Week 7 Picks
Four new starting quarterbacks this week. Ponder, Tebow, Beck and Palmer. All strange and surprising in their own ways. Two injured QBs as well (Bradford and Tavaris) so we should see AJ Feeley and Charlie Whitehurst in the compelling NFC West. Lots of other significant injuries, including some (Jeff Otah, Joe Haden) that I wasn’t aware of last week when I made my crappy picks. We’ve got our first London game, a few potential blowouts, and two games with huge NFC Wildcard implications (Bucs-Bears, Lions-Falcons.)
I went 7-6 last week (9-4 straight up), bringing my total to a very disappointing 42-44-4 (59-31) on the season.
Here are the week 7 picks:
Falcons (3-2) @ Lions (5-1)
Line: DET by 3.5
Two weeks ago, this line might have been 7 or 8. What a difference two weeks of momentum has made. The Falcons just handed Backdoor Cam his first ATS loss, while the Lions lost their first game and their running back. They’ve quickly fallen from America’s unbeatable sweetheart to ‘Oh, oops, maybe they can’t run, stop the run, or stop the pass.” Amazing how the national media can be swung so easily. If we tackle Delanie Walker one yard earlier, Detroit is 6-0 and Herm Edwards is raving about Matthew Stafford as a possible MVP candidate.
Unfortunately, Sunday’s game was overshadowed by the now infamous handshake. My first inclination was to say “Who cares about the dang handshake, let’s focus on the actual game.” But upon reflection, the game really wasn’t all that exciting. Here’s what happened: San Fran won a defense-controlled battle of field position because they had a better punter and a better punt returner. That’s pretty much it. Sounds lame and boring, but it’s pretty much the summary. Sure, Stafford could have played better and a few more tosses to Megatron might’ve helped. But the bottom line: San Fran won a boring battle of 3 and outs, and their punter was awesome.
Having watched the handshake on Youtube a few times, I can’t help but think less of Jim Schwartz. Yeah, Harbaugh wasn’t the image of classiness and sportsmanship. And since he has a history of midfield confrontation (remember the ‘What the hell was that?’ game after Stanford ran up the score on Pete Carroll and USC), I am trying to give Schwartz the benefit of the doubt. But I just can’t. Whatever Harbaugh said to him, even if it was “F you, you skunk-haired loser,” Schwartz overreacted. He acted like an imbecile. It was embarrassing to watch, and each time you watch it his actions become less defensible.
Weirdly, most national commentators are blaming Harbaugh, calling him classless and arrogant. Maybe true. He does have that reputation. But he wasn’t the one chasing the other guy 40 yards down the field and then refusing to apologize. I lost a lot of respect for Schwartz, which is odd because I didn’t have much respect for him in the first place. He’s a good motivator, a great defensive mind, and a fiery competitor. But the jumping fistpumps and raging obscenities don’t really make him endearing to me. This whole scene also makes him a hypocrite, considering he was shouting the F-bomb at Dez Bryant a few weeks ago. Between this incident and the stupid skunk haircut, let’s just say Schwartz isn’t my favorite coach. However, he’s got the Lions at 5-1, and that’s all I really care about.
On to the game this Sunday … it’s Detroit’s third straight home game, and for some reason that has me more worried than optimistic. Coming off their first loss, it’ll be necessary for Detroit to respond with poise and precision on the field, rather than dumb penalties and hissy fits. In other words, I’m afraid that they’ll take on the personality of their head coach. It’s time for the veteran leaders to prove their worth in the locker room and have the team ready to play. Unfortunately, the team doesn’t really have any veterans with lots of winning experience. What are Raiola and Backus going to say? “Well guys, 5-0 was fun, but seriously, what did you expect, we’re the Lions.” Everybody talks about Stafford as a great leader of men and all that crap, but this is his chance to prove it. Let’s see how unflappable he is.
Atlanta scares me because they’ve already responded to adversity. They lost their opener to Chicago, they got trounced by Green Bay at home, and yet they aren’t freaking out. They have a smart and calm quarterback, led by a smart and calm head coach, and that’s a difficult combo to beat. Michael Turner gives them a better-than-average running threat, Tony Gonzalez gives them 15 years of experience and intelligence, and Roddy White is considerably better than any receiver Detroit has faced yet.
