2007 NFL Picks - Week 8Way to completely slack off there D. I've ignored everything not related to work, sleep, and the World Series since about Sunday night/Monday morning. That includes this blog, and my weekly rants/ranks post that was supposed to be written and put up here Tuesday. Oops. For the record, let's get that out of the way right now, in abridged form:
The Fave 5
1. New England (7-0). Duh.
2. Indianapolis (7-0). Duh 2.0
3. Dallas (6-1). Best in the NFC.
4. Green Bay (5-1). A close second, but they need to run better.
5. Ney York Giants (5-2). Can't argue a 5-game winning streak.
The Foul 5
5. Atlanta (1-6). At least they kept it close.
4. San Francisco (2-4). Alex Smith returns. Should give them 2 more wins this year.
3. NY Jets (1-6). They've been close in most games. Just not close enough.
2. St. Louis (0-7). Starting QB & RB return Sunday. Rams' fans rejoice by raising expectations to 2 wins in '07.
1. Miami (0-7). No such luck in Miami. Starting QB & RB done for year. #1 WR traded away. #1 overall draft pick soon to follow.
And, after that little diversion, let's take a shot at the Week 8 lines. 7-6-1 in Week 7 (Holy crap - a winning week?) to raise the overall numbers up a tick to 42-52-9. As always, home teams in CAPS, and lines from Bodog.com (via ESPN's Daily Line), and accurate as of 10:30am.
RAMS (+3) over Browns: I think that if the coaches say Steven Jackson is playing this game, then he's obviously as close to 100% as he's going to get. They wouldn't risk him in a lost season otherwise. I can see him shredding that Cleveland D for a big game.
DOLPHINS (+10) over Giants: I just don't know how oddsmakers can look at this game, look at the traevl to London, the jet lag, all the unknown factors, and still make it a 10-point line. I know Miami's bad, but they can't possibly be that bad, can they?
Eagles (-1) over VIKINGS: Donovan McNabb is due for a huge game. Think something along the lines of the Detroit debacle a few weeks back - Minnesota's pass defense is actually worse than the Lions... and everybody else for that matter. They rank 32 of 32 teams.
Colts (-7) over PANTHERS: Peyton Manning has never beaten the Panthers. Ever. Hard to believe, I know. Of course, there was a time when Manning had never beaten the Belichick/Brady Patriots either. Speaking of which...
PATRIOTS (-17) over Redskins: By the time the Pats travel to Indy next week (on my birthday, no less!) the hype for this game will have taken on Bill Brasky proportions. "I once saw Tom Brady and Peyton Manning combine for 247 touchdown passes... in the first quarter! Hand to God... To Brady & Manning!"
BEARS (-5) over Lions: I don't know about any of you, but I'm riding Brian Griese's right shoulder as long as it will hold up. Considering he's got the Lions in Chicago this week, I'm feeling pretty good about my decision. Could the Bears somehow sneak back into Wild Card contention?
Steelers (-4) over BENGALS: With all the hype around the bengals' team chemistry (or lack thereof), they're either primed to step up big and crush a division opponent, or roll over and give the critics more fodder. Either way, the Steelers are still pissed about blowing that game in Denver last Sunday, and I can't blame them. That was a bad loss.
Raiders (+7.5) over TITANS: The Raiders just keep every game close, and the Titans might be without Vince Young again. Think they can kick 10 field goals this week? That might be what it takes. (By the way - for all the hype about Minnesota, New England, Baltimore & Chicago's defenses... Tennessee has the best rushing defense in the league right now. Too bad they can't stay off the field with that offense)
BUCS (-3.5) over Jaguars: Bodog has actually pulled this line, but every other major site has it a -3.5 for TB. With the Jaguars QB situation as bad as it is right now, the Bucs' defense should be able to stack the line and force Jacksonville to beat them through the air. Anyone who saw the Jax/Indy game last week knows that with the current crop of backup QB's in Jacksonville, that's just not a winning proposition.
Bills (+3) over JETS: Unless Clemens starts. Then I'll consider taking the Jets here. It's too bad - Pennington just never fully healed from those shoulder injuries. Not that he had the greatest arm before he got hurt, but still...
CHARGERS (-10) over Texans: Sentimental pick. If it's in San Diego, it's not even close. If it's somewhere else (Arizona, LA, or even... Vegas?) it's much close than people think.
49ERS (+3) over Saints: With Alex Smith back and Frank Gore healthy, the Niners should be able to do at least some damage on offense through the porous New Orleans defense. The only question left is whether the Niners defense can keep the Saints' offense in check long enough to keep this game close.
Packers (+3) over BRONCOS: This is my measuring stick for AFC/NFC matchups this year. The Broncos are coming off a huge home win over the Steelers last week, while the Packers are coming off a bye. The Packers are a top-2 team inthe NFC, while the Broncos are, at best, 8th in the AFC. Let's see how this plays out before decalring the AFC completley superior to the NFC in every way.
RECAP: RAMS / DOLPHINS / Eagles / Colts / PATRIOTS / BEARS / Steelers / Raiders / BUCS / Bills / CHARGERS / 49ERS / Packers
That's it. Back to the real world.