NFL Picks: The league gets more and more unpredictablePublished 11:04am Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The NFL is sure hard to figure out these days. A lot of people were talking up the Packers in the preseason, then they lost to the 49ers so San Francisco was dubbed the ‘best team in football,’ then the 49ers lost to the Vikings, so the Houston Texans were promoted to ‘team to beat status,’ the Texans were manhandled by the Packers on Sunday night, so the Giants, who dominated the 49ers, took the media’s championship crown.
That’s just the thing about the league now, you can’t even begin to start making playoff predictions until the playoffs begin. If I told you before the season that the Seahawks would’ve beaten the Packers and Patriots, the Titans would beat the Steelers, and the Browns would beat anybody, you might’ve called me a liar.
But that’s the NFL today, after five weeks there are no winless teams and only the Falcons, who looked shaky the past two weeks, are unbeaten. The NFC West doesn’t have a team with a losing record, the Packers, Patriots, Steelers and the Saints don’t have winning records.
It’s pointless to look too far ahead in a league where parity reigns, so let’s just look at the next week.
Here are the picks:
Seattle at San Francisco
I’ll stick to my new tradition of picking the home team on every Thursday night game. It’s just too big of an advantage to not have to travel on a three-day week.
49ERS 23, SEAHAWKS 17
Green Bay at St. Louis
This game will go down to the wire. The Rams are tough at home and there’s no guarantee the Packer receivers play lights out like they did at Houston Sunday night. My biggest fear is the Packers bought into those ‘Pack is Back’ stories after their win over the Texans and they think the Rams will be a pushover.
Not so fast.
RAMS 17, PACKERS 14
Tennessee at Buffalo
The Bills impressed me with a west coast win at Arizona, even as it looked like the Cardinals had all the momentum with a late TD to force overtime.
BILLS 31, TITANS 28
Cleveland at Indianapolis
Andrew Luck looked like Peyton Manning at home against the Packers and then he looked like Trent Dilfer on the road against the Jets.
COLTS 31, BROWNS 17
Arizona at Minnesota
Arizona is a team the Vikings will struggle against. The stop the run, the make plays on special teams and they’re competent on offense.
CARDINALS 23, VIKINGS 17
Washington at N.Y. Giants
I love how everyone acted shocked when the Giants won in San Francisco. Didn’t that just happen at the end of last season and didn’t the Giants win the Super Bowl?
GIANTS 31, REDSKINS 20
New Orleans at Tampa Bay
The Saints could rally if their offense continues to play like it did against Green Bay and San Diego before their bye week. The Bucs shouldn’t pose much of a threat.
SAINTS 34, BUCS 20
Dallas at Carolina
I don’t trust either team, but Dallas has a lot more talent on both sides of the ball. At some point that has to matter.
COWBOYS 28, PANTHERS 21
Baltimore at Houston
The Ravens will not look the same without Ray Lewis on the field and I don’t think they’re offense is good enough to make up for it.
TEXANS 38, RAVENS 28
Jacksonville at Oakland
The Raiders should’ve beaten Atlanta until Carson Palmer threw a mind-numbing interception for a TD when the team was in position to go up three on a field goal.
JAGUARS 27, RAIDERS 17
N.Y. Jets at New England
The Patriots have been pretty tough on offense, but their defense continues to sting them at the worse time. They made Russell Wilson, a rookie on the rise, look pretty good on Sunday. Lucky for them, Mark Sanchez isn’t capable of looking good against a defense that has any type of gameplan.
PATRIOTS 41, JETS 10
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
The Steelers are banged up and getting old. It’s that simple.
BENGALS 24, STEELERS 20
Detroit at Chicago
Matt Stafford hasn’t looked good this year and the Calvin Johnson’s accusation that the Lions put him on the field with a concussion is downright alarming.
BEARS 27, LIONS 24
Last week: 6-8; Overall 52-38