December 10, 2011
Five picks against the number, that's what we do here. Let's get to the Week 14 card.
Titans +3.5 vs. Saints: The Sean Payton offense is a pinball machine at home, undefeated and untouchable, but these guys don't always travel well. The Saints somehow lost on the road to St. Louis and Tampa Bay, and Drew Brees has been ordinary away from the dome (his QB rating drops from 122.4 to 91.3, and he has a modest 10 TDs against eight picks). I'm not really in love with the Titans as a team, but they can keep this one close — and offer some upset potential. The last time Matt Hasselbeck faced a Gregg Williams defense, he riddled it in the NFC Wild Card playoffs, an upset for the ages.
Falcons -2.5 at Panthers: The lopsided Panthers win last week probably told us more about Tampa's weaknesses than Carolina's strengths. I still have no faith in the Panthers defense, and a balanced and high-octane Atlanta offense should be able to bounce back after last week's humbler in Houston. Carolina hasn't come even remotely close to stopping a good offensive team this year, and I don't see why that would change now.
Broncos -3.5 vs. Bears: This isn't really a Teboism pick, but rather a vote that Von Miller and the Denver defense will make life miserable for scuffling Caleb Hanie. The Chicago quarterback has thrown six picks and taken 11 sacks in his two starts, and he's not even completing half of his passes. Matt Forte isn't through that door. Jay Cutler isn't walking through that door. Ken Margerum isn't walking through that door. The Broncos should roll.
Jaguars +3 vs. Buccaneers: The entire Tampa Bay roster was a no-show last week; have these guys quit on Raheem Morris? It's not easy to put a positive spin on the Jacksonville mess (and unfortunately we still have one more prime-time Jacksonville game on the way), but the defense really isn't that bad, and when in doubt they can hand the rock to Maurice Jones-Drew. Assuming the Jags do the right thing with Blaine Gabbert (short leash, please), I see them winning this game outright.
Cowboys -3.5 vs. Giants: The Cowboys collected 20 first downs and had several efficient drives in Arizona, but somehow scored just 13 points. Two missed field goals didn't help, of course, along with the Jason Garrett shenanigans. I'm figuring Dallas should be around 30 points or more against a struggling New York defense (getting Miles Austin back has to help), and Eli Manning could be good for a few errors down the stretch if he's playing from a deficit.
Last Week: 4-1 (33-28-4 season)
Last Year: 49-34
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