This weeks edition of the spread face-off between the Droid and the Whit features six differences. Will r5d3 finally start that comeback that every NFL team seems to have down this season?
So I tanked pretty badly this weekend, going (4-8-1)(1-0) to bring my season total to (36-37-4)(3-2). I left the door wide open for you…and the best you can do is make up one game? ONE? You sit at (30-43-4)(2-3) as of now. This competition is like taking candy from a baby. A baby with no arms. Or legs for that matter.
I hate you, Kevin Fontanazza. You will be featured in Lions colors this week.
St. Louis Rams @ Green Bay Packers (-15)
Whit - Correct me if I’m wrong, but here we have the largest point spread of the year to date. Makes sense, the Packers are the hottest team in football right now with authoritative come from behind wins in back to back games. The Rams, meanwhile, exit their bye week somewhat healthier as they expect to get Steven Jackson back. But the Rams have allowed a league second worst 19 sacks, and Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji look to have a field day. Packers cover.
r5d3 – At some point, St. Louis has to play a football game again, no? Even if they run into the Aaron Rodgers buzzsaw? Isn’t this the team we all expected to win the NFCW? Sure, last season the division was won with seven victories, but I don’t think zero will get the job done. I’ll take the Packers to win, with the Rams to cover. If they can’t do at least that coming off their bye, forget about the rest of the season.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-12)
Whit – We’re getting the double-digit lines out of the way nice and early this week. Pittsburgh is plenty unhealthy, but if last week’s game against Tennessee is any indication, they play better when unhealthy! When home, the Steelers are damn near unstoppable, and Jacksonville poses this team no threat. It’s not like me to pick two double digit favorites to cover, let alone one, but here I am. Steelers cover.
r5d3 – As long as Pittsburgh is hosting teams like Jacksonville, having some defensive injuries can only help those players coming in to end being better, ultimately making the defense better overall. Jacksonville has stayed competitive against Cincinnati and New Orleans, but have eventually succumbed to the spread. This week, they’ll skip the staying competitive part, as the Steelers cover and make this “Must Flee TV” in a hurry.
Philadelphia Eagles (-1) @ Washington Redskins
Whit – Not many 1-4 teams are ever considered favorites, oddsmakers must be hanging on to that Dream Team label. The Redskins quietly sit at 3-1, rested and ready to go after their bye week against the down-but-not-yet-out Eagles. I usually favor teams coming off a bye, and the stingy Redskins defense holds a slight edge over a very shaky Michael Vick. Redskins cover.
r5d3 – Agree. Philly is currently on a bad, bad run, and I, for one, don’t think they’ll come out of it. Sure, they’ll win games again, and they’ll win some convincingly, but they will also continue to underwhelm, and with the Redskins coming off the bye, they have to have the gameplan in place to beat the Eagles.
San Francisco 49ers @ Detroit Lions (-4)
Whit – There are teams that fly under the radar. And then there are teams that fly so low, they may as well be submarines. And then there are the 49ers, who if it weren’t for an overtime loss at home, could join the ranks of the undefeated this year. With their steady QB play, and strong head coach, the 49ers are going places. However, one of those places is Ford Field, where the white-hot Lions are looking to devour another victim. And devour they will. Just too much firepower on both sides for even a good team like Frisco to survive. Lions cover. "And for the second time in two weeks...Detroit to LOCK IT UP!!!"
r5d3 – So, who had this one down as their game of the week at the beginning of the year? These two are a combined 9-1. Steady QB play perhaps, but Alex Smith’s passing yardage is almost laughable. San Francisco owns one of the hottest defenses in the game right now, but can they slow down the Stafford to Johnson connection, currently on a record breaking touchdown pace. Eventually, the Lions will suffer a letdown loss, but not at home. The new math in Detroit says that 9+81=6, and that’ll be more than enough to win this game.
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons (-4)
Whit – It’s only Week 6, but the Falcons find themselves facing a must-win game already to avoid falling deeper into the NFC South. They lose Julio Jones to a hamstring injury, but still have plenty of offensive weapons, provided they don’t go into hibernation like they did last week against the Packers. The Panthers have shown some moxie this season, but Atlanta simply needs this game much more than the re-building Panthers. Falcons cover.
r5d3 – Problem is Atlanta is that the offensive weapons haven’t played like weapons, and the defense has been worse. Meanwhile, Cam Newton is nearly weapon-less, yet is tearing defenses apart. There’s never much love lost between these two in the first place, and I’m sure Rivera circled this game on the calendar early. Panthers cover, and more.
Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals (-7)
Whit – There is no force in heaven or on earth that could compel me to watch this game. The fate of the world could hinge on me watching one quarter of this game, and I would advise you all to enjoy your final moments. Colts cover only because they’re getting closer and closer to that first win.
r5d3 – Really? I’m surprised that this Carson vs. Peyton match-up isn’t on prime time, not sure why you’re so down on it. The Bengals defense is playing to good right now, and despite a low scoring game, Cincinnati will stay ahead by a TD all game, giving them the cover.
