It also meant the Week 8 Picks couldn't be researched to the level I wanted so I wasn't comfortable putting them up, but I am back for Week 9.
Of course I can't go without mentioning the Greg Hardy story that continues to rumble on- the timing of the pictures being released of his domestic abuse case is strange to say the least. The pressure is being put on the Dallas Cowboys to release him, but I am not sure you can punish someone twice and he was suspended for a full year and now has been afforded a second chance.
Michael Vick served his time before being given that opportunity, but there was no 'time' for Hardy to serve and I am not sure what his critics expect. Unless they are saying that Hardy should be banned full stop from the NFL, I am not sure I understand what the outcome they want... And then I go on and ask where is the line for second chances?
What Hardy did was terrible, but he has missed a year and has to be given a chance to improve himself as a person. He has made some unseemly comments this season, which perhaps show he hasn't learnt from his mistakes, but you can't punish someone for a poor choice of words.
Else I would ask where is the outcry every time the racist Riley Cooper is on the field?
I need to do more reading into what has happened here and what the purpose of the released photos was before I can make a final opinion, but I am not sure what people expected to happen?
St Louis Rams @ Minnesota Vikings Pick: This is a battle of the future and the present in the world of the Running Backs as Todd Gurley looks to continue his special season in Adrian Peterson's house. The St Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings could be fighting it out for Wild Card spots in the NFC Conference later this season so this is a huge game for both teams who have been winning plenty of games of late.
Gurley has been the man for St Louis since coming back from an injury that curtailed his College Football career at Georgia and has given the Rams some Offense to go with the Defensive unit that is so fearsome. Like Peterson, Gurley never seems to be too far from breaking a really big run and he might be able to get something going in Minnesota too.
The Vikings Defense hasn't been playing the run as effectively as they would like and I do think Gurley will get his yards. However, this Defense also sees Adrian Peterson all the time in practice so they might have an idea of what kind of special talent Gurley is, but that will also mean knowing he will likely have a couple of break out runs on the day.
A key for Minnesota is how much they can limit what Gurley does because he will power this Rams Offense- stopping or limiting his impact will give the Vikings a chance as they will be facing a team that isn't throwing the ball as well as they are running it.
Nick Foles has been a little up and down but that is because his supporting cast is not the best and so St Louis know they will go where Gurley can carry them on his back.
No one in Minnesota will dismiss that decision as their own team did the same for a long time with Adrian Peterson in his prime. There are more weapons for the team now with Teddy Bridgewater a decent Quarter Back and some solid Receivers at his disposal, but this will be a game where Minnesota use Peterson to set up the Offense.
This is an area St Louis have improved in recently, but they haven't faced someone as strong as Adrian Peterson and I think the Vikings will establish him as they have run the ball well. That is the best chance of Minnesota winning this game because the Rams have a fearsome Defensive Line which will get pressure on Bridgewater whenever he drops back to pass.
But this is an under-rated Minnesota team playing at home where they have thrived under Mike Zimmer as a favourite. Also I can't ignore how St Louis have done as a road underdog in recent years and Minnesota blew out a Rams that was weaker than this one on the road last season. I like the Vikings to find a way to the win this season too and move into a position to become a real contender for the Play Offs.
Busy Week as I said so the rest of the Picks can be found below with a Monday Night Football one to come later this evening.
Chicago Bears @ San Diego Chargers Pick: I have been thinking about this game for a while and the public are hammering San Diego without the spread moving too far and that suggests the sharps are backing the Chicago Bears.
I can't blame them because I like the Chicago Bears to cover on Monday Night Football too, and that is despite the fact that Matt Forte will not be in action. It has a lot to do with the fact that the San Diego Chargers are dealing with a whole host of injuries themselves which have seen them drop four straight games and unlikely to make the Play Offs in the AFC Conference.
Both sides of the ball have been ravaged by injury and Philip Rivers can't get this team moving the right way despite being one of the most under-rated Quarter Backs in the NFL. He is playing at a very high level and will still exploit some match ups against this Secondary, but Keenan Allen is out and Antonio Gates is banged up so Rivers has to look to less reliable options in the passing game.
Rivers has not been helped by Melvin Gordon's failure to produce the yards on the ground and his inability to look after the ball, but he might have some help this week. Danny Woodhead and Brandon Oliver can help Gordon at least pick up some yards on the ground against a poor Chicago run Defense, although a banged up Offensive Line is helping very little too.
However, I think Chicago might have just as much success moving the chains against this Defensive unit. Jay Cutler has so far avoided the back breaking turnovers that have been a feature of his play and has a big target in Alshon Jeffery back in the line up.
A Secondary that is hurt and limited pressure up front should mean Cutler is going to have a decent game flinging the ball around. I also think Jeremy Langford has shown enough of a burst to think he establishes the run even if he is clearly a downgrade to what Matt Forte offers out of the backfield.
The San Diego Chargers just haven't been a good team to back at home going 1-8 against the spread in their last nine there. This one looks like it could easily be decided by a Field Goal either way with the chance that both teams move the ball more effectively than some may think in light of injuries, but I like the Chicago Bears with the points on offer.
Minnesota Vikings - 1 Point @ 1.91 William Hill (2 Units)
Oakland Raiders + 5.5 Points @ 1.95 Paddy Power (2 Units)
New York Giants - 2 Points @ 1.91 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Atlanta Falcons - 7 Points @ 2.05 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Philadelphia Eagles - 3 Points @ 1.95 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Chicago Bears + 4.5 Points @ 1.91 Coral (2 Units)
Week 8: 0-1, - 1 Unit
Week 7: 2-4, - 4.23 Units
Week 6: 3-5-1, - 3.33 Units
Week 5: 3-5-1, - 3.48 Units
Week 4: 4-3-1, + 2.24 Units
Week 3: 8-2, + 9.03 Units
Week 2: 4-5, - 1.71 Units
Week 1: 5-2-1, + 6.46 Units
Season 2015: 29-27-4, + 4.98 Units
Season 2014: 77-80-2, - 8.47 Units
Season 2013: 86-70-2, + 22.27 Units
Season 2012: - 4.78 Units