My experiment working from the road was a success. All three picks came to fruition and the potential upset pick ended up losing. Four for four from the road. As long as no physical activity is required, then road work feels just like home: food, shelter, booze water, and WiFi all available on the road as basic necessities for someone writing about football.
Over the last month of the season, there haven’t been too many upsets in suicide pools. Last week’s tie between St. Louis and San Francisco was the biggest cause for elimination. Yes, a tie isn’t a loss, but it also isn’t a win. It’s like if I ask you for some butter and you produce some margarine, which is like butter, but not really butter, and I can’t believe it isn’t butter, so I remove you from the dinner table. Mmm, butter.
If you have survived the first 10 weeks of the season, then you have done well my friend. Stay thirsty, and keep the streak going. It only gets tougher and harder to pick games as risks increase due to the lack of quality teams in the equation. As we get later in the season, I will try and provide picks of teams not part of the upper echelon as potential quality selections. Remember, opt for home teams as they have a slight advantage over their road opponents due to all the on-the-field familiarity and off-the-field normality. Home teams to date are 85-60, for a winning percentage of almost 59%.
Teams Already Used – Houston, New England, Chicago, Green Bay, San Francisco, Atlanta, Minnesota, San Diego, Seattle, Pittsburgh
Dallas, My Week 11 Pick – Most times, selections are made based on a team’s offensive prowess. Not today. Today my top play is on surging Cowboys defense. Three, count’em three, defensive touchdowns scored by the Dallas defense in the fourth quarter alone. Some teams can’t muster up 21 points for a whole game, but this defense single-handily won the real game of football, along with many fantasy games last week. My hand is up. In comes a quarterback who throws the ball with no regard for negative consequences. Brandon Weeden has 12 interceptions on the year along with three lost fumbles. Someone needs to tell him that he can’t gun sling the pigskin like he is, especially in the gun slinging capital of America. No great train robbery here as the Cowboys will win this duel before the clock strikes one.
Houston – When I was in Jacksonville last week, I couldn’t help but think that the Jaguars are not the number one sport in the city. You can stop trying to think of another pro sports team in Jacksonville that would be ahead of the Jaguars, because there isn’t one. They only have one ranking and the name on the list is golf. The pinnacle of excitement at the game is the ever rare first down. I can almost say with certainty that the Jaguars play 16 road games a year. It is no surprise that the NFL crew and media producing and announcing this game spent the day at TPC Sawgrass. That place is heaven. Oh, yeah, and Houston is one solid football team. Unless a golf game breaks out, the only advantage the Jaguars will have in this game is the abundance of bogeys produced by turnovers and missed tackles.
St. Louis – This New York Jets team is pathetic. They rank 30th in total offense, average under 200 yards passing a game, barely produce over 100 yards rushing a game, and sport a defense that can’t make up for the shortcomings of the offense. They are 1-3 on the road and that lone victory came as an early Christmas gift by Miami. On the flip side, the Rams at home are a dangerous bunch. With Amendola back running around like he’s in a video game, Jackson running hard like he’s in a video game, and an above average defense good enough to play in a video game , the St. Louis Rams should have no problem coming out on top as they play at an all-pro level to the rookie setting of the Jets.
Cincinnati, Potential Suicide – The NFL season changes within the blink of an eye and predictability from week to week is a challenge. Teams go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows at the snap of a finger. Last week I had Cincinnati as an upset special and this week I have them being upset. Why you ask? The Bengals will be travelling for the first time in over a month. Even though the Chiefs are tied for the worst record in the NFL, they played a marvellous game on the road in Pittsburgh last Monday night. The Chiefs understand that Jamal Charles is their rock, aka Alcatraz. The perception is that the Bengals are a far superior team then the lowly Chiefs, therefore many will slide them into a week 11 selection. Don’t be fooled, as the Chiefs may engineer a victory and disarm the Bengals warheads on the island of Arrowhead.