Chris Houston and the secondary are facing their toughest test of the season, and the best QB we’ve seen yet. Matt Ryan always struggles on the road, but he’s better indoors than out. Our biggest advantage is, as usual, on the defensive line. Suh should wreak havoc, and the rest of the guys will continue to rotate and use their fresh legs to generate a pass rush with 4 linemen. That’s the key, because Matt Ryan is smart enough to burn the blitz. If we pressure the passer without blitzing the linebackers, it gives us a chance.
The Falcons have a few playmakers on defense, and a pair of solid pass rushers in Abraham and Edwards. Their linebackers are better than average, and the corners are good but not great. Calvin has a somewhat tough matchup with Dunta Robinson, but I’m not too worried. The bigger concern for Detroit’s offense is Matt Stafford.
Since the first two games of the season, Stafford has been playing subtly worse each game. Inconsistency, inaccuracy, bad decision-making. Nothing terrible, but not enough to light up the scoreboard. We’ve been punting too much, throwing to Calvin too little, and settling for field goals in the red zone. A lot of the blame falls on Scott Linehan, who needs to stop wasting time with run plays. But Stafford seems to have forgotten how to read defenses and look off safeties. Either that or defenses have figured him out. Hopefully it’s the former.
With Jahvid Best concussed and the Ronnie Brown trade falling through because of Harrison’s ‘undisclosed medical issues,’ the Lions’ running game is completely depleted. It’s just Morris and Keiland Williams, two slow bruisers who won’t ever bring 8 in the box, even on 3rd and 1. If I were Linehan, I’d plan on passing 50 times this week. Short, quick, accurate passes. Use the whole field, use all the receivers. In other words, take a page from the New England playbook.
Atlanta has the edge at quarterback and running back, but other than that, Detroit actually has more talent than the guys who went 13-3 last year. I like our defensive line to dominate and make Matt Ryan really struggle. He hasn’t been the same since losing LG Harvey Diehl in free agency. I’ll take Detroit 27-23.
Been working on the house pretty much nonstop the last two weeks. Consequently, haven't been able to watch the Lions games. Don't worry, I've listened to the last two on the radio, and then rewatched parts. Although this game wasn't really worth rewatching.
This was basically an exact replica of the previous game. The defense created two turnovers and played good enough to win, but the offense was stagnant. Five field goals in the last two games and only three TDs. Three of those field goals were from the 12 yard line or closer.
In both games, the opposing quarterbacks had QB ratings of 63 and 60. We're getting to the passer, we're getting interceptions, and we're forcing punts. The defense hasn't been dominant, but it's been dang good. But the offense just isn't clicking. As my astute wife said, "Stafford has lost his mojo." She also blames Pettigrew for dropping too many passes and wonders why they don't throw more passes to the unstoppable monster named Megatron. She could easily replace Jon Gruden with that analysis. Seriously.
After completely proving me wrong through five games, Matt Stafford is turning into the quarterback I feared he would be. Sloppy, lazy, inaccurate. To quote from July 18:
[yeah, Stafford is going to put up good numbers this season. Maybe great numbers. But when you're counting on him to give you a TD in the two-minute drill ... you're going to be disappointed most of the time.]
There's no use beating a dead horse. I've said enough negative things about Stafford to fill a small book. Let's just let his play on the field do the talking. The last two weeks, it's said "I'm bored, hungover and/or miserable."
Part of the problem this week was obviously the nonexistent running game. Maurice Morris was useless, and so was Scott Linehan for calling 20 runs and only 32 passes. Linehan's genius idea for the first drive of the game: let's give Morris the first two plays, then throw on 3rd and 5! That'll work! No wonder he went 11-25 as a head coach with that kind of terrible, uncreative, play-right-into-the-hands-of-the-defense playcalling. Don't you think Atlanta's defensive coordinator spent the entire week having nightmares about Calvin Johnson, watching that triple-coverage catch against Dallas in slow-motion over and over, moaning in aguish, guzzling anti-depresssants, alone in a dark, musty film room? And then on the sideline on Sunday, he was probably skipping jubiliantly every time Maurice Morris handled the ball.
All throughout the game, Detroit tried to establish the run when Atlanta didn't prove they could stop the pass. It wasn't until 3 minutes left in the game that Linehan stopped running on 1st and 10. We also attempted runs on 1st and 20, 2nd and 10, 2nd and 9 ... just assinine. My blame for the crappy offense goes 60% to Linehan and 35% to Stafford. Stafford may have been put in some unfavorable third down situations, but he's got to do better than 1 for 12 in those instances. The rest of the 5% goes to Pettigrew and Titus Young.
