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: 87-45* (.659)
LAST WEEK: 12-2
COLTS PREDICTIONS: 5-3
Another strong week for the Predictificationer... this is beginning to be a trend. 12-2 for the week and a solid 10-4 against the spread - hope you made some money (give me some). My only missteps were games of little importance (Tampa Bay and Carolina) - and I think I can deal with that.
I'm sure everyone is enjoying their election week - and I hope everyone got out to vote. I had to restrain myself from my normal Predictificationist urges to pick who the winners were going to be and make sure I picked the candidates I wanted to win... It's hard out there for a pimp. (No... that's not meant to be a movie quote. Don't include that one.)
The Colts continue to beat the odds and now have a three game winning streak. What's most impressive is that they are doing it by losing the turnover battle, falling behind early and making average quarterback's look like All-Pro's... very unconventional - but's it's fun, huh? I never realized how boring all those blow out wins were in the Peyton Manning era... ho hum.
I'm happy to report that my movie quote trivia is back for another week. Congratulations to Bill Gross of Bloomington, IN for correctly spotting all three movie quotes last week (Teen Wolf, So I Married an Axe Murderer and Zoolander). In all over 40 played the movie quote game last week (that's about 38 more than I expected) with a good majority of you spotting the quotes - I have to say I'm impressed. It's nice to know there are people like me running around. $50 more in Buffalo Wild Wings deliciousness are up for grabs this week. 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, send me an email to email@example.com (yes, this is different than previous weeks). The first person to send me an email with all three quotes and the movies they come from will win the gift card.
Let's recap this past week shall we?
Here's why I'm a genius:
1) Dolphins @ Colts
What I said: "The running game has awakened a bit after a miserable start to the season and should help balance the offense. If Robert Mathis and Fili Moala are able to return this week it would be a huge lift to the defense that has struggled to generate pressure and turnovers. When the game looks even on paper take the home team by a field goal - works every time."
What happened: The Colts were able to pressure Ryan Tannehill with several bone crushing hits - and they ALMOST got that elusive turnover (darn you, Jake Long). I said the home team would win by a field goal and (cough, cough) that's exactly what happened.
2) Steelers @ Giants
What I said: "I don't know why but I sense this is a letdown week for the Giants - they tend to have a few of these every year. The Steelers are going to come in desperate and physical and I think they beat up the Giants a little bit this week. Look for a tough, physical game with the Steelers coming out on top."
What happened: Not too many prognosticators (fake Predictificationists) saw this one coming... it's a good thing you all read my column. Ask Victor Cruz if he thought this was a tough, physical game. Nearly nailed the score, too - I predicted a 23-21 Steelers victory and they won it 24-20.
3) Bears @ Titans
What I said: "The Bears continue to be one of the most underrated teams in the NFL. Last week they played terribly against Carolina - and still won. The Titans pass defense won't have an answer for Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte should have a field day running the football. This one is going to be a blowout - don't let the small spread scare you. It's the lock of the week."
What happened: This was the blowout of the week with the Bears putting up 51 points. Brandon Marshall had 9 receptions for 122 and 3 touchdowns and Matt Forte ran for 103, an 8.6 average per carry and a touchdown. Yeah... fair to say that one was spot on.
4) Lions @ Jaguars
What I said: "The Lions started to look a little bit more like the Lions of 2011 last week - which is bad news for the Jaguars. Although the season is already a dumpster fire for the Jaguars they decided to make it worse this week by trading WR Mike Thomas to the Lions - the same Lions they will be playing this Sunday... Dumb. Take the Lions and they should cover the 3.5."
What happened: I predicted the score of this game to be 34-20 in favor of the Lions - it ended 31-14 and pretty much the way I expected. Detroit did continue to look like the Lions of old with Matthew Stafford finding Calvin Johnson early and often (7 catches and 129 yards).
Here's why I'm dumb:
1) Buccaneers @ Raiders
What I said: "History hasn't been kind to teams traveling across the country for games - even if they are against the Raiders. The Buccaneers looked pretty dominant against the Vikings last week but I'm not sold that it can continue. Stick with the formula - home team by a field goal."
What happened: This makes two weeks in a row the Buccaneers have made me look dumb - and I'm not happy about it. I guess I may need to change my opinion of this team - especially if Doug Martin continues to play like that.
2) Panthers @ Redskins
What I said: "The Panthers have played a lot of close games this season and this one should be no exception. The Redskins will win this game and the Panthers season will continue to go down the toilet - but it will be a last second field goal that pulls it out."
What happened: The Panthers dominated most of the afternoon and the Redskins didn't look very competitive. What can I say? As a Predictificationist, I knew that Obama was going to win the election and for the infamous 'Redskins Rule' to stay true the Redskins had to win... but they didn't.
