Thursday, November 1, 2007

NFL Week 9 Lines: Tricked Out

Before I get to the lines this week, I will go on my promised rant about Halloween. Let me just say that this year was the first time in I don't know how long where it actually felt like Halloween. I actually saw kids trick-or-treating, various channels changed their format for the day, and Wesport (party-central for the Kansas City area) was bumping with devils, vampires and the skimpiest outfits you have ever seen. With that being said, the holiday still hasn't fully recovered from the war that has been waged on it for the past decade or so. City officials in San Francisco cancelled their Halloween street party this year, citing safety reasons. The Iowa Department of Revenue has decided to tax pumpkins that are being used for jack-o-lanterns. Many schools around the country, like this one in Denver, aren't allowing kids to wear costumes and are celebrating "fall parties" instead of Halloween. The reasoning behind this seems to be that principals and members of the school board are afraid of singling out kids who either don't celebrate the holiday or are too poor to buy costumes. What's hypocritical about it all is that most schools celebrate Christmas much more than Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, and nearly all schools have some sort of Easter celebration, most of the time with assemblies and concerts. And there has been a much reported "War on Christmas", but that seems to be shot down faster and with more ammunition than anything that's being done to Halloween. .

What doesn't make sense is these nice Midwestern suburbs being overly protective of their children. When I was young, I would wander down to the bad parts of town with a few friends to go score some chocolate loot. No parents, just us kids. Throughout my childhood, not once was a kidnapped, raped or murdered. Hell, I don't even remember having candy stolen. The U.S. crime rate has dropped dramatically since then, though reporting of crime has skyrocketed. Even though it's actually safer to walk the streets now then it was when they were kids, the now grown up Gen-Xers live in constant fear. They made a pact to be different from their Baby Boomer parents, and believe me, they have come through on that. All of the great things they were able to enjoy when they were young isn't accessible to their kids. But for them? Adult Halloween parties, mostly comprised of the same age group as Gen-Xers, have replaced traditional kid-oriented activities. There might be a resurgence for Halloween, but it will have to fight.

Sorry, I lied. Only about 420 words. Now, to the lines...

Washington at NY Jets (Washington, -3.5)
It's kind of sad seeing Chad Pennington having to sit this season out, because I do believe he is capable of being a starter. It's just that the Jets are so incredibly bad, that there's no reason not to go to the young guy. The Redskins should be nice and rested after sitting out the entire second half (and possibly the entire game) last week at New England. Mangini's decision to go with Kellen Clemens is basically waving the white flag on the season. Washington 23, NY 7

Green Bay at Kansas City (Kansas City, -2)
These is a really interesting game. Most people are on the fence about both teams, so now we really get to see how good they are. Unfortunately for Green Bay, I smell a letdown game. They just came of a huge overtime win at Denver, and when you add back-to-back road games at Invesco and Arrowhead, I would be extremely impressed if the Packers came out with another W. Kansas City 17, Green Bay 14

Arizona at Tampa Bay (Tampa Bay, -3.5)
We forget, but the Cardinals were looking impressive before Anquan Boldin, Matt Leinart and Kurt Warner went down. With Boldin and Warner back, they should be impressive again. They are also coming off of a bye week, while the Bucs are coming off an always physical game with Jacksonville. If Tampa can't beat a Jaguars team lead by Quinn Gray, why should I think they can beat a Cardinals team with Warner, Boldin, Fitzgerald and James? Arizona 16, Tampa Bay 13

Carolina at Tennessee (Tennessee, -4)
When it comes to fantasy football, I never want to start Vince Young. Real football is a different story. Then you have David Carr, a career loser with the most God-awful fashion sense I have ever seen. Seriously, look at his gloves. Shiny white hand accessories aside, I don't think I can ever bet on Carr on the road, especially against this Titans defense, who is ranked fifth overall. Steve Smith can't score if he can't get the ball. Tennessee 20, Carolina 13

San Francisco at Atlanta (Atlanta, -3)
Seriously, who cares? Coaches Mike Nolan and Bobby Petrino might want to consider tanking this game for a higher draft pick, a tactic expected of Petrino to get his love child quarterback form Louisville, Brian Brohm. Though, considering that Brohm's stock has dropped this season, it would be a little odd if Atlanta picked him first. I guess that means the Falcons might actually try to win this one. Atlanta 30, San Francisco 20.

