Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kerrzy’s Notebook: NFL Week Eight Picks

Well, it’s that time again – another week of football is upon us. Three undefeated teams remain, three teams are still looking for their first win.

Last week I was a little worried about my picks, but ended up going 11-2, taking me to 53-18 overall. Here are my picks for this week:

Denver (6-0) @ Baltimore (3-3)

My pick: Baltimore

-The Ravens have been unlucky since going 3-0 to start the season – a loss by a touchdown to the Pats, a loss by a field goal to the Bengals and a two-point loss to the Vikings two weeks ago, so I think it’s time their luck changes.

Houston (4-3) @ Buffalo (3-4)

My pick: Houston

-The Texans and Bills are both coming off big wins last week – but Houston will come out on top this time around. Their 3rd ranked passing game will be the difference and if Buffalo hopes to get in this one, it’ll take something special.

Cleveland (1-6) @ Chicago (3-3)

My pick: Chicago

-The Bears looked like cubs against the Bengals last week, so look for them to try and get back in the win column against a struggling Cleveland side that has just one win this season. Jay Cutler has been one of the league’s best pivots so far this season and he’s got to bounce back.

Seattle (2-4) @ Dallas (4-2)

My pick: Dallas

-The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the most inconsistent good teams this season – every time they come up with a win, they seem to have a poor effort the following week. This week should be different against the Seahawks, who have been pretty inconsistent too. Dallas’ Miles Austin has been one of the best receivers in the league the past few weeks, so he could be a big threat against Seattle’s mid-table pass defense.

Miami (2-4) @ NY Jets (4-3)

My pick: Miami

-The Jets are coming off a big win over the Raiders, but that’s a game they really HAD to win. The Dolphins have been impressive all season long, and have a win over NY already this season. They’ve had a very tough schedule to start the year, so despite playing quite well, they’ve only racked up two wins. A win this week would be a step in the right direction.

San Francisco (3-3) @ Indianapolis (6-0)

My pick: Indianapolis

-Looking at the stats, this one will be all Indianapolis – but the on-paper doesn’t always match up with the on-field. In this case though, the Colts are playing like a team that could be playing deep into the postseason. The Colts are averaging over 400 total yards of offense per game compared to just 272 for San Fran and Peyton Manning has been an absolute beast for Indie this year.

NY Giants (5-2) @ Philadelphia (4-2)

My pick: New York

-Eli Manning has had a tough couple of weeks, starting with a humbling loss to the Saints, but you can’t keep a good man down long and I think he’ll be looking to lead his team back to the winning side of things. The Eagles have played good in most of their games this season but that loss to the Raiders has me questioning their consistency.

St. Louis (0-6) @ Detroit (1-5)

My pick: St. Louis

-Here’s a tough one – a winless team against a team with just one win. The Rams best chance at snapping their 17-game losing streak could come against the equally bad Detroit Lions – who may be without their starting quarterback for a third straight game. Despite being 0-6, the Rams have the league’s third-leading rusher this season in Steven Jackson – he could be a factor in this one.

Oakland (2-5) @ San Diego (3-3)

My pick: San Diego

-The Raiders are coming off a shutout loss at home last week, meanwhile the Chargers had a confidence-building big win over a weak team. I think they’ll take that momentum into this one and beat another weak team. Oakland QB JaMarcus Russell was benched last week against the Jets, but will get another chance in San Diego – he’s got just two TD passes all season long.

Jacksonville (3-3) @ Tennessee (0-6)

My pick: Jacksonville

-David Garrard had three touchdown passes in the week four meeting between these two clubs, and with both teams coming off a bye, both will be well rested and ready to go – which is a tough break for the winless Titans. If the Jags can get a good ground game going to match their passing game, they’ll win this one easily.

Minnesota (6-1) @ Green Bay (4-2)

My pick: Minnesota

-This is a huge game for Brett Favre and an even bigger game for the Green Bay Packers, so composure will be huge when it comes to quarterbacking a winner. It’ll be an emotional return for Favre, but I think he’s played in enough big games that if it comes down to composure, this’ll be a win for the Vikings.

Carolina (2-4) @ Arizona (4-2)

My pick: Arizona

-The Cardinals are riding high after a big win over the NY Giants last weekend, handing them their second loss of the season. On the other side of the ball will be the Carolina Panthers, who lost to the lowly Bills. Kurt Warner has been impressive this year with Larry Fitzgerald being the beneficiary of a lot of that action, and I think that’ll continue into this week.

