I picked the wrong side of my coin flip last week, going with the Titans instead of the Cardinals, only to see the Colts win their first game of the season against Tennessee. To be fair, I picked the Titans having the impression that Mike Munchak was a smarter man than he actually turned out to be, as I thought Jake Locker would get the call instead of a banged up and ineffective Matt Hasselbeck. Rest assured that if Locker had played that whole game, the outcome would have been significantly different. This week, we are nearing the finish line, which means there are only a small handful of teams to choose from. Let’s take a look at who is out there:
The teams with the most favorable spreads are the Ravens, Packers, Patriots, Titans, Panthers, Saints and Redskins. Unfortunately, we have used Baltimore, Green Bay, New England and New Orleans, so we have to cross them off. That still leaves us with decent if not amazing choices in the Titans, Panthers and Redskins. Let’s look at each one a little closer:
Tennessee is facing Jacksonville, who are probably the least exciting team in the league. If you enjoy a good laugh, look at their wide receiving corps last week against Atlanta. So the Titans are definitely a good option, as the Jags defense which was a strength earlier in the year, is extremely beat up and therefore vulnerable, as the Falcons proved last week. Tennessee are also playing at home, and will surely be playing Locker in this one. Carolina is facing Tampa Bay, who looked dreadful against Dallas last week, and realistically have looked dreadful all year. The Panthers are also at home, which is a nice bonus. Finally we have Washington, coming off a big win against the Giants and facing Minnesota, who have two wins on the year. I’m crossing the Redskins off the list for several reasons. Firstly, I believe Adrian Peterson will run wild in this game as he has had another week to recover from his injury, and complained about his workload last week. I also believe that Christian Ponder has some talent, and that the Vikings aren’t quite as bad as their record suggests. I also don’t trust Rex Grossman whatsoever, and Roy Helu is banged up. So Washington would be my third pick. Between the Panthers and Titans, I would lean towards Tennessee. Tampa has skilled players that are underperforming, but Jacksonville has literally nobody outside of Maurice Jones-Drew, and Blaine Gabbert is the worst quarterback in the league. I believe the Bucs will put up more of a fight, as they are playing for their coach’s life, and Josh Freeman needs to prove that he is the quarterback everyone thought he was after his rookie year. The Titans let us down last week, but they will make up for it with an easy win against the listless Jags.
Pick: 1) Tennessee 2) Carolina 3) Washington
Already used: Houston, Pittsburgh, San Diego, New Orleans, New England, Green Bay, Dallas, Baltimore, San Francisco, Jacksonville, Detroit, Cincinnati, New York Jets, Denver, Arizona