Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sportzilla's NFL Picks: Week 10
By Zach

It's time once again for Sportszilla's NFL picks. Last week, for the first time all season, both Ben and I were over .500. Can it happen again this week? As always, home teams are bolded.

This Week:

Ben: 2-11-1
Zach: 6-7-1

Bills -2.5 vs. Chiefs
Ben: Bills. I’ve always believed Buffalo rates as one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. Since I’m not a big believer in the Chiefs and the Bills are coming off a bye, I give the edge to Buffalo in this one. Plus I don’t love a turnover prone offense in a tough setting.
Zach: Chiefs. The instant this line came out I knew I was taking the Chiefs. So what if Priest Holmes is out for the year? Larry Johnson will have a field day against a porous run defense. People have been sleeping on this Chiefs team for a while, but they’ve got a legit shot to win the AFC West. The Bills have a legit shot to..well...finish 6-10.

Buccaneers -1 vs. Redskins
Ben: Redskins. Chris Simms wasn’t terrible against the Panthers, thus putting off the Tim Rattay era for at least another week. So I’ll be picking against the Bucs. Tampa hasn’t been dominant at home this year and their defense is a little overrated in my opinion. If they had a decent offense they could get by, but with Cadillac Williams struggling and Junior Simms at the helm, they’re pretty much inept.
Zach: Redskins. Chris Simms sucks. The Redskins don’t. Until Opie proves he can actually win a game as an NFL QB, he’s an automatic pick-against.

Dolphins +2.5 vs. Patriots
Ben: Dolphins. Taking my least favorite team… maybe this is because should the Jets win and the Pats lose, the Jets would be a whopping game back of the AFC division lead. Or maybe it’s because the Pats always seem to have problems in Miami and are coming off a short week. You can bet Miami will be fired up for this one and the Pats have to be reeling somewhat. Tom Brady, can you call a run play? No? Well that’s why the Fish are my pick this week.
Zach: Patriots. The reason I can’t take the Dolphins is they just don’t have the weapons on offense to take advantage of the woeful Patriot secondary. Gus Frerotte is a joke as an NFL QB, and their wide receiver core is mediocre. This Patriot team has its back to the wall, and I expect them to play like it.

Bears -13 vs. Niners
Ben: Bears. Normally, I’d never take a defensive team like the Bears giving up two TDs. But the Niners are terrible on the road and their offense is about as bad as can be. Thus the Bears won’t have to put up much more than two TDs to cover. Their defense should force Cody Pickett into a few turnovers and set up their offense nicely.
Zach: Bears. I hate picking against UW QBs. But the 49ers suck, while the Bears are actually good. Maybe next week Cody.

Giants -9.5 vs. Vikings
Ben: Giants. I don’t like the Giants much, but they’re facing the worst road team in the NFL. Even the Texans deserve more respect. The Vikings are beat up on defense and while they pulled off a nice win last weekend against the Lions, it was against the Joey Harrington and at home. This has the makings of a blowout, so Murphy’s Law says the Vikes keep it close. But you can’t go on that when making NFL picks, so take the Giants.
Zach: Giants. I guess I have to start respecting the Giants eventually. To me, last week was the one good game Brad Johnson will have all year. But honestly, if the Vikings want to beat the Giants, I won’t complain, even about missing a pick.

Lions -3.5 vs. Cardinals
Ben: Lions. Joey Harrington has become an automatic pick against. The good news for him this week is that the leader of that club is starting for Arizona. For some odd reason, Dennis Green continues to trot out Kurt Warner over Josh Mexico, despite the fact Warner is old, slow, holds on to the ball to long and tends to throw it to defenders rather than teammates. Sounds a lot like Vinny Testaverde to me. So just like Vinny, I will not pick the Cardinals again this year until Warner is benched in favor of McCown.
Zach: Lions. I’d pick Arizona if I expected Warner to get benched quickly if he doesn’t produce. Sadly, Dennis Green is crazy. Also, if Neil Rackers doesn’t make the Pro Bowl, Cardinals fans should riot. All 11 of them.

Jaguars -6.5 vs. Ravens
Ben: Ravens. Kyle Boller is back! Does anyone really care? Truth be told, the Ravens are bad. But the Jags haven’t shown themselves to be any type of offensive team to warrant a touchdown spread. They’ve played close games all season. With the Ravens D, I don’t expect this one to be any different. I figure the Jags will pull it out, but by less than six.
Zach: Jaguars. Jamal Lewis will probably have his best game of the year on my bench. Regardless, the Ravens can’t move the football, and the Jaguars don’t turn the ball over much. I expect them to control this game.

