After being on a cruise ship/Bermuda for a week, I have many observations. As this is a sports blog, I will only make two of them here.
1) The trip was outstanding, Bermuda is beautiful.
2) I did sort of enjoy being unplugged (I suppose I could have left my phone active, but the data rates would have been somewhere between, "more than I'm willing to pay" and "obscene", so I put my phone in airplane mode and left it there for the week. The only piece of connectivity I missed (of course)? Being able to get any sports score when I wanted it. As the Red Sox games were never on, I had to tune into Sportscenter to get any sense of who won the game.
In addition, my only way to get Seahawks updates on Sunday was to watch the Saints-Patriots game on the ship (ESPN International apparently was able to simply tap into the regular FOX feed). In all the time I watched the game (basically all of it), I saw a Seahawks-Titans update twice. Once was during the halftime highlights, and once was on the bottom-line-like crawl during the game. As a regular fantasy football player, I finally understood why so many who don't play completely despise it. I saw Aaron Rodgers' stat line no less than 30 times during the game, but like I said, I saw any late game score less than 3 times. It was absolutely infuriating. I then stayed up to watch the Sunday Night game, hoping to catch the score during that. I did, finally, at halftime.
Onto the picks, home team in CAPS
CARDINALS (+6.5) over Seahawks
Since I was on the ship until Friday and off the grid (sort of), I had no way to get the line for this game. So I improvised, and set my own line, which was Seahawks by 4. If the line was over that, I was going to take the Cardinals. Anything under that and I'd take the Seahawks. Well, turns out the line was over that benchmark, so I get to chalk this game up as a loss.
However, Norwegian surprised me and actually showed the game live on the ship, which was outstanding. Since they did, three quick thoughts:
1) This game should have been an absolute blowout, and would have been except for 3 Russell Wilson fumbles.
2) Seattle is missing the killer instinct they had during the second half of last season. Mainly, they are not taking care of the ball as well as they should be. Despite this, the team is 6-1 and has matched their road win total from last season. Either their sloppiness is going to come back to bite them in the rear at a very inopportune time, or this team is going to be absolutely frightening once they're firing on all cylinders.
3) Wow the Cardinals' offensive line is a hot steaming mess.
Tampa Bay (+7) over ATLANTA
Matt Ryan has no one to throw to. Yes, I play fantasy football. Yes, in multiple (2) leagues.Yes, Matt Ryan in my quarterback in all of them. Yes, I'm screwed.
Cincinnati (+1) over DETROIT
Until Calvin Johnson gets reasonably close to healthy, I'm not going to trust the Lions against a decent defense.
KANSAS CITY (-6.5) over Houston
Houston's defense could certainly make life difficult for Alex Smith, but Kansas City's defense will absolutely make things uncomfortable for Case Keenum, making his first start in the NFL this Sunday.
MIAMI (-7.5) over Buffalo
Thad Lewis against a good defense? Pass.
New England (-3.5) over NEW YORK JETS
This line should be at least 3 points higher.
Dallas (+2.5) over PHILADELPHIA
Philly still can't stop anybody. I know Nick Foles has impressed but Dallas is putting up at least the 31 they put up last week.
Chicago (EVEN) over WASHINGTON
Griffin is getting better as he gets more and more reps this season, but Chicago's defense is going to make his life miserable this weekend.
CAROLINA (-6) over St. Louis
I don't trust Sam Bradford against a good defense, even if it's just a good front 7.
San Diego (-7.5) JACKSONVILLE
Jacksonville finally showed some signs of life against Denver (of all teams), and San Diego lost to Oakland and then beat Indianapolis back-to-back. Suffice to say I have no idea who the Chargers are. So when in doubt, pick against the Jaguars.
San Francisco (-4) over TENNESSEE
Everything in my gut us telling me to pick Tennessee here. San Francisco's offense really hasn't gotten on track yet. Tennessee's defense is better than you think. Yes, the Titans are starting Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he hasn't completely imploded in a game yet. I simply can't bear the thought of backing the Titans, then turning on the TV at 4:30 and watching Fitzpatrick put up a Bills-era Fitzpatrick stinkbomb in the face of the 49ers' defense.
Baltimore (+1) PITTSBURGH
Why on earth is Pittsburgh giving any points against a decent team? They beat the Jets and all of a sudden they're supposed to be back?
Cleveland (+10) over GREEN BAY
I don't trust Cleveland to go into Lambeau and win (not with Brandon Weeden leading the way), but with all of the injuries to their receiving corps, I don't trust the Packers to pull away either.
INDIANAPOLIS (+6.5) over Denver
I don't know what the heck happened in San Diego last week, but Indianapolis is a good team, even if I'm still not fully sure how they're doing it. Denver is being exposed as one dimensional (their defense isn't good, even if they are getting Von Miller back this week), and Indy has put up points on much better defenses.
Minnesota (+3) over NEW YORK GIANTS
Yikes, back Josh Freeman or the interception freight train that is the 2013 Eli Manning. I don't like either option. I'll go with the team that has Adrian Peterson.
This week: 0-1