I have a friend here in Falmouth that runs a little football pool out of his “office” and I know for a fact that he puts in an entry each week with my selections in it, with one exception. He always picks against the Patriots, because he’s a hater. He’s a New Jersey boy and he cannot circle New England a winner on his sheet, regardless of the fact that they’re a good football team.
He’s a typical Hatriot. He’ll make fun of Brady, and Beli-cheat, and blah-blah-blah.
Dude, I know that it’s your money, but aren’t you playing that thing to win money? Had he followed through with my picks from last week, guess what, he would have won. My picks have been pretty good this season, like they were last year. I have a good feeling about the league, and which teams are headed in which direction. Eagle One has a pretty good idea, too, maybe not as good as me, but he’s certainly above average. We watch tons of NFL football, we talk about NFL football, we love this stuff.
And if you’re participating in a pool, you probably love the NFL, and making money. It’s not rocket science, pick with your head not your heart. That’s rule numero uno.
Now, I’m sure that my humblebragging here will cost me a week, so proceed at your own risk. Regardless, I was 12-2 last week, Eagle One went 9-5. Onward and upward, good luck with your profits.
Rich: 53-24 (.688)
Matt: 45-32 (.584)
Pittsburgh at Tennessee: Another rule I live by, even when they’re playing at home, do not pick awful teams to beat good ones. The Steelers aren’t bad, and the return of Mendenhall to the fold is pretty big. He looked much better than I thought he would, especially considering the talk during the preseason that made it seem like he may be an invalid for life going forward due to his knee injury. The Titans are just bad, really bad, and with a super short week to prepare for a team that is that much better than them, they’re staring 1-5 in the face.
- Rich’s Pick: Steelers
- Matt’s Pick: Steelers
Oakland at Atlanta: Again, I like riding the hot hand, and there’s no hotter hands than the ones on the arms of the Falcons. All of a sudden Michael Turner being referred to as “The Burner” isn’t ironic and the Falcons are undefeated. Not that you need further prodding, but remember the last time the Raiders came east for an early game, a few weeks back against Miami, they were torched. Expect more of the same.
- Rich’s Pick: Falcons
- Matt’s Pick: Falcons
Cincinnati at Cleveland: One of the reasons I’m worried about this week is that it seems like too much of a lay-up. For a second I gave consideration to the Browns here. They looked frisky against the Ravens, made life tough on the Giants for a while, but at the end of the day, they’re still the Browns. They are the owners of the worst home field advantage in pro football going back at least 20 years (ESPN.com wrote about it this week). They’re the Browns, we don’t pick the Browns, like ever.
- Rich’s Pick: Cincy
- Matt’s Pick: Cincy
St. Louis at Miami: Finally, an interesting game. The Rams defense looked nearly as good as the Bears last week, sacking Kevin Kolb nine times … nine. The Dolphins are not nearly as bad as you think they are (hey, they’re 2-3), but I just don’t think I’m ready to live in a world where they win two in a row, not yet anyway. St. Louis is a sleeper playoff team, and to win on the road you need to D up, and I think they will again. It’s going to be ugly, like 13-12 ugly, but give me the sons of Marshall Faulk.
- Rich’s Pick: Rams
- Matt’s Pick: Rams
Indianapolis at New York Jets: Before you cram yourself onto the Colts bandwagon, take a breath. Yes, the Colts gave a gutsy effort playing for their coach last week, shocking the world and the Green Bay Packers. Now ask yourself, what happens after emotional wins? If you answered letdowns, pat yourself on the back. Also, I’m as anti-Jet as anyone, but let’s not forget that they’re, A, playing at home, and, B, gave the Texans all they could handle last week. Darelle Revis is also supposed to be back in the fold, which is unbelievable. Like I said earlier, we’re using our heads, not our hearts, and my head says New York.