Atlanta (4-2) @ New Orleans (6-0)

My pick: New Orleans

-As good as the Falcons have looked at times this year (and I’m a big fan of Michael Turner), the New Orleans Saints have looked almost TOO good this season. They’re playing at home again this week too, and that’s where they trounced the NY Giants a couple of weeks ago. The Saints are averaging almost 40 points and almost 430 yards of offense per game, while giving up just 21 points and 306 yards.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: Addictions

It’s about time I wrote a non-NFL picks related blog, so here it is!

We’ve all got some kind of addiction, whether it’s coffee, candy, primetime TV, Mountain Dew or crystal meth…wait, what? God love the internet, that’s all I can say.

Lets start with Washington Wizards forward Caron Butler, who gave us all a glimpse into his personal life via his NBA.com blog, titled “The Real Juice” (hat tip to Sports By Brooks for this one).

In a post called “Un-Doing The Dew,” Butler talks about kicking a Mountain Dew addiction that had him crushing about six cans PER DAY of the stuff. It was so bad that he says he was going through withdrawals, which included headaches and the sweats. Crazy!

Just how bad was it? Butler says he’d down a can before bed, wake up at 2am and have another and then start off his day in the morning with a nice cup of coffee…just kidding, another can of Dew. Don’t forget one before practice and two before games. Damn!

Who would have thought you could become addicted to something like Mountain Dew? Maybe it’s just an urban legend, but I’ve heard that in the US, that particular beverage has a lot more stuff in it that couldn’t pass regulations here in Canada…but again, who knows.

So, we’ve tackled soft drink addiction – now lets move on to crystal meth.

The once-mulleted Andre Agassi will apparently “Open” up about using meth in his new book, according to a now-deleted “tweet” from a Sports Illustrated writer.

It sounds like we’re going to learn about Agassi being forced to give up a regular childhood in exchange for eventual fame and fortune, which I guess led to drug use at some point. Not to make light of the situation, but if you remember his hair back in the early days of his on-court dominance, he sort of looked the part!

His book drops on November 9th and at that point he’ll surely make the rounds – 60 minutes, Larry King, etc. Should be interesting to see just how deep into it he got.

From the excerpt I read though, it appears this is another case of parents forcing a lifestyle on a child where they grow up feeling “isolated, alienated [and] detached” (granted, he did become very rich and quite famous).

Since everyone else is airing out their dirty laundry, I’ve got a confession too – I’m addicted to an unhealthy diet, not going to the gym and living a pretty lazy lifestyle. I’m trying to kick those habits though…

OH! I almost forgot – again, a hat tip to Sports By Brooks for this one.

Poor Phil Jackson. We’ve all been left hangin’ by a friend at one time or another – most of us weren’t on national TV at the time though!





Friday, October 23, 2009

Kerrzy’s Notebook: NFL Week Seven Picks

The NFL travels to London, England this week for one game, but back here on this side of the world there are more than a couple interesting games.

Last week I went 10-4 to take me to 42-16 overall. Here are my picks for this week:

Green Bay (3-2) @ Cleveland (1-5)

My pick: Green Bay

-The Browns 23rd ranked pass defense was victimized by the Pittsburgh Steelers last week in a 27-14 loss, and while Aaron Rodgers isn't exactly Ben Roethlisberger, he should be able to do a similar amount of damage. His offensive line has allowed him to be sacked a league-high 25 times this season in just five games, yet he's still been pretty effective. Even if the Browns get him on his back a few times they're having a lot of trouble putting points on the board (11 completed passes and 20 points in their last two games, while registering five sacks), so that may not be that big of a factor.

San Francisco (3-2) @ Houston (3-3)

My pick: Houston

-If the Niners are going to win this game, it'll have to be on the ground because Shaun Hill's isn't really killing it in the air so far this season. The Houston Texans have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the league this season, losing the week after each of their three wins this season, but quarterback Matt Schaub has been playing lights out football since a disappointing start in week one. Rookie Michael Crabtree is expected to make his debut for San Fran this weekend, but I don't think it'll matter. The Texans will shake their win-then-lose streak on Sunday.

San Diego (2-3) @ Kansas City (1-5)

My pick: San Diego

-The Chargers are coming off a tough loss last week to Denver, but they’ll bounce back this week against the Chiefs. KC won last week, but it was against Washington, though they have shown signs of life in the weeks leading up to that win. The pressure is on for San Diego though, and I expect Philip Rivers and company will rise to the challenge.

