Notes from the North

Okay, so I panicked. I thought the four quarterback injuries last week would make picking this week's game impossible.

How wrong I was. My analysis suggests that no outcomes will be affected by the possible absence of Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, Mike Vick or Ben Roethlisberger, at least not in Week 11.

Of course, we don't call these the World's Worst Football Picks for nothing. Take my thoughts with a grain (a bucket) of salt. So here we go:

Buffalo to beat Miami: Upset, yes. But the Dolphins are reeling right now and Tannehill's confidence appears to be wavering a bit. I see the Bills, coming off a strong effort against New England, winning this one in Orchard Park. (3)

Houston over Jacksonville: Ummm... Anyone want to pick the biggest upset of all time? Pick the Jags? Go ahead. Cuz it ain't gonna be me. I think Matt Schaub, Arian Foster and their offensive teammates will take out their frustrations from that messy win over Chicago on poor little Jacksonville. (14)

Washington to beat Philly: I really want to pick the Eagles here. I like Nick Foles and I think the Philly defense will rise to the occasion to back up their backup. But it's still Andy Reid coaching and he's just not present this season. (4)

Jests over St. Louis: I hate picking the Jests. But there are two reasons I expect New York to win here: first, the Rams spent it all in battling San Fran to a draw and will come out flat, flat, flat here; second, I think New York and Mark Sanchez will finally show some pride and perform to their abilities. (2)

Dallas to beat Cleveland: Again, I'm not fond of the Cowboys but they're playing well enough to beat the Browns, at home. (12)

Carolina over Tampa Bay: Upset special. The Bucs are playing well but I think this is the Panthers' chance to show the world that they can play with the big boys. (1)

Atlanta to beat Arizona: I think Atlanta bounces back here, after their loss to New Orleans, especially defensively. I can see the Cards keeping it close (thanks to their strong defense) but you can't win if you can't score. You can't win if your quarterback is running for his life. (13)

Kansas City to beat Cincy: The Chiefs impressed me, especially on defense, against Pittsburgh. This the team I expected to see all season. Cincy also played well against the Giants so the question is, which one will continue to rise. I think it's the Chiefs at home. (6)

Green Bay to beat Detroit: I've called the Packers to sweep the rest of their games and I won't change that in the face of an inconsistent Lions team, even in Detroit. (9)

New Orleans over Oakland: If I thought the Raiders had any pride and more talent, I might call them to come out angry after the Baltimore beatdown and take it to the Saints. But I don't really believe Oakland has it in them. And the Saints, even if they have a bit of a let down after their emotional win over Atlanta, still have their eyes on the playoffs. (8)

New England to beat Indianapolis: I want to pick this one the other way. I want to believe enough in the Colts to pick them to win in New England. But, no matter how uneven their season, the Patriots are the favourites in every game they play at home. (7)

Denver over San Diego: The Broncos can blow their season with a loss here. Perhaps not literally but, as of today, Denver is in the driver's seat and a loss would be like an ejection button. This is a winnable game. I can't see Manning and that Bronco defense letting this one get away and relinquishing their position in the division. (11)

Baltimore to beat Pittsburgh: I'd pick the Ravens here even if I were certain Roethlisberger was going to play at 100%. But, reality is, the Steelers are either going to trot out a damaged Big Ben or rely on Byron Leftwich and that's not a good situation to be in when you're facing Baltimore. Plus, have you seen the Ravens' offense when it's on and motivated? (10)

San Francisco to beat Chicago: Wow, that's some defense the Bears are playing right now. They impressed me against Houston. But the Niners are at home, they're angry after settling for a tie against St. Louis and they've got a pretty great defense as well. So I don't think it matters much who plays quarterback for either team: it's going to the defenses that decide this game. And I'll take San Fran on that basis, even if Jay Cutler suits up for Chicago. (5)


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