- Rich’s Pick: Jets
- Matt’s Pick: Colts
Detroit at Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Eagles rank 31st, out of 32 teams, in points scored so far this year, averaging a paltry 16 ppg (New England ranks first, with more than double that, 33 ppg). Yet, somehow, someway, the Iggles are 3-2 and atop the NFC East. Michael Vick’s new Nike gloves seem to be coated with olive oil, yet Philly has won more than it has lost and will probably take this one too. The Lions haven’t been good, they’re just 1-4. I want to take Detroit, because they’re coming off the bye and should be rested and ready, but Brandon Pettigrew may not play and something is not right with Matt Stafford. I hate picking them, but it’s Philly.
- Rich’s Pick: Eagles
- Matt’s Pick: Lions
Kansas City at Tampa Bay: Surprisingly enough, good tickets are still available at Raymond James Stadium. If you’re in the Tampa area, and want to see a really big pirate boat in person, and two putrid football teams, stop on by. Because they’re home, and KC played a great defensive game and still lost last week, give me Tampa.
- Rich’s Pick: Bucs
- Matt’s Pick: Bucs
Dallas at Baltimore: When I sat down to write this, both the Orioles and the Nats were in 2-1 deficits in their respective baseball playoff series. DC Metro area fans will get over it, because the Ravens are really good, and that kid down in DC is a pretty good QB, fun to watch that RG3.
- Rich’s Pick: Ravens
- Matt’s Pick: Ravens
Buffalo at Arizona: The Bills have given up 1,235,754 points over the last two weeks. Oh, wait, it’s just been 97. It just seemed like more. The Bills are really, really bad, the Cards aren’t too bad.
- Rich’s Pick: Cardinals
- Matt’s Pick: Cardinals
New England at Seattle: We’re going to hear about Seattle’s home field advantage, and the athleticism of Russell Wilson, and the Seahawks defense up until kickoff. I believe in all three of those things, but I also believe that the Patriots have finally found their mojo. They’re currently leading the league in points scored, are sixth in passing and third in rushing (no, that’s not a typo. They’re third). Brady and the boys are in one of their patented grooves and a long flight to the land of Vedder isn’t going to spoil it.
- Rich’s Pick: Patriots
- Matt’s Pick: Patriots
NY Giants at San Francisco: How is this not one of the night games? A rematch of last year’s NFC championship game didn’t garner Sunday Night Football? What is wrong with these people? First, I don’t think it’ll come down to a Lawrence Tynes field goal in this one. The 49ers are rolling, and they have revenge on their mind. Also, how about this little tidbit. Which quarterback currently has the best passer rating in the NFL? Matt Ryan, ummm nope. Tom Brady, close, but no. Ryan Fitzpatrick (maybe if the INTs counted as completions). No, it’s Alex Smith. You think of him as a game manager, but right now he’s dealing and has a league best 108.7 rating.
- Rich’s Pick: 49ers
- Matt’s Pick: 49ers
Green Bay at Houston: I don’t know what the Packers did to tick off the football gods, but something is just not right in Cheeseville. First, there was that game in Seattle, then last weekend the Pack lost to the magic of Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne’s mystical orange gloves. This week, they just run into a buzzsaw. The Texans, who did lose one of their better defenders, Brian Cushing, for the rest of the season due to an ACL tear, are very good at stopping opposing offenses. They also know how to run the ball, very well. They’re undefeated, and I don’t pick against undefeated teams, even though this is a kitchen sink game for the Packers.
- Rich’s Pick: Texans
- Matt’s Pick: Texans
Denver at San Diego: Three times already this season the Denver Broncos have faced 20-plus point deficits in the third quarter. They’ve rallied each time, but lost each time. Again Noodlearm Manning and the Broncos square off against a team capable of putting up a big number in a hurry. Phil Rivers is quietly having himself a very good year, and Norv Turner finally cost them a game last week against New Orleans, a game that they really should have won. The Chargers look like they’re clearly the best team in that division, so I’m taking them to win, and cause a panic in the Rockies.
- Rich’s Pick: Chargers
- Matt’s Pick: Broncos
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.