Week seven was barely over average coming in with a 7 – 6 record straight up; which takes the season record to 71 – 32. Picking against the spread went 4 – 8 – 1, which makes the season record there 46 – 53 – 4. It has been a tough year picking, we are almost halfway through the season feels like it is still pretty unsettled and the large number of injuries has had a major impact on continuity. The level of play has been pretty awful at times, last week saw three games that seem to rank among the worst of the decade. Inconsistency for the most part has been the only consistency, except of course for when it has not been.
The standard disclaimer goes like this; these picks are for amusement value only. They are not to be confused with the recommended picks of the site. I participate in a pick ‘em league and these represent my picks for that league though I may modify my picks there as injury news updates come in later in the week. My versus the spread results are against the line at the time I made the pick, usually the Tuesday before the games are played; I try to get these posted no later than Wednesday evening after reviewing practice reports.
Arizona at Baltimore – Arizona has problems with their defensive secondary and lack of a consistent pass rush; the offensive line is average against a strong defensive front. Baltimore plays well at home, their defense can take a game over but expect the offense to play much better, Ravens win 31 – 14.
Minnesota at Carolina – The Vikings offense certainly looks better with Ponder at quarterback but he is still only in his second game and the defense is still an issue. Carolina has Newton who has proven to be difficult to defend against; the run defense will have to step up, Panthers win 28 – 21.
Jacksonville at Houston – Jacksonville is traveling on a short week, the defense has played well last week but they are not deep and the offense is limited. Houston does not have a limited offense and Johnson may be back, the defense should not be challenged, Texans win 28 – 17.
New Orleans at St. Louis – The Rams injury situation is dire; the defensive secondary has none of their original starters facing one of the most effective passing attacks in the league. New Orleans has ample offensive weapons the defense can be erratic, Saints win 34 – 17.
Miami at NY Giants – Miami has limited prospects offensively, they have no offensive identity and not much in the way of offensive tools available. New York has been inconsistent and they have had a variety of defensive injuries to contend with, the bye week was needed, Giants win 24 – 10.
Indianapolis at Tennessee – The Colts are in bad shape injuries on the offensive line and on defense have left them with little depth and late in games when it matters they fade. Tennessee has some talent but has been inconsistent of late, good week to get well at home Titans win 24 – 17.
Washington at Buffalo – Washington has been hammered by injuries and is not a team with much depth; the defense is good the offense pedestrian at best. Buffalo is coming off of their bye and needed got healthier; it is a team that plays better than the sum of the parts, Bills win 28 – 20.
Detroit at Denver – The Broncos have little offensively, Tebow can be exciting but he is wildly inaccurate as a passer, the defense will be challenged. Detroit has fallen off a bit as teams have taken advantage of the defensive aggressiveness of the line; the offense needs to step up, Lions win 28 – 17.
New England at Pittsburgh – New England is coming off of the bye, the question to be answered has to do with defensive improvement; the offense is good enough. Pittsburg has defensive issues but the big play passing offense matches up well this week, Steelers win 28 – 24.
Cleveland at San Francisco – The Browns are offensively challenged, their receivers are limited and the running game has been inconsistent. San Francisco has a good defense, the offense is limited and they have no real explosive threat but not an issue this week, Forty-niners win 24 – 14.
Cincinnati at Seattle – Seattle has been about as inconsistent as possible this season, the offense is nicked up and not great when healthy. Cincinnati has been playing solid on defense; the offense has been inconsistent but improving even with Benson out this week Bengals win 21 – 14.
Dallas at Philadelphia – The Cowboys seem to follow big wins with puzzling losses and this is the down week, they should be able to run effectively and need to be patient. Philadelphia can control the Cowboys passing game but will need to improve their tackling, Eagles win 28 – 24.
San Diego at Kansas City – Kansas City is not as good as their record, the secondary has issues that can be exploited the offensive line is marginal. San Diego has a solid defense and a varied offensive attack that can overwhelm a limited defense, Chargers win 28 – 17.