Through three weeks of picks, Rob and I are tied at 8-7. Who will take the lead in week 10? Thanks to the NFL Network, you won’t have to wait long to find out.
Baltimore (6-2, 2-2 road) @ Atlanta (6-2, 4-0)
Mike’s pick: BALTIMORE
- The first game of our four games of the week is tonight at 8:00 p.m. on the NFL Network. The Ravens travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons. Baltimore is coming off a 26-10 win at home vs. the Dolphins. Atlanta is also coming off of a win at home (27-21 over Tampa Bay).
- Baltimore has the best record in the league (2-1) against teams that currently have six wins. Each of those three games have been on the road.
- Atlanta’s star WR Roddy White is questionable with a right knee injury he sustained four days ago. He will play, but how effective will he be?
- The Ravens are healthier, have more depth at every position and are experienced in winning road games against good teams. They should be victorious in this game.
Tennessee (5-3, 3-1 road) @ Miami (4-4, 0-3 home)
Mike’s pick: TENNESSEE
- The Titans are coming off of a bye week and have added WR Randy Moss to their team. Conversely, the Dolphins were dominated by the Ravens in week 9, and are making a change at quarterback (Chad Pennington will start).
- When you have the elite athleticism of Randy Moss at WR, Chris Johnson at RB and Vince Young (although injured) at QB, you cannot afford to gamble on defense. That’s what the Dolphins will have to do to beat the the Titans.
- Miami’s biggest weapon, WR Brandon Marshall, still has only one touchdown on the season. He will see a lot of Titans CB Cortland Finnegan. While Finnegan may not be the best cornerback, he’s very physical.
- Expect the Titans to win by controlling the clock/tempo, sacking the quarterback (4th in the league with 26.0) and sealing the game with a big play.
Kansas City (5-3, 1-3 road) @ Denver (2-6, 1-3 home)
Mike’s pick: DENVER
- Denver is nowhere near Kansas City on paper. However, they are coming off of a bye week, and are playing at home.
- This is a game that could go either way. Kansas City will be playing their second straight road game, and are coming off of their second straight overtime game.
- Add the Denver altitude and the Broncos desperation to that equation, and you get a strong case for the Broncos to win this game.
New England (6-2, 2-2 road) @ Pittsburgh (6-2, 2-1 home)
Mike’s pick: NEW ENGLAND
- The Patriots are coming off of a road loss to the Browns. Although the Browns play hard and have some pretty good players, the Patriots should have won that game.
- If you had to pick any head coach to quickly fix your problems and get your team ready to go versus a big-time opponent, who would you pick? Bill Belichick. Belichick rarely loses, and even more rare than that does he get embarrassed like he did at Cleveland last week.
- For Pittsburgh, they placed their starting LT Max Starks on IR this week. A couple of other players suffered concussions in last Sunday’s win at Cincinnati.
- If Pittsburgh has a weakness besides their offensive line, it’s their secondary. Yes, the Steelers can effectively rush the passer, but Tom Brady is legendary for his pocket presence and ability to complete passes, despite tight coverage.
Upset of the week: Dallas (1-7, 1-3 road) @ New York Giants (6-2, 3-1 home)
Mike’s pick: DALLAS (+14)
- The Cowboys saw their leader, Jerry Jones, admit he was wrong on Monday, as he fired Wade Phillips. Dallas has been embarrassed, dominated and criticized in every way this season. So why would I pick them on the road against perhaps the NFC’s best team?
- If you watch the NFL, you know there are ups and downs. You can’t find a team that’s doing better than the Giants, nor can you find a team that’s doing worse than the Cowboys. Therefore, this game sets up well for the Cowboys to make a statement, keep the game closer than most people think and potentially steal a game from the Giants.
- Not to mention, getting fourteen points in any game is a lot, especially with the players Dallas has. Either way, I don’t see Dallas getting blown out in this one. But then again, it wouldn’t be the first time.
Fantasy stud: ARI WR Larry Fitzgerald (vs. Seattle)
- Fitzgerald has produced well throughout this season, despite having to put up with poor, inconsistent quarterback play and double coverage. Now, he and QB Derek Anderson are meshing better.
- Also, Seattle’s secondary is awful–they rank 30th in the league, as they’ve allowed 2,164 yards passing this season.
Fantasy dud: The Carolina Panthers’ (@ Tampa Bay)
- Tampa Bay has an opportunistic defense that has totaled 18 turnovers and three touchdowns through these first eight games. Furthermore, they are playing at home versus a rookie quarterback (Jimmy Clausen or Tony Pike) and Carolina’s starting running back won’t play (DeAngelo Williams).
