November 17, 2011
You should know the rules by now. We'll pick five games against the number every week, using Yahoo! Pro Football Pick'em as our guide. Get them right, you're a hero. Botch the picks, you're a zero. Make your own selections, defend them in the comments, keep score, challenge yourself.
Let's figure out the Week 11 card:
Redskins +7.5 vs. Cowboys: The Washington offense is a running joke, sure, but there's actually a pretty good defense in DC. And I have to jump on a spread this big when it comes in a division game. Dallas is the type of team that you look at skeptically when it gets on a roll – you worry about a heavy favorite losing its focus. The outcome should be in doubt in the fourth period. Justify the temporary love, Rexy.
Broncos +6 vs. Jets: The schedule and quick-turnaround probably helps the Broncos, as the Jets are forced to handle a knuckleball matchup on limited preparation time. The hope with this selection is that Denver can continue to play ugly and shorten the game, limit possessions. If you like New York, you want the Jets to score early and force the Broncos to throw a lot more than they want to. New York desperately needs this game, and that's probably been priced into the line. I'll gladly take the extra help.
Vikings +1 vs. Raiders: You love the Raiders as a junkyard dog, and you look at them skeptically when they're favored. Minnesota laid an egg last week but I'll write that off more to Packer greatness than Viking failure. Christian Ponder(notes) impresses me with his poise, and Adrian Peterson could always win the game by himself. Carson Palmer(notes) has been sharp off the mark, but he still makes 2-3 throws every week that have you shaking your head.
Niners -9.5 vs. Cardinals: John Skelton(notes) is getting a lot of pub of late, but I don't see the big deal. I've watched every snap. Sure, there are some connections with Larry Fitzgerald(notes), but those plays have mostly been about Fitzgerald's elite talent, not Skelton making amazing throws. And Skelton's pocket awareness is still a mess. You know the Cardinals won't run on San Francisco – no one does – and eventually it should be open season on the Arizona pocket. Use the San Francisco defense in all of your stock-market leagues this week; they're going to unleash three hours of hell on Red Skelton.
Bills +2.5 at Miami: The Dolphins have circled the wagons nicely, but the line has caught up to their improvement (to the point that Miami might, oddly, be overrated now). I'll still take Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes) over Matt Moore(notes), and I'll still take Fred Jackson(notes) over Reggie Bush(notes). The Bills have been struggling with press coverage in recent weeks, but Chan Gailey is a creative man, he can make adjustments. And let's not forget how awful the Dolphins have been at home over the last couple of years, last week's victory to the side. Buffalo takes it outright.
Last Week: 3-2 (25-21-4 season)
Last Year: 49-34
Image courtesy of US Presswire