NFL Week 9 Picks and Analysis – FootballSunday, November 6, 2011 7:24
Game picks for Week 9 of the 2011 NFL football season.
NFL 2011 Week 9 Picks & Analysis
The next time you hear Bill Belichick described with the hyperbolic “genius” label, you may snicker derisively.
Last week, BB and the Pats were completely outclassed by the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin and his staff. Pittsburgh dominated the action and dictated the flow of the game from the first kick-off to the final kneel down.
The Patriots failure to challenge the late fourth quarter Gronkowski TD catch cost them well over 90 seconds of clock that could have salvaged a victory–a very ungenius-like blunder.
Even though I picked the Pats to continue casting their spell over the Steelers, I laid out a two-point plan–three points actually, but I don’t think Brady was surreptitiously given blotter acid–starting with press coverage at the scrimmage line and the safeties keeping most of the completions in front of them.
No doubt, the Steelers brain trust was surfing the ‘net, they came across my brilliant analysis on DIS, and that is why the Steelers won.
Good thing I don’t take myself too seriously or I would demand compensation for my unique genius.
Like I’ve said, it ain’t nuclear physics, folks. Take any NFL quarterback’s first two reads away and you will win most of your games. Even great ones like Brady become flustered when they are forced to constantly check down to a running back for a minimal gain.
When Brady spread the Steeler defense out and forced true man-to-man coverage, the play of third year DB Keenan Lewis and vets William Gay and Troy Polamalu was superb.
In his post-game presser, Brady made a salient point: if you can’t make the plays to force the defense out of man, you’re in trouble.
What does this mean for the barely halfway-developed AFC play-off picture?
- The Patriots are not playing championship defense and their running game has been inconsistent. Belichick has made a career of drafting players he believes he can develop for his defensive scheme. If he is wrong on just a couple of those players, the defense will suffer a double whammy. They will stink immediately, and finding replacements with Belichick specific talents might be more difficult than if he ran, say, a traditional Tampa Two system.
- The Steelers are beginning to look scary, especially with their pass defense. If they can stop Brady, they can stop anyone. The Black and Gold might be the best AFC team.
- The operative word is might…
- There are three teams in the AFC who may have a different opinion…
The AFC darkest playoff horse has to be the striped Cats who are playing the Queen City’s best football since Marvin Lewis took the head coaching position. Put another way, the Bengals are playing like a team with a multi-faceted offense, a stout defense and stellar special teams.
They finally excised the locker room cancers such as T.O. and earned an A+ for their recent draft.
How many times in the last twenty years could we say all that?
Every Bengal exec, player, or coach interviewed on Sirius satellite radio is in awe of rookie QB Andy Dalton. They not only tout his arm strength, size, and athletic ability, but also his work ethic, study habits, and poise.
Any football fan who watches the kid play sees all those traits when Dalton is on the field. Every Bengal fan has to love a future with two extra first rounders in the next two years, a premier receiver in A.J. Green, and a quarterback with just as much brains as arm.
Baltimore and Pittsburgh better not take Cincy lightly.
Joining the Bengals for the Dark Horse Trophy are the Chiefs. A month ago Todd Haley’s rump was toasting after a 0 – 3 start. Haley supporters pointed to injuries to Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry, but the Chiefs have turned it around and fate smiled on them when Phillip Rivers yakked up a pig-skinned shaped fur ball like a spastic alley cat.
Excuse me, did I almost forget the Bills? Another team that has exorcised some demons this year could very well have something to say in January.
I’m not really sick of Tim Tebow, it’s just, well, I used to respect Bronco fans.
What talent do they see in this guy that 31 NFL scouting teams did not see? His arm is more limp than over-cooked linguini and he can’t make cross-body, cross-field throws.
He never could.
Kyle Orton was benched for this guy?
What’s really behind this…Tebowism?
Am I being too cynical if I thought part of it was that ol’ Timbo has never experienced the pleasures of a pink panther? (That is “he’s never been laid” to all you guys without imagination.)
Roger Goodell’s pussification project seems to be working.
Seriously…Tebow’s a virgin.
He’s also a comparatively small white guy who publicly displays his affection for a make-believe mythology a good portion of the Rocky Mountain West, and America, embraces.
If there were a god who wanted Tim Tebow to be a quarterback, he would have made him 4 inches taller with a Kalashnikov for a throwing arm.
While we wait for that miracle, please talk amongst yourselves…
I once thought Jon Fox got a raw deal in Charlotte. Now I think Jerry Richardson was a lot smarter than most of us imagined.
