Week 8: Can’t Defend the Pretenders

11-2! Many keep saying pick with the spread, by why I’m not trying to help ya’ll gamble. I’m trying to do what the experts do, but at least I know people are checking the posts!

Don’t forget to check out the Lessons Learned from Week 7 after reading my picks.

THURSDAY

BUCCANEERS @ Vikings – Christian Ponder simply looked awful against the Cardinals, Adrian Peterson did not. But this Bucs’ defense is a top 10 run defense. I never expect anyone to hold Peterson down, but it will put more pressure on Ponder, which as last week showed he’s merely a game manager right now. These Bucs are pissed that they lost a heart-breaker to the Saints last week. This offense is for real and if the defense could stay healthy you’d be looking at possibly the second best team in the NFC South. I expect the Bucs to come out with a purpose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yisxlE4p3BA – If you haven’t seen Joe Morgan’s Touchdown.

SUNDAY

Panthers @ BEARS – The Panthers season has been ugly and will continue to get ugly. Cam Newton has pouted his way through press conferences and most of the season. The GM has been fired and the coach is definitely next. They keep losing focal points of their roster to the IR: Beason, Gamble and Kalil. The Bears offense looked average at best on Monday Night, but the defense has looked masterful the whole season the turnovers and the shutdowns of teams’ number one receivers, now including Megatron.

CHARGERS @ Browns – The Chargers find themselves coming off a bye and off that 24 point blown lead debacle. Unfortunately, that means they’ve had two weeks to let it sink in and watch lots of tape. These things leave a bad taste on in your mouth, but Norv shouldn’t let off the gas now in games and I expect to see that weekend against the lowly Browns, who couldn’t get much against a bad Colts defense. Brandon Weeden is progressing especially with the help of Trent Richardson and Josh Gordon, but it won’t help coach Pat Shurmur.

Seahawks @ LIONS – Seahawks played their letdown game last week and came out flat, especially their wide receivers. Their defense is still living up to its hype, but the offense is just lacking solid play all game long. Russell Wilson dials up one big play usually each game, but you can’t win games like that forever. The Lions again looked flat against a solid Bears defense. Stafford will probably be running for his life a lot, but with two young wide-outs now playing we should expect a lot of throws across the middle, with the focus turned to Calvin Johson.

Jaguars @ PACKERS – No Maurice Jones-Drew and Blaine Gabbert is hurting pretty bad means enough said for this game. The Packers are on a roll and Rodgers won’t lose his funk here. (Side note: Greg Jennings is having surgery on his abdominal and will be sidelined even longer and Jordy Nelson might not play, but Rodgers will make others step up.)

COLTS @ Titans- Luck was a selfish fantasy football player last week as he ran the Colts’ only two touchdowns in himself. This team has not looked much like a playoff contender, except for the team that appeared in the Packers’ game. Luck will have plenty of chances to make the playoffs in what is shaping up to be an illustrious career. Chris Johnson has been going H.A.M the past few weeks and all in Tennesseee are hoping the roll continues.There is no reason to believe it shouldn’t continue in this game against a bad Colts defense, but the Titans are now 2-1 under Matt Hasselbeck. Does this spell Quarterback controversy?

PATRIOTS @ Rams – I dislike the London game, almost as much as I despise Thursday night games. It’s unnecessary travel for players who shouldn’t have to and it’s a marketing ploy by the league. If they wanted to play a game in London, don’t you think they would have played soccer? Anyway, the Pats looked beatable again last week against the Jets. Bill’s got to dial something up this week against a feisty Rams team, who lack play-makers on offense right now as teams stack the box against S-Jax and Daryl Richardson. Danny Amendola is making surprise returns to practice, and they (mostly Sam Bradford) need his slot capabilities.

Dolphins @ JETS – The Dolphins are coming off their bye week, in which they broke a tie and now find themselves in second place in the AFC East. Last game against the Jets, came down to one of the ugliest overtime games ever, in which the Jets won by a field goal. The Jets come off a very gritty overtime loss to the Patriots and they seem to be playing above their talent level. No Santonio Holmes and no Darrell Revis, but this team has been more than in the games that those two guys haven’t played. Expect no less from the Jets on Sunday, but Sanchez will look less than average again against a very underrated Dolphins defense.

Falcons @ EAGLES – Both teams are coming off a bye. The Falcons are 6-0, but have looked beatable and have needed some late magic from Matt Ryan to keep that “L” column clean. The Eagles are an ugly 3-3 in which the games they’ve won haven’t been great and the games they’ve lost haven’t been memorable. The Eagles are 13-0 coming off a bye under Andy Reid. This is the reason I am picking them. Keep in mind that Matt Ryan is from Philly and that Asante Samuel played in
Philly for a few years, and usually those two feed into great performances by individual players. This is my toss-up game for the week.

Redskins @ STEELERS – RG3 looked masterful against the Giants, but Eli Manning did what he does best. The Redskins defense is sub-par after injuries have taken its toll, and now it appears that London Fletcher’s consecutive games streak is in jeopardy. He isn’t as good as he used to be, but he is still a foundation in that defense. RG3 could really use Fred Davis and Pierre Garcon, but he will be without them possibly for the rest of the season as Fred Davis was just lost and Garcon hasn’t been there since the first game. The Steelers came out on top of a hard fought game on Sunday night against the Bengals. Big Ben is leading this team that has only had a running game in this past game. Big Ben will keep his swag this weekend against a bad Redskins defense.

RAIDERS @ Chiefs – The Raiders pulled off a nice comeback against a bad Jaguars team, but a win is a win. Carson Palmer has been much safer with the ball this season, but Darren McFadden hasn’t been putting up those same numbers as last year. The Chiefs are just straight awful. They have turned to Brady Quinn and they have said for good, “so that he won’t be looking over his shoulder.” Dwayne Bowe is just shaking his head. The Chiefs have talent, but turn the ball over a lot and their defense can’t stay on the field that long and expect to keep teams out of the end zone.

It’s Come to This … Now He’s Done!!!

Saints @ BRONCOS – The Saints are coming back, mark it down. They run into a tough test this Sunday against a 3-3 Broncos team that is really better than its records indicates. The three losses have been near comebacks in which they put themselves into a hole early. The Saints are scoring points at will. Drew Brees had over three-hundred yards and four touchdowns at halftime last week, not joking. Peyton is leading this talented offense the same way he did in Indy, the difference is his defense is ten times more talented in Mile High than it ever was in Indy. This is a home game for the Broncos, which spells trouble for Drew Brees, who doesn’t play very well in cold outside games.

49ERS @ Cardinals – America, say hello to your #1 Pretenders. The Arizona Cardinals are crumbling before our very eyes, blame the QB injuries and the RB injuries, but it wouldn’t have mattered. They have a solid defense, and Larry Fitzgerald, but that’s all they’ve had going for them. Even when they were winning game their greatest weakness was on display big time, their offensive line. The 49ers will expose this weakness with great magnitude because this teams defense is always hungry. The 49ers are out to prove the NFC West is still theirs and theirs only. This game is for a tie atop the division, but it won’t happen.

UPSET ALERT – I am putting the Falcons on Upset Alert as they have walked pretty thin ice while riding a 6-0 record, they better not come out flat against the Eagles. I have also put the Vikings on Upset Alert against the pretty high-powered Bucs.

 

SURVIVOR PICK – Simple. The Green Bay Packers. (If picked already: Patriots or Chargers).

Those are my two cents … cash ’em in!

Anthony (T-Catz)

 

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