Friday Football
    Week 10 Picks.

    One of the keys to picking NFL games straight up is breaking down each week's picks into two categories. There are usually 8 to 10 games that most everyone will agree on and there are usually 4-6 games that anything could happen. If you focus more on those 4-6 games, and let the consensus direct you to the answer to the other 8-10, you will do well.

    Take for example, week 6 in The Mirls' writers league. I thought the Texans had a chance to pull the upset over Seattle (for good reasons not relevant here). But I was in error for picking them. Sure they may have won, but I was the only person to go with Seattle and unless its week 14 and you're trying to make up ground from behind, all I did with that pick was give away a free game to everyone else.

    Take a look at the standings for this week; With a 92-38 record, I trail first place by one game: Seattle over Houston.

    So looking at this week, here are the easy picks (again, regardless of if they win or not, everyone else is picking them) and here are the ones that are going to determine how well you do. Home teams in caps:

      dal over PHI- definitely a tough game to call. When the Cowboys beat Philly 33-10 in week 5, they caught the Eagles off guard by coming out passing. The Eagles defense has had problems this year getting pressure up the middle, and that's how you disrupt Drew Bledsoe. McNabb had a real bad game in week 5, and I expect him to be better at home in this one. But I just don't know if it'll be enough. Bill Parcells is 7-4 when coaching on Monday Night. The Eagles are 3-0 at home this year, but they are 0-2 in their division. If L.J. Smith can't play (concussion), I wonder who the Eagles will have to throw to. The Cowboys defense has had some very good games against some very good offenses this year (10 points to the Eagles, 13 to the Giants, 13 to Seattle).

      DET over arz- The Cardinals will be playing their first game without their best pass rusher Berry. Kevin Jones is probable after injuring his shoulder last week. He's been running well of late, and he could have a big game against Arizona. Harrington is starting, but there has been more wrong with the Lions than just Joey. The Cardinals are 3-24 on the road since 2002 and they're 0-3 away this year. The Lions are 2-2 at home, but they've lost their last 2 at Ford.

      BUF over kc- Going with another home team mostly because they are at home. KC is coming off a very emotional win, and they still have a lot of injuries. Buffallo is coming off their bye, and they have shaken up their offensive line. The Bills defense improved against the run in their last game against New England, but it'll be their pass defense that keeps them in this game. KC is still vulnerable through the air, and the Bills will be looking to make plays with Roscoe Parrish healthy. And I don't think there's anyone on the Chiefs' defense who can cover Lee Evans.

      ne over MIA- The Pats have struggled in Miami over the last few years, NE has lost six of their last seven in South Florida. But the Patriots pass offense has been their only consistent strength this year and they'll be matching up against Miami's poor pass defense. Tom Brady still hasn't lost back to back games since the 2002 season.

      den over OAK- The Broncos are 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 in Oakland. Mike Shannahan loves to hate the Raiders and he's had an extra week to get ready for it. Oakland may have played with KC last week, but neither team looked like they were playing their best football. The Broncos secondary may just be the best in the league and their defense is easily a top 5 unit. I can't believe it, but the Broncos are the 2nd or 3rd best team in the AFC.

      was over TB- The Redskins are going to face the same defensive looks they saw in New York when the Giants shut them out. So I think this is going to be a low scoring game, but when you think about what this Washington defense is going to show Chris Simms, I just don't see how the young QB is going to be able to make enough plays this week.

      Consensus Games:

      JAX over bal- The Jags aren't playing good football, but they're winning. They are giving up yards on the ground, but I don't think that'll matter here. Baltimore probably couldn't run the ball against a college team right now. The Jags pass defense is one of the best. Welcome back Kyle Boller.

      IND over hou- Possible let down game, so Indy might not cover the two touchdown spread.

      NYG over min- Vikings are 5-20 on the road since 1999.

      CHI over sf- Cody Pickett versus the Bears defense.

      CAR over nyj- Possible upset game. The Panthers are coming off a big win, and the Jets looked strong in their comeback against the Chargers.

      ATL over gb- Favre in a dome and they don't have enough receivers to expose Atlanta's lack of depth at DB.

      SEA over stl- I almost made this game my best bet, just because of how well the Seahawks are playing right now. They may just be the best team in the NFC.

      PIT over cle- Bill Cowher is hoping his team can sneak out these two wins without (edit to fix) Ben Burger, and they'll need to get a couple turnovers like they did against Green Bay.


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