The Oratory's NFL Picks for Week 6
by John Canton(NFL)
Posted on October 16, 2009, 9:21 AM
John: Welcome to week six of the Oratory's NFL Picks. I am John Canton joined as always by my fellow prognosticators James Deaux and Matt Henry. I had a 10-4 record last week that I'm proud of because I thought going in that it was difficult. I am especially proud of going 3-1 on my money picks again moving my season record up to an excellent 14-6 or 70% on the year. I'm not sure what to expect this week. There are four or five games that should be obvious blowouts, but then there are some evenly matched games that I had to really think about when I made my picks.
James: I did something really stupid last week. In my predictions on this column last week, I was a decent 10-4. In the Pick ‘Em League, I picked differently on a couple matchups and went a mediocre 8-6. I need to stop making my pick ‘em league picks on Tuesdays. Oh, well. As far as this column is concerned, I’m still doing awesome.
Matt: This is my “forget about last week” intro again. This week I should fare better. I’m like the Texans. I just can’t get it done two weeks in a row.
Last week's results:
The standings for the season:
James 58-18 (.763)
John 51-25 (.671)
Matt 50-26 (.658)
The following teams have byes this week: Cowboys, Colts, Dolphins, 49ers
All game times are Eastern.
Houston at Cincinnati 1:00 PM James: Houston at Cincinnati: Houston doesn’t know what the hell it wants to be, and Cincinnati has gained its identity. Cincinnati wins this with its newfound running game. Cincinnati 31 – Houston 20
Matt: The Texans have been playing some of the most inconsistent football of any team this year. There are teams that are bad, and there are teams that are good. Then you have teams like the Texans who don’t know whether they are good or bad. Last week I wanted to pick the Bengals, but just couldn’t manage to see them overcoming the Ravens. This week I want to pick the Texans, but can’t see them slowing down the Bengals. Palmer has been getting quite a bit of press as of late, but the real strength of this team is the run game. The Texans can’t stop the run so despite my desire to see the Bengals take a loss, I’m picking them for the win. Bengals 28-17
John: I like the "Cardiac Cats" nickname for Cincy due to the fact that they always play close games and when Gus Johnson announces those games it's as if he's having a heart attack. One of these weeks they're going to have a game where they manhandle an opponent from start to finish and win convincingly. I think the Texans, with a poor running game and a defense that hasn't improved like I thought they would, have the kind of team that the tough Bengals can beat up on. Plus, I really like the way Carson Palmer's playing right now. Bengals 27-13
Detroit at Green Bay 1:00 PM James: Detroit at Green Bay: Green Bay has been largely disappointing, and while I wouldn’t be shocked at all by an upset here, I’m not picking against the Packers in Lambeau against the Lions. Green Bay 28 – Detroit 24
Matt: The Packers have Swiss cheese heads for D. That said, they are playing the Lions, a team that hasn’t been able to beat even an average team since 2005 or so. Packers 24-10
John: The Pack are coming off a bye while the Lions won't have Stafford and Calvin Johnson will be limited if he plays at all. It will be a long day for the Lions against a superior team that's ready to go after getting whipped by the Vikings two weeks back. Packers 34-17
Baltimore at Minnesota 1:00 PM James: Baltimore has been slipping lately, and the main reason, of all things, has been their defense. They’re too old. Flacco, on the other hand, has gotten no help from his receivers. Minnesota has looked amazing so far, and I can’t pick against them here. Minnesota 25 – Baltimore 19
Matt: Important game for the Ravens here. With the Steelers having another easy game this week, Baltimore needs a win here to keep pace for second place in the AFC North. The Vikings are sitting all alone at the top of the NFC North, but they haven’t played any of the top teams in the league yet. I expect the Ravens to test the Vikings this week, and I suspect that they are good enough to contain Peterson. The Vikings are going to have to put this one in the hands of Farve to get the job done. This is a gut feeling more than anything, but I like the Ravens to upset here. Ravens 20-17
