Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game 2012: Week 9

At this point in the season I usually reveal my season percentage. Sadly, I haven’t been keeping real good track of my week to week record. I guess I could go back and add it all up, but I really don’t feel like doing that. You are welcome to do so though, last week I was 9-5 so you can tack that on to the previous weeks. If it helps, when I’m wrong – I’m royally wrong.

Well, the Cardinals did not upset the Niners last week, which means I didn’t get to look like a genius. In fact, Alex Smith looked like a playoff QB as he picked apart the Cardinals. Manning got a lot of praise as well as he picked apart the Saints secondary, and Tom Brady, well, he had the Rams in London. That game was pretty much a given for the Patriots. Then there was my boys, the Browns. The Browns beat the listless Chargers 7-6. Note the Browns tend to win or lose by single digits. They sink other teams right on down to their level. That’s why they are hard to pick. Wheedon isn’t looking half bad though.

I’ll tell you who is looking bad, Cam Newton. Last year he was on fire. His rookie year. People didn’t know what to expect. This year, his bag of tricks is all used up and he’s still making rookie mistakes, which are unforgivable at this point. He needs to buck up and start making better decisions. Speaking about better decisions, Vick didn’t turn over the ball at all this week and still managed to lose the game, even mentioning after the game that Reid might replace him at QB. Though the real loser was the Philly defense, who were working under a new coordinator. How’d that work out for you Reid? The Philly faithful are calling for his firing. I think it’s time.

In other news, those of you on the East Coast reading this, well, I hope you are reading this and not without power or stranded somewhere surrounded by shitty water. The rest of you can donate to Red Cross if you want to help. Don’t send food or clothes, just cash. In other, other news, it appears as if all games will be played this weekend, haven’t heard otherwise. So munch down on your kids Halloween candy and get ready for Week 9 picks!

Kansas City at San Diego -9.0
I don’t think there is a team worse than the Chiefs right now. The Chiefs are not playing inspired football. Quinn didn’t help, as went down with a head injury. Cassel made Carson Palmer look like John Elway. What a contrast. Meanwhile the Chargers are probably the most lethargic team in the league with that kind of offensive talent. What is going on there? I think they win this week, but hell, they aren’t going to catch the Broncos.

Denver at Cincinnati +3.5
Speaking about the Broncos, they looked great on Monday night as Manning systematically dismantled the New Orleans secondary. I don’t think he was pressured all night. If you don’t pressure Manning, he’ll kill you. I think the Bengals bring a shit ton of pressure on Manning and make this an exciting and close game, but I’m taking the Broncos. You’ll notice a lot of road teams are favored this week as well, but you have to be careful as statistics favor the home team.

Baltimore at Cleveland +3.5
Statistics in this match-up don’t favor the home team sadly. The Browns can never seem to beat the ex-Browns, at home or away. So is this the week? Should I put “upset special” up there? As much as I want the Browns to win, even with a depleted defense the Ravens are still offensively better than the Browns defense. However, I expect this to be another sickeningly slow, mistake prone close game. Ravens by a nose.

Arizona at Green Bay -11.0
After the Cardinals beat the Giants earlier in the season, and the Packers were losing I might have said that this could be a major upset. Since then, the Packers are back to dominating form and the Cardinals are pretty shitty. Skelton doesn’t have that star power, know what I mean? Packers are down a couple of receivers, but it doesn’t matter. Pack to win.

Chicago at Tennessee +3.5
The Bears had a tough game last week against the Panthers, and frankly, I was a bit surprised. They travel to visit the Titans, who blew it in overtime against the Colts. The Titans defense is terrible, I think losing Finnegan has hurt the secondary. Either way, the Cutler to Marshall connection can’t be beat right now, and Forte is earning his money, unlike Johnson, who will get stuffed by the Bears run defense. Bears to win.

Miami at Indianapolis +2.5
Well, a bit of Luck and the Colts are looking like they could challenge the Texans for the division. Maybe. Probably not. No fucking way. A late win against the Titans does not a division winner make, though Luck is showing great poise in the late stages of the game. Last week I said the Dolphins are playing with passion, and their whipping of the Jets proved that. With Tannehill questionable, and Moore bruised up, I still think the Dolphins win this game, just on defense alone.

