2010 NFL Week 11 Picks

CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 14: Brett Favre  of the Minnesota Vikings talks to his offensive teammates in the huddle during a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 14, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 27-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

My college picks continue to be complete and utter garbage, but I’ve held my own in the NFL this season.

After going 3-1 in Week 8 and 3-1 again in Week 9, I followed those performances up with another 3-1 week last Sunday. The 4-0 week continues to be my Everest, but who knows, maybe Week 11 is it. Maybe this is the Sunday I taste glory.

Or maybe this is the week my college picks infect my NFL picks and I go 0-4. Should be fun either way.

Browns (3-6) @ Jaguars (5-4), 1:00PM ET
The Browns have become a fan favorite of late and why not? They beat the Saints and Patriots and if it weren’t for a Chansi Stuckey fumble in overtime last week, they probably go on to beat the Jets too. In terms of being a competitive team, the Browns are “for real.” There’s no question. But they’re due to lay an egg and I think it’ll be this week in Jacksonville. The Jaguars certainly aren’t a great team by any stretch of the imagination and they needed a fluke Hail Mary touchdown last week after they collapsed in the second half against Houston. But this is a matchup that favors the Jaguars because neither team is very explosive. They can hang with teams that can’t turn games into a track meet. I think the Jags will limit Peyton Hillis and get the best of the Browns this week.

Lions (2-7) @ Cowboys (2-7), 1:00PM ET
I think it would be a mistake to hop on the Cowboys’ bandwagon again after one win. I agree that it was a big win over a formidable opponent in the Giants, but the ‘Boys aren’t above overlooking a team like the Lions – even when they’re sitting at 2-7. The Lions have struggled all year but they’ve covered every week outside of a loss to the Vikings in Week 3. For those that have been burned several times by the Cowboys, you know laying seven points is too much with this team. Detroit will keep it somewhat close and cover (either with a legit cover or of the backdoor variety that they’ve become accustomed to doing).

Packers (6-3) @ Vikings (3-6), 1:00PM ET
I have no problem saying that I hope the Packers send Brett Favre home with a nice parting gift in the form of a blowout defeat. But this game reeks of Lord Favre magic. The Vikings have looked hapless for most of the year and Favre’s play has been downright pathetic at times. But this might be his last chance to stick it to the Packers and you know he’s going to make the most of the opportunity, especially with the game being played on his turf. That said, Minnesota needs to figure out where its pass rush went or else Aaron Rodgers will shred the Vikings’ suspect secondary. The Vikes don’t want a shootout – they want to control the clock and take their chances in the vertical passing game when opportunities present themselves. As much as it pains me to say it: Minnesota plus the points.

Ravens (6-3) @ Panthers (1-8), 1:00PM ET
The best picks are usually the ones where you want to throw up as soon as you make them. And picking the Panthers this week already has me reaching for the trashcan and my stomach rumbling. There’s absolutely no reason to take Carolina this Sunday. They’re down their top three running backs, they’re starting a quarterback in Brian St. Pierre that has only attempted five passes in his career and their defense sucks (to put it mildly). Baltimore should roll, which is why I’m taking the Panthers in a no-way-they-should-cover situation.

Season Record: 19-16-1

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Is this Vikings team the best Favre has ever been on? Former Packers teammates disagree

Earlier this season, Brett Favre said that the 2009 version of the Vikings was the best team he’s ever been on based on a physical and talent level. But some of Favre’s teammates from the Super Bowl-winning 1996 Packers team disagree.

From ESPN.com:

“To say that the team he’s on now, after seven games, is better than the ’96 team — that’s just preposterous. Not only did we have the No. 1 defense in 1996, but we had No. 1 special teams,” former safety LeRoy Butler told the Journal Sentinel. “I bleed green and gold so much. I don’t want somebody to beat my team.”

Mark Chmura, a tight end on the ’96 team, said he went through the rosters position by position and could not find an advantage for the Vikings. “And it all starts with Brett — Brett’s not as good as he was,” he said, according to the report.

