Here’s The Week 10 NFL Thursday Night And Survivor Pick
While Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson fill the headlines, it’s time for everyone else to get back on the field and start playing football again. Because this is the National Football League, not an episode of CSI: New York. Let’s toss around the old pigskin again.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
ARIZONA over St. Louis
Baltimore would be my #1 choice, but I’ve already used them. I expect them to abuse Tennessee because they’re pissed off after losing two divisional games, they’re back at home, and they’re facing a rookie quarterback in his second start.
Since I can’t go with the Ravens, I’m looking at the team with the best record in football. It’s slightly weird to say, but it’s the truth. Arizona has one loss on the season and it was to the Broncos on the road six weeks ago. Carson Palmer looks as good as he ever has, which is weird considering he had a dead arm earlier in the season. The defense has come together well despite losing people to injury and free agency. Even the over-hyped Patrick Peterson did a great job shutting down Dez Bryant last week.
Maybe there’s a little hangover for Arizona here, but St. Louis should be hungover as well after beating San Francisco. They don’t have any strengths on offense and will struggle to put up more than 14 points. Their defense brought the pain against San Francisco’s offensive line last week. Arizona’s offense has only given up 13 sacks this year, so don’t expect St. Louis to do what it did last week when it drilled 49ers’ offensive line for eight sacks.
Elsewhere you’re looking at Seattle, who still isn’t running on all cylinders, but their opponent isn’t either. The Giants have wins over Houston, Washington, and Atlanta (not exactly a who’s who of NFL dominance this year), while looking like shit against everyone else. Philadelphia should dispose of Carolina at home, but then you’ll have to put your huge monetary hopes in the hands of Mark Sanchez and you might not be ready for that. Denver should beat Oakland easily after getting ambushed by New England last week, but they’re still traveling on the road to do it. And you never want to rely on Green Bay in a rivalry game against Chicago. Anything can happen.
Teams already used: Philadelphia, Green Bay, New England, San Diego, New Orleans, Seattle, Baltimore, Dallas, Cincinnati
Thursday Night Pick:
CINCINNATI -6.5 over Cleveland
You didn’t expect this game to be labeled as a battle for first place in the AFC North when the season started, but that’s the case now as every team in the division is above .500. People in Cleveland are more excited about this than their under-achieving basketball team, but there should be cause for concern. The problem for the Browns is two-fold. For starters their defense is much less fearsome on the road than it is at home. Cleveland is averaging 27.3 points allowed on the road as opposed to 17.4 points at home. Cleveland has faced two really bad teams at home (Oakland and Tampa Bay) and two really bad teams on the road (Tennessee and Jacksonville), so strength of schedule isn’t really a reason for the approximately 10-point differential.
Secondly the Browns’ running game has gone in the toilet since All-Pro center Alex Mack got hurt. Things have looked so bad in recent weeks that Ben Tate has seemingly been replaced by Terrance West as the lead back, but I’m not sure that will do that much good. Cincinnati’s run defense has been its problem so far, ranking last in the league by Football Outsiders, but Cleveland don’t look like they have the horses to make it work.
Cincinnati may be without Giovanni Bernard, but they didn’t seem to miss him last week as Jeremy Hill shined. A.J. Green looked close enough to his old self last week and he should be healthier this week. Cleveland’s Joe Haden has historically done a good job shadowing Green when they play, so the emergence of Mohamed Sanu will allow Cincinnati to have success in the air even if Green gets shut down. Thursday night games are never that entertaining, but I could see Cincinnati running away with this one.
Kyle’s Pick: Bengals
Last Week: 6-7