Before we get to the games, here are some other fearless predictions, news and notes for Week 10:
- I think the Colts defense should pledge to eat an apple turnover every day until it generates another turnover... if nothing else the expanding waistlines could help at nose tackle if Josh Chapman is unable to play this season.
- Andrew Luck gave himself a 'C' for the first half of the season where all he's done is lead the team to a 5-3 record while throwing for 10 touchdowns, 8 interceptions and 2,404 yards. I wonder what he would have given Peyton Manning in 1998 through 8 games? (1-7 record, 11 touchdowns and 16 interceptions)
- The Bears, inspired by Chicago native Barack Obama's successful re-election campaign, will continue building a true Super Bowl contender over the next four years. The Patriots, disappointed by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's failed campaign, will realize they have about 4 years until they need to start over - Tom Brady's not getting any younger.
- The Chargers were investigated for using Gorilla Gold Towels to help them catch the ball. The NFL fined the team for not allowing the official to properly investigate during the game - when asked to what was on the towels the equipment manager said 'none of your beeswax'. Turns out beeswax is the primary ingredient on Gorilla Gold Towels.
On to the picks!
Indianapolis Colts (5-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7)
Line - Colts by 3
The Jaguars only win of the season was against the Colts in Week 3 - but the game really came down to two huge plays: one by Maurice Jones-Drew (who won't play this week) and the other, the game winner, by Cecil Shorts. The team is dreadful - but divisional game always seem to be close.
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
New York Giants (6-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-5)
Line - Giants by 4
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
Tennessee Titans (3-6) at Miami Dolphins (4-4)
Line - Dolphins by 6
The Dolphins have shown some fight this season - while the Titans are on their way out. Bud Adams went off the deep end a little last week while being blown out by the Bears, claiming that all aspects of the organization will be closely evaluated throughout the rest of the season - this tactic rarely makes a team perform better and usually signals the beginning of the end. Take the Dolphins to cover the spread.
DOLPHINS WIN 24-13
Detroit Lions (4-4) at Minnesota Vikings (5-4)
Line - Lions by 2
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
Buffalo Bills (3-5) at New England Patriots (5-3)
Line - Patriots by 11
The Patriots are 4-1 against the Bills over the last five games and are averaging 40.8 points per game - Bill Belichick loves to run up the score on his division rivals. Look for this game to be close in the first half before the Patriots pull away near the end (with help from some Buffalo turnovers). Tom Brady will have a big day throwing the ball and the Patriots will run up the score at the end.
PATRIOTS WIN 38-24
Atlanta Falcons (8-0) at New Orleans Saints (3-5)
Line - Falcons by 2.5
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
San Diego Chargers (4-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4)
Line - Buccaneers by 3
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
Denver Broncos (5-3) at Carolina Panthers (2-6)
Line - Broncos by 4
When will the Broncos start to get respect from Vegas? The Broncos are only getting 4 points (Inconceivable!) 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
Oakland Raiders (3-3) at Baltimore Ravens (6-2)
Line - Ravens by 7.5
The Ravens have been struggling a little lately but luckily have had some easy opponents lately to cover the flaws (Browns last week and Raiders this week). The spread is a little generous in my opinion and I think the Raiders may have the fire power to keep this one close. The Ravens win but it'll be tougher than most people think.
RAVENS WIN 24-20
New York Jets (3-5) at Seattle Seahawks (5-4)
Line - Seahawks by 6.5
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
Dallas Cowboys (3-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)
Line - Cowboys by 1
Believe it or not, someone has to win this game. Both teams seem to be just a few inches from the ledge and one of them is going over (Can I have your watch when you are dead?). Both of these quarterbacks are turnover machines - Michael Vick is 3rd with 14 turnovers this season and Tony Romo is 2nd with 15 (only Matt Cassel is worse with 18). After watching the Eagles last week it's hard for me to imagine them being able to beat the Cowboys - even with all of the issues in Dallas.
COWBOYS WIN 27-24
St. Louis Rams (3-5) at San Francisco 49ers (6-2)
Line - 49ers by 11
The Rams return from their bye week to face one of the better teams in the NFC. The 49ers defense should be able to contain what little offense the Rams have - but I don't know that the 49ers offense will be able to capitalize. The Rams defense is good enough (13th in the NFL) to keep the game close. I don't think the 49ers can score enough to cover the spread but should win the game.
49ERS WIN 24-14
Houston Texans (7-1) at Chicago Bears (7-1)
Line - Bears by 1
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. How would I describe the Bears defense? Strong... to quite strong. 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
Kansas City Chiefs (1-7) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)
Line - Steelers by 12.5
There isn't much to say here... The Chiefs are at the basement of the NFL and the Steelers should handle them easily. Matt Cassel turns the ball over more than anyone in the NFL and the Steelers are a team that can capitalize on that quickly. Look for this one to get out of hand early.
STEELERS WIN 24-6
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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