Carolina at Washington -3.5
The Panthers are terrible right now. They showed some spark against the Bears, but that’s all it was. It wasn’t electricity. The Redskins have a little bit of that, but I still wonder if RG3 has that lasting power. He makes good, non rookie decisions, but still tends to run a bit too much. This should be interesting, with two running QB’s, but I’m taking the home team.

Detroit at Jacksonville +4.0
I immediately regretted picking the Seahawks to win last week, knowing that the Lions would pull of another last second win. Stafford is getting better at that. The Madden curse is strong for Calvin Johnson, now limping a bit after last week. He’s been a ghost this season, struggling with the double team and getting open. But just throw him the ball! However, this has opened up other lanes for Stafford. Adding Mike Thomas (in a trade with the Jags) this week will give Stafford even more options. Detroit wins this game, cause the Jags really do suck.

Buffalo at Houston -11.0
The Bills are a constant disappointment of bad play calling and timid defense. The Texans are going to kill them. The Bills need to be cleaned out from top to bottom. This organization has been sitting in the corner wearing the dunce cap for far too long. Texans to destroy them.

Tampa Bay at Oakland -0.0 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
The 3-4 Bucs meet the 3-4 Raiders in a re-match of what I call “The Gruden Bowl.” Good thing he’s not calling this shit bag of a game. The Bucs are hot one minute, not the next. This week they were hot against the Vikings on the road, the receivers standing up and making Freeman look real good. The Raiders looked good (by comparison) against the Chiefs, but still turned over the ball too much. That’s the key here, turnovers, and the Bucs get ‘em. Bucs to win on the road.

Minnesota at Seattle -5.0
Tough call here. Can I call a friend? Actual stat from NFL.com: “Christian Ponder has never played a game in the Pacific Time Zone in either college or the NFL.” This stat was tweeted by @scotthanson at the exact moment I was writing this paragraph. No bullshit. So what does that stat mean? It means he’s due. Maybe. The Hawks are playing tough, and Pete Carroll has shown he’s not afraid to take risks. It wasn’t enough against the Lions last week, but I think that Russel Wilson is better than Ponder, as far as poise and decision making. This game could be tough, they both play in loud stadiums, but this is a loud outdoor stadium. I’m taking the Hawks at home.

Pittsburgh at NY Giants -3.0 UPSET SPECIAL!!
This is one of my favorite match-ups of the year. These two teams are tough on defense and unforgiving. The Steelers have a running game problem, but their back-up Dwyer ran strong last week, and like Bradshaw can hit holes hard and low. That sounded dirty. The key is going to be the Steelers defensive secondary. Can they stop Manning and his receivers? Probably not, but the Giants will have trouble with Big Ben as he thrives under pressure where Eli doesn’t. Pressure Eli, win the game. Also, get turnovers. I’m taking the Steelers to upset.

Dallas at Atlanta -4.0 GAME OF THE WEEK!!
Game of the week for two reasons. The first being that the Falcons are currently 7-0 and could go 8-0, the second being that the Cowboys are going to get exposed. Sure, they came back against the Giants last week, but six fucking turnovers by the Cowboys, four by Romo, should have led to an ass whupping, yet the Boys hung in there. Why? Cause the Giants let them. They toyed with them, gave Eli the ball and won the game. The Cowboys can’t do that. Matt Ryan can. Atlanta wins this game, because the Cowboys will not have fixed their turnover or Romo problem.

Philadelphia at New Orleans -3.0
Hey, how about that – Vick had no turnovers last week and still played like shit. The whole team did. The defense was terrible. Good thing they fired their coordinator. The Saints have no direction with no coach. Someone needs to step up and be a leader. Home in the dome, the Eagles in town and threatening any hope of a winning season, it’s now or never Saints. Do it. Saints to win.

Bye week at N.Y. Jets
Consistently proving they have no idea what they are doing. The NY Jets.

Bye week at St. Louis
For once, giving up is an option in the NFC West.

Bye week at San Francisco
Watch out Niners, the Hawks are looking tough.

Bye week at New England
Tom Brady has majestic hair.

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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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