Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sportszilla's NFL Picks: Week 14
By Zach

Ben's heading to the Fantasy playoffs as the number one seed, I'm at home playing Madden, but we're dead even in the picks. As always, home teams are bolded.

This Week:

Ben: 5-9-2
Zach: 9-5-2

Panthers -6 vs. Buccaneers
Ben: Panthers. I’ve had no luck in picking games in the NFC South this year, which has become as hard to pin down this year as the big spread. The Bucs defense has been mostly solid this season but arguably had its worse performance of the year against the Panthers. This is a game where Chris Simms will need to make plays for the Bucs to have a chance… yeah, that’s why I’m taking the Panthers. Wrong.
Zach: Buccaneers. The Panthers won’t run the ball, and the Bucs D has done an excellent job against opponent rushing attacks. Right.

Bills +4.5 vs. Patriots
Ben: Bills. I have no other reason for picking Buffalo than because they’re at home in December. It’s the only reason I ever need for taking them this time of year. Wrong.
Zach: Patriots. The problem for the Bills is that they lack the playmakers on offense to exploit the weaknesses of the Pats defense. Meanwhile, New England should be able to control the ball on offense with Corey Dillon. Right.

Vikings -7 vs. Rams
Ben: Vikings. Repeat after me: I will not pick Ryan Fitzpatrick, I will not pick Harvard QBs, I will not take a team that is falling apart. That means you’re forced to take the Vikings and their senior citizen at QB. Well look at the bright side, the Vikings are nearly back in the race. That means the choke/collapse is nearly upon us, but not quite here yet. Right.
Zach: Vikings. Could things get any easier for Minnesota? Right.

Steelers -6.5 vs. Bears
Ben: Bears. The Steelers may win this one, but they’ve never struck me as a good offensive team. The Bears win ugly, so my bets are they’ll lose ugly too. This one should be a close game decided by less than a TD. Against a solid Steelers D, the over/under in this game should be “how many times will Kyle Orton throw the football?” I’d set it at 13 times, and proceed to take the under. Wrong.
Zach: Steelers. While I’d rather have given a few less points on this pick, this just feels like the game where it all falls apart for Chicago. They won’t be able to run the ball against the Steelers, and Pittsburgh has done a tremendous job against #1 wideouts this year, meaning that they should be able to take away Orton’s one option in the passing game. I expect the Bears D to play well, but look for the Steelers D to set up their offense. Right.

Jets +3 vs. Raiders
Ben: Jets. I think if I had just avoided picking Jet games this season I’d be over .500. Basically that means you can actually trust my other picks, but avoid the ones involving Gang Green. I’m sticking with the Jets again this week… why? Well two reasons: one, the Jets should do a better job at protecting Brooks Bollinger at home, which means the little engine that couldn’t probably will be able to do what he did against the Saints; move the team for at least field goals. Secondly, if I pick against the Jets, they’ll probably win and that would hurt them in the Reggie Bush sweepstakes. Also of note in this game; Zach Geballe favorite Marques Tuiasosopo will be starting for the Raiders and my fantasy team this weekend. I wish the kid the best, though the reason why he’s playing for both myself and the Raiders is because the games are meaningless. Right.
Zach: Raiders. Since Tui was responsible for the greatest sporting feat I’ve ever witnessed, I feel obligated to pick him. Plus, and I’m not sure I’ve gotten this across this year, the Jets suck. Wrong.

Jaguars +9 vs. Colts
Ben: Jaguars. If you read my AFC report from last week, you’ll see I said the Jags will play the Colts tough. At home, given nine, I’ll take my chances with that physical Jaguar defense. I also figure Fred Taylor will have one of his trademark games that make people temporarily forget he’s essentially missed another season due to injury. The Colts will win, but they’ll sweat a bit in the Florida heat. Right.
Zach: Colts. The Jaguar D has started falling apart, their front four isn’t getting the same push it was earlier in the year, and Gerrard under center they’ll struggle. The Colts are rolling, and can lock up home field advantage with a win. Right.

Titans -6 vs. Texans
Ben: Titans. Reggie, Matt or D’Brickashaw… or perhaps a wild card… Vince? Zach pointed out an interesting idea to me the other day; suppose the Texans get it in their heads that they need to take the local product; Vince Young, in order to make a big splash with their fans. They might also value his mobility, seeing as how there’s no way they could rebuild that O-line in a year. It could happen. Why I am I discussing the Texans draft instead of the game? Because we all know Houston blew two close games at home over the last two weeks and on the road, even against a bad Titans team, they stand little chance of keeping this one close. 1-15 is almost an inevitability. Wrong.
Zach: Texans. Here comes win number two. Right.

Bengals -13 vs. Browns
Ben: Bengals. It could be a letdown game for the Bengals. On the other hand, even with the big line, I can’t take a rookie QB on the road against a defense that generates interceptions like Cincinnati’s does. Charlie Frye, who will be referred to here as “Wiggles”, (yes, my first Futurama joke), will have the pressure on him to score with Carson Palmer. With no Braylon Edwards and a banged up Ruben Droughns, I don’t think Wiggles can do it. Wrong.
Zach: Bengals. Can they follow through on Chad Johnson’s promise to score 40 points every game? Well, today they sure can. Wrong.

