Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game 2012: Week 11

Terrible week last week, for my picks and for QB injuries. Vick went out with a concussion (though I suspect it’s not as such and he was pulled cause he’s terrible) as well as Jay Cutler. Big Ben went down with a shoulder injury. The Steelers were the only team not to lose after losing their QB, though in all honestly the Eagles suck and the Steelers were playing the Chiefs. Turnovers sunk the Bears, as their offense couldn’t manage to hang on to the ball. You don’t think defense wins championships? Just take a look at that Bears v. Texans game.

In other football type news, there was a tie this week, which is like taking your mom to prom. Fucking weak. The worst part is that it was a tie in the NFC West division, which is going to be hotly contested anyway when it comes down to it. At the point, the Seahawks are smiling like crazy after their win. The biggest surprise for me this weekend wasn’t the Fins getting blown out, or the Falcons losing to the Saints or the Eagles just totally blowing it against the Cowboys, it was the Giants losing to the Bengals. I did not see that one coming.

One of the most dynamic QB/WR combos this year has been that of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. They started it last year and continue this year. Tack on the rest of the WR core on this team, and they have a potent passing attack that is hard to stop. Almost as many weapons on offense as the Falcons. They also have a pretty competent run game too. I’m surprised by this Bengals team and think they can make a run at the Ravens, as long as they aren’t playing in Baltimore.

Anyway, since this is the time of year that I start to get the sinking feeling that nobody actually reads this column besides me, CC and my boys Brett & Mikey, I’m just gonna get on with the picks.

Miami at Buffalo -1.0
So after playing some bizarre football last week, these two struggling AFC East teams meet up in the cold to decide which one won’t be hanging with the Jets in the basement. The Dolphins are playing hot & cold football, while the Bills are just cold. They always play the Pats tight, because the Pats let ‘em. This week I have the Bills, because Miami never seems to win in the cold. Man I love this time of year for football. Weather rules.

Arizona at Atlanta -9.5
The Falcons lost not because they were outplayed or outmatched, but because they were evenly matched on offense. Their defense didn’t make the moves they had been making all season to keep a good scoring margin. Regardless, back at home this week, they get back to winning. Falcons at home. What? Say something about the Cardinals? They are terrible and the play calling is the worst and most timid I’ve seen all year. Is that enough?

Cleveland at Dallas -7.0 UPSET SPECIAL!!
Ok, I might be going out on a limb here. The Cowboys are still a mess. They are locking Jerry Jones out of the locker room, they are turning over the ball too much and Romo is playing like he doesn’t want to get his dress dirty. Sure they bea the Eagles, but the Eagles are equally fucked up. Here’s the deal, the Browns, at only two wins are coming on strong and need to finish the season in the “hopeful” column. Their defense has been playing well at times, even though ranked near the bottom. Really, it’s the 29th ranked Cowboys run defense that is the difference maker here. I say Trent runs all over them. Browns to surprise upset the Boys and make Jerry Jones cry.

Green Bay at Detroit +3.5
The Packers are back this week, back with Nelson and perhaps anyone else who was injured. The Lions are limping after getting beat pretty handily by the Vikings, and now they get the Packers. Johnson has scored two touchdowns this season and the Lions secondary appears to be sleeping on the job. Packers to win.

Cincinnati at Kansas City +3.0
Like I said earlier, the Bengals are surprising me, and the Chiefs are flat out shitty. They can’t establish a run, they can’t keep the QB in the pocket and yeah, they did sack Big Ben, but everyone gets lucky sometimes. Bengals to win.

NY Jets at St. Louis -3.5
Apparently, Jets players are bashing Tim Tebow behind his back, even though he’s not contributed much this season, of no fault of his own. And, not to mention if he was to start for the team in place of mistake prone Sanchez, he’d play his fucking heart out for them, regardless of them being absolute dicks in the locker room. Clearly, the Jets have problems. Here’s my message to the Jets players bashing Tebow – fuck you. The guy, given the chance, plays to fucking win – no matter the cost. He plays with positivity, sportsmanship and heart. Clearly that’s too difficult for you selfish pricks to understand so hope you enjoy losing. Jets lose again this week, as the Rams proved they are not to be completely underestimated. If you’ve got Jackson in your league, start him. Jets run defense is like wet toilet paper. If Tebow starts however, I may change my pick.

