Predicting the NFL action before it happens isn't easy... unless you're a Predictificationist like me. Sit back, relax and know that you've come to the right place.
THIS SEASON: 95-50*-1 (.655)
LAST WEEK: 8-5-1
COLTS PREDICTIONS: 6-3
I get to practice my humility after last week's so-so performance. 8-5-1 isn't that bad considering some of the surprises we saw last week - like the Titans over the Dolphins... or the Bengals over the Giants. I guess I'm still a genius after all (humility is overrated).
BREAKING NEWS FROM LAST WEEK - The Colts forced three turnovers.... in one game! Darius Butler became a turnover machine last week - here's hoping he becomes to the Colts what Tim Jennings turned into for the Bears. It's been awhile since the Colts had a player have multiple interceptions in a game (more on this later) and it was nice to see the defense play with some energy (granted, it was against the Jaguars).
The Colts travel to New England this week (where they haven't won in six years) to renew their rivalry against the Patriots. Andrew Luck gets the opportunity to do something Peyton Manning couldn't do in his first six tries - beat Tom Brady and the Patriots. In fact, the Colts are just 5-19 in New England since 1984 and 2-6 since the Tom Brady era... the rookie should have his hands full on Sunday.
Movie Quote Trivia (MQT) is back for another week!
Congratulations to Chris Moore of Mt. Vernon, IA (Well, ain't this place a geographical oddity. Two weeks from everywhere!) for correctly spotting all three movie quotes last week (The Princess Bride, The Three Amigos and Meet the Parents). $50 more in Buffalo Wild Wings deliciousness are up for grabs this week - but we are changing the rules a little bit (collective sigh). This week I will compile all the correct responses for the first 24 hours, put the names in a hat (actually an excel spreadsheet using a random formula) and pick a winner. We have some people in different time zones and this seems to be the best way to even the playing field. Also, we will incorporate some multiple choice Colts trivia! To be eligible for the prize you must find all three movie quotes and answer all three Colts questions correctly (hey... you guys are getting too good - gotta raise the bar). If you are new to the game (where have you been?) it works like this: Three movie quotes from my favorite movies are hidden in this article. If you find them (and know the answers to Colts trivia), send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be one of the first people to send me an email with all three quotes and the movies they come from and you could win the gift card.
Let's recap this past week shall we?
Here's why I'm a genius:
1) Colts @ Jaguars
What I said: "The Colts have been the darlings of the NFL over the first half of the season and should be able to continue that this week. The defense has to find a way to break this turnover drought, I just can't see how this type of winning football is sustainable - but that's what makes it magical. I think the Colts come out with a lot of energy and get a lead. The Jaguars may have a run or two in them and keep it close, but ultimately the Colts should have their most dominate win of the season (meaning it'll be by more than 6 points). COLTS WIN 24-13"
What happened: The defense did find a way to end the turnover drought - doubling their total for the whole season with 3 - and the Colts did have their most dominate win of the season. I even nailed that there would be 37 points scored in this game - you can't fake being this good.
2) Broncos @ Panthers
What I said: "When will the Broncos start to get respect from Vegas? The Broncos are only getting 4 points and I like them to win by more than that - a lot more. I know that Carolina has been close in almost every game this season but Peyton Manning is on fire. I think the Broncos get a big early lead and will sit on it until the end. The Panthers may score some late, but I don't think it'll be enough to beat the spread. It's the lock of the week. BRONCOS WIN 31-21"
What happened: Lock of the week, indeed. Eventually the time will come to pick against the Broncos - but that won't be anytime soon. There were 50 points scored in this game... I predicted there would be 52. Man, I'm good.
3) Buccaneers @ Chargers
What I said: "I've picked against Tampa Bay the last couple of weeks and it has come back to haunt me - I'm not doing it again. Phillip Rivers and the Chargers seem to be missing something this season and will be flying across the country for this game. I think Doug Martin has a nice game, but it'll be Josh Freeman that wins the day. BUCCANEERS WIN 24-17"
What happened: The Chargers and Phillip Rivers continued to struggle and the Bucs won. Doug Martin was pretty average with just 68 yards rushing. Josh Freeman was as predicted, completing 70% of his passes for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns.
