|Sure can't wait to watch me some Tyler Palko on Monday Night!!!|
In looking ahead to Week 11, here are three things that stand out to me…
1. A Potential Ravens Collapse – You might not realize it at this point, but Baltimore-Cincinnati could have huge and shocking playoff implications. A Ravens loss would them behind both Cincy and Pittsburgh in the division, with a re-match at Cincinnati in Week 17. As crazy as it sounds, a loss this week could be the first domino in a Ravens collapse. Not saying it’s going to happen, just pointing out the possibility.
2. Prime Time Garbage – Thursday night features a likely blowout (Jets over Broncos). Sunday night features a likely blowout (Giants over Eagles). Monday night features a likely blowout (New England over Kansas City). To be fair, the Eagles-Giants matchup SHOULD have been good, but unforeseen circumstances have changed that dynamic. Even throwing that one out, the schedule makers have dropped the ball, big time, this season. Specifically, the Monday night matchups have been the worst I have ever seen in my life. Not to be mean, but I honestly hope someone loses their job over this, because I’m tired of seeing the Dolphins, Chiefs, Broncos, Vikings, etc. get killed on prime time when great matchups like last week’s Giants-49ers game languishes during the 4:00pm hour.
3. AFC West Separation – Already owning a one game lead in the division, the Raiders have a huge opportunity to seize control and put some separation between them and their rivals. With Denver, Kansas City, and San Diego all facing tough matchups; the Raiders are sitting pretty thanks to a cupcake game at Minnesota. Should they handle business, they could end the day with a two game lead over San Diego, who must take down a red-hot Bears team in order to keep pace.
As for the Week 10 picks...I don’t wanna talk about it.
(Remember, Prince and I are going head to head with our picks. No prize has been determined yet, but ideas are happily accepted.)
Week 10 Results (point spread in parentheses)
Landrum: 7-9 (7-8)
Prince: 11-5 (10-5)
Week 10 Winner: Prince +7
Results through Week 10 (point spread in parentheses)
Landrum: 85-61 (72-65)
Prince: 92-54 (76-61)
Overall Leader: Prince +11
Wow. Awful. Let’s just forget this ever happened. Week 11…
New York Jets at Denver (NYJ -5)
Jon: New York (NYJ -5)
Prince: New York (NYJ -5)
Very clever of the NFL to schedule this garbage game on Thursday night, knowing full well that a huge audience will tune in to see Tebow. Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t get much of a chance to see Tebow throw, which I don’t understand. News flash to Denver; you’re not going anywhere! You’re not winning the division, and you definitely aren’t winning a Wild Card spot! YOU SUCK! The whole point of playing Tebow was to find out if he was your guy. Right now, it doesn’t look like it, but you never know. Either way, the Broncos aren’t doing themselves any favors with this gimmicky scheme, and they would be much better served by getting a longer, more accurate look at Tebow the QB. Again, I’m not saying he’s good. I’m saying three games isn’t anywhere near enough to make a final determination. Maybe after Denver gets hammered tomorrow night (and it will be ugly) they’ll realize they aren’t going to the playoffs and commit to a true evaluation of Tebow.
Jacksonville at Cleveland (JAX -1.5)
Jon: Cleveland (CLE +1.5)
Prince: Jacksonville (JAX -1.5)
It’s not that I think Cleveland is better than Jacksonville, it’s that I think this one might end up in a 0-0 tie, giving Cleveland the most horrific cover in NFL history.
Carolina at Detroit (DET -7)
Jon: Detroit (DET -7)
Prince: Detroit (DET -7)
I’m done picking Carolina. Done. As much as I like Cam Newton, their defense is just too awful to take them seriously. Even though Detroit is reeling after their third loss in four games, the Lions should have no problem dispatching Carolina at home. Keep in mind; Detroit’s losses have come against San Francisco, Atlanta, and Chicago. They might not be ready to hang with the NFL’s elite, but they aren’t blowing easy games like the Ravens either. Even with a banged up Matt Stafford, the Lions offense should rebound nicely in this one, allowing them to coast to victory.
Tampa Bay at Green Bay (GB -13)
Jon: Green Bay (GB -13)
Prince: Green Bay (GB -13)
I don’t know what happened to Josh Freeman, but he should probably figure it out soon. Freeman posted a remarkable 4.2 to 1 TD-INT ratio last season. For perspective, that mark was the 9th best…of all time! Still, a lot of people were suspicious of Freeman heading into this year, thinking his 2010 performance was a mirage. At this point, it’s hard to argue otherwise. Freeman has already more than doubled his 2010 interception total with 13 this year, compared with just 6 last year. Even more troubling is a TD% that has dropped from 5.3% to 2.6%, and a Y/A average that has fallen from 7.3 to 6.4. Not surprisingly, the Bucs are in an absolute free fall right now, having lost four of their last five, and being totally embarrassed in two of those contests. Needless to say, playing at Green Bay is not a recommended antidote for what ails them. Blowout win for the Pack.
Buffalo at Miami (MIA -2)
Jon: Buffalo (BUF +2)
Prince: Buffalo (BUF +2)
Sure, the Bills have gotten smoked two weeks in a row. And sure, the Dolphins have won two games in a row. But seriously, Dolphins favored? Let’s take a step back and be realistic here. The Bills are clearly not the Super Bowl contender that everyone billed them as after their hot start, but their two losses have come against the Jets and Cowboys, two teams that are clearly more talented than Buffalo. Meanwhile, Miami isn’t quite as bad as the initial returns suggested, but their two wins came against the Chiefs and Redskins. So no, I don’t think Miami is better. Give me the Bills in a rout.
Oakland at Minnesota (OAK -1)
Jon: Oakland (OAK -1)
Prince: Oakland (OAK -1)
Michael Bush has posted rushing yards/Y/A lines of 99/5.8, 96/5.1, and 157/5.2 in relief of Darren McFadden. With Carson Palmer better acclimated to the team, the Raiders offense should prove to be fairly strong. That should be more than enough to handle their business in Minnesota, as Christian Ponder continues to post uneven performances. Unless Adrian Peterson unleashes another 200+ yard game (very possible), I don’t see how Minnesota scores enough to keep this competitive.
Dallas at Washington (DAL -7.5)
Jon: Dallas (DAL -7.5)
Prince: Dallas (DAL -7.5)
Thanks to DeMarco Murray, my new man-crush, I’ve now entered the over-confident stage of the Cowboys season. This is the part where I get excited about wins over St. Louis, Seattle, and Buffalo; and talk myself into Dallas winning the division and having a chance to make some noise in the playoffs. This is also the part where I think about blown leads to the Jets and Lions and reason that, “hey, we actually should be 7-2,” even though if/should logic is moronic and worthy of hatred. Don’t worry, I’ve been here before and I know where it leads. Seriously though, Washington can’t score any points, so it seems unlikely that they will keep this close.
Cincinnati at Baltimore (BAL -9)
Jon: Baltimore (CIN +9)
Prince: Baltimore (CIN +9)
There’s almost no point in trying to preview this game, as it’s downright impossible to predict how Baltimore will play. They have a 4-0 record against Pittsburgh, Houston, and the Jets; but are a middling 2-3 against Tennessee, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Arizona, and Seattle. Can somebody please explain to me how this can happen? Since Bad Ravens showed up last week, I’ll pick Good Ravens to show up against Cincy. Also helping their cause is the season ending injury to Leon Hall and the questionable status of star WR A.J. Green.
Seattle at St. Louis (STL -3)
Jon: St. Louis (STL -3)
Prince: Seattle (SEA +3)
Seattle is 1-4 on the road, losing 3 of those games by double digits. Not that St. Louis is capable of blowing anyone out, but the Seahawks are too awful away from home to pick them. Sam Bradford struggled again last week, but a soft Seattle pass defense will be a much easier victim than the Browns #1 ranked unit.
Arizona at San Francisco (SF -10)
Jon: San Francisco (SF -10)
Prince: San Francisco (SF -10)
The only thing that concerns me with this game is the 49ers building a big 4th quarter lead and getting bored, leading to some cheap/meaningless Arizona scores. Other than that…
Quick fantasy note: Even if Frank Gore plays, I doubt they give him a ton of work in a game like this. If he’s available in your league, pick up Kendall Hunter. I loved him at Oklahoma State and I think he’s going to be a good RB when finally given the opportunity. Potential blow-up game for him here.
Tennessee at Atlanta (ATL -6.5)
Jon: Tennessee (TEN +6.5)
Prince: Atlanta (ATL -6.5)
I’m calling the upset! Chris Johnson finally blew up last week and I think he’s here to stay. After all, how many times does a perfectly healthy 26 year old superstar just curl up and die? Whatever was going on in the first half of the season, there’s no reason to think he hasn’t put it behind him. With CJ2K finally being CJ2K, the Titans are a completely different team. Not only that, but thanks to Matt Schaub’s season ending injury, they’re technically back in the hunt for the AFC South title. Put it all together and you have a team that’s confident and motivated to get the job done. (Note: Ignore everything I said once Tennessee gets killed on Sunday.)
San Diego at Chicago (CHI -4)
Jon: Chicago (CHI -4)
Prince: Chicago (CHI -4)
I decided to buy the Bears before last week, and it paid off in a big way thanks to the Bears blowout victory over the Lions. Next stop on the Bears train; a reeling Chargers team at home. Seriously, can you think of a better matchup for the Bears? San Diego likes to open up massive running lanes for kick/punt returners; Chicago has the best return man in the history of the game. Philip Rivers likes to throw the ball directly into the hands of defenders and his teammates like to allow those defenders to go unmolested into the end zone; Chicago lives off cheap defensive scores. If that weren’t enough, the Chargers are paper thin on the offensive line after injuries to Kris Dielman (now on IR) and Marcus McNeill. Last week, Kamerion Wimbley had 4 sacks off McNeill’s replacement…but good luck stopping Julius Peppers!
Philadelphia at New York Giants (NYG -3.5)
Jon: New York (NYG -3.5)
Prince: New York (NYG -3.5)
After a tough loss to San Francisco last week, the Giants catch a huge break thanks to Michael Vick’s injury. Not that the Eagles with Vick are any good, but you can bet Tom Coughlin is breathing (i.e. drinking) easier now that Vince Young is in line to start. What’s that? Vick might start?! Well, even better! After Vick throws a dumb interception on the first series and gets blasted on the second, resulting in both a fumble and an injury, the Giants will have a 14 point advantage AND Vince Young to tee off on. I think this line needs to be adjusted…
Kansas City at New England (NE -14.5)
Jon: New England (NE -14.5)
Prince: New England (NE -14.5)
This is a giant line and I hate to go give that many points, but a Tyler Palko-led Chiefs team doesn’t have a prayer of staying competitive against the a Patriots team that LOVES to run the score up. Already this season, the Chiefs have lost games by 34, 45, and 28 points…and that was with Matt Cassel…and not against anyone the caliber of New England. Other than that, I can definitely see why they’d want this one on Monday Night!