NFL Picks for Week 10
by John Canton(NFL)
Posted on November 10, 2006, 8:44 PM
John: Welcome to week ten of our weekly NFL picks column. Last week was another average week for yours truly in terms of straight up picks and as far as the spread goes I got absolutely destroyed. I donít know what it is. The trend usually is that September is a slow month and then October is better because at that point you get an idea of who the good teams are. Well, it didnít happen for me. I started out hot, have fizzled since then and Iím not sure what the final two months of the season hold. Thatís the NFL for ya, right? I am very content with my season record, but Iíd love to get on a hot streak to finish the year up too. Before I pass it on to Drq, note that there are no more bye weeks in the season so weíll be going through sixteen games per week from here on out. Hope you enjoy the ride.
drq: Another disturbingly poor showing last week, but I will not be dismayed. I take refuge in the fact that this midseason has been excruciatingly difficult to pick, and that my comrades each had an equally unpleasant set of choices. If only I'd gone with my gut and taken the streaking Chiefs over St. Louis, overdue for an upset at home... but you know what they say about hindsight. It's best to look forward than it is to look back, especially in the NFL, and this oncoming winter seems to be carrying a wild second half of the season and ensuing playoff hunt. For many teams there's no time like the present, and especially for struggling former playoff squads like Washington, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Carolina, the words "do or die" are starting to look like writing on the wall.
Last Week: John Canton: 7-7
Brett Berliner: 7-7
We all tied last week, so thereís no change except that our win percentages are going down. Hopefully we can all do better than average this time around.
Baltimore at Tennessee 1:00 p.m. drq: I see no reason to predict either team derailing the train they're currently onboard. The Ravens continue to win with a dominating, scoring defense, while the Titans continue to sink with a rookie QB at the helm, already planning for next year's effort. Baltimore: 35 - Tennessee: 7
Brett: So, I think the Titans are playing pretty well and I think the Ravens are overrated, but I don't think the Ravens are quite that overrated to lose to Tennessee, even in Nashville. Ravens should win this one solidly. Baltimore 24, Tennessee 13
John: Fine Baltimore, I believe in you. Vince Young, have fun pal. This is Steve McNairís revenge game against the team that wouldnít even let him work out at their training facility. How do you think this is going to end up? Ravens 30-10
Buffalo at Indianapolis 1:00 p.m. drq: Willis McGahee is missing the game with a broken rib or two, which is good news to an Indy defense that would have surely fallen prey to more than one lengthy run by the Miami grad this Sunday. Unfortunately, backup RB Anthony Thomas seems fully prepared to suit up and inflict his own brand of violence on the weak Colts run D in McGahee's stead. Indianapolis's defense took a noticeable step up last week against New England, with the return of safety Bob Sanders sparking five huge turnovers, but it was Sanders' presence on the line rather than his impact on the turnover ratio that really gave the Colts the win they so desperately needed. This team plays with so much more confidence when he's out there sailing over the linemen to drag a man down behind the line, it's almost infectious. I like the Colts by a bundle. Indianapolis: 42 - Buffalo: 24
Brett: Oh, wow. This one isn't going to be pretty. The Colts might be the ugliest 8-0 team in a long time - not because they aren't good, but because they aren't beating bad teams like you'd think an 8-0 team should.. but they are still the best team in football and can easily handle the Bills. Indianapolis 30, Buffalo 16
John: Even though the Colts are at home and they are the better team I donít think this is going to be a blowout. The Bills are a physically tough team that may give the Colts offense some fits throughout the game. Enough to outright beat the Colts? Nah, I donít think so, but I expect it to be fairly close. Colts 23-13
Cleveland at Atlanta 1:00 p.m. drq: The Falcons were playing great football going into their face-off with Detroit, but may have needed that kind of a wake-up call to gear up and really hit the second half of the season with the kind of ferocity they're going to need in a tough NFC south. After possibly underestimating their opposition and assuming a victory was theirs to lose against the Lions, I can't imagine they'll make the same kind of mistakes at home against the Browns. Atlanta is a very good football team when they reach their full potential, and coming off of a bitter defeat last week, I almost worry about what they're going to do to Cleveland in a very similar situation. Atlanta: 27 - Cleveland: 13