Philadelphia at Washington -3.5 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
It seems to me that everyone calling for Andy Reid’s head seem to forget how many wins & playoff appearances he’s got under his belt. However, fire him. His decision making has turned to dementia and firing his D coordinator has only made the defense worse. Keeping Vick in the game in any aspect is tanking their season. Foles will probably get the start this week, but it doesn’t matter. The Skins, while not looking like a playoff team, are at least looking a bit more concise on offense. RGIII though needs to give his receivers an extra second before he starts running around. Skins to win at home.

Tampa Bay at Carolina +1.0
The last two games for the Bucs have not only been crucial wins, but have been offensively and special teams impressive. I’m serious, and you know how much of a Bucs hater I am. I think they keep it up on the road against a quickly falling Panthers team plagued by line troubles. I dunno. I expected so much more from Cam. Sorry dude, you are like Vince Young, but you have better potential. Bucs to win.

Jacksonville at Houston -15.5
After beating the Bears at their own game, I don’t think the Texans sink low enough to play the Jags on their level. This will be like an SEC season opener. They should pay the Jags to come and get destroyed. Texans to win.

New Orleans at Oakland +4.5
The Saints are looking like The Saints once again, but considering they are playing against a team that can’t even snap the ball right the entire game, that shouldn’t be an issue. Sure the black hole is a tough place to play sometimes, but the Raiders can’t stay out of their own way long enough to win a game. Saints to win.

San Diego at Denver -7.5
Another team that loves stepping on its own toes is the Chargers. From bad Rivers decisions, to an inability to establish a strong run, to Norv Turner not knowing how to tell time, the Chargers are running out of it. Can Rivers beat Manning and the Colts, in Denver with the offense on a roll? Doubtful. Broncos to win.

Indianapolis at New England -9.5 GAME OF THE WEEK!!
While the Steelers/Ravens night game is going to be fantastic, this one intrigues me the most. The Patriots have been giving up major points this year again, and Andrew Luck is playing like he’s done this before. However, the Colts have not come up against a team that scores at will like the Patriots do. Their losses were surprising, to the Jets and Jags (Bears not so much) and their wins have been too, beating the Packers and Vikings. They looked vulnerable against the Browns and Titans, but smashed the Fins and Jags. But the Patriots do score at will. In order for the Colts to win, they have to go up big and quick, but the Patriots score at will. Pats to win.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh +4.5
I wrote every other pick before this one, even the bye week ones. This is tough. Do I go with the Ravens, who are hurting on run defense, but still good on pass defense, or the Steelers, who have been playing amazing defense once again, especially in the secondary and who are establishing a run game with who-dat players? The Ravens are favored, but why? Because of Big Ben being injured? Look, until I know if he’s playing, I can’t make a pick here. Leftwich ain’t gonna win this game for the Steelers. I’m not picking this game. Should be a good one though.

Chicago at San Francisco -5.0
Probably the best Monday night match-up this season, period. ESPN got lucky with this one I suppose, since they usually get stinkers on Monday night and NBC gets the good game on Sunday night. Either way, the Bears have got to be reeling after that loss, giving away the ball like they did. Cutler may not play as well. Marshall and Campbell just don’t have the same connection. So, who ya got? I’ve got the Bears, just cause the Niners left a bad taste in my mouth after that tie with the hapless Rams.

Bye week at Minnesota
The Vikings probably wish they didn’t have a bye so they could keep winning.

Bye week at N.Y. Giants
The Giants are wondering how in the fuck they lost in Cincinnati.

Bye week at Seattle
Seattle also wishes they didn’t have to take a bye so they could keep winning.

Bye week at Tennessee
The Titans are just confused. Blown out one week, blowing out the next. Too much blowing.

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Curtis Silver writes about sports here mostly. NFL, Golf, Baseball - whatever. Find him on Twitter @cebsilver, if you've got a bone to pick.

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