Antigonish - November 4, 2011 - There is a fine line between success and failure in the NFL, and that line is just as thin when picking game outcomes. Week 7 saw Pigskin Picks post a dismal 2-3 record, with a few last minute scores sinking the ship and turning potentially great picks into duds. Week 8, conversely, saw Pigskin Picks post a perfect 5-0 record for the first time all season, bringing the season record to 31/40, a 79% success rate! That said, last minute scores once again turned the tide, this time to the good. What will Week 9 bring?
The landscape in the NFL changes weekly, as injuries, weather, emerging talent and game planning collide to produce a product that may not always be predictable, but is always entertaining!
UPSET of the Week - Miami @ Kansas City - I am going out on a limb here, perhaps buoyed by the giddiness of my first 5-0 week! Miami is still looking for their first win, and yet have been in almost every game they have played only to fade in the 4th quarter. This group has not quit despite their record, and what QB Matt Moore may lack in talent, he makes up for in grit. RB Reggie Bush has surprised many with a newfound willingness to run between the tackles, and the Miami D, though they have struggled to force turnovers, is still playing hard. KC has a better record, and is very likely a better team, although hardly a powerhouse. They are vulnerable to the upset here. Miami Wins!
Seattle @ Dallas - Dallas lost to Philly in Week 8, but should bounce back in a big way versus Seattle, which has struggled on both sides of the ball most of the season. The more talented team wins this one, as QB Tony Romo and the Dallas passing attack come back to life, and RB DeMarco Murray runs over and around the Seattle D in a romp. Dallas wins.
Cleveland @ Houston - With or without Andre Johnson, the Texans should be able to move the ball on Cleveland, whose solid pass defence is compromised by their inability to stop the run. Dawg Pound, say hello to Arian Foster, who should visit early and often! While the Browns Peyton Hillis may return, he is still not at 100%, and QB Colt McCoy, though a gamer, scares no one with his popgun arm. Texans win.
LOCK of the Week - Atlanta @ Indianapolis - While Atlanta’s rise as an NFL power team has been a lot slower than most expected, Indy’s fall has been shockingly fast, demonstrating once again just what Peyton Manning has meant to this franchise. While there is still some talent in Indy, and backup Curtis Painter has not been terrible, he is clearly not Peyton, and injuries on the O-line, lack of a running game, and a long-porous defence have clearly caught up to the team. There is no one in the Colts secondary who can cover WR Roddy White, and RB Michael Turner should run all over the front seven of the Colts. Falcons win.
San Francisco @ Washington -While the 49ers are getting surprisingly decent QB play from much-maligned Alex Smith, it is a lights out defence, led by a fantastic LB corps that is leading the resurgence in the Bay. The Redskins, conversely, have struggled at the QB position all year, and have not run the ball with any consistency either. Teams that can’t run or stop the run don’t typically beat teams that can do both. RB Frank Gore and the 49ers win!