NFL 2011 – Week Seven Picks

“Baby steps, Bob. Instead of focusing on the big things, like getting out of the building, focus on smaller things, like getting out of this room.” – Dr. Leo Marvin

Let’s face it, after hitting rock bottom two weeks ago, I at least got the ship turned around and headed in the right direction last week. While 5-8 isn’t going to win me handicapping contests or pay for college, it’s a small (baby) step up from the bottom. In fact, I felt like my week six picks were solid, despite the losing record. But when things are going bad you invariably fall on the wrong side of things like the improbable defensive touchdown that covers the spread and the last minute pick reversal.

So, taking a deeper dive at the numbers – I lost when I switched out from the Packers to the Rams and when Pierre Garcon fumbled away the cover in Cincinnati. That’s what stood between me and a successful week of 7-6 and if you throw in getting “hooked” by the Bills on a line that closed at several books at -3 and I am a hypothetical 7-5-1. Too bad we can’t play these games hypothetically!

So, let’s recap my guarantees from last week – a. Win the Super Wynner Contest; and b. Finish the regular season 20 games above .500. Last week, I was in 4th place in the Super Wynner contest, 11 games behind G-Dub. This week, I am still in 4th place, now a whooping 14 games behind G-Dub. So, I am at least one week away from first place! And I need to finish the season at 100-66 or 60.2% to finish over 20 games of .500. As my boy Andy Dufresne told Red, “Get busy living or get busy dying”. Time to get busy living!

“Super Wynner Contest” Standings

Contestant 

Last Week 

Record 

G-Dub 

8-5

51-36-3 (.583)

Juana Wynner

6-7

42-45-3 (.483)

Megan Wynner

7-6

41-46-3 (.472)

Colin Wynner

5-8

37-50-3 (.428)

 

SuperContest Week 4 Recap

  • Picks: Colts, Panthers, Cowboys, Saints, Jets
  • I missed the first half of the early games but through modern technology I was able to follow the scores. Nice 1st half for the Colts, only down 10-7. The Panthers are pushing against the Falcons, but remember we have to account for the obligatory backdoor cover TD by Cam Newton.
  • Here is a mini log of my second half of the early games thoughts:
    • Things are going as planned in the Carolina/Atlanta– the Panthers are down 24-17 but with the Cam late game adjustment, that game it essentially tied
    • The Colts look to be an easy winner as they are down 20-17 late
    • With 5 minutes left the brain dead, emotionless coach of the Colts, aka Jim Caldwell, decides to send Adam Vinatieri to attempt a 52-yard field goal. Predictably the kick is missed. I still feel great since the Bengals will be conservative.
    • Oh, effing sheet, Can Newton just threw a pick, but this is not on him. The defensive lineman (eff him, I won’t even mention his name) is back-pedaling, has to turn 90 degress and catch the ball with one hand to make the interception. That’s a play that a fat phuck like that could make 1 in infinity times, but this time he makes it. But not all is lost – if the Panthers can force a field goal, I cover.
    • Remember that whole “if they force a field goal” thing, yeah, that didn’t happen. 31-17 Falcons, game over, but at 1-1, I will take it.
    • Are you effing kidding me? Pierre Garcon should have his balls cut off, he just fumbled a ball and the Bengals returned it for a touchdown – 27-17 Bengals.
    • OK, back from over-reaction city, I am kidding about Garcon being castrated, I just realized he can now be my best friend by getting loose in secondary for a long, covering, touchdown.
    • Ugh, Painter throws terrible “Ryan Leafian” pick. Eff it, it’s time to go bowling or something. Hell, I would rather have Ray Charles play a piano with my nuts as two of the black keys than watch this effing BS any more.
  • Yikes, 0-2, turns into a 1-3 when the Saints suck donkey penis, but my first win is the Cowboys, unfortunately just about everyone else in the contest had the Cowboys, so whoopdeedo!
  • Thankfully the Jets, working with the officials, managed to cover the number against the Dolphins. Woo-hoo, 2-3! Back on track. I am having the worst year EVAH!

