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.
I would have picked Steelers over Titans, so 0-1 start to the week.
Oakland at Atlanta
My Redskins pick over Atlanta last week almost worked. Robert Griffin III getting a concussion in the 1st half didn’t help, but Falcons only won by 7 points against a backup QB. That might have been their trap game. Now they are at home and should handle the Raiders easily.
Cincinnati at Cleveland
Bengals having a similar season to last year. Quietly 3-2, tied at the top of their division and a shot at a playoff spot. But no one really talking about them. Could sneak into a Wild Card like 2011.
St. Louis at Miami
Rams 3-2 and Miami has 2 wins? Dolphins not as bad as I thought they would be. St. Louis in 2011 had the bottom fall out for what seems like bad coaching. Turned that Number 2 pick into a trade with the Redskins for RGIII. NFC West is not a cakewalk for the 49ers like it was last year with Rams/Seahawks/Cardinals.
Indy at NY Jets
Colts came back to beat Green Bay. After the talk of how great they played for their coach who had to step aside as he’s battling leukemia. Am I the only one who thought “then why did they suck so much in the 1st half?”. Indy scored 3 points in the first half. They played great for the 2nd half. First 2 quarters they didn’t show up.
Detroit at Philadelphia
4 of the first 5 games for Philly have been decided by less than 4 points. Might as well go with Detroit.
Kansas City at Tampa Bay
No specific reason.
Dallas at Baltimore
Weird stat, Dallas has never beaten the Ravens. They are in different conferences but that is the only franchise the Cowboys have not defeated.
Buffalo at Arizona
Bills are falling apart. Defense primarily.
New England at Seattle
I heard somewhere that Tom Brady has never played in Seattle before. Tough place to play, still think they have enough for the win. If the Seahawks had a better QB I might’ve picked them.
NY Giants at San Fran
Giants do have a great record on the road, but they are dealing with more than a few injuries.
Minnesota at Washington
Sounds like Griffin is playing, which is silly. Why put him back in a week after a concussion where he didn’t know what the score was?
Green Bay at Houston
Houston undefeated so I’m going with them over a sluggish Packer team that can’t get it together.
Denver at San Diego
Both aren’t going to get very far this year in any playoff run.
Working this Thanksgiving weekend, 8 shifts in 9 days so I’m rushing through this week’s picks. I’ll have more time next week.
Miami at Cincinnati
Cleveland at NY Giants
Green Bay at Indianapolis
Green Bay a game behind Chicago and Minnesota in the division so they have to keep up.
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh coming off the bye week so well rested and prepared for Philly.
Atlanta at Washington
Just to be silly I’ll pick my team to end Atlanta’s undefeated streak. Could happen.
Baltimore at Kansas City
Ravens do tend to trip against bad teams like KC.
Chicago at Jacksonville
Seattle at Carolina
Buffalo at San Francisco
Denver at New England
Brady vs Manning again. NFL doesn’t schedule these 2 on purpose. Last year these 2 teams won their divisions so they meet this season. Why we got Patriots/Colts so many years in a row.
Tennessee at Minnesota
San Diego at New Orleans
New Orleans should end their 2012 losing streak at home on Sunday night. If not their season is over, if it wasn’t already.
Houston at NY Jets
Monday nighter which could be a NY blowout again.
Week 2 finished below .500, not surprising given such a weird week. Like Pats/Cards where I just wrote “easy pick”. Oops. Picked NYG over Carolina, forgot to tweet that however I did pick New York. They are great on the road and Cam Newton is overrated.
NY Giants 36 Carolina 7
Forgot to write earlier that this is the first Queen’s Football season I haven’t been working on since 2005. Worked on the radio broadcasts since 2006. Last year only did 3 or 4 games and had to tap out this season with working midnights. Queen’s had been playing very well this season, had their first loss of the season Saturday against McMaster. The defending Vanier Cup champions so no shame in that. Good luck to the new CFRC sports crew this season.
Onto Sunday’s games, this one will be quick. Saturday morning when I usually write this I had a power outage. So rushing on a Sunday.
Jacksonville 0-2 at Indianapolis 1-1
Fact the Jaguars are 0-2 is not a shock. Strange that the Chiefs and Saints are though.
Buffalo 1-1 at Cleveland 0-2
Browns should’ve beaten Philly so not as bad as 0-2 indicate. They will have a short week after this with a Thursday night game against Baltimore.
NY Jets 1-1 at Miami 1-1
Flip a coin.
Kansas City 0-2 at New Orleans 0-2
I’m picking New Orleans to be 0-3? Yes.
Cincinnati 1-1 at Washington 1-1
Redskins’ defense wasn’t as good as previous years. And now they lose 2 players to injury for the rest of the season in Orakpo and Carriker. Again, glad I said in Week 1 I was looking forward to 2013.
Detroit 1-1 at Tennessee 0-2
Detroit has to win games like this if they want to be in the playoffs again.
San Francisco 2-0 at Minnesota 1-1
San Fran looks like the best team in the league right now.
St. Louis 1-1 at Chicago 1-1
Another coin flip game.
Tampa Bay 1-1 at Dallas 1-1
Dallas looked great in the opening night game and then horrible versus Seattle. Now they are at home so I’ll pick them.
Atlanta 2-0 at San Diego 2-0
I should pick Atlanta, but the “Monday night game then flying to the West Coast” thing is in the back of my head.
