Today’s post is going to be short and sweet. I didn’t have time to write up a manifesto this week, but I did make a pick.
Last night.. well last night was a debacle. Vince Young threw four INT’s, Marshawn Lynch and Tarvaris Jackson shredded the Eagles defense and the Eagles dropped another one 31-14. And the icing on the cake, a late 4th quarter pick six from Vince Young put the game over the 43.5 total and we lost our Thursday pick. Terrible night all around. Shady played ok, but that’s about the extent of the good news from the Seattle game.
I think now’s the time to jump on the “lose them all and get a high draft pick” bandwagon. Next week the Eagles go to Miami, so we might actually steal a win there. Just what we need, finishing like 7-9, not making the playoffs and getting a 15-20 slotted draft pick. Just lose out, finish 4-12 and get a top 5 pick, please? Can you do that for me Andy?
Onto the Sunday pick.
Pick #1 (a.k.a The “Tyler Palko vs. Caleb Hanie, seriously?” pick) Chicago Bears -7 over KC Chiefs
This week was tough to handicap. Lots of weird lines. Patriots laying 21 to Colts? I know that Pats will win, and probably win big, but laying 21 points? I’m not sure about that. That seems like a backdoor cover waiting to happen.
Saints giving seven points to the Lions? I’d say without Suh the Lions defense would have a tough time shutting down Brees. And it’s in New Orleans, so that makes you lean even more to the Saints. But Eli threw for almost 400 yards, I know alot was in garbage time, but still. Stafford and Calvin Johnson could have a big day. I’m staying away.
Then I focused on the Bears / Chiefs game. All signs would make you think that taking the seven points in a game of bad QB’s would be the play. The QB situation is a mess for both teams. For Chicago, Jay Cutler is out for the season with a broken hand, so in steps playoff hero (almost) Caleb Hanie. But after his showing last week against the Raiders (two TD’s, three INT’s) don’t fault the Bears fans for jumping off the bandwagon so soon.
But on the other hand, the Chiefs are in a similar boat with Tyler Palko. He has started the last two games, and in those games? How about zero TD’s and six INT’s. Kansas City signed Kyle Orton last week, and there are rumors that he will be playing this week. Will he pass along the secrets of the Bears offense and defense (ala Kevin Kolb vs. the Eagles)? Maybe, he did play in Chicago, but that was 3 years ago (2008). Orton is a better QB, but is he ready to step in and lead the Chiefs after a week? I’d say no, not yet. But if Palko starts cold I wouldn’t be surprised if Orton got some snaps.
I’m still liking the Bears in this one. I think a combination of a bad Chiefs offense and a strong Bears defense will be enough to shut down KC on Sunday.
Chicago is 5th in defensive efficiency, KC is 30th in offensive efficiency. I think the Chiefs will have a hard time scoring points on Sunday against the Bears. In their last four games they have scored three, ten, three and nine points. That’s pretty bad. Now they go on the road to Chicago. And oh yeah, it’s going to be in the 30’s on Sunday with a 40% chance of snow at Soldier Field.
This should play well into the Bears plan. I expect alot of Matt Forte on Sunday. I know the Caleb Hanie experiment didn’t work out too well last week, but the Bears remember how good he played in the NFC Championship game, so he has the talent. Maybe coming back home will help.
The Chiefs defense is ranked 21st (18th against the run, 27th against the pass). So Matt Forte 1st, Caleb Hanie play action passing 2nd, would be a decent game plan.
Forte’s numbers haven’t been too good since his huge game against the Eagles in Week 9, but I expect him to break out against a bad Chiefs defense.
And then there’s Devin Hester. The true wildcard, he could break one and get a special teams TD, or at least set up the Bears offense with great field position.
I think all the signs (bad QB’s, good Chicago D, snow, Forte) point to a low scoring game, with the Bears dominating on defense, and letting Matt Forte do his thing. I expect Caleb Hanie to have a decent game, maybe even throw a TD. We’ll see some field goals, maybe a defensive TD thrown in for good measure. This game opened at Chicago -9, and has dropped to -7, so the price is right. And if you have a line of -7, do yourself a favor and buy it down to 6.5, if you can.
How about the Monsters of the Midway show up in the snow and knock off the Chiefs. I’ll say Bears win 24-10.
Also, I’m seeing 64% of pointspread action going to the Chiefs and you know what, I like that. I’ve been riding the public too much this season, I’m happy to make a pick that goes against the popular opinion.
Let’s get it done on Sunday.
The Line: Chicago -7, O/U 37.5
The Pick: Chicago -7
So, who is the bigger 2011 disappointment, the Eagles or the Phillies?
Season Record: 16-13. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.
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