2013 Regular Season: 87-46 (65.4%)
2012 Regular Season: 164-91-1* (64.3%)
Last Week: 8-5 (61.5%)
All-time Colts Predictions: 18-7 (72%)
OK - I can admit it. Not my best week.
But, let's be honest here... you have feel like you're coming to the right place if a "bad" week is 8-5, right? Some decent games this week as I look to rebound. Injuries are beginning to take their toll on the NFL season (and my picks) and it may have changed the balance of power in the NFC North. Makes me wonder if the Detroit Lions can sneak up and steal the division.
The Colts pulled out another amazing come-from-behind victory last Sunday night. I gotta admit - it's a lot of fun to watch, but wouldn't it be nice if Indy could not have to come from behind in the fourth quarter? Sunday night revealed some things about the Colts:
- T.Y. Hilton is a baller. Sure, he drops the ball from time to time - but he's got a knack for big plays. He's not going to be Reggie Wayne's "replacement" but he should have a chance to show everything he has to offer - and I'm looking forward to it.
- Andrew Luck is amazing. I know - this may be old news. On Sunday night I was surprised to see how well Luck responded to getting knocked around. It sounds simple, but think of the faces other elite quarterbacks would have made after that first half. Tom Brady would have been screaming on the sidelines and Peyton Manning would do the "Manning face" showing obvious discontent. Luck is the ultimate team player.
- Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky is really making an impact on this defense. His second half adjustments have been solid all season. How incredible was the defensive scheme to stop the bootleg by Case Keenum in the second half? That's good, sound coaching.
UNDEFEATED WATCH (1): Kansas City Chiefs.
WINLESS WATCH (2): Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Here's a recap of my best picks from last week:
Browns at Chiefs - I can only brag about one game this week - I got seven more right, but nothing that I'm too proud of. I told you this game would be close but the Redskins would win by a field goal at home - they ended up winning by a touchdown in overtime. If they had kicked a field goal in overtime (and stopped the Chargers on defense) I would have nailed the score. I can live with that.
"The Chargers have played pretty decent football to this point of the season. The Redskins haven't. Here's why I like the Redskins in this one: Washington stills sees the division title as up for grabs, RGIII is getting more comfortable (slowly) and the Chargers are flying across the country to play this game.
Hey - it's not good, but it's a reason.
REDSKINS WIN 27-24"
Before we get to the games, here are some other fearless predictions, news and notes for Week 10:
- Aren't the NFC North quarterback situations crazy this year? The Vikings have started Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman. The Bears have lost Jay Cutler. The Packers lost Aaron Rodgers. If I'm Matthew Stafford, I'm taking out a couple of extra insurance policies this week.
- Do you think when Aaron Rodgers was told that he broke his collar bone he turned to the doctor and said, "You might want to daaable check that, my friend"?
- I was a little surprised to see that the Colts (or any other team for that matter) didn't make a waiver claim for Nnamdi Asomugha. He's a solid veteran that seemed to strive in man-to-man coverage. He doesn't have any value (even in a dime package) at the veteran minimum? He's gotta be better than Cassius Vaughn, right?
- This Richie Incognito thing is going to be the next "Spygate" or "Bountygate". My feeling is that similar things are going on in a lot of NFL locker rooms but the Dolphins will be made an example of in this situation.
On to the picks!
St. Louis Rams (3-6) at Indianapolis Colts (6-2)
Line - Colts by 9.5
The Colts return home a more confident bunch than when they left for Houston. They were able to come back from a large deficit on the road in a playoff-type atmosphere. Even more encouraging, they were able to do it in their first game without Reggie Wayne. The Rams are headed in a different direction. They've been tough and stay in almost every game that they've played, but can't seem to get over the hump.
I like the Colts to win this game - but I think the point spread is a bit to generous. I'd love to see the Colts win by ten or more... but that hasn't really been the Indy's M.O. this season. I think the Colts are in control throughout, Coby Fleener has a big game and they go on to win by a touchdown.
But - beware of Jeff Fisher and his crazy game planning to keep the Rams in the game. This is the guy that kept kicking onside kicks trying to beat Peyton Manning's Colts.
It's the lock of the week.
COLTS WIN 24-17
Washington Redskins (3-5) at Minnesota Vikings (1-7)
Line - Redskins by 2.5
I don't know who is starting at quarterback for the Vikings this week - and I'll be honest... I don't care enough to look it up. Minnesota hasn't shown me anything to make me believe that they are capable of winning this game. The Redskins are coming off an emotional overtime win that just may be what that team needed to get going -well, that and a game against the Vikings.
