Week 11 has some great football games lined up, starting off with the Packers at Lions early, late games between the Pats and Colts and San Diego at Denver, then two great night games: Baltimore at Pittsburgh tonight, and the Bears at the 49ers on Monday night.
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6-3 Indianapolis Colts at 6-3 New England Patriots
The Patriots should be able to run the ball at will against the Colts defense, and then pick and choose their shots on Indy’s backup corners. The Colts offense will end up making some big plays and convert some 3rd & longs, but they won’t win a shootout against the Pats offense. At some point the New England defense will come up with a critical turnover and the Pats will have another win that their fans will complain about.
Prediction: Patriots 34, Colts 21
Patriots -9, Under 54½
-final score: Patriots 59, Colts 24
3-6 New Jersey Jets at 3-5-1 St. Louis Rams
It took a little while, but predictably the Jets locker room is on the verge of imploding. Meanwhile they get to face a Rams team that is regaining some health and just played one of the best teams in the NFL to a standstill. If this was some other team I would say the Rams might experience a letdown after a tough division game, but I don’t think that will be the case. If St. Louis could run on the 49ers, what are they going to do against the Jets and their 30th ranked run defense? Besides that, there’s a good chance the Jets are more focused on next Thursday’s game against the Pats than today’s game.
Prediction: Rams 27, Jets 13
Rams -3½ (2 units), over 38½
-final score: Jets 27, Rams 13
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
A lot is being made about Michael Vick not playing, but after having seen Nick Foles this pre-season I’m thinking this may actually help rather than hurt Philly. Washington may not have what it takes to handle being a favorite and remain focused on this game rather than the next one.
Prediction: Eagles 24, Redskins 20
Eagles +3½ (3 units); over 43½
-final score: Redskins 31, Eagles 6
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
After a slow start Green Bay is playing very well, despite injuries to key offensive players. Detroit on the other hand is still very inconsistent; the Packers should have a field day with their porous defense.
Prediction: Packers 38, Lions 21
Packers -3 (3 units); over 51 (1 unit)
-final score: Packers 24, Lions 20
4-5 Arizona Cardinals at 8-1 Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons should rebound after their first loss, and Arizona is reeling after a strong start. I like Atlanta in this game but the spread just seems too high for my comfort. let’s not forget that Arizona still has a good defense – and Atlanta does not.
Prediction: Falcons 27, Cardinals 20
Cardinals +10; over 43½ (1 unit)
-final score: Falcons 23, Cardinals 19
5-4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 2-7 Carolina Panthers
Tampa Bay is now averaging an NFL third best 28.9 points per game and QB Josh Freeman has thrown 13 touchdowns with just one interception in the last five games. Against a division rival I do not foresee any letdown whatsoever, regardless of what their record is. On the other side of the ball Tampa Bay is allowing an NFL best 80.1 rushing yards per game.
Prediction: Bucs 34, Panthers 24
Bucs -1½ (3 units); over 47½
-final score: Bucs 27, Panthers 21 in OT
2-7 Cleveland Browns at 4-5 Dallas Cowboys
Dallas doesn’t play as if they have a home field advantage, and though the Browns always lose they often keep it relatively close. The Cowboys are still not running the ball well and the Browns have a decent enough defense – better than their stats would indicate – to keep the score low.
Prediction: Cowboys 20, Browns 16
Browns +8 (1 unit), under 43½ (3 units)
-final score: Cowboys 23, Browns 20 in OT
1-8 Jacksonville Jaguars at 8-1 Houston Texans
The Jags are awful. The Texans may be the best team in the league. Houston wins, but just like against Buffalo they coast, and fail to cover the spread.
Prediction: Texans 24, Jaguars 10
Jaguars +16 (1 unit); under 42½ (3 units)
-final score: Texans 43, Jaguars 37 in OT
4-5 Cincinnati Bengals at 1-8 Kansas City Chiefs
I think the Bengals may be ripe for a letdown after beating the Giants, and now playing the team with the worst record in the league. Cincinnati’s run defense is subpar (#23 in yards per carry, #20 in yards per game), so Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis should do fine … until the Chiefs find a way to lose on the inevitable turnover.