John: I like the Vikings too much right now to pick against them. They seem to get along well, they have great players on both sides of the ball and they really make it seem like this is their year to take that leap. The Ravens are still a very good team that probably should have won last week. You can't be losing games at home on the final drive. The defense has to show up in a situation like that. Right now they're not. Minnesota's firing on all cylinders while the Ravens need to correct some issues on both sides of the ball. Go with the hotter team. Vikings 27-17
NY Giants at New Orleans 1:00 PM James: Obviously the Game of the Week. Neither of these teams have had a particularly difficult schedule, but New Orleans has faced some tougher competition than New York has. Plus, they have the dome-field advantage. New Orleans 34 – New York 28
Matt: A major pick this week for GOTW? Two unbeaten teams going head to head in the NFC. Sadly, I think this matchup is only impressive on paper. The Giants are 5-0 with wins over the Cowboys, Bucs, Redskins, Chiefs, and Raiders. Only Dallas has a shot at an 8-8 season or better. The Saints have done well on both sides of the ball in their four wins. True, they’ve gotten easy wins with the Lions and the Bills, but they have also soundly beaten the Eagles and Jets, two likely playoff teams. The Giants could potentially have a chance if this wasn’t being played in the dome. I think I’d be picking the Saints outdoors too though. Saints 30- 20
John: Game of the week, obviously. I've gone back and forth on it all week. They're both legitimate Super Bowl contenders because they've been consistent all year. The Giants offense has shown that they can put points on the board while their defense has proven to be one of the best in the league again. The Saints are still an offensive team first, but they have also been able to slow teams down when they had to. I think the story will be turnovers. Whoever gives up the ball the most is going to lose and I like the Giants D more to cause turnovers, which will ultimately lead to their victory. I don't think a veteran team like the Giants will get rattled on the road because they've proven they can win these kinds of games. Should be a lot of fun no matter happens. Giants 24-20
Cleveland at Pittsburgh 1:00 PM James: Pittsburgh has no business losing this game, but they’ve looked really lethargic lately, and losing Aaron Smith is going to hurt a lot. But they’re up against the Browns, which is like a bye week. Pittsburgh 30 – Cleveland 7
Matt: The Steelers may have their first round draft pick on the field for a few plays this week to replace the injured Aaron Smith. This would be a good week to start working him into the rotation to see what he can do. Polamalu and Parker are both expected to see at least limited time this week as well. The Browns are coming off of a stunning win over the Bills, and continue to be a part of the longest running QB controversy in the NFL. They might be able to get away with playing a sloppy game for a win against the Bills, but not against a motivated Steelers D. Steelers 24-0
John: The Steelers defense hasn't been Steeler-like all season. They've only forced two fumbles and have two interceptions as a team. With arguably the best defensive player in football (Troy Polamalu) back in the fold, a lot of people think the defense will be great again. I am one of those people. Of course, it doesn't hurt to play against a team that completed just two passes last week. Steelers 27-3
Carolina at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM James: Tampa gets their first win here against a Carolina team that needed another “cardiac cat” game to get past the Redskins, of all teams. Tampa Bay 19 – Carolina 17
Matt: Well, Carolina gets another win this week in spite of themselves. When you have a close call against the Redskins, it is time to start re-evaluating the strategy. This week should be an easier win. Panthers 14-6
John: One thing's for sure, I probably won't be picking on the Bucs all year and I really dislike the Panthers this year. The only thing I'll go on here is that DeAngelo Williams had a 180 yard day with 2 TDs against the Bucs late last year. He hasn't had 100 yards in a game this year. He's due, right? Panthers 23-14
Kansas City at Washington 1:00 PM James: Kansas City gets their first win, and Jim Zorn’s days as head coach dwindle further. Kansas City 24 – Washington 20
Matt: Speaking of teams with a better record than deserved. Exhibit B, the Washington Redskins. After this they are by far the worst 3-3 team in the league. Playing teams like the Rams, Bucs, Raiders, Chiefs and Lions... Oh wait, they lost to the Lions. Outside of the Raiders game later this year, this is the last winnable game they will play this year. Redskins 18-10