Indianapolis (5-0) @ St. Louis (0-6)

My pick: Indianapolis

-I promise you, I won’t ALWAYS pick the undefeated team to beat the winless team – but Peyton Manning is playing the best football of his career and the Rams…well, they aren’t. The only thing the Rams do better than the Colts is on the ground, but they also put an average of just nine points per game, compared to over 27 by Indianapolis. I have to give this one to a rested Colts team.

New England (4-2) @ Tampa Bay (0-6)

My pick: New England

-The snow won’t be a factor this weekend, but it wasn’t a factor for the Pats last weekend when Tom Brady threw six touchdown passes in a 59-0 rout of the Titans. The only variable in this game is that it’s in London, England. It shouldn’t really matter though, the Patriots may have just found their rhythm and that is a bad sign for a team like Tampa Bay.

Minnesota (6-0) @ Pittsburgh (4-2)

My pick: Pittsburgh

-The Vikings luck on the undefeated front almost ran out last week when it came down to a last second missed field goal by Baltimore. Meanwhile, the Steelers got off to a slow start, but have won three in a row. It’s only a matter of time before the Vikings lose a game, and I think it’ll happen against a Pittsburgh team that seems to have got their act together in the last few weeks.

Buffalo (2-4) @ Carolina (2-3)

My pick: Carolina

-The Panthers have won two straight and are coming up against a Buffalo team that has performed well below expectations this season so far. Statistically, these two teams are quite close but I think Carolina’s 12-ranked defense will outperform Buffalo’s. Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith was rattled after making just one catch in last week’s win over Tampa Bay, so look for him to really try to make an impact.

NY Jets (3-3) @ Oakland (2-4)

My pick: New York

-Mark Sanchez looked horrible last week in the Jets’ overtime loss to Buffalo and the Raiders will be riding high after a huge upset over the Philadelphia Eagles…but I don’t think Oakland’s got what it takes to make it two straight. Sanchez really has to prove himself after throwing five interceptions last week and playing the Raiders should give him a good chance to get back into the zone.

Chicago (3-2) @ Cincinnati (4-2)

My pick: Cincinnati

-In the first five weeks of the season, the Cincinnati Bengals waited until the last minute to either win or lose a game. Last week, they lost to Houston and I think this week they’ll be looking to avenge that loss with a big home win over the Bears. Look for Chad Ochocinco and Cedric Benson to lead the Bengals offense, and even though their defense is hurting without Antwan Odom, I think that’ll be enough.

Atlanta (4-1) @ Dallas (3-2)

My pick: Dallas

-Despite the rise of the Atlanta Falcons in the past few weeks, the rested Dallas Cowboys will come out on top in this one. Dallas’ offense has a good balance of passing and rushing, while the defense seems to be fairly consistent. If Tony Romo is on his game, the Cowboys will prevail. The Dallas defense will be in tough though against a very comfortable looking Matt Ryan and a very dangerous Michael Turner.

New Orleans (5-0) @ Miami (2-3)

My pick: New Orleans

-I’ve been very impressed with the Miami Dolphins this season, but the Saints have stomped all over their competition right from the get go this year, including a dominating performance over the then-undefeated NY Giants last week. Drew Brees is a beast through five weeks, leading an offense that averages almost 40 points per game. The two defenses are pretty close in the rankings, but I expect the Saints offense to be the difference.

Arizona (3-2) @ NY Giants (5-1)

My pick: New York

-I didn’t pick the Cardinals last week and they pumped the Seattle Seahawks, but I’m not picking them again this week. Why? Because the Giants are a good team that was embarrassed last week on the road, and now they’re back at home. Eli Manning needs a good bounce-back performance this week. Honestly though, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald lead the Cards to the win.

Philadelphia (3-2) @ Washington (2-4)

My pick: Philadelphia

-You’d have to think that after last week, the Eagles will come out looking to prove something against the Redskins. Donovan McNabb completed just 22 of 46 passes last week with no touchdowns in a loss to the damn Oakland Raiders (who saw that coming?!) in one of those games I’ve heard he’s known for where he just loses it for a week. In the air, the Eagles have the advantage (and not just because they’re birds), but then again – that depends on McNabb coming out with a strong performance. The Redskins are averaging just 13 points a game this season but their defense is playing a lot better than the offense. The Eagles will take this one.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: NFL Week Six Picks

I had my first sub-par week last week after two pretty solid weeks of football prognostication to start things off.