Philadelphia 2-0 at Arizona 2-0
Philly would be one of the weaker 3-0 teams in recent memory.
Pittsburgh 1-1 at Oakland 0-2
Raiders almost made the playoffs last season. Not sure where that team went.
Houston 2-0 at Denver 1-1
Texans are 2-0 but haven’t really beaten anyone of substance. Knocking off Denver would be a good sign of how well they are playing.
New England 1-1 at Baltimore 1-1
I’ll go with New England after a bad loss to Arizona.
Green Bay 1-1 at Seattle 1-1
Should be a tough game. Seattle’s defense shutdown Dallas at home. Packers have a few more weapons and a better QB though.
9-7 in Week 1, which I forgot to mention is always the hardest week to pick in the entire season. Was on a roll with only 3 wrong until the late Sunday games tripped me up. Split the Monday night doubleheader to finish above .500 on that night.
Earlier on Twitter I picked Green Bay over Chicago. A much easier win than I thought. Onto today’s games.
Oakland 0-1 at Miami 0-1
Saw parts of San Diego/Oakland while at work. You didn’t miss much if you couldn’t stay up. Most notable for Oakland losing pretty much because of a backup long snapper’s horrible performance. Caused a couple of fumbles and bad punts. Miami was worse last Sunday so have to go with the Raiders.
Houston 1-0 at Jacksonville 0-1
Houston versus a team that is giving up some home games for London, England in the future. Needless to say not much a home field advantage in Jacksonville.
Cleveland 0-1 at Cincinnati 0-1
The Browns rookie quarterback, Brandon Weeden, got run over by a big American flag and then had a horrible game. Think I should go with the Bengals.
Kansas City 0-1 at Buffalo 0-1
My pick of the Bills last week didn’t work out. Laid an egg.
Baltimore 1-0 at Philadelphia 1-0
Eagles barely beat the lowly Browns. Baltimore looked good in the first week. Although go back a year ago and same thing happened. Followed up a big Week 1 win with a bad loss. I still will go with the Ravens.
Minnesota 1-0 at Indianapolis 0-1
Indy struggled against Chicago. Minnesota won a overtime game against Jacksonville, which is still a win. You can tell I’m not a fan of the Jags.
Arizona 1-0 at New England 1-0
New Orleans 0-1 at Carolina 0-1
New Orleans should get back on track against an overrated Cam Newton. Look at the 2nd half of last season and Newton had a dropoff in passing.
Tampa Bay 1-0 at NY Giants 0-1
NYG don’t have a good record at home over the last few seasons, much better on the road. Road record since 2006 is 32-17 and in New Jersey they are 25-23? Weird.
Washington 1-0 at St. Louis 0-1
Robert Griffin III with a great debut. I still say I’m looking forward to 2013. A decent season for 2012 is good enough for me. That trade with St. Louis was one I agreed with and now I’m very glad they did that.
Dallas 1-0 at Seattle 0-1
I’m picking Dallas to go 2-0. I can leave my allegiances at the door when making picks.
Tennessee 0-1 at San Diego 1-0
San Diego won on Monday, not impressive by any means. But the Titans have a rookie QB and not much going for them.
NY Jets 1-0 at Pittsburgh 0-1
Like my Packers pick over the Bears I think Pittsburgh needs this game more than NY.
Sunday Night, Detroit 1-0 at San Francisco 1-0
San Fran handled Green Bay so they should be able to handle a lesser team from the NFC North.
Monday Night, Denver 1-0 at Atlanta 1-0
Just a hunch.
NFL season means, the return of “Carnell Knowledge”. My weekly NFL picks blog. Is there a pun in that title?
Things slowed down this summer on the blog. Getting into doing a weekly one will hopefully get the ball rolling again.
Disclaimer, during the season I’ll try to get them up by the weekend. Which usually would be fine, except this season is the first where Thursday Night Football is on every week. So if I don’t get the full blog up by Thursday I’ll tweet that pick and then put that in the blog. And this week because of President Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention the season kicks off on Wednesday night. 4 years ago the season kicked off the same night as John McCain was getting the Republican Nomination. Then the NFL tweaked their start time to avoid too much of a conflict. Came to their senses this time and decided to just put the game on Wednesday. Might as well put it on a night by yourself.
For new readers, In BOLD I put the team I think will win. I don’t put up point spreads or that stuff. Winners and losers. No hedging my bets.
Tonight, Cowboys at Giants
New York gets on a roll near the end of the season, while Dallas will look good in September/October. Happens quite often.
Falcons at Chiefs
Keep hearing a lot of pundits liking Kansas City this year. I’ll wait to see how they are. Atlanta made the playoffs last year, then got crushed. Which is their M.O. with Matt Ryan. Last 2 playoff games they lost 24-2 and 48-21. Until I see the Chiefs play well I will go with Atlanta.
Eagles at Browns
By default since they are playing Cleveland. They are that bad.
Redskins at Saints
My team the Redskins finally have a QB. 2013 should be fun to watch, problem when it is 2012. However Washington beat the Super Bowl Champion Giants twice last season. Twice? Yep. No idea how that happened.
Rams at Lions
That Detroit defense last year was horrid, yet they still made the playoffs. Don’t see them sneaking in this year unless that gets better. Enough to beat the Rams who had the Number 2 pick in last year’s draft, which they traded to the Redskins.
Patriots at Titans
Jake Locker named the starting QB for the Titans. Might as well go with the young guy, but that should be easy picking for the Pats.
