Let's see. Warren Moon is a paranoid race baiter, the Giants are up 2-0 in the World Series, and ESPN & Stephen A. Smith have proven yet again that they're both more about ratings than they are about actually providing any sort of worthwhile content. That about cover the news of the week? Oh, yeah. And the Bobby Valentine fallout is proving to be just as hilarious as nearly everyone had predicted. That should do it. Now, with that out of the way, let's get down to picking some football games...
Week 8 Picks
St. Louis Rams (+7) vs New England Patriots (London)
Last week, I was concerned about picking against the Pats because history told me they were likely primed for a break out. This week, I'm concerned about even picking them to win based on their recent play in the 4th quarter. IT seems like it's only a "matter of time" before the Pats are able to translate their offensive talent into big offensive numbers. But the befuddling way in which they've yet to do it so far, has me worried as a fan, and wary as a bettor. To the point where I'll be picking against them in spots like this until they lay the proverbial wood to a few opponents in a row. And I'm not thinking that trend will start on a neutral field against a fairly stingy defense and a QB capable of hitting receivers when the DBs don't EVER FREAKING TURN AROUND TO PLAY THE BALL!
Ah. Got that out. Moving on!
Washington Redskins (+4.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Griffin's been good, and Pittsburgh's D isn't the Pittsburgh D we've been used to. Even when all of they're guys are healthy. Therefore, I like his chances in a shootout with Big Ben. The Steelers are still a formidable foe, but whoever gets the ball last in this one will likely walk away the winner. That's why I'll take QB who I shouldn't dare compare to a young Michael Vick, and the nearly 5 points...
Chicago Bears (-7.5) vs Carolina Panthers
See what I did there? Set up this little Warren Moon bit quite nicely, didn't I? And here's that dude's problem. He's old, and he's out of the spotlight. He wants to be young, and in the spotlight. Understandable. But tossing out the race card is the cheapest way to go about that. I'm not blind to racial injustices that are done in and around this world, but people comparing Cam Newton to Vince Young simply is not one of them. I mean seriously, Warren. The people you're accusing this of (writers/fans) are the same white people that have compared EVERY SINGLE decent white basketball player since 1990 to Larry freaking Bird! "Oh, he's the next Bird, he's the next Bird..." You ever hear them saying that about a black prospect, Warren? Huh? Did ya? "Oooo that Rasheed Wallace. He could be the next Larry Bird! You know, if he ever figures out what the Hell is goin on with the back of his fro..."
What makes this even worse, is that the Young/Newton comparison is currently applicable for about 55 legitimate reasons. With race being, at best, #5 on the list. They're both 2nd year, run first QBs that a had meteoric rise in college and increased expectations in their 2nd year as starter that they were unable to meet. Right there. That makes it more than an appropriate comparison. Oh, and yes. They both happen to be black. And Wally Szcerbiak is the next Larry freakin' Bird. Nobody cares, Warren. Now go back into our cherished childhood memories where you belong, and stay off of my TV...
New York Giants (-1) @ Dallas Cowboys
In week 1 I took the Cowboys to cover in New York, knowing full well that when they met again I'd be picking the perennially slow starting G-Men to cover in Dallas. Well, it worked in week 1, and I like my chances of completing the season sweep. Dallas has proven, yet again, to be woefully inconsistent. While the Giants are beginning to play like the team that's won 2 out of the last 5 Super Bowls. I know it's a divisional game, and the familiarity there trends towards close games. But in a close game, when it comes to nut cutting time. Who you taking? Tony Romo OR Eli Manning? Right, that's what I thought...
Atlanta Falcons (+2.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles
Ready for a scary stat? Andy Reid is 13-0 in his career coming off of the bye week. And normally, I'd be all over that trend in what otherwise looks like a good spot for the 6-0 Falcons. But, in the immortal words of Yankees radio broadcaster, John Sterling. "Well, Suzyn. In life...all good things come to and end..." That's Andy Reid's 13-0 post bye week record, and likely his job as coach after this year for the Philadelphia Eagles. OR they'll keep him, and he'll hire his defensive back's coach to be his next offensive coordinator. Either way...
San Francisco 49ers (-7) @ Arizona Cardinals
Seems like a gimmie. San Fran is great, Arizona is sputtering. Great defense vs impotent offense. But that's a big number for a divisional road game in prime time. Meh, whatever. The Cardinals defense may be able to keep this one close, but coming of a 10 day rest after a similar 7 point win against Seattle on Thursday night, the Niners are too good to pass up. And mostly, the Arizona offense is too terrible to pass period...
There's some good value in the rest of the slate, namely Detroit and San Diego. Should get a good idea of where both Denver and New Orleans stand after their match up, too. I like the Broncos to win that game, but that's a big number to spot any Drew Brees led team that's still capable of scoring in just a matter of seconds...
Green Bay Packers (-15.5) vs Jacksonville Jaguars
San Diego Chargers (-2.5) @ Cleveland Browns
Detroit Lions (-1.5) vs Seattle Seahawks
Tennessee Titans (-3.5) vs Indianapolis Colts
Oakland Raiders (+1.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs
New York Jets (-2) vs Miami Dolphins
New Orleans Saints (+6) @ Denver Broncos
Last Week: 5-8-1
Overall: 64-57-5 (.528)
Twitter Picks: 14-6-1 (.690)
That's 17-3-1 over the past 2 weeks, friends. Yup, I'm cooking with fire, over here. Granted, this whole situation probably has the overall stability of your average Meth lab. But that's just all the more reason to get on board before that sucker goes up like...well, like your average Meth lab. And you can start by taking Notre Dame to keep with their tradition of failing to show up against the beasts of the Big XII and the SEC. I like what Brian Kelly is doing there, but Oklahoma in Norman isn't Stanford in South Bend. And truthfully, I just wanted to a reason to bust on this classic picture. Pun intended...
NCAA Top 25 Picks
(13) Mississippi St. (+24) @ (1) Alabama
(3) Florida (-6.5) vs (12) Georgia
(4) Kansas St. (-7) vs (15) Texas Tech
(8) Oklahoma (-10) vs (5) Notre Dame
(7) Oregon St. (-4) @ Washington
Penn St. (pick) vs (9) Ohio St.
Arizona (+6.5) vs (10) USC
Duke (+28) @ (11) Florida St.
Cincinnati (+3.5) @ (16) Louisville
Tennessee (+14) @ (17) South Carolina
Nebraska (+3) vs (20) Michigan
Kansas (+29) vs (23) Texas
Last Week: 9-2-0
Overall: 45-28-2 (.613)