After going 8-6, I’m now 32-12, which is still pretty good in my eyes.
I was 8-6 – I picked wrong in that snooze-fest between the Browns and the Bills, was completely off in Seattle’s rout of Jacksonville and was on the wrong end of the Miami/NYJ game (35 fourth quarter points, go figure). Those are the ones that really stung, anyway.

Here are my picks for this week:

Houston (2-3) @ Cincinnati (4-1)

My pick: Cincinnati

-Every week, it seems like the Bengals streak of last-minute wins will finally end – but it hasn’t yet. I’m going to go with my gut and take the ‘Cardiac Cats,’ as the NFL has labeled them, to win this one. If they do manage to pull it out, it’ll likely be thanks to their ground game against Houston’s 26th ranked pass defense.

Detroit (1-4) @ Green Bay (2-2)

My pick: Green Bay

-The Packers are coming off a bye week, and Detroit is Detroit, so I’m thinking a rested Green Bay team will be able to breeze past the Lions. Matthew Stafford is questionable for the Lions, which means Dante Culpepper could see action – his lack of game reps this season could be a big factor. Look for the Packers offensive line to try and limit the number of sacks on Aaron Rodgers, who’s been taken down 20 times in four games.

St. Louis (0-5) @ Jacksonville (2-3)

My pick: Jacksonville

-I don’t know what is going to be harder to pick – this game, between two clubs that were outscored a combined 79-10 last week, or the Giants and the Saints. Seriously. I’m going to go with Jacksonville though, because Mike Sims-Walker, one of the top receivers in the NFL this season, will be back in the lineup with something to prove. He was dropped from the team last week for violating team rules…so you know he’ll want to prove something this week.

Baltimore (3-2) @ Minnesota (5-0)

My pick: Minnesota

-Don’t let that 3-2 record fool you – the Ravens were 3-0 before a six point loss to New England and a last-minute loss to the Bengals. Then again, the Vikings are 5-0 and Adrian Peterson hasn’t been the number one factor every game; that 40-year-old guy at pivot has been pretty good too. Going strictly by the statistics so far, the Ravens will pick up more net yards, but the Vikings will outscore them. I’m going to give Minnesota the edge, just because they’re tough to play at home and the Ravens defense hasn’t been at their best the last couple of weeks.

NY Giants (5-0) @ New Orleans Saints (4-0)

My pick: New Orleans

-This is a tough one, but my gut is either telling me that we’re hungry or that the Saints will be the undefeated team when all is said and done. I just ate, so I’m going to go with the latter. I pray to god this game is on regular TV because it’ll most definitely be one heck of a battle. The New Orleans defense has given up just three touchdown passes this season, and their offense has been carried by the passing game some weeks and the run game other weeks. I can’t wait to see this one!

Cleveland (1-4) @ Pittsburgh (3-2)

My pick: Pittsburgh

-The Steelers make me sweat when it gets to the fourth quarter every damn week, but they’re winning games and I guess that’s what’s important. The defense has been inconsistent when it comes to playing a full game, but should get a boost with Troy Polamalu’s return to the lineup. He’s been out since week one with a knee injury and the D has suffered. Also expected back is running back Willie Parker and he’ll be sharing reps with Rashard Mendenhall, who has emerged as a real threat for the Steelers. Shouldn’t be hard for Derek Anderson to improve on his performance last week – he completed two passes – but it won’t be enough.

Carolina (1-3) @ Tampa Bay (0-5)

My pick: Carolina

-I don’t want to always just bet against the winless team, but with these two clubs pretty even statistically, I think it’ll come down to experience at the quarterback position. Jake Delhomme is 8-2 all-time against the Bucs, while Josh Johnson is a second-year pro on a winless team. DeAngelo Williams had a monster season for Carolina last year but hasn’t had a break out game yet this season – maybe this is the one!

Kansas City (0-5) @ Washington (2-3)

My pick: Kansas City

-Like I said, I hate to always bet against the winless team – so I say the Chiefs will take down the Redskins this week, based on the fact that Washington’s got a banged up defensive line. The Chiefs had their winless hearts broken last week with an OT loss to the Dallas Cowboys (if this was hockey, they’d be 0-4-1) – look for them to build on that. Matt Cassel has two TD passes in each of his last four games, so it’s not like they aren’t putting points on the board.

Philadelphia (3-1) @ Oakland (1-4)

My pick: Philadelphia

-I don’t even really need to get into the statistics behind this pick – the Raiders are BAD. JaMarcus Russell has one touchdown pass this season, in five games. The Eagles have blown out their last two opponents and haven’t even really used all of their offensive weapons. Maybe Michael Vick will get some more touches this week, that might be the only reason to even watch this game. Maybe the Raiders have had enough of being the worst team out there and they’ll surprise Philly, but I doubt it.

