Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers Sunday Night Football Pick: I know that the Packers aren’t as bad as the score against the Jaguars tries to tell you. I know that there won’t be three passes right to receivers that end up getting dropped and land right into the hands of defensive backs this week – I know that won’t happen because it never does, and sure as poo doesn’t happen two weeks in row. Jon Kitna actually threw the ball pretty darn well last week, and I’m pretty sure he’ll play solid this week as well.
On the other side of the ball, I know that Packers defense won’t pitch another shutout like they did against the Jets a week ago. They played very well, but the Jets certainly helped beat themselves – and while Dallas has proven they’re willing to do that, I’m guessing that doesn’t happen as much this week in Green Bay – the Cowboys have to have a little pride, right? Right????
Neither of these teams have much of a rushing attack, and I think that keeps the game close for a while on Sunday – but the Packers really have a good group of receivers (even without Donald Driver and Jermichael Finley) and I expect this to be a game with multiple touchdowns on both sides of the ball.
These things point to a close game, but I still have to take the Packers by double digits, because, well, I’m probably wrong about all the good things I said about the hapless Cowboys. They are now rocking a sure-thing lame-duck coach, and that never bodes well.
In the end, the Packers are just a better team, with better pieces, and a left defensive end/rush linebacker in Mr. Matthews that is going to absolutely terrorize the Cowboys’ offensive line. A couple big plays on defense will turn this relatively close game into a double-digit Packers victory.
NFL Week 9 Free Picks Indianapolis Colts @ Philadelphia Eagles: I almost think I’m taking part in some kind of crime, a certainly blasphemy that just shouldn’t happen, a part of the football handbook that says, “If you are every lucky enough to stumble upon a game where the Indianapolis Colts are an underdog, and Peyton Manning is still the starting quarterback, you better take your points with a coke and a smile and shut the front door.” Almost. But I get it – it took me longer that I usually spend on picking each game, but I get it.
The Colts don’t have a running game and they don’t really have much of a run defense either. They basically rely on their impressive offense to get far enough ahead of you where you start thinking you have to pass, and that pass rush comes all speedy-like, and the lead widens. Either that, or they rely on you to be stupid from the get go and try to pass your way to victory instead of just taking the 5 yards per pop you’d get from the run. This is called the Gary Kubiak approach. And you know the Eagles aren’t going to run the ball more than 20 times, so why am I taking the Eagles?
Mike Vick is his name, and crushing the Colts defense is his game – at least that’s how I foresee this one. What do the Colts do well? They keep things in front of them. This happens for a couple reasons – A, they can get pressure with four pass rushers because Freeney and Mathis are as dirty as it gets rushing the corners and that allows the Tampa 2 to work because they have deep safeties and solid cover backers in the middle clogging things up. But you can’t just rush four and drop the rest against Vick – at least I wouldn’t think so.
Mike’s ability to escape the pocket and beat defenses with his elite arm strength, make him a very tough match-up for the Colts defense. I think he kind of neutralizes what the Colts do well, so they’ll have to change what they do, and that doesn’t bode well for Indy.
Peyton’s great, and he’ll get the Eagles his fair share, but I think Philly will be more consistent on both sides of the ball – they have a better rushing attack and a QB that can really mess with the Colts base defense.