The Degenerate: Week 10 Preview and Thursday Pick, A New Day

My Week 9 picks went 0-2, my alma mater is embroiled in the ugliest and most sickening scandal in NCAA history, and the Birds blew a 4th quarter lead and lost to the Bears on Monday night, probably ending any chances they had at a playoff run. So, how was your weekend?

Wow, Fantasource did not have a good five days.

What a week.

I spoke my piece on the Penn State issue yesterday. Check it out if you want to know my thoughts from an Alumni point of view. Thanks to Spike for letting me post it, I owe him an Orange Julius.

But let’s move on from the Penn State scandal. Not to mitigate the situation, or downplay it in any way, but I’m going to make this post a ‘Paterno-Free Zone’ this week. So, if you are looking to read something other than the 24/7 Penn State chatter, please stick around. I have some hot chocolate and cookies for you.

This week we start with the NFL Thursday night games. Great news for NFL fans (at least those of us with NFL Network), we get one more night of prime-time NFL action. And one more night of gambling (for amusement purposes only, as we all know). So this week, and all weeks going forward with a Thursday night game, we will do a review of the previous weeks picks, an Eagles preview, and the Thursday night pick.

Let’s get on with the show…

Week 9 Revisited

We'll Get 'Em This Week

0-2 last weekend. Rough loss on the Cowboys -11.5’ and an even tougher loss with the Eagles UNDER 47.5. Both games were close and could have been winners as easily as they were losers. Oh well, we need to regroup in Week 10 and get some winners.

We dropped to 10-8 on the season, still above .500 but we need to get back on the winning track. Let’s review last weeks picks…

Cowboys -11.5 over Seahawks

This game went pretty much as I thought, withthe exception of the Seattle rushing game. Marshawn Lunch decided to show up and put up 135 yards and a TD.

Dallas started well, but came away with two FGs in the 1st quarter when they should have had twp TD’s. Dallas had a 17 point lead in the 4th quarter but gave up a TD with six minutes left and only got away with a 10 point win, 23-13. Not enough to cover the 11.5. Loss

Eagles / Bears UNDER 47.5

We were sure looking good in this game, Chicago was up 10-0 with two minutes left in the half and then the wheels came off. The Eagles drove down and got a field goal, 10-3. Ok not bad. Still looking good for the under. Chicago gets the ball, and proceeds to fumble the ball and the Eagles run it in for a TD. 10-10. Not great but the Under is still looking ok. Then with a minute left in the half, DeSean Jackson fumbles a punt inside the 20, Dallas stuffs it in for a TD, 17-10 at half. What? 17 points in two minutes? Never good for the Under.

In the 3rd quarter we got two more rushing TD’s from the Eagles and we were pretty much done. Then the Eagles went ahead and blew a 4th quarter lead and lost the game. The icing on the cake. Chicago came into the Linc and got a 30-24 win. Loss.

Week 10 Hometown Preview: Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals

Opening Line: No Line posted
Current Line: No Line posted
Game Trends (via

Limber up, John. It's going to be a long day.

I looked every where for a line on this game and found nothing. No one wants to put up a number yet. The problem is that no one knows which QB is playing for the Cardinals. Kevin Kolb is hurt and is probably not going to play. That leaves the QB duties to John Skelton. Yup, good old John Skelton coming into the Linc.

If it was up to me, I would put this at Eagles -9, O/U of 48, but who knows what it will be. I’d expect to see a line posted sometime Thursday when the Cardinals decide on their starting QB.

Coming off of a loss to the Bears, you have to think the Eagles will come out fired up and ready to play.

Arizona is not a good team. 30th ranked in overall team efficiency. 27th on offense, 30th on defense. Yeah, they’re going to get lit up. The one bright spot for the Cardinals is that they have a decent rush defense, so it may cause problems for Shady. But I doubt it.

And QB? Kolb or Skelton? It’s not going to matter. The Cardinals are a one man team, Larry Fitzgerald. But here’s the problem, the Eagles have the 5th rated pass rush, and Arizona is 30th in pass protection. I’ll do the math for you, John Skelton (or Kevin Kolb) will be running for his life back all afternoon.

Arizona has two wins this season, week 1 at home against Carolina and last week at home vs St Louis. Not an impressive resume.

I do remember that the Cards went into Baltimore two weeks ago and almost pulled the big upset (that was our Week 8 pick, ugh), and they’ve hung tough on the road, only losing by more than 3 points on the road once, that was a 34-10 blowout @ Minnesota (McNabb’s last good game of his career).

I just can’t see a scenario where the Cardinals keep this game close. A west coast team coming east to play the early Sunday game, that’s never a good spot to be in.

I would lean to the Eagles at a line of 10 or less. We should see a pointspread Thursday and I’ll be back on Friday with the pick.

Thursday Night Football

TNF Bet #1: (a.k.a the “I hate Phillip Rivers, but I’m still betting on him” pick) San Diego Chargers -7 over Oakland Raiders

I hate Phillip Rivers. But that isn’t going to stop me from picking the Chargers tonight.

This is your last chance, Phil.

After what he did to us last Monday Night, I am not in his fan club. Last Monday, San Diego was driving late in the game, they were well into field goal range and ready to get us out of Monday night with a push, and Rivers fumbles, and the Chiefs win in OT. Thanks, Phil.

But ask yourself this, are you sold on the Raiders? Darren McFadden is their best player, and he is not even suiting up tonight.

I’m not sure if Carson Palmer is ready to be an NFL QB again. Last week vs. Denver he had another game with three INT’s. Seriously, four weeks ago Palmer was eating Papa John’s and laying on his couch and now he’s going to go into San Diego on a short week and beat the Chargers? He played in Week 7, had a bye week, played in Week 9, now he’s going on the road and playing four days later?

The basic handicapping of this game says that even with both teams at 4-4, San Diego is the much better team. They have the 9th ranked rushing offense, and the Raiders have the 26th ranked rushing defense. Oakland gave up 300 yard rushing to Denver last week. Yes, 300 yards rushing. So expect alot of Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert.

Without McFadden I don’t see where the Raiders get their offense. Michael Bush is a decent replacement, but he can’t make up all of McFadden’s production. San Diego’s defense isn’t great (24th overall) but the Raiders don’t really have weapons to take advantage of that.

San Diego put up 38 points on Sunday against Green Bay, so I don’t think they’ll have trouble scoring against the Raiders. With offensive weapons like Phillip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Mike Tolbert, Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates they are just a better team. Combine that with the fact that they are playing at home on a short week, against a QB who may not be in shape to bounce back and win on the road with 4 days of rest.

How about Phil Rivers and his crew roll up the points and knock off the Raiders 34-20. (if you wanted to parlay this, I’d lean to the OVER also)

The Line: Chargers -7, O/U 47.5
The Pick: Chargers -7

Back on Friday with the Sunday picks






Season Record: 10-8. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

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