On this week’s episode:
The game will be dissected all across the board for weeks. Here are just a few quick thoughts.
Nine games over for the season. Need a 2-1 finish this week to set up an all-or-nothing Super Bowl to reach my coveted a 10 games over for the year.
Patriots -3 over Broncos / Panthers -3 over Cardinals
Two best teams in the league meet in the Super Bowl.
Patriots & Broncos Under 45
I had the final score at 27-17 Patriots. That’s 44. Works for me.
I have no idea what’s going to happen this weekend. Not a single result would surprise me. So I’m going back to picking SOMETHING for these games. I finished the season six over .500. Still have a chance to get to ten over. But I need a strong performance. (For some reason I didn’t include spreads last week but I would have gone 2-2 any way you slice it.)
Here’s what Bill Belichick knows: his offensive line can’t protect Tom Brady from the Chiefs pass rush. And since no coach in history has been better at self-evaluation, he won’t ask them to try. Instead Brady will go to the quick-release pass attack with Edelman Edelman Edelman and neutralize Houston, Hali and company. I think it works. Not sure if Pats are healthy enough to win but they are healthy enough to score.
I am going to be rooting very hard in this game so I’m making an emotional hedge. Would love to lose this one.
Here are the Carolina scores over the last 8 games: 27, 44, 33, 41, 38, 38, 13, 38. I say they play with a chip on their shoulder as the media at-large keeps trying to convince fans the team is overrated. (2015 Panthers remind me an awful lot of the 2006 Bears. Nobody thought that team could make the Super Bowl until their plane landed in Miami.) Bold prediction: Panthers beat them up.
I will not be making a selection in the Broncos/Steelers game as there’s no point. Unless someone can prove to me Roethlisberger will be healthy it’s a sucker’s wager. But without Antonio Brown I’d need a big number to take Pittsburgh.
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Can’t complain about my picks a week ago. Saints flew by their number. Packers never approached theirs. And the Bears / Vikings game was a coin flip. 2-1. Four games over .500 on the season. This week…
One team I think is very good. The other team is the Minnesota Vikings. And if Teddy Bridgewater struggled against the Bears defense, what is he going to do against one of the best defenses in the sport?
No comment. Well one comment. Where are all the people who argued the Packers wouldn’t miss Jordy Nelson? They seem awfully quiet to me. The Packers are consistently credited for having magnificent drafts and an unending basket of talent. But it’s never been true. They have an all world quarterback. But even he misses his best and most reliable weapon.
Season Record: 13-9-2
2-1 last week, only losing because the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants had to do it their way Sunday and make the end of the game exciting. 5-1 over my last six and I’m a believer in gambling momentum.
Hot hand. Two straight covers. And I think the Bears are simply better than the Lions right now. (More on this tomorrow.)
First off, I love rooting for overs. It means lots of scoring. Secondly, I’m not sure either of these teams is any good on the defensive side of the ball. I see a 34-24 type game, smoothly sailing past the number.
I don’t think the Seahawks are any good. They have two wins on the year. One against James Clausen and they needed all four quarters to win that. One against a Detroit team that was half a yard from beating them in Seattle. It sometimes takes folks time to move beyond reputation and analyze what’s happening on the field. On the field, Seattle stinks. Their offensive line is putrid. Their secondary collapses in the fourth quarter. Their quarterback is limited in the pocket. (If you don’t follow Pete Prisco’s work on this, you should.)
Ron Rivera is salivating when he watches tape of this OL group. Add Luke Kuechly to the mix and I’m comfortable taking the points.
Season Record: 8-6-1