Dolphins at Texans
Last year Houston lost their starting QB and their backup QB before the post-season. And they still won a playoff game and had a shot of beating Baltimore. Miami has a long road back to being average.
Bills at Jets
Buffalo a team in NY state that hasn’t had a stupid amount of coverage like a certain one that wears green. Bills could hammer the over-hyped Jets.
Jaguars at Vikings
Battle of possible LA franchises, I’m kidding. Minnesota should stay. Jacksonville will be gone from that area of the country eventually.
Colts at Bears
Indy starting from scratch so a long season for them.
The late games on Sundays are 10 minutes later too, kickoff for them are now 4:25pm EST. If you’ve watched enough football you know sometimes a network be showing the end of an out of town finish and have to leave “due to NFL rules”. That is why they have pushed up the time.
Panthers at Bucs
Tampa Bay quit on their coach last season. No other way to say it. Many NFL commentators mentioned that. Better coaching this season for a team that was good 2 seasons ago. Carolina also one of the overrated teams.
Seahawks at Cardinals
Seattle’s starting QB is a guy they picked up in the 3rd round, Russell Wilson. They signed a free agent quarterback who is now a highly paid guy on the bench. Good for grabbing Wilson, and bad they wasted money they could have spent on someone else. Cardinals quarterback situation has become a gong show.
49ers at Packers
Could be game of the week. I’ll go with GB since Rodgers is much better than Smith.
Sunday night, Steelers at Broncos
Pittsburgh back to Denver where they lost in the playoffs. Mainly because their defensive playcallers got cocky against Tebow. He’s not a great QB, however you can’t play “Cover 0” against someone. That’s just asking for trouble. From Wikipedia.
“The main disadvantage of Cover 0 is that there is no ‘help over the top’ – if a wide receiver ‘beats’ (runs past) his defender, there is no one left in the secondary who can make up the coverage on the receiver, which could result in an easy pass completion and possible touchdown.”
What happened in Overtime? Denver completed a pass in the middle and the guy ran all the way for a TD. Now Tebow is in NY and Peyton Manning is in Denver. Steelers won’t be as dumb as the playoff game.
Monday night Doubleheader, Bengals at Ravens
Both playoff teams, I almost forgot the Bengals were in the post-season. Baltimore could’ve been in the Super Bowl if not for the kicker missing a field goal. By the way, the Ravens cut that kicker in the pre-season. Kept him around that long, then get rid of him. Weird.
Chargers at Raiders
Late night game on Monday night. Both teams I feel “bleh” about. I’ll take Oakland because they are at home.
Quick post since I am on a 1 day weekend this week.
Bengals at Texans
Bengals were 2-3 down the stretch which isn’t great. One of those games however was a 1 point loss to these same Texans. Houston finally get into the playoffs and the Texans are limping in. 3 losses in a row. No wonder this is the early Saturday game. Get it out of the way. I’m picking the Texans for no apparent reason. A good way to start the picks I know.
Lions at Saints
High scoring game with no defense inside the Superdome. I see Saints pulling out a win. Not a lot of comments for this one.
Falcons at Giants
Atlanta going outdoors in New York doesn’t seem like a good scenario for the Falcons. They do well at home but not on the road.
Steelers at Broncos
Big Ben still nowhere near 100% and there is the Ryan Clark situation. One of the more unique health stories I had heard about when it happened.
“Clark carries the sickle cell trait in his blood and when exposed to high altitude and reduced oxygen, this condition can become life-threatening. Clark learned this in 2007 when he last played in Denver. That game cost him his spleen and gallbladder, as well as a loss of 30 pounds and an end to his season. He thought he was going to die.”
Needless to say Ryan isn’t traveling to Colorado. Not being able to travel to a certain city because it would kill you is not something you hear often. I still think the Broncos don’t have enough to beat Pittsburgh.
Today is Stanley Cup Rematch between Boston and Vancouver. However almost not many people in North America will see it. In Canada you can only see it if you live on the West Coast and have Sportsnet Pacific. Even for those viewers it being a 10am Pacific start time is bad. When I saw a 1pm EST faceoff I thought it was for NBC. Wrong. Maybe NBC Sports Network [formerly Versus] was showing the game? No. It is stuck on NHL Network for our American friends. The NHL wonders why they are always the 4th place league in North America.
Shorter than usual, didn’t start writing till Sunday morning. Tomorrow a blog with a link to Friday’s episode. Going to try and get that going again where I upload each week’s show.
Indianapolis at Baltimore
Winless Colts against the Ravens. Nuff said.
New England at Washington
Redskins defense holds up for a quarter or two but Pats will break through with an easy win. Like the Pats/Chiefs Monday night game from last month.
New Orleans at Tennessee
Saints on the road could be an issue depending on weather. Titans running game is finally back. Not enough to beat New Orleans.
Kansas City at N.Y. Jets
Jets on another ‘we need to win’ game. Especially since the Wildcard tiebreak is your AFC Record and the Jets are near the bottom in that. Loss to Denver a couple of weeks back hurt that.
Philadelphia at Miami
Eagles who are done, and Miami who have battled back after a horrible start.
Tampa Bay at Jacksonville
Atlanta at Carolina
If Carolina’s defense was better I’d pick them here.
Houston at Cincinnati
Houston can win no matter who is their quarterback apparently.
Minnesota at Detroit
I can see the Lions having some more stupid penalties. Not enough to pick the Vikings.
