November 6, 2009

NFL Week 9 Picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

Since nobody else has really brought it up so far this week, I must: Was that the longest 2:03 ever during the closing of the Falcons-Saints game on Monday Night? It felt like the final minutes of a playoff basketball game with two timeout-happy coaches at the switches. Here’s the play-by-play summary for the last two minutes and three seconds of the game:

Matt Ryan fumble, video review overturns it to a incomplete pass, two minute warning, incomplete pass, incomplete pass, incomplete pass for a turnover.
Saints run, Saints timeout, Saints run, Falcons timeout, Saints run, fumble, Falcons recover, play challenged and upheld.
Falcons pass, spike, incomplete pass which is reviewed and reversed, Ryan is sacked, spike the ball, short completion, field goal.
Timeout before the kickoff, onside kick recovered by Falcons.
Completed pass, spike the ball, interception and then the final kneel down.

As you can see, it may have been the lengthiest two or so minutes of football ever encountered. In real time, that sequence took roughly 20 minutes. How a period of play time takes 10 times as much real time to play will always boggle me.

Anyways, on to the picks…

The lines are straight from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPS.

JACKSONVILLE -6 over Kansas City
Maurice Jones-Drew is going to go to town against those poor tacklers the Chiefs have. I feel kind of bad that one of the best rushers in the league is trapped on a poor team that’s quitting on its coach for the second straight season.

CINCINNATI  +3 over Baltimore
Don’t be fooled by the Ravens blow out of the Broncos — the Ravens were made to swallow up short passes like the ones Denver’s offence is based on. The Bengals can air it out a lot better and could pull an upset here.

INDIANAPOLIS -9 over Houston
The Colts have always owned the Texans and that fact won’t change after this one. Indy isn’t going to let their guard down against a division rival.

ATLANTA -10 over Washington
That was a coward’s cover by the Falcons on Monday night, but against the Skins, any amount of points is possible. Are there still odds on Jim Zorn getting fired this season, or is it off the board now?

TAMPA BAY +10 over Green Bay
Maybe coming back from England with a new starting QB (rookie Josh Freeman) will inspire the Bucs to be something less than awful. The Pack should win this one, but 10 points seems like the outer limit of the victory margin.

Arizona +3 over CHICAGO
The Bears defence isn’t something you want to wager on these days. The Cards aren’t a team to lose two in a row either.

Miami +10.5 over NEW ENGLAND
The Dolphins are sneaky and just good enough to keep it close with anyone. Figure in that this is a rivalry game and it’s hard to think that the Patriots can blow out Miami.

NEW ORLEANS -14 over Carolina
The Panthers exacted their revenge against the Cardinals and I’m not sure if they’ll be up for a shootout with the Saints. Carolina had an awesome rushing game against Arizona, but it’ll be hard to justify keeping the ball on the ground when they’re trailing large.

Detroit +10 over SEATTLE
After losing to the lowly Rams, how could the Lions not come out fired up against the banged up Seahawks? If Seattle has any more hideous uniforms to wear, they might as well trot them out here when nobody is paying attention.

SAN FRANCISCO -4 over Tennessee
This line has already moved down 1.5 points since the line came out, that means that the Niners should actually be a 5.5 point favourite over the one-win Titans. San Fran is good at stopping the run and that’s the only thing that Tennessee can think about doing well.

NEW YORK GIANTS -5 over San Diego
The Chargers rarely ever come through on the east coast and aren’t particularly good at stopping the run. Unless the Eli of the past three weeks shows up, the Giants shouldn’t be too concerned for this game.

Dallas +3 at PHILADELPHIA
Like I said earlier this week, the Cowboys have been just good enough to get everyone’s hopes up. But the good news is that after two tough games (at Philly, at Green Bay), their schedule lightens up with Washington and then Oakland coming to Big D.

Pittsburgh -3 over DENVER
The Steelers are another team like the Ravens that can simply swallow up short routes by receivers and stuff the run. Kyle Orton and Co. are on the verge of a losing streak.

Last week: 4-8.
This season: 61-48-1.

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