October 28, 2011
Our goal is simple: five picks per week, using the Yahoo! Pro Football Pick'Em spread. You're invited to join us in the comments, keep score, follow along. And you can throw darts at my picks too, if you want, but give a reason for your disagreement. Further the conversation, Flamingo Kid.
Ravens -13 vs. Cardinals: Baltimore's stinker on Monday was largely forced by an underrated Jacksonville defense. Now the Ravens take dead aim at an Arizona pass defense that can't stop anyone (94.0 rating allowed, just 13 sacks). The struggling Kevin Kolb(notes) should be in for a long afternoon against a Baltimore defense that will surely be in a nasty mood. The Cardinals also have to deal with body clock issues, as a west coast team forced to play on 10 a.m. body time. This game has blowout written all over it.
Seahawks +3 vs. Bengals: Home field isn't what it used to be around the league, but that doesn't apply in the Pacific Northwest, where the Seattle faithful provide a legitimate advantage. The Seahawks also, very quietly, have assembled the best run-stopping defense in the league. As well as Andy Dalton(notes) has played for the Bengals, he's still a QB that needs to be supported by his cast, someone who needs to stay on schedule, ahead of the down. This road assignment might be his most difficult assignment to date. Nothing is definite yet with Tarvaris Jackson(notes), but it sounds like he'll go — and for once, that's actually a good thing.
Lions -3 at Broncos: Hate to throw a pin in the Tim Tebow(notes) balloon, but after watching the sack exchange in Miami last week, I can't imagine how Denver will keep Detroit's defensive line at bay. The Broncos have all sorts of pass-protection problems, and Tebow's undeveloped pocket awareness feeds the problem.
Colts +8.5 at Titans: I know it's hard to get that 62-7 image out of your head, but we have to see the big picture here: Indianapolis played five straight competitive games before the Beatdown in the Bayou. And other than a Week 2 victory over Baltimore, what can Tennessee hang its hat on?
Chiefs +3.5. vs. Chargers: Is Philip Rivers(notes) hurt? His denials mean nothing to me; there's nothing to be gained by him pinpointing a physical problem. The passes don't look right, and no one takes 11-win talent down to a mediocre level like Norv Turner. Say what you want about Todd Haley, but he's circled the wagons impressively after all the early-season injuries in Kansas City. Long live the crazy beard. We'll see a competitive game Monday, and it's a game Kansas City can win.