Chicago at Denver
Bears can’t win with a bad QB.
San Francisco at Arizona
Arizona beat the Cowboys, although Dallas really beat themselves. 49ers with another win.
Oakland at Green Bay
Undefeated streak to continue.
Buffalo at San Diego
Bills playing better last couple of weeks yet keep losing.
Sunday Night, N.Y. Giants at Dallas
I have no clue who will win this. Giants put up a good fight against Green Bay. But NY has still lost 4 in a row. Dallas had a great game against New England and 2 weeks later Philly beat them by 28 points.
Monday Night, St. Louis at Seattle
One of the worst Monday Night games in a while.
10 right last week. Picking Baltimore and Chicago on the road in night games worked out.
NFL picks, do I do all of them before Thursday? This week I will. And this looks like the toughest week to pick games so far this season. Once you see the matchups you will know what I mean. AFC West battle each other this week, might as well flip a coin. None of them are over .500 so who knows what those games will be like.
Oakland (4-4, Road: 2-1) at San Diego (4-4, Home: 3-1)
Oakland let Tebow run for 118 yards and Willis McGahee for 163. One of the more dumb gameplans I can remember. Do we stop the run and force Tebow to throw it? Nahhh. He only completed 10 of 21 passes but won since the Broncos ran over Oakland. And Carson Palmer looks like he’s still on the couch. Whole division doesn’t know what they are from week to week. Chiefs, Broncos and Chargers. San Diego scored a lot against Green Bay so they should be able to beat the Raiders, maybe.
Denver (3-5, Road: 2-2) at Kansas City (4-4, Home: 2-2)
I could start 0-2 with these 2 games. Chiefs or Broncos, I can’t pick a tie. I’ll go with KC.
Jacksonville (2-6, Road: 0-4) at Indianapolis (0-9, Home: 0-4)
Not sure how many games Indy has a chance to win this year. That team has quit. Can’t see Caldwell keeping his job. There is playing bad and there is not trying at home. Colts are at the latter right now. If they show up they can beat the Jags, just don’t see it. He’s not a good coach anyway. There is an idea which I’ve subscribed to about coaches. Going from a great coach to an average/bad coach doesn’t show up the first season or even the second sometimes. It’s that 3rd year where it goes downhill. Players who were coached by a great guy can keep new ones accountable for 1-2 seasons. Then it starts to slip away.
After Dungy left the Colts, they get to a SuperBowl under Caldwell. Next season lose in the playoffs. This year without Manning and they collapse. Which just sped things up. Even Peyton couldn’t have brought these guys to 1st place.
Buffalo (5-3, Road: 1-2) at Dallas (4-4, Home: 3-1)
Buffalo beat Washington so why not another NFC East team.
New Orleans (6-3, Road: 2-3) at Atlanta (5-3, Home: 2-1)
Atlanta started off slowly. Wasn’t running the ball as often then realized ‘didn’t we win with more balanced attack’? Light bulb came on.
Houston (6-3, Road: 2-2) at Tampa Bay (4-4, Home: 3-2)
Houston looking more like a good team. They beat a bad team last week, which they used to trip over. And the Texans have the number 1 defense in the league right now. Hard to believe.
St. Louis (1-7, Road: 0-4) at Cleveland (3-5, Home: 2-2)
Talking about bad teams. Couple of weeks ago on the ESPN Football Today podcast Matt Williamson called the Browns the worst 3-3 team ever. Wins over other horrible/bad teams. Beat the Colts, Dolphins and a 6-3 win over Seattle. Which has been called one of the worst games in a long time for those who saw that. Rams are bad because they got hit with a lot of injuries and are a young team without depth. Their win over the Saints trumps anything the Browns have done.
Pittsburgh (6-3, Road: 2-2) at Cincinnati (6-2, Home: 2-1)
Case where if Pittsburgh had won I think the Bengals could have snuck up on them. After getting swept by Baltimore in the season series they should be focused on Cincinnati. Especially with them having the same record. Bengals put up a fight and lose a close one.
Washington (3-5, Road: 1-3) at Miami (1-7, Home: 0-3)
Want to pick Miami. Can’t do it. They got their 1st win last week and that might tide them over for several weeks. And they still have that LONG home losing streak. 10 in a row.
Tennessee (4-4, Road: 1-2) at Carolina (2-6, Home: 2-3)
Does a bye week for a rookie QB help that much? Carson Palmer looked horrible last week and he’s been around for a few years. Cam Newton might be better to play week after week. Remember bye weeks now mandate players get 4 days off in a row from doing anything. Good for rest, not so good when you are a 1st year player trying to learn. This season’s record of teams after a bye week isn’t as good as it used to be for this reason. You get sluggish.
Arizona (2-6, Road: 0-4) at Philadelphia (3-5, Home: 1-3)
I think I did say I’d pick against the Eagles for a few weeks. Which I did. However this is Arizona we’re talking about.
Baltimore (6-2, Road: 2-2) at Seattle (2-6, Home: 1-2)
Celebrating beating Pittsburgh too much and have to fly across country to play in one of the loudest stadiums in the league. Could be a trap game. If Seattle was a little bit better I’d pick them. And Ravens record is same as Steelers/Bengals so they should keep that in mind.
NY Giants (6-2, Road: 3-1) at San Francisco (7-1, Home: 3-1)
Giants upsetting New England, again. This week though a great defense in San Fran.
Detroit (6-2, Road: 4-0) at Chicago (5-3, Home: 3-1)
Chicago on a short week after beating Philly on the road.