Arizona (2-2) @ Seattle (2-3)

My pick: Seattle

-I bet against Seattle last week and they burned me with a 41-0 thrashing of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Matt Hasselbeck threw four TD passes in his return from injury…here’s an interesting tidbit: Arizona’s pass defense is WORSE than Jacksonville’s. If that’s not bad enough for the Cardinals, Seattle’s ground game is far better than theirs at this point in the season, so it’ll be on Kurt Warner’s shoulders to lead his team past the Seahawks. I just don’t think it’ll happen.

Tennessee (0-5) @ New England (3-2)

My pick: New England

-The Titans have better statistics than you might expect for an 0-5 club, for example: their offense is ranked 17th and their defense is a slightly worse 23rd. Yeah, that’s not amazing – but they’re the best of the winless clubs. The Patriots have been inconsistent but you have to think they’ll be able to beat the Titans. They lost to the Jets when they were hot and they lost in OT to the 5-0 Broncos. It’s not like they lost to the Titans…or maybe they will this week.

Buffalo (1-4) @ NY Jets (3-2)

My pick: New York

-Early in the season, all we heard about was the “poise” of Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez – this week we’ll find out if it was legit or not. Sanchez was bad in NY’s loss to the Saints in week four, throwing up three interceptions and a fumble. Last week he was better in a last-minute loss to the Dolphins and played well with newcomer Braylon Edwards. This week Sanchez can add to the woes of the Bills, who have struggled down the stretch. They’ve got a good pass defense but their offense stinks – they scored three points last week and 10 or less in each of their last three games. I’m done basing my bet on Terrell Owens stealing a game for Buffalo.

Chicago (3-1) @ Atlanta (3-1)

My pick: Atlanta

-The Falcons thumped the Niners last week while the Bears were on a bye week. Overall, the Falcons tend to rack up more yards per game and give up fewer points than the Bears, but they’ll also be riding high after a win over a 3-1 team last week…and an emphatic one at that. Watch out for Michael Turner, who’s two off the lead for rushing majors with five on the season.

Denver (5-0) @ San Diego (2-2)

My pick: Denver

-It’s hard to argue with a 5-0 record, and while the Chargers are a good club playing at home, the stats don’t lie. In four games, San Diego has given up an average of 365 yards, including a whopping 150 rushing yards (while averaging just 53 yards on the ground on offense). The one statistic that stands out for me is Denver allowing under nine points per game, compared to over 25 being allowed by the Chargers. The Broncos will stay undefeated.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: Vegan Tough Guy says Sorry

When you read the title of this post, I bet you didn't think I was talking about six-foot-three, 245-pound pugilist Georges Laraque - but yes, the former Oiler is saying he's sorry after appearing in a commercial that's being slammed as sexist by women's groups in Quebec.

The online ad, which I first saw on TheScore.com blog (which is awesome, by the way) back on October 1st, is for an alcoholic energy drink and features Laraque playing street hockey against a team of scantily clad women with very thorough stretching routines (you don't want to pull a muscle, right?).

The Montreal tough guy is actually only featured in the last 20-ish seconds of the 1:06 commercial (wearing some kind of weird spandex shin covers), with the other 45 seconds made up of gratuitous shots of the Octane girls "getting ready" for the big game.

Turns out he's in trouble with the league as well - Article 25.1 of the league's CBA states no player can sponsor or endorse an alcoholic beverage. Uh oh! When asked by The Canadian Press if Laraque would face any punishment, the league had no comment, saving that storyline for another day I guess.

There's no question that Georges Laraque is a great guy, but you've got to chuckle a bit when you hear his comments in the aftermath of this situation. For example, he told reporters "That's not the kind of thing I'd agree to promote," after practise on Tuesday.

Really? Because the commercial clearly shows you posing with four cans of the stuff and ends with your name and number next to a can that shows the alcohol content of said product (7%, if you're wondering).

Laraque says the only reason he did the commercial is because it offered a big sum of money, that he in turn donated to an animal rights charity, most likely PETA, the group he joined after watching a documentary about the exploitation of animals.

Oh, and yeah theres another interesting fact that I learned when reading up on this story...believe it or not, Georges Laraque - the undisputed champ among NHL heavyweights - is a vegan!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kerrzy’s Notebook: Trading Places?

