For the rest of the season Gamblor's blog will come out on Thursday instead of Friday because the NFL has started up its Thursday night games. I know I might be in the minority of fans when I say this, but I don't like the Thursday night games. The reason is fairly simple; it makes the NFL king of the TV for another night of the week. I don't dislike them because I don't get NFL Network (although that would probably make me dislike them more), I in fact dislike them because I do get NFL Network and I know that I'm going to watch all of these Thursday games.
While, 'yay more football' is the cry of most fans when it comes to these games, for me it becomes too much. I already spend all day Sunday watching football as well as Monday nights, I don't need another night with the NFL force-fed to me. I've got basketball, hockey, TV shows, and movies to watch and there are only so many days of the week to cram all that important TV watching into. Throw in the rare occasion I actually go out and there is just no time for more NFL game nights.
It's okay when it is a good matchup, such as Ravens vs. Falcons this week, but next week I'll be sitting on my couch watching the Bears play the Dolphins getting angry at myself for wasting my time with another game that I don't care about at all. Sure there is the simple solution of me not watching these games, but come on, it's the NFL, of course I'm watching.
Last Week: 7-5-1
Lock of the Week: 7-2
Home team in CAPS
FALCONS (-1) over Ravens
Crazy Matt Ryan statistic: He is 17-1 at home in his NFL career with a QB rating of 95.1. That alone can't be the reason to pick the Falcons however. I feel like in these Thursday games anything can happen with the short week to prepare. It gives the home team a bigger advantage as well as the younger team.
COLTS (-7) over Bengals
Manning and the Colts always seem to respond well after losses. This season they've followed up losses with two double-digit victories. I expect the same against the Bengals and in all likelihood we will see some Ochocinco fireworks on the sideline as he looked like he was about to explode for the entire Steelers' game.
Texans (+1.5) over JAGUARS
The Texans seem fully prepared to give glimpses of greatness interchanged with glimpses of ineptitude as they stay just outside of playoff position. In order for that to happen they'll need to beat a less talented Jaguars team so they can string their fans along for the remainder of the season.
Titans (-1.5) over DOLPHINS
The Dolphins have gone into panic mode switching Chads at QB, going from Henne to Pennington. While Pennington certainly has a different skill-set and led the Dolphins to the playoffs his last full season as a starter, I don't think that brining him in is going to spark Miami to a playoff run.
Vikings (-1) over BEARS
As hard as I think it is for a team that hates its coach (and make no mistake the Vikings hate Brad Childress) to go on the road and get a win I just get the feeling the Vikings are going to go on a mini-run and get themselves in the playoff picture, but ultimately fall short. Their defense should finally be able to come alive against the Bears feeble O-line.
Lions (+3) over BILLS
Yes, the Bills have been impressively close in their last three losses, but I just can't accept them as favorites. Maybe with a pick 'em line I would have taken the Bills, but you can't actually expect a Bills win enough to make them a favorite (unless they are playing Carolina).
Jets (-3) over BROWNS
How the Browns haven't named McCoy the official starter yet is baffling. I'm sure it's just some sort of dumb trickery by Mangini, but if he doesn't name the QB who led you to back-to-back victories over the Saints and Patriots the starter, he deserves to both be fired and be lit on fire.
BUCCANEERS (-6.5) over Panthers
Lock of the Week
The Panthers are an absolute train wreck. I can't begin to understand what happened to their running attack. I know they've had injuries, but even still to fall from the 3rd ranked rushing offense to the 26th is baffling. John Fox is on the list of coaches who is going to lose his job regardless of what he does for the rest of the season, so hopefully he'll start doing something wacky.
Chiefs (-1) over BRONCOS
In the Broncos last home game they lost 59-14, I'm not expecting that type of result but the Broncos are definitely a lost cause. They can't run, which they are trying to fix by constantly changing the line (hint - it's not working). And they can't stop the run, which is not a good sign at all when the top ranked rushing team is coming to play you.
Rams (+6) over 49ERS
Does it feel like the 49ers have had three straight bye weeks to anyone else? I just feel like they haven't been talked about at all in weeks. Of course after you lose the Panthers you don't deserve to be talked about ever again. And I get that the Rams are bad on the road, but the 49ers are bad everywhere, a 6-point line seem ridiculous.
CARDINALS (-3) over Seahawks
The NFC West is so boring. These teams are both horrible on offense and nearly as bad on defense. How many times do you think Larry Fitzgerald has called Kurt Warner up this year and begged him to come back? I'd wager it's at least 14 times a day.
GIANTS (-14) over Cowboys
Just three weeks ago the Cowboys were favored by three against the Giants and I picked them to both win and cover. Now they are 14 point underdogs and I'm forced to pick the Giants. Who would've known a team could go 1-4 and then completely fall apart, but that's what the Cowboys did.
Patriots (+4.5) over STEELERS
Last week people were worried about the Steelers and felt the Patriots were clearly the best team in the NFL. This week people are worried about the Patriots and the Steelers are a popular Super Bowl pick again. So naturally the Patriots will win this game and everyone will change their minds again.
REDSKINS (+3) over Eagles
If Shanahan tries to put Rex Grossman in this game at any time for any reason other than McNabb getting injured, Albert Haynesworth should sit on his head. It would also be very Donovan McNabb if he comes back after controversy involving him and put up a huge game.