Brett: I'd love to predict a victory for my Browns, but let's be fair - Atlanta is coming off a bad loss, it's in Atlanta, the Browns may be misisng Charlie Frye (who isn't great, but if he's starting, who's behind him..?), I don't think it's going to happen. They'll keep it close, but the Falcons will have the ball more often than not, by far, and that's trouble. Atlanta 25, Cleveland 16
John: Last week everybody was picking the Falcons to kill Detroit because Michael Vick had two incredible games the previous weeks. So what happens? The entire Falcon team comes in overconfident, they lay a giant sized egg and the freakiní Lions whipped them. If I seem mad itís because I bet rather heavy on the Falcons. Hopefully the boys in the ATL are just as mad because if they want to be in the playoffs they need to win games like this. And I think they will. Falcons 30-17
Green Bay at Minnesota 1:00 p.m. drq: It would be easy to take one look at the Vikings' loss in San Francisco last weekend and write the team off as an also-ran, playing their best ball early in the season and then succumbing as the weeks bore on. I still believe they're a better team than that. This is a team that took the Bears right down to the wire when they were torching teams early in the year. They annihilated Seattle just two weeks back. They defeated Carolina, albeit with a few tricky plays near the end of regulation. Facing off against their old rivals from Green Bay should give these Vikings a wake-up call, and (perhaps more importantly) remind them how to win. Minnesota: 14 - Green Bay: 6
Brett: This actually should be a fun game. The Vikings are playing pretty well, but not consistently so, and the Packers are playing poorly, but not consistently so. It's a division game and it's supposed to be pretty cold in Minnesota, so it could lead to a real good one. I think the Pack actually gets the win here. Green Bay 24, Minnesota 21
John: Who knows about these teams. The Vikes are so erratic this year, which I guess isnít a surprise because they have had the stigma of a 7 or 8 win team all year long. Still, theyíre at home and I think they can run on the Packers fairly easily while stopping the Packers offense, so Iím gonna go with the purple guys here. Vikings 19-10
Houston at Jacksonville 1:00 p.m. drq: The last time these two teams met, Byron Leftwich played terribly, the Jags turned the ball over twice, and the Texans stomped all over them with a huge divisional victory. Now that David Garrard is taking the snaps and they're playing on their home turf, Jacksonville should be in position to play a much better game offensively. On defense, I have a feeling many of the same problems will rise to the surface. David Carr did some heavy damage in their last encounter, and I think he'll keep them close until the end of this one. Jags win, but not nearly as impressively as they'd like. Jacksonville: 14 - Houston: 10
Brett: While the Texans spanked the Jags the last time they played, I have a lot of respect for Jack Del Rio and I don't think it's going to happen again.. the Jags are a solid team with a good coach, but everyone's prone to an upset here and there. I think this is quite the revenge game for the Jags and they'll play it as such. Jacksonville 30, Houston 10
John: The Jags were embarrassed by these guys last time. I donít think it happens again, not with Garrard playing so well and that defense of theirs looking like they are back. Jaguars 24-10
Kansas City at Miami 1:00 p.m. drq: Miami's fluke win over the Bears last week was just that - unexpected, intriguing, very difficult to repeat. The Chiefs are really running with a lot of momentum right now, and the Dolphins have too many flaws to ignore. This Cinderella story will be over before it's ever truly begun. Kansas City: 28 - Miami: 17
Brett: OH, it is OVER, the Dolphins are about to turn into the Super Bowl team everyone predicted, after that victory over the Bears. Just kidding. Miami played great last week and momentum is a big thing, but the Chiefs come in on a winning streak themselves and have been playing some good football. I like them to take it to the Dolphins and move to 6-3. Kansas City 28, Miami 16
John: Is the Miami team that won in Chicago the same team that has played so crappy this year or is that the team we thought they could be this year? Iím not sure. It could be like last year when they started slow, then finished strongly and ended up being a chic pick for a lot of people this season. The Chiefs are rolling now after a slow start because Larry Johnson is looking like an MVP candidate just like last year. I think this is a tossup, but Iím gonna go with the Fish simply because I think they turned that corner last week. Dolphins 24-20