4) Jets @ Seahawks
What I said: "The Jets have had an extra week to prepare for the Seahawks - and I don't think it'll matter. The Seahawks defense has been good - and their corners are huge. Mark Sanchez will struggle to pass the ball most of the day and the Seahawks should be able to generate some turnovers. Look for Marshawn Lynch to have a huge day. SEAHAWKS WIN 27-17"
What happened: Mark Sanchez completed just 9/22 for 124 yards, 0 touchdowns and an interception. In all, the Seahawks defense forced three turnovers and Marshawn Lynch ran 124 and a touchdown. Yep... fair to say I nailed that one.
Here's why I'm dumb:
1) Saints @ Falcons
What I said: "Everyone is trying to figure out when the Falcons will lose - and several people are circling this game. Listen to me - DO NOT PICK AGAINST THE FALCONS... not this week, at least. I don't think the Falcons will finish undefeated but they should be able to handle a very inconsistent Saints team. I think this game will be a shootout, but the Falcons seem to have something the Saints don't have this year. Take the Falcons by a field goal at the horn. FALCONS WIN 34-31"
What happened: There are moments in a Predictificationists life that he wishes he could take back... and this is one of them. Why did I have to put in all caps 'DO NOT PICK AGAINST THE FALCONS'? Oh well. Look at it this way - if the Falcons could have pulled off that last touchdown to win the game I would have nailed the score on the nose... That makes me feel a little better.
2) Texans @ Bears
What I said: "I think the Bears are playing at a higher level than Houston right now - and that's saying a lot. The Bears defense (led by Charles Tillman) has been the most dominant unit in the league. To this point Matt Schaub has been good, not great and the Texans will need a great performance to beat Chicago. There is a possibility that Tillman doesn't play this week (his wife could have a baby) and that could change things, but I think the Bears win - and in convincing fashion. BEARS WIN 31-20"
What happened: The game of the week was ruined by poor weather and Jay Cutler's concussion - otherwise this game might have turned out different. But, alas, I missed this pick and the future is looking cloudy for the Bears.
3) Giants @ Bengals
What I said: "The Giants should rebound from their loss last week. The Bengals haven't shown much of the magic they had last season when they surprised everyone by getting into the playoffs with a rookie quarterback (sound familiar?). Eli Manning has been in a bit of a slump lately but should have some success against the Bengals pass defense (19th in passing yards and 24th in interceptions). Look for the Giants to win easily, covering the spread. GIANTS WIN 27-17"
What happened: Umm... I'm still not sure what happened. Eli Manning's slump continues and the Giants need to get their act together quickly after this blowout.
4) Lions @ Vikings
What I said: "Adrian Peterson has been amazing this season - Christian Ponder isn't doing his part. If the Lions can get a lead and take Peterson out of the game this will be an easy win for the Lions. If Matthew Stafford turns the ball over and let's the Vikings hang around the Vikings could steal this at the end. I'm picking the Lions to keep their hot streak. LIONS WIN 27-17"
What happened: Even when I'm wrong I'm right... It's a curse. The Lions could never get a lead and take Adrian Peterson out of the game... and he dominated the game (171 yards and a touchdown). Matthew Stafford did turn the ball over and the Vikings won.
Pop Quiz, hotshot. Send me the answers to these questions with your movie quotes and you will be one step closer to deep fried chicken goodness wallowing in one of your favorite sauces. I don't think you can simply 'Google' these questions... but maybe I'm wrong. (Please send me the name of the player or number you're guessing, not the letter)
Which Colts player has the highest interceptions to games played ratio in the Indianapolis era? (minimum 16 games played)
A. Mike Prior
B. Ray Buchanan
C. Jason David
Before Darius Butler intercepted two passes against Jacksonville, who was the last Colts player to intercept two passes in the same game?
A. Ray Buchanan
Before Thursday night, the Colts defense hadn't forced a turnover in four straight games. What is the longest streak of games without forcing a turnover in Colts history?
