Week 9 NFL Picks: Scottie vs. Matt

Scottie made this thing a game again, going 8-5 last week and beating me for the third consecutive week, improving his record to 62-55.  I, on the other hand, took a dump in my pants for the third week in a row, posting a 5-8 record and watching my overall record plummet to an abysmal 62-55.  But, I guess it is only fitting that halfway through the season Scottie and I have identical records.  It will make for a hell of a battle down the stretch.  Anyways, I’m getting back to my early successes, listening to my gut when it comes to these picks, no more over-analyzing games.  Also, just to switch things up and get me out of this funk, I’m leading it off this week and making my picks first.  Let’s do it…

Halfway through the season and I finally caught up to Matt.  I won’t lie, it feels good.  But I am not about to rest on my laurels and call it a season, there is still plenty of work to do.  I was also curious to see how we matched up with the so called experts from espn.com.  Here is a look.

Someone with the last name Allen: 56-61

Mike Golic: 68-49

Merril Hodge: 62-55

Ron Jaworski: 65-43 (doesn’t pick Monday night games)

Chris Mortensen: 73-44

Adam Schefter: 62-55

Mark Schlereth: 73-44

Someone with the last name Wickersham: 62-55

ESPN Accuscore: 69-48


Jets @ Lions

Scott: Jets

The Lions defense isn’t as bad as Matty thinks. They also have, in my opinion, one of the better offense’s in the league.  I am leaning towards thinking the Jets are a bit overrated and will only go as far as Mark Sanchez can take them. I will be conservative and take the Jets here but don’t be surprised if the Lions protect their turf and beat the J-E-T-S.

Matt: Jets

The Jets offense got completely shut down last week against the Packers, leading to a 9-0 Green Bay victory.  I love watching games like that, defensive battles from start to finish.  There are few better ways to get your offense jumpstarted again than by heading to Detroit to take on one of the leagues more porous defenses.  Look for Calvin Johnson to make a living on Revis Island, but the ground attack from the Jets will be too much for the Lions to overcome.

Dolphins @ Ravens

Scott: Ravens

The Dolphins have been solid over the past few weeks while the Ravens have been lackluster at best after losing to the Pats and almost to the Bills.  They are now coming off of a bye week and have the benefit of getting refocused for a tough Dolphins team.  I like any team off a bye week, especially the Ravens.

Matt: Ravens

The Ravens were my preseason pick to be the AFC representative in the Super Bowl, and I’m sticking by it.  Baltimore is coming off of a bye week, while Miami had its hands full last weekend against the Bengals.  Look for the Ravens to shut down the rushing attack of the Dolphins and force Chad Henne to beat them…yup, that means a Ravens’ victory.

Patriots @ Browns

Scott: Patriots

This is the definition of a “trap game.”  The Browns are 2-5 and the Patriots have a matchup with the Steelers next Sunday.  Eric Mangini has a tendency of getting in Belichick’s head.  With all that being said I still like the best team in football against a rookie quarterback with no receivers and a former fullback as the lead running back.

Matt: Patriots

This game is going to be closer than most expect.  The rivalry between coach Belichick and Mangini will certainly be a factor, with both coaches trying to out do the other.  The Browns will try and pound Hillis down the Pats’ throat, but after last week’s performance I am not betting against New England’s  run defense.

Chargers @ Texans

Scott: Texans

The Chargers surprised me by beating the Titans last week. They do have one of the better defenses in the league.  But the Texans are coming off a Monday night loss to the Colts. The Chargers are still one of the least disciplined teams in the league and that will hurt them this week. It’s also about time Matt Schaub shows up.

Matt: Chargers

I have been waiting for the Chargers to start their patented late season playoff push, and it looks like last week’s win against Tennessee was the start of it.  Houston boasts one of the worst pass defenses in the league, so Philip Rivers could probable have Scottie and I out their running routes and still throw for 300 yards (at least 200 to me of course).  A banged up Andre Johnson against one of the league’s best pass defenses doesn’t make me much of a believer in Houston this week.

Bears @ Bills

Scott: Bears

I have to laugh because this game actually scares me.  The Bills have been playing really well lately and it’s been against two of the better teams in the league (Ravens, Chiefs).  The Bears offense is turnover prone even against one of the worst defenses in the league.  But the Bears are coming off of a bye and I honestly just can’t pull the trigger on the Bills.

Matt: Bills

Ladies and gentlemen, it is that time.  The Buffalo Bills finally win a game!  They have been involved in back to back overtime losses against two very good teams, the Ravens and the Chiefs.  What better time to pick up their first win against one of the league’s most turnover prone quarterbacks?  Look for Jay Cutler to have mental collapse on the field, giving the Bills the ball too often not to score enough to win.

