After an exciting Week 8 in the NFL, we were treated to a great Thursday Night Football game as the Miami Dolphins had a walk-off safety (!!!!!) to pull off the upset over the visiting Bengals. That was truly a Halloween Night!
Matty D holds a slim lead over the G-Man as both went 9-3 last week with their Cold Hard Locks. The current standings:
Matty D – 17-9
The G-Man – 16-10
College Gameday Pick’Em is at the bottom and we each took one of the biggest games of the weekend. As our records above show, our picks are worth putting money on. If the intern Bowden would have done so, he would have paid off his college loans already. Interns man, can’t even get my coffee order right.
Chiefs over Bills – 17-10 (G-Man – Chiefs)
No disrespect to the undefeated Chiefs here but they are not the kind of team to blow opponents out, even at home. The defense is great and will shut down Thad Lewis and the Bills offense all day but the offense isn’t going to rack up big points against anyone, especially not an underrated Bills defense. Mario Williams and the talented Bills front will get to Alex Smith but the Chiefs will get just enough out of Jamaal Charles who will catch and run for a TD each to squeak out the W. The matchup with the Broncos is coming.
Panthers over Falcons 24-20 (G-Man – Falcons)
The Falcons are a proud team and playing at home in the Georgia Dome. But they are 2-5 for a number of reasons including a non-existent running game, the loss of two of the game’s top wideouts, and an underachieving defense. The Panthers are red-hot with Cam Newton at the helm and the best defense no one is talking about. The Falcons will keep it close but if the Panthers want to stay in the wild-card picture, they need this one. Newton will continue to rise with 3 total TDs and Luke Kuechly and the strong Carolina D will stymie Matty Ice just enough to pull out the victory on the road.
Cowboys over Vikings 28-10 (G-Man – Cowboys)
I am not a believer in the Cowboys. They put up big numbers and have big names, but they simply are not clutch. Until they learn how to close out football games I don’t see them as a legit contender. But the Vikings are just that much worse. Whoever plays quarterback for the Purple People Eaters sucks, for lack of a better term. The Cowboys defense will put 8 and 9 men in the box, limiting all-world Peterson and Dez Bryant and Tony Romo will hook up for a dozen targets and 3 TDs as the Cowboys stay atop the NCF L-East.
Saints over Jets 35-10 (G-Man – Saints)
This is just a bad matchup for the Jets, although the Saints are a bad matchup for just about any team. Sean Payton’s crew is somehow quietly sitting at 6-1 and coming off a good win against the Bills in which Brees threw for a cool 5 TD passes. He will match that total against a suddenly-faltering Jets secondary that gave up 49 points to the Bengals a week ago. Geno Smith will continue his inconsistent play and don’t think Rob Ryan won’t want to shut down brother Rex. The Saints’ defense is vastly underrated with rising rookie Kenny Vaccaro helping the cause with an interception. Brees will find Graham, Colston, Sproles, and the emerging Kenny Stills for TDs all day long in the Superdome.
Chargers over Redskins 27-21 (G-Man – Redskins)
A surprisingly entertaining matchup is on our hands here. The Chargers and red-hot Philip Rivers will battle the stumbling Redskins and RGIII who are looking to reestablish themselves. Both offenses will score here but I see the Chargers playing just enough defense. Plus I’m not locked in to the notion that Griffin will make it 4 quarters. He is looking more and more like a young Michael Vick, uber-talented but very injury prone.
Titans over Rams 20-17 (G-Man – Rams)
I really want to see this game. I like what Jake Locker and the Titans are doing as they are battling to stay in the playoff picture. On the other side, the growth of the Rams’ young but super talented defense continues with budding stars such as Robert Quinn and Alec Ogletree adding another great defense to the NFC West (seriously, all 4 defenses are great out there). But I think the Titans, at home, will win this one for the recently-lost owner Bud Adams as Locker leads them with 2 TDs and a late field goal to win it.
Eagles over Raiders 17-14 (G-Man – Eagles)
The story all week out of the City of Brotherly Love is how perfect that Raiders’ QB Terrell Pryor would be in Chip Kelly’s offense. I like Pryor but I am not sure he is a good enough passer to be a star. And remember that the surprisingly average Philly defense has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season so expect them to shut down both Pryor and Run DMC. Nick Foles will do just enough to eke out the close one to keep the smoke and mirror show up in eastern PA.
