Saturday Convenient Weekend morning during the NFL season, we'll wake up early, take a hearty cut at predicting the unpredictable league, wince at how it went the week before and ponder the definition of insanity.
Hey, remember when the prediction was, “The undefeated Vikings will ride the league’s best defense into Philly and take the ball from rookie QB Carson Wentz”?
Well, they did take it away from him three times. Then Sam Bradford gave it back three times in a loss.
Hey, remember a week after that, when the prediction was the Vikings would have one of those oh-so-predictable bounce-back NFL games while punishing the inferior Bears?
Apparently, the Bears didn’t read the script. Another double-digit loss.
Hey, remember a week after that, when the prediction was the Vikings would return home after a month and use U.S. Bank Stadium to get right against a Lions defense that hands out 100-point passer ratings on a weekly basis?
Well, Bradford’s pursuit of a 100 rating was right down the middle. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Blair Walsh’s two most pressure-packed kicks during an overtime loss.
So that’s three straight picks and three straight whiffs on guesstimating a Vikings victory.
You’d think a person would get the hint, eh?
Vikings 24, Redskins 23.
Hey, they’re due.
Plus, they head to Washington as a 2 1/2-point underdog, according to Vegas. Didn’t Donald head to Washington as a 3-point underdog, according to Bloomberg?
Unfortunately, the Browns played on Thursday, so they won’t be the upset special this week. But it is encouraging that they came within 26 points of giving us an upset special win against Dallas a week ago.
We’ll go with Tennessee at home against the Packers as this week’s upset special. Don’t get too upset, Packers fans. (See last week’s 6-6 record straight-up).
WEEK 10 PICKS
Vikings plus-2 1/2 at Redskins: The pick: Vikings 24, Redskins 23
Why?: Well, if I had to guess, I’m figuring the Vikings are better than a four-game losing streak that would come with a loss. The Redskins have an outstanding offensive line, having allowed just 11 sacks, but left tackle Trent Williams (suspension) is out and receiver DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is doubtful. It seems as though the Vikings are due to win. But it’s been about a month of feeling that way now. (In other words, don’t put your money where I just cast my pick).
LAST WEEK: Lions plus-6 1/2 at Vikings: The pick: Vikings 21, Lions 19. The result: Lions 22, Vikings 16 OT. Record: 4-4.
Packers minus-2 1/2 at Titans: The pick: Titans 27, Packers 24
Why?: The Vikings aren’t the only upper-tier NFC North team scratching its head and wondering what the heck is going on. The Packers are coming off a home loss to an inferior AFC South team (Indianapolis) and heading toward another potential franchise-rattling pothole against another AFC South team they should beat, even on the road. Injuries, including linebacker Clay Matthews (out) and tight end Jared Cook (doubtful), and an out-of-whack passing game could spell another upset loss for Green Bay.
LAST WEEK: Cowboys minus-7 1/2 at Browns: The pick: Browns 38, Cowboys 35 OT. The result: Cowboys 35, Eagles 10. Record: 2-6.
Record (Last week/Season): 6-6/62-45-2
Vs. spread (Last week/Season): 5-7/52-57
CRAIG'S LIST: NFL Power Rankings
1, Patriots (7-1)
2, Cowboys (7-1)
3, Chiefs (6-2)
4, Raiders (7-2)
5, Falcons (6-3)
6, Broncos (6-3)
7, Panthers (3-5)
8, Saints (4-4)
9, Seahawks (5-2-1)
10, Giants (5-3)
11, Lions (5-4)
12, Eagles (4-4)
13, Ravens (5-4)
14, Bills (4-5)
15, Dolphins (4-4)
16, Vikings (5-3)
17, Texans (5-3)
18, Redskins (4-3-1)
19, Colts (4-5)
20, Packers (4-4)
21, Chargers (4-5)
22, Bengals (3-4-1)
23, Bears (2-6)
24, Cardinals (3-4-1)
25, Steelers (4-4)
26, Titans (4-5)
27, Jets (3-6)
28, Rams (3-5)
29, Buccaneers (3-5)
30, Jaguars (2-6)
31, 49ers (1-7)
32, Browns (0-10)