Walk the Line: Week 6

On October 11, 2012

Forget Joe Flacco. Who is he? Right when he begins to let people think he is potentially the quarterback Baltimore thought he could be and bring the Ravens to the promise land, he has a horrific performance against the Kansas City Chiefs - a team that has been giving up 34 points per game entering the weekend.

Maybe I'm making too big a deal of his teams' failure to get in the end zone last week, but their offensive inefficiency cost me what I thought was a sure undefeated week of picks. The Ravens' (-6.5) 9-6 victory failed to secure the line, making it another 1-1 week for my locks.

The season is still early, but a lot of teams appear to have sealed their destinies already. The Titans, Jaguars, Browns and Chiefs are all dead. The Falcons should win the NFC South, the Texans should definitely win the AFC South and the Patriots appear to be unchallenged yet again in the AFC East. But there are more question marks surrounding teams across the league this year than any year I can remember.

Anything can happen, but I'm anxious to see how the season will pan out for these teams that have more potential, or possibly lack thereof, than most other teams: Cardinals, Bengals, Eagles, Seahawks, Vikings, Broncos, Chargers and you can't exclude the Saints just yet. There's a lot of football left to play and aside from the obvious duds and studs across the league, these are the squads that have the most to prove.

But let's move on to the juggernauts. There's a storm of vengeance brewing in the Golden Gate City. The 49ers' Cinderella story last season was abruptly ended just shy of the Super Bowl, which most can attribute to a couple of key special teams miscues. The 49ers came back this season and proved that last year was no fluke. The Giants will return to Candlestick Park for a rematch of last year's NFC Championship on Sunday. So I wonder, what could the matchup of the week be?

Note: Lines as of Oct. 11, via sportsbook.ag

Matchup of the Week: New York Giants (+6.5) at San Francisco 49ers (-6.5)

In the Giants' five games this season, only two have been against worthy opponents (Dallas and Philadelphia) and they lost both of those games. This is a revenge game for the 49ers, so I expect them to take this game but not cover the spread. I have faith in Eli and the Giants' offense to keep them within a touchdown's reach of victory. Giants 16, 49ers 20

Locks (5-5): Indianapolis Colts (+3.5) at New York Jets (-3.5)

Both teams are entering this game with some confidence. The Colts, having just uprooted a Super Bowl favorite, and the Luck-Wayne connection becoming reminiscent of the Brady-Moss hookup in 2007. The Jets' onlyloss is by six points to one of the best teams in football. So I guess they should be proud of that, right? Nevertheless, is it worthy of them being 3.5-point favorite against an up-and-coming team with a powerful offense? I think not. I'll take the Colts. Colts 20, Jets 19

Cincinnati Bengals (-1) at Cleveland Browns (+1)

The Browns are the last remaining winless team in the NFL, and I don't see them getting their first win of the season this week against the Bengals who only have to win the game to secure this line. The Bengals have been given stingy lines all season, and I'm not sure why. Cincinnati isn't a Super Bowl contender, but I think it's fair to say its offense is suited enough to put up a lot of points against sub-par NFL teams. The Bengals were on a three-game win streak before falling to a Miami team that was bound for a win after their back-to-back overtime games in previous weeks. The Browns' offense is not consistent enough yet to hang with them. Bengals 24, Browns 17


Email: jon.gagnon@ubspectrum.com

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