John: Ewww. Ugly game. Does somebody have to win? The Redskins have benefitted from a very easy schedule. It's going to get harder and they're going to lose more regularly. I felt like picking the Chiefs here until I realized they're even worse. I'll go for the Redskins win, but the Chiefs will cover the 6˝ points. Redskins 17-13
St. Louis at Jacksonville 1:00 PM James: I loved Maurice Jones-Drew’s rant on the team because he’s right. They’ll have no problem getting a victory here. Jacksonville 30 – St. Louis 20
Matt: Really? The Jags sit in second place in their division which aside from the Colts is stacked full of shitty teams. The Rams, well they could find themselves in the same place in any division in football. I’m talking NCAA here too. Jaguars 27-6
John: As one of the five Rams fans that actually watch their games I can tell you that last week they moved the ball very well against the Vikes, accumulating 400 yards in about three quarters and threatening to score several times. The problem was they fumbled twice inside the ten and Kyle Boller dropped the ball at the 50 without being touched leading to a Jared Allen TD. The game should have been much closer than it was. I point this out because despite the lack of TDs the Rams offense isn't THAT bad. One of these weeks they're due to get TDs instead of FGs and TOs. I don't know when, but it will happen. See how optimistic I am? Too bad the defense still sucks. Jaguars 33-17
Philadelphia at Oakland 4:05 PM James: It’s just too easy to make fun of Oakland anymore. Jamarcus Russell is on a fast-track to eclipsing Ryan Leaf. Philly in a laugher. Philadelphia 38 – Oakland 14
Matt: This game would have fit in well with the blowouts from last week. JaMarcus Russell had his highest QB rating of the year last week against the Giants. My theory is that it was due more to the 6 times he got sacked and was unable to throw the ball than any improvement in his throwing. Eagles 32-6
John: Last week after they drubbed the Raiders, linebacker Antonio Pierce of the Giants said playing them was like having a practice. With that in mind I say enjoy your practice, Eagles. Eagles 27-7
Arizona at Seattle 4:05 PM James: These two teams confuse the hell out of me on a weekly basis. I’ll pick Seattle solely on home-field advantage. Seattle 28 – Arizona 25
Matt: The Arizona Cardinals have the edge for second place in the division going into this one. I have a hard time picking against a team stacked with so much talent, especially against a team like Seattle. Still, it is always a risky proposition to take the road team in a divisional game. Screw it, I’m going with my hunch on this one. It is a strategy that has served me so well so far. Cardinals 20-18
John: A divisional game with two good quarterbacks makes me typically lean towards the home team, but for some reason I've been on the Cards all week. Neither team can run, the Cards have the better QB, the better WRs and the better pass defense (I think), so that's enough for me to pick them. Plus, I have Warner and Fitz on an important fantasy team of mine, which is always a part of my bias. Cardinals 27-24
Tennessee at New England 4:15 PM James: Tennessee is atrocious. New England simply doesn’t lose two games in a row. Especially to bad teams like the Titans. New England 30 – Tennessee 20
Matt: Hey look, a game where it is safe to pick the Patriots. This looked like a great game prior to the start of the season. Both teams have disappointed so far this year, but the Titans are by far the bigger disappointment. There is a good chance that this is an 0-8 team going into week 10 against the Bills. The Patriots have not lived up to their hype either. Both teams have played a strong schedule, but the Patriots have actually managed to do what good teams do, win. Patriots 34-12 John: Six weeks ago this would have been the game of the week with a point spread of 3 for the Pats. Now it's considered an easy win for the home team as 9˝ point favorites. I predicted the Titans would miss the playoffs, but to be 0-6? I'm still surprised. By the way, somebody tell New England that I have fantasy teams relying on them to be the explosive offense they were and that I'm tired of their pedestrian. Come on Brady you supermodel marrying, advertisement posing, crybaby fuck, throw it to Randy Moss! Okay, I feel better. Patriots 27-10
Buffalo at NY Jets 4:15 PM James: Buffalo lost a game in which the opposing QB completed 2 of 17 passes. I won’t pick them to win against anyone for the rest of the year. Dick Jauron might be the worst head coach in football. New York 34 – Buffalo 10