New England (5-3, Road: 2-2) at NY Jets (5-3, Home: 4-0)
OK, New England lost 2 in a row but they never lose 3. Or so I hope with this pick.
Monday November 14, 2011
Minnesota (2-6, Road: 1-3) at Green Bay (8-0, Home: 3-0) ESPN
8-0 defending champs at home, easy pick.
Back with a NFL blog after that quick one last week, it was not good. 4-9. So that shows what happens when I write a short blog.
Washington at Buffalo, in Toronto. As a Redskins fan I’m not going. This is part of the problem with the Bills in Toronto series. They overpriced it at the start and are stuck with prices that are crazy. Only chance of me seeing a Redskins game in the forseeable future but 2 things stopped me from going there. Price is first. Secondly is it a horrible atmosphere. Stadium not made for NFL football. Heck my sister went to an Argos game and it was not much better.
Reason for the prices is Rogers got cocky and are now stuck. They overpaid with a 5-year, $78 million deal with the Bills. From Globe and Mail.
The deal has already paid off for the Bills. They get about $9.75 million per game in Toronto, more than twice than they generate at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills have also reported a large bump in season-ticket sales from fans across the border, who now represent about 15 percent of the team’s base.
The downside has proven to be a general lack of interest the Bills have received in Toronto. They play in a domed facility that’s better suited for baseball, with the stands further removed from the playing field. Overpriced tickets — a majority of them more than $200 — have made it difficult to draw fans to the 54,000-seat facility. And many who have shown up are either NFL fans, who root for other teams, or are there to see the opposing team.
Bob McCown of FAN590 has pointed out over the years it was even worse than that says. And he’s on a Rogers owned radio and TV station. Although he gets more leeway than most to give his opinion and not face any grief. At first they were arrogant enough to say people couldn’t buy single game tickets. That people had to buy a package for all 5 years worth of games, including preseason. Insane amount of money. Which people didn’t buy. Rogers had to backtrack from that silliness. Only a few did buy, one of which Gord Kirke appears on the show from time to time. His stories of being stuck at bad preseason games is worth a laugh. Since he was one of the few who forked over that kind of money.
Which put Rogers in a bind. They paid Buffalo so much money they can’t lower the ticket prices to what people would be willing to pay. None of the games have been soldout, and they’ve had to fill seats with papered tickets (giveaways). I compare the problem to movie theatre prices. If you go to a 3D/IMAX movie they charge a price which the average person has come to accept. Imagine going to a small one screen theatre and them charging you even more than that. That’s the Bills in Toronto issue. Over-charging for an experience that is viewed as ‘not the real thing’.
Miami 0-6 (Road: 0-3) at NY Giants 4-2 (Home: 2-1)
Apparently Miami coach Tony Sparano was talking to a ref during the Dolphins/Broncos game. About using a timeout to review a call. “If I don’t call timeout we’re all (explicit). Now I’m getting fired.” Coaches talking about the fear of being fired DURING a game is not a good sign.
Jacksonville 2-5 (Road: 0-3) at Houston 4-3 (Home: 2-1)
Houston I can’t put my finger on. And Jaguars performance on Monday Night was strange. Defense played out of their mind. Don’t see that happening 2 weeks in a row.
Arizona 1-5 (Road: 0-3) at Baltimore 4-2 (Home: 3-0)
Baltimore gets a team with only 1 win after that bad game on Monday night, should be an easy rebound.
New Orleans 5-2 (Road: 2-2) at St. Louis 0-6 (Home: 0-3)
62-7 win last Sunday night. I did see the 4th quarter since I was at work. New Orleans did not throw once in the quarter and still scored. Now the Rams might be without Sam Bradford this week. So maybe a 49-10 win.
Minnesota 1-6 (Road: 0-3) at Carolina 2-5 (Home: 2-2)
Battle of rookie QBs, although Cam Newton has played all season so might not be a fair fight.
Indianapolis 0-7 (Road: 0-4) at Tennessee 3-3 (Home: 2-1)
Colts offense being bad without Manning, OK that makes sense. But for an entire team to lay down like last week was embarrassing.
Detroit 5-2 (Road: 3-0) at Denver 2-4 (Home: 1-2)
I thought Detroit would lose last week. Little drop off after a great start. Denver barely beat a winless Miami team last week.
Washington 3-3 (Road: 1-2) at Buffalo 4-2 (Home: 3-0)
In Toronto so a neutral site game. On Twitter I mentioned it’s good I didn’t plan on going. Running Back, Hightower out for the season. Tight End, Chris Cooley out for the year. Santana Moss, surgery on hand is out almost 2 months. And neither of the QB’s is someone to write home about.
Cincinnati 4-2 (Road: 2-1) at Seattle 2-4 (Home: 1-1)
The tape of Browns/Seahawks game will be buried at sea.
Cleveland 3-3 (Road: 1-1) at San Francisco 5-1 (Home: 2-1)
The tape of Browns/Seahawks game will be buried at sea. Had to type that twice, it was that bad.
New England 5-1 (Road: 2-1) at Pittsburgh 5-2 (Home: 3-0)
Pats handle the Steelers. Pittsburgh has not beaten Tom Brady in 7 years.
Dallas 3-3 (Road: 1-2) at Philadelphia 2-4 (Home: 0-2)
NBC gets a good game again after a couple of bad weeks. Not sold on either teams. Expecting Dallas to win this just on a hunch.