Buffalo Bills @ New York Giants (-3)
Whit – Between eliminating me in my elimination pool last week and only picking their games vs. the spread once correctly out of five games, the Giants have really annoyed me this season. They’re a model of inconsistency, previous two weeks they win in Philadelphia and Arizona, then last week they throw a stinker in an 11 point loss to the lowly Seahawks. So if we’re to expect bad Giants for two weeks, then good Giants for two weeks, back and forth…I’ll take the Bills to cover. Easy call with Buffalo playing so well this year.
r5d3 – I expect bad Giants from here on out. Sure, they’ll hiccup themselves to a win here and there, but they won’t hold up for the whole season. Meanwhile, Buffalo has forced Tom Brady and Michael Vick into four interceptions each. Eli Manning has the tendencies to throw three picks before he even gets out of bed, so he could be in deep trouble in this one. Buffalo covers.
Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens (-7.5)
Whit – The Texans enter this game pretty banged up, with Mario Williams gone for the year with a torn pectoral, and Andre Johnson questionable with a bum hamstring. And with those key injuries, the last thing you want to do is travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens with them coming off a bye week. Even with Joe Flacco playing less than decent ball, the Ravens are putting up points with defense and the rushing attack. A final note: The Texans have never beaten the Ravens. Don’t expect anything to change. Ravens cover.
r5d3 – Could this season really end up being lost for Houston? You’d think they’re still the best in the division, but with Williams out, and Johnson and Schaub at least hobbled, Houston has to tighten up and get through this patch. Baltimore has scored 34 or more points in each of their victories, but I think the Texans defense can slow them down enough for Houston to cover.
Cleveland Browns @ Oakland Raiders (-6.5)
Whit – Coming into this season, this game had “Must Flee TV” written all over it. Now, not so much. Cleveland is struggling to find their identity, both offensive and defensive, wonder if they made any progress during their bye week. Oakland, meanwhile, is a team with a purpose. They are playing the remainder of this season with a little extra fire since the passing of Al Davis, and in their first game back home, don’t expect the travelling Browns to get in their way much. Raiders cover.
r5d3 – Perhaps, I should read through your whole half the article before I start replying, but great minds think alike. This is still “Must Flee TV”, as I don’t think Cleveland will travel across the country and stay competitive in the first game in the Colisseum, “Post Al”. Darren McFadden will go nuts, and the Raiders blow out the Browns, in my LockoftheWeek.
Dallas Cowboys @ New England Patriots (-7)
Whit – Here we have the game of the week. The untouchable Patriots play host to the Cowboys, who got an extra week to get healthy. And get healthy they did, as Miles Austin looks to make a return this season. And not a week too soon, as Tony Romo will need every weapon he can get against New England’s porous secondary. It may not be enough, though, as New England is simply untouchable at home. In my surprise of the week, I’ll take the Cowboys to cover and make this a very interesting game, though I don’t see them winning.
r5d3 – Remember your feelings about the Jags and Bengals game last week, well, ditto that for me regarding this one. Let’s just say I agree with you, the Cowboys will cover, and if it wasn’t in the Razor, I think they’d even win.
New Orleans Saints (-4.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Whit – You wanna bet that once the Falcons finish their game, they all crowd around a television in the locker room and pay close attention to this one? I am interested to see just how the Buccaneers handle their waxing last week at the hands of the 49ers against an even more dangerous offense, and a more opportunistic defense. As I’ve said in the past, with division rivalry games everything gets thrown out the window, so this game can go either way. But I think the Saints are just better, and LeGarrette Blount missing this game doesn’t help the home team any. Give me the Saints to cover.
r5d3 – When is a home game a bad thing? When you come off a 45 point loss and play a team with whom you split the last two seasons, but the road team winning each game. That trend will break this year. The Bucs and Saints will split again, but this season Tampa wins, and covers, at home.
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears (-3)
Whit – It wasn’t that long ago that these two teams were duking it out for the NFC North division crown. Now, they each trail the undefeated division leaders by four and three games, respectively. Another division game where anything can happen, but one thing tilts the scales mightily in favor of one. And that is Adrian Peterson vs. Chicago’s 28th ranked rush defense. The Vikings got him rolling last week, and as long as he keeps on motoring (and the defense can hold a lead), the Vikings are a tough opponent no matter who they play. I like the Vikings to cover in this one.
r5d3 – The Bears rush defense is laughable. Jahvid Best nearly tripled his previous career best output last week. Perhaps, with the home crowd, the Bears will cut down a bit on the false starts, but with Jared Allen lining up on the other side, I still don’t think that’s a given. Jay Cutler and Matt Forte cannot compete by themselves against 11 players, it just won’t work. Vikings cover.
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets (-7)
Whit – Another primetime game pitting two division cellar dwellers this week…honestly this must be the worst television year for the NFL. The Jets need a bounce back game in the worst possible way to quell their critics, and their first home game in nearly a month should be the ticket. Meanwhile the Dolphins just need a win, period. With Matt Moore commanding the team in the hostile Meadowlands, Miami will probably have to wait for their next road game for that W, since they obviously can’t do it at home. Jets barely cover.
r5d3 – Thank god for flexing, because if we have to sit through more of these games in December, I’ll have to turn to hockey sooner than usual. Miami can’t win at home, but win more than usual on the road. I don’t know why, but I’m taking the Dolphins to cover, and maybe, just maybe, win.