Cardinals +4 vs. Redskins
Ben: Redskins. I won’t take Kurt Warner no matter how many yards he throws for. The Skins pass rush should break the old man in two this week, unless he learns how to get rid of the football. Fat chance of that happening. Washington hangs in the NFC playoff picture by the skins of their teeth. Okay, bad pun there. Push.
Zach: Cardinals. Arizona is guaranteed to be the team that wins a few meaningless games down the stretch, teasing fans and gullible sportswriters into thinking they’ll contend next year. News flash: they’re the Cardinals, they’ll always suck. Push.

Eagles +9.5 vs. Giants
Ben: Giants. Come to think of it, if I avoided both Giant and Jet games, I’d have a great record in picking games this season. Proof once more you should never pick games which you have a vested interest in. Well my boy Mike McMahon gets another start this week because Koy Detmer actually looked as bad if not worse than the Commish did Monday night. I can’t pick him or the Eagles here; their offense is in Jet territory when it comes to injuries and ineptness. Good luck Commish; you’ll need it just to stay off your back for most of this one. Wrong.
Zach: Giants. This Eagles team is playing out the string. Wrong.

Seahawks -16.5 vs. 49ers
Ben: Seahawks. Last time I took the Hawks against the Niners, I got burned. See the Niners are a tough team to figure at home; they can play tough there. Not so on the road. The walking turnover Alex Smith showed flashes of life last week against the Cardinals; but it was at home against the Cardinals. Figure the Seattle crowd and solid pass rush rattles him into at least three turnovers. Translation: Seahawks win big. Right.
Zach: Seahawks. The 12th Man will win this game for the Seahawks. Well, that and the fact that the 49ers are god awful. Right.

Chargers -13.5 vs. Dolphins
Ben: Chargers. Here’s what we learned last week; the Bills don’t have the same power over the Dolphins in Miami in December than they do over them in Buffalo in December. What does that mean to San Diego? Absolutely nothing. On the road, the Dolphins get run over by the Chargers high flying offense. Wrong.
Zach: Dolphins. Sage Rosenfels, where hast thou gone? Right.

Broncos -14.5 vs. Ravens
Ben: Broncos The Ravens team are dead men walking. No more Ray Lewis, much more Kyle Boller and Jamal Lewis. Or is it Chester Taylor now? One wonders if Lewis is dreaming about what it would be like to run behind the Denver O-line. Meanwhile, Brian Billick is dreaming of what it would be like to have Jake Plummer as his starting QB. Yeah Boller is that bad. Broncos at home roll. Wrong.
Zach: Ravens. Gotta figure one team is gonna cover a huge spread. Right.

Cowboys -3 vs. Chiefs
Ben: Chiefs. So I said I thought the Chiefs might not win another game all year. Well Dallas is in a lot of trouble and playing badly. Since we all feel the NFC isn’t very good, then one has to take a decent to good AFC team over a mediocre NFC team right? That’s the logic here and I’m sticking to it. Dallas’ D is good, but it won’t keep that KC offense out of the endzone all day. Can Drew Bledsoe rally this struggling offense? Uh...this is a guy who was cut in favor of JP Losman. You tell me. Push.
Zach: Chiefs. No one in the league is running better than Larry Johnson right now. If they can run the ball against the Boys, they’ll stand a great chance to push their way into the AFC playoff picture. Push.

Packers -6.5 vs. Lions
Ben: Packers. This game might be the worst game left in the season. At least the Texans/ Niners game week 17 figures to have huge draft implications. I mean seriously, do we really need to see a terrible Packers team face a Lions team that is stuck with a two headed monster of Joey Harrington and Jeff Garcia? The question begs to be asked though; who will have more catches: The Lions receivers, the Lions secondary or the Packers secondary? The difference here is that Favre, while throwing his trademark three picks, will be able to throw for three TDs against the Lions D. I’m not sure if the Lions will get three TD passes the rest of the season. Start Dan Orlovksy already! What have you got to lose? Wrong.
Zach: Lions. Favre will keep both teams in the game. Right.

Falcons -10.5 vs. Saints
Ben: Falcons. The Falcons aren’t very good, but the Saints are down right awful. Fire Jim Haslett. What is this, the fifth straight year or so they’ve been awful? Fire Jim Haslett. Get the feeling that even if Katrina didn’t hit, they’d still be a five win team? Fire Jim Haslett. Did you actually hear the Sunday night football team suggest Jim Haslett should be coach of the year? Fire the Sunday night football crew. Oh wait, I believe they’ve already done that; since I doubt that crew will be heading over to NBC next year. Have you fired Jim Haslett yet? Right.
Zach: Saints. Gotta love the late season monster matchups on Monday Night Football. Wrong.

Last Week:

Ben: 7-9
Zach: 8-8


Ben: 71-82-7
Zach: 75-78-7


Post a Comment

<< Home