It’s no secret that a LOT of people here in the City of Champions still have a severe hate on for former Oilers owner Peter Pocklington.

I’m just going out on a limb here, but I’m going to say it has something to do with the events of August 9th, 1988 – the day Peter Puck traded “The Great One” to the LA Kings. Could it have been worse though?

In a new book with a title sure to fire up Edmontonians, Pocklington makes a pretty shocking revelation that, had it happened, would surely have changed the identity of our town.

Pocklington’s biography is called “I'd Trade Him Again,” and in it, he talks about a deal that fell through at the last minute between himself and former Toronto Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard that would have seen the two teams SWAP CITIES in the early 1980’s (which, of course, is when the Oilers were playing their best puck)!

Apparently Ballard was having some financial troubles at the time, and so the deal would have seen the Leafs move to Edmonton and the Oilers move to Toronto, with $50-million going from Pocklington’s pocket to Ballard’s.

Can you imagine?!

Pocklington says he wishes the deal had gone through because he would have made a killing with that Oilers team in a major market like Toronto.

What would the NHL be like today had that deal gone through?

Well, from 1982 to 1990 the Oilers made the Stanley Cup final six times, winning five Cups. In that same span, by my count, the Maple Leafs made the playoffs five times and only got out of the first round twice.

I think it’s pretty obvious that Toronto would have won that deal if it went through – and with the Leafs starting this season without a win in five games, their fans are probably crying themselves to sleep at this point.

Then again, Peter Pocklington is up on fraud charges and is trying to sell a book and Harold Ballard can’t confirm or deny because he passed away in 1990…so who knows what to believe!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kerrzy’s Notebook: NFL Week Five Picks

Another weekend of football is upon us, and yet again, I’m scrambling on Friday night/Saturday morning to get my picks in! Some things never change, eh folks?

I went 11-3 in week four, improving my overall record to 24-6 through the two weeks that I’ve been doing this. Hopefully it’s not just beginners luck, although time will tell I guess!

Here are my picks for Week Five:

Cincinnati (3-1) @ Baltimore (3-1)

My pick: Cincinnati

-The Bengals have been playing exciting football so far this year, unless you're a Bengals fan, in which case you've been on the verge of a heart attack now for about a month. Look for that to continue - the Baltimore Ravens hold an edge on the offensive side of the ball but they suffered their first loss of the season last week, showing that they can be beat. Bengals QB Carson Palmer has truly returned to form (at least so far) this season, and he has more passing yards against Baltimore than any other team in the league.

Cleveland (0-4) @ Buffalo (1-3)

My pick: Buffalo

-I'm pretty sure I said this last week, but it's only a matter of time before Terrell Owens has a big game and shakes out of this offensive drought he's been in since his arrival in Buffalo. Eight catches for 158 yards just doesn't sound like TO, does it? He'll be going up against the 21st-ranked pass defense in the league, so this could be the game. The Browns will be reeling after an OT loss last week, but the Bills have also got something to prove. For Buffalo to win, quarterback Trent Edwards has to get his act together and complete more than 56% of his passes though.

Washington (2-2) @ Carolina (0-3)

My pick: Washington

-The Washington Redskins will be facing a rested Carolina Panthers team, but look for Clinton Portis to take control of this one. The Redskins need a better performance from quarterback Jason Campbell, who rallied from a rough start last week to lead his club to victory. The Panthers haven't been able to control games on the ground like they did in 2008 and Jake Delhomme is struggling big time this season - he's the NFC's lowest rated starting QB through four weeks.

Pittsburgh (2-2) @ Detroit (1-3)

My pick: Pittsburgh

-Regardless of what happens in the first three quarters, it’ll be interesting to see how the Pittsburgh Steelers play in the final frame, as that’s been their weak point all season long. Pittsburgh blew leads in week two and three and almost squandered a 28-0 lead last week against the Chargers, so look for them to try and regain that killer instinct (finally). Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns last week, look for him to build on that performance if he’s starting for Willie Parker again.

Dallas (2-2) Kansas City (0-4)

My pick: Dallas

-The Cowboys are a far superior offensive team taking on a team looking for its first win of the season – and Tony Romo should be able to feast on KC’s 28th ranked pass defense. He’ll be looking to get his completion percentage up after a disappointing effort in a week four loss. Chief’s pivot Matt Cassel needs to play better if his club has any chance this week.

