Following a nice Week 10 (10-4
ATS), I crapped the bed in Week 11 (6-7-1). There are still a handful of
teams that I honestly don't have a solid read on...kinda disconcerting
this late in a season.
me, Philadelphia must be faded until further notice. Simply fading
Sanchez is usually a good bet; when you factor in a crumbling defensive
unit and a locker room that is reportedly coming apart at the seams, how
can you justify picking the Eagles? Four days isn't enough time to
address their growing list of problems. I can see Megatron eclipsing 200
yards vs. Byron Maxwell/Nolan Carroll.
of the Week. I love this spot for the Cowboys; an absolute must-win
situation vs. a team that has created some cushion in the NFC and blew
their wad against Washington. Don't underestimate the absence of Peanut
Tillman in this one. Without Tillman, Benwikere moves to the perimeter,
meaning the godawful Colin Jones draws slot duties. Cole Beasley should
Bennett is out, so if Alshon Jeffery can't go, Jay Cutler's starting
receivers will be Marquess Wilson, Josh Bellamy and Zach Miller. That's
practice squad-quality. Given Jay Cutler's history vs. GB and the
absence of secondary QB Antrel Rolle, there seems little hope for the
Bears. Still, I can't shake the feeling that they will keep it close if
Matt Forte is active. This might be Chicago's Super Bowl, and with high
winds/frozen rain in the forecast, both teams could be restricted to
ball-control offense...an ideal scenario for John Fox and the
Forte/Langford duo. If both Forte and Jeffery can go and the pregame
forecast is as expected, I may jump on the Bears.
Run Defenses: Rush yards per carry allowed to running backs: (Last game/Season)
New England Patriots (6-0) - I can't see the Patriots losing this year. They just demolished the top team in the NFC by 21 points. After beating the upstart Browns by "only" 17, Bill Belichick looked like he was content to go home, turn on the hot water in his tub and slit his wrists. Tom Brady is on pace to break the touchdown record, and unlike Peyton Manning in 2004, he has the defense behind him to go undefeated.
Indianapolis Colts (6-0) - No Peyton Manning pep talk this week; Manning had the week off, so he spent his seven days filming commercials for DLP (he was harassed by the "It's the Mirrors" Girl and her elephant), Wendy's (he donned a red wig and pined for meatier, juicer burgers) and Viagra (you will soon see him singing, "Viva, Viagra!" with a bunch of losers in an empty bar.)
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) - I think the Colts are the only team that can potentially knock off the Patriots. Moving down a step, I believe Pittsburgh matches up well with Indianapolis; Manning hates going against the 3-4, and the Steelers have Super Bowl experience.
Dallas Cowboys (5-1) - Dear, Readers. Due to the magnitude of Sunday's blowout loss to the Patriots, and high volume of questions for me about how good (or bad) the Cowboys are, I won't have anything to say about them until next week. P.S. If you bring me popcorn, I'll tell you what I think about them (I'm hungry.)
Tennessee Titans (3-2) - I can't really count Tennessee's loss at Tampa Bay as a defeat; the Titans had no chance with Vince Young out of the game, even though Kerry Collins played particularly well, despite the fact no one even knew he was still in the league.
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-1) - The Jaguars' top running back gets like 10 carries per game, and their best wide out (Dennis Northcutt) barely made the team in Cleveland last year. They cut their starting quarterback a week prior to the season, while their former punter nearly sliced his foot off with an ax a few seasons ago. Yet, Jacksonville is 4-1 and has a legitimate shot at a first-round bye in the AFC this year. What is the world coming to?
Green Bay Packers (5-1) - Brett Favre broke the interception record against the Redskins, only to be congratulated by everyone in the media, including Chris Berman. That got me thinking. If we set records for ineptness, will people talk about how great we are? I think I'm going to bathrooms all across America and clog more toilets than anyone in the history of the world. Once I accomplish that feat, I'm going to be expecting thank-you cards from everyone. That's basically my goal in life right now.
New York Giants (4-2) - Eli Manning was incredible on Monday night, going 27-of-39, 303 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of picks. The Giants looked just as sharp as the Colts, at least in the first half. Manning's downfall, however, has been performing at this level in November and December. Let's see if that changes this year.
San Diego Chargers (3-3) - Why don't the Chargers wear those powder-blue uniforms all the time? They look incredible. It just doesn't make sense that they don't make a permanent change to them, until you realize that it's all part of a conspiracy. San Diego won't make the switch to those jerseys, and the team refused to give the ball to LaDainian Tomlinson the first four weeks of the season. The common link between the two? Norv Turner! That's right... Turner is behind everything. He makes himself look dumb by calling 50 passes every week, but he's really the mastermind who's controlling everything in San Diego.