Before Thursday night, the Colts defense hadn't forced a turnover in four straight games. What is the longest streak of games without forcing a turnover in Colts history?
Before we get to the games, here are some other fearless predictions, news and notes for Week 11:
On to the picks!
Indianapolis Colts (6-3) at New England Patriots (6-3)
Line - Patriots by 9.5
The Colts have been one of the hottest teams in the NFL of late - in fact they are tied for the longest current winning streak in the league at four games (tied with the Steelers, Packers and um,,,, cough, Broncos). As I mentioned earlier, history is against the Colts heading into New England this week and - Colts fans won't want to hear this - fortunately, this game doesn't mean much. The Colts are in the drivers seat for a Wild Card berth and a loss to the Patriots wouldn't hurt too much. The divisions are all pretty much wrapped up - Broncos, Patriots, Texans and (thanks to Roethlisberger injury) the Ravens. That leaves two Wild Card spots up for grabs. If you give one to the Steelers (which isn't a guarantee) that leaves the Chargers (no way), Bengals (nope), Dolphins (not after last week) and the Colts. 9-7 should probably do it and the Colts have the Chiefs, Titans and Bills still on their schedule. If they can win one against tougher competition (Patriots, Lions or one against the Texans) they could go 10-6 - and that would get them in for sure,
Tom Brady should have a field day against a Colts secondary that hasn't done a lot this season (minus Darius Butler against the Jaguars) and Rob Gronkowski is a matchup nightmare for the Colts (and any other team) that scored three touchdowns against them last year. Stevan Ridley gives the Patriots a legitimate running threat for the first time in a few years, which means Josh Chapman (if he plays) should get tested right away. The Patriots are tops in the NFL in turnover differential (+16) and the Colts have been prone to turnovers.
That's a lot of reasons why the Colts will lose this game - but one thing hasn't been taken into account. The Colts seem to have luck on their side (in more ways than one) and should keep this game close and beat the spread. Enjoy the ride and watch the Colts exceed expectations - just don't expect a win this Sunday.
PATRIOTS WIN 31-24
Miami Dolphins (4-5) at Buffalo Bills (3-6)
Line - Bills by 1
The Dolphins looked the part of a potential playoff team for most of the first half of the season - and then they played the Titans last week.... Yikes. Remember when the Colts beat the Packers and looked to be on a roll only to get blown out by a Jets team? I think this is kinda the same thing. Don't give up on the Dolphins after one bad game - they should beat the Bills. The Bills were able to keep it close against New England but the Dolphins defense is better and should limit their opportunities. Look for the Dolphins to bounce back.
DOLPHINS WIN 27-20
Arizona Cardinals (4-5) at Atlanta Falcons (8-1)
Line - Falcons by 10
I wouldn't want to be the Cardinals this Sunday. It's bad enough that you've lost five straight, but now you have to face one of the best teams in the NFL... and they're angry... and they're at home. I think the Falcons start fast and coast the rest of the way, eager to get the bitter taste of last week out of their mouths and assert the dominance that may be in question. Matt Ryan will have a huge day.
FALCONS WIN 34-17
Cleveland Browns (2-7) at Dallas Cowboys (4-5)
Line - Cowboys by 7.5
The Cowboys win against the Eagles last week may have been just what they needed. They got some big plays out of their offense and defense and seem to be back in the playoff hunt (thanks to the Giants struggles). The Browns are a feisty bunch and will probably frustrate the Cowboys and keep this game closer than it should be. Cowboys win but the Browns just may be able to beat the spread.
COWBOYS WIN 23-17
Green Bay Packers (6-3) at Detroit Lions (4-5)
Line - Packers by 3.5
This game has the makings of a shootout - and I don't think the Lions will be able to keep up. If Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford aren't in perfect rhythm the Lions seem to struggle to get anything going. The Packers are riding a four game winning streak and Aaron Rodgers is playing quarterback at the highest level possible and Jordy Nelson should be back to full strength. Packers should roll.
