Week Ten NFL Picks
Well, the Lineman was back on track last week with a satisfying 4-2 performance that should have been 5-1 (Come on, who would EVER pick the Bucs to do in the Pack). At first glance – and second – this looks the toughest test so far this season with compelling stats to go both ways on a number of games. But no sitting on the fence, so here we go.
Record: 29-25. Last week 4-2. Pick of the Week: 5-4
PICK OF THE WEEK:
Denver Broncos (6-2) at Washington Redskins (2-6) (Line Broncos minus 3 1/2) I was not one of those getting all gushy about the Broncos 6-0 start to the season and two straight losses — albeit to tough opponents — have brought the Mile High boys back to earth.
But like everyone else I have been far less than impressed with the dysfunctional Redskins, who brought a bingo caller out of retirement to call plays.
The Redskins opened the season with the Tour of the NFL Dregs and still gave the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs their only wins of the season so far. Things get tough from here on in.
Denver ‘s defence is for real and can still cause havoc but quarterback Kyle Orton has struggled and the offence is sputtering putting just 17 points on the board the last two games, scoring one touchdown.
But if the Bronco attack has stalled the Redskins is in neutral averaging just 12 points a game at home and will be without running Clinton Portis, who will miss this one with a concussion.
The Redskins are at home and catch Denver coming off a short week but with the Chargers putting on the heat in the AFC West this is where the Broncos get back on track.
Take the Broncos and give up the 3 1/2
Atlanta Falcons (5-3) at Carolina Panthers (3-5) (Line Falcons minus 1 1/2) The Falcons have been on a bit of slide while the Panthers have been slowly clawing their way back up the NFC South standings after an 0-3 start.
Panthers QB Jake Delhomme still looks rattled but has at least stopped turning the ball over at every opportunity.
Both teams like to run the ball, the Panthers pounding it out behind DeAngelo Williams while Michael Turner has been a tank for the Falcons.
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan can also go to the air with confidence throwing 13 TDs this season but every time Delhomme drops back to throw Panthers fans hold their breath and cover their eyes.
The Panthers have been sneaking up on the Falcons in the NFC South. Time to put some distance between them.
Falcons take flight, take Atlanta and give up the 1 1/2 points.
New Orleans Saints (8-0) at St. Louis Rams (1-7) (Line Saints minus 13 1/2) The Rams have had a bye week to savour and celebrate their only win of the season against the Lions but the party is over. I hope they enjoyed it because it’s back to being an NFL punching bag this week as the high-flying Saints march into town.
The Rams have played just three teams with winning records and have been outscored 115-16 and now they must face New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and the NFL’s most explosive offence.
Saints have the NFL’s top attack averaging 37.9 points a game and St. Louis the league’s worst at 9.6.
Let the fireworks begin.
Take the Saints and give up the 13 1/2 points.
Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) (Line Bengals plus 7 1/2) While the Patriots-Colts showdown is getting all the hype this NFC North matchup is as good as it gets.
This marquee matchup features two of the NFL’s nastiest defences and efficient offences.
Bengals Carson Palmer is finally looking like the quarterback we all wanted on our fantasy team a few years ago and Ben Roethlisberger just finds a way to “win baby”.
Rashard Mendenhall is supplying the running game the Steelers had been missing while the Bengals counter with rejuvenated Cedric Benson.
Palmer has wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who loves the big stage, as his favourite target while Big Ben chooses between Hines Ward and Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes.
The Steelers come into this contest off a short week but the Super Bowl champions are always tough at home.
This one looks like a toss up to me, so the 7 1/2 points seem very generous.
Steelers could win, so could the Bengals – who cares.
Enjoy a great game and take Bengals and the 7 1/2.
Dallas Cowboys (6-2) at Green Bay Packers (4-4) (Line Cowboys minus 2 1/2) The Cowboys are hot, red hot and the Pack are cold, ice cold.
A few weeks ago Dallas was all in a panic wondering whether Tony Romo has the right man to be at the controls of America ‘s team. It appears so. Romo has been on roll and so have the Cowboys ringing up four impressive wins topped by a 20-16 decision over the Eagles last week to go top in the NFC East.
Jason Witten provides Romo with a reliable target while Miles Austin provides the deep threat averaging a league best 22.7 yards a catch. Who needs Terrell Owens anyway.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has dangerous targets in Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, if he can stay on his feet long enough to find them.
Rodgers has been sacked a league high 37 times, including six last week in a shocking loss to the winless Buccaneers.
Rodgers can expect to spend much of Sunday running for his life or flat on his back as the Dallas pass rush led by DeMarcus Ware tees off on the Packers quarterback.
The Pack continue to suffer from a Brett Favre hangover.
Take the Cowboys and give up the 2 1/2.
Buffalo Bills (3-5) at Tennessee Titans (2-6) (Line Titans minus 6 1/2) The Titans have found their mojo with Vince Young taking over quarterbacking chores from an ineffective Kerry Collins and leading them to back-to-back wins. But it has been punishing running back Chris Johnson showing the way, the NFL’s leading rusher averaging more than 119 yards a game.
With convincing wins over the 49ers and Jaguars the Titans have looked a little bit like the team that won 13 games last season and believe they are capable of late push for a playoff spot.
The Bills are coming off a bye week and expect to have injured quarterback Trent Edwards back calling the plays but wide receiver Terrell Owens is on the limp..
Forget the Bills, remember the Titans.
Take Tennessee and give up the 6 1/2