NFL Week 17 picks 2012

Win a meaningless game and lose a few draft picks? Sign the Bills up!

(Just put Tebow in!)

Jets (+3½) at Bills — Bills

Miami (+10) at New England — New England

Baltimore (+2½) at Cincinnati — Bengals

Cleveland (+6) at Pittsburgh — Cleveland

Houston at Indianapolis (+6½) — Colts*

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Only the preseason? Fitzpatrick, Bills look like it’s still the preseason in opener

The preseason doesn’t matter, right? Save it. The Buffalo Bills continued their sleepwalk into the regular season Sunday, dropping the opener for the fifth time in the last seven seasons.

Looking at the final stat lines doesn’t begin to tell the story of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s day at MetLife Stadium. For most of Sunday’s season opener against the New York Jets, Fitzpatrick was a boy lost in a man’s world.

Fans were calling for Vince Young to come back. And you know it’s bad when Mark Sanchez shows you up.

Fitzpatrick and Sanchez both threw three touchdown passes in what would be a 48-28 Jets win, but Sanchez got all three of his when it was still a game, well before Fitzpatrick could put anything together. The Bills finally got the ball moving through the air after New York went up 41-7, with Fitzpatrick’s three garbage-time touchdowns matching his three interceptions.

Saying Fitzpatrick couldn’t get comfortable in the pocket would be putting it nicely. He was terrible in the first half and merely bad in the second.

Fitzpatrick forced passes into windows he’d be lucky to hit at a family picnic, let alone with a pass rush in his face and Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie in coverage. He threw to receivers that weren’t even sort-of open, missed reads and was late on his throws. Jets cornerbacks had a field day in the first half — and if they messed up, Fitzpatrick’s throws didn’t make them pay.

The defense wasn’t any better. Mario Williams, Mark Anderson and the new-and-seemingly-unimproved defensive line was invisible. The Bills didn’t have a sack and weren’t even credited with a QB hit.

The secondary got picked apart by Sanchez and a slew of largely unknown receivers. Leodis McKelvin followed Fitzpatrick’s lead of continuing last season’s struggles, getting picked on routinely. Rookie Stephon Gilmore didn’t look good, nor did sophomore Aaron Williams.

For all the time the Bills defense spent worrying about Tim Tebow and the Wildcat offense, Tebow didn’t get to throw once and wasn’t much of a factor. Then again, he didn’t have to be — Sanchez took care of the scoring.

One of the few positives of the game was C.J. Spiller’s career-high 169 yards on just 14 carries (12.1 yards per attempt), though it may have come at the cost of losing Fred Jackson for an extended period of time. We’ll know for certain how bad his knee injury is after an MRI tomorrow, but it looked pretty bad when it happened. Receiver David Nelson’s knee injury could be even worse.

Starting the regular season doesn’t mean there’s some switch the team flips to automatically start playing good football. It’s going to take more practice and more players playing like they should (Mario Williams? Williams? Bueller?). Probably the only good news ahead for the Bills is that Kansas City and Cleveland are the next two opponents on the schedule. But Fitzpatrick and Co. better figure something out soon. If they play like the did Sunday against New England and San Francisco, it’s going get a lot uglier than a 20-point loss.

NFL Week 12 picks

With one career rushing touchdown to his name, this may be top-10 draft pick C.J. Spiller’s last shot to prove he isn’t a bust.

JETS (-9) over Bills

ST. LOUIS (-3) over Arizona

CINCINNATI (-7) over Cleveland

JACKSONVILLE (+3.5) over Houston

Carolina (-3.5) over INDIANAPOLIS

TENNESSEE (-3) over Tampa Bay

ATLANTA (-9.5) over Minnesota

Chicago (+4.5) over OAKLAND

SEATTLE (-3.5) over Washington

New England (-3) over PHILADELPHIA

Denver (+6) over SAN DIEGO

Pittsburgh (-10.5) over KANSAS CITY*

NEW ORLEANS (-7) over Giants


Skurski: 78-73-6 (4-6-1)
Game Seven 77-74-6 (4-5-1)
Northrop: 76-75-6 (6-4-1)
McKissic: 74-77-6 (5-6)
Gaughan: 73-78-6 (5-5-1)
DiCesare: 71-80-6 (5-5-1)
Sullivan: 70-81-6 (6-4-1)

