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.