Notes from the North

I got Indy right! I got Indy right! There's my bright spot in an otherwise depressing season of football picks. I got Indy right.

With my 11-4 picking record and 87 total points last week, I sky-rocketed all the way from 66th to 65th place in my pool. Woweee. Let's keep up that momentum.

By the way, I read an interesting article the other day about Peyton Manning's cold-weather performance. It's kind of amazing. He's incredibly effective indoors or in warm weather but not so much when it's cold. Did he not know this when he signed with the Denver Broncos? Hmmmm....

Maybe we shouldn't be picking Denver to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Or, better still, maybe Denver would be better off finishing as a wildcard and playing all their playoff games on the road, hopefully in warm weather cities.

Oh yeah, probable AFC playoff teams are just about all cold weather locations without domes, aren't they? KC, New England, Cincinatti. It's possible the Broncos are in trouble even before they start the playoffs.

Do you think Indy will open its dome for a playoff game in January, just to throw Peyton off?

Anyway, here are the World's Worst Football Picks for Week 8:

Tampa Bay over Carolina: A hunch pick. I just think the Bucs will rebound one of these days. And the Panthers are coming off two bigs wins and will likely be looking past Tampa on a short week. So Bucs it is. (3)

San Fran to beat Jacksonville: There is nothing I would like better than to see the Jags rise up and hammer the Niners. But I just can't see it. My thinking is that the San Francisco defence outscores Jacksonville on its own. (11)

Kansas City to beat Cleveland: My feeling is that, once the Chiefs lose one game, they'll go into a bit of a tailspin. I can't see them finishing better than 10-6. But the Browns, in their current state, aren't the team that's going to burst KC's bubble. (9)

New England over Miami: The Pats defence is decimated, especially up the middle. Aqib Talib, their MVP for the first six games, is either out or hobbled. The Dolphnis should win here. But I can't see Belichik losing two divisional games in a row. I just can't. As a note, however, I firmly believe NE would have beaten the Jests last week if Gronkowski had still been injured: Brady focused so strongly on getting the ball to his tight end that the Patriots' offensive game plan became predictable and uninspired. And Gronk wasn't at his best. (7)

New Orleans to beat Buffalo: Love the Bills. But not against that Saints team. Brees won't fall victim to the Buffalo defensive backfield and the New Orleans defence will hammer Manuel. (12)

Dallas over Detroit: A hesitation pick. To be honest, I often get Stafford (Detroit) mixed up with Bradford (St. Louis) and I made this pick thinking it was Stafford out, not Bradford. But I'll live with it now. The Lions are too inconsistent for me and, whatever I think of Tony Romo, he can beat the Detroit defence. (4)

Giants to beat Philly: New York won one and will start climbing back into things. No better way to do that than to beat a divisional rival that is hurting at QB. (5)

Oakland over Pittsburgh: The Steelers are coming off a big emotional win over Baltimore but that doesn't take away from the fact that their offensive line is struggling, they can't run the ball and Big Ben is holding the ball waaayyy too long. (1)

Cincy to beat the Jests: A surprisingly important game. But the Bengals are playnig with confidence right now and the Jets have trouble against a strong pass rush. (6)

Arizona to beat Atlanta: A tough game to call. Both teams have been inconsistent this year. I'm picking the Cards' defence over an injury decimated Falcon receiving corps. (2)

Denver over Washington: What's the weather forecast for Denver on Sunday? Cold? Okay, I need to change my pick. All kidding aside, the Bronco defence has to prove itself here and give that high-powered, warm-weather offence some support. And Manning has to start calling more running plays. (8)

Green Bay to beat Minny: Let me get this straight. The Vikes have the best back in all of football, a brand new quarterback with confidence issues, and they throw the ball 53 times against only 14 running plays? It's not the players out there in Minny that are the problem, folks, it's the coaching. (10)

Seattle to beat St. Louis: It's Bradford who's out, isn't it? And whoever replaces him has to face Seattle in his first game starting? Good luck. (13)


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