Thursday, October 24, 2013

NFL Picks, Week 8 - Thursday Night Edition

Carolina (-6) over TAMPA BAY

Carolina has the 3rd rated rush defense and the 4th rated pass defense. Or maybe it's the 3rd rated pass defense and 4th rated rush defense. Either way, their defense is good. Very good. Should we really trust Tampa Bay's offense to move the ball on them?

This story doesn't fill me with confidence in the Buccaneers. Why did you trade for (and pay) Revis like a top cornerback if you're not going to play to his strengths? That should be (and is) setting off alarm bells for Tampa fans everywhere. But this was my favorite part of the story:

The coaching staff's use of Revis in zone schemes has been such a hot-button issue in the Tampa area that Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan invited dissatisfied fans to come to the Buccaneers facility and show him how to properly use the shutdown cornerback.
NFL Media's Jeff Darlington revealed Wednesday on NFL Network's "Around the League Live" that fans took Sheridan up on his offer, only to be turned away at the door Monday morning.
In today's internet age, don't make offers like that unless you really mean them. If Sheridan thought no one would show up, he's an idiot.

Anyway, the upshot of this is, I've been assuming that Tampa's pass defense will make life difficult for even great passing offenses, mostly because of Revis. Then Harry Douglas torched the Bucs last week, and this week multiple sources have broken down the film and shown that Revis is barely being asked to play man coverage at all, let alone wipe out the other team's top threat.

Carolina isn't anything close to a great passing offense. They basically have Steve Smith and others in the receiving game. If I believed Revis would shadow Smith up and down the field, I might be inclined to believe they could pull the upset, or at least cover. But with no reason to do so, I have to go with the road favorite.

2013 Midweek Picks: 4-3

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