NFL General

Bold Predictions By A Bold Man

Bold is a funny word.

Just who is this guy to tell me who to pick?

I, like many of you, probably participate in Yahoo! Sports’ Fantasy Football Pro Pickem’

To my dismay, up until this point I’ve only picked 120 correctly, whilst the top fan from San Diego taunts me with his 129.

In any case, I’m about to change it all around this week, by picking upsets that only those who dare to dream dare pick.  And on that note, here are my Week 14 Picks to Ponder:

Thursday Night Lovin’: Browns at Steelers

Is it a no brainer? Perhaps, but recognize that Cleveland did beat a rock steady Kansas City team last week. Furthermore, Pittsburgh is missing both its starting Wide Receivers, Hines Ward and Cedrick Wilson. I don’t trust Big Ben here, even if he is at home. Even worse, Willie Parker is struggling, which all adds up to a big upset in the big Steel City.

Final Score: 27 to 10, Cleveland

Another Upset? You betcha: Colts at Jaguars

The Jaguars have what it takes to beat the Colts with their two-back system in Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.  The big, bulky wideouts in Jacksonville can grab the first downs while Taylor and Jones-Drew eat up time and Manning’s patience.  Oh, did I mention that Jacksonville has a very respectable defense?  I, for one, don’t think really that the Colts run defense is even that bad – but I do think that Fred (we’re on a first name basis) and Maurice (him too) are just that good at home.

Final Score: 28 to 17, Jacksonville

I’ll give you that one, maybe. So what’s next: Raiders at Cincinnati

Yer darn’ tootin’!  It’s hard to believe but the Raiders have the 3rd ranked NFL defense, but on Sunday, it’ll really show.  Cincinnati, who won’t take this game seriously enough, will flounder in the first half and won’t regain control until the bus ride home.  Look for short drives set up by the Raiders defense to help them edge this one out.

Final Score: 17 to 13, Oakland

That last one was IMPOSSIBLE. How are you gonna make me laugh next: Seahawks at Cardinals

I know what you’re thinking, and honestly, I don’t blame you.  But it’s not really hard to believe that a maturing Matt Leinart and healthy recieving corps could lead the Cardinals to a victory at home.  And seeing as how I’m on some incredibly insane roll with the upsets, another probable, no, likely upset is just this very one.  The Cardinals defense does leave a lot to be desired, but I’m looking at Matt Hasselbeck to turn the ball over to an inspired Cardinals team.

Final Score: 28 to 13, Arizona

No way, no how. It’s gonna be funny when you post your 0-16 record on Tuesday morning. Next: Titans at Texans

In my defense, it’s easy enough to just pick the favorites by slim margins and call it “close” every week. But I digress, lets move on.

This one is a relative “lock,” and it’s such a lock that I can’t fairly even call this an upset. For whatever reason, the Titans are the underdogs here. I don’t even think an explanation is necessary, but here it is anyways, short and sweet: A maturing Vince Young, consistent Travis Henry and explosive LenDale White.  Oh, and a sacked David Carr.

Final Score: 27 to 3, Tennessee

Well, those are my upsets for the week – and here are the rest of my picks, with a brief note attached to each:

Cowboys, Saints:

Not exactly Cowboys and Indians but I’ll take it. I’m looking for Romo to bounce back with an efficient game, while Julius Jones and Marion Barber pound the Saints’ defense for yardage. As explosive as the Saints have been, they have been relatively inconsistent against good run defenses, so look for the Cowboys to pull this one out.

Final Score: 24 to 17, Dallas

Giants, Panthers:

I don’t expect Eli to go off this Sunday, but I do expect Tiki Barber and Brandon Jacobs to. It’s a battle of which quarterback turns the ball over more, and this time, it’s going to be Delhomme.

Final Score: 21 to 9, New York

Chargers, Broncos:

LaDainian Tomlinson. Shawne Merriman. Jay Cutler. Next?

Final Score: 27 to 6, San Diego

Falcons, Buccaneers:

When in doubt, ask the quarterback.  Gradkowski and vick aren’t exactly the most consistent quarterbacks in the league, but I’m looking at Vick and Morten Andersen to break some records this coming Sunday.

Final Score: 19 to 10, Atlanta

Note: Vick may very well become the first quarterback to ever rush for 1,000 yards in a season this Sunday, and Andersen is 7 points shy of becoming the all-time points leader in NFL history.

Lions, Vikings:

Again, ask the quarterback. Rad Brad (I made that up, cool huh?) just isn’t consistent enough to beat the Lions, or anyone away from Minnesota. Even worse, Chester Taylor is doubtful for the contest. Even still, I’d call this one a field goal match, and for the Lions to get the better of it.

Final Score: 16 to 9, Detroit

Patriots, Dolphins:

It’s hard to pick against the Patriots when they’ve got Tom Brady leading the way. The Miami offense and defense looks, to me, too average to stop the playoff bound Patriots.

Final Score: 24 to 13, New England

Eagles, Redskins:

A classic battle between Santana Moss and the Eagles secondary.  I’m going to have to go with the secondary that produced far too many Pro Bowlers than the league should allow, to force enough turnovers for Philly to win it.

Final Score: 28 to 14, Philadelphia

Bears, Rams:

As interestingly bad as Rex Grossman has been, the Rams just aren’t a team that wants to win anymore. Look for the Bears defense to bail them out again – not necessarily with touchdowns but with solid defensive plays.

Final Score: 14 to 7, Chicago.

Packers, Forty-Niners:

I’ve picked the G-men to win far too many times, only to be let down far too many times. I had an unwaivering faith in Brett Farve to always be the miracle man that could turn any game around, but I’ve learned my lesson. Look for Frank Gore to pound the ball through the Packers defense, just as the Jets did only one week ago.

Final Score: 20 to 7, San Francisco

Bills, Jets:

Go with the quarterbacks. They’re the ones that have their hands on the ball every single play, and I wouldn’t trust J.P. Losman with it any more than I would myself. He has his days but today just isn’t going to be one of them.

Final Score: 17 to 3, New York

For Those That Are Interested:

I went 24-8 in weeks 11 and 12, and then stumbled week 13 to produce a combined 31 and 17 for the past 3 weeks.

My Salary Cap Team for the Week:

T. Romo – QB, DAL
L. Tomlinson – RB, SD
F. Gore – RB, SF
T. Owens – WR, DAL
R. Caldwell – WR, NE
L. Coles – WR, NYJ
B. Utecht – TE, IND
M. Gramatica – K, DAL
San Diego – DEF, SD

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