Ouch! We were ever wrong about the Vikings and Bucs on Thursday night. Both The Coach and the Doc picked the Vikings. Final score: Tampa Bay 36 Minnesota 17.
The Vikings were the worst 5-2 team in the NFL. Now they’re the worst 5-3 team in the NFL. This is a team with no quarterback and only two weapons: Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin. After that, the Vikings must get a great defensive effort in order to win and they certainly didn’t get that on Thursday.
The Coach and The Doc wrote the following about Thursday’s game: “Oh how the Vikings love their Dome sweet Dome…they are a perfect 4-0 this season at home. Their opponents? The Bucs, who actually beat the Vikes on their last visit to Minnie…and since then they have lost their last nine in a row on the road. Tampa Bay has shown some flashes of brilliance this year; Josh Freeman tossing to Vincent Jackson is starting to get noticed. Also getting noticed, Minnesota’s Christian Ponder, but for the wrong reasons. The Bucs’ run defense will make Adrian Petersen work hard, but they won’t stop him. Minnesota wins a close one. The Coach says: ‘Close? Right. And suddenly the Buccaneers are going to be better than the Cardinals. The only person who can screw this up for the Vikings is the idiot who decides NOT to give the football to Peterson.’”
Well, we were right about one thing. Some idiot decided not to give the ball to Peterson, at least not enough. While the Bucs super back, rookie Doug Martin, carried 29 times for 135 yards and a touchdown, Peterson carried only 15 times. He did pick up 123 yards and a touchdown, but c’mon man, give AP the football. Had he carried it 29 times, the outcome would have been much, much different.
Regardless of the mess on Thursday, The Coach and The Doc got better last week: The Doc was 10-3 straight up (60-44) and 7-6 against the spread (40-64). The Coach was identical: 10-3 straight up (63-41) and 7-6 against the spread (44-60).
This week, as always, The Doc writes the reasons for our insanity while The Coach makes stupid comments. Well, ya gotta be good at something.
Let’s take a close look at Week 8:
New England Patriots (4-3) vs. St. Louis Rams (3-4)
Line: Patriots by 7.
This marks NFL’s sixth consecutive year playing a regular-season game at Wembley Stadium, and neutral site games are like a Super Bowl dress rehearsal for Tom Brady and company. Sure, the London media has fallen in love with the Rams because they’ve been there all week, but love doesn’t win games. Brady lights it up. The Coach says: “I just love the idea of the ‘Patriots’ playing in England.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE PATRIOTS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE PATRIOTS TO WIN AND COVER.
Indianapolis Colts (3-3) at Tennessee Titans (3-4)
Line: Titans by 3.5.
The Colts haven’t won a road game since 2010 and are allowing 142 rush yards per game. Titans’ Chris Johnson has come alive after a sleepy September but their defence is still a huge concern. Luck runs out for the Colts in Nashville. The Coach says: “As I hold my nose…”
THE DOC: TAKE THE TITANS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE TITANS TO WIN AND COVER.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) at Green Bay Packers (4-3)
Line: Packers by 15.
Oh boy. I hope you have Aaron Rodgers on your fantasy team. The Coach says: “Could Green Bay get to 100?”
THE DOC: TAKE THE PACKERS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE PACKERS TO WIN AND COVER.
San Diego Chargers (3-3) at Cleveland Browns (1-6)
Line: Chargers by 2.5.
The Chargers have just had a bye week to sort things out, and it was well needed. Thirteen turnovers in their past four games and they surrendered a 24-point lead in their last game at home nonetheless. Browns might not win again this season. Chargers regroup. Thew Coach says: “Today we find out which one is the worst coach in football, Pat Shurmur or Norv Turner.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE CHARGERS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE BROWNS IN THE UPSET OF THE WEEK.
Atlanta Falcons (6-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-3)
Line: Eagles by 2.5.
Interesting spread. Falcons are 6-0 and they’re not the favourite? But upon closer examination, Atlanta’s all six wins were against teams currently .500 or less. Equally as interesting as despite both teams coming off byes, the Eagles are a surreal 13-0 after byes under Andy Reid. But I like the Falcons in this one because their defence is playing extremely well and Matt Ryan is having an incredible year. The Coach says: “Take the Falcons until they lose.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE FALCONS IN AN UPSET.
THE COACH: TAKE THE FALCONS IN WHAT REALLY ISN’T AN UPSET.
Seattle Seahawks (4-3) at Detroit Lions (2-4)
Line: Lions by 2.5.
