Welcome to our new exclusive weekly column, NFL picks by Jimmy the Geek. Look for it every Thursday.
JIMMY The GEEK/Special to Bullet News
-3 Colts v Jags.
The first thrilling matchup between these two AFC South Division rivals seen the 1-7 Jacksonville Jaguars defeat the 5-3 Indianapolis Colts by the score of 22-17. This time around I have a feeling the outcome will be much different. In the week 3 matchup Jacksonville achieved 333 total yards on the day, however 193 of those yards were thanks to Maurice Jones-Drew, and he’s been out of action nursing a sprained foot since he went down on the second play of week 7 in Oakland. To many peoples surprise, Indianapolis is ranked fourth on total yardage so far this season, not surprising however is 32nd ranked Jacksonville. My prediction is Andrew Luck will throw all over the Jaguars who are allowing 392 total yards per game, 255 yards per game through the air. Let’s go Reggie Wayne! Colts win.
-3 Buccaneers v. Chargers
Let me start this one by saying I’m a big Philip Rivers fan. I draft him in all my pools, and would love to see him throw the ball down field all over the Buccaneers all day, but that’s not likely to happen since Norv Turner is STILL the coach in 4-4 San Diego. Tampa Bay is also 4-4, but they’re entering this game on quite the roll. In the last two games rookie running back Doug Martin, out of Boise St., has put up 486 total yards. That’s insane. Fantasy speaking, four weeks ago I traded WR James Jones FOR RB Doug Martin. I’m loving it. I really liked it when rookie head coach Greg Schiano gave his Buccaneers defence the go-ahead to try and create a fumble in the dying seconds of Week 2 versus the reigning champions when Eli brought out the victory formation. It’s awesome to see a team fight to the end these days, when most concede defeat. I have a feeling this game will be a big home win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I want the Chargers to win, but I’ve lost all faith in Norv Turner.
-6 Dolphins v. Titans
This is a pretty tough game to call since both teams have been quite unpredictable week in and week out. The 4-4 Miami Dolphins are coming into this on the heels of a 23-20 collapse to the Indianapolis Colts, and the 3-6 Tennessee Titans are looking to reclaim a little dignity after being embarrassed at home on the field and in the stands to the 7-1 Chicago Bears. Jake Locker, the second year Titans QB could play this Sunday after being out with a shoulder injury since he went down against the Houston Texans in week 4. The Titans RB Chris Johnson is looking to have a game against the Dolphins like the one in week 9 against the Chicago Bears, where he rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown. This game is going to be a close game, but I’d have to give it to the Miami Dolphins, but I think it’s going to be within a four points.
-11 Patriots v. Bills
I don’t think I need to spend much time on this one. Bill Belichick has had 2 weeks to plan for this game after giving the St. Louis Rams a thrashing over the pond in London, England. It’s no shock that the 5-3 New England Patriots are NFL’s top offence through Week 9. What is a interesting is that New England is ranked seventh against the run. New England is coming in to this game well rested due to their week 9 bye, whereas the 3-5 Buffalo Bills are stumbling into Foxborough Stadium after an embarrassing defeat to the 7-1 Houston Texans. The Bills were down by one point going into the change rooms at half time, but came out in the third quarter playing as if they were down by three touchdowns. Hopefully the Buffalo Bills call more than 12 rushing plays with their sixth-ranked rushing offence and make this a close game, but you can’t bet against Bill Belicheck, off a bye, against the Buffalo Bills. I think 11 points is too much though. If you’re betting the spread, I’d take the Buffalo Bills
-7.5 Ravens v. Raiders
Normally I would say pick the 6-2 Baltimore Ravens all day. However the Raiders have played some decent football the past few games which makes this a interesting matchup. In their last 4 games they are 2-2 starting with a 23-20 loss to Atlanta in Week 6 followed by a 26-23 OT win versus the Jaguars then a 26-16 win versus Kansas City. The last game was a 42-32 Raiders loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 9. The only other Raiders win this season was in Week 3 against the then dysfunctional Pittsburgh Steelers. Even though the Ravens defence is seriously depleted by injuries, I don’t think Oakland’s backup RB’s will do well. If Raiders RB Darren Mcfadden hadn’t gone down last week against the Bucs with a high ankle sprain injury, then I would be taking them, but I like to win so I will most definitely be taking the Baltimore Ravens for the victory.
-4 Broncos v. Panthers
Peyton Manning is the QB of a team that isn’t ranked last in rushing. They are ranked 17th. Something that isn’t different is that Manning QB’s a team that is ranked in the top 3 in total offense. The 2-6 Carolina Panthers are a pretty bad team this year. They have horrible stats, and not many weapons outside of QB Cam Newton & veteran WR Steve Smith. The Panthers are ranked 12th against the rush and 13th against the pass but on the offensive side they are 12th in rushing and 18th in passing. I’m not a fan of either of these teams, but I’ll take the Broncos for the win.