N.Y. Jets at New England 1:00 p.m. drq: Remember the last time these teams played? When the Patriots had the game under wraps for three quarters, then gave up a pair of long, impressive passing TDs on the way to squeaking out a slim victory? Something tells me the Jets discovered something about New England's secondary in that fourth quarter, and with Rodney Harrison once again riding the bench with an injury, I think they'll exploit that flaw all the way to a victory in Gilette Stadium. It's going to take a couple pinpoint throws and some serious stones from Chad Pennington, but if it all comes together as I think it will, he'll be the hero. New York Jets: 17 - New England: 14
Brett: Tom Brady rebounds, and the Jets' horrible run D is exposed even further. New England 30, N.Y. Jets 14
John: The Pats are at home again after playing poorly last week home to the Colts. That was one of the worst performances Iíve seen out of Tom Brady even though all the picks werenít his fault. It just didnít look like him out there. The Jets have probably overachieved a bit and this weekís game is clearly the biggest of their season if they want to be a playoff team. I think that obviously the Pats are a team that can be thrown on now with their usual injuries in the secondary. I just donít know if the Jets are the team to expose them for that. Plus, I just think the Pats offense is going to be too pissed off from last week and theyíll resemble the group that destroyed the Vikings two weeks ago. I see them winning rather comfortably. Patriots 31-13
San Diego at Cincinnati 1:00 p.m. drq: The Chargers are a tough team to figure out this season. Where one week their defense will stand up and completely suffocate their opponents, the next they'll allow a divisional foe to hang 30 on them on the way to a tough disappointment. With Merriman sitting out the first game of his suspension this week, that defense will be weaker than ever against a Bengals crew that's just waiting for a spark to set their powerful offense ablaze. This has offensive shootout written all over it, and despite Ladanian Tomlinson's ongoing dominance of the RB position, I like Cincy in that kind of situation. Cincinnati: 28 - San Diego: 24
Brett: Hmm, what's going on with the Bengals? Who even knows at this point? I think Palmer is still going to be a good NFL QB, but he isn't quite there yet and I understand it. It takes quite some time to get back on your feet after something like that. I think San Diego is beatable, and I think that they will show that they are this week in probably the game of the week. Cincinnati 28, San Diego 24
John: Sorry Bengals, I just donít believe in you anymore. They donít resemble the playoff team they were last season. Chargers seems legit to me and I see them being able to run all day on what looks like a really bad Bengals defense these days. Chargers 27-20
San Francisco at Detroit 1:00 p.m. drq: The Niners shocked the life out of the Minnesota Vikings last week, holding them to three points on the way to a slim six point victory in what I had expected to be a blowout that favored the Vikes. If they can get healthy, the Niners have the ability to sneak in under the radar in a wide-open NFC West. At present, they're just a game behind St. Louis (over whom they hold a head-to-head tiebreaking victory) and only two behind the Seahawks. One of those two are guaranteed to fall this week, and opposite a Lions team that still hasn't really discovered its own identity, they could be sitting pretty in a very short amount of time. San Francisco: 20 - Detroit: 14
Brett: Really, who would have thought a week ago that this game would be surprisingly interesting? Sure, neither of these teams are good, but they both beat good teams last week and this should be sloppy, but it could turn into something pretty fun. San Francisco 30, Detroit 17
John: I have no idea about these teams, nor do I care too much. Iím not really sure how either team won last week. Iíll pick Detroit just because I think their offense is starting to click and the defense isnít half bad. They seem to be better than their record, at least to me. Lions 23-17
Washington at Philadelphia 1:00 p.m. drq: The Redskins are on the verge of collapse. If any one thing goes differently for Dallas in last week's game - one less dropped pass by Owens, a slightly higher kick from Vanderjagt, a five yard face mask penalty instead of a fifteen yarder - things go the other way and the Cowboys leave with a comfortable victory. The Skins didn't win that game so much as Tony Romo and friends lost it, and although they've done so in the past, (against the Bucs, notably) I can't imagine the Eagles are about to do them the same honor. McNabb and Westbrook are on the verge of being forgotten despite their outrageously good first quarter, and I can see them both sending a message with this week's match. Philadelphia: 17 - Washington: 7
Brett: Big win by the 'Skins last week, definitely, although I still don't think a whole lot of them as a team. They have some individual talent, but not much of a defense and overall they don't seem to have a "team" mentality. That's probably more than partially because so many of the players have been brought in on big free agent contracts. I think the Eagles, altohugh slightly disappointing, can still handle a team like this at home. Philadelphia 35, Washington 17