Matt: In the pre-season, this could have been a marquee match-up. My preseason thoughts were that the Bills needed to go 9-7 for the coach to be there next season. Now, I’m starting to think that this team might be headed for a mid season coaching change. The Jets have been getting quite a bit of good press since their win over the Patriots. They followed that up by going 1-2. The Saints seem to be the team to beat in the NFC, but I can’t find a way to explain the loss to Miami. Luckily, they get two easy games in before they get the Dolphins at home in week 8. Jets 24-10
John: Ha, the Bills. They make me laugh. They're flooding newspapers and radio ads around Ontario promoting their game against the Jets in Toronto next month. The tagline is "New Prices." What, you mean people don't want to pay double the price of a regular NFL game to witness a team that scored 3 points at home last week against a winless opponent? Shocker. I can't wait for the pre-recorded phone message from a Bills player the week before the game telling me that tickets are still available just like last year. The Jets are pissed off after last week. I expect a rout. Jets 30-3
Chicago at Atlanta 8:20 PM James: Another sure-to-be entertaining game. I’m picking Atlanta to win in a close one because they have lost exactly one home game since December 2007. Of course, the last visiting QB to win in the Georgia Dome was Jay Cutler, so who knows? Atlanta 31 – Chicago 28
Matt: Both teams are chasing unbeatens this week in the NFC. The Bears may go into this game knowing that a win gives them a share of the Division lead. The same goes for Atlanta. These teams match up pretty well so again it’s mostly a gut feeling here. Falcons 24-18
John: They're both playoff caliber teams that could make some noise come playoff time. The Bears, winners of three straight, are coming off a bye while the Falcons are coming off an impressive win at San Fran. What impressed me about the Falcons last week was that they had a balanced offense. Once they're rolling they're a tough team to beat with all the weapons they have. I like the Bears, but I don't think they can make enough plays to win on the road here. I just like the Falcons that much more. Falcons 28-14
Denver at San Diego 8:30 PM (Mon) James: Denver finally deserves to be mentioned among the best teams in football after eking past the Patriots last week. San Diego is a joke as long as Norv Turner is coaching them, and I’ll continue to ride with the Broncos hot streak here. Denver 23 – San Diego 21
Matt: Last week, the Broncos shocked the league with a win over the Patriots. I don’t really have much else to add at this time since a power outage fouled up my internet connection, I can’t really research any matchup stats on this game. I’m going to have to pick the Chargers here because the Broncos can’t really be this good, can they? That, and the pressure is on the Chargers to get a win here if they want to have any chance at the post season. If they can’t beat Denver in California, then they are royally screwed going to Mile High. Chargers 28-27
John: In the previous five weeks, I have picked against the Denver Broncos four times. Obviously since they're 5-0 I've been wrong four times. Guess what? This week I will pick against them again. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for what they're doing. The defense is stingy, the offense is looking good now that Brandon Marshall gives a shit and they seem to be getting the breaks to go their way. Still, I like the Chargers here at home on a Monday night after a bye in a statement game for them. They need this. And I think, thanks to excellent play from Phil Rivers, they will get it. Chargers 24-16
JC's Money Picks John: Every week I'll pick four games against the spread or using the over/under. Let's review last week first. Vikings -10 (won by 28), Colts -3˝ (won by 22) and Colts/Titans UNDER 45˝ (it was 40) were all correct while Panthers -4 (won by 3) was incorrect. That means I went 3-1 again for the fourth straight week improving my season record to 14-6. These odds come from pinnaclesports.com on Friday morning as I write this.
Season: 14-6 (.700)
VIKINGS -3 over the Ravens. They're the hot team. I'll ride them until they lose.
BENGALS -5 over the Texans. Cincy's due to have a comfortable win for once.
JETS -9˝ over the Bills. The Bills are an absolute mess and I love betting against absolute messes.
Jags/Rams OVER 43. Both defenses suck. Good for over.
Thanks for reading. We'll see you next Friday for week seven.