2022 PIGSKIN PICKS OF PROFUNDITY…WEEK 9

Greetings football fans & citizens of The Manoverse. I’m running just a little behind schedule for no real reason, but it’s all good as long as we get this posted for the masses before kickoff. This is exactly why we rarely pick Wed./Thurs./Fri. games, because I know  how I get sometimes. Anyway, before we can move forward we have to tie up loose ends from last week. I was 3-0 in the games I solely picked, while Zach was 1-2. In the four games we both picked Zach was 1-3 while I was 2-2. That means overall I was 5-2, Zach was 2-5, and the season lead has changed hands. It might not last long, so allow me this moment. There are several intriguing games on the college schedule this weekend, but many of them seem to involve teams we just dealt with, and I prefer to mix things up a little. Therefore we are leaning heavier toward the NFL. That’ll probably flip flop next go round. 

My Season: 26-20

Zach’s Season: 24-22 

UCLA at Oregon (-6)

The Ducks are on a five game win streak after dropping the season opener against defending national champs Georgia. The Bruins are undefeated. That means this is a matchup of two Top Ten teams seeking to remain in the playoff conversation. This is going to be a high scoring game (the over/under is 70.5), which could mean a few things: a) special teams might make the difference, b) turnovers are critical, & c) penalties will play a key role. I’m going to roll the dice on the home team being able to cover, but to be honest I wouldn’t be shocked if it was closer than that. Zach really believes in UCLA’s offense and thinks they’ll live up to expectations. 

My Pick: Oregon 

Z’s Pick: UCLA 

Kansas State at TCU (-4)

As a lifelong WVU fan I’d prefer to see my Mountaineers atop the Big 12 standings, but it’s atleast refreshing to see teams other than Oklahoma & Texas battling for the conference crown. The Horned Frogs are undefeated, while the Wildcats only have an inexplicable loss to Tulane blemishing their record. Both teams can put up points, so I believe the thing to watch for is which defense will step up in a big moment. TCU is coming off a huge overtime victory against Oklahoma St., and it’s difficult to reach those emotional highs two weeks in a row, so I’m picking the upset. Conversely, Zach likes the home team to keep their momentum going. 

My Pick: Kansas State

Z’s Pick: TCU 

NY Giants at Jacksonville (-3)

Thus far my preseason assessment of the Giants has been way off base. They’ve already won four more games than I predicted they’d win all season. My thoughts on the Jaguars have proven a bit more accurate, as they are certainly headed in the right direction & QB Trevor Lawrence has shown flashes of potential, but they’re unlikely to be a legit playoff threat. I like the home team this week, but it’ll probably be tighter than I’d prefer. I’ll probably be sweating a bit in the 4th quarter. Zach believes new Giants’ head coach Brian Daboll has successfully changed the culture in his first season, which makes a lot of sense when you look at his previous assistant coaching stops (Alabama, NE Patriots, Buffalo Bills). 

My Pick: Jacksonville 

Z’s Pick: NY Giants 

NY Jets at Denver (-3)

Before the season began I predicted that we’d see clear improvement by the Jets, but they’d still finish at the bottom of a tight division. I’m not backing off of that just yet. I also said the Broncos would be a wildcard contender, but the AFC West isn’t shaking out at all the way I thought, although it’s still early. Is it possible that the trade that sent Russell Wilson to Denver could become one of the worst transactions in NFL history?? I’m not ready to go there at this point, but it’s fair to say that the deal hasn’t paid dividends for either team so far. The home field is a unique edge for Denver, but not insurmountable, so I’m going with the upset. Zach likes the Broncos defense, but doesn’t believe their offensive line is capable of protecting Wilson. 

My Pick: NY Jets 

Z’s Pick: NY Jets 

Pittsburgh at Miami (-7)

Typically we don’t pick games involving our Steelers, but rules are made to be broken, right?? No one expects anything from Pittsburgh this season, but after upsetting “The GOAT” (not 🙄) last week with a depleted secondary, without sack monster TJ Watt, & a tandem effort by quarterbacks Kenny Pickett & Mitch Trubisky, it remains within the realm of possibility that this team could achieve unforeseen success in an inferior division. QB Tua Tagovailoa will be back for the Dolphins, and it’s certainly plausible that he & receiver Tyreek Hill could carve up the Steelers’ defense like Michael Myers in Haddonfield on All Hallows’ Eve, but I don’t believe that’s what will happen. I don’t know how, but I think the Black & Gold will march into south Florida and escape with a victory. Zach has faith in the Steelers’ defense despite all their injuries, and thinks they’ll get enough stops & turnovers to keep it closer than a touchdown and perhaps even lead the team to a huge win. 

My Pick: Pittsburgh 

Z’s Pick:  Pittsburgh 

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