San Diego 4-2 (Road: 1-2) at Kansas City 3-3 (Home: 1-1)
Monday night and Kansas City has come back from the brink.
Quick blog post this week, with work I’m on a nine day stretch with 1 night off so in a bit of a rush. A proper post next week when I have more time.
Detroit over Atlanta, Miami over Denver, Tennessee over Houston, Tampa Bay over Chicago, Seattle over Cleveland, San Diego over NY Jets, Washington over Carolina, Pittsburgh over Arizona, Oakland over KC, Dallas over St. Louis, Green Bay over Minnesota, New Orleans over Indy, Baltimore over Jacksonville.
Here was the episode from October 14th which reran on Friday due to work this week.
Music of David Myles, Ian Sherwood with Matt Anderson, Andy Brown, Kim Wempe, Molly Thomason, Catherine Maclellan and Gypsophilia.
Interview with Sora as she’s coming to Toronto in November and some of her music.
10-3 right last week. Still on a roll. On the upset pick side I got 49ers and the Raiders correct. My ‘pick against the Eagles’ idea will keep going.
St. Louis 0-4 at Green Bay 5-0
Have to be crazy to pick the Rams.
Buffalo 4-1 at NY Giants 3-2
Two of the NY teams battle it out in New Jersey. Always a bit strange that the Bills are the only team who play in New York State.
Indianapolis 0-5 at Cincinnati 3-2
I find it funny when commentators say about winless or undefeated teams, ‘well they won’t lose/win every game this season’. We had a 0-16 Lions team and Patriots 16-0 in back to back years.
Carolina 1-4 at Atlanta 2-3
Falcons seem ‘off’ this year. Things not clicking and Carolina playing quite well for a 1-4 team. They keep barely losing. This week I they play a divsion rival so I think Panthers will win.
San Francisco 4-1 at Detroit 5-0
Game of the week, I’m not kidding. Look at the other games and this is the best one.
Philadelphia 1-4 at Washington 3-1
‘Pick against the Eagles’.
Jacksonville 1-4 at Pittsburgh 3-2
Steelers should handle Jacksonville, even with Pittsburgh having a up and down season when it comes to how good they are playing. Barely beating the Colts, getting smoked by the Ravens.
Cleveland 2-2 at Oakland 3-2
Browns at .500 which sounds like a typo. Oakland might overlook Cleveland. Especially a week after the big emotional game against the Texans.
Houston 3-2 at Baltimore 3-1
I picked the Raiders to beat Houston last week. This week I think another loss is in order. With Titans being a surprise Texans might have a fight in hand for the AFC South.
New Orleans 4-1 at Tampa Bay 3-2
Bucs got destroyed last week by the 49ers. I see a Saints win but not by that much.
Dallas 2-2 at New England 4-1
With the Cowboys, who knows which team shows up? As others have pointed out, they could be 4-0 or 0-4.
Minnesota 1-4 at Chicago 2-3
Sunday night game and I’m not entirely sold on the Bears. Since it’s at home I’m picking Chicago.
Miami 0-4 at NY Jets 2-3
We know Miami is not going to be a playoff team. NYJ might not be either. If Dolphins get an upset a 2-4 record for NY will be a tough hole to get out of.
Al Davis passed away on Saturday. Younger fans have just seen the Raiders being bad the last few seasons. He made some strange choices over the years. But it took a guy like Al to break through in some areas of the NFL.
1st NFL owner to hire a latino head coach, Al Davis. 1st NFL team with a black head coach, The Raiders. 1st NFL franchise with a female CEO, The Silver and Black. Fact Al Davis was responsible for all three of those things shows how bad the league hiring practices were for years.
From SI.com a quick story.
On a Friday night in April 2004, the night before the NFL Draft, Davis was giving me a tour of his offices at the Raiders’ facility in Oakland. In his inner sanctum, there were four large TVs on the wall, in a diamond configuration. He said he watched games in his office quite often. “Basketball, women’s basketball, baseball,” he said. “All the sports.”
“Women’s basketball?” I said, surprised. And I decided to test him: “OK, what team took Diana Taurasi with the first pick of the WNBA Draft?”
Disdainfully, he said: “Oh, come on. That’s easy. Phoenix.”
Al Davis wanted you to know he paid attention to everything in the world and knew something about everything — and knew much more than you knew about football.
He followed the WNBA? I can’t even name 2 teams in that league. He also was known for some wacky ideas.
Howie Long had a story during an episode of “America’s Game”. Program about Super Bowl Champions. After retiring and about to be in the Hall of Fame at the age of 40, Al phoned him one day with an idea. A comeback. Said he would just be in 15 snaps a game. ‘No Hall of Fame has ever come back, you’ll shock the world’. Howie said he thought about it for what seemed like an eternity but was probably a split second ‘you know…..’ then Long snapped out of it and said ‘…. you’re crazy’.
Also the same owner who kept Marcus Allen mostly on the bench for 2 years without ever giving a reason. Raiders futility over the last 8-9 years was from the owner’s meddling and constant turnover in coaches. Got a payment from a town that wanted the Raiders to move there and never gave the money back. Bad draft decisions on players who were ‘fast’ even if they weren’t that good in other areas.
He was a unique character.
13-3 last week. Second time this season I’ve done that. As I’ve said before you have to pick upsets to get that high. I got 49ers over Eagles right. And almost got Seattle over Atlanta. Seahawks didn’t show up till 2nd half but it was not enough as they lost by 2 points.