Cardinals @ Vikings

Scott: Vikings

As much as the Vikings are in shambles, they still have too much talent on the field not to win.  As much as I detest Brett Favre he played well against the Pats last week and the Cardinals can only wish they’d have him under center instead of Derek Anderson or Max Hall.  If by the slight chance the Vikings do lose here, expect Brad Childress to get fired before he even makes it to the locker room after the final horn.

Matt: Vikings

Luckily for the Vikings, they come off of the whole Randy Moss drama with a matchup against the Cardinals.  The Max Hall experiment didn’t work out very well in Arizona, so they are back to Derek Anderson.  No more Moss, a banged up Harvin, and an ever-aging Brett Favre means tons of work for AP, and I can’t see the Cardinals slowing him down.

Buccaneers @ Falcons

Scott: Falcons

I like the Falcons as Super Bowl contenders in the NFC.  I can’t believe the Bucs aren’t too far behind them.  The Bucs are a carbon copy of what the Falcons were two years ago and that is the main point here.  The Bucs are a young and inexperienced team.  When it comes time for big games, I don’t think they have it in them to come out on top.

Matt: Falcons

Raheem Morris has this Buccaneers team believing that they are the class of the NFC.  I said before the season that I believed in what Morris was doing down in Tampa and I liked the direction that this team was going in.  That being said, I believe that in 2010 the road to the NFC South title runs through Atlanta.

Saints @ Panthers

Scott: Saints

Is it me or do the New Orleans Saints have the biggest cupcake of a schedule in NFL history?  They did impress me against Pittsburgh last week however, and there are reports that Drew Brees has a significant knee injury.  Drew Brees could have both legs amputated and I’d still pick the Saints over the Panthers.

Matt: Saints

I predicted a break out week for Jonathan Stewart last week in his first start of the season.  Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me.  I’m not letting that terrible offense line in Carolina fool me again.

Giants @ Seahawks

Scott: Giants

The Seahawks will be without their starting quarterback and even if Hasselbeck were starting I’d go with (gulp) the NFC favorites to go to the Super Bowl.  They have the leading rusher in the NFL and one of the top young receivers in the NFL.  Look for them to tear up the Seahawk defense.

Matt: Giants

The Giants continue to make their case for being the best team in the NFC.  A healthy Matt Hasselbeck would have led me to picking Seattle, who has yet to lose this season at home, but I expect Charlie Whitehurst to hit the ground early and often which should lead to an easy win for the G-Men.

Colts @ Eagles

Scott: Colts

Peyton Manning makes players out of nobodies.  Last week Dallas Clark sat on the sideline with a look on his face that said “oh crap the secret is out, I am nothing and Peyton is God.”  Peyton Manning made Jacob Tamme look great against Houston.  Look at the list of players Manning has played with and the revolving door that has happened around him.  He is the model of consistency and will continue to do so.  Vick will struggle in his first game back.

Matt: Eagles

The Colts’ weapons are deteriorating by the minute.  Dallas Clark is out for the year.  Joseph Addai and Austin Collie look like they’ll be missing another week.  Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon have been banged up.  No Gary Bracket and Bob Sanders on defense.  All of these injuries add up to a Philadelphia win.

Chiefs @ Raiders

Scott: Raiders

Anytime I pick the Raiders they royally screw me over but I haven’t learned my lesson.  In the preseason I said the Raiders would win the AFC West and I am sticking with that notion.  Unfortunately with every Raiders win, the Richard Seymour draft pick goes further down the board for the Pats.

Matt: Chiefs

Darren McFadden and Michael Bush vs. Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles…I’m going with the guys in red.

Cowboys @ Packers

Scott: Packers

The Cowboys stink.

Matt: Packers

The real question regarding this game may very well be: Why the hell are they in the Sunday night spot?  The Cowboys have been done since Romo was crying on the field.  Time to just give Dez Bryant the ball every time, build his confidence, and see what the youngster can do.  Green Bay presents a perfect example of how to deal with adversary…while Dallas is the antithesis.

Steelers @ Bengals

Scott: Steelers

The Steelers will get back to their winning ways after losing to New Orleans last week.  Carson Palmer has shown he can’t play football and manage diva personalities as well.  Throw in the Pittsburgh defense on top of it all and Palmer is currently crapping his pants.

Matt: Steelers

The Steelers lost a game they should have won last week in New Orleans.  James Harrison must be pissed off that he keeps getting fined by Goodell.  I would have paid a lot of money to be in that meeting.  By the way, did you know that Roger Goodell makes more than $11 million a year.  That’s insane.  I say that Goodell gets fined every time a play gets reversed on a challenge because the referees he hires aren’t doing their job correctly.  Or how about we take a portion of his $11 million and put it in a retired players medical fund?  I can not believe this guys pulls in that kind of cash.  Anyways, Steelers over Bengals…and good luck Carson Palmer.