NFL Picks: Ponder showed signs, but isn’t there yetPublished 8:44am Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Here are the picks:
Miami at N.Y. Giants
The Dolphins found a way to lose when they were up 15 points at home with less than four minutes to go. You have to wonder if they’re purposely losing to get Andrew Luck in the draft.
GIANTS 32, DOLPHINS 10
Jacksonville at Houston
The Jaguars just came up with their biggest win of the season when they knocked off the Ravens at home on Monday night. I see them having a major letdown game against a Texans team that showed its muscle in a big win over the Titans.
TEXANS 27, JAGUARS 9
Minnesota at Carolina
While Christian Ponder didn’t put up good numbers in his NFL debut (he had 19 incompletions and barely got over 200 yards), he did show me that he wasn’t intimidated by the World Champion Green Bay Packers.
The rookie has a long ways to go, but at least he’s not playing scared.
If Ponder wants advice on how to play as a rookie, he need only look at the opposite sideline, where Cam Newton has improved throughout the year.
PANTHERS 24, VIKINGS 17
New Orleans at St. Louis
While it would be funny to see the Saints lose to the winless Rams after putting up 62 points on the winless Colts, I don’t see it happening. However, the Rams are better against the pass than the run, so they may force Drew Brees to hand off a few more times than he’d like.
SAINTS 31, RAMS 13
Arizona at Baltimore
I wouldn’t want to be the team playing the Ravens right after their embarrassing performance, where they scored just one touchdown and struggled to move the ball in a Monday night loss to the Jags.
RAVENS 25, CARDINALS 10
Detroit at Denver
Let’s see, the Lions are now getting a reputation for being cheap and it’s warranted. I watched that game against the Falcons and counted at least two plays where one of their defensive linemen blatantly knocked over a Falcons’ offensive lineman two or three seconds after the whistle.
Trash talking is no way for the Lions to continue their turnaround and they need to let their playing do their talking.
I have a feeling they may get more obsessed with trying to get the knockout blow on Tim Tebow and may forgot their gap responsibility against the run in this one.
BRONCOS 17, LIONS 14
Washington at Buffalo
The Redskins have now dropped two games in a row after their fast start. The Bills are coming off a bye week and are still thinking playoffs.
BILLS 27, REDSKINS 10
New England at Pittsburgh
While the Steelers have won three in a row against mediocre opponents (Arizona, Jacksonville and Tennessee), it’s easy to forget they were struggling before that stretch.
The Pats are coming off a bye and they’ve always had the Steelers’ number.
PATRIOTS 36, STEELERS 24
Cleveland at San Francisco
The 49ers have emerged as a true contender and could really run up an impressive record in the putrid NFC West.
49ERS 28, BROWNS 3
Cincinnati at Seattle
Hard to believe the Bengals are tied with the Steelers right now at 4-2.
BENGALS 17, SEAHAWKS 10
Dallas at Philadelphia
Each of these teams needs a win to prove they’re not going to hand the division to the Giants and I trust Mike Vick more than Tony Romo at the quarterback position.
EAGLES 34, COWBOYS 27
San Diego at Kansas City
The Chiefs have survived some devastating injuries, and maybe they’ve tapped into the mojo the Packers found last year to win games in spite of the odds.
CHIEFS 20, CHARGERS 17
Last week: 6-7; Overall: 66-36