NFL 2011 – Week 06 Picks

Embarrassing! That’s one way to describe it another might be “Rock Bottom”. Or as Novian put it to John Anthony right before urinating in his face, “How in the hell do you go 2-14?” That’s question has been running through my head the entire week, only without the urine shampoo – “How did I go 3-10?” Well, the Bengals and Raiders come back in the second half for the cover, that’s how!

I have always made the analogy that handicapping is a little like “body boarding” in the ocean – if you can catch the wave it will carry you all the way to the beach. But if you don’t catch the wave you subjected to the dangers of the ocean – rip currents, sharks, etc. Handicapping is little that way where you get a feel for when the Steelers patchwork offensive line is going to man-handle an above average Titan defensive line or when Tampa Bay is going to walk into a buzz-saw in San Francisco. You get a feel for those things ready to happen and when applied with the right amount of statistical backing, viola, you’re on the right side of the “down to the wire”, essentially a coin flip, games.

This week I am pulling the Rocky IV move, when Rocky decided to train in some desolate Russian wilderness for his upcoming fight against the roided-out Drago. Yup, I am going dark ages like Rocko, lifting stuck carriages out of the snow, sawing logs, pulling boulder-filled sleds, high kneeing through waist deep snow and chopping wood. Side tangent – I always wondering if the KGB agent assigned to watch Rocky’s every move reported back to Drago’s people something like “Uh, yeah, Drago should be terrified, the American just carried a 30lb log on his shoulders through two feet of snow.” And then both sides erupt in uncontrolled laughter.

Anyway, Rocko needed to find himself; he needed a deserted Russian village to un-clutter his mind and return to the basics. I also needed to un-clutter my mind by getting back to the basics. It worked for Rocky as he not only beat the heavily favored Russian, but he thawed the Cold War – “I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!”

I’ve dug a hole, but I make this guarantee – I will not only win the Super Wynner Contest, but I will finish 20 games above .500 for the season. For the record that will 105-74 or 59% in the remaining 179 games for the season.

“Super Wynner Contest” Standings

Contestant

Last Week

Record

G-Dub

9-4

43-31-3 (.578)

Juana Wynner

8-5

36-38-3 (.487)

Megan Wynner

8-5

34-40-3 (.461)

Colin Wynner

3-10

32-42-3 (.435)

 

