Tuesday, November 1, 2011
NFL Week 8 Picks
Another week down in the NFL Season. Lets take a look at it!
Team of the Week: St. Louis Rams
-It may not mean anything come the end of the year, but that was one hell of a performance by the Rams against the Saints. The Rams were double digit underdogs who were pretty much written off by everyone before the game even started. But a pre-game speech by RB Steven Jackson motivated the Rams enough to come out and play their best game of the year against the Saints. Maybe a visit from the recent World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals did the trick to. The Rams shut down Drew Brees, sacking him 6 times and forcing two interceptions, returning one of them for a touchdown. Steven Jackson just tore apart the Saints defense going for over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Rams may not be going anywhere this year, but I'm sure that was a great win for their fans and the team.
Game of the Week: Pittsburgh 25 New England 17
-When these two teams usually meet, it results in a shootout with both times putting up 30+ points. This game? Not so much. Both teams got chunks of yards, but the game was kept rather low scoring for these two teams. The Steelers shut up their critics again this week by finally taking care of the Patriots, which they hadn't done in 7 of the last 8 games against them. The Steelers are now 6-2, have won 4 in a row, and are now on top of the AFC. They've looked much better than their AFC North counterpart the Baltimore Ravens the last couple of weeks. The Patriots, meanwhile, continue to struggle against the pass on defense. And when Tom Brady doesn't have an all world game, it hurts the team. I would not be surprised at all to see these two teams meet up again in late January.
Dog of the Week: Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers
-On ESPN they have a "Not Top 10." Philip Rivers may be on the century's "Not Top 10" list. That was just inexcusable. Fumbling a simple snap that was going to be nothing more than a kneel down attempt. Instead of winning on a last second field goal, the Chargers gave away the ball. It forced overtime and gave the Chiefs a victory. Now the Chargers are in a three way tie atop the AFC West. The Chargers could have really used this game. Instead of having a one game lead, they are now tied with the Raiders and Chiefs. And next week they get a rested Green Bay Packers team. The Chargers only face two teams with losing records the rest of the way. Things could get ugly and quick.
Other Week 8 Notes:
-There is seriously something wrong in Ravens Land. After losing ugly in Jacksonville on Monday night, the Ravens almost had an uglier loss against Arizona at home on Sunday. But thanks to a terrible second half by the Cardinals, the Ravens were able to come back and win on a last second field goal. Problem is, the Ravens are far superior to the Cardinals in every aspect of the game. They should have won that game by 20+ points. But they didn't. The Ravens were specifically bailed out by 3 pass interference calls in the end zone that set them up on the 1 yard line. Joe Flacco, while passing for 336 yards, still didn't look sharp for the second week in a row, and he really hasn't all seasons except for Week 1 against Pittsburgh and Week 3 against the Rams. The Ravens go to Pittsburgh next week then to Seattle before taking on Cincinnati and San Francisco at home. That's a tough schedule ahead.
-The NFL now needs to fear the Philadelphia Eagles. After a 1-4 start, the Eagles have won two in a row and looked like the Dream Team everyone thought they would be in the process. The Eagles scored on their first six possessions Sunday night in their route of the Cowboys. They tore apart Rob Ryan's improved Cowboys defense, and shut down the pass attack of the Cowboys. LeSean McCoy deserves some major props for all he's done this season. He has scored a touchdown in every game this season. He is often over looked because of Mike Vick, DeSean Jackson, and the Eagles secondary, but he is showing his worth as one of the best running backs in the league this year. McCoy deserves some MVP talk if he keeps up this pace. The Eagles are two games back of the Giants in the NFC, but if they continue to play this well, they should be able to catch them no problem.
-Speaking of the Giants, we will see what they are really made of in the coming weeks. Take nothing away from their 5-2 record. They are a good football team. Eli Manning, minus the loss to Seattle, has played relatively well this year. Plus the Giants are getting healthy and their pass rush is improving. But they have a brutal schedule ahead. If you're in a Halloween mood, this upcoming schedule will scare you if you are a Giants fan: at New England, at San Francisco, vs Philadelphia, at New Orleans, vs Green Bay, at Dallas, vs Washington, at NY Jets, vs Dallas. That is one of the most brutal 9 game stretches any team will ever see. If you figure the Giants need 10 wins to make the playoffs, they would need to win 5 of those 9 games. It will be tough, but this Giants team has the talent to pull it off. But they can't fall behind in any of those games like they did to Miami this week. Because the teams the Giants are playing won't fall apart like the Dolphins did.
-You asked for it Broncos fans, and you got it. Tim Tebow looked dreadful this week against the Lions. An article after the game in the Denver Post called Tebow the worst starting QB in the NFL. Tebow was thrown around like a rag doll Sunday. He looked terrible in the pocket, was inaccurate, and panicked when faced with pressure. Coach John Fox was non-committal on who would start at QB when the Broncos go to Oakland next week. As bad as Tebow has played, I don't think you can not start him for at least another week. Going back to Kyle Orton would seem stupid, so I guess that means the Broncos would have to go to Brady Quinn to see what he has. I never thought Tebow would be a starting QB in the league, and Sunday against the Lions was proof why I thought that. I don't care what kind of heart or determination the guy has, if you don't have the proper mechanics to be an NFL QB, he will not succeed.
