Thursday, November 1, 2012

NFL 2012 Regular Season Game Predictions

There were quite a few surprises in week 8, namely:

1.  The way Miami went into NY and manhandled the Jets

2.  That SD lost to Cleveland in a 7-6 snoozer, giving up their first 100
     yard game to an opponents RB (Richardson) in the process

3.  That GB only beat Jacksonville by 9 points

4.  How TB went into Minnesota last Thurs. and beat the Vikings down

and some things that, quite frankly, were of no surprise at all:

1.  That SF's defense was able to completely stuff Arizona's offense

2.  That Alex Smith threw for 3 scores, one to Randy Moss, going 18 for 
     19 in the process, which turned out to be an historic night for Smith.

3.  That Peyton Manning and the Broncos pretty much had their way 
     with the Saints Defense.

4.  That KC is topping off my very early list of teams entrenched in the
     Matt Barkley/Tyler Wilson sweepstakes.

I had a pretty good week picking the games again last week, going 11-3.  This brings my season total up to 79-39, which is kind of the area I'm hoping to be in at the end of the season, a bit better even.  To get there though, I'll have to keep picking well, and this takes us to the Week 9 picks:

Thursday Night Game

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Cardinals

If ever there were a week were one could think about taking the Chiefs, it would be this week.  The Chargers just got punched in the face last week in Cleveland, falling 7-6 to the muddling Browns.  Philip Rivers has been pretty much awful this season and to be fair, his WR support is pretty bad, as Vincent Brown's yet to play this year, and FA addition's Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem have not been great by any means.  To make matters worse, their elite TE Gates is having a declining season, showing that even elite athletes slow down as their careers wind down.  But the most baffling thing to me, is the way RB Ryan Matthews has been used.  He's your guy and when healthy, which is a big when, you use him.  Last week on a 4th and one play, SD used Jackie Battle for the play and it fell short.  You can argue all day how perhaps Battle fits the mold better for that down and distance, but if you use your guy, you really can't get criticized for it.  KC is in the same boat, but it's picked up much more water by now.  I fully expect an expensive housekeeping to take place at the end of the season, from GM to QB, I don't think anyone makes the cut.  So, what do I expect tonight, well, it's kind of tough to tell.  If you get the Chargers that play up to their talent level it won't be a contest, but if they let the Chiefs hang around, then who knows.  If fully expect KC to use RB Charles more than 5 times this week, but who knows with Romeo, he didn't even know the best player on his team only ran it five times.  Ineptitude draws criticism and in these two teams cases, rightfully so.  I think SD is more equipped to bounce back, and having KC at home, makes that bounce much easier.  SD 27-13

Sunday's Games

Arizona Cardinals @ Green Bay Packers

GB scared the cheeseheads a little bit last week, not ever really able to bury the Jaguars in a game that most of those left in Survivor pools took.  They did hang on, and they did it with stud CB Woodson, WR's Nelson and Jennings, whom they'll be without for several weeks still.  Nelson's status for this week is up in the air.  While Arizona does have a decent defense, it really doesn't matter to me who Aaron Rodgers is throwing the ball too, as Cobb and Jones look pretty good on the other end.  Arizona will be out of this game by half time.  GB 36-16

Detroit Lions @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Detroit let Seattle hang in there till very late last week.  Jacksonville kept it close with the Packers.  This could be an interesting game, but I think there's too much talent in Detroit for them NOT to win this one.  Sure, the Lions have not lived up to expectations, but that doesn't really matter when you're going against another one of those teams that will decidedly be drafting early.  Detroit 28-14

Chicago Bears @ Tennessee Titans

Chicago's defense is head and shoulders better than any other defense in the league right now. No one seems to truly be able to run against them.  They have a vicious pass rush, perhaps two of the leagues best CB's right now and a defense that feels they lost if they don't score. Tennessee is still with Hasselbeck at the helm, and with an offensive line that is very beatable right now.  RB Chris Johnson has had one good game in basically 2 years now, and won't get it done this week.  While Chicago's offense hasn't exactly been lighting the scoreboards this year, Tennessee can't stop anyone.  This, when combined, is a recipe for a rout.  Chicago 32-9

Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Broncos are getting better and better each week.  The key, it seems, to beating the Broncos this year, was to have had them early on the schedule.  Manning is looking very close to the Manning of old and the entire team is thriving offensively.  The Defense is not playing as well as it did last season, but, they really don't have to.  The Bengals started off hot but have gone on a three game slide recently.  The defense is beatable, something I'm confident Peyton Manning will do on Sunday.  Denver 37-24

Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins

This is one of 6 games I'm not sure of yet.  By Sunday morning I'll probably be closer to confident on most, but this may be one of the two I'll probably remain undecided right up until they start playing.  In any event, because of the Thursday games, I make the picks ahead of time, and as I've been doing, which it hasn't been bad to me by any means, I'll have to make the pick now and just live with the results.  I don't like either team.  But I do like both of their QB's, RGIII a bit more right now.  Each team can be scored upon, but what separates these teams, to me, right now, is their running games.  Carolina, while built to be this powerhouse rushing attack (Williams, Stewart, Tolbert and Newton) just hasn't been getting it done, while Washington is a balanced team with the offensive lynchpin being the ability for the team around him to play up to Griffin's strengths, which is the ability to ad lib and make plays on the fly.  Yet, they found themselves a running back in Morris, and while I have a gut feeling the Panthers are due, partly to the lingering disbelief they had the game against Chicago in the bag, only to lose it late, but still, I have a feeling.  That all said, I'm taking the smart money and going with Griffin, Morris and the Redskins.  17-14

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns

It was close when these two teams played a few weeks ago, and that was in Baltimore.  Cleveland's rookie QB has been playing much better, and it's clear that he's learning from his early season mistakes.  That's easy to do though when you have a beast like Richardson running the ball for you and the emergence of a deep threat weapon like WR Gordon.  Baltimore is still the Baltimore we've come to know, but one that has been hurt by injuries.  Yet, the thing that's hindering them, if you want to even call it that, is the Offensive production.  I know, I know, most will say the defense hasn't lived up to their reputation, which I agree, to a point, but for me, it's the way WR Boldin shows up one week, then disappears for a few, it's how their other WR Torrie Smith has not been used to his full effectiveness, and this all could be attributed to the QB play.  I'm not down on Flacco, but I'm not high on him either.  What this all equates to, is teams being able to key in on Ray Rice and force the passing game to beat them.  Fair enough.  And I think this is how Cleveland will approach this game again.  They'll keep it close, but in my opinion, Baltimore is the better team, and Cleveland, while getting better each week, isn't quite there yet.  Baltimore 31-17

Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts

Here's that second game of the six I mentioned earlier.  I'm torn here and I'm trying hard to figure out exactly why.  I love the way QB Luck's played for the Colts, ROY candidate for sure in my opinion. Yet, I have to be impressed how the Dolphins have rallied around all the pre-season prognosticators, myself included, that thought they'd be a doormat all year.  I want to take Indianapolis here, but  I have to believe in the Dolphin running game.  Miami in a close one. 23-20

Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans

Not going to be long here.  Big news for Bill's fans is that Mario Williams is making his return to Houston, so perhaps we get a few dollars of that contract to show on the field.  But this game is going to be disgusting if you're a Bills fan.  Fortunately for me, I have both the Houston defense and RB Arian Foster on my fantasy team, and while I'll trade in poor performances by both for a Bills win, it's far more realistic to win the Megamillions or Powerball, at least that's how it appears to me, a depressed Bills fan who had high hopes for this season, only to watch teams score a record amount of yards and points against a defense I, as others had, expected to be top ten in the league.  The Laughfest continues.  Houston 56-17

Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks

Minnesota's been impressive and a nice surprise story this year.  AP is getting healthier and more deadly each week, which, in part, is one of the reasons the team's played so well this year.  But Seattle has been a surprise as well and while they've lost a few close ones, they've won a few they were dogs in.  They also have a top notch defense and are virtually unbeatable at home.  While I've marked this one as the third of those six uncertain picks, I think the trend will continue here for Seattle at home.  Seahawks 19-13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Oakland Raiders

This is the 4th of the six.  I have no handle on TB, except that rookie RB Doug Martin has been awesome lately and QB Josh Freeman has looked like a better version of the Josh Freeman we saw in his rookie year.  Oakland while up and down have been playing better offense as of late and beat KC last week and almost, and should've, beat the undefeated Falcons a few weeks back.  This is one of those games I'll probably flip-flop the rest of the week, but the picks in, and I'll go with my initial gut reaction.  Oakland 28-24

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants

Five of Six.  I can't wait to watch this game.  I really think it'll be all offense here.  Two defenses that can be thrown on with two QB's that can throw the ball.  I'm looking for a shootout with the home team getting the edge.  But easily can see Pittsburgh pulling this out as well.  Let's say NYG 35-34

Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons

Last of the six.  You know, this probably shouldn't be a game that I'm not confident in, as I am.  But, it's just that I can't help but wonder, anytime really, when a team is riding an undefeated streak, it has to end someplace.  While it doesn't actually have to end, it most oftentimes does, and I think Atlanta will lose a game before the end of the year, so why not the Cowboys on SNF?  I'm just not confident enough that the loss will come this week though, so with that, I'm taking the Falcons. 30-26

Monday Night Football

Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints

Could be a fun game to watch, if not for the points scored, then for the drama unfolding on the Eagles sideline.  This could be Mike Vick's last game as the Eagle's starter, which I find unlikely, as NO is a struggling QB's best friend right now.  Points can and will be scored, and while I typically take the better offense here, I'm going to take the Eagles.  The reason is that there's just too much riding on this game for them.  It's not just for Mike Vick either.  HC Andy Reid is probably on a very hot seat right now, and if he has any chance of salvaging this season, they must win in the Big Easy this upcoming Monday.  Eagles 32-30

Good luck to all your teams, and if you have it in you, for all those outside of Houston, say a tiny prayer for my Bills.  See you next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment