Pick 6 week 10

richard-sherman

Every NFL weekend has its own story and this weekend had a little bit of everything you could ask for. There were controversial finishes, nail biting victories and gut punching losses, and a plethora of rivalry games that had you on edge the entire game. I honestly didn’t think the Oakland Raiders had it in them. A young team that still makes plenty of mistakes, playing on Primetime against the defending NFL champion Broncos, and Del Rio coaches up his young men to a home victory to seize control of the AFC West. Could Oakland be the dark horse contender that could go toe to toe with New England? Hope springs eternal if you’re an Oakland Raiders fan especially with rumors of the team possibly moving to Sin City. Who is going to take control of the NFC North? The Vikings dropped their 3rd in a row in the Motor City and it looks like the wheels are falling off if you’re a Minnesota fan. The Packers are sleeping behind the wheel themselves falling at home again this time to the Indianapolis Colts. Is it time for the Lions, behind the arm of Matt Stafford to make a run to the NFC North crown? They seem like the only team in this division who has the most momentum, but can you truly count out the Packers? A-Rod is sure to make sure the troops are ready for the stretch run of the season especially with some key pieces to the defense set to return soon. The craziest part of the week came on Monday Night. There were some serious shortcomings in the 1st and 2nd half that will definitely have Buffalo fans steaming for the next couple of weeks which leads me into the Extra Point.

This week’s Extra Point comes courtesy from the 12th man at CenturyLink Field. The home of the Seattle Seahawks has been the setting of some of the most controversial finishes in the NFL in the last five seasons. The FailMary is still ingrained in the thoughts of Packers fans from the opening game of the 2012 season. The Seahawks felt they were on the wrong side of the penalties down in the Bayou. It seems like the refs calling their game on Monday night may have been in alliance with the birds from the Pacific Northwest. I was caught watching an entertaining game, but the sequence of events before the half was inexplicable. How do you not call the roughing the kicker call on Sherman? How do you not properly reset the play clock following the ball being spiked? How do you call a delay of game penalty when the ref spotting the ball was still in the way of the ball as the play clock ran down? How do you miss an obvious pass interference call on Sherman at the end of the game? Yes I truly believe in human error. We are all not perfect creatures. However, this brings up a point Saints coach Sean Payton brought up early last week. The NFL needs full-time officials. I totally agree! How can the NFL expect games that mean a lot to these players to be officiated by individuals who pretty much are called off the street? If you want the players who play to play this game to the best of their ability, how hard is it to pay officials full-time money? These men and women have to go through constant reviews of game tape from the week before from different views and angles. The pressure to make sure they call the best game possible should warrant a significant pay raise along with the necessary benefits to cover the possibility of injuries on the field. If Goodell is making $30 million a year just monitoring the league, how hard should it really be to cut some of his salary and owners salaries to compensate these officials who have the power every week to seal the fate of your franchise? Think about. Yeah there is nothing really to think about. Pay the officials full-time money to get full-time results and end the mediocrity of the outcome of games. I’m just speaking my mind and that’s this week’s Extra Point.

The time has come my people. It has come again for another week of Mr. T’s Fools of the Week. Okay let’s go to number three where in South Beach the Miami Dolphins battled the New York Jets in an AFC East showdown. The Jets have slipped into the status of disgraceful with their recent set of performances. It didn’t get any better in South Beach. We go into the 3rd quarter with the Jets driving. Fitz has lost the magic he once had last season which is making the Jets look smart for not really wanting to sign him to a long term deal. He drops back and throws into the waiting hands of Miami nose tackle Jordan Phillips who rumbles downfield and even shows the athletic grace to hurdle wide receiver Robby Anderson before being taken down on the play. How embarrassing must it be to be hurdled over by a 330 lbs man? How it Fitzpatrick not see this 6’6 330 lbs man in the middle of his throwing window? I have no clue but I do know that Robby Anderson looked like a fool on this one along with Fitzpatrick which means they both share number three on this week’s Fools of the Week. Here comes the two, we head out to Seattle for Monday Night Football as the Seahawks and Bills threw some blows. Ladies and gentleman, we witnessed the return of All- Pro Jimmy Graham. Seattle in the red zone to begin the 2nd quarter and Russell Wilson lays the dime to the former Miami Hurricane basketball player who secures the pass with one arm grab for the score. Later in the game, Wilson finds Graham on the outside bootleg and Graham shows off the bunnies AKA hoops leaping over Stephon Gilmore for the 1st down. For the finale, Graham said catching a touchdown with one hand was nice, how about I do it twice. As before the half, Wilson finds Graham again in the end zone with defenders draped around him hauling in the one handed reception. Okay Jimmy stop playin with them! The Bills secondary has been vulnerable all season long and Graham made every person in the secondary look like the marshmallows. Jimmy ate them like s’mores and this is the reason why the Bills secondary will take the cake as number two on this week’s Fools of the Week. Finally for number one, we head out to Minnesota for another rivalry game this time in the NFC North between the Lions and Vikings. This game went to overtime after Lions K Matt Prater nailed in a 58 yard field goal as time expired in the 4th. Inside of overtime with the Lions driving, Matt Stafford found Golden Tate who thought it was time for the Lions to hit the jets and go home. He sidestepped one tackler, stiff armed Harrison Smith and to add insult to injury front flips for the house call while being tackled by Andrew Sendejo. I mean Golden was absolutely “golden” playing the entire Vikings secondary and adding more salt to the wounds of Minnesota who continues their losing streak. For that reason alone is why the Vikings secondary deserves the number one Fools of the Week.

Back for another week and with no further ado, I have decided on this week’s Stop Playin Awards. This week, the award for the Stop Playin awards goes to the LA Rams and head coach Jeff Fisher. Fisher knows it’s time for a change at quarterback. Case Keenum has made some JV high school throws over the past few weeks that question why he is even an NFL quarterback. You have not utilized the running game of Todd Gurley whatsoever. It seems like an all-out sabotage job to keep this man down. I just don’t understand why you don’t feed this kid at least 25 times a game and then try to throw some dump passes, slants, comeback routes to keep it simple with a quarterback that truly lacks confidence in his ability. You traded up in the draft to get Jared Goff. Play the man! I mean when you look at other rookie quarterbacks doin there thing, why not give the young man a shot to prove his worth? Could he really play any worse than what you have seen from Keenum? Jeff Fisher, it’s time to roll the dice and let the chips fall where they may. If things don’t change soon, you might be finding a new area code to call your home in the near future. Congratulations! The LA Rams organization wins this week’s Stop playin awards.

With all the parameters out the way, it’s time to get down to business. This past weekend, there were many games that could have gone either way. I’m still not sure why I chose the 49ers to actually put up a fight against the Saints. I apologize to the Saints for my foolishness. Anyways, I hit another tough week below .500 at 3-4 which brings the overall season record to 28-31-1. It’s time to make these picks great again and there is no time like the present. Here we go into the week 10 picks.

Cleveland vs Baltimore
Now look here people. The Browns are horrible because they’re the only team in the NFL without a sound starting quarterback. There is no stability at the key position to lead your offense. The defense is trash. Just straight trash. They are out of position constantly and surrender big play after big play. Cleveland fans, you deserve better especially after the Tribe and the Cavs made trips to their respective sports championship games. It seems like some things never change when you’re a loyal fan of the Dawg Pound. This is the same Browns squad that was up on Baltimore in Week 2 at halftime, but failed to score a single point in the second half. You get the picture right. Baltimore needed that win last week against the Steelers as the Ravens were on a four game losing streak after a strong start to the season. This could be the time where Baltimore really rounds into form and puts on a string of wins down the stretch to put some space between the Steelers and the Bengals. Mike Wallace was let loose against his old running mates from Pittsburgh last Sunday and I believe he should be one to watch against a porous Browns secondary that allows 275 passing yards/game. Smokin Joe and the Ravens keep the losing streak alive for the Browns demolishing them at home.
Ravens 33 Browns 14

