Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Picks: Week 9

Patriots/Colts tonight. Is there anything better? This has been a great first half of the NFL season. A couple surprises (Rams, Bears, Chiefs) and even more disappointments (Dolphins, Cardinals, Seahawks). It's only going to get better from here.

Denver Broncos (-2-1/2) at Pittsburgh Steelers
I guess everyone still hasn't given up on the Steelers yet. Big Ben looks like a confused child playing quarterback. Get ready for this sentence Steelers fans: you're better off with Charlie Batch. The Broncos are for real even with Jake at QB. They are well coached, run the ball, and play very stout defense. They are coming off that tough loss against Indy, look for them to bounce back against the woozy Steelers.

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-3)
The game of the season. This will determine who represents the AFC in the Super Bowl. At 7-0 if the Colts win they would cruise to 14-2 or 13-3 and homefield throughout the playoffs. If the Pats win and go to 7-1, they would be in a dead heat with Indy for homefield. We all know the history of Indy coming to Foxboro. No one in their right mid would bet on Peyton in New England in January. The Colts run defense is terrible, this is the biggest weakness the Indy juggernaut has had in a while. Maroney (if he plays) and Dillon should run right at the Indy line for big gains. To me this game means more to the Patriots, they will rise to occasion and win a close game.

Atlanta Falcons (-6) at Detroit Lions
Vick has been playing inspired quarterback the past few weeks. He has been shutting up detractors by throwing very well as well as running the ball effectively. The Detroit defense is just what the doctor ordered to keep this going. They are 31st in points at 27 per and 29th in passing yards allowed at just under 238 per game. Vick should have a field day against the joke that has become the Lions.

Tennessee Titans (+10) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The David Garrrard era starts in Jacksonville, but for how long. The Jags defense is still great (2 shutouts at home in 3 games) but there is no way they are winning by ten, even against the Titans. Tennessee is coming off 2 straight wins and Vince Young looks like he is learning to run the team, even if he isn't putting up great numbers. This is a team for the future, not the present. All that said, I think they can cover.

Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers (+5)
The enigma, wrapped in a puzzle, wrapped in a question that is the Vikings. One week they are only getting 2-1/2 against the 6-1 Patriots. The next they are giving away 5 to the 9ers. Here's the truth: the Vikings aren't that good. They are 2 field goals (one missed by the Redskins) away from being 2-5. The run defense is good, but the Pats threw the ball 90 times against them and blew them out. The Vikings could win on another field goal, but they won't win by more than five.

Last Week: 1-4
Season: 16-20-4

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