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Don's Crystal Ball Week 7 Picks


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By DonCanabis/TheDon


Ok, well the good run had to stop at some point. Week 6 brought a lot of interesting themes and stories. We had the "Coaches Face-Off" between Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz, going at it like a backyard brawl, we had the first official dirt in the eyes injury in the NFL, and we saw Hue Jackson showing the spirit of Al Davis is still alive by pulling a monster trade before the trade deadline was over.


Quick Hits

  • The biggest story was the brawl after the game between Harbaugh and Schwartz. I’m not going to comment on it because, well, it has been over discussed for the past week. My Focus is based on the reaction of the NFL front office that once more dropped the ball with how to handle stuff involving coaches or front office personnel.
    It’s clear that the NFL handles player incidents differently than coaches when a player gets fined for using yellow tennis shoes, using a cell phone and giving the finger to his own bench, yet in the same week two head coaches instigate a small brawl after a game that made national news and they don’t even get a small fine. It’s ridiculous, and showed once more the NFL false approach about their “strict handling" if someone related to the NFL tarnishes their image. It needs to change to only players will be held to a higher standard the rest will keep doing what they want.
    We saw it before with Pryor getting a suspension from the NFL for the things he did in college while Coach Tressel was getting a pass until the fans spoke up. We saw it with Miami’s G.M Jeff Ireland when he interviewed Dez Bryant for the Draft and asked him if his mother was a prostitute and the situation was made public and the NFL did nothing.
    There are many more cases but the reality is that the NFL overreacts when it comes to players up to the point of getting ridiculous, but when it comes to personnel they tend to look the other way unless they’re forced to.
  • The “Dirt in the eyes” fiasco; I don’t know why this subject hasn’t gotten more attention but I’m completely furious how the Eagles pulled a fast one with their doctors and made a mockery of the concussion rule by the NFL and found a loop hole to give Michael Vick time to recover from a mild concussion and come back to the game with the term “Dirt in the eyes”. Because - as we know - if a doctor declares that a player had a concussion, he can’t return for the game and in a must win game for the Eagles, they couldn’t risk that. The NFL needs to put an independent physician to carry these reviews if they’re serious about all this player safety crap. "Dirt in the Eyes"... unbelievable.
  • The Palmer trade, I get the necessity after Campbell went down and Hue Jackson with the season on the line making a bold move to try and salvage it. I - along with many others - believe they overpaid for Palmer but it falls into the supply and demand rule. It’s simple, what could have cost a high 2nd round pick weeks ago turned into a 1st and 2nd when the Raiders became desperate with a few hours to make the deal.
    I truly believe the Raiders hurt themselves on this one, because it will be hard for Palmer to step in and learn the offense in three weeks and continue the road and take this team to the playoffs. By not gaining this immediate result that they wanted, they have left themselves with no picks for the 2012 draft until the 5th round and without a 2nd round pick for 2013. I honestly don’t believe Palmer has top 10 QB left in him. He hasn’t shown it for a long time, so in my book congrats on Mike Brown and the Bengals for making an awesome profit from an awful situation.
  • I had a terrible week; went under 50% against the spread. Still I have an overall record of 63% and I’m still on top of the league. Bad weeks like this will happen every year. Good thing for me that I was out of town and couldn’t place a bet.
  • " The Goat of the Week" isRex Grossman. Bad time to be yourself man. In a game that the Redskins needed not only to lift themselves from the division, but that could potentially mark the end of the season of their division rival. Rex threw 4 interceptions that just killed any chance for his team to win that game.

On to the games

San Diego at New York Jets 2 Ovr/Und 43.5

Sanchez - despite the win - still is a liability for the Jets. It took almost the first half against the Dolphins to start finding his groove (or at least not suck as much). The defense had to bail him out once more and give them a good lead and position so the game didn’t fall in his hands again. San Diego is coming off their bye and even if it hasn’t been pretty, this is one of the best starts the Chargers have had in a season in a long time. Ryan Matthews is having a very good second year (as I predicted it) so I’ll go with the Chargers on this one.

Straight: SD

Spread: SD

Ovr/Und: Und

Seattle at Cleveland -3 Ovr/Und 41

The Whitehurst era begins in Seattle and I’m one of those who believe that between him and Tarvaris, he’s the better QB. Lynch finally had a good week against the Giants, but this game is on the road and the Seahawks have an awful 14-32 ATS record on the road since 2006. The Browns' best weapon Hillis is hurt and not having a great year. It’s hard for me to take the Seahawks on the road but the two weeks to prepare will help. If you want to bet on this game, take the Under. It'ss your safest bet.

Straight: SEA


Ovr/Und: UND

Atlanta at Detroit -3.5 Ovr/Und 47.5


The Falcons finally had a good game last week and showed a glimpse of what they can do. The Lions have been really bad against the run, even if their pass rush has been great. The Lions offense hasn’t looked great the past two weeks and not only the injury to Best hurts them but the failed trade of Ronnie Brown leaves them very thin at RB. I truly believe that the fast start went into the head of some players in a team not used to success, so I expect Schwartz to put them back in line this week but in a close game between the two. Go with the Over on this one.

Straight: DET

Spread: ATL

Ovr/Und: OVR

Chicago at Tampa Bay -1 Ovr/Und 44

After the New Orleans win, many people are back on the Buccaneers surprise team bandwagon. Don´t include me as part of that group. The game will be played in London and this weather fits more with the Bears type of game than the Buccaneers. The game probably will be rainy and muddy, so expect a low scoring game but I take the team best built for this weather.