SuperContest Week 4 Recap

  • Picks: Vikings, Titans, Eagles, Broncos and Buccaneers
  • I logged my thought for the three early games – Vikings, Titans and Eagles
    • Twenty minutes into the early games and I can definitely tell you that the EAGLES SUCK! Watching them on offense is like watching 14 40-year old dudes playing 7-on-7, no rhyme or reason to the plays at all. Vick literally runs around every play hoping someone breaks open. At least the Titans and Vikings look to have shown up.
    • The Vikings are up 14-0; I am ready to put that game in the deep freeze, until Fox play-by-play guy Sam Rosen blurts out, “The Vikings have blown multiple first half leads this season”. Really, Sam? Thanks!
    • Vick throws another interception; I guess this isn’t the week the Eagles “must win”. I really cannot afford to give up SC wins this easy
    • Tennessee down 7-3, Minnesota 21-0 and Philadelphia is down 7-0.
    • Ugh, Rodgers-Cromartie just dropped what could’ve been a pick-6; DRC can’t cover, catch or tackle, but he provides the invaluable skill of selecting the pre-game music in the locker room.
    • Minnesota is up 28-0, why can’t all games be this easy – watch the Vikes will give up this lead, but hang on win by 2.
    • Fake punt in the Steelers game; Tomlin is destroying Munchak; Steelers up 14-3, I don’t know why I keep picking the Titans – likely 0-5 in their games this season, with 4 SC losses.
    • 7-0 Buffalo leading the Eagles but the Eagles have the ball 1st and goal at the Bills 2; the Bills have them right where they want them. I say it’s an easy touchdown if the Eagles roll out Vick giving him the run/pass option; they do and viola, touchdown! 7-7, ok back in business
    • That was an awesome last three minutes for me:
      • T-Minus3 – Buffalo goes up 14-7
      • T-minus2 – Pittsburgh goes up 21-3
      • T-Minus1 – Buffalo goes up 21-7
    • I am petitioning the SuperContest to come up with the “Switch Points” concept similar to the “Switch Blackjack” game – right now I could switch points from the Vikings to the Eagles/Titans
    • The Titans game is over – who knew the Steelers would throw a offensive lineman in off the street and all of a sudden they are playing like the “Hogs”.
    • Uh no Minnesota is now up just 28-10; I could be in trouble if Cardinals find a way to utilize their best player, Larry Fitzgerald.
    • 31-10 Minnesota, that game now seems safe; 28-3 Pittsburgh, that also seems safe except on wrong side of the ledger; 28-14 Buffalo leads Philadelphia, those poor tortured Philadelphia fans, first the Phillies choke, now the Eagles can’t win.
    • Tennessee closes to within 18 points as Chris Johnson scores his first touchdown of the year. Oh, wow, the Titans recovers a surprise onside kick- they’re might be a chance
    • Hope sucks! On the first play after the onside kick, Matt Hasselbeck throws an interception on a tipped pass. I think that is the Steelers first interception of the year.
    • Just for the record, the Titans beat the Ravens the week after the Ravens blew the Steelers out, now the Steelers are blowing out the Titans. I get it transitive scores are a horrible way to compare teams, but my goodness, there is no reason this game should be a blowout.
    • The only game in question for me is the Eagles, who are behind 31-21 heading to the 4th.
    • Honestly, Eagles fan has got to be ready to swallow a bottle of sleeping pills because of this team. A touchdown top bring them within 3 points is called back by an illegal use of hands penalty. I have a fix for that penalty – chop that bastard’s hands off! The Eagles settle for a field goal – likely meaning I will have to sweat out an overtime to get a cover.
    • Two minutes left in Buffalo. I at least have a chance with the Eagles deep in Buffalo territory facing a 3rd and three.
    • You wouldn’t believe it if I told you, somehow a pass to Avant is caught but then is pitched is a Buffalo linebacker for a fumble or interception. The Eagles are going to be 1-4, they beaten the Rams, but in their four losses they have self-destructed.
    • Well, surprisingly the Eagles have all three timeouts left, so they still have a chance to get the ball back with a little over a minute. And with their speed they can easily cover 90 plus yards in a minute, right? You believe it, right? OK, I think I have myself convinced they can still cover.
    • I love when a team brings in the obvious WildCat play in an even more obvious running situation and still gains 8 yards – the Eagles just don’t want to win this game,
    • Ugh, 4th and an inch for the Bills. At midfield. Ok, this is where I am lucky we have a gutless coach like Chan Gailey. No way Gailey will go for this, because he is too worried about getting crucified in the media if somehow they don’t get the first down and the Eagles drive the 50 yards for the tying touchdown. So he will play this by the book. I am terrified that he will go for it, because I give the Eagles defense about an “East Dillion High” chance of stopping them, in other words, only in the Hollywood.
    • I am going to start a business called “Socks and Soap, Inc”. My product – me and ten of my friends can be hired to use socks filled a bar of soap to beat a fellow, incompetent employee who costs his employer. Our first customer, the Eagles, who are in the need of our services for Juqua Parker.
    • The Bills draw the Eagles off-side on the 4th down play, Juqua Parker is the culprit.
    • 1-2, with the Bucs, coming off a Monday win and traveling cross country. The Bucs are a little like that late night drunken run to Denny’s, where everything on the menu looks great, but you settle on the strawberry pancakes. About three bites in, you realize the pancakes were the wrong choice, as you try to steal fries from your buddies. That’s the Bucs, if I could switch them out right now, I would.
  • Predictably the Bucs put up a wet paper towel-ian effort today.
  • You see you can play things like “Norv Turner will always leave the backdoor open”. Unfortunately, Denver linebacker DJ Williams joins Juqua Parker on my personal “Francis Sawyer” list, by committing a personal foul that leads to the Chargers kicking a covering field goal.
  • 1-4 – not dead yet, but on life support.

LHSC: 1-4, 9-14-2 (Tied for 451th)

Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

 

NFC Worst – “The Quest for 6 Wins”

 

San Francisco @ Detroit (-4.0)

St. Louis @ Green Bay (-14.0)

 

I feel really bad for the Rams and Cardinals. Those teams have done their part to uphold the dream of a 6-10 division champ, unfortunately it only takes “one bad apple to spoil the bunch”. That bad apple is the 49ers, who in one of the most puck moves, have decided to selfishly take over this division, leaving the dream hanging by the thinnest of margins.

 

It’s simple the 49ers would to have a collapse that the 2011 Red Sox would call a collapse for us to see a 6-10 division. With the Browns, Rams and Cardinals still on home schedule, it’s pretty much a done deal. Sure we could dream about Alex Smith enduring a season-ending injury, except that Smith is already their weak link. In fact, this 49er team is the team we thought they would be in 2007 or 2008 or 2009 or 2010. It’s about time, right! Think about it, we are a week two meltdown against the Cowboys away from the 49ers sitting at 5-0.