I don't blame Morris or Keiland Williams at all. They are the Inge and Raburn of the Lions. If you keep putting lousy players on the field, expect lousy results.
I really miss Mikel Leshoure right now.
Next week Detroit flies to Denver to face TebowMania. It should be entertaining if nothing else. With Denver's crappy O-line and Tebow's slow release, it might be a feeding frenzy for a very pissed off Ndamukong Suh.
Bears (3-3) vs. Bucs (4-2) in London
Line: CHI by 1.5
Lots of games this week with spreads of 4 or less. This is a straight-up pick, and I’m not crazy about either team. Tampa is still missing Gerald McCoy and will really struggle to contain Matt Forte. But Tampa has played in London before (when they got blown out by the Patriots a couple years ago), and I think that makes a difference. Josh Freeman is the better quarterback, Raheem Morris is the better coach, and I like Tampa by 3.
Chicago's offense is clicking now that they've identified Forte as their best player. That's unfortunate. But Tampa still should have won. Freeman isn't going to throw 4 interceptions very often. Astonishingly, he threw only 6 picks all last year on 474 attempts, compared to 10 this year out of 270 attempts.
Both of these teams are now 4-3, along with the Falcons. Winning the wildcard is not going to be easy in the NFC.
Redskins (3-2) @ Panthers (1-5)
Line: CAR by 2.5
Rex Grossman was off to a nice start, but had one terrible game and got yanked for totally unproven and not-at-all-promising John Beck, proving once again that Mike Shanahan is an idiot. With D+ talent at QB, RB and WR, it’s amazing that Washington started 3-1. In addition, Beck will play without his starting LT and LG. Good thing the Panthers have the league’s worst defense, but I still wouldn’t count on Beck leading the Skins to more than 1 or 2 TDs. That won't be enough to keep up with the wonder known as Cam Newton and the Panthers surprisingly good offense. What the heck is going on with Steve Smith? Did he miss the memo about being washed up? Biggest story in this game is the health of RT Jeff Otah. He’s a gametime decision. He makes Carolina’s running game work. If he plays, I like Carolina by at least 10. If he’s out, I’ll take Carolina by 3. Either way, Panthers cover.
Otah played, Carolina won by 13. They ran the ball 37 times for 175 yards. John Beck wasn't bad for Washington. It didn't help that Santana Moss broke his hand.
Chargers (4-1) @ Jets (3-3)
Line: SD by 2
Here’s an amazing Week 7 fact for you: Mark Sanchez will be the best quarterback the Chargers defense has faced yet. They’ve played Matt Cassel, Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow, Chad Henne, Matt Moore, and Donovan McNabb. So when you factor that into the 4-1 record, it’s really not impressive. This is their first real test.
The good news for the Bolts is they’re coming off a bye, so Rivers has had two weeks to prepare for the vaunted Jets defense. But with Antonio Gates questionable (meaning indubitably out), Darrelle Revis will eradicate Vincent Jackson and leave Rivers throwing to Malcolm Floyd and the rest of the nobodys. Big game for Ryan Matthews could be in store. Jets are easy to run on, as New England proved two weeks ago.
I don’t feel good about either side, but I feel more good about taking the Jets. They’re home, they’re more desperate, and the matchups fall in their favor.
Jets score 17 unanswered, Chargers fall to 4-2. Three TDs for Plaxico. Rivers was downright terrible. That MVP prediction isn't even going to be close. He's currently 20th in QB rating, behind two rookies and Curtis Painter.
Seahawks (2-3) @ Browns (2-3)
Line: CLE by 3
Don’t understand this line. Are we supposed to believe that Cleveland and Seattle are equal? Even though Seattle is trotting out Charlie Whitehurst? Hmm … both teams are missing their #1 cornerback, Marcus Trufant for Seattle and Joe Haden for Cleveland. Trufant is actually out for the year with a back injury. That probably means you can pencil San Fran into the playoffs, even if they lose their next 3 games. Peyton Hillis is also out for this game, giving Montario Hardesty another start. It doesn’t matter; Seattle is actually the best team in the NFL right now in stopping the run.
Sidenote: how many games has Hillis missed this year now? Three? Including one with an exaggerated case of ‘strep throat,’ where afterwards Hillis admitted that he could have played but his agent told him not to, because of contract issues? Yeah, let’s all keep pretending like the Madden Curse isn’t real. Just ask Drew Brees, who threw a career-high in interceptions last year and then lost to a 7-9 team in the playoffs.
