Those of you who make a habit of reading this blog know how much I dislike the “picks” part of this gig. I care about the information that readers get so I watch the games I pick like a father watches his son play on Friday nights. It’s an effort, for you the reader, to get here so I want to give you your money’s worth- oh ya, I forget, its free….so keep that in mind. Having said that we went 3-1 last week against the spread and without another epic collapse of the Falcons defense vs the Lions, we would have gone 4-0. Season to date vs the spread, it makes us 11-5. I think the key to recommending games in the NFL is to, only pick the games you have a strong feeling about. That’s why our help here is of the very selective type, so today I’m only on 2 games.
I thought it was funny this week that at 2-4, the excuses started to come out of New England. Bill Belichick is trying to come up with reasons his team is off to their worst start in years. Blaming the salary cap was the biggest stretch, in my opinion. There are reasons for the failures but blaming the cap is not one of them. Bill now knows how the rest of the league feels to piece together a team without Tom Brady - good luck coach. The only legit excuse I could give the Pats for their record other than just flat questionable team building and some faulty drafting over numerous years, is the league leading “opt outs” they had before the season started because of covid-19. That’s a legit hit and I will buy that as a direct hit on team depth. That being said- welcome to how the rest of the league has lived for years Bill.
My time in the film room this week leads me to the following, for my Sunday selections.
There are very few options and answers to fill in for the lack of talent the Patriots are going to roll out again this week. The lack of skill at the receiver position and the shamble of an offensive line that they are playing each week, should limit options for the offense to improve. I don’t see Cam all of a sudden throwing for 300 yards or their front allowing them to run the ball vs Buffalo. I think the Bills are prime to take over and control the division with a win this weekend so their focus should be fine. These division games usually provide for the best teams to win, because there are very few secrets. In my mind, the Bills are the better team and even giving the 4.5 points, doesn’t really concern me. I realize coach Belichick is the best to have ever walked the sidelines but as he is finding out, life without TB-12 is a struggle. Those struggles continue today, I’m taking the Bills and giving the points.
The other game I like today happens to be the game of the week in my opinion. Another division rivalry which sends the 6-0 Steelers to the 5-1 Ravens. I really can’t believe Baltimore is favored by 4 points. History shows the Ravens struggle to run the ball vs the Steelers. Both teams are in the bottom 6 in explosive plays so it will be a grind it out 4Q game. I also think the third down pressure packages will be fascinating to watch. How do the Steelers contain Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and keep him in the pocket? Maybe they actually don’t rush so they know where he’s at? Throw 2019 out- Ben missed both and Lamar rested in one. This will be all about 3rd downs in my opinion and I trust Ben to stand in the pocket and make the most of his ability to read coverage and make hot reads. I like the Steelers getting the points.