The Lock Ness Monster is at it again. I went 10-4 last week but my Lock failed. Atlanta missed two quasi automatic field goals and decided not to cover. The line was 8, the Falcons won by 6 and needed overtime to do it.
Because I’m tired of losing I will attempt a rare and almost unprecedented move – the Double Lock. The Double Lock is tantamount to a walker of tightropes working without a net. I last worked without a net way back on Sept. 27, and picked both Locks correctly, one of them the Carolina Panthers. So I’ll try again.
Last week: 10-4 (10-2 on Sunday, not that it matters).
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Locks: Picked Atlanta (minus-8) to cover against Washington. The Falcons won 25-19.
This week’s picks with the home team in CAPS:
Lock of the week I
Carolina (plus-6) 23, SEATTLE 21: I know how good the Seahawks are at CenturyLink Field. They are 24-2 there since 2012. It’s not an overstatement to say that when they play at home they are rather good.
I know, too, that they began slowly last season. They started 3-3 and finished in the Super Bowl.
But when you watch the Seahawks this season do you see early season excellence? Do you see a team that is elite? Do you see hints that their late fade last week against Cincinnati or the overtime loss to St. Louis (pre-Todd Gurley) with which they opened the season are flukes?
I admire head coach Pete Carroll. But his team is flawed. Not trying to be cruel, but Seattle’s offensive line is as bad as Carolina’s was midway through last season. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has been sacked a league leading 22 times. If he weren’t elusive he’d be in traction and the Seahawks would be 1-4.
Carroll and general manager John Schneider will have to perform the same major surgery to their offensive line that Carolina general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Ron Rivera did so effectively to theirs last season.
I won’t be surprised if more than one Panther records multiple sacks today. If pushed to name them, I’d name defensive tackle Kawaan Short and defensive end Mario Addison.
Marshawn Lynch returns for the Seahawks. If their fine middle linebacker, Bobby Wagner plays, they’ll be close to full strength. But I’ll stick with the Panthers. I think they have a big game in them, and they play it Sunday.
I made my picks this week on Thursday, and only one team, Green Bay, was favored by double figures. New England was favored by 7 1/2, the New York Jets and Seattle were favored by 6.
Lock of the Week II
SAN FRANCISCO (plus-2 1/2) 27, Baltimore 23: I keep waiting for the Baltimore Ravens to reveal their true identity. They have. Meanwhile, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick remembered how to pass last week. If he remembers again Sunday, that will suffice.
Denver 19, CLEVELAND 17
DETROIT 28, Chicago 25
JACKSONVILLE 24, Houston 22
Cincinnati 26, BUFFALO 23
N.Y. JETS 33, Washington 27
MINNESOTA 28, Kansas City 24
Arizona 27, PITTSBURGH 24
TENNESSEE 26, Miami 23
GREEN BAY 28, San Diego 20
New England 31, INDIANAPOLIS 27
PHILADELPHIA 33, N.Y. Giants 31