With both teams missing their corners, you’d think this would be an offensive bonanza, but neither team has any good receivers either. Youngsters Greg Little and Doug Baldwin (both rookies if I’m not mistaken) are slowly becoming #1 receivers for these teams. I like both guys in fantasy leagues if you’re desperate. But don’t expect tons of scoring.
I don’t like picking the Browns to cover 3 points, but I like Charlie Whitehurst on the road even less. Cleveland 17-13.
"...don't expect tons of scoring." Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Browns win 6-3 in arguably the worst game in NFL history. When one team doubles the other team in yards, first downs and time of possesion, and yet can't cover a freaking 3 point spread, that kind of sucks.
Texans (3-3) @ Titans (3-2)
Line: TEN by 3
It’s a little early to say this game determines the winner of the AFC South, but it’s not too early to dismiss Indy and Jacksonville from the discussion. So this game is extremely important. Crappy timing for Houston to be without Andre Johnson. Of course, Mario Williams is out for the year, as is Kenny Britt, so this game sucks overall. Houston has more talent, particularly on the O-line, plus their secondary should be able to shut down Tennessee’s blah receivers. But Hasselbeck is rejuvenated, using the dink-and-dump to wear down defenses and move chains. Houston’s pass rush is pretty much gone without Mario, so that’ll help Hasselbeck a lot. Big game for both running backs, especially Foster. I keep going back and forth, but I’m probably going to side with Houston, 24-20.
Holy crap, speaking of a big game for Foster ... how about 230 total yards and 3 scores? Foster had more yards of offense than the entire Titans team. Chris Johnson is pathetic.
Over the next two weeks, Houston gets Andre Johnson back and plays Jacksonville and Cleveland, while the Titans host the Colts and Bengals. In other words, they'll be 6-3 and 5-3, building up to a climatic week 17 rematch that will decide which team wins the AFC South and gets pulverized by New England in the playoffs.
Broncos (1-4) @ Dolphins (0-5)
Line: MIA by 1.5
In case you live in a cave, Tim Tebow is starting this week for the Broncos. Actually, I’m pretty sure even people living in caves are wearing Tebow jerseys. What you may not have heard is that the 2008 Florida Gators are being honored during this game, meaning the Tebow-mania is going to be even more insane. Between the fact that Miami doesn’t have any real sports fans, and the fact that Tebow is a God in Florida … this is clearly a home game for the Broncos. Thus they should be favored by 3. And I’m obviously picking them. Here’s why:
Tebow isn’t bad. That’s right, I said it. He’s got plenty of mechanical issues which we’re all aware of, and he isn’t tall or accurate or poised in the pocket. He’s not Manning or Brady, and he never will be. But he could be the next Tony Romo, except not quite as strong with the deep ball. He could be a poor man’s Michael Vick, extending plays with his feet for so long that the secondary gets lost. Or, he could be the first Tim Tebow, a lovable leader with an unparalleled will to win and the support of every warm-blooded person in America.
Heck, I hated on Tebow during the 2010 draft like it was my job. I scoffed when Josh McDaniels took him in the first round. And I was right. Tebow wasn’t first-round pick material, and it was ridiculous to make him the primary story of the Draft when guys like Bradford and Suh were being selected. But now, I’ve been sucked in like everybody else. Tebow is going to succeed. He’s going to win some games. He’s going to lead Denver to 6-10 or 7-9 this year and retain the starting job next year. He's going to become the most beloved Bronco since Elway, even if he only wins 8 games a year. And he’s definitely going to beat the crap out of Miami, who is unabashedly losing on purpose so their coach will be fired and they can start anew with Andrew Luck. I like Denver, 27-10, and I freaking like Tim Tebow.
Watching Sunday Night Football with Alie when the highlights of Denver-Miami came on. Tebow got sacked, looked sad, then scored, scored again, high-fived a coach, then prayed on the sideline while everybody celebrated. My wife asks "Is he single?"
That pretty much sums it up, yeah?
Chiefs (2-3) @ Raiders (4-2)
Line: OAK by 4.5
My thoughts on the Palmer trade: both teams got what they wanted, but Cincinnati won the trade by a mile.
The NFL is all about drafting. Teams that draft well win Super Bowls. The three best drafting teams over the last 10 years have been Green Bay, New Orleans and Pittsburgh. When you don’t have a 1st round pick, it’s a freaking big deal. Well, Oakland didn’t have one last year, and now they don’t have one in 2012. It’s an enormous risk, and not a heck of a lot of potential reward. It made sense when Arizona mortgaged their future for Kevin Kolb. Maybe he was going to stink, but at least he was young and unknown. Giving up 1st round picks in consecutive years for Richard Seymour and Carson Palmer, both in the tail-end of their careers, is not smart business for the Raiders.
