Thanks to various non-football issues I am scrambling to keep blogs coming at the moment, and hence the missed write up of the Bills at Dolphins game. Dan and I had a rough week, getting six and five picks right respectively, so I have now pulled within one game of Dan.

Looking back at my results from last week, it confirms that I think I am doing a bad job of taking who is away or at home into account when considering the line. I don’t mind getting caught out by games like the Rams beating the Broncos or the Buccaneers beating Washington as who would have predicted that. However, if I’d though a little more about where the game was being played when picking against the Dolphins and Packers at home, then I would have probably picked differently. In fairness, I was worried about the Eagles pick from Friday, when listening to various podcasts it suddenly dawned on me that I had backed Mark Sanchez over Aron Rodgers, that’s ground for losing your blog straight away!

Anyway, I’m going to run through the games with this in mind, and see if I can keep the pressure up on Dan as I try to get back on par with him.

Gee:      Week 11   6-8                     Overall   81-80
Dan:       Week 11   5-9                     Overall   82-79

Chiefs @ Raiders (+7.5)

The Raiders continue to play tough and lose. It was nice to see Khalil Mack get his first sack as a pro, but this is all small comfort for a team who now have not won a competitive game for a year. I keep saying that they’re not going to go the whole season without a win, but once again this is not the week. The Chiefs continue to march on and play well. I think they will win this game, but after a bruising encounter against the Seahawks, I wonder if they will win by this much.

Gee’s Pick:          Raiders
Dan’s Pick:          Chiefs

Browns @ Falcons (-3.5)

The Browns are not handling conference wins well, following up a second win over an AFC North opponent by losing a second time. They’re getting Josh Gordon back this week, and I think they will bounce back against the Falcons. Somehow in the NFC South, a 4-6 record is good enough to give you a share in the lead of the division, but wins against the awful Buccaneers and the collapsing Panthers hardly inspires confidence. They’ve traditionally had a good home record, but I still worry about the amount of talent they’ve lost on the o-line.

Gee’s Pick:          Browns
Dan’s Pick:          Browns

Jets @ Bills (-4.5)

That was a tough loss for the Bills. Their defence is really good, and their d-line is playing brilliantly, but the offense just can’t get keep them in games. They have now gone seven consecutive quarters without scoring a touchdown. That said, they put forty-three points on the Jets in Week eight so this might be the game to get back into scoring ways. The Jets however may have other ideas, having finally got their second win of the season before going into the bye. However, they are still short of talent and I’m not convinced that Michael Vick is the answer, so I’m backing the Bills.

Gee’s Pick:          Bills
Dan’s Pick:          Bills

Buccaneers @ Bears (-5.5)

The Buccaneers won by twenty points last week, taking their win total for the season to two. They are not a good team, and I think their results speak to just how dysfunctional the Washington team are. The Bears finally broke out of their slump, getting a performance from their offence reminiscent of what we were expecting at the beginning of the season. I don’t think this will be enough to turn their season round, but they should have more than enough for the Buccaneers.

Gee’s Pick:          Bears
Dan’s Pick:          Bears

Bengals @ Texans (-1.5)

I lost a game last week because I angered the football gods by picking against one of their own, JJ Watt, a 3-4 defensive end who catches touchdown passes like the tight-end he was in college. However, I’m not totally convinced by them and the Bengals began to look like themselves again last week. Their run stopping problems have had a lot to do with the missed games by their linebackers Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burfict, and the return of Maualuga last week seems to have made a difference. This could be the pick of a hopeful fan, but I’m sticking by the Bengals this week.

Gee’s Pick:          Bengals
Dan’s Pick:          Texans

Lions @ Patriots (-6.5)

The Lions fell short last week against the team that has the best record in the NFL. Their defence is still playing well, but their offence is struggling. I think that they are still a good team, but this is not the week for them to bounce back. The Patriots keep rolling, and it will be interesting to see what game plan Belichick and his staff will come up with this week. I don’t think we’ll see another two hundred yard game from Jonas Gray, but it was a great story for the running back who was on the practice squad only a few weeks ago.

Gee’s Pick:          Patriots
Dan’s Pick:          Patriots

Packers @ Vikings (+9.5)

The Packers are one of the scariest teams in the league right now, and I still can’t believe I backed Sanchez over Rodgers, even getting points. It appears that the experiment with Clay Mathews playing middle linebackers on early downs is here to stay, and it appears to be working. This is a lot of points, but given what the Packers have done to the Eagles and Bears over the last couple of weeks, I don’t see them having a problem. The Vikings are a solid team, with a young quarterback that has potential, and a good defence, but they don’t have enough for this one, even at home.

