November 19, 2010
Five pick'em selections against the spread, one survivor opinion, those are the rules. Please include your own selections, and rationale, in the comments.
Lions +6.5 at Cowboys: Six of Detroit's losses have come by one score or less (that's why they're 7-2 against the number in 2010), and the Lions have outscored their opponents for the season. I have a lot of confidence in Detroit's passing game, and its ability to produce in garbage time, if needed. The Cowboys showed up in Jersey last week and thrashed the Giants, and as a result we get an overinflated number here.
Chiefs -8 vs. Cardinals: Sure, Kansas City laid a big, fat egg in Denver, but Derek Anderson's(notes) career has given us a lot of messes too. I don't like Arizona's offensive line, and I can't see how the Cardinals front seven (4.3 YPC) will stop Thomas Jones(notes) and Jamaal Charles(notes). Look for the Chiefs to rebound, emphatically, at Arrowhead.
Steelers -7 vs. Raiders: Pittsburgh's stock took a hit recently while Oakland's is on the rise; with that, a digestible number is before us. And sure, the Steelers have some coverage issues on the back end, but is Jason Campbell(notes) the man to exploit them? Oakland's strength as an offense is running the ball, but no one runs on Pittsburgh (2.8 YPC, 63.2 YPG). Order is restored here, as the Steelers win by 10 or more.
Rams +3 vs. Falcons: I'm a Matt Ryan(notes) fan but he's been two different quarterbacks for his career, home and away. He's got a 95.7 career rating and a 7.7 YPA in Atlanta, but those numbers drop to 79.0 and 6.5 on the road. The Rams have been a pick'em value from the opening gun this season; Sam Bradford(notes) is far ahead of the rookie curve, and Steve Spagnuolo's defense scheme has been quietly effective.
Colts +3.5 at Patriots: Indianapolis needs this game more, and Peyton Manning(notes) is 5-1 in the last six meetings. With all due respect to Bill Belichick, there's no way to trick or scheme past Manning at this stage of his career - he's too smart, he's seen it all. Colts take it outright.
Survivor: I don't have any of the heavy favorites left to me; if you do, I rank them as such: Baltimore, Kansas City, San Diego, New Orleans. I don't trust Carson Palmer(notes) anywhere, so Cincinnati is out. Somewhat by default I went with Tennessee to defeat Washington. I'm riding with a strong defense, a coach I respect, and a home team that is not playing a division rival.
Last Week: 5-0 (28-20 season).