Frank Doyle is back with Week 11’s Hail Mary NFL picks.
The saying goes something along the lines of “if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.” Everybody from Kurtis Lofton and Adam Vinatieri to Apollo Creed and Ric Flair have spouted off some version of getting your dues as the best around.
But where does that leave the Kansas City Chiefs? They’re the only undefeated team in the NFL at 9-0 (6-3 against the spread) as they head into Week 11’s Sunday Night Football matchup with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Yet it’s the Denver Broncos you’ll see at the top of pretty much every set of power rankings posted around the world and it’s Peyton’s pals who head into this game as 8-point favorites. And don’t forget, we’re seeing all this with Manning limping around on two gimpy ankles.
Sure Kansas City has beat up on some cellar-dwellers and yes, saying the Chiefs employ a pop-gun offence is likely insulting to any pop gun you dig out of your great aunt’s attic. But they’re 8-0 and allowing just 12.3 points per game. Those are the numbers and the numbers don’t lie.
For me, this is a wait-and-see game. I’m leaning Broncos at this point, but an 8-point spread in a game which could end up deciding the AFC West is too much for me to handle. Sometimes the best thing to do with the best game on the board is, you know, watch it for fun without any cash on the line. Or if you’re really into lottery tickets, you can always take a shot at our NFL pinata bet on when the Chiefs will register their first sack of Manning at +5500.
Having said that, if this line jumps to 8.5 or even 9, I’m likely getting down heavy on the Chiefs. I’m only human, folks.
After last week’s tough loss to the Detroit Lions, Bears coach Marc Trestman admitted he left Jay Cutler in the game too long. With that, Bears Nations let out a collective scream of agony. Yes, of course Cutler was in the game too long. He couldn’t move in the pocket and couldn’t plant off his back foot. This week Josh McCown gets the call from the opening snap.
Pick: Bears -3
The worst thing you can do with this matchup is start over-analyzing it. The Eagles’ attack has been piling up points on the road since Nick Foles took over the starting job. Now they head home to face a Washington team that’s also piling up point since RG3 started playing like RG3 again.
Remember when I told you the Cincinnati Bengals were the team to beat in the AFC North way back in June? Well, I can’t say I told you so yet, but it’s coming soon. The Bengals have dropped consecutive games in overtime on the road, so this is a huge home game for them against a division rival. They’ve had a few bumps along the way, but still own the league’s No. 4 total defence and need a big win here before their bye.
Pick: Bengals -5.5
Last week: 1-2.