Gee’s Pick:          Packers
Dan’s Pick:          Packers

Titans @ Eagles (-11.5)

The Eagles are a good team that ran into a buzz saw last week. There aren’t too many teams in the league that can do that to them, but the points they are giving in this game baffles me. The Titans ran the Steelers close last week, with Zach Mettenberger keeping them in the game. I don’t think they will win the game, but I’m worried enough by the points that I think they will cover.

Gee’s Pick:          Titans
Dan’s Pick:          Titans

Jaguars @ Colts (-13.5)

This number makes me want to pick the Jaguars. However, despite the horrible record that the Colts have against the Patriots with Andrew Luck as their quarterback, he is such a good player that I have to go against my first instinct. This is probably the week where picking the Jaguars as a road underdog finally pays off, but I’ve been bitten too many times this season already.

Gee’s Pick:          Colts
Dan’s Pick:          Colts

Rams @ Chargers (-5.5)

The Chargers got their win, but weren’t exactly convincing against the Raiders, whilst Philip Rivers  has possibly picked up an injury to add to the large number the Chargers already have. This might be an over reaction, but the Rams defence has looked really good for a couple of weeks now. Their front seven is finally beginning to play as we expected before the season and they got enough out of their offence led by Shaun Hill to beat the Broncos. I’ve been troubled by these 5.5 lines a lot this season, but I fancy the Rams to at least cover in this game.

Gee’s Pick:          Rams
Dan’s Pick:          Rams

Cardinals @ Seahawks (-6.5)

The Seahawks are just not the team they were last year, and whilst they should not be underestimated, between the issues with moving the ball through the air on offence and the defence just not being as dominant, I can’t back them to win this game. The Cardinals have the best record in Football thanks to a defence that is playing well and great coaching. I reluctantly picked against them last week, but I’m not making the same mistake twice, even if they are travelling to Seattle.

Gee’s Pick:          Cardinals
Dan’s Pick:          Cardinals

Dolphins @ Broncos (-7.5)

There are some chinks in the armour showing for the Broncos, particularly last week with Peyton Manning losing both Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders during the game. He doesn’t have that much support from the run game, so he could ill afford to lose two of his favourite targets, plus the Broncos seem to be having a difficult time with their o-line. This is not a great time for them to be facing the Dolphins with their excellent d-line. The Dolphins pulled away in the second half of last week’s game, and whilst there is plenty of room for Tannehill to develop, he does appear to be moving the ball much better these days. I am really not sure if the Dolphins have enough to beat the Broncos, but I don’t see them being beaten by eight either.

Gee’s Pick:          Dolphins
Dan’s Pick:          Dolphins

Washington @ 49ers (-8.5)

Things seem to be going seriously awry in Washington. It is not often that you see a head coach be as blunt about his quarterback’s deficiencies as Jay Gruden was this week,,the day after Richard Griffin gave a demonstration on precisely how not to do a press conference. Having lost by twenty points to the Buccaneers, they now have to travel across the country to San Francisco and I do not see this going well. Despite defensive injuries, an offence that is still misfiring, and the drama surrounding their coach, the 49ers have dragged themselves back into the playoff hunt. It is worrying that they got five interceptions against the Giants, but only won the game 16-10, yet I think that they will cover in this game.

Gee’s Pick:          49ers
Dan’s Pick:          49ers

Cowboys @ Giants (+3.5)

The Cowboys needed the bye to try to get Tony Romo healthy and to give DeMarco Murray a much deserved rest. The Giant’s are playing horribly right now, and I can’t see them winning this game despite how good Odell Beckham has looked over the last few weeks.

Gee’s Pick:          Cowboys
Dan’s Pick:          Cowboys

Ravens @ Saints (-3.5)

The Saints have started blitzing again on defence, and have started losing too. The offence still doesn’t look right and they could ill afford to lose Brandin Cooks for the season to a broken thumb. It is a testament to the putrid state of the NFC South that their 4-6 record gives them a share of the division lead. The Ravens have been struggling a little since losing cornerback Jimmy Smith, but before the bye they ran up a comfortable win against the Titans. They have to be worried about their 2-3 divisional record, but this appears to be as good a time as any to play the Saints in New Orleans given their recent record.

Gee’s Pick:          Ravens
Dan’s Pick:          Saints