Last week

Bills (+2 1/2) at Miami
Dolphins 35-8. Win
Tennessee (+6) at Atlanta
Falcons 23-17. Push
Cincinnati (+7) at Baltimore
Ravens 31-24. Push
Jacksonville (pick) at Cleveland
Browns 14-10. Loss
Oakland at Minnesota (+1)
Raiders 27-21. Win
Carolina (+7) at Detroit
Lions 49-35. Win
Tampa Bay (+14) at Green Bay
Green Bay
Packers 35-26. Loss
Dallas at Washington (+7 1/2)
Cowboys 27-24. Loss
Arizona (+9 1/2) at San Francisco
49ers 23-7. Win
Seattle (+1 1/2) at St. Louis
Seahawks 24-7. Win
San Diego (+3 1/2) at Chicago
Bears 31-20. Win
Philadelphia (+4 1/2) at Giants
Eagles 17-10. Loss
Kansas City (+14 1/2) at New England
Patriots 34-3. Win

NFL Week 9 picks

I can’t remember the last time the Bills were the favorite to win a divisional game. This week’s matchup with the Jets is huge in more ways than one.

There’s the statistical aspect — keeping us on top of the AFC East and sinking the Jets to 4-4 — and the more important psychological one: another shot to legitimize ourselves as contenders by beating a quality opponent in a game we should win.

The Bengals and Giants aren’t bad teams, but we should have won both games. The big boys in this league take care of business when they need to. A win today would be a statement, especially against a team that is committed to running the ball — something the Bills haven’t always shown they can stop.

I love the White Out this week; it shows the team is acknowledging the importance of this game. The Bills are a 2.5-point favorite, and I say they stay perfect at home. I can’t wait to see the look on Rex Ryan’s face.

BUFFALO (-2.5) over Jets

Atlanta (-6.5) over INDIANAPOLIS

Tampa Bay (+8) over NEW ORLEANS

HOUSTON (-10.5) over Cleveland

KANSAS CITY (-4) over Miami*

San Francisco (-4) over WASHINGTON

DALLAS (-11) over Seattle

Denver (+7) over OAKLAND

Cincinnati (+3) over TENNESSEE

St. Louis (+3) over ARIZONA

NEW ENGLAND (-9) over Giants

Green Bay (-5.5) over SAN DIEGO

PITTSBURGH (-3) over Baltimore

Chicago (+7.5) over PHILADELPHIA

Standings will be updated if the Buffalo News gets Week 9 picks on its website. I’m 58-53-4.

BILLS (-6) over Washington
Bills 23-0. Win
TENNESSEE (-8.5) over Indianapolis
Titans 27-10. Win
Jacksonville (+9 1/2) over HOUSTON
Texans 24-20. Loss
Minnesota (+3 1/2) over CAROLINA
Vikings 24-20. Win
New Orleans (-13) over ST. LOUIS
Rams 31-21. Loss
Arizona (+13) over BALTIMORE
Ravens 30-27. Win
GIANTS (-10) over Miami
Giants 20-17. Loss
Detroit (-3) over DENVER
Lions 45-10. Win
New England (-3) over PITTSBURGH
Steelers 25-17. Loss
SAN FRANCISCO (-8.5) over Cleveland
49ers 20-10. Win
Cincinnati (-3) over SEATTLE*
Bengals 34-12. Win
Dallas (+3.5) over PHILADELPHIA
Eagles 34-7. Loss
KANSAS CITY (+3.5) over San Diego
Chiefs 23-20 (OT). Win

Jets strength and conditioning coach trips Nolan Carroll?


FOLLOW UP: Sal Alosi has been suspended for the rest of the year and fined $25,000.


Everyone is talking about this, and I finally found a video of the incident. Looks pretty intentional to me.

That’s classless. Don’t be naive, in the world of sports, you certainly want to inflict pain on the other team and let them know what they’re in for if they come back for more, but that’s left to the players, not the coaches.

His name is Sal Alosi. If the Jets don’t fire this guy, I’d suspend him for the rest of the year if I’m the NFL. Maybe give him a fine too, depending on how badly Carroll is injured.

Hopefully this video won’t get taken down. The Bills are at Miami next week, and play at the Jets Week 17.