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Topsy-turvy games continue to beguile

Posted: October 17, 2012 - 7:27pm

Is excelling at being average a good thing? After another week of .500 ball against the spread I sure hope so. A 7-7 record last week leaves us at 42-47-2 through six weeks. Fortunately it’s a seventeen week season. There’s still plenty of time to string some winning weeks together and finish the year with a positive mark. Is that possible? In this NFL season of absolute topsy-turvy wackiness anything can happen. Need proof? How about the Buffalo Bills traveling across the country to face the 4-1 Arizona Cardinals and winning. That same Buffalo team was coming off consecutive losses by a combined score of 97-31. You read that correctly, no need to check your eyes, the Bills gave up an average of 48.5 points the two previous weeks and then suddenly, as if playing defense in the NFL is easy, held the 4-1 Arizona Cardinals to 16 points.

Want more wackiness? The Denver Broncos trailed the San Diego Chargers 24-0 at halftime Monday Night. Denver won the game 35-24. Welcome to the NFL, where a 24 point lead disappears quicker than you can finish a beer at Buckets.

Sorry but you know I have to do this. In the famous words of Jimmy Johnson, how ‘bout those Seattle Seahawks?! Trailing 23-10 with eight minutes remaining in the 4th quarter against Tom Brady and the rest of the Brady Bunch the Seahawks were able to pull off one of the more remarkable come from behind victories in franchise history. New England doesn’t lose games like this, ever, especially not against a team with a rookie quarterback. Patriots Coach Bill Belichick eats rookie quarterbacks for breakfast, the national media has been telling us this for years, Fox News and MSNBC have covered the story. It absolutely must be true. Well, Russell Wilson threw a beautiful 46-yard strike to Sidney Rice with a minute remaining to put an exclamation point on the thought that anything and everything was possible this NFL season, news media be damned! The Cleveland Browns won a game for crying out loud! That’s absurd. Maybe it’s time to start stock piling the canned goods in your underground seller because the world must be calling it quits pretty soon. Those silly Mayans might not have been as under-the-influence as we thought when they put that calendar together. However, CNN reported that the Mayans had action on the Bengals -6 (+225) in a prop bet at the Hilton. Apparently they don’t get everything right. Let not your heart be troubled, the world is safe.

All we can do as good-natured, wholesome fans of football (gamblers) in this NFL world gone mad is put the past behind us and forge forward with the confidence that next week will bring bigger and better things. The action kicks off Thursday with a titanic showdown in San Francisco between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. I’m just a little bit excited for this game. I probably won’t even watch it. My friend, Beau Forrest, is a 49ers fan. He works at the Main Street Bar in Kenai if any Seahawks fans are interested. Beau, I hope your night is a miserable one. Other notable games include the Baltimore Ravens facing the Houston Texans and the New York Tebow’s against the New England Patriots.

OK, let’s move on to this weeks picks. I have to go embarrass myself at basketball open gym in an hour. It’s incredible how, even at age 29, your body can’t do what it used to do on a basketball court. I don’t know how you guys over 50 make it through the day.

Seattle Seahawks @
San Francisco 49ers -7

If both offensives can avoid turnovers this is going to be a low scoring affair. Seven points is way too many with these defenses, but my anti-jinx strategy has been working brilliantly so I’m not about to change course now. As much as I feel like Seattle is the play, and going against the Hawks has been killing my ATS record, I’m siding with the 49ers. 49ers win 21-10

Tennessee Titans @
Buffalo Bills -3

These teams are Jekyll and Hyde. I have no clue which side to take. Which Buffalo Bills team is going to show up? Which Chris Johnson is going to play running back for the Titans? When in doubt side with the home team, that seems to be the trend this season. Bills win 31-24

Cleveland Browns @
Indianapolis Colts -1

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck needs to redeem himself after last week’s miserable performance against the New York Jets which cost me a fantasy football victory. The Colts are the obvious choice here. The Browns can’t possible win two games in a row fresh off of a 376 game losing streak can they? Colts win 30-27

Green Bay Packers @
St. Louis Rams +6

The sky is no longer falling in Green Bay after the Packers dismantled the previously undefeated Houston Texans last week in Texas. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes cementing the popular belief that he’s pretty good at football. St. Louis is coming off a loss in Miami. The Rams may be running into a buzz saw here. Packers 35-17

Arizona Cardinals @
Minnesota Vikings -6

The Cardinals were never as good as their 4-0 start to the season indicated. After two consecutive losses Arizona looks to get back on track against an improved Minnesota Vikings team. Arizona plays great defense and has shown a penchant for playing close games. The Vikings are always tough at home but I think this game comes down to a field goal. Vikings win 20-17

Washington Redskins @
New York Giants -6

Robert Griffin III has been masterful this season for the Washington Redskins. How many quarterbacks can reel off 76-yard touchdown runs like RG3? Michael Vick? Maybe if dogs were chasing after him. The Giants are in a huge spot for a letdown after crushing the 49ers in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game. Giants win 28-24

New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3

The New Orleans Saints don’t feel like your typical 1-4 football team, not with Drew Brees still behind center. Tampa Bay’s two wins this season have come against Carolina and Kansas City. That’s not exactly murderer’s row. I expect the New Orleans Saints to continue their march back towards .500 against the Bucs. Great play on words there, I know. Saints win 35-24

Dallas Cowboys @
Carolina Panthers +1

The Dallas Cowboys are a NFL enigma, lots of talent, little results. The Boys’ suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week when Dan Bailey pulled his potential game winning field goal attempt wide left. Dallas has a great opportunity to get back on track against the Carolina Panthers however. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has look awful after a brilliant rookie season. Cowboys win 30-23

Baltimore Ravens @
Houston Texans -7

You have to sympathize with the Baltimore Ravens after they lost star cornerback Lardarius Webb last Sunday to an ACL tear and that’s not even the worst news. The Ravens will be without all world middle-linebacker Ray Lewis for the remainder of the season after Lewis’ triceps tore completely off the bone while attempting a tackle. Ouch. Houston wins 30-14

Jacksonville Jaguars @
Oakland Raiders -4

The Jacksonville Jaguars travel to Oakland Raiders to play in a game nobody cares about. I don’t even want to side with one of these teams. Both teams are 1-4 but the Raiders seem to have been a little more competitive in their losses. When in doubt take the home team. Raiders win 28-20

New York Jets @
New England Patriots -11

New England has been known to bounce back from losses with an unusual amount of spite in recent seasons. Last week’s wild loss to the Seahawks should provide Coach Bill Belicheck with plenty of motivational ammunition. The Jets are still awful. I’m not buying their convincing win over a helpless Colts team last week as proof that they’re a competitive team. Patriots win 41-14

Pittsburgh Steelers @
Cincinnati Bengals +2

Pittsburgh looks to re-establish themselves in a division suddenly up for grabs after the injuries the Baltimore Ravens have suffered. The Bengals must be reeling after losing to the Cleveland Browns last week in what could only be described as a humiliating defeat. Steelers win 23-20

Detroit Lions @
Chicago Bears -6

The Lions kept their season alive last week with a come from behind victory over the equally dysfunctional Philadelphia Eagles. Detroit will find things much tougher against the Bears in Chicago. A win against the Lions would establish the Bears as the favorites to win the NFC North. As much as it pains me to side with Jay Cutler... Bears win 27-20

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