The 2010 NFL Picks
Week Ten


I told you Gus wasn’t out of it.

A big week from Mike has separated him from the pack. He went 10-3 in week nine… no one else cleared 7 correct picks… and now stands 3 games ahead. But Gus stayed close to even to pull into a tie for fourth. Molly and I are still lurking nearby. We’ve got a race as every NFL team reaches at least 8 games played and we move comfortably into the second half of the season.

We’re going with Breaking Away this week for the quotes.

Baltimore at Atlanta (1½)“Hey! Are you really gonna shave your legs?” “Certo! All the Italians do it.” “Ah. Some country. The women don’t shave theirs.” Some times it helps to look at really basic information when picking a game. For instance… here in this one… I love the way Matt Ryan plays at home. He simply never loses. The spread says that the Ravens are a slightly better team… but playing on the road. I can agree with that. It’s also so close that effectively we’re simply picking the winner. And… as I said… at home, Ryan wins.
Bob: Atlanta
Terry: Baltimore
Mike: Baltimore
Mike Jr: Baltimore
Molly: Baltimore
Gus: Baltimore
Sam: Atlanta

Cincinnati at Indianapolis (8)“Hey, come on in, Dave.” “Nah, I read where this Italian coach said it’s no good to go swimmin’ right after a race.” “Who’s swimmin’? I'm takin’ a leak.” Indy is always a tough team to predict. They were favored in every game this season, until last week against Philadelphia. If you check out the past ten years you’ll find great overall records, great conference and divisional records, and great records when facing the NFC. My point being… like New England… they tend to be very consistent winners. This season, they’re 3-0 at home, and covered every spread… the smallest being 5½ points, but that didn’t matter. Enter Cincy. The Bungals are 1-3 at home… and 1-3 on the road. The road win came over Carolina… a team that looks every bit like a historically inept team when it comes to scoring points. I just don’t see the Bengals scoring more than 20 points in this game. And… at home… even with injuries… I can see Indianapolis hitting at least 28.
Bob: Indianapolis
Terry: Cincinnati
Mike: Indianapolis
Mike Jr: Indianapolis
Molly: Indianapolis
Gus: Cincinnati
Sam: Indianapolis

Houston at Jacksonville (1½)“He’s never tired. He’s never miserable.” “He’s young.” “When I was young I was tired and miserable.” Both of these clubs have been outscored this season… in fact, the teams that have given up more points include Buffalo, Dallas, and… umm… that’s it. Also, both are at 4-4, and really haven’t shown much at home or on the road to indicate a tendency. (Jacksonville’s last two games were on the road. They got belted by Kansas City, and they leveled Dallas. You go right ahead and tell me in this season of strange and amazing events how to decipher that.) Here’s what I do know… Jacksonville likes playing Houston. They were 2-0 against them in 2009. They were 1-1 against them in 2008, winning in overtime at home. They were 1-1 against them in 2007, winning handily at home. So why am I hesitating in picking Jacksonville? Well… let’s take out the home victory over Indy (it seems they always play the Colts tough). This year they defeated Denver to open the season… and, yeah, looking back it doesn’t look that amazing since everyone is beating Denver this year. The other two wins were over Dallas and Buffalo. The four losses involve getting pasted by San Diego, Philadelphia, Tennessee and Kansas City. The Eagles and the Titans smacked them around in Jacksonville.
Bob: Houston
Terry: Houston
Mike: Houston
Mike Jr: Houston
Molly: Houston
Gus: Houston
Sam: Jacksonville

Tennessee at Miami (Pick)“That’s the place to be right there, Wyoming! Nothin’ but prairies and mountains and nobody around. All you need is your bed roll and a good horse.” “Don’t forget your toothbrush! You’re still in your cavity-prone years.” Chad Pennington is back as the starter? Got it. That’s good enough for me.
Bob: Miami
Terry: Tennessee
Mike: Tennessee
Mike Jr: Miami
Molly: Tennessee
Gus: Tennessee
Sam: Miami