LVHSC: 2-3, 11-17-2 (Tied for 471st)

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”

 

Seattle @ Cleveland (-3.0)

St. Louis @ Dallas (-13.5)

Pittsburgh (-4.0) @ Arizona

 

Thanks to Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers, the “Quest” is history for this year. Sure there is a small, Anakin Skywalker-ian chance of the 49ers falling off the map, but let’s be realistic the 49ers play in the NFC West – what team among the Seahawks, Rams or Cardinals has the balls to beat the 49ers twice in six games? None of those teams has one ball, yet alone, balls!

 

So, great now I have to come up with a gimmick for the NFC Worst, my first two options are “8 games” – which become the first team in NFL history to win their division by 8 games; or the second option is “15-1?”, the 15 game winner from the most improbable division ever. I will figure it out, but I am really, really pissed that the 49ers decided to high-jack history.

 

The games:

 

What a disappointment Colt McCoy has been this season. You know I actually thought this kid could have season this year. Wow, was I wrong – whether it’s that he doesn’t have the weapons or he just isn’t that good, he leaves me with zero confidence that he can lead the Browns to wins. That aside, the Seahawks already have won their “improbable” win of the year, look for the Browns to find a way to beat the Seahawks.

 

Pick: Cleveland -3.0

 

No Sam Bradford, no problem! Hey, I remember when the Eagles lost Donovan McNabb right before the matchup with the New England Patriots game in 2007. The back-up, none other than A.J. Feeley. The result – a huge 19.5 point cover. That’s enough for me, eff Bradford!

 

Pick: St. Louis +13.5

 

Pittsburgh @ Arizona (-4.0) – We can go ahead and throw out the home-field advantage for the Cardinals as I know, for a fact, that a bunch of Cardinals season ticket holders sold their premium tickets to Steelers fans, but let’s look at couple of reasons that make the Cardinals a great underdog here:

  1. Whisenhunt was dissed by the Steelers when the Steelers decided to go with Tomlin instead of him and Tomlin told him to hit the road.
  2. The Steelers stole a Super Bowl from the Cardinals, don’t think the Cardinals have forgotten that.
  3. Next week the Steelers play the Patriots, “who do we play this week?”
  4. What about the Steelers makes one think they won’t lay an egg this week? Seriously, they let the Jags hand around last week; this isn’t a good team, trust me!

Pick: Arizona +4.0

Juana Wynner’s Week Seven Picks

Denver @ Miami (-1.0) – There is this girl named Bailey on my soccer team. She got in my way the other day when I had a chance to score the game winning goal. Champ Bailey will most likely get in someone’s way too.

Pick: Miami -1.0

Kansas City @ Oakland (-4.0) – The Chief’s have defensive end Tyson Jackson. He does not have good records at all. Sometimes he even lets people go right around them just like this girl on my soccer team did the other night.

Pick: Oakland -4.0

Pittsburgh @ Arizona (-3.5) – Sometimes on my soccer team, the defense will just let a girl run right past them. Then the other team has a break-away shot. Brandon Keith lets people run right past him too and sack his QB.

Pick: Pittsburgh -4.0

Washington @ Carolina (-3.0) – In soccer the center midfield should direct the whole game. Sometimes they fail horribly at this task. Cam Newton is the QB for Carolina and he can barely lead a play.

Pick: Washington +2.5

St. Louis @ Dallas (-13.0) – The forwards on my team are horrible. You have one who just doesn’t know how to play and then the other 2 will get wide open shots and miss. They sometimes make good plays though and I think that even though Brandon Gibson is not the best player, he will show up big this week.

 

Colin’s Comments: Brandon Gibson? Is he still on the Rams roster? But with the way this kid’s picks have been going, Gibson will probably end up with 8-130-2!

 

Pick: St. Louis +13.5

The rest:

Indianapolis +14.0, Baltimore -8.5, Chicago -1.0, Minnesota +9.5, Tennessee -3.0, Miami -1.0, Atlanta +4.0, San Diego -2.0

 


 

 

Washington @ Carolina (-2.5) – Fun facts for you – did you know that Cam Newton attempted a total of 288 passes last year? Bet not. So far this season he has attempted 229 passes in six weeks? It’s safe to assume that the Panthers haven’t consulted the Red Sox on “pitch counts”. Anyway here is the deal – I think Cam is about to suffer from the MLB equivalent of “dead arm” period. You know the period where the previous “great” pitcher all of a sudden gives up 5 ER in .2 IP in his next start. Let’s face it, Cam is that offense and as Cam goes so goes the Panthers. So, the moral of this story is Cam is about to fall off the “holy crap Cam Newton is God” map.

