Friday, October 10, 2008

Picks for Week Six

Panthers +1 over BUCCANEERS
Regarding who will be playing quarterback for the Bucs on Sunday, coach Jon Gruden said, “We’re going to address the quarterback situation once we get all the facts. Obviously, health is going to be an issue. I thought Jeff did do some good things (Sunday). His health has been an issue, and his return to health is also something that we’re excited about.” Translation: “I hate that scum-sucking, freckle-faced pint-size of a quarterback…but he’s probably better than Brian Griese, so if I have to play him, I will.” Seriously—earlier in the season there were reports that the two were “ready to kill each other.” In spite of their 3-2 record, does this sound like a team destined for long-term success this season? My, what change a year can bring. The Panthers on the other hand, are running the ball well with both DeAngelo Williams and rookie Jonathan Stewart, Jake Delhomme has thrown five touchdowns compared to two interceptions, and the defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown in nine quarters (or five, if you don’t count the game against Kansas City).

TEXANS -3 over Dolphins
In two weeks, the Dolphins have beaten both participants in last year’s AFC Championship game. And now they’re a little cocky. “The Dolphins are here,” receiver Greg Camarillo said. “We have arrived. Other teams would doubt us before. Now they have to prepare to play a great team. We’re ready to play anybody.” WHOAHbuddy. “A great team?” I know you’ve doubled your win total from last year’s single and all, but a great team? Really? I love the Wildcat and how they’ve played defense, but two wins does not a great team make.

Houston on the other hand, is an overtime field goal and a couple of silly, late fourth-quarter fumbles away from having two consecutive wins of their own. In other words, they’ve had a few bad breaks. They’re the hungrier team right now and desperately need a win to put the heart-wrenching loss to Indy last week behind them.

Three Zone Bunk

I recently pointed out that last Sunday, four out of five NFL teams who traveled across two or more time zones lost. ESPN’s John Clayton has my back. He found that this season, the visiting team has lost 10 out of 12 games when having to travel across three time zones. One of the two winners was Carolina in their last-second win in San Diego in week one.

Hopefully, some diligent Seahawk staffer has pointed this out to Coach Holmgren. It’s an explanation as good as any for the Seahawks fantastic record at home and abysmal record on the East Coast.

This week, three zone bunk is in play for two games, Patriots at CHARGERS (like the Cardinals two weeks ago, the Patriots did not go home this week) and Eagles at 49ERS. The Raiders, Jaguars, Cowboys and Packers all have to travel across two time zones. Is Vegas aware of this “three zone bunk?” Of course they are. But I’m going with the home teams anyways. That includes the Seahawks, who look like they’ll be starting Charlie Frye versus the Packers. Two time zones plus the Ewing Theory (Hasselbeck not playing) = a big win in Seattle.

Picks: SAINTS -7 over Raiders, BRONCOS -3.5 over Jaguars, 49ERS +5 over Eagles, CARDINALS +5 over Cowboys, SEAHAWKS OFF over Packers, and CHARGERS -5 over Patriots.

REDSKINS -13.5 over Rams
With the way the Redskins are running the ball and holding on to it for long drives, they could win 14-0 with two 20-minute drives.
Bears -3 over FALCONS
I’m changing one of my Superpicks. This line has upped to -3 from -1. Part of the reason may be that Lawyer Milloy knocked out teammate and leading Falcons receiver, Roddy White, in practice on Wednesday. Matt Ryan has struggled when Michael Turner isn’t churning up turf. I think Turner will struggle against a strong Bears run defense—which means Matt Ryan will struggle. Add in the fact that Roddy White may not play, and if he does, he may be ineffective, and that’s a recipe for a big win by the Bears.

JETS -8.5 over Bengals
Speaking of moving lines, this one has jumped three points from -5.5 after the Bengals announced that Ryan Fitzpatrick will start over ailing Carson Palmer. I liked the Jets at -5.5 versus Palmer. Fitzpatrick definitely gives the Jets more than three points.
Lions +13 over VIKINGS
This line is just too high. And it hasn’t changed much since the news broke about whether or not Kitna would play because of back spasms. Why is the line too high? The Viking are just not very good. Yes, they’ve got a lot of talented players, but they’re not a very good team. They were lucky Monday night in New Orleans. Two receivers nearly ran into each other they still scored a touchdown on the play. Plus, I don’t trust Gus Frerotte.

I know what you’re saying. All the trends point towards another Lions loss. They haven’t won all season; they’ve scored a total of three points in four first quarters this year; they have lost ten straight at the Metrodome; and their defense hasn’t intercepted a pass all season. That all changes Sunday. You can only keep them down for so long. And the Lions are surprisingly optimistic, With Rod Marinelli taking offense to a reporter’s suggestion of the team quitting and Roy Williams talking about the possibilities of making the playoffs: “It happened before. It happened with the ‘92 Chargers. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.” Mix all this together, add 13 points, and what results is a Lion win or a close loss.
Ravens +4 over COLTS
Indianapolis struggled to beat both the Vikings and the Texans, neither of which is a great team. Only Sage Rosenfels’ impersonation of Homer Simpson playing quarterback allowed the Colts to win last week. The Ravens, on the other hand, lost a close game to one of the league’s best teams—the Tennessee Titans. Throw out the questionable roughing the passer call and the result may have been different.
Giants -9 over BROWNS
I think this line jumped from -7 to -9 based solely on the strength of the Giants versus the weakness of the Browns. Do you really think a bye week is going to help the Browns look better than they did two weeks ago versus Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bengals? I say no.
Eddie Utah Superpicks
I changed my Superpicks in Week One and it came back to bite me. But the Bears rush defense scares me too much versus the Falcons. Their defense could score a touchdown or two on Sunday. But I still like the Lions +13 over the VIKINGS and the Ravens +4 over the COLTS. And my replacement Superpick this week will be the JETS -8.5 over Fitzpatrick and the Bengals. Last week: 3-1-1, Season: 11-3-1
Season standings
Eddie Utah--Last Week: 5-7-2, Season: 33-38-2
Bill Simmons--Last Week: 6-6-2, Season: 37-34-3
Sports Gal--Last Week: 6-6-2 Season: 37-34-3

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