Prediction: Bengals 24, Chiefs 21
Chiefs +3½; over 43½
-final score: Bengals 28, Chiefs 6
4-5 New Orleans Saints at 3-6 Oakland Raiders
The Saints have gained some confidence and are playing much better now that Joe Vitt is on the sideline. The loss of Darren Sproles has not slowed the offense down one bit, with the three other running backs staying fresh and getting big chunks of yardage. The Raiders have become completely one-dimensional without Darren McFadden; eventually that should lead to a pick off Carson Palmer. I just wonder if the Saints may end up looking past Oakland to next week’s game against the 49ers.
Prediction: Saints 31, Raiders 28
Raiders +5½ (2 units); over 54½
-final score: Saints 38, Raiders 17
4-5 San Diego Chargers at 6-3 Denver Broncos
The way the two teams are playing, everything point towards Denver and away from the Chargers. If it wasn’t a division game, and wasn’t at Mile High then I would be tempted to consider the letdown factor but neither is the case here.
Prediction: Broncos 34, Chargers 24
Broncos -7½; over 48½ (2 units)
-final score: Broncos 30, Chargers 23
7-2 Baltimore Ravens at 6-3 Pittsburgh Steelers
The line on this game shifted eight points based on Ben Roethlisberger not playing. Nothing against Big Ben, but this is still the ultimate team sport; I consider that to be an overreaction. Pittsburgh is running the ball well, and this Baltimore defense is not remotely close to being as productive as they have been in recent years.
Prediction: Steelers 20, Ravens 17
Steelers +3½ (3 units); under 40½ (1 unit)
-final score: Ravens 13, Steelers 10
7-2 Chicago Bears at 6-2-1 San Francisco 49ers
As good as the 49ers are, their defense has been a bit inconsistent (24 points to the Rams and Vikings, 26 to the Giants) at times this season. Look for the Bears to rally around their backup QB and force some key turnovers to at minimum keep this game very close.
Prediction: 49ers 17, Bears 16
Bears +6 (1 unit), under 38½
-final score: 49ers 32, Bears 7
Three-Team Teaser (9 points, three units): Steelers +12½ vs Ravens; Eagles +12½ vs Redskins; Bears +15 vs 49ers
-final scores: Ravens 13-10; Redskins 31-6; 49ers 32-7
Three-Team Teaser (9 points, two units): Bucs-Panthers over 38½; Steelers-Ravens under 49½; Broncos-Chargers over 39½
-final totals: Bucs-Panthers 48; Steelers-Ravens 23; Broncos-Chargers 53
Week 10 was one of those weekends where most everything went right. While I would like to take that as a shining example of what a great prognosticator I am in reality the results were much better than even the world’s greatest professional handicapper can reasonably expect to achieve on a regular basis (despite the claims of some of them to the contrary). While I shoot for somewhere in the vicinity of a 60% success rate in predictions I’ll put my wallet behind, I somehow managed to 6-4 on one unit plays, 3-1-1 on two unit plays, 1-0 on a three unit play ans 1-0 on a four unit play for a total of 11-5-1 on all money picks. I will gladly take that kind of winning percentage any and every weekend.
Results for Week 10 (and the season):
Straight Up: 7-6-1 last week, 98-47-1 for the season
Against The Spread: 6-8 / 67-78-1 (47%)
Over/Under: 9-5 / 84-58-4
1 Unit Plays: 6-4 (+160) / 31-21
2 Unit Plays: 3-1-1 (+360) / 27-23-4
3 Unit Plays: 1-0 (+300) / 16-8-2
4 Unit Plays: 1-0 (+400) / 1-2
5 Unit Plays: 0-0 / 2-1
Weekly Total: 10-5 regular; 1-0-1 teasers
All Confidence Picks: 11-5-1 / 83-43-6
Week 8 Total: +1220
Season Total: +7340
Previous College Games
6-2, +5 Units, +480
Season Grand Total
This Day In Patriots History
November 18, 1960:
Boston Patriots 42, Dallas Texans 14 at Nickerson Field
Butch Songin threw three touchdown passes and the Pats defense forced four turnovers as the Pats breezed to their third straight victory. In his two years with the Patriots Joe Johnson only caught 20 passes, but on this day he had two touchdown receptions in the second half. In the first quarter HB Dicky Christy ran for one touchdown and threw for another to put the Pats up 13-0, and then a Songin TD pass to Jim Colclough (who finished with nine catches for 85 yards) gave the Patriots a 20-point lead.
