Standing on top of my soapbox…
Week 7’s early games were snooze fests until US Ivan Drago, himself, saved us from the depths of boredom, with his come-from-behind win against the Dolphins. The Patriots, Eagles, Giants, 49ers, and Bengals were all on byes but it seemed like all the teams, with the exception of the Saints and the Texans, were also on byes. I also noticed a trend after Week 7. Teams coming off a bye, have a losing record. How’s that possible, you may ask? One of the major changes after the lockout was that teams on a bye, needed to give their players 4 consecutive days off starting Thursday-Sunday. I’m all for it as this is good for the players overall health.
Coming into Week 8, I’m 2 games over the dreaded Mendoza line! Yippee!! I want urge you to use caution this week as some of the lines are double-digit lines. I’m staying away from those lines like I stay away from a $0.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Nugget in Vegas! It’s just no bueno! And with that in mind, here are the picks for Week 8:
Last week: 4-2
JACKSONVILLE at HOUSTON (-9.5): On Monday night, Jacksonville’s audition to be LA’s next football team could not have gone any better. They held Ray Rice to a paltry 28 rushing yards and disrupted Joe Flacco’s flow all night, thus preventing them from finding the endzone. In fact, the Jacksonville D has not allowed a touchdown in 6 quarters! They held the Ravens to zero touchdown on Monday night and did not allow a Pittsburgh to find the end zone in the second half of their game two weeks ago. Will the Jags get-up for this division game? Houston proved me wrong last week as they dismantled my pick to win the AFC South, the Tennessee Titans. The unstoppable Arian Foster ran wild all over the Titans, while Matt Schaub was able to find open receivers to win the battle of the Bald Matt’s. Houston has always plagued me. One week, they appear to be a top-10 team but then the following week they fizzle out and leave everyone scratching their head. If you’re a bandwagon fan, stay away from Houston until they prove it over a stretch of 8 games. I’m pretty certain Andre Johnson return from a hamstring injury, but will they be able to string together a back-to-back win? Maybe they will, maybe they won’t BUT they won’t cover. Thanks for the points, Vegas! TSS UPSET PICK OF THE WEEK: JACKSONVILLE
NEW ENGLAND (-3) at PITTSBURGH: The Man loves playing Pittsburgh!! In fact, he’s 6-1 all-time against the Steelers. It’s no wonder Vegas has the Patriots as a 3-point favorite on the road. Pittsburgh is transitioning from a bruising “wear you down” offense to a pass-first offense. These guys aren’t our parent’s Steelers anymore. Last week against Arizona, they threw the ball at will. They won but were unable to cover but I think, it was due to a lack of a running game. Watching the game with my buddies, I hadn’t realized how slow Rashard Mendenhall has been lately. It was really evident when my friend, Dan Everakes, aka the Heebs, kept yelling at his laptop every time Mendenhall was stopped for little to no gain. For all you Fantasy Football owners, I suggest you pick up Isaac Redman soon because I think he’ll start in the next few weeks. Dick LeBeau, Pittsburgh’s Defensive Coordinator, will definitively have his defense prepared for The Man. Which New England D will show up? Will it be the D who played well enough to contain Dallas’ offense or will it be the D who seemingly got torched every time against Buffalo. I’ve read multiple stories this week on how Albert Haynesworth’s attitude has changed for the better. Apparently, he’s being a model citizen and though he hasn’t filled the stat line with impressive numbers, he’s bringing good morale to the NE Defense. Oh sweet irony!!! What do I think the outcome will be? I think anytime you give Bill Bellichick two weeks to prepare for a team coupled with the fact that Brady seldom loses to Pittsburgh, Yeah, NE will buck the current trend of teams losing after their bye-week. TSS PICKS: NEW ENGLAND
CINCINNATI (-3) at SEATTLE: Before I delve into this game, I want to a minute to thank whoever invented HDTV. Nothing is more immaculate on a Sunday afternoon than watching a Seattle home game on HDTV when the blue Seattle sky is cloudless and the sun shines at its brightest. HDTV captures the Seattle autumn weather like no one else. I’m hoping the weather for this game is sunny without any chance of rain. If you’re able to watch this game, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
I’m serving the last of my penance this week from betting against Seattle a couple of weeks ago. Last week’s Seattle/Cleveland game rounded out the last of the early game snooze fests. Seattle’s offense just couldn’t find its rhythm all day. Maybe it was the fact that Charlie Whitehurst was the QB or maybe it was the last minute scratch of Marshawn Lynch that prevented Seattle from getting its back-to-back road win. At press time, Tavaris Jackson is questionable so I’m going under the assumption that he won’t be playing this week. Food for thought, Seattle has covered or tied in the last 4 games!! This is a testament to its Defense which has exceeded expectations. Can their D neutralize the overachieving Bengals? The Bengals will be coming off a bye week and without the services of Cedric Benson, who is suspended for this game. The Bengals are riding a 4 game West Coast losing streak and are currently 1-11 over the past 12 games played on the West Coast. Also, take into account that the 12th Man is HUGE, I repeat, HUGE for Seattle!! Vegas, tell me again why you think the Bengals are favorite by 3? It’s going to be too much noise for the red-headed wonder known as Andy Dalton to overcome. My buddy, Seth, the life-long Seattle fan, is cringing right now that I’m doing this but I like Seattle!! TSS: SEATTLE
Note: Halloween will be this Monday so do yourself a favor and rent Die-ner (Get it?)! It’s the zombie movie of the decade!!
SAN DIEGO (-3.5) at KANSAS CITY: I can’t make heads or tails of San Diego. They remind me so much of Houston and that’s the reason why I can’t fully commit to them. Last week, they were 3-pt favorites against the NY Jets, they were leading 21-17 and were seemingly on their way to adding to their lead when Phillip Rivers’ pass was intercepted. The Jets capitalized on the turnover when Plaxico Buress scored his game high 3rd touchdown reception of the game. San Diego’s 2-minute offense was absolutely atrocious! Most their pass attempts were to the middle of the field, which ate away at the clock and more importantly ate away any hope of a comeback.
Kansas City, on the other hand, deflated the Raider Nation’s balloon last week with an old-school thumping in Oakland. I’ve noticed that after Kansas City lost both Eric Berry, a defensive stud, and Jamal Charles, their prized-RB, in the first two weeks, they’ve slowly started putting together a string of 3 straight victories. Add to the fact that KC always plays San Diego tough at home; I’m surprised the Chiefs are not favorites. Does Vegas think San Diego will bounce back from their last game? Am I the only one who’s tired of Rivers always blaming everyone else around him for all his stupendous errors?! I know you’ve got to work the ref, Rivers, but come on! Stop your bitchin’!! TSS PICKS: KANSAS CITY
In closing, many injured players have blamed the lockout for their injuries, in particular, Chris Cooley, of the Redskins. Funny how stuff happens, this was the same Chris Cooley, who blasted Tony Romo on the airwaves after the Cowboys lost to the Lions. Now to at him! What a turdbucket!! Note to all you NFL players, don’t blame the lockout for your injuries, look in the mirror and blame yourself! Your asses should have been preparing for the season!! It won’t surprise me when the over-paid basketball players eventually get back on the court and blame the lock-out as well for their imminent injuries.
Stepping down my soapbox…