 

And yet, the talk this week is all about the Lions and their 13 straight games of covering the spread. How bad has is gotten – a sports book in Vegas opened up a season prop “Will the Lions finish 16-0?” Now that a sports book would even consider allow a bet on something so remote tells us that the Lions hype is totally out of control.

 

BTW, the Lions 16-0 bet was -2500, meaning you have to lay $2500 to win $100. Easiest money you will ever make.

 

Pick: San Francisco +4.0

 

The 15 point spread in the Packer game, had stat models going crazy this week. You see just about every statistical model will spit out the Rams as a best bet, simply because very few statistical models can accurately predict blowouts. For the record my numbers tell me the Rams as a top play as well. But I am skeptical, although here are five ways I can see the Rams having a chance to backdoor cover the 15:

 

  • Aaron Rodgers gets hurt early and doesn’t return
  • The Rams borrow Doc Brown’s DeLorean to round up Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce circa 1999
  • The Rams brain trust spent the entire bye week installing a new offense and defense for each quarter of this game. The Packers will have never seen any of the four on film.
  • The Packers tell each other before the game, “After practice, we getting together at Aaron’s for the Brewers game!”
  • The bookies allow bettors to combine Rams points with Cardinals runs. Have you seen Shawn Marcum pitch this post-season?

 

In all seriousness, this is a sandwich game for the Packers – between road contests at Atlanta and Minnesota, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the Packers will be disinterested to play a glorified college team like the Rams.

 

Pick: St. Louis +14.0

 

Indianapolis @ Cincinnati (-7.0) – I feel like I was one of the few pre-season prognosticators who thought the hate on the Bengals had gone too far by predicting them to be average. The negative hype has now swung a full 180 degrees – this team shouldn’t be giving a touchdown to anyone.

Pick: Indianapolis +7.0

Juana Wynner’s Week Six Picks

St. Louis @ Green Bay (-14.5)It is very hard for a team to win by 15 points or more. Unless the just get extremely lucky.

Pick: St. Louis +14.5

Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh (-12.0) Even though 13 points is a big number Pittsburgh usually dominates their games. Jacksonville doesn’t have what it takes to keep up with them.

Pick: Pittsburgh -12.0

Philadelphia (-1.5) @ Washington I hate how the name “Redskins” sounds. It sounds dirty and I don’t like it at all.

Pick: Philadelphia -1.5

San Francisco @ Detroit (-4.0) – San Francisco is in California. I want to live in California so badly it’s not even funny.

Pick: San Francisco +4.0

Carolina @ Atlanta (-4.0) – I like the Falcons logo. I like the green and white much better then blue and black.

Pick: Atlanta -4.0

The Rest:

Indianapolis +7.0, New York Giants -3.5, Baltimore -7.0, Cleveland +6.5, New England -7.0, New Orleans -4.5, Chicago -2.5, New York Jets -6.5


 

 

Philadelphia (-1.5) @ Washington – Colin’s greatest hits, “. . .there is no way the Eagles lose this game.” One of these weeks I will be right!

Pick: Philadelphia -1.5

Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh (-12.0) – I really have no idea which Steeler team will show up this week. It might be the one that totally dominated a seemingly superior Titans team or the one that laid an egg in Houston.

 

The Steelers are not a great team, however, they’re the type of team that lay’s the smack down on bad teams. I think Jacksonville qualifies as a bad team.

 

Pick: Pittsburgh -12.0

 

Carolina @ Atlanta (-4.0) – The Falcons are another team I feel like I nailed in the pre-season. In addition to having them missing the playoffs, I blasphemed the holy name of Matt Ryan by calling him “totally over-rated”. Looks like Colin can call a few winners!

 

I think you have to play Cam Newton until some team figures out a way to keep him out of the end zone at the end of the game.

 

Pick: Carolina +4.0

 

Buffalo @ NY Giants (-3.5) – Here is the classic over reaction game of the week – the Bills just beat the “Dream Team”, they’re great; while the Giants lost to the Seahawks, they suck.

 

Pick: NY Giants -3.5

 

Megan Wynner’s Week Six Picks

New Orleans (-4.5) @ Tampa Bay – I think that New Orleans will win because I think that they can outplay the Buccaneers! In addition, they have cool team colors!