Atlanta vs Philadelphia
This game is different for both teams for different reasons. The Falcons need to keep a strangle hold on the NFC South. The Eagles need to get back in the hunt if they want to make a playoff run. We will see what gives at the Link on this Sunday. Atlanta is coming off a dismantling performance last Thursday against the Buccaneers. This dirty bird offense is fantastic. You have a solid running game that averages 114 yards/game and when you have Julio Jones alongside his sidekick Mohammed Sanu toying with the opposing secondary like their playing with Legos, it makes your offense so lethal. Matt Ryan is making his case for league MVP with dominating performances as of late. The real recognition should go to offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. This offense has soared to new heights with his expertise on the sideline leading to the surprising rise of the Falcons. Ryan leads the league in passing yards (2,980) and touchdowns (23). Hotlanta is back! The Eagles will need to try to topple this high powered attack. The offense has let down the defense in recent weeks with the play of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. In the past few weeks, Wentz has thrown just 2 touchdowns compared to 4 interceptions. The Eagles defense has allowed 57 points in those two games. Both losses. The Eagles secondary did a great job on Odell Beckham Jr who had 4 receptions for 46 yards. Julio Jones is a different beast. Attention to detail in the Eagles secondary is a must. The offense must find a way to keep the Atlanta offense huddled together for warmth on the sideline. I expect a lot of Sproles and Matthews to run the rock and control time of possession. A desperate Eagles team finds a way to pull out a victory.
Eagles 28 Falcons 23

Miami vs San Diego
The preverbal East Coast/ West Coast trip is always a tough one especially for teams coming off a win. This will be the task of the Miami Dolphins who travel to San Diego to take on the Bolts. This game has serious implications for both teams. As the standings are now, both the Dolphins and the Chargers are 2 games out of the last wildcard spot in the AFC. A game that speaks volumes to where both of these franchises are going. The Dolphins came front behind to takedown the pathetic looking Jets while the Bolts finished off a slugfest with the Titans after a breakout performance from Melvin Gordon. The young back from Wisconsin rushed for 196 yards en route to 251 total yards from scrimmage in the win. This game features to young running backs who have made statements in the last few weeks. Jay Ajayi has filled the void at running back for the Dolphins after the surprising retirement of Arian Foster. In his last three games, Ajayi has rushed for 529 yards. It’s been an incredible month for the young man from the United Kingdom. The Chargers are allowing 85 yards/ game on the ground. Stopping this young man won’t be easy, but the same can be said for the Dolphins defense against Melvin Gordon who has really got his groove thing on this season with 9 rushing touchdowns along with 768 yards for the season. Miami is suspect in the running game allowing over 130 yards/game. San Diego should be able to exploit that and keep riding the Gordon train all the way into another key victory to keep their playoff hopes alive. Go Chargers go!
San Diego 33 Miami 27

Dallas vs Pittsburgh
Are we back in the 1970s? This has all the feel of a throwback game. The history between these two franchises is unparalleled in all the National Football League. Here’s the history lesson for all the novice fans out there. The Steelers and Cowboys have a combined 11 Super Bowl championships, 18 conference championships, and a plethora of playoff experience. The 70s was all about the Cowboys and Steelers as they would trade the crown between each other 6 times during the decade. Let’s fast forward to the present. The Cowboys could be 8-0 right now if not for Terrance Williams losing his mind in Week 1. The team has rattled off 7 straight wins under rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and the NFL rushing leader in Ezekiel Elliott. There may not have been a more impressive rookie duo in NFL history. The Dallas offense looks like a turbo boosted Bentley when everything is clicking. How will the Pittsburgh D try to get Prescott off his rhythm? That’s the biggest question mark heading into a week where the Pittsburgh defense wasn’t helped by an offense that had Big Ben return under center. Every facet of the game against Baltimore was less than stellar. Ben had no rhythm with any of his receivers and it showed with an ugly throwing display on the road. A week to get back into the usual football routine might be what the doctor ordered especially if Pittsburgh has any dreams of another Super Bowl appearance. Both offenses should put up points, but the Steelers run defense will need to answer the bell to stop the power running attack of Zeke and his Monstars on the offensive line. The Steelers D is allowing close to 100 yards/game on the ground. I expect a lot of Le’veon Bell this week to keep the Dallas offense chillin on the sidelines and to gas a defense that has played a lot better than expected. I think the Steelers redeem themselves and even the overall series with America’s team.
Steelers 28 Cowboys 20