Minnesota (1) at Chicago“What is this?” “It’s sauteed zucchini.” “It’s I-tey food. I don’t want no I-tey food.” “It’s not. I got it at the A&P. It’s like... squash.” “I know I-tey food when I hear it! It’s all them ‘eenie’ foods... zucchini... and linguini... and fettuccini. I want some American food, damn it! I want French fries!” “Oh, get off the table, Fellini!” “Hey, that’s my cat! His name’s not Fellini. It’s Jake! I won’t have any ‘eenie’ in this house! Your name’s Jake, you hear?” What the hell? Cutler at home… not on the road… and we’ve got the Vikings favored here? What in the name of barely-getting-by-Arizona and a poor-attitude-throughout-an-unsettled-roster is going on here? Ok… honestly… that’s not too tough to see. Chicago barely survived Buffalo last week, and in the two games before that… both at home… they lost to Seattle and Washington. This game means everything to both clubs. Chicago leaves it for a short week contest against Miami. Minnesota could find themselves back on top of the world, with a victory bringing them sort of into the division race and a shot at Green Bay next on the schedule. A loss for the Vikings though… and ouch… I think the year is over. Chicago may not give up many points, the truth is they haven’t been scoring them either. I’ll go against my better judgment and take Minnesota here.
Bob: Minnesota
Terry: Chicago
Mike: Chicago
Mike Jr: Minnesota
Molly: Minnesota
Gus: Minnesota
Sam: Chicago

Detroit at Buffalo (3)“You mean we might be a father?” “No. I might be a father. And your mom might be a mother. And you might be a brother. See, that way I keep it all in the family.” “Wow! Hey, I didn’t think people your age...” “The next word may be your last, kid!” You would not believe this if I told you it would happen last August, but the Lions are one of the highest scoring clubs in the NFL. Ok… yeah… the AFC has a few teams doing better than Detroit, but in the NFC it’s the Giants and Packers and that’s it. Don’t believe me? Detroit in 8 games has scored more than New Orleans in 9 games. The trouble is they are 0-4 on the road… and in those games they have scored 10… 14… 26… 20. Not hideously, Carolina-level bad. But if they can’t clear 20 in this game, they lose.
Bob: Detroit
Terry: Buffalo
Mike: Buffalo
Mike Jr: Detroit
Molly: Buffalo
Gus: Detroit
Sam: Buffalo

New York (Jets) (3) at Cleveland“Doesn’t look that bad to me.” “That’s cause you don’t have to ride it!” “Well, you know, you don’t have to ride it either, Dave. We’re not gonna beg you.” “We may plead, but we would never beg!” You don’t honestly expect me to believe the Browns are going to knock off the Saints, Patriots and Jets in order… do you? I can hope, but I’m not betting on it.
Bob: New York
Terry: New York
Mike: Cleveland
Mike Jr: Cleveland
Molly: New York
Gus: New York
Sam: Cleveland

Carolina at Tampa Bay (8)“I was proud of my work. And the buildings went up. When they were finished the damnedest thing happened. It was like the buildings were too good for us. Nobody told us that. It just felt uncomfortable, that’s all.” Yeah… moving on.
Bob: Tampa Bay
Terry: Tampa Bay
Mike: Tampa Bay
Mike Jr: Tampa Bay
Molly: Tampa Bay
Gus: Carolina
Sam: Tampa Bay

Kansas City (1) at Denver“I dreamed all last night, that everyone I ever sold a car to came back for a refund. And there you were, handing out the checks! One for you, and one for you...” Very interesting game here. Kansas City has been shutting down other teams so far. Not at a devastating pace, but only the Jets, Steelers and Ravens have given up fewer points in the AFC. I’m going to take them.
Bob: Kansas City
Terry: Denver
Mike: Kansas City
Mike Jr: Kansas City
Molly: Kansas City
Gus: Kansas City
Sam: Denver