Pick: New Orleans +4.5

San Francisco @ Detroit (-4) – I think that the Detroit Lions will win because they can outplay San Francisco. Also they have awesome uniforms!

Pick: Detroit -4

Minnesota @ Chicago (-2.5) – I think that the Chicago Bears will win because bears are cooler than Vikings. Also they have awesome uniforms!

Pick: Chicago -2.5

Buffalo @ N.Y. Giants (-3.5) – I think that the Buffalo Bills will win because they have a cool motto! Like what kind of motto is Giants? Buffalo Bills is so much better!

Pick: Buffalo +3.5

Houston @ Baltimore (-7.0) – I think that the Houston Texans will win because I like their team colors! Also there motto is better than the Ravens but not stronger.

Pick: Houston +7.0

Carolina @ Atlanta (-4) – What kind of name is the Atlanta Falcons? The Carolina Panthers is such a better name!

Pick: Carolina +4

Jacksonville @ Pittsburgh (-12) I think that the Pittsburgh Steelers will win because they are a strong team. Also they made it to the super bowl in 2008 against the Arizona Cardinals and won!

Pick: Pittsburgh +12

The rest:

Green Bay -14, Philadelphia -1.5, Cincinnati -7, Oakland -6.5, Dallas +7, Miami +6.5

 


 

 

Houston @ Baltimore (-7.0) – The more things change in Houston the more they stay the same. Just when you think the Texans have turned the corner, they bring their “C” game against Oakland. Despite that the Texans put themselves in position to win, but then they reverted to the “same old Texans”. The following two plays are the reason we cannot take this team seriously – on 1st and 10 from the Oakland 26, the center, a play that would make Phil Costa blush, snaps the ball over the head of Matt Schuab, who has to scramble to recover the ball for a 13 yard loss. But the Texans then complete a near “hail-mary” at the Raiders 5 yard line, Texans fan is thinking, “we are going to pull this game out!” Uh, no, as Schuab throws an interception in the end zone – game over.

 

Every time I play this Ravens/Texans game out in my head I see the Ravens winning comfortably.

 

Pick: Baltimore -7.0

 

Cleveland @ Oakland (-6.5) – I like the Raiders a lot this season, in fact I wish I could take a mulligan and flip them with the Broncos in pre-season predictions, but I don’t like them in this spot for the following reasons – 1. Al Davis death was inspirational last week, but a distraction this week; 2. This the first schedule emotional break for the Raiders, @Denver – division game/season opener, @Buffalo – Bills home opener/crazy emotional comeback game, NY Jets – home opener/huge win, New England – the Pats and @Houston – Al Davis death/emotional win; and 3. You cannot give Pat Shurmur two weeks to prepare and not expect to face the consequences.

 

Pick: Cleveland +6.5

 

Dallas @ New England (-7.0) – The Pats lost three games in 2010 – twice to the Jets and once to the Browns. The defensive coordinator in all three losses was named Ryan. Rob Ryan, who was the DC in Cleveland last season, is now the DC in Dallas. Now, I am not suggesting the Cowboys will shut down Brady and company, but I think he make enough of a difference that the Cowboys can keep this game close.

 

Oh and did you know that the Cowboys last 10 regular season games have been decided by four or fewer points? Now that’s a trend I can get behind!

 

Pick: Dallas +7.0

 

New Orleans (-6.5) @ Tampa Bay – I was all set to take the Bucs, in the second of the “over-reaction” doubleheader, but then I thought back to last season when the Bucs were surprising everyone on their way to a 10-6 record and how they performed against the Saints. They got drilled in both games – that tells me the Saints are bad match-up for the Bucs. Couple that with the fact the Bucs have not looked impressive in any game this season, and we are looking at another Saints blowout.

 

Pick: New Orleans -6.5

 

Minnesota @ Chicago (-2.5) – Oh that 2.5 point spread is so tempting. Except that the Vikings match-up really, really well with the Bears. I think Jared Allen might break Osi’s sack record on Sunday night. Hey, wait, why the hell is game on Sunday night? Come one NBC, you need to be able to flex games beginning in week one – I want the 49ers v. Lions on Sunday night this week!

 

Pick: Minnesota +2.5

 

Miami @ NY Jets (-6.5) – Nobody trusts the Jets to cover anything over a field goal and rightfully so, but I present to you the following exhibit – Matt Moore, the starting quarterback for the Dolphins! This one will look more like a boa constrictor vs. lizard – suffocation, baby!

 

Pick: NY Jets -6.5

 

Colin Wynner calls the winners!

 

Good Luck to all!

 


 

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