Thursday, September 09, 2004

Duke's Football Picks of the Week

I figure I'll start a new weekly feature here, one that all of you will be able to keep track of this year to make fun of me for how stupid I am at picking games.

These picks are for entertainment purposes only!

Teams in bold are my predicted winners (or coverers, as I'm going with the point spreads here)With that said, lets look at this weeks' games!

@ Pats 3.5 Indie
I pick the Pats because they have the better Defense and the game is at home. Brady is going to have a big day and so is Corey Dillion (because of the weather). Manning can score 35 points, but it won't be enough because the Pats can score 42 on Indy's horrible D. That plain, that simple as Widowmaker is wont to say.



Atlanta 3.5 @San Fran
San Fran is perhaps the worst team in the NFL. Atlanta has an explosive offense with Vick, Price and Duckett and Crumpler. Atlanta's D is sketchy, but since the 49ers have ZERO offense, the 3.5 points is an easy take. This game could seriously end in a shut out. I thought for sure the line on this game would be at least 7





Baltimore 3 @Cleveland
Baltimore's D will crush the Browns. Esp because Lee Suggs, their RB is missing the game. Baltimore doesn't have much for offense, but they do have Jamal Lewis who ran for over 250 yards against the Browns TWICE last year.





@Buffalo 3 Jacksonville
If this was at Jacksonville, I might go the other way. However Buffalo had the number 2 D in the NFL last year, and Jacksonville's 1st team offense could not muster a single point against the Patriots SECOND team D in the last preseason game. I can't see Leftwhich doing much against Buffalo's very good secondary. Plus, Jacksonville's weak point is their D, and although Bledsoe is sketchy, Travis Henry should worry them enough that Bledsoe should get some intermediate routes open if he can be patient.





@Chicago 3 Detroit
Both of these teams are pretty bad, but frankly Joey Harrington with his 3 receiver set of Williams, Rogers and Hakim are more than the Chicago D can handle, esp with Kevin Jones to worry about at RB as well. Detroits D is shaky too, but Rex Grossman has no one to throw to, and Thomas Jones may have been great in pre-season, but he has yet to do squat in a "real" game (except for maybe 2 OK games with Tampa last year). Detroit won't just cover this game, they will win outright.



@Denver 3 KC
This game is a pick'em really. Denver has not looked good offensivley all pre-season (at least in the passing game). KC though will not be able to handle the pressures of playing at Mile High. Denver's D looks much improved, and with Champ Bailey in the secondary, the Broncos should be able to afford to sneak a safety into the box to try and help shut down Priest Holmes. This game will be close, but Denver will cover.



@Houston 4.5 San Diego
The only hope the Chargers have is that L. Tomlison runs for 250 yards and 4 TDs. He's all they have. Houston should be a solid 8-8 this year. Although Houston's D is not stellar, it should be more than enough to handle SD. On the other side, the Chargers are completed overwhelmed by D. Davis and the Houston wideouts. The Texans cover easy at home.



@Minn 4.5 Dallas
This is a tough line at 4.5. However, playing in the Metrodome is a huge advantage for the Vikes. I know Dallas had the #1 D last year, but they are missing Darren Woodson in this game. His leadership on the field is key to trying to keep a certain degree of levelness to the otherwise young squad. I know Michael Bennett is hurt for MN, but Moe Williams was more than adequate as a back up. And it appears Onterrio Smith sill get some carries too. Another advantage for the Vikes is that their D is much improved, and I think we'll quickly see if 40 year old Vinny can truly still play in the NFL. Don't be suprised if this ends up being the first harbinger of the Drew Henson era in Dallas.

@NYJets 4 Cinci
I want to pick the Bengals, I really do. I just think Cincy's strengths on D don't match up well with what the Jets have on O. The Bengals weak secondary fits right into the hands of Pennington's quick release, S Moss' speed, and the size and route running of J McCareins. We also get to see the "real" debut of C Palmer. I think he and Chad Johnson will have an advantage vs the Jets DBs, but only if the O-Line gives Palmer time, which is debatable. R. Johnson looked great running for Cincy in the preseason, but the Jets have beefed up their D-Line and gone to younger and quicker LBs. He'll do OK, but not good enough. The Jets cover.



@Philie 9 NYGiants
This is kind of a high spread, but I think that this game ends in a rout. Philly's D is not as good as last year's. Their secondary is suspect, they have lost ND Kalu for the year, and their LBs are unproven. However their D-Line still looks good with Kearse and now H Douglas. It will definitely be enough to destroy K Warner, who will look as awful as he did at the start of last season. The Giants D is just as suspect as it was last year, where they were awful. Look for T Owens to be open all game, hell even F Mitchell might look good for once. B Westbrook should blow through their defenders again like he did last year. Look for Reid to go for the blowout to make the Iggles fans happy. Phily covers easily.





@Pitts 4 Oakland
Another tough spread at 4 points, but I think that Oakland's D, while vastly improved, will wear down in the humidity predicted for Sunday. Pittsburgh will have trouble running the ball for the first half, so look for a lot of T Maddux passes to Hines Ward and P Burress. By the second half, fatties T Washington and W Sapp should be sucking oxygen on the sidelines as Staley and the Bus take turns pounding it at them. The STeelers D was shaky at times last year, but I think with a questionable running game, and questionable WRs (I mean Porter sucked last year, and J Rice should pack it in) Gannon will have trouble making plays. I still think it will be close, but Pitts covers.





@St Louis 11 Arizona If this was in AZ, I wouldn't touch those 11 points (it's 106 in Phoenix today). However in the speed dome in St Louis there is just no way the AZ D can possible hope to stop Bulger, Faulk, Bruce, Holt et al. AZ may have had a fighting chance to cover (not win) if they had A Bouldin, M Shipp or L Fitzgerald, but they don't. This is the proverbial "Lock of the week". This one will be very ugly.





Seattle 2 @NOrleans
I can't believe Seatlle is only getting 2 points in this one. Granted, they were 2-6 on the road last season, and maybe they ARE being overrated this year, but still. I mean, speaking of overrated, how about the Saints? They have a great RB in Deuce, a great wideout in J Horn, but only an OK QB in A Brooks. I know B Williams is a good TE too, but in the end, they have too many turnovers and they choke too much under pressure, especiually at home it seems. The Saints D is only the middle of the pack, and while Seattle will miss Chad Brown at MLB, their secondary is very solid, and their D-Line is much improved. Seahawks break the visting curse and cover.





Tenn 3 @Miami
It's a perfect indcation of how horrible Miami's offseason has gone when they are getting 3 points AT HOME in SEPTEMBER. I bet the line on this game in May in Vegas was Miami favored by 3.5 or higher. Then they lose Ricky Williams, then D Boston, then they trade a top flight DE for a mediocre WR, and well you all know the rest of the story. I know the Titans have had their losses, especially on D this year (although losing J McCarens hurt too), but I still think TN covers easily.



@Wash 2 TBay
Sorry folks, but the Joe Gibbs era number 2 in DC begins with a loss. It will be close, but in the end the experience of the Tampa D overcomes C Portis, M Brunell and the rest of the Redskins O. The real weakness for the 'Skins is on the O-Line, where J Jansen is gone, and a couple of other signficant injuries have occured. This will affect Portis' production and Brunell's pass protection. Remember, Brunell can't scramble like he used to. On the other side of the ball, Tampa's O line will protect Johnson enough to let Gruden's version of the West COast O, dink and dunk their way down the field to win.


On Monday I will list my results and my prediction for the Monday night game

1 Comments:

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