Washington Redskins (3-2) - I'm not sure what to think of the Redskins. On one hand, they barely defeated the winless Dolphins, beat up on the crappy Eagles and clobbered the Lions, who can't win on the road. Meanwhile, their two losses were second-half collapses to a pair of stout NFC squads (Giants and Packers). They could be 5-0 or 2-3.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-6) - The Randy Mueller Quote of the Week (he never really said this, obviously, but this is how he talks): "Good golly gee, wow, we are now in control of our division and oh geez golly jolly we had such a nice game against those Cleveland Indians. It was oh oh oh oh so nice to see our Lemon guy throw such a great throws in place of Trent Green. Ronnie Brown is so terrific right now, it's so special to see him getting so many carries. Our head coach is so smart, it's really overwhelming sometimes, especially when I catch him taking a sneak peek at some Web sites my daddy looks at when I'm not home. Hoo boy, I'm so excited about our trip to France to play the New York Jets. Gee whiz, it's going to be a good time. Wow."
31. St. Louis Rams (0-6) - Great news! Marc Bulger is back! If only he didn't suck before he was hurt...
30. Atlanta Falcons (1-5) - The Falcons are miserable to watch. They're not the worst team in the league; they just make more mistakes than any other squad. Check out these mental errors they committed on Monday night: Roddy White dropped a first down inside the 20 on the first drive; Demorrio Williams was whistled for roughing the punter, which set up the Giants' first touchdown; the offense couldn't get any points after recovering an Eli Manning fumble on the Giants' 30; Joe Horn dropped the ball beyond the marker on third down in the second quarter; and Alge Crumpler couldn't reel in anything thrown to him.
29. New York Jets (1-5) - I have no idea why I didn't list the Jets and their quarterback, Chad Pennington, who throws the ball like an 8-year-old girl, in my Bottom 10 last week. My bad.
28. Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) - It's unbelievable that the Chiefs are 3-3 and leading the AFC West. so, with that in mind... about 1,000 people weren't polled in Kansas City, asking how the Chiefs have achieved a 3-3 record after six weeks: 55% - Herm Edwards' experience running NFL.com fashion shows has made him better at orchestrating the two-minute offense. 20% - Players have bought in to Larry Johnson's sit-on-the-couch-all-offseason diet, and everyone is in shape. 15% - Damon Huard? Easily the next John Elway. 10% - Jared Allen tends to run over his opponents after a night of drinking.
27. Oakland Raiders (2-3) - Letters From Dominic (I ran a segment last year composing fake letters from Edgerrin James to Peyton Manning. This year, I'm doing the same thing for Dominic Rhodes): "Dear Payton, I no you had a weak off so I hope you didn't bet on my team against the San Diego Padres! I bet against myself and lossed, but then I remember I make millions of dollars! Ha! Not as much as you obvious, because I was toll you're contract is the reason I'm not in the city of Indiana anymore. But I still got the bling-bling if you no what I'm sayin! Can I have you're autograph. You're friend, Domonick Rhodez!"
26. Arizona Cardinals (3-3) - I guess we have to put the Cardinals here because by the time Kurt Warner comes back, they'll be like 4-8. And by the way, isn't it amazing that I'm listing two first-place teams in my Bottom 10? Why are there so many mediocre teams in the NFL?
25. Buffalo Bills (1-4) - The Music City Miracle. The Disaster Against Dallas. Wide Right. The other three Super Bowls. The Bills love losing the most excruciating way possible in an effort to torture their fans. Oddities on how the Bills will experience their next disheartening loss. 5:1 - The Bills will be up 49-0 with 10 minutes remaining. Dick Jauron will replace Trent Edwards with J.P. "Girly-Voice Man" Losman, who will throw eight pick-sixes, losing the game 56-49. 5:1 - Buffalo, up 20-14, will kneel down to ice the game. Unfortunately, the team will botch the snap, allowing the defense to return the ball for a touchdown. 21-20. 5:1 - Rian Lindell will miss eight 20-yard field goals, as the Bills lose 2-0. 5:1 - Down six late in the fourth quarter, Marshawn Lynch will find an open crease and run toward daylight. Unfortunately, he'll trip over the Bills logo at midfield and fumble the ball. 5:1 - Buffalo will successfully orchestrate a hook-and-ladder and score a touchdown to draw within one. The extra point? Wide right!
24. Minnesota Vikings (2-3) - Like I wrote two weeks ago, the Vikings can run the ball and stop the run better than anyone in the NFL. If that damn gravity thing that keeps things from floating up in the air was stronger, Minnesota would be the best team in the NFL. And by the way, can we quit it with Adrian Peterson being better than LaDainian Tomlinson? He's played five games in the NFL! The knock on him was his durability; once he starts carrying the ball more, he could wear down.
23. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) - I'm sick of people saying "It must be tough to be Peyton Manning's brother" in regard to Eli. Yeah, it must be so difficult to play football for a living, make millions of dollars and get any girl you want.
The Rest: 11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 12. Seattle Seahawks. 13. Cleveland Browns. 14. Cincinnati Bengals. 15. Baltimore Ravens. 16. San Francisco 49ers. 17. Houston Texans.
18. New Orleans Saints. 19. Carolina Panthers. 20. Detroit Lions. 21. Denver Broncos. 22. Chicago Bears.