Last week was not a good one for this guy’s ability to pick games, but apparently I’m doing a lot better than Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. Martin’s teammates must treat him worse than some of our readers treat me in the comments section when they don’t like my stances on their teams because he left the team this week after some ribbing in the lunch room. We’re not sure exactly what happened, but apparently it was enough to set Martin off. Martin’s one of the younger players on the team, so it’s not surprising that his teammates were giving him a hard time. I’m not sure we’ve ever encountered a situation like this before, which is surprising given how much hazing goes on among NFL teams. Usually guys fight back in practice or something. I guess Martin just couldn’t take someone dropping a little extra tzatziki-looking sauce in his chicken.
Survivor Pick of the Week:
DALLAS over Minnesota
We're about halfway through the season and yet there's still plenty of people alive in survivor pools. Could it be one of those years where the pools end up rolling to the playoffs because there aren't enough major upsets? There were five spreads of 10 points or more last week. Four of those favorites won and covered indicating the games weren't even that close. (That fifth team, Seattle, didn't make it look easy, but took care of business as well.)
The two teams to like this week are Dallas and Carolina. We'll start in big D where panic is at a high after last week's emotional loss to Detroit. The Cowboys just can't seem to get a good streak going, but at least they'll get above .500 again because the Vikings don't have the capability of conquering Dallas' weakness. Josh Freeman is back under center after recovering from a concussion, but that won't make the Vikings' passing game any better as we saw in the short-term. Their defense also isn't stopping anyone this year, so it should be a pretty easy road for Dallas.
Carolina is charging right now, having won four of its last five games. Atlanta showed last week that it has trouble with its beat-up offense dealing with injuries to linemen and receivers. You’ve probably already used Seattle, but they should easily defeat Tampa Bay at home if you haven’t. The same applies with Green Bay, who shouldn’t have much trouble with Chicago’s defense or Josh McCown, the Bears’ replacement QB because of Jay Cutler’s injury. Jacksonville is unfortunately on the bye, so you can’t pick their opponent this week.
Teams used: Indianapolis, New England, Denver, New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle, Green Bay, and San Francisco
Thursday Night Pick:
Cincinnati -3 over MIAMI
Jonathan Martin may be AWOL, but that has nothing to do with the offensive line problems the Dolphins are experiencing right now. Ryan Tannehill is on pace to take 74 sacks this season and the record is David Carr’s inglorious number of 76 back in 2002. That obviously had drastic effects on Carr’s career, so it doesn’t bode well for Tannehill’s future. The Dolphins definitely made a rash move by trading Jake Long, but they thought they solved the issue by signing Tyson Clabo. Clabo didn’t perform nearly as well as he was supposed to and was benched when Miami traded for party machine Bryant McKinnie before now re-entering the lineup following the Martin situation.
Why does this all matter? Cincinnati’s defensive line is pretty good. They’re averaging about three sacks a games and should post a number higher than that tonight. Miami has really fallen off since winning their first three games and won’t pose much of a challenge for Cincinnati tonight as long as Andy Dalton continues to play at a high level and doesn’t turn the ball over. Miami’s defense is very average, so there’s no reason Dalton should have trouble unless Jay Gruden gets up to his old poor play-calling tricks. There are enough weapons on offense these days to augment A.J. Green that Cincinnati takes this.
Last Week: 3-10
Reggie’s Picks: 58-61-1