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Week 6 Never Happened and Week 7 Picks

October 19, 2012

NFL

by Tob’i Ogunyemi

Norv Turner’s entire Chargers career in a nutshell (Jeff Gross – Getty Images)

I wish I got this in sooner, but I’ve been fighting off this cough and cold all week. Just like how Reggie Wayne fought off the Packers’ secondary for 212 yards receiving in Week 6, hot damn! That was a weird trap game for the Packers, and it feels like we’re going to get a lot more of those this week as well.

But looking back, it’s probably a good thing I didn’t. While I was down and out with a mild flu, I wasn’t able to publicize my picks, but I made them nonetheless. And probably like there were for a number of people playing the odds, the numbers, fantasy football and just watching the games for fun, there were a lot of upsets regarding the lines. This whole week felt like a trap game from the NFL honestly; even Grantland’s Bill Barnwell couldn’t make heads or tails of ranking the NFL chaos. But God Roger Goodell bless him for trying.

On Sunday morning, after rolling awake in bed for the fourth or so time, I grabbed one of my numerous of notebooks besides me and made some educated (okay, not really) educated guesses on who would win what in Week 6:

  • Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee (my pick: Steelers, winner: Titans)
  • Oakland vs. Atlanta (my pick: Falcons, winner: the Falcons won!)
  • Cincinnati vs. Cleveland (my pick: Bengals, winner: what the fuck, the Browns?)
  • St. Louis vs. Miami (my pick: Rams, winner: Dolphins)
  • Indianapolis vs. NY Jets (my pick: Colts, winner: now the Jets decide to play without Revis?)
  • Detroit vs. Philadelphia (my pick: Lions, winner: Lions)
  • Kansas City vs. Tampa Bay (my pick: Buccaneers, winner: Buccaneers – haha, Brady Quinn is still in the NFL?)
  • Dallas vs. Baltimore (my pick: Ravens, winner: Ravens – more on this later)
  • Buffalo vs. Arizona (my pick: Cardinals, winner: Bills)
  • New England vs. Seattle (my pick: Patriots, winner: Seahawks, oh come on)
  • NY Giants vs. San Francisco (my pick: Niners, winner: Giants, that’s my bad Eli. I’ll take this one.)
  • Minnesota vs. Washington (my pick: Vikings, winner: Redskins)
  • Green Bay vs. Houston (my pick: Packers, winner: Packers)
  • Denver vs. San Diego (my pick: Chargers, winner: Broncos)

As you can see, I did as miserable on my picks as I felt all last week which was a busy week. So, because I didn’t upload these picks on time, I’m willing to forgo this week if you are. You are? You’re so sweet to me, and thanks I feel much better!

A couple of talking points from the last few weeks in the NFL:

Let’s revisit the Cowboys/Ravens game, where the Cowboys showed a prime example on how to piss away a game when by all means they should have won that game. Jason Garrett and his crew controlled the tempo of the game for 40 minutes and with the last possession, they had one timeout left with 20-plus seconds remaining. As a number of talking heads have described, they had more than enough time to run possibly two plays and reach the end zone or at least get into position enough for a game-winning field goal. What do the ‘Boys do? They waste time getting their formation ready, which they seemed like they didn’t know anyways, and then Tony Romo threw to one of my favorite wideouts in Dez Bryant, who was short for any gain and the game ended. Just like that. The record will show that I’ve never been high on Tony Romo or the current version of ‘America’s Team’ since they do more lip service than actually playing good ball to portray themselves as winners. I’m not saying Jason Garrett is a bad coach, since fellow Patriots like Norv Turner and Ron Rivera are still holding headphones on the sidelines, but… it seems like him, Romo and Jerry Jones are made for each other for sure.

On the Ravens side of things, sure they won the game and have a very good hold on the AFC North especially with Pittsburgh giving Tennessee the game on Thursday. But they lost cornerback Lardarius Webb, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and even the face of the defense and the team in Ray Lewis. I’m a Lewis fan so this is a loss for sure, but even more so for Baltimore, who loses Lewis not only for the reason but perhaps for good, since he’s considering retirement from this. With Joe Flacco’s season so far, we know he and with his weapons in Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin and others, the Ravens have the offensive capabilities to match up with the best of the NFL, but will they be able stop other teams from scoring on them? With their valued defense now in injured shambles, the offense is going to have to step up and hold the fort down for the Ravens.

Just when you thought Norv Turner convinced you he was a good coach, he pulls the wool over your eyes and shows that he is what you always thought he was for all the years he’s been in San Diego! The Chargers blew 24-14 lead against a New Orleans Saints that legitimately sucks on Sunday two weeks , and now on primetime Monday night, they blew a goddamn 24-0 lead against the Peyton Manning Experiment. We’ve seen that the Broncos can score in a hurry when they let Manning loose and when they’re down, but to the credit of teams like Atlanta and New England, they kept the Broncos from actually winning those games. The Chargers didn’t. I’ve wanted Philip Rivers to take that next leap from ‘damn good quarterback’ to ‘elite quarterback’ for years now, but with him actually liking Turner’s blank stare out in the distance as leads disappear and comebacks are made, I don’t know if it’s going to happen, since it hasn’t already.

You’re playing Cleveland next week, so get your shit together San Diego!

Jordy Nelson, three touchdowns, can’t stop won’t stop. (Scott Halleran – Getty Images)

At least I picked the Packers to go over the Texans, but I expected Houston to, you know, put up a fight. I guess not though. A lot of unforced penalties, plenty of mental errors and to give credit to the Packers defense which took just as many hits and injuries as Baltimore did, they were able to stop Houston’s running and play-action game. With Arian Foster bottled up for only 17 carries for 29 yards, Houston couldn’t get much going despite two one yard touchdowns. We’ll see if the Texans can bounce back and keep the best in the AFC title this week as they go up against the banged up Ravens, and if the Packers can take this performance and keep their season in check from here on out. And a shoutout to Jordy Nelson, who went buck wild for 127 yards and three touchdowns, a great night for him showing up as Rodgers’ favorite target with Greg Jennings injured. James Jones also scored with two touchdowns and Tom Crabtree finished off the mayhem with a score of his own in the fourth quarter.

Scott Halleran – Getty Images

Also, a pissed off Aaron Rodgers reminded everybody why he’s the reigning MVP of the league and guy doing the championship waist motion in those commercials. 24 for 37, 338 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. A hell of a workday for Rodgers, and it’s hilarious that Rodgers has now tied the Packers record for most touchdowns in a single game, a record that is held by… Matt Flynn. Who can’t get off the bench and take the starting job from Russell Wilson.

I’m don’t have Matt Flynn’s contract, but Matt Flynn doesn’t have my job. (Otto Greule, Jr. – Getty Images)

Speaking of Wilson, he’s the fourth rookie quarterback to start and win against Tom Brady and the Patriots. He’s also the first rookie quarterback to throw two touchdowns (first to Golden Tate, again! – and to Sidney Rice for the go-home winning score) in a game winning drive. Basically, with that always discussed home-field advantage, Wilson and the Seahawks are a damn good team with the best defense in the league. On the road, they basically suck so it’s an interesting dilemma for Pete Carroll to have. On the other side, I never thought I’d say this, but the Patriots don’t know what they are on offense and are having trouble accordingly. Are they the super-octane offensive team that throw it through the air and just run you out of the stadium? Do they have a reliable running game? If so, when is it good to use it? Which running backs are we using out of the three we have? What targets are we lining up and using between Gronkowski, Hernandez, Welker, Branch, Lloyd, Woodhead and everyone else they can throw? They have a lot of questions and with everyone in the AFC East having the same record of 3-3, they don’t seem to have the answers at the moment.

This wouldn’t be happening if Bill Belichick’s hoodie were still alive.

Other notes will quick:
– The Browns have actually won a game! Brandon Weeden has now won a game in the NFL, let that sick in for a second. Or a minute. Or a week, however much time you need.

– The Giants really have the Niners’… number. That’s not a pun, but the line should have been much lower than -6 for the Niners since one, how well the G-Men played them in the NFC Championship game last year despite how well San Fran has been doing this year, and two, the Giants play on the road how everyone wants them to play at home.

– After getting knocked out with a concussion last week, Redskins QB Robert Griffin III came to ball to against the Vikings for sure. Griffin did have only 182 in the air with one score and pick each, but he also ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns, including finishing off with the ‘Landover Leap’ for the second one.

Robert Griffin, III is running wild, brotha (Larry French – Getty Images)

On to the picks:

Teams on bye weeks: Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers (Thursday Night, -7 for San Francisco)
I’m taking more than the points here; Seattle is on the road away from their precious Emerald City and San Fran is going to be looking to hammer out some aggression from their ass-whippin’ against the Giants from last week.
My pick: Niners

Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills (-3 for Buffalo)
I have… no damn idea. I’m taking the Bills here, only because they’re at home. This game can really go either way since the Titans are weak and I don’t think Chan Gailey knows with Bills team is going to appear either.
My pick: Bills

Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings (-6 for Minnesota)
This feels like another trap game; the Cardinals got through a shitty dog fight with the Bills at home and Christian Ponder of the Vikings felt like actually passing to the Redskins instead of his own teammates. This line feels way too high for me either way.
My pick: …give me the damn Vikings

Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts (-2.5 for Indianapolis)
An epic rookie battle… is not what this game is going to be. Even though Weeden got his first win last week and Andrew Luck got taken to lunch somehow by the Gang Green Gang, Luck is still a better pocket man than Weeden and the Colts are still better than the Browns.
My pick: Colts

Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans (-6.5 for Houston)
Like I detailed up top, the Ravens secondary is barely there and the Texans should bounce back even though the Ravens offense have a good chance to run up the score on that secondary as well. Arian Foster versus Ray Rice should be the great running back/fantasy football matchup this week.
My pick: Texans

Green Bay Packers vs. St. Louis Rams (-5.5 for Green Bay)
The Rams have a good defense, like everyone else in the NFC West, but I like the Packers here to carry over their momentum from the Sunday night game. I would say the Packers secondary would be in trouble with all their injuries, but the Rams can’t really score all that consistently so there’s that.
My pick: Packers

Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers (-2 for Dallas)
Someone has to win this game, or with these two teams, someone has to try and lose this game. With that in mind, I’m taking the Cowboys. To try and lose the game, which means that they’ll win. Yeah. Honestly, this can go either way; either this will be a close, mistake-laden game or one team is going to blow out the other.
My pick: Cowboys, but I really need to stop picking them for these columns.

Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants (-6 for NY Giants)
This should be an interesting game, I’m interested to see Griffin go up not only against Eli Manning but up against the Giants secondary as well. On the other hand, the Giants are at home and the Redskins always do well against Manning and the Giants, so this is tricky.
My pick: Giants

New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3 for Saints)
I actually want to take the Bucs in this one. I don’t like how the Saints play at all this season, even though Drew Brees still looks like Drew Brees. I liked Josh Freeman and his chemistry with his targets in Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, so I’m taking the underdog here.
My pick: Buccaneers

New York Jets vs. New England Patriots (-10.5 for New England)
I wanna take the points on this matchup so badly, since the Jets suck. Badly, even though the Jets won and the Patriots lost last week. I feel like being at home after a crushing loss, this is usually where the Brady and Belichick tag team hang 42-plus points on someone. I’d like to see it here. Hey, remember when the Jets tried to hype this up as a heated rivalry? Ah, good times.
My pick: Patriots

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Oakland Raiders (-4 for Oakland)
Wow, this looks like a weak game. Real weak. Like Carson Palmer versus Blaine Gabbert weak. I’m taking the Raiders and I expect Darren McFadden to run wild on the Jags secondary. Speaking of running, whatever happened to the Man called MJD? Has he run to Los Angeles ahead of the rest of the team already?
My pick: Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5 for Pittsburgh)
These two teams should be playing much better than they are playing; the Steel Curtain hasn’t been drawn yet and besides A.J. Green, the Bengals offense hasn’t looked as good as they did last year. The Steelers are reeling from their weak loss against the Titans, but I like them here in Cincy.
My pick: Steelers

Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears (Monday Night Football, -6 for Chicago)
Both teams are coming off a bye week, but the Lions really need that bye as the Bears are looking good. Pretty damn good. The Lions have injury problems, especially with their two main men in Stafford and Megatron but the Lions haven’t been that good in the Windy City in years. I see the Bears picking up where they left off, especially at home and with a week of rest.
My pick: Bears

So, Week 6 never happened, I mean for me ,not for New England, and everyone else favored by the betting lines (the favorite went 2-11 last week, hot damn!) but yeah that’s where we are at. I’m feeling better and hopefully, my picks will do just as well this week too.

Record through Week 6: 25-22

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About spacelioncs

Founder and Publisher of SpaceLion, a website and social media forum associated with the Cinema Studies program at Oakland University. Also, a DJ and MC on the side!

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