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.

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