Straight: CHI

Spread: CHI

Ovr/Und: UND

Denver at Miami -1.5 Ovr/Und 43

Moore vs. Tebow. We all expected this matchup at the start of the season, didn’t we? Both QBs are extremely inaccurate and after an emotional blowout loss on Monday Night, it will be hard for the Dolphins to recover in a short week. It’s starting to look like Miami will be the front runners for the Andrew Luck sweepstakes and are clearly aiming for that. If fans get their next Marino, I don’t see them being too upset tanking this season. What Tebow does might not be pretty but he finds ways to win. He’s competitive, so I give him the edge on this one.

Straight: DEN

Spread: DEN

Ovr/Und: UND

Washington at Carolina -2.5 Ovr/Und 43

Newton is starting to make some rookie mistakes, which worries me. In a game tied at 17 last week, those 2 interceptions completely killed a chance for his team to win the game. But if we talk about QBs costing their team a chance to win, no other player made more mistakes last week than Grossman. Washinton offensive line is hurt with Williams out with a high ankle sprain and Guard Lichtensteiger done for the year with a torn ACL. It hasn’t been made official, but Beck most likely will be the starter. It’s an improvement over Grossman but not a huge one. Take Carolina at home.

Straight: CAR

Spread: CAR

Ovr/Und: OVR

Houston at Tennessee -3 Ovr/Und 44.5


This matchup lost a little fan fare when Johnson went down because we all wanted to see Johnson vs Finnegan again. Still, this game is to take control of the division. Both teams are coming for losses and if the Texans lose, that would mark their third in a row. Both teams lost their top WR and both teams have a good defense so it’s a battle between Chris Johnson vs Arian Foster. I take Foster on this one. The Texans are 31-16 ATS after two or more consecutive losses.

Straight: HOU



Pittsburgh at Arizona3.5 Ovr/Und 42.5

Mendenhall is starting to gain momentum and that makes it more like classic Steelers football. Arizona has a dreadful pass defense, which should help the air game. I posted when the Kolb trade was done about "buyers beware," he hadn’t done anything to prove he was worth all that money and value. Still the Arizona coaching staff knows the Steelers too well and could make it interesting, but if it didn’t work in the Super Bowl with a better team it shouldn’t work now.

Straight: PIT

Spread: PIT

Ovr/Und: OVR

Kansas City at Oakland -4.5 Ovr/Und 42


It looks that the Palmer tenure will start in 2 weeks after the bye after all, so it’s Boller in to save the streak of division wins for the Raiders. Both teams know each other too well and the Chiefs have been playing better the past few weeks. I expect Oakland to suffer this week, regardless of who plays at QB. The Chiefs are 21-12 ATS as underdogs since 2007, while the Raiders are 5-20 ATS at home against teams with losing records.

Straight: KC

Spread: KC

Ovr/Und: UND

Green Bay at Minnesota 9 Ovr/Und 46.5

If you ask me, I can’t think of a worse matchup that Frazier could pick to start the career of Ponder. Playing the best team in the NFL and a division rival on a must win game; good luck kid. This game should be short, rookie QB vs Aggressive Defense = Disaster. Take Green Bay on a surprising small line and the Under.


Spread: GB

Ovr/Und: UND

St. Louis at Dallas -12 Ovr/Und 44

I would feel more confident with the line if Bradford would play. It’s really hard to predict what a veteran QB would do coming off the bench. Dallas needs this win and they need to win convincingly to get out of those close endings that are killing them. St. Louis has way too many people hurt. If Dallas can’t win by more than 2 TDs, I will call it quits Dallas fans because it’s going to be an up and down season all the way.



Ovr/Und: OVR

Indianapolis at New Orleans -14 Ovr/Und 48.5

The Colts have been more competitive since Painter took over, but still find ways to lose and make awful mistakes every week. The Superdome is one of the toughest venues to play in, and I believe that after last week’s tough loss the Saints are going to come hard and it will be too much for Painter on the road. Take the Saints, but I recommend a 6 point teaser the most.

Straight: NO

Spread: NO

Ovr/Und: UND

Baltimore at Jacksionville : 7.5 Ovr/Und 39

The Ravens are on a roll and Ray Lewis looks like he’s in his 20’s instead of being almost 40. The defense is playing great and they’re looking at the top spot in the AFC with the Patriots. Jacksonville's formula of pounding the ball with MJD won’t work against the Ravens who are 3rd against the run. Gabbert hasn’t been accurate and it’s too much to ask for him to lead this team against that defense. Take Baltimore.

Straight: BAL

Spread: BAL

Ovr/Und: OVR

The Hot Picks

Record 22-14 61% 5-5 in Upset picks

Green Bay (league)

Dallas (league)

Baltimore (league)



Kansas City

Don’s Prediction League Leaders

  1. TheDon 170-100 63% [cowboysaddicts.com]
  2. Haynie 170-100 63% [cowboysaddicts.com]
  3. Sparty 168-102 62% [detroitlionsforum.com]
  4. TB25690 167-103 62% [billszone.com]

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The Bengals will not lose this week. Make sure to pick them in your elimination league. I do think it will be a low scoring game so make sure to sit all your fantasy players that play for the Bengals.


The Bengals already Won this week with the Palmer Trade heck they won for the whole season with that one

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