So it was a heck of a steal for Cincinnati. Actually, it was the best trade I’ve seen any team pull off in a really long time.
But for Oakland, I don’t completely hate it. Sure, Palmer was awful last season, but maybe a new environment will help him. It worked for Matt Hasselbeck. However, it didn’t work for guys like Jake Delhomme, Derek Anderson, Donovan McNabb, and the list goes on. But with Jason Campbell out for awhile, probably the rest of the year, it was a well-calculated risk. They gave up too much, but they probably had to do it. Why - because they’re 4-2. Nobody thought they would be 4-2 right now. If they were 2-4, they wouldn't have made this trade. But they have the league’s leading rusher and tons of confidence on defense and they seem to have found a coach they truly like for the first time in nearly a decade. So maybe this is their time. Maybe they can take advantage of the crappy AFC West and the lazy Chargers and sneak into the playoffs at 10-6. I doubt it, but maybe. They’ll run all over the Chiefs and win here, 26-10.
I don't mean to brag, but I was a freaking genius at 10:53 Saturday night, when I wrote "I am switching to KC...I don't trust Kyle Boller." Talk about a providential week. McFadden got hurt in the first quarter, and it was pretty much over at that point. KC was horrible, but Oakland was worse. Three quarterbacks attempted at least 14 passes in this game. Their QB ratings were 38.3 (Cassel), 22.3 (Boller), and 17.3 (Palmer). Now we remember why a pick-six was called a 'Palmer' last season. Holy crap, Oakland is screwed.
Raiders (4-3) next three weeks: BYE, DEN, @ SD
Chargers (4-2) next three: @KC, GB, OAK
Broncos (2-4) next three: DET, @OAK, @ KC
Chiefs (3-3) next three: SD, MIA, DEN (all home)
Assuming San Diego blows either the KC or Oakland game, they'll be 5-4. That's a high liklihood. So if Tebow can keep going Tebowesque things and win 2 of the next 3, we're looking at a DEN-KC-OAK tie at 4-5, all trailing the Bolts by one game going into week 11. What I'm saying is ... don't count the Broncos out of the playoffs.
Steelers (4-2) @ Cardinals (1-4)
Line: PIT by 4
When former Steelers coordinator Ken Whisenhunt left to be Arizona’s head coach, he took Russ Grimm and fifty other assistants with them. The Cardinals probably know the Steelers better than any team knows any team. Plus Arizona is finally healthy, Polamalu is playing hurt, Roethlisberger stinks in games he should win, and Larry Fitzgerald has a history of playing really well against Pittsburgh. A bunch of reasons to take the Cards.
But alas, the NFC West is a cruel temptress. I’m not getting fooled again. Steelers 26-20.
New rule when picking games: Ben Roethlisberger vs. Complete Lack of a Pass Rush = Steelers win.
Rams (0-5) @ Cowboys (2-3)
Line: DAL by 12.5
When I talked about the Rams way back in August, I noted that their schedule began with 5 brutal games in the first 7, and then went to a stretch of 7 should-win games. I said they needed to get off to at least a 3-4 start and they would be fine. Well, that didn’t happen. For a few reasons. One, Sam Bradford is playing like crap. Two, the secondary has reverted to its awful 2009 days. Third, they have the league's 32nd run defense. Once they fall behind, they can't stop anybody. And fourth, offensive injuries. They lost Danny Amendola, which might not seem like much, but the slot guy is essential in a Josh McDaniels offense. They can’t keep Steven Jackson on the field. Now Bradford has an ankle sprain, and is a gametime decision, which is a polite way of saying he’s out for two weeks. St. Louis has lost every game by at least 7 and an average of 17. Now they head to Dallas, who finally has two healthy receivers. A.J. Feeley is playing quarterback, so I don’t care that they added Brandon Lloyd. This game won’t be close. Cowboys 28, Rams 13.
Sidenote: Whatever Tony Romo does, it’s front-page news. Win big, win little, lose big, lose little. It doesn’t matter. If he’s playing, it becomes the most fascinating storyline in the NFL. I am so freaking sick of it, and thus I’ve vowed to not even talk about him until at least week 12. I don’t care if he throws 15 touchdowns this week. He and I are done.