REDSKINS WIN 27-13
Seattle Seahawks (8-1) at Atlanta Falcons (2-6)
Line - Seahawks by 6.5
This game was probably one of those games that you circled at the beginning of the season thinking, "Wow, this will be a possible NFC Championship preview." At least that's what I thought. What a difference nine weeks makes, huh? The Falcons gave all the signs of giving up against the Panthers last week and I don't see them beating Seattle. With that being said, the Seahawks haven't been firing on all cylinders lately and may be on upset alert this weekend. I'm still taking Seattle - but be careful.
SEAHAWKS WIN 31-27
Detroit Lions (5-3) at Chicago Bears (5-3)
Line - Lions by 2.5
I will almost always take a team that is starting it's first string quarterback over one that is starting a backup. I'll say this, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Bears played without Jay Cutler on Monday night against Green Bay. I'm still going to take the Lions, but I don't feel great about it.
LIONS WIN 27-20
Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) at Green Bay Packers (5-3)
Line - Packers by 1
NFL record-holder Nick Foles heads to Green Bay for an encore of last week's performance against Oakland. If last week against the Bears was any indication of the secondary that Foles will see on Sunday, he might be primed for a repeat performance. I'm saying that injury bug is just too much to handle for the Packers and that the Eagles will continue to rally behind Foles (who has thrown 13 TDs and 0 interceptions this season).
Take the Eagles.
EAGLES WIN 27-17
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8) at Tennessee Titans (4-4)
Line - Titans by 11.5
I really like the Jaguars in this one - to lose. The Titans are playing decent football (and they are the only team that scares me in the AFC South) and they should be able to handle Jacksonville at home. Here's the thing - divisional games are also closer than you'd think... stay away from that spread.
TITANS WIN 23-13
Oakland Raiders (3-5) at New York Giants (2-6)
Line - Giants by 7.5
The Raiders got blown away by Philadelphia last week, especially against the pass. The Giants seem to ONLY be able to pass this season. I like the Giants.
GIANTS WIN 31-17
Buffalo Bills (3-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6)
Line - Steelers by 3
The Steelers have been pretty unimpressive this season - and the Bills have been the opposite. In fact, I'm surprised at how well Buffalo has played and I'm shocked that they aren't the favorite going into Sunday. The Bills will win this game - not matter who is starting at quarterback.
BILLS WIN 27-23
Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) at Baltimore Ravens (3-5)
Line - Bengals by 1.5
The Ravens are taking the Super Bowl slump to a new low. They don't seem to have any of the fire they had during their postseason run last year (maybe we underestimated the impact of Ray Lewis.. .as impossible as it seems). The Bengals are coming off a very disappointing loss to the Dolphins as they continue to be one of the hardest teams to figure out this season.
I'm taking the Bengals - but I don't know... and divisional games can go either way.
BENGALS WIN 23-17
Carolina Panthers (5-3) at San Francisco 49ers (6-2)
Line - 49ers by 6
The Panthers have quite a winning streak going into San Francisco this week... but so do the 49ers. People have kind of forgotten about the defending NFC champs who are beginning to look capable of a deep playoff run again. Carolina doesn't have maturity to travel across the country to win a big game against a good team like the 49ers (unlike the Colts).
49ERS WIN 27-17
Houston Texans (2-6) at Arizona Cardinals (4-4)
Line - Cardinals by 2.5
Houston will be without head coach Gary Kubiak, who suffered a "mini stroke" at halftime last week. It's hard to predict the impact this will have on the team as they move forward without their leader. My gut says that it may be the straw that breaks the camels back - too much hasn't gone right for the Texans this year, I think they throw in the towel.
CARDINALS WIN 27-20
Denver Broncos (7-1) at San Diego Chargers (4-4)
Line - Broncos by 7
The Broncos come off of their bye week without their head coach, too - but this won't have the same impact as it will in Houston (having a quarterback like Peyton Manning prevents that). With that being said, the Chargers always give Peyton Manning a hard time and I don't expect this game to be easy.
The Broncos will still win - it just won't be easy.
BRONCOS WIN 38-31
Dallas Cowboys (5-4) at New Orleans Saints (6-2)
Line - Saints by 7
The Cowboys have to be sweating watching the NFC East race tighten up. Dallas was unable to pull away when they had the chance early in the season and it's coming back to haunt them. The Saints have to be disappointed with how they played against the Jets last week and should be looking to rebound.
The Cowboys defense isn't nearly as good as the Jets. Take the Saints.
SAINTS WIN 34-27
Miami Dolphins (4-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8)
Line - Dolphins by 2.5
ESPN is probably happy this whole thing with Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin happened - it has almost made Monday Night Football watchable... almost. The Buccaneers have to feel pretty devastated at how they let things get away in Seattle last week - I don't think they have much fight left.
DOLPHINS WIN 24-13
BYE WEEKS: New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs
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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