Things are so bad in Tampa these days that a radio station has bought 19 billboards to promote the firing of Greg Schiano. You can’t blame them. The Buccaneers are an outright embarrassment these days. Last night’s expected defeat to the Panthers was yet another chapter in a disastrous season. There’s still some question as to whether Tampa Bay should fire Schiano and here’s why: the season is over. The Bucs aren’t making the playoffs and are better off losing the rest of their games. Keeping Schiano around until the end of the season means the Bucs will continue to play poorly and improve their chances for better draft picks next May.
That’s all that matters, right? If you’re a fan of a team, don’t you realize when it’s time to close up shop and look ahead to next year? I’m a Giants fan and in no way do I believe the Giants are good enough to do anything. Draft picks are so vital in the NFL that it’s better for the Giants to fail now so they can bounce back next year. Is it different for Bucs fans because the team hasn’t won two Super Bowls in the last seven years? Does ownership owe their fans more? Should they take more pride in their paying customers because the team has quit on Schiano? I don’t think so, but maybe you disagree.
Locks of the Week:
NEW ORLEANS -11 over Buffalo
Good job by Thad Lewis. He’s well exceeded everyone’s expectations in his two starts. I’m still not a believer. The Saints have been bringing some great defense this year, including the second-best adjusted sack rate according to Football Outsiders. That’s magnified in the dome where the opposing team’s offense doesn’t communicate as well. Thad’s a smart guy, but you can only be so smart with the league’s 24th-ranked pass protection.
Reggie: New Orleans
Washington +13 over DENVER
Here come the Redskins. Or should I call them the Bravehearts? The Bears’ defense isn’t very good, but it was great that Washington was able to exploit it. Their own defense isn’t great either, but at least they’re capable of competing in a shootout.
MINNESOTA +10 over Green Bay
Everyone’s going to overreact on this game because of how bad Minnesota looked last week and how great Green Bay’s offense appears to be. Dare I say Christian Ponder is going to make the Packers much more competent in this game? Ponder has something to prove and Green Bay’s offense hasn’t been as dominant as you think. They’ve only averaged 24 points in the last three games.
Trap Game of the Week:
N.Y. Jets +7 over CINCINNATI
I’m worried about this pick because we’re due for a “Bad Geno” week. He’s been terrible in every other game this year and he was really good against New England last week. But Cincinnati’s offense isn’t good enough to blow the Jets out and they’ve won four of their five games by seven points or less. Besides, the Jets have the best fans in the world!
Pittsburgh -1.5 over OAKLAND
There are two trap games this week because I kept going back and forth on this game as well. Pittsburgh has looked vastly improved over the last two weeks, but have historically struggled as road favorites outside of the Eastern time zone. Oakland’s won two of their three home games this year, but Terrelle Pryor is likely to struggle against a strong Steelers defense.
Rest of the Picks:
Dallas +3 over DETROIT
I’ve been on Dallas most of the year, so taking them here shouldn’t be a surprise. Reggie Bush is banged up and didn’t practice on Friday, which would limit what Detroit could do on offense. I try not to overreact after one game, but Detroit’s failure to beat Cincinnati last week really left a bad taste in my mouth.
San Francisco -15.5 over JACKSONVILLE
I’ve somehow taken the Jags to cover in five of their seven games this year and they’re 1-6 against the spread. I’m done trying.
Reggie: San Francisco
Miami +7 over NEW ENGLAND
The Dolphins really laid an egg last week, but I still think they’re a solid team. They’ve got one of the worst offensive lines in football (ranked 25th in run blocking and 30th in pass blocking according to Football Outsiders), but New England hasn’t put up good defensive line metrics and part of those numbers included a healthy Vince Wilfork. New England’s offense has been off in recent weeks and having them cover a touchdown seems like a bit much.
Reggie: New England
KANSAS CITY -7.5 over Cleveland
Weclome back to the NFL, Jason Campbell! You get to face the best pass rush in football on your return. And they can’t compete with Andy Reid because Andy Reid as the Kool-Aid man is awesome!
Reggie: Kansas City
PHILADLEPHIA -4.5 over N.Y. Giants
The Giants wouldn’t have won last Monday had they played against a half-decent team. They were pretty bad themselves and haven’t fixed any of their issues. Philadelphia should start rolling again with Michael Vick back under center against a Giants’ defense who really can’t stop anyone other than a quarterback who didn’t know the playbook.
Atlanta +2.5 over ARIZONA
Every team that has played Seattle has lost their next game. I didn’t need much to go against Arizona this week, but that pushed me over the edge.
Seattle -11.5 over ST. LOUIS
I’ll let you back Kellen Clemens. You know things are bad when you’re asking Brett Favre to play quarterback. Clemens can’t feel confident after knowing the Rams were so quick to make that call to Favre. The Rams really have nothing to offer offensively right now. It’s amazing how little talent they have at the skill positions and their defense can’t keep them in games.
Reggie: St. Louis
This Week: 0-1
Last Week: 8-7