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Week 11 NFL Picks

Carson Palmer is done for the year and despite an 8-1 record, I refuse to believe the Arizona Cardinals are very good. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

[Sorry for the lack of content the past two weeks. Now that I’m done driving up and down the east coast I’ll be at my computer again. Also, I know you don’t care. But I care enough to apologize even though you don’t care enough to need an apology. To summarize: I care. You don’t. Good talk.]

Season:       95 – 51 – 1
Last Week:  7 – 6 – 0

Thursday Recap

Bills 9 at Dolphins 22
Kyle Orton needs to sit. The Bills are no longer legitimately in the playoff hunt. Orton has been awful of late. What’s worse, Orton looked scared to death in Miami. He wanted no part of that Dolphin defense by the time Buffalo trailed in the 4th quarter. I get Buffalo wanted Orton and not EJ Manuel under center in hopes of grabbing a playoff spot. Those hopes are gone now. Let Manuel play and see if there’s anything there. At the very least, he can’t be any worse than what Buffalo’s gotten from Orton the past two weeks.

Early Games (1:00PM ET)

Vikings at Bears
Chicago has yet to win at home. Jay Cutler is an absolute mess. Brandon Marshall is trying to fight trolls on Twitter. I think the wheels have officially come off for the Bears. Don’t give up 50 points and the week is already an improvement over the last two. You got this, Chicago. BEARS If I were Charles Barkley; Bears -3

Texans at Browns
Ryan Mallett better pump life into Houston’s offense because without Arian Foster it’ll be tough sledding. This is essentially do or die for the Texans. As you well know by now, I like the Texans more than most. Apparently, love really is blind. TEXANS If I were Charles Barkley; Texans +3.5

Seahawks at Chiefs
Who’s fallen further from grace; Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, Nick Foles or Russell Wilson? Make sure you appreciate Manning, Brady, Brees, Rivers and Rodgers while you can. Though they make it look easy, the other 27 quarterbacks prove otherwise. SEAHAWKS If I were Charles Barkley; Seahawks +1

Falcons at Panthers
Ron Rivera may not deserve to be fired for such a calamitous season. However, his offensive coordinator has certainly earned a pink slip. His play-calling Monday night (and mostly the entire season) was unimaginative, ineffective, and downright stupid. Also, is Kelvin Benjamin high during games? He runs his routes like drunk college kids stroll through the streets at 2AM. PANTHERS If I were Charles Barkley; Panthers +1

Bengals at Saints
Despite the Saints best effort, the NFC South refuses to eliminate New Orleans from the top spot in the division. You can blame Rob Ryan’s defense if you please, but Drew Brees is a big part of New Orleans’ struggles. He’s a turnover machine. In fact, he’s Brett Favre now. For every three great plays there’s a horrific turnover to balance the scales. I hate picking the Saints here but Andy Dalton isn’t a comforting alternative. SAINTS If I were Charles Barkley; Saints -7

Buccaneers at Redskins
TV ratings outside the local markets = low. Washington favored by more than a touchdown against anyone is ludicrous. Regardless, the Buccaneers have burned me so many times in late game situations this season I’m simply picking against them out of spite. Take that! REDSKINS If I were Charles Barkley; Redskins -7.5

Broncos at Rams
St. Louis is a lot like Houston: Play well for most of the game and then BAM!!! One horrific stretch and they’re down 20 points. Luckily for the Rams, it won’t take a horrific stretch to trail by 20. It’ll happen organically. BRONCOS If I were Charles Barkley; Broncos -10

49ers at Giants
I have no idea who I trust less here. The Giants are a disaster but the 49ers are frauds. Only a New Orleans brain fart saved them last week. I’m taking San Francisco assuming they’ll commit to the run as they did against the Saints. 49ERS If I were Charles Barkley; Giants +5

Afternoon Games (4:05PM ET)

Raiders at Chargers
San Diego is coming off a bye after losing three straight. The Raiders are coming off a loss after losing the eight games prior. I think things turn around for the Chargers. CHARGERS If I were Charles Barkley; Chargers -10.5

Eagles at Packers
I’ve had the Eagles losing this game since the schedule came out and not a darn thing has happened to make me even consider changing my mind. To all the local media and blind homers out there calling the Eagles legit Super Bowl contenders, I beg of you to pump the brakes. There’s only one quality win on the Eagles resume thus far. The running game is still a shell of its former self. Mark Sanchez and Nick Foles are not good enough to carry an offense deep into the postseason. That defense everyone is raving about? Their last seven opponents featured Kirk Cousins, Colin Kaepernick, Austin Davis, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Cam Newton at quarterback. Or, as many call them, the 14th, 24th, 30th, 13th, 19th, 23rd and 32nd ranked passers in the NFL, respectively. PACKERS If I were Charles Barkley; Packers -6

Lions at Cardinals
The Carson Palmer injury has me in a really bad spot. All season long I’ve doubted the Cardinals. I still doubt the Cardinals. Unfortunately, now that Palmer is out, his injury will be credited as the reason Arizona falls off down the stretch and no one will give me props for being right all season about the Cardinals and their phony 8-1 record. (I’m joking by the way… about not getting props. Not about the Cardinals. They’re definitely phonies.) LIONS If I were Charles Barkley; Lions +0.5

Sunday Night (8:30PM ET)

Patriots at Colts
Andrew Luck doesn’t have the biggest, most physical receivers. New England boasts big, physical corners capable of disrupting receivers at the line of scrimmage. I expect plenty of work for Indianapolis’ tight ends. Not that it’ll matter much. The Patriots are clicking on all cylinders right now and the Colts defense isn’t good enough to stand in their way. PATRIOTS If I were Charles Barkley; Patriots +3

Monday Night (8:30PM ET)

Steelers at Titans
Last week the Monday Night Football crew busted out a blender to kill time. This week they’ll roll pizzas and brew their own beer. Don’t miss it. (Who thought this game was worthy of the MNF slot? At no time during the offseason did I think to myself, “I can’t wait to see the Titans.” Why can’t fans vote for the Monday night game from a pool of three games right before the schedule is realeased?) STEELERS If I were Charles Barkley; Steelers -6.5

*****

If I were Charles Barkley…
Season:        80 – 66 – 1
Last Week:   7 – 6 – 0

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