Patriots over Panthers. Add injured ribs to Brady’s list of problems this year. Pats are 6-0 at home and it’s home game.
Bills over Chiefs. Ravens over Lions. Not wasting words with those teams.
Vikings over Bengals. Favre hasn’t done well outdoors in the last few winters. But they’re in the dome this week.
Jets over Bucs. Unless Tampa pulls out the orange uniforms again [their only win this season] the Jets should win.
Dolphins over Jags. Two more teams you can’t figure out.
Packers over Bears. Green Bay’s 8-4 but I don’t trust them to get very far after their two losses to Minnesota.
Titans over Rams. Raiders over Redskins. Not much to say.
Chargers over Cowboys. The usual December slide for Dallas began last week. Cowboys media attention is completely out of whack with their playoff success. No playoff victories since 1996! My Mom couldn’t believe that when I told her recently. She got into Queen’s run for the playoffs and we were talking about Dallas.
December 1996, month after Bill Clinton was re-elected. That is a long time ago. Heck, my team the Redskins have two playoff victories since then. But you still have “experts” who pick the Cowboys to get to the SuperBowl in pre-season rankings. Have them win ONE game first.
Giants over Eagles. Andy Reid with a contact extension which means he’ll cost his team a game this week with some of his horrible decisions. Or McNabb will throw up/dry heave because of the pressure of a Sunday night game. Recently saw a NFL Films program on NFL Network and they had a clip of McNabb throwing up during a game from years ago and his team having to call a timeout. Ahhh, the Eagles.
Cards over 49ers. Almost want to pick San Francisco. Arizona can be like a see-saw.
New shows all throughout the holiday season. This Friday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.