Now begins the ‘bye weeks’ so less games to pick.
Tennessee 3-1 at Pittsburgh 2-2
Steelers not looking sharp. Ben got banged up last week and now Harrison is out with a broken orbital bone. Hasselbeck playing well and Chris Johnson starting to get into rythym again. His holdout was a cause for a slow start. Cracked 100 yards last week.
Cincinnati 2-2 at Jacksonville 1-3
Both QB’s of these teams are rookies so that’s a wash. I’ll go with the Bengals after their win over Buffalo last week.
New Orleans 3-1 at Carolina 1-3
Panthers could be in order for a big win against a good opponent, but at a later date.
Oakland 2-2 at Houston 3-1
I thought the Texans win over Pittsburgh would impress me more. Steelers are just having a ‘Super Bowl Hangover’ year to me. And now with Titans surprising start Houston is not a lock for the division either. I see the Texans tripping up this week against Oakland. Andre Johnson is out which will hurt. Picked this game before the news about Al Davis.
Philadelphia 1-3 at Buffalo 3-1
Might as well keep picking against Philly. Keeps working for me. Bills got a wake up call last week. They would’ve shown up for the
Eagles anyway. If Philly hits 1-4 that is almost end of the season for them.
Arizona 1-3 at Minnesota 0-4
No reason to pick the Vikings.
Kansas City 1-3 at Indianapolis 0-4
Kansas City got their first win last Sunday, against Minnesota who haven’t won a game either. This week KC gets another opponent who haven’t won yet.
Seattle 1-3 at NY Giants 3-1
I picked Seattle last week since they were at home. Not the case this week. On the road in NYC.
Tampa Bay 3-1 at San Francisco 3-1
Yes, I didn’t realize either both were 3-1 either till I looked at the standings. I wonder if San Fran can clinch the divison this week.
A 4-1 start in NFC West could be a big enough lead. Remember last year the Seahawks won the division with 7 wins. 49ers almost halfway there. And the other teams records right now: Cards and Seahawks are 1-3, Rams 0-4. That is scraping the bottom of the barrell.
San Diego 3-1 at Denver 1-3
Not spending much time on this. San Diego has played ugly but has a 3-1 record to show for it.
NY Jets 2-2 at New England 3-1
Jets not playing well. And the dreaded ‘media backsniping’ has begun. Santonio Holmes throwing Mark Sanchez and the offensive line under the bus after a loss.
Green Bay 4-0 at Atlanta 2-2
Atlanta stumbling around. They’ll be in tough to get back in playoffs unless they pull things together quickly. This week a Sunday Night game against a team they played in playoffs last season so I see a Green Bay win.
Monday, Chicago 2-2 at Detroit 4-0
Detroit back on Monday night for the 1st time in years. Barry Sanders will say ‘Are You Ready for some Football?’ this week since Hank Williams Jr. got the boot. Lesson that some people don’t get. Hitler is just someone you don’t want to try and compare someone to. Hank learned the hard way.
Lions trying to keep pace with the Packers. With it being Canadian Thanksgiving, should mention Detroit vs Green Bay is happening on US Thanksgiving next month. Their second meeting isn’t till New Year’s Day.
Will have another blog post this week reviewing Sportsnet Magazine. Wrote it before I found out there is a CFRC connection with someone at the Magazine. Should post Monday or Tuesday. Since I’m working this Thanksgiving we’ll see how it goes.
13-3 last week. Oh yes, I did that well. Picked the wrong ‘trap game’, leaned towards Titans over Ravens but couldn’t bite the bullet. Went with Miami over Houston instead. That was 2 of the wrong games I picked so was a really good week. This week will not be better than that.
San Francisco at Cincinnati
Got the Broncos/Bengals game wrong. Oh well. This is similar. Which bad team do I think will win? West Coast team traveling East, so I will go with Cincinnati.
Detroit at Minnesota
Vikings 0-2 and Lions 2-0. Easy choice.
Denver at Tennessee
Titans better than I thought they would be so far. Not sure they can catch Houston in the division. This week will show how far along the Texans are.
Miami at Cleveland
Miami has a horrible record at home lately. Luckily for them this game is in Ohio.
NY Giants at Philadelphia
Giants faking injuries againt St. Louis? How the mighty have fallen. Theatrics to beat the Rams in a bad game. Picking Eagles even though not sure who will be QB. Back up Kafka did well on Sunday night. Only 1 pass was incomplete and that’s because the guy dropped it.
Houston at New Orleans
Now the Texans move up. Games before was like playing easy level on the Madden video game. Saints is “All-Madden” level. As long as they stay competitive I’ll be impressed.
New England at Buffalo
2003 was the last year Buffalo beat New England. Just think what wasn’t around in 2003. Was a year before Facebook was created at Harvard. That’s a long time. 2003 was before the NHL lockout. 2003/04 season was also last time the Leafs made the playoffs. Sorry to mention that Toronto fans.
Jacksonville at Carolina
I’ll pick Cam Newton to get a win. Don’t get carried away with his first 2 starts. Top 3 Rookie Debuts in NFL history.
2011 Cam Newton Panthers
1950 Otto Graham Browns
1987 Ed Rubbert Redskins
Otto Graham an all time great, Ed Rubbert? I’m a Redskins fan and I don’t even remember him. Jags are starting a rookie QB too, Gabbert with his 1st start. So Newton will have more experience than his oppostion. Weird. Onto the 4pm games.