Colts -17.5 vs. Texans
Ben: Colts. Letdown week for Indy after spanking the Pats on Monday night? Maybe. On the other hand, this is the Texans here and the Colts will be at home. Last time Houston hung around for a little while before getting the doors blown off them in the second half. I figure Indy’s clicking now and win this one easily. The Texans are still the Texans.
Zach: Colts. Boy, the Texans suck. Plus, David Carr’s dad wasn’t able to watch him this week in practice because Dom Capers decided to close practices to outsiders. Maybe he didn’t want anyone in Houston to know just how much the Texans suck. Oh wait, they already do. On the other hand, if Carr plays well, maybe he’ll have to keep his dad away from practice for good.

Panthers -9 vs. Jets
Ben: Jets. Now that Vinny is no longer at the helm, I can pick my team again. But against a red hot Panther team, have I lost my mind? Possibly, but my reasoning for this one is simple: the Jets haven’t been blown out all year so 9 points is a lot. The Panthers also throw it a ton, rather than run it. The Jets defense has been hurt because teams wear them down with the ball control and the run. Plus the Jets offense has to improve slightly. And I get a good feeling about Brooks Bollinger. I really do. Sold you yet? No? Well, I’m still taking Gang Green.
Zach: Panthers. Steve Smith will make Ben cry.

Raiders +3 vs. Broncos
Ben: Raiders. The Raiders took a tough loss last week in a game that properly officiated, they probably would have won. Back at home, figure they give the Broncos all they can handle as they play for their season. The Broncos secondary is atrocious, and the Raiders should exploit that. Denver’s consistently proven me wrong this year, but for the most part that was when they were at home. On the road they’re a different beast entirely. Figure this one is close, so I’ll take the points and the home team.
Zach: Raiders. I, like Ben, can not seem to get behind the Broncos. I don’t know what it is. But I figure Oakland will look to pound the ball with Lamont Jordan, and that might be trouble for Denver.

Seahawks -6.5 vs. Rams
Ben: Rams. Everything in my gut is telling me to take the Rams in this one. Mike Martz is long gone, they’ve played well under Joe Vitt and they finally have balance on offense. Marc Bulger and Tory Holt are back. When the Rams are playing well on offense, a TD is too much to lie against them. The Seahawks meanwhile are playing so well, the other shoe has to drop for Zach eventually. Winning here would basically give them the division. Life isn’t that easy for fans in the Pacific Northwest.
Zach: Rams. Ugh. I hate to say it, but I agree with Ben. In my head, I know that the Seahawks are playing better than they ever have in my life, and that the Rams are ready to collapse. But then I remember all those losses to the Rams…and that Vitt appears to actually want to run the ball, and that Torry Holt always kills the Hawks, and that Mike Holmgren always seems to forget about Shaun Alexander against the Rams. If the Seahawks do win, get ready for a week of “Seahawks to the Super Bowl!” posts. If they lose, “S.O.S…Same Old Seahawks.”

Atlanta -9 vs. Green Bay
Ben: Atlanta. I need a paying job. If I show up in Green Bay, maybe I can get a try out a running back. Sure, I’m coming off a serious ailment, can’t cut and probably will get hurt within two weeks of signing, but then I’d fit right in. So, in any case, the Packers are dead in the water. I hate to give up that many points to Brett Favre, but the boys from Green Bay are so bad defensively, I can’t see them keeping this one close.
Zach: Atlanta. The problem for the Packers is that they could face Bad Vick and still get blown out. Their offense is that bad. Favre be damned, the Packers just don’t have any weapons on offense outside of him.

Steelers -7 vs. Browns
Ben: Browns. Charlie Batch is still in a QB. He didn’t move the Steelers at all last week, being bailed out by Packer turnovers. Seven points is too much for a team that couldn’t score against that defense.
Zach: Steelers. Charlie Batch got it done for me last week, and Trent Dilfer is guaranteed to throw several brutal interceptions. Plus, the Browns have struggled stopping the run, so the Steelers will look to drop a Duce on them.

Eagles -3 vs. Cowboys
Ben: Eagles. So what’s the over/under for the number of T.O. references Michaels and Madden will make during the telecast? It will most likely get Samantha Ryan more air time than she’s ever had before, as she explains to the disinterested audience how the Eagles’ backup center feels about T.O. Hey, maybe Owens will show up in the booth, or call in to the telecast to give his side of the story. Serious the possibilities are so endless, I’m almost tempted to watch. Almost. As for the game, I don’t like the Cowboys’ offense and the Eagles are desperate and at home. I don’t believe they’re done yet.
Zach: Cowboys. I see this game going one of two ways. Either the combination of several tough losses, Donovan McNabb’s injury, and the whole TO saga has completely destroyed this season for the Eagles and they get blown out, or all of that stuff focuses them and they win by 20. The problem is, I think the Philly crowd is ready to turn on them, and if they don’t get off to a good start, they may quit by halftime. With the 12th pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select...

Last Week:
Ben: 7-5-2
Zach: 7-5-2

Ben: 42-52-5
Zach: 40-54-4


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