Oakland (1-3) @ NY Giants (4-0)

My pick: New York

-Even with Eli Manning questionable for this one, I like the Giants chances of remaining undefeated against a hapless Raiders team with a defense that’s allowing almost 360 yards per game so far. JaMarcus Russell has thrown just one touchdown pass in his first four games, while Manning and the Giants are thriving both in the air and on the ground.

Tampa Bay (0-4) @ Philadelphia (2-1)

My pick: Philadelphia

-The Eagles will get a boost from the likely return of Donovan McNabb and will be a well-rested group coming off their bye week. It’ll be interesting to see how Philly uses Michael Vick in this one – he hasn’t really made an impact yet since returning to competition. The Eagles are averaging almost 400 offensive yards per game, while giving up about 260 – I suspect that’ll be enough to dump the Bucs.

Minnesota (4-0) @ St. Louis (0-4)

My pick: Minnesota

-It’s hard to bet against Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings when they’re playing as well as they are – especially when they’re up against a winless team like St. Louis. Speaking of Peterson, his production has slowed in the past two weeks, but he’ll be up against a low-ranked run defense, which bodes well for 2008’s top rusher. On the other hand, this could be a big letdown for a Vikings team that should remain undefeated…

Atlanta (2-1) @ San Francisco (3-1)

My pick: San Francisco

-The 49ers are coming off a shutout of the lowly St. Louis Rams that was as impressive offensively as it was on the d-side of the ball. San Fran’s sixth-ranked defense will have to shut down the likes of Michael Turner, who is awaiting his breakout game this season, but if they can do that, they’ve got this one in the bag. The Niners will need Vernon Davis to be at his best though if they want to come away with a victory.

Houston (2-2) @ Arizona (1-2)

My pick: Arizona

-Coming off a bye week, look for the Arizona Cardinals to come out swinging against an inconsistent Texans club that’s coming off a big win over the Raiders. Statistically these two teams are pretty even, with the exception of Arizona giving up an average of 80 more passing yards per game than Houston, and Houston giving up an average of 80 more rushing yards than Arizona so far this season. I think a rested Cardinals team will outlast the Texans.

New England (3-1) @ Denver (4-0)

My pick: New England

-Can the Tom Brady and the Patriots knock off an undefeated team two weeks in a row? Wes Welker will be back in the lineup, freeing up Randy Moss and giving Brady a serious threat downfield on every play. This could be the difference for the Pats, who have looked human on a few occasions this season. The Broncos are averaging a lot more rushing yards than New England is, but the Pats rush defense is a respectable 11th in the league. Give this one to New England.

Jacksonville (2-2) @ Seattle (1-3)

My pick: Jacksonville

-Even with Matt Hasselbeck’s return imminent, look for Seattle’s three game losing skid to continue. Their defense has been roughed up in the past two weeks, and while Jacksonville’s D is nothing to write home about their offense is capable of carrying them through this one. Look for Maurice Jones-Drew to try and have a breakthrough game on the ground against a Seattle team that’s allowing 124 rushing yards per game, on average.

Indianapolis (4-0) @ Tennessee (0-4)

My pick: Indianapolis

-The Tennessee Titans need a win soon to turn things around in a nightmare season that began with Super Bowl aspirations – too bad they’ve got Peyton Manning and the undefeated Colts storming their barn this week. As good as the elder Manning has been in his career so far, he’s putting up career numbers this year, which is bad news if you’ve got the league’s worst pass defense (which the Titans do). It might not be an easy win, but it’ll be a win nonetheless for the Colts.

NY Jets (3-1) @ Miami (1-3)

My pick: New York

-Mark Sanchez finally looked like a rookie last week, turning the ball over four times in a loss to the NFC South powerhouse New Orleans Saints, but look for him to bounce back this week with a strong performance. After all, we’ve all heard over and over again about how much “poise” he has. Miami is coming off a big win, but will be relying once again on a rookie of their own, Chad Henne, and I don’t like their chances.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: NFL Week Four Picks

I went 13-3 in last week’s NFL action, so here we go again! The big game this week comes on Monday night – the Green Bay Packers against Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings.
Here are my picks:

Detroit (1-2) @ Chicago (2-1)

My pick: Chicago

-The Lions snapped a 19-game losing streak last weekend, beating the Washington Redskins, but look for Jay Cutler to continue his strong play and lead the Bears to victory. The Lions will be coming into a game on a winning note for the first time in a long time, but Chicago has a higher ranked offence and defense.