Seattle has big wins so far this season over the Cowboys, Packers and the Patriots and its offense had been progressing well until the second half of its game in San Francisco last week, and now they’re 1-3 with nine turnovers on the road this year. Lions Matthew Stafford has tossed three consecutive 300 yard games at home, and although he’ll miss Nate Burleson watch for Calvin Johnson to have a big day at home. The Coach says: “The Lions last stand.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE LIONS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE LIONS TO WIN AND COVER.
Miami Dolphins (3-3) at New York Jets (3-4)
Line: Jets by 2.5.
The Dolphins are off their bye week with a chance to become a playoff threat with a victory here. It won’t be easy, Miami has lost eight of its past 11 on the road, and this will be QB Ryan Tannehill’s first divisional road game. The Jets lost a tough one to the Patriots last week, so they hope to rebound at home. Jets QB Mark Sanchez was vastly improved last week, but can he carry that momentum against a perceived weaker opponent? With Miami’s defense playing well, I smell upset. The Coach says, “If Tim Tebow has a thought, is it a Christian ponder?”
THE DOC: TAKE THE DOLPHINS IN A UPSET.
THE COACH: TAKE THE JETS TO WIN AND COVER.
Carolina Panthers (1-5) at Chicago Bears (5-1)
Line: Bears by 7.5.
Chicago comes into this one having won its last four in a row, with a dominating defense that has forced 21 turnovers. The Panthers Cam Newton has been awful thus far, and Carolina has lost their last four and just fired their GM. Carolina will wish they just stayed home in bed. The Coach says: “I don’t believe the Panthers are all fired up to ‘Win one for the new GM!’ If the Bears score a touchdown it might be enough.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE BEARS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE BEARS TO WIN AND COVER.
Washington Redskins (3-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)
Line: Steelers by 4.5.
The Steelers have been difficult to figure out this season. They’ve lost to the Titans and Raiders, but they beat the Eagles and Bengals. They are battling injury issues as usual but remain a very tough team to beat at home. The pass rush will be key for the Steelers to contain the ‘Skins RG3. Washington’s pass defense is giving up 328.4 yards per game so expect Ben Roethlisberger to have a huge game. The Coach says: “This might be the best game of the weekend.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE STEELERS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE STEELERS TO WIN AND COVER.
Oakland Raiders (2-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-5)
Line: Chiefs by 1.
It used to be tradition to go with the Chiefs are at home where they’ve always been tough, but that hasn’t held true in 2012. They are 0-3 at Arrowhead this season, and the Raiders have won five in a row there as well. Perhaps QB Brady Quinn with the bye week to prepare will be enough to get the Chiefs on track, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The Raiders are not a good club either, but Carson Palmer has shown that he can still win on occasion. If Oakland can contain Jamaal Charles then they will be able to pull off the road win. The Coach says: “This could be a real stinker.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE RAIDERS IN AN UPSET.
THE COACH: TAKE THE CHIEFS TO WIN AND COVER.
New York Giants (5-2) at Dallas Cowboys (3-3)
Line: Giants by 2.
The Boys have never beaten the Giants in Cowboys Stadium, and there have been 71, 76 and 64 points scored the last three times these teams played in Dallas; all Giant wins. Dallas did beat them on the road 24-17 to open the season, but Eli Manning hadn’t warmed up yet. He’ll outplay Tony Romo in this one, as the Giants get their revenge. The Coach says, “The Giants defense will render Tony Romo offensively impotent.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE GIANTS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE GIANTS TO WIN AND COVER.
New Orleans Saints (2-4) at Denver Broncos (3-3)
Line: Broncos by 6.
Get ready for loads of scoring in this one…Drew Brees and Peyton Manning should combine for about 800 yards and 80 points; the difference is that the Saints defense has given up 2,793 yards so far in 2012, the most allowed in the first six games by any team since 1950. The Broncos are rested after the bye week after the huge win in San Diego, and their defense is clicking. The Coach says: “Brees vs. Manning. Does it get any better than that?”
THE DOC: TAKE THE BRONCOS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE BRONCOS TO WIN AND COVER.
San Francisco 49ers (5-2) at Arizona Cardinals (4-3)
Line: 49ers by 6.5.
As much as the Sunday nighter will be all about offense, the Monday nighter will be all about defense. Although Cards QB John Skelton is 6-0 as a starter at home, and did toss three touchdown strikes in the two teams meeting last December, that kind of lightning never strikes twice in the desert. 49ers RB Frank Gore is listed as “questionable” but for a divisional game, he’ll be ready. The Coach says, “Smith vs. Skelton. Does it get any worse than that?”
THE DOC: TAKE THE 49ers TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE 49ers TO WIN AND COVER.