- If any Panther score in double figures in fantasy points, I’ll be surprised.
Thursday Night Special: BAL @ ATL
- Tonight we gear up for a battle between a top team in the AFC and a top team in the NFC. The Baltimore Ravens are 6-2 and currently in first place in the AFC North. The Atlanta Falcons are 6-2 and in first place in the NFC South.
- One team tonight will walk off that field at 7-2 and the other 6-3. I believe the Ravens have the personnel and the talent to come off a short week, on the road and come away with a win in the Georgia Dome.
- During this game there will be a battle taking place, and that is of the two third-year QBs: Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan.
- Matt Ryan was drafted in the first round as the 3rd overall pick and was the first quarterback taken in 2008. Joe Flacco was also drafted in the first round as the 18th overall pick (BAL from HOU), as Flacco was the second QB taken.
- Both QBs are in their third year as starting quarterbacks, and these two guys have had almost identical numbers. That also means that they have similar roles in the offenses that the run. Take a look for yourself. These numbers are career numbers, up-to-date as of today.
|Stat||Joe Flacco||Matt Ryan|
|Pass Attempts per game||29.8||30.9|
|Pass Completions per game||18.3||18.6|
|Yards per game||212.5||218.6|
- The game will be covered by the NFL network, and if you’re in the local Baltimore area it will be on NBC as well; game time is slated for 8:20pm. Head to a local bar, over a friends house or hang out on your couch. Either way, make sure you tune-in to tonight’s NFL Thursday night special, a battle of two teams who share the best record in the league. Both are first in their division, both are birds of prey and both are looking for a marquee win.
- Finally, the Ravens are 2-0 with Ed Reed back in the line-up. Coincidence? I think not.
Tennessee @ Miami
Rob’s pick: TENNESSEE
- Miami is coming off of their first road loss of the season and heading home to play a rested Tennessee team (fresh off their bye week). Also, Chad Henne was recently benched for Chad Pennington and the Dolphins aren’t looking too hot on defense.
- New Titans WR Randy Moss will be making his debut in this game. Miami will have their hands full trying to cover Moss, the always explosive Chris Johnson and Vince Young, who has the ability to scramble well. The Titans should grab a road win in this game.
Kansas City @ Denver
Rob’s pick: KANSAS CITY
- Who would have thought the Chiefs would be 5-3 and first place in the AFC West? Not me, that’s for sure. The Chiefs are playing well this year and they have a two-headed rushing attack, consisting of power and speed (Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles). I like to call them Smash and Dash, respectively.
- Now add WR Dwayne Bowe and all-around threat Dexter McCluster to that mix and you have one dangerous offense. Plus the Denver Broncos have sorely missed OLB Elvis Dumervil all year and their defense this year is flat out garbage (giving up 59 points to OAK).
- Nice divisional battle here, but Kansas City comes out the victors.
New England @ Pittsburgh
Rob’s pick: PITTSBURGH
- As a Baltimore fan, it always pains me to pick the Steelers to win, but in this case I have do it. The Steelers just came off of a hard fought divisional win vs Cincinnati and are coming home to take on the Patriots.
- Need I remind you that the Patriots just got whooped by the Browns? The Patriots are so off-and-on this year and the Steelers are just now coming around with Ben Roethlisberger back.
- Mike Wallace is playing extremely well, averaging 23 yards per catch (1st in NFL).
- The Pittsburgh offensive line is a bit banged up but I think they will get the job done at home on Sunday.
Upset game of the week: Houston @ Jacksonville
Rob’s pick: HOUSTON (+2)
- Both teams come into this AFC South battle at 4-4. Jacksonville’s four wins come off of teams playing poorly (minus the Colts): Denver (2-6), Buffalo (0-8) and DAL (1-7). All three of those teams are last place in their division.
- Houston isn’t off the hook either though. They have been very up and down this year as well, looking fantastic at times (beating the Colts) and starting 2-0, but now are coming off a two-game losing streak.
- Either way Houston has the NFL’s leading rusher (& MVP candidate) Arian Foster, with 864 rush yards and nine rushing touchdowns. Foster also has 32 receptions for 315 yards and one receiving touchdown to his credit.
- As if it were possible, don’t forget about Houston’s best player: All-Pro WR Andre Johnson.
- Jacksonville will need to stop these guys to have a chance to win, but in this case it won’t matter and neither will the spread. Houston wins outright.
For now, enjoy this huge game tonight. Ravens @ Falcons. Tonight at 8:20 p.m. on the NFL Network.
Thanks for reading.