“I mean, you’re talking about the No. 1 defense in the league at that time, maybe one of the best defenses ever to play the game,” Chmura added, according to the report. “Don’t get me wrong. Favre is still a good quarterback, but he was unbelievable in the day. When we played back then, teams feared us. I don’t know if teams fear the Minnesota Vikings today. We knew no one could beat us at home, absolutely nobody.”

This is a situation where Favre probably didn’t really mean what he said, but he was trying to make people believe that the Vikings were/are a great fit for him and that he could lead them to the playoffs. In other words, he was trying to pump himself and his new team up.

That said, it’s hard to argue with Favre’s ex-teammates. That Packers team used to script the first 10-15 plays and march right down the field for six almost every time on their first offensive possession. Opponents then had to try and play catch up against Green Bay’s relentless defense, which often proved to be a fruitless endeavor.

The Vikings are good, but they aren’t Super Bowl-good. (At least not yet anyway.)

ESPN Completely Misses Brett Favre Vs. Green Bay Packers Storyline

Reason #1,019 why I love The Onion

BRISTOL, CT—In what is being called the biggest gaffe in the sports network’s 30-year history, ESPN totally forgot to cover last week’s Brett Favre vs. Green Bay Packers storyline.

Favre’s legendary career with the Packers, which spanned 16 seasons, three MVP awards, and one Super Bowl title, was not mentioned even once during pregame coverage of the Monday night Packers-Vikings matchup or during the game itself. Records indicated that it wasn’t until Wednesday—more than 48 hours after Favre led Minnesota to a dramatic 30-23 victory—that producers began to feel that they may have overlooked one of sports’ most obvious storylines.

“I was looking at a newspaper, and it said, ‘Favre Sacks Former Team,’ and at that point I realized we really missed one,” ESPN president George Bodenheimer told reporters. “I just want to apologize to our viewers. Had the Favre-Packers connection dawned on us sooner, fans could have enjoyed the same quality sports journalism they have come to expect from ESPN: driving storylines into the ground and exploiting every one of their subplots to the point of nausea.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Favre brilliant for Vikings in win over Packers

Through all the offseason hoopla, the fickleness and the nauseating coverage of his every move, Brett Favre reminded people on Monday night why he’s a legend.

Favre completed 24 of 31 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings’ 30-23 win over the Packers in game that lived up to the hype. On a night where Green Bay did an excellent job containing Adrian Peterson (25 carries, 55 yards, 1 TD), Favre stepped up and delivered one of those games where you couldn’t help but shake your head in amazement about a guy his age making the plays he does.

One of the biggest questions coming into this season was whether or not Favre could step up and make enough plays in the passing game when an opponent shut down Peterson. Tonight, Brett answered that question.

Every time Minnesota faced a third and long, Favre stepped up and made a play. Granted, he faced zero pressure from Green Bay, but that shouldn’t take away from some of the bullets that he was firing into his receivers’ hands. The guy is about to turn 40 in five days and he’s still playing like he’s 25.

Read the rest of this entry »

How many sacks for Jared Allen tonight?

I’m setting the over/under on the number of sacks Vikings’ defensive end Jared Allen will have on Aaron Rodgers tonight at 2.5.

Any takers?

Allen is due for a monster night as Green Bay left tackle Chad Clifton is expected to miss his second game tonight following an ankle injury he suffered in a Week 2 loss to the Bengals.

The Packers’ offensive line has resembled a revolving door this season, allowing 12 sacks in the first three games. In their loss to Cincinnati, Green Bay made defensive end Antwan Odom look like a cross between Reggie White and Kevin Greene as he brought down Rodgers five times.

Rodgers is a fine quarterback, but his offensive line is going to get him killed if they don’t start protecting him. Considering Ryan Grant won’t find much running room against the Williams Wall tonight, it would be in Green Bay’s best interest to max-protect Rodgers the entire night. The Giants use a similar method on a weekly basis with Eli Manning and he seems to do just fine.

The Packers need to help Daryn Colledge out, because he’ll see the brunt of the work against Allen. Lining up a tight end to Allen’s side would make sense, although Green Bay might also need to set up a military-based obstacle course in between him and Rodgers just to be safe.

I’m taking the over tonight. I think Allen will eventually take this game over, especially if the Packers can’t get Grant going early. It could be a very long night for Rodgers.

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