NFL Picks: Falcons are the real deal

Published 11:40 pm Thursday, November 11, 2010

I guess they call him Matty Ice for a reason.

Up until Falcons QB Matt Ryan led his team to a dramatic 80-yard drive in under a minute against the Ravens to give Atlanta the win over Baltimore on Thursday, I wasn’t sure Ryan was the real deal.

Now, I’m convinced and the Falcons are a team to be dealt with.

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Ryan showed he has matured into one of the best signal callers in the NFL, when he led his team on that last drive after watching the Ravens score two straight TDs to take 21-20 lead with just over a minute left in the game.

Ryan didn’t show any panic on sideline throw to Michael Jenkins that got the drive going and he sure didn’t look shaky on a 33-yard hookup to Roddy White on a third down rollout to clinch the game.

Watch out NFC, the Faclons are your favorites.

NFL Network flashed up a stat that Atlanta has only lost one home game in its last 18 contests with Ryan at the helm and I had to do a double take.

That could mean trouble for the rest of the conference if Atlanta manages to get homefield advantage.

Here are the picks:

Detroit at Buffalo


The Lions proved they are for real when they almost beat the Jets last week. The Bills have been playing tough, but it’s anyone’s guess when they actually come through and finish a game.

I don’t think they’ll go winless.

Carolina at Tampa Bay

Pick: BUCS

The Panthers lost Matt Moore for the season and now it’s time for Jimmy Clausen to show his team if he’s worth keeping or if they need to draft another QB. The Bucs almost knocked off a tough Atlanta team last week and are looking solid.

Minnesota at Chicago


If Jay Cutler turns the ball over less than three times, Chicago should cruise to a low scoring win. They have a great defense that forces turnovers and a special teams ace in Devin Hester.

There only problem has been that Cutler gets very careless with the ball and he takes way too many sacks.

Houston at Jacksonville

Pick: JAGS

Two 4-4 teams, I’ll go with the home squad.

Tennessee at Miami


Well Viking fans, prepare to be put through the torture of hundreds of highlights of Randy Moss going deep. It really doesn’t matter if it’s Kerry Collins or Vince Young throwing the ball, with the speedy Chris Johnson in the backfield, Moss will have a lot of chances to make plays for the Titans.

New York Jets at Cleveland

Pick: JETS

The Browns have proven to be solid at home, but their luck runs out this week.

Cincinnati at Indianapolis


The Bengals just aren’t putting it all together this year.

Kansas City at Denver


Broncos are done.

St. Louis at San Francisco

Pick: 49ERs

Both squads are about equal, so I’ll go with the home team.

Dallas at New York Giants


The Cowboys will come out much stronger in this game than they did in a pathetic 45-7 loss Sunday night. I think they’ll make it close, but John Kitna is sure to throw the game away late.

Seattle at Arizona


Another NFC West ‘showdown.’ Sticking with the home squad.

New England at Pittsburgh


Very tough to win at Pittsburgh on national TV. Plus, I don’t think this Patriots team is that good.

Philadelphia at Washington


Be prepared to hear a lot about Mike Vick in this one.

Last week: 10-3