Ok, a bit of momentum. 10-6 last week, 86-74 overall (as always, against the spread).
- NE @ Det (+6.5). Sometimes when I look at Bill Belichick on the sidelines I wonder if he missed his last meal. He often looks like someone who is annoyed by how hungry he is. Detroit, meanwhile, is plenty hungry and I think they’ll pull off an upset. Dave Rayner the unlikely hero? Det 26, NE 23.
- NO @ Dal (+3.5). The Saints’ opponents through Week 11 have had a combined record of 41-59. Nice schedule. And while their final 3 games are tough (@ Balt, @ Atlanta, home vs TB), their next 3 games should be easy: @ Dallas, @ Cincy, home vs the Rams. The Saints just aren’t the same this year. Their #4 team defense ranking is seriously skewed by the fact that they’ve played some incredibly bad offenses. This team could end up struggling to make the playoffs in the crowded NFC if Atlanta keeps cruising. Dal 31, NO 23.
- Cincy @ NYJ (-9.5). Tempted to take Cincy here because the Jets seem to make every game close, no matter the opponent. But Cincy is awful. Giving up 35 unanswered points to Buff in the second half is awful…especially at home! No last minute heroics in this one. Sorry Sanchez. NYJ 37, Cincy 17.
- GB @ Atl (-2.5). Game of the week. I had these two teams in the NFC Championship before the year started and I don’t think it’s a stretch to think it still may happen. The Packers have given up 10 points in the last 3 games. 10. That’s ridiculous. GB 27, Atl 20.
- MN @ Wash (-2.5). Wash is a crazy team. What are they? Who are they? How did they come back from the Philly pounding to take out what many thought was a quality team in Tenn…on the road no less? Despite the big win last week, it’s still tough to get behind Wash. In fact this week, I have the feeling they’ll get handled by an angry team no longer burdened by an unpopular leader. MN 34, Wash 16.
- Pitt @ Buff (+6.5). Richard Seymour’s barbaric forearm clubbing of Ben Roethlisberger may eventually be regarded as an innovation in NFL fighting. For years, NFL fights have been incredibly lame because there hasn’t been a way to dramatically escalate fights beyond pushing and shoving due to all of the padding, helmets, facemasks etc. You can’t just resolve the dispute definitively by punching a guy in the face like you can in every other sport. Fights always feel unfinished. Seymour’s creative, definitive action, however, may have changed that. This game will likely have an upset feel to it for the first 3 quarters until a devastating pick six by Polamalu. Pitt 24, Buff 17.
- Car @ Cleve (-10.5). Has a 3-7 team ever been favored by 10.5 points? And has 10.5 points ever been too small a spread for a game favoring a 3-7 team? It’s possible that with the options both teams apparently have at QB heading into this week, they may agree before the game to simply play without QBs. Cleve 31, Car 13.