A few days after my A League fantasy draft, I discovered I had made a major mistake by not taking DeMarco Murray. (Mainly because it's a keeper league). I was reading some column about the Cowboys offense and how much they liked the Oklahoma rookie, so I checked him out on YouTube. I honestly thought I was watching highlights of Adrian Peterson. The combo of strength and speed was unbelievable. I couldn't stop thinking "How did this guy not get drafted until the 3rd round?!" Apparently it had something to do with a toe injury in 2007 or something. What?
When he got dropped by the lucky bastard who drafted him, I was too lazy to pick him up. Felix Jones was getting all the carries. I knew Murray would be great when he got his chance, but I thought his chance was far away. I planned to stash Murray on my bench near the end of the year. Then, Felix got hurt, I missed the waiver frenzy, and Murray ran for 253 yards. I might have been the only person alive who wasn't all that surprised.
I did manage to pick up Murray in 9 of the other leagues. Not surprisingly, I went 10-2 this week in fantasy, losing the A League for the sixth straight week, but winning almost everywhere else. My only other loss was 226-229 to a bastard with Arian Foster.
Suddenly, Felix Jones is going to be looking for a job. Murray will be the starter in Dallas for many years. And I am probably going to trade my entire A League team for him.
Packers (6-0) @ Vikings (1-5)
Line: GB by 8
Packers are the anti-Rams. They’ve killed everyone they played, except New Orleans. They are blowing everybody out by halftime. Rodgers is playing like the hands-down MVP, and the defense gets better each week. Every week their line is too low. I’m pretty sure they’re 6-0 ATS this year.
Minnesota, on the other hand, is going with rookie Christian Ponder at quarterback, benching Chunky Soup McNabb. Donovan had gone six straight games without 230 passing yards. He’s got only 4 TDs in 6 games. His completion percentage is 60.3%. It’s safe to say his career is done.
Ponder will do a lot of handing-off to AP, and the Packers will put 9 in the box. On 3rd downs when Ponder has to pass, he’s really going to struggle. I’d guess his final stat line is something like 8/20, 75 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT. Not going to be a memorable first game. I’m surprised Minny didn’t wait another week instead of throwing their rookie QB at the Packers and watching him get devoured. Maybe it’ll be a good learning experience. Build character or something. Packers 31-14.
No freaking idea how Minnesota manged to keep this game within 8, but since I went 9-2-1 this week I'm not going to complain. Rodgers has played 7 games this year, and his lowest QB Rating yet is 111.4. Average for the year is 125.7, with 20 TDs and 3 picks. And a 7-0 record. Somewhere, Brett Favre is getting drunk and watching highlights of the '96 Packers, muttering under his breath as he falls asleep ... "he's like a kid out there ... he's a gunslinger ...real comfortable jeans ..."
Colts (0-6) @ Saints (4-2)
Line: NO by 14
As I’ve said before, the Saints don’t like to cover big spreads. Sean Payton is 3-10 ATS against double-digit spreads. It’s not that they lose against bad teams, they just don’t blow people out very often. Probably because they always lack an inside running game. Well, this game will be an exception. Saints are clicking, they are pissed off, and they are at home against a tremendously bad team that isn’t trying. I’ll take New Orleans 42-7. Be very afraid if you're playing against Brees this week.
Honest question: are the Colts really that bad, or are they losing on purpose? I seriously have no idea. Maybe both? They're going to be in serious contention for Luck, which is going to make the Internet explode.
First coach fired is going to be Tony Sparano, but it should be Jim Caldwell. What a pathetic display. Plenty of good teams have lost their quarterback and still competed. Caldwell gave up on the season before week 1, and his players did too. If I were Bill Polian I would fire that guy so quick he would just stare at me with a dumb blank expression on his face. Wait ...
Ravens (4-1) @ Jaguars (1-5)
Line: BAL by 7
It’s like Monday Night Football isn’t even trying to create good matchups. What the crap is this?
All Jacksonville can do offensively is run the ball, and you can’t run against Baltimore. This year, you can’t really pass on them either. Baltimore could punt on 1st down every possession and still cover this spread. But they won’t. Instead Flacco will shred the porous and injured Jags secondary and prove why the Ravens are currently the best team in the AFC. Baltimore 28-0.
Bonus prediction: Rangers over Cardinals in 7. And Pujols is going to get $260 million over the next 8 years. Not sure yet if it'll be the Cubs or Cardinals, but I'm leaning towards Cubs.