TPS NFL Weekly Locks: Week 11
Last week was not a successful one, but it was not a failure either as we maintained our .500 record by going 2-2. The New Orleans Saints put up a disappointing effort against the St. Louis Rams, despite winning the game, and the Denver Broncos were doomed once Chris Simms was forced to come in for an injured Kyle Orton. Sorry folks, but predicting injuries is simply asking for too much. As for our other games, the poor offenses of the Chiefs and Raiders provided the low scoring output we were looking for, and the Carolina Panthers continued their strong run by holding off the Falcons and covering the spread in the process. With ten weeks now in the books, we stand at a respectable 20-20 on the year, but respectable is not enough in our opinion. We are looking for greatness, and with seven weeks remaining on the NFL’s regular season schedule, there is still plenty of time to achieve that goal.
Here is how we see things shaping up in the following four week 11 games.
Game: Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens
Pick: Indianapolis Colts -2
Reason: With the spread of this game being 2 points, we are seemingly being asked who we think will win, and our answer is the Indianapolis Colts. Manning has lead his team to a 9-0 record thus far this season mainly through the passing game, which ranks first in the NFL. The Ravens, on the other hand, have proven to be somewhat vulnerable defending the pass, and although they have typically been known for their stout defenses over the years, teams have found weaknesses and exposed them in 2009. Expect Manning to be on top of that, as he usually is, and the Colts should continue their winning ways in this tough battle of AFC contenders.
Game: Cincinnati Bengals @ Oakland Raiders
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals -9 1/2
Reason: The is no easy way to say it, but the Oakland Raiders just plain suck. They have had a difficult time keeping games against mediocre teams close, and now they will have to face the 7-2 Bengals who are coming off a big win in Pittsburgh last week. This may seem like a possible trap game, but don’t expect that to happen. Marvin Lewis will have his troops ready as they will want to continue their winning ways in hopes of securing top spot in the AFC North. If Cincinnati does have a weakness, it is their pass defense, but thankfully the Raiders pose little threat in that department. As for the injury to Cedric Benson, even with him out expect Bernard Scott and the newly acquired Larry Johnson to run all over Oakland’s poor run defense as the Bengals cruise to a large margin of victory.
Game: Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys
Pick: Washington Redskins +11
Reason: The Redskins may be a terrible team, but their defense has been rather stellar thus far, and their offense did show some signs of life last week against the Denver Broncos. They will face what should be a much tougher test this week when they travel to Dallas to take on the division rival Cowboys, and although they may not come out with the win, we do expect them to keep it within 11 points. With Marion Barber struggling, Dallas has turned to their passing game to register most of their yards and points recently, but they will be facing a Redskins’ secondary which ranks first in the league against the pass. Even if Dallas decides to stick with the running game, Washington has allowed only five touchdowns on the ground thus far this season. Romo and the boys will get the win here, but don’t bet on them getting the cover. Instead, bet against it.
Game: Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
Pick: Tennessee Titans +4 1/2
Reason: It always seems to be the case that games between AFC South division rivals are always tight battles, and this Monday night we expect much of the same. The last time these two teams met, Chris Johnson was unstoppable on the ground, but Matt Schaub put on a show of his own through the air, passing for 357 yards and four touchdowns as the Texans won 34-31. However, that came at a time when the Titans pass defense seemed to be especially struggling. While they may not be one of the top units in the leauge, it seems as though Jeff Fisher has done enough over his bye week to improve the Titans secondary problems, and Vince Young is managing games just enough to allow Johnson to completely take over and put Tennessee in a position to win. Expect that to be the case on Monday night, as the Titans will keep it within a field goal, and maybe even win outright.