Pick: Washington +2.5

Green Bay (-9.0) @ Minnesota – “Finally” – Percy Harvin and fantasy owners of Percy Harvin.

 

Pick: Minnesota -9.0

 

Chicago (-1.0) @ Tampa Bay @ London – The US might lose a key ally in England by sending this crap game across the pond.

 

Pick: Tampa Bay +1.0

 

Atlanta @ Detroit (-3.5) – I have admit I am biased against the Lions since they gave up that game to the 49ers last week. Actually the 49ers exposed the Lions run defense as a fraud, therefore there is no reason to believe that the Falcons won’t use the same formula with similar results.

 

Pick: Atlanta +3.5

 

Megan Wynner’s Week Seven Picks

Chicago (-1) @ Tampa Bay – What kind of name is the Tampa Bay Rays? Like the Chicago Bears have a much better name!

Colin Comments – Wow, Megan is as through at making picks as she is at playing soccer (yeah, she had a bad weekend tpournatment)! The Rays vs. da Bears – Longoria is a hell of a linebacker.

Pick: Chicago +1

Atlanta @ Detroit (-3.5) – I think that the Detroit Lions will win because I think that lions could take falcons any day and destroy them!

Pick: Detroit +3.5

Green Bay (-9) @ Minnesota – I think that the green bay packers will win because they won the super bowl last year! Also they will be able to outplay the Vikings.

Pick: Green Bay +9

Washington @ Carolina (-2.5) – I think that the Carolina Panthers will win because they have an awesome motto! Unlike Washington which is the Redskins!

Pick: Carolina +2.5

Baltimore (-8) @ Jacksonville – I think that the Jacksonville Jaguars will win because I like their team colors! Also the Ravens is a stupid name!

Pick: Jacksonville +8

Denver @ Miami (-1) – I like dolphins better than Broncos. Also Miami has been doing good so far so I think that they will beat the Broncos.

Pick: Miami +1

Pittsburgh (-4) @ Arizona – I think that the Arizona Cardinals will win because there my states team! Also they made it to the super bowl in 2008.

Pick: Arizona +4

The rest:

New Orleans -14.0, Dallas -13.5, Oakland Raiders -4.0, Tennessee -3.0, Seattle +3.0, San Diego -2.0

 


 

 

Baltimore (-8.0) @ Jacksonville– Did you know that the Ravens have been a road favorite of more than a touchdown just four times since 2007? That seems low to me. Anyway, they are 3-1 in those situations and much like last week when I play this game out in my head, I see the Ravens taking away MJD and leaving a rookie quarterback to beat them. If this game goes 17-3 or 21-6 Ravens early, so you have any confidence that the Jaguars can come back to cover? Me neither.

Pick: Baltimore -8.0

 

Denver @ Miami (-1.5) – The world is in love with the Broncos this week! Part of that is Tebow mania and other part of that is the Dolphins suck. Let’s tackle the Tebow factor. Tebow was 1-2 as a starter last season, 0-1 on the road. I agree that the small sample size is not an enough to make a decision, but isn’t that the point – Tebow has started three NFL games. In his successful relief appearance two weeks ago against the Chargers, Tebow completed four passes, four! Of the four, one was a screen pass that Knowshon Moreno took to the 30 yards to house and one was an acrobatic, one-handed catch by Brandon Lloyd. The other two totaled 8 yards. I like Tebow and love that he “walks the walk” when it comes to his faith, but I am not ready to call him the cure for all that ails the Broncos.

The Dolphins do suck, there is no getting around that, but let’s look at their schedule – Patriots, Texans, @Cleveland, @San Diego and @ NY Jets. Outside of Cleveland that is a tough schedule and one might expect the Dolphins to be 1-4 at best. They have been reasonable competitive in every game.

Yeah, I know they have chemistry problems in the locker room and Sprano is on his way out, but my hunch is the Dolphins players feel dis-respected by all the attention Tebow is getting. Throw in that that the local “mediots” asked a few Dolphins players this week about “sucking for Luck” and I think we see the best Dolphin game of the season.

