Saturday, December 4, 2010

NFL Weekend Preview: Week 13

I think it's safe to say Monday Night's game is big.

I'm coming off my best weekend of the season, going 13-3 in my picks. Now that I'm getting cocky, I'm due for a craptastic week, probably, but I don't care. The NFL is getting REALLY good. Between Bills receivers blaming God for dropping footballs and terrible quarterbacks freaking out in Arizona demanding that they are NOT finding anything funny. It's been a good week in the NFL, and we have a spectacular slate on Sunday...unfortunately we also have Panthers versus Seahawks, so they can't ALL be winners. Ah well, here are my big guesses for this weekend's slate of action.

Texans at Eagles: (Yes, this game has already been played, but I posted my pick on Twitter before the game, and the following was my prediction blurb from BEFORE the game was played. I was a little off on the score, as Houston did better than I expected, but I had the right team winning.)

Mike Vick led the Eagles to a big victory over the Texans on Thursday.

Philly is coming off a tough loss in Chicago and Houston is coming off a laugher in which they obliterated a guy named Rusty. Playing the Bears tough in the Windy City trumps blanking this guy…
Hey Maw! Look at me, I is an NFL quarterback! Aw, Shucks!
(I love Rusty Smith.)

I feel like the Eagles win this one at home in a romp. The only thing that scares me is that Thursday night football quality tends to be hideously low, so perhaps scoring 31 is a bit too tough. Still, the Texans feel as over as the days of pleasant air travel in America. I’ll take Philly big. Eagles 31 Texans 10

Saints at Bengals – Who Dey versus Who Dat. Apparently grammar is the big loser here. As for the football, the Saints are champs and the Bengals are chumps. Home team loses rather handily, I would guess. Saints 29 Bengals 17

Bears at Lions – As the Bears currently sit, they would get a first round bye in the playoffs. I’d just like to remind everyone that my preseason prediction was that the Bears would win this division. Granted, that prediction was made literally by tossing dice, so I can’t take a whole lot of credit, but this is one reason I love the NFL. Even things that appear to be ultra goofy can happen in the NFL. Maybe you hate parity, but I love it. It gives hope to all that things can turn around. This time last year, Jay Cutler was persona non-grata in Chicago. Now he is the quarterback of a winner, and the noise has died down considerably. The counterpoint to parity is the Detroit Lions. Anyone has a chance in the NFL except for Detroit. Bears 20 Lions 10

49ers at Packers – Troy Smith makes the Niners credible, but going into Lambeau in December on a short week? I am not buying San Francisco. Sadly, despite the fact that they are 4-7, losing this game will not eliminate them from division championship discussion. The Packers relatively easily here, says I. Packers 30 49ers 17

Jaguars at Titans – The Titans have fallen off a cliff. A month ago they were 5-2 and had just demolished the Philadelphia Eagles. Since then, they have lost four in a row, picked up a washed up Randy Moss, and now their chances this weekend are clinging to the hope that perhaps Kerry Collins will be healthy enough to play so they don’t have to put their team into the hands of a guy named Rusty. I don’t buy the Jags as contenders in the South, but I don’t buy the Titans as a viable football team at all. Jaguars 24 Titans 19

Broncos at Chiefs – When last we left these two teams on the same field, Todd Haley was pointing and Josh McDaniels was enjoying one of the few bright Sundays he’ll experience this year having won by 20. It’ll be interesting to see how Lame Duck McDaniels handles being on the other end of things this Sunday. Arrowhead has been a house of horrors over the years for the Broncos, even when they were a good team. Add to it that Denver heads into Kansas City in December and the Chiefs are going to be riled up for payback, I don’t see this ending well for my team. Chiefs 38 Broncos 13

Browns at Dolphins – I’ll take Cleveland to win the slightly less hyped Cleveland-Miami matchup this week. I don’t know that it’s going to heal the wounds of Cleveland sports fans, but they get a tiny bit of revenge here against Miami. Browns 23 Dolphins 20 (in OT)