Jacksonville at New Orleans (New Orleans, -3)
Quinn Gray or Drew Brees? Alright, it doesn't just come down to those two, but am I to believe that Gray can win back-to-back road games in this league? The Saints are starting to to regain form, but they are facing the stingy Jaguars defense. This is going to be a real test for Sean Payton to see if he can score without the weapons he was given last year. But you have to score the most points to win (at least, that's what Tim McCarver tells me), and I just don't trust Gray to do that. New Orleans 21, Jacksonville 14.

Denver at Detroit (Detroit, -3)
That's three straight home teams as three point favorites, which is given for home field advantage, by the way. Needless to say, this is yet another matchup that will give us a ton of information on both teams. I still believe I have the right information; Denver is worst than advertised and Detroit is better. Oh, and if you remember Detroit defensive line coach Joe Cullen's naked Wendy's incident, check out what Jon Kitna wore to a Halloween party. I'm so glad this guy is on my fantasy team. Detroit 27, Denver 19

Cincinnati at Buffalo (Cincinnati, -1)
Why are people still favoring the Bengals?!? They have the worst chemistry of any team in recent memory, their defense stinks, and they can't coach their way out of a paper bag. Meanwhile, Buffalo is showing signs of life with back-to-back wins over the Ravens and Jets. Everybody needs to stop drinking the Kool Aid, especially if you're at a party with Chris Henry. Buffalo 24, Cincinnati 23

San Diego at Minnesota (San Diego, -7)
LaDainian Tomlinson had no touchdowns and was held under 100 yards last week against Houston. Minnesota is only giving up 74.4 yards rushing a game. I think teams are starting to figure out that all you need to do against the Chargers is pile defenders in the box, forcing Phillip Rivers to make decisions, which usually leads to interceptions. However, San Diego's run defense is good as well, so the Vikings must find ways to get Adrian Peterson the ball, whether it's through screens are sending him out in the flat. San Diego 17, Minnesota 14

Seattle at Cleveland (Cleveland, -1.5)
If Shaun Alexander can't hit the century mark in this game, then forget it, he is done. Cleveland is ranked 29th in rushing defense, but the Seahawks are ranked 22nd in rushing offense, so something's gotta give. I'm expecting this game to be the one where Derek Anderson finally unravels. I mean, he has to sometime, doesn't he? It's Derek Anderson. Seattle 34, Cleveland 30

Houston at Oakland (Oakland, -3)
Another "who knows?" game. Josh McCown has replaced Daunte Culpepper as the starting quarterback, a move that is best defined as curious. Does McCown really give you the best chance to win? My feeling is that Lane Kiffin wants Culpepper on the sidelines helping out future field general JeMarcus Russell. And no, I will not suggest starting Sage Rosenfels two weeks in a row. Oakland 17, Houston 14 .

Dallas at Philadelphia (Dallas, -3)
The only thing that Philly has going for them is the emergence of Reggie Brown, who had 105 yards receiving last week. The last time Tony Romo faced the Eagles he threw for only 142 yards and two interceptions. But Philly was actually good last year, and not so much this time around. A judge ordered Andy Reid's son to jail today, saying of the Reid household, "this is a family in crisis". Not good at all. Dallas 31, Philadelphia 17 .

Baltimore at Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, -9)
I think a lot of people were under the impression that this would be a good game, but Vegas and I agree that it will not. After a while, Brian Billick's job had to be reevaluated, doesn't it? This team has supremely underachieved this season. On the other side, Pittsburgh is showing everybody that last year was just a fluke, mostly a ramification of Ben Roethlisberger's off-season woes and Bill Cowher's loss of appetite. Pittsburgh 21, Baltimore 7 .

New England at Indianapolis (New England, -5.5)
I refuse to discuss this game. That's what ESPN, MSNBC, CNN, Fox, Today Show, Daily Show, Good Morning America, that guy down the street, The View and everything is for. Just play the damn thing already. New England 35, Indianapolis 30


Anonymous said...

Halloween is not like it used to be. Used to stay out late at night trick-or-treating without any worries. Kids don't know what they're missing now-a-days.

As for the other holidays. Gotta be PC you know. Don't wanna hurt anyone's feelings.
This is still America. (I think)

Anonymous said...

The Patriots/Colts game will be the most watched game on Sunday, even if you're not a fan of either team, which I'm not. Will I watch it? Probably, that's what Sundays are for.

JFishSports said...

Yeah, you gotta watch it. Talk about it? Not so much.

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