And if not, well it’s still the Broncos – who have a shaky run defense, a terrible corner in Andre Goodman that Brandon Marshall will eat alive and they traded their most explosive offense player this week.

 

Pick: Miami -1.5

 

Kansas City @ Oakland (-4.0) – Raiders offensive coordinator Al Saunders was asked whether Carson Palmer would start this weekend his response, “If he’s breathing, he’s starting”. Wow! I imagine that dealt a blow to Kyle Boller’s confidence, right? Saunders would rather have a quarterback off the street whose only serviceable trait for this weekend’s game is that he has a pulse than Boller. I wish a smart alec reporter would have played a “take your pick” type of game with Saunders to see how low the floor really is on Boller, who would you rather have starting at quarterback on Sunday, Boller or:

  • Jim Plunkett, circa 2011
  • Ken Stabler, circa 2011
  • 1994 Steve Young with a broken left arm and both ACL’s blown out
  • Jacoby Ford – all wildcat, all the time
  • Jamarcus Russell

OK, there is the floor, Boller over a 450 lb J-Mark.

Pick: Kansas City +4.0

 

San Diego (-2.0) @ NY Jets – Whoa, settle down big fella, San Diego favored over the Jets in New York? I have to believe this is a strong over-reaction to the Jets miserable offensive performance this season, but give me a break. If we assume the standard 3 point spread for home teams, is there a sports book in the world that would offer this game at Chargers -8 if it were played in San Diego. I highly doubt it unless those books wanted give an early Christmas present to investors.

Look the Chargers have four wins over teams that are a combined 4-17, very unimpressive. So, the Chargers are an incredibly soft 4-1, but that’s exactly what the book-makers love to see, a soft 4-1, where they can bait the uninformed public into betting on them. You know who is not buying it? This guy (two thumbs pointing at me).

Let’s throw in the huge “special teams” advantage the Jets have by merely showing up on Sunday, plus the fact that the best unit on the field Sunday will the Jets defense and I cannot see a reason not to be on the Jets bandwagon.

Oh, yeah, I forgot all about the Norv Turner effect as well. With all the talk this week about Ryan’s derogatory comments about Turner, one might think that will fire up Turner, but I think it’s will work opposite and Turner will actually shrink from confrontation. Hmmm, maybe Rex knew that all along.

Pick: NY Jets +2.0

Houston @ Tennessee (-3.0) – This is the “meh” game of the week. Seriously, this game might be the most “uninteresting game in the world” as it lacks star power with Andre Johnson, Mario Williams and Kenny Britt all out of the game. There was a day where Chris Johnson was a headliner, but that was before the 53.5 million contract that apparently has made him unwilling to get hit. This game is so blah that I think I am going to predict a push! It can’t get any worse since I haven’t picked the Titans correctly all season.

Pick: Tennessee -3.0

 

Indianapolis @ New Orleans (-14.0) –I recall week 7 of the 2010 season when the Saints were double digit favorites at home against the Browns, a game where everyone hammered the Saints, who promptly laid in egg in a 30-17 blowout loss. Upon a cursory look of the Saints one might think they’re a team that blows out bad opponents. But the reality is the Saints run up big numbers against good teams and struggle at home against bad teams, at least in terms of the spread (does anything else matter). The facts:

  • Since 2007, the Saints are a mere 3-7 ATS when favored at home by more than 7.5 points, compared to 16-9-1 in all other cases.
  • Furthermore, in the 16 covering wins, nine of them have covered by a touchdown or more, thus, at least given some explanation to the perception that the Saints dominate teams at home.

I will give you one more tidbit – I think this injury to Sean Payton is bigger deal than we think. The surgery this week had to hurt preparations for the Colts, which is fine because most of the Saints players, coaches, fans, cheerleaders and front office think that the Saints merely need to show up this week to win. Throw in that Payton won’t be on the field directing the game and I think you have an awkward situation. Think about it – if your boss is hovering around your office, you act one way, but if your boss is off-site and their only way to communicate with is via the telephone, you act a different way. Saints win but it’s fairly close.

Pick: Indianapolis +14.0

 

Colin Wynner calls the winners! Yeah, soon it will be THE WINNERS!

 

Good Luck to all!


 

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