Bills at Vikings – The Leslie Frazier post Brad Childress bump continues. I’d give Leslie more credit, but playing home games against the Bills isn’t exactly scaling the North Face of Everest. The Bills keep it close, but lose at the end. I’d predict an overtime game, but haven’t the Bills fans already suffered enough extra time losses this year? If I end up being wrong on this prediction, I guess I can just blame God on Twitter, though. Vikings 21 Bills 17

Redskins at Giants – I want to call for a New York blowout home win, but something about a December divisional game is scaring me off of that. I’ll say the G-men win, but only by the slimmest of margins. Giants 20 Redskins 19

Raiders at Chargers – The calendar says December, so the Chargers must be rolling. Oh look, yes they are! It was cute how the Raiders were talking about contending for a division a few weeks ago, but someone must have reminded them they are the Raiders. Since finding a way to beat the Chiefs in OT, they have lost consecutive games by a combined score of 68-20. I think the Chargers fall shy of putting up that many points against them, but only by a few touchdowns. Chargers 42 Raiders 17

Panthers at Seahawks – The Seahawks are lucky to be in the NFC West. Don’t believe me? This team is contending for a division crown despite the fact that here are the results of their last four non-divisional games: Loss to KC 42-24, Loss to New Orleans 34-19, Loss to Giants 41-7, Loss to Raiders 33-3. Somehow this team has a legit shot at hosting a playoff game. Ugh. I don’t think they are going to get there, but the very fact that it’s possible is disconcerting. I’d pick them to lose this one, but they are playing the team that I consider the worst in the league and they are playing them at home. This was an NFC Championship game a few years back, but the stakes are considerably lower for this one. I’ll hold my nose and pick Seattle only because picking the Panthers on the road feels even more odious. Seahawks 19 Panthers 13

Falcons at Buccaneers – Atlanta is perched precariously atop many power rankings across the land. The Bucs are one of the surprise teams that have risen from the ashes of a terrible 2009 to take a clear step forward this season. The big knock against Tampa is that they haven’t beaten any good teams yet this season. Their signature win this far this season is a one point victory over the Rams. I want to believe in K-State alum Josh Freeman and the Bucs, but I need to see them beat a winning team first. I don’t think they get it done against Atlanta. Falcons 27 Buccaneers 17

Rams at Cardinals – The Cards stink, but it’s nice to know they put their heart and soul into this every week.

although I feel sorry for Derek Anderson, if NOTHING is funny to him, it must be tough to unwind after yet another soul crushing defeat. The Rams win this game on their march to first-round playoff elimination in the Edward Jones Dome. To further illustrate the ridiculousness of the NFC West, the team with the inside track to win the division lost to the Lions 44-6 this year. Rams 26 Cardinals 13

Cowboys at Colts – How odd it is that the hot team coming into this one is the Cowboys and the team struggling with its identity is the Colts. Indy has lost three of four, but to be fair those losses have been to the Chargers, Patriots, and Eagles, so it’s not like they are struggling against the Broncos and Panthers of the world. I think the post-Wade Phillips bounce is just about used up in Dallas, and the Colts need this one and I expect them to play like it. Colts 23 Cowboys 17

Steelers at Ravens – The night games this weekend are spectacular. The Ravens don’t typically sweep the Steelers, but I think this may be their year to do so. Not sure what to expect other than a hard hitting game. I like the Ravens but just by a smidge. Ravens 20 Steelers 16

Jets at Patriots – The Jets won the earlier game this season in New York. The Patriots need to return the favor, and I feel like they are the better team. What a set up this is, Monday Night at home against their nemesis for a definitive leg up in the division and the conference. The Jets luck is due to go south soon, and this week seems as good a time as any for it to start doing so. Patriots 28 Jets 14

Week 12: 13-3

Season to Date: 104-72

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