• Council of the Learned 2012: Week Nine NFL Picks



    Hurricane Sandy caused this writer much difficulty in terms of submitting articles this week, so the lack of hate mail this week was nice. With family in the path of the storm who survived relatively unharmed, I can only offer thoughts of condolences and hope that the future gets better for all of those that were not as lucky.

    So, a quick version of the picks this week.

    Ninth Week
    (Byes: New England, N.Y. Jets, St. Louis, San Francisco)

    Thursday, Nov. 1

    Kansas City at San Diego, 8:20 p.m- Too much Romeo Crennel. Not enough wide receiver or quarterback talent. PICK: (SD 9-2)

    Sunday, Nov. 4

    Denver at Cincinnati, 1 p.m- Too much 85% Peyton Manning. Not enough defense even though Marvin Lewis is supposed to know defense. PICK: (DEN 8-3)

    Baltimore at Cleveland, 1 p.m- Too much time off for Baltimore. Not enough good history here for Cleveland. PICK: (BAL 8-3)

    Arizona at Green Bay, 1 p.m- Too much Aaron Rodgers playing as Aaron Rodgers. Not enough real offensive linemen to stop Matthews & Co. PICK: (GB 11-0)

    Buffalo at Houston, 1 p.m- Too many years spent being called the Buffalo Bills. Not enough players alive that remember Frank Reich. PICK: (HOU 10-1)

    Miami at Indianapolis, 1 p.m- Too much Dolphin run defense. Not enough protection for Luck to do it on his own. PICK: (MIA 7-4)

    Detroit at Jacksonville, 1 p.m- Too much talent for the offense to not be able to get on a roll. Not enough talent to play any better than “spunky.” PICK: (DET 9-2)

    Chicago at Tennessee, 1 p.m- Too much history in beating Hasselbeck. Not enough talent on defense to sack Cutler six times. PICK: (CHI 10-1)

    Carolina at Washington, 1 p.m- Too much of a sophomore slump that is more than that. Not enough people realizing that the Panthers should have tried to suck last year. PICK: (WAS 11-0)

    Tampa Bay at Oakland, 4:05 p.m- Too much Josh Freeman 2010. Not enough Carson Palmer 2005-2007. PICK: (TB 9-2)

    Minnesota at Seattle, 4:05 p.m- Too much home field advantage. There is not enough Percy Harvins to make up for it. PICK: (SEA 11-0)

    Pittsburgh at N.Y. Giants, 4:25 p.m- Too much steady offense that will mitigate the pass rush. Not enough wins at home in last 5 years. PICK: (PIT 6-5)

    Dallas at Atlanta, 8:20 p.m- Too many Tony Romo interceptions. Not enough coaching talent. PICK: (ATL 8-3)

    Monday, Nov. 5

    Philadelphia at New Orleans, 8:30 p.m- Too much talent to keep scoring 17 a game. Not enough defense to prevent 30 a game. PICK: (PHI 7-4)

    LAST WEEK: 8-6
    SEASON: 71-47 (60.17%)

    Comments 18 Comments
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      By the way, The Most Likely to Finish 0-0 Game of the Week is tonight's Chiefs and Chargers.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      I'm ATD maybe one too many times this week. Riding home teams: Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, and New Orleans.

      I'm also ATD with Dallas, simply because this is exactly the kind of game they would show up for: on Sunday Night, against the league's only undefeated team remaining, right about the time everyone is talking about how much they suck again.
    1. xmenehune's Avatar
      just too much ....

      lol

      abbreviated, not bad, I like it

      someone actually picked BUF? CLE? CIN? they must have had too much (fill in the blank),

      Vick & Co just make too many mistakes to win on the road
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      I'm pretty much on board with the council, however I think that the Redskins are not the sort of team that can be a unanimous choice against anyone. They stink on defence and I think the panthers have a shot here.

      Also have a sneaking feeling that the Vikings can pull off an upset.

      The Browns? Well, unless Flacco bought a Manning mask for halowe'en, that should be a close game.

      But who on earth thinks the Bills have a shot in Houston against a team coming off the bye? True, the Bills had two weeks to get ready for the game, but Mario Williams spent that time recuperating from surgery and Dave Wannstedt is still in the booth. I'd kill to have Arian Foster on my fantasy team this week.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      If you watched the Browns-Ravens game in Week 4, it's not such a crazy pick to call it a win for Cleveland or--as Pruitt suggests--at least think it will be a close game that could go either way. Baltimore's run defense is terrible. It takes considerable effort to give up 142.9 yards per game when you've been winning. Trent Richardson should gash them and open up the playaction pass, and the Browns have been connecting deep. They may get Phil Taylor back this weekend as well. Now, the Browns have an excellent track record of losing close games, so there's that, but this one isn't as clear as 2-6 v. 5-2 would suggest.

      I also agree with Pruitt about Washington in principle. Their defense is not good. I think it more indicates just how down everyone is on Carolina right now.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
      I'm pretty much on board with the council, however I think that the Redskins are not the sort of team that can be a unanimous choice against anyone. They stink on defence and I think the panthers have a shot here.
      I agree. I'm surprised it's unanimous. Carolina has played a lot of close games this season. The Redskins have problems all over. Without RGIII they'd be dismal.
    1. Amy's Avatar
      I picked the Bills. For three reasons:

      1. I'm not sold on Houston, but if that were the only reason, I'd have picked the Texans.
      2. This is a classic 'trap' game, and I'm not sure Houston is the sort of team that can readily avoid them. It's very easy to look past the Bills, but look how close the Panthers were to winning an equally mismatched game last weekend.
      3. Mario Williams. While he has not been himself this year, I think he has sometime to prove to Houston. He's said that he never wanted to leave, but that they didn't make any offer, forcing him into free agency. Houston has not denied that at all. If Mario goes back to being Mario for this game, that could be a decisive factor.

