Perhaps the hardest thing to do in the NFL is make it through an entire season upright. Think about it, which NFL team has not lost a significant player to injury for a couple of games this year? They pretty much all have, and the road the Super Bowl usually does not include a pit stop at the hospital. Teams that stay healthy go far, ones that don’t simply don’t.
This week we saw two contenders have their playoff hopes hurt. Sure San Francisco and Pittsburgh will probably both still earn bids into the postseason, but if Alex Smith and Ben Roethlisberger aren’t healthy, they won’t be playing in February. Heck, my fantasy football team had both of its quarterbacks end up on the DL this week. I had Ben and Mike Vick, now I have Sam Bradford and Nick Foles. Needless to say my hopes of winning the championship have been considerably doused.
So, we head into Week 11 wondering which big player gets hurt this week. Jets fans are hoping its Mark Sanchez, but they’re a bit sadistic to begin with.
Last week was a tough one picking games. I went 9-4-1, but it felt like I did a lot worse. Ol’ Matty Boy lost back a game that he had made up in the standings, going 8-5-1. Those ties look weird, don’t they.
Rich: 97-47-1 (.672); Matt 87-57-1 (.603)
Dolphins at Bills: Picking Thursday night games is not easy. You don’t know which team is going to show up, how the injuries from the previous week will play out, and how the game plans are affected by having so little time. Usually I just go with the team that I feel is better. Honestly, I don’t know which team is better, they both stink. I’m taking Buffalo solely because they’re playing at home and the Dolphins looked horrid last weekend.
- Rich’s Pick: Bills
- Matt’s Pick: Dolphins
Packers at Lions: If you only had to play the fourth quarter of games, the Lions would be the most dominant team in the NFL. For whatever reason they simply start slow every game out, and it’s killing them. The Packers seem like they’re rounding into form and I’ll take them on the road to beat Detroit Rock City. Side note, does Detroit still qualify for that nickname? What was the last good rock band they gave us? Maybe The White Stripes, but they’ve broken up and Jack White’s getting pretty weird.
- Rich’s Pick: Packers
- Matt’s Pick: Packers
Cardinals at Falcons: So the Falcons finally lost. The ride wasn’t going to last forever. A new one starts this week. Remember when we thought the Cardinals might be good? No, really, that was this year.
- Rich’s Pick: Falcons
- Matt’s Pick: Falcons
Buccaneers at Panthers: Doug Martin has breathed life into the Bucs. With an honest to goodness running game (sorry LeGarrette Blounte), Tampa Bay is a legit contender and fun to watch. Josh Freeman looks like everything that Bill Simmons once thought he was.
- Rich’s Pick: Buccaneers
- Matt’s Pick: Buccaneers
Browns at Cowboys: Is there a team that fits the description of “mediocre” better than Dallas? They usually beat bad teams, lose to good ones, and are meandering in general. They’ll meander their way to an unimpressive win this weekend.
- Rich’s Pick: Cowboys
- Matt’s Pick: Cowboys
Eagles at Redskins: And we welcome you to the Nick Foles experience. I was at the Patriots-Eagles preseason game and Foles took the majority of the snaps because — wait for it — Vick got injured early. For a kid playing in just his second ever pro football game, I thought he looked okay. He played alright last week, as well. I’ve got a feeling that we won’t be seeing Vick again behind center this year, and the reason starts in DC this weekend.
- Rich’s Pick: Eagles
- Matt’s Pick: Redskins
Jets at Rams: St. Louis might be okay, and we know they’re better than they were in London. The Jets have so many problems that Dr. Drew wouldn’t know where to start with them.
- Rich’s Pick: Rams
- Matt’s Pick: Jets
Bengals at Chiefs: I started following @saveourchiefs last week on Twitter, a feed dedicated to bringing quality football back to the heartland. That feed has over 70,000 followers, which is about how many people fit into Arrowhead Stadium. Coincidence? I think not. KC’s defense looked okay on Monday night, but with a short week, and another loss to consider, I’m going against them.
- Rich’s Pick: Bengals
- Matt’s Pick: Bengals
Jaguars at Texans: Perhaps the worst team in the AFC against the best team in the AFC. Let’s roll the dice and go with the best team. I think that’ll work fine.
- Rich’s Pick: Texans
- Matt’s Pick: Texans
Saints at Raiders: New Orleans is starting to play better. They’ve got their real interim coach in the fold, and have dedicated themselves to actually running the ball from time to time. It’s working out. The Raiders are playing out the string, so it must be November.
- Rich’s Pick: Saints
- Matt’s Pick: Saints
Chargers at Broncos: At this time next year we will be talking about the Jon Gruden-led Chargers. Norv Turner’s days are numbered, and the Chargers are going to be blown out by the Broncos this weekend.
- Rich’s Pick: Broncos
- Matt’s Pick: Broncos
Colts at Patriots: I totally understand how the Patriots defensive coaches must feel. This week I had the Comcast techs out to the house on three separate occasions to try to fix our internet before it finally got sorted out today. Over nine days I tried rewiring my network, unplugging and replugging all of the devices, waited on hold with phone reps for hours, and basically nearly lost my mind trying to get this thing sorted out. Today, around 4 PM, we finally got it fixed (fingers crossed). Coincidentally the Patriots welcome Aqib Talib into the secondary for the first time this weekend. The Pats coach hope that he works out as well as today’s Comcast tech did.
- Rich’s Pick: Patriots
- Matt’s Pick: Patriots
Ravens at Steelers: The Ravens are living a charmed life this season. They haven’t really beaten a good team, except for the Patriots (and that was fishy). This week they should be facing a real test with the Steelers, but Rothlesberger is out of action and they’ll be facing Byron Leftwich instead. It’s starting to feel like the Ravens are destiny’s darlings this year. Time will tell, but this will be easy.
- Rich’s Pick: Ravens
- Matt’s Pick: Ravens
Bears at 49ers: I have no idea which way to go on this one since both quarterbacks left the game with concussions last week. I’m going with San Fran, and crossing my fingers.
- Rich’s Pick: 49ers
- Matt’s Pick: 49ers
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.