Baltimore at St. Louis
Baltimore should be in a bad mood after the Titans loss. St. Louis would be in tough even without their injuries.
NY Jets at Oakland
Hmmmmm, Jets 2-0 but I’m still iffy on them. Now they lost Nick Mangold their centre. Can’t pick Oakland though.
Kansas City at San Diego
The Chiefs have fallen off a cliff. They won their divison last year. That team has disappeared.
Green Bay at Chicago
Chicago hosted the NFC Championship game against Green Bay. Why would I think this be any different?
Arizona at Seattle
I don’t want to spend any more time on this than you do.
Atlanta at Tampa Bay
Atlanta to get a divsion win in Tampa.
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis
NBC had a good run of games to start the season. That comes to a crashing halt. Steelers at Colts. Later in the season NBC can change Sunday night games ahead of time. Betting they wish they could do that this week.
Monday night, Washington at Dallas. Good ole Cowboys vs Redskins.
Romo should play and for this pick I will assume he does. Washington in a close game.
I did say Week 1 is the hardest week to pick. Going into Monday night I had 7 right and 7 wrong. Luckily I picked Pats and Raiders to finish at 9-7. Things start to settle down after Week 2. You find out if some teams just had a bad game or if it’s a trend. Steelers aren’t going to have 7 turnovers again for example. Colts looked horrible but they get the Browns this week which should help them.
Onto this week’s games.
Oakland at Buffalo
Both teams are 1-0. I think the Bills are a bit better. Throw in Oakland playing Monday night at 10pm EST and turning around to travel to Western New York for a 1pm kickoff on a Sunday. That usually doesn’t bode well for the road team.
Kansas City at Detroit
Chiefs were rolled last week. Detroit did something good teams do, win on the road even when playing sloppy.
Baltimore at Tennessee
I picked Baltimore last week to somehow pull out a win over Pittsburgh. Wasn’t expecting it to be over by halftime. This could be the classic ‘let down game’ where after a big win you look past the next opponent. Just don’t think the Titans will do that.
Cleveland at Indy
Michael Irvin on NFL Network pointed out something about the Colts debacle at QB. With not having a young backup ready to go these beatdowns are ‘wasted beatdowns’. When Peyton Manning and Troy Aikman started as rookies the team finished with a horrible record. But, those losses were a learning process for them. This season for the Colts could be a lot of losing and nothing gained.
Tampa Bay at Minnesota
2 teams looking at 0-2 start with a loss here. I’ll go with Tampa Bay.
Chicago at New Orleans
Rematch of an NFC Championship game from years ago. When Rex Grossman got the Bears to a Super Bowl. We’ll talk about him later. Going with the Saints since they looked as good as you can in a loss against Green Bay.
Jacksonville at New York Jets
Jets at home again, even with the Giants hosting Monday Night Football. I think usually they try to spread out their home games. I look at Jets/Cowboys like a game Dallas had won and lost. Dallas had never lost a game when up by 14 points or more in the 4th quarter. NEVER. NYJ good enough to beat Jacksonville though.
Seattle at Pittsburgh
Rematch of Super Bowl 40. Which was not a classic game. If you know a Seahawks fan just ask them about the refs in that game. Be prepared for a long rant. In that case it is warranted. Last year one of the officials from that game admitted they screwed up. Good to be honest, although doing it years later was a bit weird. Like pouring salt in an old wound. This year’s Seahawks are not sniffing any Super Bowl appearance. And with Steelers atrocious performance last week they will not be in a good mood.
Arizona at Washington
Rex Grossman with a win last week. He was known as Good Rex/Bad Rex in Chicago. Great games and then a horrible performance. Never knew what you were getting. I was more impressed with Redskins defense. Can’t guage Washington yet. Giants have lost more than a few guys to injury so far. The G-Men had beaten my team 6 times in row, so it was good to stop that streak. NFC East is up for grabs. Not sold on the Eagles and who knows what Giants/Cowboys/Redskins are like yet.
Oh, Arizona almost lost to a rookie QB last week. I’m picking the Skins.
Green Bay at Carolina
Mentioning that rookie QB, Cam Newton. Impressive to get that many yards in your 1st game. Lot of that was Cardinals defense. Don’t see many low scoring Arizona games. Now, he gets a real defense in Green Bay.
Dallas at San Francisco
When Regis Philbin feels the need to talk about how bad you played, that is not good. Yes, on Monday morning he said Dallas will never win with Tony Romo as quarterback. Ouch. Any other week I might not pick them, this is the 49ers we’re talking about.
Cincinnati at Denver
I think if the Bengals were hosting I’d pick Denver. Broncos fans are getting wacky with chanting for Tim Tebow and one guy trying to buy a billboard about wanting him as QB. Tebow has played and not shown much. There’s a reason he’s on the bench. Plus the fact the previous regime picked him and the current staff is stuck with him.
Houston at Miami
Now this is what I think will be the ‘let down game’. Texans roll over the Colts and look past Miami.
San Diego at New England
Waiting to see what the Chargers might be this year. Maybe their streak of slow starts has ended. Not enough to win in New England yet.
Philadelphia at Atlanta
Michael Vick returns to Atlanta. I remember him at a home game in the Georgia Dome flipping off fans as he walked off the field. They’ll probably forget that in all the TV coverage.
St. Louis at New York Giants
A pick em. I’ll go with the home team.