Friday, October 17, 2008
Devo's Picks (5-7)
San Francisco (+10.5) Over GIANTS
Lucky for the Giants, I've been wrong more than I've been right this season. The problems with the Giants coming off the Browns game are twofold: 1. Eli Manning, 2. the Defense, most notably the pass rush. Let's address each of these in kind below:
Eli. It's going to take a few more weeks of lousy play for me to be concerned with this Super Bowl MVP. Yes, he tried to force the ball to Plax and his INT's were way too close to the end zone. But he was REALLY good to begin the season, and that can't be forgotten after some lousy MNF play. After last week, Eli still only has 4 interceptions and is on pace for roughly 12-13, a career low. The Cleveland game slightly derailed a season in which Eli still has a good chance of heading to the Pro Bowl, so it's all good on this front.
Level of concern (1-10, 10 being the worst) 3.
Continued weeks of lousy play before panic sets in: 3.
The Defense. The front 7 is not getting to the quarterback, and the secondary is not getting interceptions. Both of these issues have been with the Giants D for a few games, but have not been front and center because the offense has been strong enough to mask the average defense performances. But you know what? Hopefully the defense is angry enough, even without Pierce and Wilkinson, to come out motivated and flying.
Level of concern: 6.
Continued weeks of lousy play before panic sets in: 1.
But will happen? I'm saying the defense gives up a few big plays but its relentless pass rush returns against a lousy SF O-Line, rattling J.T. O'Sullivan and his Irish Pub. The offense is efficient, with the standard 150-200 yards rushing and about that many passing yards from a decent but unspectacular Eli.
The Pick: 24-16 Giants.
Indianapolis (-1) over GREEN BAY
Who's the best team in the AFC? Stop saying Tennessee. Just stop right now. A good defense, sure, but amazingly little offense. Here's my deal: I don't care who the best team in the AFC is, I think the NFC team is better. My only worry is that pretty much every team in the AFC has regressed to the point where the Cassel-led Patriots are in the running for a return trip to the Super Bowl. And that is not cool. But that's where the Colts come in. If they can get most of their team even remotely close to healthy, they're clearly the class of the AFC, embarassingly ahead of the Patriots, and probably a 12 point favorite over the Chargers in the AFC Championship game. (Note: Without Norv Turner, that spread is about 3 points, depending on home field.) The main bullet point here: I'm rooting for the Colts to regain their form, restore some normalcy to the AFC, kick the Patriots while they're down, and keep Norv Turner and Philip Rivers as walking punchlines. And NFW are the Packers getting in the Colts way this week.
The pick: Indy big, 34-10