2013 Week 10 Review & Week 11 picks
Week 10 Review (Week 3-2-0, Season 25-23-2)
Week 10 reinforced the "any given sunday" cliche more so than any other week this season. Last week we not only saw a below .500 St. Louis team blow out a potential Super Bowl contender in Indianapolis on the road, but we also saw one of the worst teams in league history, Jacksonville, beat a talented Tennessee team for their first win of the year. These outcomes also seemed to reinforce the necessity to more heavily consider recent performances when valuing teams in the NFL. A team like St. Louis, which couldn't generate a pass rush in the first few weeks of the season, has compiled 14 team sacks in just the last 3 weeks. Moving forward we will continue to look for value in teams whose recent play, good or bad, has not yet been fully realized by analysts and fans.
Week 11 Picks
Tampa Bay +1 (EV) vs. Atlanta
While Atlanta's season long struggles have been well documented, Tampa Bay's recent solid play has not. Tampa Bay's recent success has been predicated on the realization of an immense amount of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Looking at their matchup against Atlanta, we think Tampa Bay will be able to contain Atlanta's non-existent rushing attack with their front four, which should allow them to drop extra players into the secondary and win with defense.
Arizona -6.5 @ Jacksonville
Though Jacksonville did get their first win last week, we think that the W was more a product of Tennesse playing a bad game than anything else. Even in victory, Jacksonville struggled to move the ball and almost gave the game away late with some severely bad defense. Arizona on the other hand has flown under the radar on their way to a winning record. We expect Arizona to continue their good play in a road blow out.
Green Bay +5 @ New York
With arguably the best player in the game sidelined with a collar bone injury, this seems like a perfect game for New York to steal. However, we still believe that New York is being largely overvalued as a result of their 3 game winning streak. Their win last week was hardly impressive given how inept Oakland has been over their last few games. While New York has discovered some semblance of a running game, Green Bay has a dominant running game of its own, which will mitigate the loss of Rodgers to some degree. We like Green Bay to pull a surprising upset on the road.
Kansas City +8 @ Denver
Good offense beats good defense, and great offense dominates good defense, but great defense almost always can counteract great offense. We especially like Kansas City's physical defense, which should be able to make a hobbled Peyton Manning and his more finesse offense uncomfortable all game. We believe that Kansas City has the potential to win this game, and at the very least, the ability to keep this game incredibly competitive from start to finish.
New England +1 (+115) @ Carolina
While we are still very positive on this Carolina team, we believe that this game represents a very tough spot for them. Having played an extremely physical game against San Francisco last week, Carolina should be at a disadvantage against a well rested New England team. In addition we believe that this could be a surprising difficult matchup for Carolina. Though Carolina has a top ranked running game on a volume basis, on an efficiency basis, they actually rank in the bottom half of the league. Furthermore, New England's struggles in the running game have largely been due to injuries that should be minimized with 15 days of preparation. Finally, New England's passing defense has been elite all year and should give Cam Newton his most serious test of the season. We like New England to win a defensive game on the road.