Seahawks over Buccaneers 24-3 (G-Man – Seahawks)
I’m praying for the Buccaneers’ Mike Glennon. The immobile rookie is facing the league’s nastiest defense without Doug Martin. Look for the “Legion of Boom” to have their way with Glennon for the tune of 3 interceptions and 5 sacks, one of the picks for a score. And Russell Wilson will watch as Marshawn Lynch racks up 30 carries and 100 yards to push the Seahawks to an easy victory. This might be the game that ends Greg Schiano’s failed tenure as the Tampa Bay head coach.
Browns over Ravens 17-16 (G-Man – Browns)
This is technically my upset of the week although the Ravens aren’t exactly a powerhouse this week as they have the same amount of wins as the Browns. If you dive deeper, the Browns have lost to the Dolphins, the Ravens, the Lions, the Packers, and the Chiefs, all of whom are firmly in the playoff picture. And they have done so with 3 different starting quarterbacks due to injury. The defense is stingy and the offense has some life with Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron out there. The Ravens are not the same team as last year. With Joe Haden shutting down Torrey Smith and the Browns’ underrated front 7 shutting down Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, look for Jason Campbell to hook up with both Gordon and Cameron for scores pulling the win out in Baltimore.
Patriots over Steelers 27-20 (G-Man – Patriots)
Look, the boys of the Steel City are a proud bunch. And playing at home will give them a boast. But they just don’t have it this year, especially after the upstart Raiders upended them last week. Tommy Terrific will find a way to win this one, even though his stats won’t be Brady-like again. Big Ben will find Emmanuel Sanders for a TD and Le’Veon Bell will have a solid day on the ground, but Brady will find the Gronk and Aaron Dobson, who has shown more consistency lately, for TDs while watching Stevan Ridley snag a short TD as well as the Pats stretch their division lead.
Colts over Texans 27-21 (G-Man – Colts)
Before the season started, most would have thought this game would have major AFC implications. But while the Colts have exceeded expectations, the Texans are the NFL’s most disappointing team (Falcons would like to argue that) at 2-5. But in the first post-Wayne game, Luck will struggle against a still-stout Texans defense and J.J. Watt. And this Case Keenum kid has some guts. He will toss a couple to Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins. I really want to pick the upset, but Luck just has that moxie and will hold off a Texans’ challenge to win and move into the second seed behind the Chiefs in the AFC.
Packers over Bears 31-17 (G-Man – Packers)
What I would do to have Cutler playing in this Monday Night Shootout. Instead I get Josh McCown firing away to Brandon Marshall. The Packers defense hasn’t been great, but the Bears have been surprisingly worse with one of the worst pass rushes in the league. Aaron Rodgers will find Jordy Nelson twice plus Eddie Lacy will have a great day on the ground as the Packers storm over an overmatched and dinged-up Bears squad at Soldier Field.
College Gameday Pick’Em
#23 Michigan (6-1) at #24 Michigan State (7-1)
My boys in blue have struggled somewhat this season regardless of their record. Michigan State will be their toughest test yet. Playing on the road in East Lansing against the nation’s #1 defense, Devin Gardner will need to prove the doubters wrong and show up. The Wolverines will try to win with the run game, but this defense is simply too good. It is going to take Gardner’s scrambling ability to open up the offense. I think he will. Look, this team has struggled but they are loaded with offensive playmakers and Gardner is waiting for a breakout game and this is it. Plus let’s not forget that this Michigan defense is pretty good and the Spartan offense is lousy to say the least. Michigan takes this one 17 to 13 on the road and moves up into the top-15 in the polls.
#7 Miami (7-0) at #3 Florida State (7-0)
From the G-Man – “I want to say it’s all about the U, but I can’t go against Famous Jameis!”
And he continues, “Quote me on this: The only thing Matty D has going for him is that he started Giovani Benard last night.”
Yes G-Man, I did start Benard last night and he delivered, just like my Cold Hard Locks.