Fox’s days in Denver were numbered the day he actually said he believed Tebow gave the Broncos a better chance to win than Kyle Orton.
Believe it or not, he actually said it with a straight face.
Week 9 Picks
Last Week’s Picks
Before we get to this week’s games…A special thank you goes out to Phillip Rivers. Without “the brain cramp in Arrowhead” I would have really let the odds makers abuse me. Instead they just beat me to a nice mushy pulp…
Last Week: 5 – 8 (.385)
2011 Overall Tally: 53 – 57 – 6 (.482)
Specials Tally: 17 – 14 – 1 (.548)
This Week’s Picks
Go ‘head, laugh. Picking against the number isn’t easy. Check out these guys at CBS.com….
Overall, my percentages are in line with the three losers and we have to give props to Clark Judge and Will Brinson who are picking at a .545 pace.
But it ain’t February until its February…
Game of the Week (4 – 4)
This week’s Special of all Specials finds the Ratbirds soaring into Heinz Field to face a Steelers team still smacking their lips after feasting on the entrails of the Brady Bunch. To hear Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs talk, this game won’t be any different than the Week 1 shellacking Baltimore administered to a clueless Pittsburgh squad who turned the ball over seven times.
Obviously, Mr. Suggs needs to study more film.
In the last four weeks, the Steelers have played as well in all three phases as any team in the league, while Baltimore has lost two of three and had to perform a miracle to comeback against the Cardinals.
The Steelers clearly have found some momentum and the Ravens are coming off a bye–a circumstance not kind to most teams in 2011.
Give the nod in the ground game to the Ravens. Call it even on defense and give the Steelers a slight edge on special teams.
It comes down to Big Ben against Joe Cool. Take Pittsburgh giving the field goal.
Steelers 28, Ravens 16
Upset Special (5 – 1 – 1)
We missed this puppy by half a point last week and were very upset the Texans had the temerity to score one too many times.
This week we’ll back up our mouth by taking the Bengals to cover against Tennessee. Of course that means this is the week Chris Johnson rises from the dead and rushes for a couple hundred–uh-uh, this Bengal defense is the real deal.
Cincinnati wins outright.
Bengals 21, Titans 20
Lock of the Week (4 – 4)
If the Falcons can’t beat the Colts by 17 points, something is terribly afoul on Georgia Dome Drive.
The Colts have lost their spirit and play like a team in need of a savior–good Luck with that.
Atlanta 30, Indy 7
Over/Under of the Week (4 – 4)
The Rams travel to the desert to face the hard-luck Cardinals, who have been in every game except a blowout loss to the Vikings. John Skelton will start at quarterback for the Red Birds due to Kevin Kolb’s turf toe.
He almost has to be related to the late, great Red Skelton–who never was a pro quarterback.
The genetic disconnect should worry the Cardinal’s faithful.
We might find Skelton’s performance laughable because he hasn’t taken a lot of snaps and hasn’t been effective in real game action.
Conversely, the Big Horns QB, Sam Bradford, is nursing an ankle sprain and even if he can go, how much will it boost the NFL’s fifth worst offense?
I’m bucking a couple fairly significant trends–this season, against conference opponents and as an underdog, St. Louis has only one ATS victory–but I’m taking the under and the Rams.
I mean, c’mon, I am a genius.
As always, my lines are found here: http://www.footballlocks.com/nfl_lines.shtml
My picks can be found below in italic…
NFL Lines For Week 9, 11/6 – 11/7, 2011
Date & Time Favorite Line Underdog Total 11/6 1:00 ET Atlanta LW -7 At Indianapolis 45 11/6 1:00 ET At New Orleans -8 Tampa Bay 51 11/6 1:00 ET At Houston -11 Cleveland 41 11/6 1:00 ET At Buffalo -1.5 NY Jets 43.5 11/6 1:00 ET At Kansas City -5.5 Miami 40 11/6 1:00 ET San Francisco -3.5 At Washington 37.5 11/6 1:00 ET At Dallas -12 Seattle 43 11/6 4:05 ET At Oakland -7.5 Denver 44 11/6 4:05 ET At Tennessee -3 US Cincinnati 40.5 11/6 4:15 ET At Arizona -3 O/U St. Louis 44.5 11/6 4:15 ET At New England -8.5 NY Giants 52.5 11/6 4:15 ET Green Bay -5.5 At San Diego 53 11/6 8:25 ET At Pittsburgh -3 GW Baltimore 41.5
Monday Night Football Line
11/7 8:35 ET At Philadelphia -7 Chicago 47.5
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