Hey I'm Just Sayin
-We will right it how we want to write Tony Sparano: Dolphins Continue to "Suck for Luck."
-I bet the Panthers wish they kept John Kasay over Olindo Mare.
-After last week's performance, did Pete Carroll really think Charlie Whitehurst was a better option than Tavaris Jackson?
-It's conceivable that the 49ers could clinch the NFC West by Thanksgiving.
-The Bengals just won't go away. They could be a real threat to the Ravens for 2nd in the AFC North.
1. Green Bay Packers (7-0, #1 last week)- At least they took it easy on the bye week: They only beat it by 35 points.
2. San Francisco 49ers (6-1, #3)- They've all but locked up the NFC West, and Jim Harbaugh has all but won Coach of the Year.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2, #6)- In one month they've gone from a team with questions to the top team in the AFC.
4. New York Giants (5-2, #5)- They escaped Miami, but need to show up for 4 quarters for every game from here on out.
5. Detroit Lions (6-2, #7)- Some of it had to do with playing Tim Tebow, but they manhandled the Broncos in every aspect of the game. Good way to head into the bye.
6. Buffalo Bills (5-2, #9)- The defense had nine sacks and showed they could play without Shawne Merriemen and Kyle Williams. Marcell Dareus arrived in this game.
7. New England Patriots (5-2, #2)- If this game showed anything, it's that when Tom Brady is shut down, the defense can't win them the game.
8. Atlanta Falcons (4-3, #10)- They move up two spots because of the poor play of two other teams, and they have the Colts this week. Almost a guaranteed win at this point.
9. Baltimore Ravens (5-2, #8)- Joe Flacco needs to figure out things quick, because the Ravens can't continue to fall behind like they did and expect to win.
10. New Orleans Saints (5-3, #4)- The final score makes the game seem closer than it was. The Saints were dominated throughout, and Drew Brees had one of the worst games of his career.
11. New York Jets (4-3, #11)- Can they keep the momentum they had going into the bye? We'll see with a big game in Buffalo Sunday.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2, #12)- They just won't go away. Expect them to be around the playoff hunt still in December.
13. Houston Texans (5-3, #15)- They could sweep in the AFC South. No one is close to them as far as competition goes in that division.
14. Chicago Bears (4-3, #14)- A full two weeks to prepare for the Eagles on Monday night. No excuses.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4, #17)- It's not impossible to think that they could run the table if they play like they did on Sunday night.
16. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3, #19)- Who would have thought they would be in a tie for first after their horrible start? The defense has taken huge strides.
17. San Diego Chargers (4-3, #13)- If the Chargers miss the playoffs, they will look back at the Chiefs game as the reason why.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3, #18)- A bye week to prepare for an angry Saints team who was just embarrassed by St. Louis.
19. Tennessee Titans (4-3, #21)- Probably already regretting that Chris Johnson contract.
20. Oakland Raiders (4-3, #20)- Hopefully Carson Palmer now knows 50% of the playbook.
21. Dallas Cowboys (3-4, #16)- I guess having a good game against the Rams isn't the cure all for a teams woes.
22. Cleveland Browns (3-4, #22)- It's almost like they are just there. No one ever talks about them.
23. Minnesota Vikings (2-5, #28)- Christian Ponder has rejuvenated this team. He has a bright future.
24. Washington Redskins (3-4, #24)- I bet they wish they hadn't won 3 games. Now they can't Suck For Luck.
25. Carolina Panthers (2-6, #23)- Can't miss a field goal like that. That's somewhat deflating.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6, #25)- Sooner or later, Blaine Gabbert is going to have to show he can pass for over 100 yards.
27. Seattle Seahawks (2-5, #27)- Maybe the Seahawks should have signed J.P. Losman.
28. St. Louis Rams (1-6, #30)- Should have had Steven Jackson give speeches before every game.
29. Denver Broncos (2-6, #26)- TEBOWMANIA just got squashed by Yokozuna.
30. Arizona Cardinals (1-6, #29)- What was worse? Trading for Kolb or that huge choke job Sunday?
31. Miami Dolphins (0-7, #32)- They move up because at least it looks like they are still playing hard.
32. Indianapolis Colts (0-8, #31)- They move down because it looks like they are ready for a nice spring vacation.
Three Games I'd Like to See Next Week
New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills: Huge playoff implications in the AFC. Are the Jets back or Bills for real?
New York Giants vs New England Patriots: Lets see how the Giants handle this brutal schedule.
Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers: Two teams going in opposite directions. Can the Ravens rebound?
That's all for today. NFL Picks Thursday.
Until next time,
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka