Oct 14, 2011

NFL 2011 - Week 6

by Joe Mulder

All right, full disclosure: I got to this late, so I'm going to rip right through it because I promised myself I'd do one of these every week and I don't want to quit after barely more than a month.

I won't be insulted if you don't read it. It won't be good but at least it'll be quick. Here goes.

Last week: 4-9

Overall: 34-40-2

So... yeah.

Is it a sign that I my powers of self-assessment are a bit out of whack that I kind of half think that it's not my picks last week that were wrong, but rather the results of the games themselves? Like, the Titans should have beaten the Steelers. It's not my fault they didn't.

Oh, well. Look at the name of this website; the whole point of this enterprise is to hopefully help you kill 10-15 minutes. So if nothing else (and, based on how my picks are going, there will clearly be nothing else) at least I'm accomplishing that.

The Smartest Thing I Said Last Week:

[W]hen you've got a point spread that's less than two they're basically just asking you to pick who's going to win, and I think Cincinnati is. They're better.

And they were. They went into Jacksonville and beat the Jaguars by 10.

The Dumbest Thing I Said Last Week:

(49ers/Buccaneers) is a decent matchup; I'll just fall back on my earlier "pick the team that needs the win more" strategy, since the Buccaneers can ill afford not to keep pace in the NFC South.

Now that's not necessarily an incredibly dumb thing to have said, although "which team wants/needs to win more" is sort of a fake thing that doesn't really apply in real life because every team pretty much wants to win every game really badly. Plus, the 49ers won 48-3, so it didn't turn out to be a "decent matchup" after all.

All right; let's just shake last week off and move on, shall we?

PANTHERS @ Falcons -4

The Panthers are bound to win one of these close ones they keep playing against supposedly better teams. And few teams have embodied the "supposedly" part of "supposedly better" so far this season than the Atlanta Falcons.

Jaguars @ STEELERS -12.5

The Jags ought to do a tie-in with "The Walking Dead," the second season of which premiers Sunday night and which you should totally watch. It's a natural fit; it describes the Jaguars 2011 season, their head coach, their long-term viability in Jacksonville itself... nothing against Jacksonville. For no particular reason I'll just say that I'm sure it's a lovely place, and nobody from there would ever give me a hard time when I'm there next month.

EAGLES @ Redskins +1

Now or never for the Eagles.

Actually it was probably last week or never, and they lost last week. Still. Not sure the Redskins are good, so even though they're coming off a bye and I should probably pick them, I'm not gonna.

Rams @ PACKERS -14.5

Do you know how you know a team is bad? When they're 14.5-point underdogs even though they're rested up coming off their bye week, and you still double-check the line because you think it should be way, way higher.

BILLS @ Giants -3

The Bills will take care of the Giants, in no way making up for their gut-wrenching loss to them in Super Bowl XXV and making absolutely no Bills fans feel even the slightest bit better about that game.

49ers @ LIONS -4

As @bazecraze said on Twitter recently, "'Undefeated Detroit Lions' sounds like one of those phrases they throw in to sci-fi movies so you know it's the future."


COLTS @ Bengals -7

After getting blown out in Week 1 the Colts have lost by 8, 3, 7 and 4. They're bound to get one sooner or later. And if not, they're liable to at least keep it close.

BROWNS @ Raiders -6.5

I'm sort of making this pick irrespective of the Browns; it's just that the Raiders are a pretty iffy 3-2.

TEXANS @ Ravens -9

You don't want to give away nine points in a game that's destined to be something of a shaky-quarterback-off. Not more so than the Jets/Ravens game a couple of weeks ago, but still pretty shaky.

SAINTS @ Buccaneers +4.5

The Saints haven't really given us any reason to think they're not one of the best three or four teams in the NFL.

Cowboys @ PATRIOTS -7

Tony Romo is basically Diet Tom Brady.

[That's pretty good; I'm gonna go Tweet that.]

Vikings @ BEARS -3

I finally picked a Vikings game right last week, although the Vikings recreated the same pattern that led them to blow three straight double-digit halftime leads to open the season: 1) Score a bunch right away, and then 2) Stop. They only got away with it because they were playing the Cardinals. The Vikings were actually leading 28-0 at the end of the first quarter, in fact, and I can promise you that instead of thinking "Holy crap, if you did that for an entire game you'd win 112-0," every single Vikings fan was thinking, "That should be too big a lead to blow, especially against the Cardinals, but, who knows?"

You know it's bad when, going to commercial at the end of the third quarter when it's 31-10, the announcer says something along the lines of "The Vikings, looking to hold on and win their first game of the season." Usually when you head to the fourth quarter up by 21, they'd say something like, "This has been all Minnesota," or "The Vikings, completely dominating here in Minneapolis today." But no, when the Vikings enter the fourth quarter with a 21-point lead, it's "let's hope they can hold on!" And the thing was, the announcer was totally right. That was totally the appropriate thing to say.

God, you people who don't care about sports are so lucky.

Dolphins @ JETS -7

Once when my friends and I were going to a Vikings game in 1998 against Jacksonville, the Jags' QB situation was so bad that my friend Mike said "I think Darren McKee is playing quarterback for the Jaguars today," Darren McKee having been the semi-serviceable quarterback of the mediocre team our high school had fielded when we went there.

I think the Dolphins called Darren McKee to see if he was available this week, and he laughed in their face.

The Dolphins are in for a long season, is what I'm saying.

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