John: I donít really understand why the Eagles are slumping as much as they are. Four weeks ago I thought they were an elite NFC team with the Giants and Bears. Now? I think they have problems all over the place. With that said, I think they have less problems than the Redskins and I see Philly putting a lot of pressure on happy feet Brunell all game leading to turnovers that give them the game. Simply put, the Iggles are too good to lose four straight. The slide stops here. Eagles 34-21
Denver at Oakland 4:05 p.m. drq: Here's hoping this one isn't nearly as boring as their last meeting. The Raiders are beginning to show that they know how to play on at least one side of the ball, but between Randy Moss dropping multiple passes a game, the rotating QB slot and Lamont Jordan never getting a chance to move the chains, their ineptitude on offense more than makes up for the strides they're making on defense. Denver should slaughter this team, but Oakland's emerged victorious in that kind of situation before. Denver: 17 - Oakland: 3
Brett: Oh, the Raiders are baaaaaaaaad. Poor Raiders. Andrew Walter got straight up murked last week. If Seattle can put that kind of hurting on the Broncos, then I think that Denver, with their tough defense, can, too. Elvis Dumervil is going to have 17 sacks or more this week. Guaranteed. Denver 21, Oakland 10
John: Man, I think Denver's D has been the MVP of my main fantasy team. I love them. Especially against the crappy Raiders. Broncos 24-3
Dallas at Arizona 4:15 p.m. drq: Tony Romo is really beginning to shine at QB, and with a depressed Cardinal squad staring at him from the other side of the line, I'm envisioning an explosive showing through the air this week. That is, if his superstar receiver can figure out how to keep his hands on the ball. Dallas: 35 - Arizona: 14
Brett: The Cardinals are the worst team in the league, without a doubt, and they are going to continue to lose until they get better.. which is not this week. Dallas 21, Arizona 14
John: I hate both for different reasons. I'd love to see Arizona to win just because I hate Dallas more, though. Too bad the Cards simply suck too much. Cowboys 23-13
New Orleans at Pittsburgh 4:15 p.m. drq: Should actually be a very interesting game. The Steelers are pretty much on their last gasp this season, desperate to revisit the run that ended their 2005 season, while the Saints are a legitimate playoff contender behind the efforts of Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Joe Horn and Deuce McAllister. The big story is the emergence of the Saints' defense, however, who have kept them in games while their offense struggles and produced a handful of key turnovers and scores in crucial moments. With the way Pittsburgh has been playing, that's exactly the kind of team they need to avoid right now. I'm going with the Saints. New Orleans: 20 - Pittsburgh: 10
Brett: The Steelers are a weird team... they certainly outplayed Denver last week but they didn't get the victory. It's troublesome to see, really - they aren't playing GREAT, but it looks like Roethlisberger is really only the weak link right now. I hate to think they may rebound, but I don't like the matchup for the Saints and I think the Steelers will get out of the basement of the AFC North this weekend. Pittsburgh 21, New Orleans 20
John: I don't understand Pittsburgh being favored here. People are still hung up on what they did last year instead of realizing that Roethlisberger is a different player with a shaky offensive line while the defense isn't what it was. I'm not sure why. I think it's complacency more than anything. It's tough to defend a title, but who could have predicted 2-6 for this team after eight games? That's just crazy. So I'll go with the Saints even though there's a very good chance I'm totally wrong about this one. Saints 27-24
St. Louis at Seattle 4:15 p.m. drq: I like the Rams in this one, mostly due to the Hawks' injuries on offense. Seneca Wallace has been fairly impressive in his few starts since the Hasselbeck injury, but Seattle's game isn't nearly what it was the last time these two met and Minnesota has already proven that the team's mighty twelfth man can be overcome with a few good plays on both sides of the ball. The Rams' D is going to have to step up big in the first couple series, but I think they get it done. Bulger and Holt connect on a couple long balls, and it's a healthy dose of Stephen Jackson from that point forward. St. Louis: 14 - Seattle: 13
Brett: I'm tired of picking the Rams.. they should be better than they really are. They keep disappointing me and I'd rather not go with them this week. Simple as that. Seattle 30, St. Louis 17
