Picking With Phil

For this week we have Sunday morning picks for you.  Joining us for picks this week is Boston T.  It should be quite the picks party.  On tap this week, three great AFC division rivalry games.

GAME 1:  Raiders @ Chargers -13

Phil:  Boston T is pretty confident that the Raiders will cover.  The Chargers are #1 in total offense and #1 in total defense.  No team has had stats even close to that since the Rams in 1999.  The Chargers do have flaws, though.  They’re horrible in punt coverage, giving up twice as many yards on punts as any other team in the league.  Also they are -4 in turnover margin.  So how can the Raiders win this game?  Special teams and ball security.  The Raiders aren’t good at either of those.  It’ll be close, but I think the Chargers cover with a late pick 6.  Chargers 31 Raiders 17

Phillip Rivers reacts to an intentional grounding call in the Chargers lat game against the Raiders.

Boston T:  If I was I was kicking back in the sports book at Caesar’s this weekend I’d be laying my mortgage down on this game.  If the last few years has taught us anything it is that there’s no such thing as a sure thing.  Well that’s BS. Not that I have a successful history in handicapping, but where on earth a 13 point spread comes from is baffling.  A division game between two teams 1 game apart in the standings and last time I checked, the Raiders laid a smacking on the Chargers earlier this season.  Let’s face it, Norv Turner and the Chargers know how their season is going to end.  November is over so they can start preparing for an early playoff departure and the offseason.  The Raiders have something to play for and will easily cover here.  However, despite the fact that part of me would love to see it, I don’t think Philip “Cry Me a” Rivers will be shedding too many tears after this one.  If I’m lucky, we’ll see a Chargers win and a Seymour slap to Rivers’s face.  Final score, San Diego 33, Oakland 27.

GAME 2:  Steelers @ Ravens -3

Phil:  This is the biggest game of the year for AFC North fans.  The Steelers-Ravens showdown in December to determine who wins the division.  I really have little faith in the Ravens to win these types of games because they just haven’t been successful against good Steelers teams over the years.  Why?  Because Big Ben can make the big plays that the Ravens QBs can’t.  Unfortunately, I think he’ll do it again this week despite his banged up offensive line.  Steelers 20 Ravens 17

Difference maker.

Boston T:  The first of the two big AFC division games of the weekend.  Tough one.  I’m a New England fan but one of my favorite non-Pats games every year has consistently been this matchup.  Both teams are always angry and hard hitting.  Makes for an exciting matchup. Going into this season I thought the Ravens were the best team in football.  I’m not sure if that’s still the case but they are making a case for themselves.

I just googled “infamous serial rapist” in hopes of finding a familiar name so I could throw in a quip about Big Ben’s off field antics but I came up empty.  Just pretend I executed that successfully, you laughed and then continued.

The Raven’s are 2-2 against teams I’ll call “good” this year.  I think the purple birds should win this game but Sean Connery’s celebrity Jeopardy therapist and Hines Ward always seem to do a number on them.  It’s a toss up.  I can see the Ravens having about 7 sacks in this game and hopefully knocking Roethlis-something out of the game.  Final score Ravens 24, Steelers 14.

GAME 3:  Jets @ Pats -3.5

Phil:  Like the Steelers Ravens game, I think this one is really all about the quarterbacks.  Without Tom Brady, the Pats are 6-5, with him, they are Super Bowl favorites.  Sanchez doesn’t have great numbers, but he’s done enough late in games to put the Jets at 9-2.  The Pats aren’t going to beat themselves, so Sanchez is going to have to win this for the Jets.  He has some good weapons, but I just get the feeling that he’ll make too many mistakes.  Pats 27 Jets 20

Loud noises!

Boston T:  Don’t get me wrong.  I like your fat, loud mouthed, funny guy just as much as everybody else, but I enjoy them much more in Uncle Buck, Tommy Boy, The Great Outdoors than I do on a football field.  I guess his media exposure was somewhat tempered when he was a coordinator, but now that he’s a head coach, I cannot stand Rex Ryan.  The hyping of the Jet’s that started about half way through last January has become sickening.  Favored to win the Super Bowl after an 8-8 year where they backed into the playoffs because Peyton Manning and the spineless Colts served it to them on a platter.  Listening to the Jets ball washers nauseates me and I wish bad things upon that team.

Phew.  Glad I got that off my chest.  Now onto the somewhat unbiased analysis.  At the beginning of the season I thought the Patriots were an 8-8 team.  I didn’t think the defense would be able to stop anybody.  I was right.  So how are the Patriots 9-2?  Well, I’d say other teams in the league aren’t as good as I thought they would be.  A lot more parity this year than there has been in the past.  The Patriots are well coached and have won some big games this year.  This would be the biggest.  The Jets only beat two teams with records over .500 so its difficult to gauge how good they really are.   The Jets do not impress me.  The Patriots, even with a weak defense, have been playing like a finely oiled machine.  Tom Brady’s sexy hair and his new Uggs will carry the Patriots to victory.  Final score Patriots 30, Jets 24

STANDINGS: Phil 19-14-3 CONTENDERS: 18-15-3

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