      I don't give the Bills much chance to win, but I think they have fighting chance, so I picked them.
    1. edave's Avatar
      I was a bit surprised by the unanimity on these question mark games for me...

      Panthers @ Redskins: For the Panthers, this is the "Have they already packed it in?" week. The Redskins have issues and can certainly be beaten.

      Vikings @ Seahawks: The Vikings and Seahawks are statistically pretty closely matched and both are playing for their seasons to an extent this weekend. Both teams have a history of fast starts and painful finishes.

      And my other one ...

      Ravens @ Browns: A Browns team that has shown up every week against the bruised Ravens who have not yet had a good game away from Baltimore. The Ravens have misplaced their offense and better find it soon. And it's a division game.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      This will sound strange, but I think Houston's trap game was Green Bay. GB is not a great team this season and Houston under-performed against them. It's my thinking that Houston realizes this, and that they won't allow themselves to be caught at home again.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by edave View Post
      Vikings @ Seahawks: The Vikings and Seahawks are statistically pretty closely matched and both are playing for their seasons to an extent this weekend. Both teams have a history of fast starts and painful finishes.
      My thinking is that if Ponder is in a shaky period, then Seattle's defense is the perfect team to take advantage of it. Plus, Seattle is at their intimidating home, which is not the place for an uncertain QB to find his game. I'm biased though; I like this Seattle team.
    1. edave's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      My thinking is that if Ponder is in a shaky period, then Seattle's defense is the perfect team to take advantage of it. Plus, Seattle is at their intimidating home, which is not the place for an uncertain QB to find his game. I'm biased though; I like this Seattle team.
      I think this Seattle has a good, physical defense and by definition I 'hate' the Vikings but I think they have a chance here. Two iffy offenses and pretty good defenses. It should be a battle so I was surprised by the 11-0 vote.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      This will sound strange, but I think Houston's trap game was Green Bay. GB is not a great team this season and Houston under-performed against them. It's my thinking that Houston realizes this, and that they won't allow themselves to be caught at home again.
      ps I'm one of 3 left standing in our elimination contest and my pick this week is Houston, based on the above reasoning. Hope I didn't jinx myself.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by edave View Post
      I think this Seattle has a good, physical defense and by definition I 'hate' the Vikings but I think they have a chance here. Two iffy offenses and pretty good defenses. It should be a battle so I was surprised by the 11-0 vote.
      If it were in Minny I'm sure the vote would be radically different. Seattle's a really cool sports community. Did you know their MLS team averaged 43,000 per game? With a high of 66,000? That's outstanding.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      I'm stupidly busy, and have just discovered why Lightscribe didn't really take off.

      Cincinnati
      Baltimore
      Green Bay
      Buffalo
      Indy
      Detroit
      Chicago
      Washington
      Oakland
      Seattle
      Giants
      Falcons
      Sixers
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      This will sound strange, but I think Houston's trap game was Green Bay. GB is not a great team this season and Houston under-performed against them. It's my thinking that Houston realizes this, and that they won't allow themselves to be caught at home again.
      They will also run into traps later, but I'm thinking those would occur against division teams like the Titans or Colts. The Bills also have the Texans' secret weapon for this game. He wears #14.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      I'm ATD on the following-

      Cincinnati over Denver Buy low sell high. Denver's perceived value has never been higher, while Cincinnati's perceived value has dropped significantly. This is simply a value guess more than anything else, taking advantage of a home dog.

      Indianapolis over Miami Miami has been pretty good defensively, and both of these teams have surprised a bit, but I'll take the team at home with the better QB. I don't see how Miami shuts down the Luck-Wayne connection, especially in a game that I think will be a bit higher scoring than many suspect.

      Dallas over Atlanta Dallas seems to step up against the big boys, and I think this is a good matchup for them. I'm not using this as a downgrade against Atlanta at all, as they are pretty much exactly who I thought they'd be all along. But Dallas has a strong secondary that can slow down the Falcons passing attack, and have the weapons to take advantage of the Falcons secondary, something not many teams have been able to do thus far. Also, I think Atlanta losing Sean Weatherspoon for this week is a huge loss.


      I concur 100% on those who think Cleveland has a real chance to knock off Baltimore. My guess is, though, that Baltimore rallies with a big bounce-back week following their bye, before settling into the mediocre team they truly are.

      I also agree with wax about Houston. GB was maybe not their letdown in the classic sense of the word, but it was certainly their wakeup call. They clearly weren't ready for that game, and ran into an angry GB team in the process. I don't think Houston has to worry about another pitfall like that. They'll wax Buffalo.

      Seeing Washington at 11-0 makes me wish I had picked Carolina. That game is too close to be 11-0.

      I also think 9-2 is too much for Tampa. Oakland at home makes that a close game.

      On the other hand, I think we got it right with Seattle at 11-0 over Minnesota. That defense at home vs. Christian Ponder will spell disaster for the Vikings. Unless AP and Gerhart combine for 45 carries and 200 yards, I don't see how Minnesota has a chance. If I were still in survivor, this would have been my pick.

      I'm also surprised the council got the Steelers-Giants game right
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Cincinnati-Denver will be a very interesting game. It's a good marker for the state of both teams. It's our CBS national game here, so I get to see it beyond the Red Zone highlights, which is great.

      ps I spend most of my Sundays parked on Red Zone these days. Without buying Replay, it's the best way to get a feel for the entire league.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Kc<sd
      den>cin
      bal<cle
      ari<gb
      chi<ten
      mia<ind
      car>was
      det>jax
      buf<hou
      tb<oak
      min<sea
      pit>nyg
      dal<atl
      phi>no