Seattle vs New England
You can sense the tension in this game on Sunday Night. I would like to thank the people responsible for writing up the schedule for the season for this game at this point of the season. There is no love lost between the two of the latest combatants in the Super Bowl a few years ago. Seattle should be back-to-back Super Bowl champs. Marshawn Lynch probably may not have retired and Seattle could probably have made it three straight trips to the Big Game if not for an outstanding season from the Carolina Panthers. Seattle is a little different this time around. The offensive line that helped Marshawn Lynch look great is no more and Russell Wilson is paying the price. Wilson has somehow limped the team to a success 5-2-1 record even though he has been sacked 16 times. It seems like he has been hit a lot more than that, but the Seahawks offense looks to have hit their stride with an amazing performance by Jimmy Graham on Monday night. How can he follow that up especially against a New England defense that has stymied every opponent so far this season? A Patriots defense that only allows 16.5 points/game. This is sure to be a knock out drag out war. I expect Brady and Gronk to look for quick outs against the Legion of Boom who hopes to have Kam Chancellor back from injury to solidify the secondary that was torched by the Bills. It looks like Michael Bennett will be no good again for Seattle which means the pass rush up front could be subject to the mercy of Brady. Legarette Blount will get his usual workload, but it all comes down to the execution down the stretch and good money goes with New England finding a way to pull this one out in Gillette.
New England 24 Seattle 17

Cincinnati vs New York Giants
An inter-conference showdown in the Meadowlands ends week 10 with both teams jostling for a chance at the playoffs. The Bengals have been underwhelming so far this season although there have reasons to be optimistic with the play of Andy Dalton and AJ Green leading the way on offense. The fiery duo have made their share of highlights, but the touchdowns have come at a premium. Dalton only has 9 touchdowns on the season while being under pressure a lot more than he probably would like. He has been sacked 25 times through 8 games. The dominating Bengals defense has to find its inner beast because the unit overall has played below expectations. The defense is surrendering 23.5 points/game. This might be music to the Giants ears who may have hit their stride now. A big win against Philly has the Giants potentially controlling their own destiny for a playoff run. The next three games could shape how the rest of the season goes with Chicago and the winless Cleveland Browns the next couple of opponents. The secondary will need to be ready for AJ Green especially with the Giants being 25th in the NFL against the pass. The X factor will be Gio Bernard out the backfield to keep the Giants linebackers honest. I want to go with Cincy in my heart, but my head is saying that the Giants could be primed for a nice roll and push towards the playoffs. I’ll take the Giants to squeeze out another close game at home.
Giants 27 Bengals 24

Red alert!! Red alert!! It’s the Go Big or Go Home pick of the week.

Houston vs Jacksonville
Two teams representing the AFC South will try to duke things out in North East Florida. The Jaguars actually showed some fight in defeat against the Chiefs last weekend knocking Alex Smith out the game due to concussion protocol. It was a nice sight to see Chris Ivory actually get going which will definitely ease the pressure on Blake Bortles especially with his inaccuracy at key times in games. The defense looked better, but still there are many growing pains Gus Bradley will struggle with for the remainder of this season. The Jags offense is 17th in the league, but they are -12 in the turnover category. The Texans could be the right team to remedy a season of close games and tough losses. The Houston offense has really lifted off under the arm of Brock Osweiler. Houston’s offense is a disastrous 30th in the NFL. The defense keeps the team in games, but something has to give if the Texans are going to be ecstatic about making the off season move to get the former Broncos quarterback. This is prime time for Brock to earn his cheese. The young man must do something about his touchdown to interception ratio. He has 9 touchdowns and 9 interceptions on the season. Even without J.J. Watt, Houston’s defense hasn’t missed too much of a beat. However, his presence would really help in the running game as the Texans allow over 125 yards/game on the ground. I smell an upset especially if Chris Ivory can get off and help balance the Jaguars offensive attack. I think the Jags pounce and smother the Texans in a big home win for the young guns from Northeast Florida.
Jaguars 27 Houston 21

There is the final straw and those are my picks for this week. For any questions or comments, feel free to leave them at www.hsrn.com. If you haven’t downloaded the app, go to your Apple or Google play store to download the app that gives you all the action from around college football and basketball. Until next week, the power of positivity will always prevail. Keep happy thoughts and strive for a better tomorrow.