Thursday, December 2, 2010

Another ESPN Writer Mails It In and Week 13 Picks

By now, I'm sure many of you have read Greg Easterbrook's TMQ column on ESPN. His opening salvo is directed towards the Colts, and he attempts to weed out the truth behind their struggles, etc. Unfortunately, like many recent ESPN writers, he mails in the actual research and analysis. Luckily, one of the best Colts blogs around takes Easterbrook to task here.

When I first read this edition of the TMQ, the statement that Peyton Manning isn't good when the defense is putting pressure on him really pushed my buttons. I was certain it was a ridiculous statement, and luckily, the same blog completely skewered that attempt at analysis. Take a look here. Just as I suspected, Peyton is at the top of the league when under pressure. 

Andre Johnson was actually mic'd up at the time of his fight last week. It seems like they edited out some of the audio during the fight, but it's still worth a listen.

A couple more mic'd up youtube videos.

This one is probably the best mic'd up I've ever seen. I gained a new respect for Matthew Stafford.

Pretty funny Peyton Manning video (sorry about the quality) from when he and Saturday got into it during the Rams game a few years ago.

I'll begin with the Thursday night game, but we'll update the rest of the picks later in the week.
Texans vs. Eagles
Daugherty - HOU +9
This one is tough, but I feel like Houston can keep it close enough thanks to Asante Samuel being out. In other news, I'm happy that Andre Johnson beat the hell out of Finnegan, but I agree with Karwatt when he says that $25,000 for fighting is a joke when Jerome Harrison gets fined $75,000 for a hard hit. 
Karwatt - HOU +9 
Look Mike Vick is great, but he isnt superman.  The Texans offer another terrible secondary for Vick to shred, but Hpouston should score points and stay in the game.  Andre should have a big day since you are allowed to fight and not get suspended.

Buffalo vs. Minnesota
Daugherty - Buffalo +5.5
Buffalo tends to lose, but they almost always cover. Works for me
Karwatt - Buffalo +5.5
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a stud. The Bills should be in the game late, and hopefully they don't choke this one away. They need to let Favre monopolize the choking.

Miami vs. Cleveland
Daugherty - Cleveland +4.5
My man Peyton Hillis continues to murder opposing defenses. The key question is whether Sparano forgets that he has a good running game again. I don't think it matters in the end. 
Karwatt - Miami -4.5
My phins remembered to run the ball with their studs last week, and they ended up dominating the game. Miami's bright spot this year has been that young D-Line so hopefully they can shut down Hillis like they did McFadden. 

Kansas City vs. Denver
Daugherty - K.C. -9
Dwayne Bowe? What a stud. Cassel must have read our inaugural post criticizing his awfulness because he is actually playing well. My favorite Denver story....They traded Peyton Hillis for their current #3 QB
Karwatt - K.C. -9
This is a wacky one.  Denver smashed KC last time they played.  However, since then KC has gotten better and Denver worse.  I don't know how this spread is so high, but I'm still taking KC.  The main reason is that Denver can't video tape the opposing team's practices anymore. Obviously a trick McDaniels learned from New England.

Washington vs. New York Giants
Daugherty - NYG -7
Washington sucks. That's my analysis
Karwatt - Wash +7
I couldn't figure out which way to go with this game, but since Mannings have been throwing a bunch of picks recently, I chose Washington

Green Bay vs. San Francisco
Daugherty - GB -9.5
San Francisco picked Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers. They deserve to get blown out.
Karwatt - GB -9.5
Aaron Rodgers is the truth. He makes throws as well as anyone, and the drive he led to tie the game last week was awesome. S.F. lost Gore, and with him out, the season is over.

New Orleans vs. Cincinnati
Daugherty - Bengals +7
Solely about the weather. Gonna be freezing with high winds and snow. We'll see how the warm weather southern team handles it.
Karwatt - Saints -7
Carson Palmer is terrible. The Saints aren't as good as last year, but Carson will lose this one like usual.

Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta
Daugherty - TB +3
This line shifted a lot over the past week. I originally was going to go with ATL -1, but 3 is too much. I would bet that this one comes down to the wire.
Karwatt - TB +3
Last time these two teams met, the Bucs were a foot short from beating the dirty birds in the dome.  We all know the Falcons are a different team on the road.  Look for the Bucs to step up with an upset for all their fans to see! Well for some people outside the area to see since the game will be blacked out again.

Seattle vs. Carolina
Daugherty - SEA -6
Seattle isn't that bad. They've actually won a few games. Carolina on the other hand.....
Karwatt - SEA -6
I have picked against Carolina every week and it usually works. They have no QB, and their best player is out. 

St. Louis vs. Arizona
Daugherty - Rams -3.5
I doubted Sam Bradford over Suh, but I was definitely wrong. Bradford is legit.
Karwatt - Rams -3.5
I can hope.
I guess Derek Anderson doesn't think the Cardinals' play is funny, but I sure do.  Sam Bradford is on his way to becoming a superstar. Rams win easily.  The Cardinals will need some huge special teams plays to stay in the game.

Indianapolis vs. Dallas
Daugherty - Indy -5.5
This is a total homer pick. 
Karwatt - Forfeit

Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh
Daugherty Balt -3
Pittsburgh's defense hasn't been as good with the loss of Aaron Smith. Baltimore will be able to take advantage of that by throwing a lot.
Karwatt - Balt -3
The Steelers have been the beneficiaries of a lot of luck this season as well.  They were given 2 games they should have easily lost.  Mia ( Ben's fumble) and last week when Stevie Johnson dropped an easy game winner.  This week that changes. Pitt just doesn't look as impressive as they used to.  An overrated D (much like Baltimore) and their offense is sputtering at times.  Baltimore wins but not because of Flacco, who is another overrated player because his team is good.

New England vs. New York Jets
Daugherty - Jets +3
I'm going out on a limb here. I think the Jets can play enough defense to keep Tom Brady in check, but the key question is whether Sanchize can make enough plays to win. He's been good recently so I'll take the points.
Karwatt - NE -3
The Jets may be the worst 8-2 team in NFL history.  They should be 5-5,and anything that can go right has gone right.  Even though they absolutely dominated the Pats in their last meeting, the Jets are a fake, an average team with an inflated record. 

Since there is no game I really like this week, this will be a lock of the week, not a Locke. 
Daugherty - Seattle -6

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