PACKERS WIN 34-24
Cincinnati Bengals (4-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-8)
Line - Bengals by 3.5
The Bengals lost four straight before beating the Giants but didn't look that bad doing it (I know that sounds weird). They were within one score of the Dolphins, Steelers and Broncos - that should be good enough to beat the lowly Chiefs. After Monday's disaster against the Steelers I get the feeling the Chiefs are about to hit rock bottom (as if they weren't there already). The Bengals should be able to get an easy win here, don't worry about the 3.5.
BENGALS WIN 24-13
New York Jets (3-6) at St. Louis Rams (3-5-1)
Line - Rams by 3
The Jets seem to be getting worse each week, while the Rams seem to be getting better. I feels too easy to pick the Rams - but I'm going to do it any way. You have to wonder if the Jets will turn to Tim Tebow at some point, although something tells me they won't.
RAMS WIN 23-17
Philadephia Eagles (3-6) at Washington Redskins (3-6)
Line - Redskins by 3.5
I know this sounds crazy - but I think switching to Nick Foles will give the Eagles some life. Everyone is down on them right now and I think they are going to find a way to pull this game out. The Redskins have lost three in row but people seem to ignore that because of Robert Griffin III. The Eagles have more talent on their roster and I'm taking talent over hype.
EAGLES WIN 27-24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) at Carolina Panthers (2-7)
Line - Buccaneers by 1.5
The Buccaneers have caught fire lately and have a lot to be excited about. Josh Freeman looks like the quarterback of a few seasons ago and Doug Martin has to be considered for rookie of the year (don't worry... he won't win). Cam Newton's sophomore season hasn't been kind to him and the frustration is seeping into everyone on the team. Look for Tampa to continue to roll and the Panthers to fall further in the standings.
BUCCANEERS WIN 24-17
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) at Houston Texans (8-1)
Line - Texans by 15.5
The new kings of the AFC South get to play the one of the league's doormats and there should be little doubt about the outcome. The Texans should be able to roll here but that is a lot of points to give to the Jaguars - divisional games always scare me. If I were a betting man, I wouldn't touch this game with the large spread - but I could see it going either way.
TEXANS WIN 27-13
New Orleans Saints (4-5) at Oakland Raiders (3-6)
Line - Saints by 4.5
The Saints are on a mission to get back into the playoff conversation - and they made a bold statement last week beating the Falcons. They are starting to believe and that makes New Orleans very dangerous. The Raiders can score some points but can't stop anybody - that's a bad combination against the Saints. Drew Brees should throw for 320 and 4 touchdowns.
This is the lock of the week.
SAINTS WIN 38-24
San Diego Chargers (4-5) at Denver Broncos (6-3)
Line - Broncos by 7.5
The Broncos are starting to get a little more respect in Vegas with a larger spread this week (finally). The Chargers will treat this game as a must-win, but it is probably too late to catch the Broncos. This won't be the same type of game as their last matchup with each half very one-sided, but I think it'll be close throughout. The Broncos will win but this will be closer than people think.
BRONCOS WIN 31-24
Baltimore Ravens (7-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
Line - Ravens by 3
With Ben Roethlisberger out for this game I can't pick the Steelers. It didn't seem like there was much offensive flow with Byron Leftwich last week, but maybe a full week of practice will change that. The Ravens seem to be on a mission - a mission that just got a lot easier due to Big Ben's injury - and should be able to win this game easily. I like them to cover the spread and get closer to a division title.
RAVENS WIN 27-17
Chicago Bears (7-2) at San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1)
Line - 49ers by 5.5
It looks like Alex Smith will be able to play this game and Jay Cutler will not. That tells me all I need to know about who to pick. The 49ers will be fired up (and at home) after their tie last week and the Bears don't seem to be the same without Cutler. The only wildcard here is if the Bears defense can score some points - but I don't think they will. Take the 49ers in a close one.
49ERS WIN 20-13
Did you see the movie quotes? Be the first to hit me on my email Predictification@gmail.com for a $50 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card!
Agree? Disagree? As always, comments are welcome! I will track my picks during the season and brag when I'm right (and pretend I was right when I'm wrong). Pick against me if you dare - remember, I'm a Predictificationist.
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