St. Louis at San Francisco (6)“You know what I’d like to be? A cartoon of some kind. You know, like when they get hit in the head with a frying pan or something, and their head looks like the frying pan, with the handle and everything? They just go… booiing… and their head comes back to normal? Wouldn’t that be great?” “How’d you get to be so stupid, Cyril?” “I don’t know. I guess I just have a dumb heredity. What’s your excuse, Michael?” The tough thing here is that the Rams are 0-3 on the road. The defense has been very good. Much better than I expected. But let’s hold off on that 0-3 road record for a second. Why? Well… one loss was against Oakland. That doesn’t look hideous right now, though it did way back when. Another was against Detroit… a bad, horrible loss, but Detroit has been scoring points in bunches this season. The final road loss was by one point against Tampa Bay. I have seen absolutely nothing to indicate that the 49ers are a touchdown better than anyone. And… if they are playing a team that most opponents don’t score on… that becomes even more of a problem.
Bob: St. Louis
Terry: St. Louis
Mike: San Francisco
Mike Jr: San Francisco
Molly: St. Louis
Gus: St. Louis
Sam: St. Louis

Seattle at Arizona (3)“Oh, Dave, try not to become Catholic on us.” Are the Cardinals getting a bit too much credit for playing the Vikings close last week? Yeah. They probably are. Add that to a brutal loss from Seattle and suddenly an even game that favors the home team works when you look at it. The thing is… Seattle couldn’t score against Oakland on the road. They lost. Seattle didn’t send their team to the stadium to play the Giants last week, and the Seahawks lost there too. But their last win was against… you guessed it… Arizona. And it was a fairly comfortable 22-10 win at that. The reality though is simple… take away the Chicago game and Seattle in 2010 is showing that not only can they not win on the road, they can’t score either.
Bob: Arizona
Terry: Seattle
Mike: Arizona
Mike Jr: Arizona
Molly: Arizona
Gus: Seattle
Sam: Arizona

Dallas at New York (Giants) (13½)“How are you fellas doing?” “Well, we’re a little disturbed by developments in the Middle East, but...” Wow. Same Dallas review as last week. How do you predict when a team has no heart at all? New York is averaging a 27-20 win this year. They’ve been dominating the conference and won their only division game to date. I would love to make some sort of case for the Cowboys… based on this being just too high of a spread… but Dallas just hasn’t shown anything to indicate a 35-17 loss isn’t on the way. I have to take the Giants. (That said… the Cowboys will have a big victory before the year is over. You can’t have everyone predicting they have no heart or have packed their bags in professional football. Why? Because it doesn’t happen. Not for multiple games and insanely long stretches. It’s the blind squirrel and an acorn theory. The Cowboys will beat someone. I just don’t think you predict it will be this week.)
Bob: New York
Terry: New York
Mike: New York
Mike Jr: New York
Molly: Dallas
Gus: Dallas
Sam: New York

New England at Pittsburgh (4)“You guys still go swimmin’ in the quarries?” “Sure.” “So, the only thing you got to show for my 20 years of work is the holes we left behind?” I have no insight into this game. None. Except maybe this… New England looks confused on the road. Well, maybe that isn’t the right word. But they are a different team when they travel. I know they clobbered Miami, but that was a funny situation. San Diego could have been lost as quickly as it was won. In recent times… the offense showing up to play just one half of a road game is fairly accurate description. And against the Pittsburgh defense, that’s going to be short of what they need.
Bob: Pittsburgh
Terry: New England
Mike: Pittsburgh
Mike Jr: New England
Molly: New England
Gus: Pittsburgh
Sam: Pittsburgh

Philadelphia (3) at Washington“No, I don’t feel lucky to be alive! I feel lucky I’m not dead. There’s a difference.” McNabb in a big game? Let me tell you a little secret… while it may have been a surprise to watch him get pulled, the history suggests he has problems under pressure.
Bob: Philadelphia
Terry: Washington
Mike: Philadelphia
Mike Jr: Philadelphia
Molly: Washington
Gus: Philadelphia
Sam: Washington

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mike: Last week 10-3, currently 67-56-7
Bob: Last week 7-6, currently 64-59-7
Molly: Last week 7-6, currently 63-60-7
Terry: Last week 3-10, currently 57-66-7
Gus: Last week 6-7, currently 57-66-7
Mike Jr: Last week 4-9, currently 49-60-7
Sam: Last week 3-10, currently 46-77-7

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at