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Time to find out if I can get back into the picks competition, but let’s start with the trivia competition where Dan also has a strong lead.

‘What highly touted player spent his entire 9 year career with the Detroit Lions after he was selected as the 2nd overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft?’

So having failed miserably to spot the theme, there’s just this week’s question to deal with and I’m very happy with this one as I am sure the answer is Calvin Johnson.

‘Ok, I know this one, but I think Gee will too so I’m not sure it’ll have much impact on the lead unfortunately. Retiring after 9 years would have meant him retiring in 2016 and I remember discussing on the pod how it seemed too early for this guy to retire – the answer is Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson.’

Falcons @ Panthers (-5.5)

The Atlanta Falcons looked like a different team coming off a bye, beating the Saints convincing, but the question is whether this turnaround is sustainable and not just a divisional blip. The Falcons are playing the Carolina Panthers who lost to the Packers last week and whilst I’m not sure the Falcons can manage a repeat win, this is too many points for me to lay on the Panthers.

Gee’s Pick:        Falcons
Dan’s Pick:        Falcons

Bills @ Dolphins (+5.5)

The Buffalo Bills are a confounding team as they are the twenty-fourth ranked team by overall DVOA and yet they currently are in a wildcard spot. They travel to face the now two win Miami Dolphins and whilst I can see the Bills winning, this is once again too many points for me to lay.

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

Cowboys @ Lions (+4.5)

I was totally caught out last week as the Detroit Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford could not play as he has a fracture of his transverse processes in his back. A fracture of the back always sounds scary, but these will be playing in a few weeks, but not right now. The Dallas Cowboys are not a team I like to predict as they often seem to be less than the sum of their parts this season, but facing a backup quarterback I like them in this one where I have seen the line as high a +7 for the Lions.

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

Broncos @ Vikings (-10.5)

I hate this line as the Denver Broncos have been really unreliable, and whilst rested and coming of a win in week nine you really can’t trust them. However, whilst I expect the Minnesota Vikings to win, I’m not sure I trust them to cover this line given that they have not exactly been consistent performers either. In the end. I’m going to grab the points in this one as the Broncos defence has got itself back into the top ten by DVOA and the Vikings will be missing Adam Thielen as he tries to get his hamstring healthy.

Gee’s Pick:        Broncos
Dan’s Pick:        Broncos

Jaguars @ Colts (-2.5)

This is a game that I would love to avoid as the Indianapolis Colts might be getting Jaoby Brissett back, but have injuries at receiver whilst the Jacksonville Jaguars look to be starting Nick Foles after he recovered from his broken collar bone. There are so many variables, no real help from the number, and there is only 0.9% between them in overall DVOA so I feel like I need to get hold of a picking pin. The nearest I can get is that the Colts only need to win by a field goal to cover and they are at home so that’s where I’m going but this game could go either way…

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

Saints @ Buccaneers (+5.5)

This divisional game is curious one as the New Orleans Saints will be looking to bounce back against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers having lost to the Falcons last week, but the Bucs have been frequently competitive thanks to the peaks of Jameis Winston and a quality receiving group. However, the unpredictable thing here is what Saints team we are getting and how many turnovers is Winston going to be responsible for. I’m going to grab the home underdog and hope, but this could be a big mistake.

Gee’s Pick:        Buccaneers
Dan’s Pick:        Saints

Jets @ Washington (-1.5)

There is very little to rely on here as Washington have been bad all years, whilst the Jets got a second win last week as they announced that Adam Gase will be the coach next year. This being the New York Jets I don’t know if that is actually true, but given the absence of home advantage in Washington I am going to reluctantly pick the Jets.

Gee’s Pick:        Jets
Dan’s Pick:        Jets

Texans @ Ravens (-4.5)

This should be a cracking game that pits two of the more exciting quarterback against each other, The worry for the Houston Texans is having traded away Jadeveon Clowney in the off-season and lost JJ Watt for the season to injury their front seven is not looking nearly as strong and the Baltimore Ravens are just rolling at the moment. There was no let down for the Ravens against the Bengals last week and Lamar Jackson is playing like the MVP candidate he is. The Texans have had a bye week to prepare for Jackson, and given that Deshaun Watson is pretty good with his legs as well there can be informed internal discussions about stopping a running quarterback, but the Texans are too reliant on the spectacular on offence so I’m going to take the Ravens despite the points.

Gee’s Pick:        Ravens
Dan’s Pick:        Texans

Cardinals @ 49ers (-13.5)

I think this line is off. I do think that the San Francisco 49ers will get back to winning ways but on a short week having lost to the Seahawks on Monday I find it hard to see them beating the Arizona Cardinals by two clear touchdowns given how competitive the Cardinals have been.

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

Bengals @ Raiders (-10.5)

I want to pick the Cincinnati Bengals as this is a big line, but even if their offence does improve with Ryan Finley starting his second game at quarterback, I have no faith in a defence that just cut Preston Brown and has real problems at linebacker. I would love to be proven wrong, but I am not going to pick the Bengals until I see them keep it close.

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

Patriots @ Eagles (+3.5)

This line is horrible as the New England Patriots always respond after a loss and have had a bye to prepare for this trip to the Philadelphia Eagles, but there are problems with the Patriots offence this year as they can’t run the ball. The Eagles are still a top ten team by DVOA despite their injury problems, and I’m really tempted to grab the points at home but I’ve just been bitten too many times betting against the Patriots to do it this time.

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

Bears @ Rams (-6.5)

Both the Chicago Bears and the LA Rams are struggling on offence, although for different reasons yet both look to be slipping out of the playoffs this season. Given the problem with the Rams’ offensive line you can see Khalil Mack wrecking this game and the Rams have too many other injuries on offence for me to back them to win by a touchdown.

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

Chiefs @ Chargers (+3.5)

This Monday night marquee matchup is not quite what it looked like when drawn up as the LA Chargers have been hit by injuries and for first time Philip Rivers hasn’t been able to carry on regardless. This could be a spectacular game as the Kansas City Chiefs finally have all their big names on offence healthy, but the defence is just plain bad. The Chiefs can’t afford many more losses, yet alone a divisional one and so despite them losing to the Titans last week, I’m going to back them on the road against the Chargers.

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

 

DVOA is Football Outsiders statistic for measure a team’s success on every play versus the league average and you can read more about it and other football topics at https://footballoutsiders.com.