John: The last time these two played they had one of the best games of the season with a lot of offensive production by both sides. Now things have changed because the Seahawks are without their best two players in Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander. The Rams are pretty healthy, meanwhile, so the Seahawks wonít have to gameplan much differently than they did for the last game. Still, that doesnít mean theyíre going to stop or slow down the Rams. The problem is that my Rams havenít been stopping anybody lately. After a nice 4-1 start (against some bad teams, mind you), my boys have shown signs of the old Rams that couldnít tackle or stop anybody. Three straight games of giving up over 30 points have led to three straight losses and now have the team at a crucial 4-4 record heading into the second half. The offense is fine, trust me. Teams are giving more attention to Torry Holt, doubling him down the field often, which led to Steven Jacksonís huge receiving game last week, but the offense is still in a groove. The Seahawks meanwhile are not clicking offensively, but fear not Seahawk fans because the Rams defense is more than happy to help offensive woes. Two predictions Iíll make are that I think this is going to be a game decided by 7 points or less like most of their games and the final score will total 60 points or more. Thatís just how these two teams play, injuries or not. Iím going to pick Seattle because theyíre at home, the Rams are reeling and I think theyíll win the turnover battle that should end up giving them the victory. Oh, and I hope Iím wrong on this pick. I really do. You know why I wrote so much here? Because I care, damnit. I freakin' care! Seahawks 30-27
Chicago at N.Y. Giants 8:15 p.m. drq: These two are pretty much undeniably the best teams in the NFC at this point in the season. They're also both playing extremely streaky ball, and have caught more than their share of fortunate bounces in games they probably should have lost. The difference is, Chicago usually comes into the big games ready to play sixty minutes of hard nosed, ass-kicking football. They've struggled in games they should've won (Arizona and Miami, notably) and can easily become overconfident, but when they know they're playing a contender, they're ready to roll. The G-Men have come into their more high-profile games on a lull, digging a huge hole in the first half and then struggling to overcome it with a dynamite third and fourth quarter. Against the Bears, I don't think that kind of an effort is going to be good enough. I like Chicago. Chicago: 21 - New York Giants: 14
Brett: Man, it's such a weird feeling to think the Bears, supposedly SO dominant, could lose two weeks in a row, but the Giants are playing really well and the Bears have to go to the Meadowlands. I think that they could easily win this game of the week candidate, but they probably won't. N.Y. Giants 28, Chicago 27
John: Tough call. The Giants are pretty banged up with Strahan out a month and Amani Toomer lost for the year, which is a huge thing that people aren't talking about enough. They don't have much depth at WR, so it's going to make things tougher on everybody on that offense. Still, I like the offense a lot and I think the Bears are going to come back down to Earth a bit in the second half. The Giants are going to be the top seed in the NFC. This win will propel them there. Giants 24-13
Tampa Bay at Carolina 8:30 p.m. (Monday) drq: Tampa's offense is looking silly right now. To start the New Orleans game, they went three-and-out six consecutive times, and that was at home. They followed it up with two explosive scores through the air to Joey Galloway, and then didn't bother to come out for the second half. The Panthers, meanwhile, sit at a disappointing 4-4, having lost two straight and fallen out of the upper echelons of the NFC. Both teams need this win badly to have any prayer of competing with Atlanta and New Orleans, and the Panthers are much, much more evenly spread talent-wise. I can't imagine the Bucs' defense managing to contain both Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson (they didn't the last time they met) and I'm surprised if their offense wakes up any more than they did against the Saints in Week 9. Carolina: 24 - Tampa Bay: 10
Brett: Woof. Another Monday night stinker - Panthers roll. Carolina 30, Tampa Bay 21
John: I don't like Tampa much at all. Panthers should win this fairly easily. Panthers 27-10
JC vs. The Spread I'll use the line that TheGreek.com provides and I'll pick four games that I think you should bet on for the week. Why TheGreek.com? Because that's where I place my bets. I'm Greek. That's where I belong.
Last week: 1-3 - Crap. Two straight 1-3 weeks have put me just a game over .500 now. So much for the hot start!
Denver (-9) over Oakland Do I need to explain? It's the Raiders.
New Orleans (+4.5) over Pittsburgh I don't understand the odds at all. It's not the Steelers of 2005 here.
San Diego (-1) over Cincinnati Goodbye Bengals. The tribe has spoken. It's time for you to go.
Carolina (-9) over Tampa Bay Rookie QB's on the road on a Monday night? No thanks.
Until next week, for Drqshadow and Brett Berliner this is John Canton saying enjoy the games. You know we will.