November 18, 1962:
Houston Oilers 21, Boston Patriots 17 at Jeppesen Stadium
The Oilers handed the Pats their first loss in five weeks, and took a half game lead in the AFL East.
The Patriots defense forced five turnovers but a very strong Houston defense kept the Pats offense in check. In the third quarter a 69-yard touchdown pass from Tom Yewcic to Ron Burton got the Pats within four points, but the Oilers D held from there. Burton finished with 94 yards receiving, Tony Romeo had five catches for 72 yards, and Jim Colclough had a 28-yard touchdown reception.
November 18, 1973:
New England Patriots 33, Green Bay Packers 24 at Schaefer Stadium
Jim Plunkett threw for 348 yards and two touchdowns in the first-ever meeting between the Patriots and Packers. Plunkett’s 63-yard TD pass to Reggie Rucker (5 catches, 108 yards) in the 4th quarter gave the Pats their first lead of the game, and then Plunkett scored again on a one-yard run to ice the game.
November 18, 1979:
New England Patriots 50, Baltimore Colts 21 at Schaefer Stadium
Stanley Morgan scored on a 25-yard touchdown pass and an 80-yard punt return and Rick Sanford scored on a blocked punt as the Pats routed the Colts in Foxboro.
After Morgan’s first quarter touchdown catch from Steve Grogan the Pats scored five times in the second quarter to blow this game wide open. Don Calhoun scored on a one-yard run, Harold Jackson on a 5-yard pass from Grogan, and then Sanford’s 8-yard blocked punt return made it 27-7; a pair of field goals by John Smith gave the Patriots a 33-7 halftime lead. Horace Ivory ran for 116 yards on just 12 carries as the Pats totaled 417 yards of offense for their 8th win of the season.
November 18, 1984:
New England Patriots 50, Indianapolis Colts 17 at the Hoosier Dome
Tony Eason threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns as the Patriots blasted the Colts to improve to 8-4.
The Pats jumped out to a 16-0 1st quarter lead on a pair of touchdown passes from Eason to TE Derrick Ramsey, sandwiched around a safety when Roland James tackled Indy RB Frank Middleton in the end zone. After a Colts score Eason hit Ramsey with another touchdown pass and a Tony Franklin field goal gave the Pats a 26-10 halftime lead. Eason connected with Stanley Morgan for a 12-yard score and Mosi Tatupu then ran for two touchdowns. The Pats defense harassed Colts’ QB Art Schlicter all day, forcing four fumbles and recording seven sacks – three by Toby Williams, two by Andre Tippett, and one each by Steve Nelson and Julius Adams. Ramsey finished with a career-high 8 receptions, 3 touchdowns and 104 yards receiving.
November 18, 1990:
Buffalo Bills 14, New England Patriots 0 at Rich Stadium
The Pats defense held the vaunted K-gun offense in check, but Buffalo’s defense shut down the Pats as Buffalo improved to 9-1.
Down 7-0 in the 4th quarter the Pats crowded the line of scrimmage looking for another stop, but Thurman Thomas broke through for an 80-yard touchdown run to seal the victory for the Bills. Irving Fryar had 7 receptions for 85 yards and Marc Wilson was 21-33 for 234 yards for the Patriots.
November 18, 2001:
St. Louis Rams 24, New England Patriots 17 at Foxboro Stadium
Although they lost this game the Pats figured out what they needed to know about the Rams, and that they could hang toe-to-toe with any other NFL team. This would be the last defeat of the season for the Patriots, who went on to win their next nine games, culminated by a victory in the Super Bowl in a rematch against the Rams.
For the Patriots Terrell Buckley scored on a 52-yard interception off Kurt Warner, Troy Brown had 8 receptions for 91 yards, and David Patten had a 10-yard touchdown reception.
Have A Great Weekend!
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November 18, 1992:
Black Sabbath was honored with a star at the Rock Walk in Hollywood
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