-4 Giants v. Bengals
The 6-3 NY Giants are coming into this game on the heels of a hard loss at home in Week 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 3-5 Cincinnati Bengals lost in Week 9 at home to the Denver Broncos 31-23. I was hoping this season would build off last season’s successes for the Bengals, however they seem to have taken a step backwards. The Bengals WR A.J. Green is a beast, TE Jermaine Gresham too. The problem is getting them the ball and what to do in between those two options. Screens to WR Andrew Hawkins can only get you so much so many times, and RB Benjarvus Green-Ellis who Cincinnati brought in as a free agent from New England in the offseason has been garbage. Last week he was 17 carries for 56 yds and a touchdown and the game before that he was 18 carries for 69 yards. You’re not going to beat the reigning Champions with that futile of a rushing game and only 2 threats down the field, one being your tight end. New York Giants all the way.
-2 Lions v. Vikings
The 4-4 Detroit Lions are ranked first in passing offence, averaging 307.2 yards in the air per game, and 22nd in rushing offence. The 5-4 Minnesota Vikings are ranked 30th in passing offence, but thanks to their RB Adrian Peterson they’re ranked fifth in rushing, averaging 145.4 yards on the ground per game. Even though RB Adrian Peterson is a phenomenal running back, I think Detroit is a much more complete team. If the Lions can limit their penalties and stifle the Vikings kick returner, WR Percy Harvin, then I think the Detroit Lions will easily win this game.
-2.5 Falcons v. Saints
The 8-0 Atlanta Falcons come rolling into the Superdome in New Orleans to face the 3-5 Saints who have won 3 out of their last 4 after opening the season with 4 straight losses. New Orleans is fired up after thoroughly beating the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night also at home in New Orleans. The stage is set for a big game at 1 p.m. I’m picking the New Orleans Saints to defeat the undefeated this week. The Saints rushing game stepped up huge last week and they will most certainly look to improve it which will open up the passing game and make that weak Atlanta Falcons secondary run over the field all afternoon. No team has found a solution to stop the Saints TE Jimmy Graham yet, and when QB Drew Brees isn’t finding Graham down field he’s targeting top shelf WR Marques Colston, or the speedy WR Lance Moore. It’s hard to go against a 8-0 team like Atlanta, but I will be this week. Saints for the victory in a great game.
-6 Seahawks v. Jets
Bet Seattle at home. This year the 5-4 Seattle Seahawks are undefeated through nine weeks at home. They’ve beaten Dallas, Green Bay (Never mind the replacement refs – the game came down to a last second Hail Mary any way you look at it) New England and Minnesota all at home. On the other side, I’m not a fan of the 3-5 New York Jets. I don’t like their QB Mark Sanchez, I’m not a WR Santonio Holmes fan, RB Shonn Greene has burned me for years in fantasy sports, and the Jets defence isn’t anything to brag about this year. The Jets are coming off their bye week after getting spanked 30-9 at their division rival Miami Dolphins in week 8. Bet Seattle at home.
-1.5 Cowboys v. Eagles
Both teams are coming into this game tied at 3-5. The Eagles were handled quite well against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football, and the Cowboys couldn’t put it together at the end and suffered a defeat at the hands of the undefeated Atlanta Falcons in Sunday Night Football. It doesn’t appear as though the Cowboys RB Demarco Murray, who went down with a foot injury in Week 6 at Baltimore, will be playing. If the Philadelphia offensive line can play better than they did last week, and protect QB Mike Vick, I think the Eagles will walk out of Lincoln Financial Field with a victory.
-11.5 49ers v. Rams
I don’t think much time needs to be spent explaining why I believe the 6-2 San Francisco 49ers are going to hand the 3-5 St. Louis Rams their sixth loss. Even though they play twice a season, the St. Louis Rams have only beaten the San Francisco 49ers a whopping three times since the beginning of the 2005 season. I am a big Jeff Fisher fan, and truly believe that in the years to come that the St. Louis Rams are going to be a competitive team, however I don’t think they stand a chance to beat the 6-2 49ers. I don’t like the spread though. I have too much respect for Jeff Fisher, and that 49ers loss to Minnesota earlier in the season scares me about this team. San Francisco for the win, but I think it’s within 11.5.
-1 Bears v Texans
I believe the Bears are going to win the NFC North, NFC Championship, and the Super Bowl. That being said, I believe they will be playing Houston in the big game at the end of the season so this Sunday matchup is going to be great. Both teams have phenomenal defences. Both teams have great running backs and wide receivers. Both teams have quarterbacks who can throw with the best in the league. One team has a future Hall of Famer returning kicks and punts, WR Devin Hester. What more could you ask for in a Sunday night game than two 7-1 teams squaring off?
-12 Steelers v. Chiefs
I have a feeling this game is going to be a blow out. The 5-3 Pittsburgh Steelers are coming into this on a three-game winning streak after flying into New York the day of their Week 9 matchup and fighting back for a big win against the reigning champion New York Giants. Every week it seems as though Pittsburgh has a different RB taking the ball down the field. Last week it was third-year back up RB Isaac Redman putting 147 yards on the ground and a touchdown up on the board to help obtain a victory. Big Ben Roethlisberger has the Steelers passing game ranked 10th, averaging 262.4 yards per game in the air. The Steelers defence is ranked first in total yards against, averaging 262.6 yards against per game. They’re also the top-ranked defence against the pass, averaging 174 yards against, and the seventh-ranked rushing defence, allowing only 88.6 yards on the ground per game. The 1-7 Chiefs come into this game with the third-ranked rushing game, which is averaging 149.9 yards per game through week 9 this season. I hope this is a good close game, but I think it’s going to be a lopsided Steelers victory.