Beat The Man - Week Ten

This week, Scott Jones ponders the idea that six is a magic number, and goes against the Steelers once again (which the ghost of Art Rooney may have to stop by whacking him upside the head with a fresh Cuban cigar...)

Continuing our slap fight with The Man…

Last Week: 3-2
Season to Date: 20-17

Hey, did ya hear what the Pittsburgh Steelers did to the undefeated GreenBirds last week? Like, they put a serious whuppin’ on ‘em. Yeah, and that was after they dropped the NFL’s most impressive streak with a big ol’ mighty cleaver upon the Patriots. That’s pretty good, eh? Guess what - I went against the Terrible Towel in both those games. Yup. So, thanks for reading, but you may want to opt out and find a prognosticator who can actually serve up accurate prognosis.

Enough humility? (Good, I hate playing that part).

This week has me eyeing 6, count ‘em, SIX games I’d like to exploit! Six as in how many beers come wrapped in plastic rings. Six as in how many wins the Hawks must have following this Sunday to keep me from throwing a red-faced tantrum at my local sports bar (“Hawks Nesssst!”) and waking up face down in the gutter Monday morning, wondering how I keep livin’ when legends like John Bonham and Bon Scott can’t handle their own vomit like I can. Six as in… the bottom of the clock – or halfway to the top (whichever way you wanna look at it). Six picks!! Let’s begin…


CLE +4.5 vs. PITT
In keeping with the opposite side of the fence, we’re going against the hottest team in football this week. Yup. I’m just that stubborn.

Pittsburgh truly played one whale of a game last week. I mean, they were fully committed and impressively adept on both sides of the ball. By now, I accept Big Ben as a veteran QB who must be feared, the OL is snowplowing Defenses aside and Jerome Bettis is looking like a greyhound (thanks to the fresh legs Duce has afforded him). It’s all coming together for Pittsburgh. Boy they look good. So good – they’ve covered 6 in-a-row (there’s that number again). Last year’s readers may remember I have a betting rule on teams that cover 5 or more in a row. Simple rule: Bet against them until you win. And double your bet accordingly. And guess what kiddies, for the same reason Philly was ripe for the trap last week – the Steelers may meet the upset this week.

As noted in last week’s article, Cleveland has played quite respectable at home. Earning a 3-1 record, with their one blemish being a near loss to that very same Philly team. Are the Browns any good? No – they blow. But I’ve got enough reason to take them here and feel good about it. (Wait until game time and you may even grab another point from the Pittsburgh bandwagon bettors.)


MINN +4 @ GB
While we’re at it, let’s let the air out of someone else’s tires… Green Bay still ain’t no damned good. What, they post 3-straight wins against Detroit, Dallas and DC and they’re supposed to be respected again? Does anyone respect those 3 teams I just listed? What, are we supposed to respect the Defense now because they held their last 3 opponents to 20pts or less? Does anyone think any of those 3-city-D’s have threatening offenses? The most threatening offense on that list is Dallas and they’ve only scored over 21 once this year. What, are we suddenly supposed to fear the Pack at home again after losing 3-straight in Lambeau vs. CHI, NYG, and struggling TEN – and getting right vs. Dallas? A month ago every mouth in the press was melting cheese for Packer fondue and now they’re everyone’s favorite playoff darkhorse? Sorry – I ain’t buyin’. Pass me some more sourdough cubes please. And pour some more wine in that pot while you’re at it…

Minnesota is taking themselves seriously this year. They cannot afford to drop into a division tie with the Packers and slip into a tailspin similar to last season. It’s simply not going to happen. Moss-less or covered with dew, Culpepper is going to exploit that sorry PackerDough defense and create a win. They played a very tough game last Monday facing Indy and it took some freakish improv from Peyton Manning to secure a Minnesota defeat (in a very important win for the Colts). There is NO WAY IN HELL we should be getting points here. Drop several greenbacks and walk outta Packertown like a cowboy…


HOU +9 @ IDY
Speaking of cowboys, the Houston Texans have been impressive battling for respect throughout the season. They remind me a bit of the Bengals of a year ago. Scratching and clawing. Often times too far away, but never much content to fail. They’ve won and lost some difficult games, and I think that makes them hardened. I think they’re anxious to meet the Colts in this spot. I think they burn to make their mark in the suddenly competitive AFC South. If they’re going to make a move – this is the game to do it in.

The Colts have continually opened their secondary to anyone willing to strike (why the Vikings chose to work the ground rather than exploit an inept Colts secondary is a question left for fools to answer). Meanwhile, QB David Carr has found himself in season 3 on his way to a 4,000yd year while posting a solid 95.1 rating. Additionally, WR Andre Johnson has proven a worthy threat with excellent sophomore numbers (45, 693, 4TD’s). They can, and will, put the hurt on the Colts secondary. They’ll have to… cuz 13 sacks on the year and 18TD allowed through the air - doesn’t do much to threaten Peyton Manning from posting another 4TD game.

I like Houston to stay within the number because they want the win badly enough. An upset is possible, though not likely.


ATL –3.5 vs. TAMPA
Ah yes, another chance to ride Atlanta. The Bucs putting up big numbers against a Chiefs Defense that couldn’t stop your Grandma from scoring - does nothing to quiet me. They’re not very good. Atlanta is.

The Falcons come off a BYE week, which I normally don’t credit much. In this case, I think it’s relevant. Atlanta struggled a bit through October and had some things to iron out with the extra week. I think 7 more days gives them just the right breath of hindsight to hit the field with urgency once again. They’ll want to get it right at home heading into the second half of the season and a shot at a playoff game in the Georgia Dome. (Note to all you Hawk Fans: Philly isn’t the only team we’re trying to catch. I felt early on that wk17 game was going to matter for us, and I did NOT like the team we’re facing there. That’s looking more and more like a monumental game as the season moves forward). Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is aware they’re not going to be there for wk18. I don’t care WHO Chuckie’s been fornicating with, that seed ain’t gonna produce a winner this trimester.


SEA pk @ RAMS

Winners… Let’s talk about winners.

Winners, when they have a chance at redemption - beat the holy hell out of teams that stick a thorn in their pride and block out the sunshine. Winners pick themselves up off the dirt and punish those who thought to make them appear inferior. Winners take the enemy by the face and obliterate. (And may I say “Thank You!”, as I pen this on Veteran’s Day, to all of the WORLD’s heroes – who answered the call to America and Freedom when called upon. In debt to you always, I graciously bow.)

We best be winners on Sunday…
And that’s all I have to say about that.


And filling out the six-pack (cheers Vets):

SF pk vs. CAR
“Hurrayyyyy beeeeer!!”


This weeks, um, can’t-miss games:
CLE +4.5 vs. PITT
MINN +4 @ GB
HOU +9 @ IDY
ATL –3.5 vs. TAMPA
SEA pk @ RAMS
SF pk vs. CAR

Beat The Man… cuz he wears ugly gold against a sickly blue.

G. Scott Jones is a freelance writer who contributes regularly to Seahawks.NET. Reaction of any sort is always encouraged at schleprockhawk@sbcglobal.net.


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