I’ve been down in Texas this weekend, landed in Austin, stayed there for a day and then drove up to Dallas for the Red River Shootout! What a game between the #11 Oklahoma Sooners and the Charlie Strong-led Texas Longhorns, a lot of fight in those Longhorns this year as they took Oklahoma to the brink.
Even after giving up a kick return for a touchdown, an interception return for a touchdown, and a STUPID penalty on a punt where one of their gunners laid out the punt returner before the ball got there, which led to a field goal, the Longhorns fought back from a 31-13 deficit to lose 31-26. Oh, and I shouldn’t leave out the fact that they used a timeout on a two-point conversion because their offense ran off the field after the touchdown. Charlie Strong has this team playing hard, but they’ve gotta play smarter. Another quick point, if you want to rebuild a program, you’ve gotta start with your special teams, that’s one area where you have to win every week. It’ll give you a shot as your team adjusts to a new coaching staff and philosophies on the offensive and defensive side of the ball and as your coaching staff brings in the recruits that fit their system. Winning special teams is how Greg Schiano made Rutgers relevant, it’s also a large reason why many Rutgers guys have found success in the NFL.
Last week, I was 1-2-2 in a strange week that brought my season record to 21-19-3. Hopefully, I’ll get back on the right track this week and help you make some money.
Onto this week’s picks…
First, I’ve gotta go with Denver -9.5 at the New York Jets. From a fantasy perspective, ESPN projects Peyton Manning to have almost 30 points this week as the Jets are the 29th ranked fantasy defense against QBs. Their stout run defense was dismantled against Brandon Oliver and the Chargers last week, so this won’t be where they recover. Denver won’t need to run the football, they’ll just pass all over the Jets.
After the way the Jets got manhandled against the Chargers last week, I just can’t see them rebounding against Manning.
PICK: Denver -9.5
Next, I like Atlanta -3 at home against the Bears. The Falcons are like the Saints in the sense that they seem to be a different team on their turf at home. The Bears gave up 316 yards passing to Geno Smith in a game where Eric Decker didn’t play. Watch Matt Ryan light them up like Ricky Williams’ bong, I also see this game hitting the over because Atlanta’s defense isn’t very good either.
To keep this to a Texas theme, neither defense could defend the Alamo.
PICK: Atlanta -3; OVER 54.5
I like Green Bay -3.5 at Miami for a few reasons: Miami has no real home field advantage, the Packers have looking great the last two weeks against Chicago and Minnesota, the Dolphins have been banged up at linebacker and Cortland Finnegan is questionable. I expect Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Lacy to have good days and beat the Dolphins by at least a TD. Knowshon Moreno should see some reps, but I don’t think he’ll be enough to overcome the Pack.
PICK: Green Bay -3.5
After the way San Diego made the Jets look like a bunch of jabronis from New Jersey last week, I think they’ll make Oakland look similar this week. I know it’s in Oakland, but who cares, the Raiders looked like the worst team on the planet against the Dolphins in London last time they played. It’s an embarrassment to American football that we send over these terrible match-ups for our English friends to see in person.
One thing that’s interesting is that in NFL Europe, there was this phenomenon where they LOVED the kickers because that seemed to be the most important job since they love their soccer. Anyway, Sebastian Janikowski and the inflated, silliness that is his contract can’t save the Raiders on Sunda
PICK: San Diego -7
Lastly, let’s hit the Giants +3 at Philadelphia. I think that Eli, Victor, Reuben, Odell and Larry take advantage of a defense that gave up 237 yards and three TDs to the Rams WRs last week. The Rams don’t exactly have a talented passing attack, but they still had Austin Davis throw for 375 yards against the Eagles. I expect this to be a high scoring game, so take the over 50.5.
PICK: Giants +3; Over 50.5
One other game I was looking at was Carolina at Cincinnati. I love Cincy this year, but after they were dismantled by New England last week and with AJ Green out, I could see the Panthers covering the 6.5 points they’re getting in Ohio. I wouldn’t touch the game, but I could see it happening.
I could also definitely see the Lions winning at Minnesota, in a game where they’re getting 1.5 points. Minnesota should have Bridgewater back, but I could still see Stafford making it happen with the weapons he has around him, even with Megatron doubtful.
Thanks for reading and have a great Sunday! My coursework has slowed down a little bit at school, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back to writing a little bit more on here, let me know if you have any questions you’d like to discuss below in the comments!