Cincinnati (2-1) @ Cleveland (0-3)

My pick: Cincinnati

-Derek Anderson gets the start for the Browns this week after Brady Quinn kind of tanked in the first three games of the season – it won’t be the spark they need though, facing a Bengals team that has surprised a lot of people so far this season. Look for Carson Palmer to continue his hot start.

Oakland (1-2) @ Houston (1-2)

My pick: Houston

-This one will come down to Oakland’s run game against Houston’s passing game – the Raiders defense is in the middle of the pack when it comes to the pass defense, while the Texans have given up the most rushing yards of any team through three weeks. JaMarcus Russell hasn’t played very well so far, so I’m going with Matt Schaub and the Texans.

Seattle (1-2) @ Indianapolis (3-0)

My pick: Indianapolis

-The Colts have won twelve straight coming into this game and Peyton Manning is off to one of the best starts of his impressive career, so I think this one goes to Indie. The Seahawks will likely be going with backup QB Seneca Wallace, with Matt Hasselbeck still nursing an injured rib – between them they have less passing yards and less touchdowns than Manning. Look for that to be an issue in this one.

Tennessee (0-3) @ Jacksonville (1-2)

My pick: Tennessee

-These are two teams that sit in the bottom four when it comes to pass defense, while the Titans are second when defending the rush and the Jaguars are 14th, so I think this one will be won in the air. These teams are pretty evenly matched when you look at the stats, but the Titans are in desperation mode after starting out 0-3 so I think they’ll come out on top.

New York Giants (3-0) @ KC Chiefs (0-3)

My pick: New York

-Matt Cassel and the KC Chiefs will be facing the top-ranked pass defense in the league on Sunday, so look for his struggles to continue. Both teams aren’t great at defending the rush, but the Giants have a stronger ground game so look for them to dominate and remain undefeated.

Baltimore (3-0) @ New England (2-1)

My pick: New England

-Even though Baltimore is playing very inspired football through the first three weeks of the season, I find it very hard to bet against the Pats, based on their recent history. The Ravens have the best run defense in the league, while the Pats are middle of the pack when it comes to their ground game, but I think Tom Brady will win the battle of the quarterbacks.

Tampa Bay (0-3) @ Washington (1-2)

My pick: Washington

-The question here is: who is more embarrassed. The Bucs were shutout last week and will be turning to a new quarterback, while the Redskins lost to a team with a 19-game losing streak. I think the fact that Tampa is going with a QB that started the season as a fourth stringer swings this one in favor of Washington.

Buffalo (1-2) @ Miami (0-3)

My pick: Buffalo

-Miami hasn’t played as bad as their 0-3 record makes it seem, but they’re now without their starting quarterback, Chad Pennington, for the rest of the season – a huge blow to the offence. Terrell Owens has yet to make a real impact in Buffalo, but you have to think it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out of this slump. Could this week be the week?

New York Jets (3-0) @ New Orleans (3-0)

My pick: New Orleans

-This could be the game of the week – the high scoring Saints against a Jets team led by rookie QB Mark Sanchez and a defense that has shut down three veteran pivots to start the season, including Tom Brady. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has thrown a league-high nine touchdowns in the first three weeks, but he’ll be tested against the Jets D. Home field advantage should be key for the Saints.

Dallas (2-1) @ Denver (3-0)

My pick: Dallas

-Denver’s number one ranked defense goes up against one of the top ranked offenses in the league this week in the Dallas Cowboys and both teams are coming off big wins last week where they shut down their opposition and held them to less than 10 points. I think Dallas will take this one though.

St. Louis (0-3) @ San Francisco (2-1)

My pick: San Francisco

-San Fran is coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Vikings last week that saw Brett Favre throw the game winning touchdown in the final seconds – so look for them to try and bounce back from that. The Rams run defense isn’t very good, so I expect the 49ers to try and win this one on the ground.

San Diego (2-1) @ Pittsburgh (1-2)

My pick: Pittsburgh

-The Steelers can’t afford to lose again, Super Bowl hangover or not, and their defense will have to be at their best to slow down the Chargers. San Diego QB Philip Rivers leads the league in passing yards and the Steelers have been sloppy in the fourth quarter – but you’ve got to think that the defending champs will find a way to win.

Green Bay (2-1) @ Minnesota (3-0)

My pick: Minnesota

-Brett Favre plays his former team for the first time since leaving the Packers – and I think he and his new club, the Minnesota Vikings, will come out of this one with a win. Adrian Peterson is tearing it up on the ground and will likely continue that against the 23rd ranked rush defense of the Packers. Should be a good battle between Aaron Rodgers and Favre though.