27 November 2012

2012 NFL Week 13 Picks

It's a big game in the playoff picture this Sunday at Soldier Field and in fact would be a matchup on Wild Card Weekend if the season ended today as Evan Moore and the Seattle Seahawks visit the Chicago Bears. Both of these clubs recently ended two-game streaks, a two-game winning for Seattle and a two-game losing for the Bears, but who will make a strong stamp in the NFC picture? 

It's time for my week 13 picks.
Last Week: 12-4
2012: 108-69 

Thursday, November 29
New Orleans Saints (5-6) vs. Atlanta Falcons (10-1) - NFL Network, 8:30
The Falcons have not lost a game at home since November 13...of last year. Yes, it was against the Saints, but this is not the same Saints team as one year ago, nor is this the same Falcons club as one year ago. And I think the Falcons are looking for revenge as the Saints ended their slim undefeated season hopes just a few weeks prior. There will be a lot points (but there will not be blood) but I like Atlanta to take this one.
Falcons 42 Saints 38

Sunday, December 2
Carolina Panthers (3-8) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1-10) - FOX, 1:00
Every awful team will have surprisingly close games once in a while with good clubs and we saw that Sunday at Arrowhead where the Broncos struggled to defeat Kansas City. That said, maybe the Chiefs could have won that game had they got anything from their passing game but Brady Quinn was awful, as expected. Maybe Jamaal Charles could rack up some yards against a mediocre Panthers run defense but I can't see the Chiefs putting together any sort of passing game to take advantage.
Panthers 20 Chiefs 12

Arizona Cardinals (4-7) vs. New York Jets (4-7) - FOX, 1:00
Let me get this straight about this Fireman Ed guy. So a guy that makes his living on being an obnoxious clown, and becoming relatively well-known for this, decides to not be an obnoxious clown anymore during games because other Jets fans were acting like obnoxious clowns to him. And he decided to cut out his shtick and announce it to the entire world (even though the same guy will still go to the games and sit in the same seat). In the meantime, who will lead those spelling exhibitions? Drew Magary breaks it down even better.
Anyways, the Jets' solid pass defense will be more than Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley can handle so give me New York.
Jets 21 Cardinals 10

San Francisco 49ers (8-2-1) vs. St. Louis Rams (4-6-1) - FOX, 1:00
Whether you believe that the 49ers have been unfair to Alex Smith or not, the 49ers offense has looked more explosive with Colin Kaepernick under center and he brings a certain element that the offense has lacked. I mean, I'm a Kaepernick guy and I have been since last year's draft and with two impressive wins in a row with him starting, I'm not thinking that they will go back to Alex Smith soon. Plus, I think they are looking to avenge that lame tie they had against the Rams earlier this year. Give me San Francisco and in fact, I will take them as my Lock of the Week.
49ers 34 Rams 17

Seattle Seahawks (6-5) vs. Chicago Bears (8-3) - FOX, 1:00
The Seahawks are in a tough spot in this game. They are not a great team on the road and perhaps more importantly, they will (likely) be without their excellent cornerback tandem in Richard Sherman and Brendon Browner as both have been suspended four games apiece for testing positive for Adderall. Plus, the Bears kicked the crap out of the Vikings last week in a game they really needed. With their confidence back, give me Chicago.
Bears 27 Seahawks 17

Minnesota Vikings (6-5) vs. Green Bay Packers (7-4) - FOX, 1:00
Where were the Packers on Sunday night? Cheeseheads were probably asking that in a style similar to Chris Matthews after the first Presidential debate. That said, the Packers return home for a big game, not just in a rivalry aspect but in a playoff aspect. While the Packers were disappointing, the Vikings were as well in Chicago as while Adrian Peterson had himself a good ballgame, Christian Ponder was not able to take advantage in the air. I think we will see something similar this week.
Packers 28 Vikings 24

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) vs. Buffalo Bills (4-7) - CBS, 1:00
It appears that the Jaguars have found themselves some new life with Chad Henne as it shows the difference that a somewhat capable quarterback can do for you. In fact, they could have been coming into this game with two wins in a row had they held on against Houston two weeks ago. Meanwhile, the Bills have been looking pretty competitive in their last four games so who knows, maybe they will sleep on the Jags. Give me the upset.
Jaguars 19 Bills 14

Houston Texans (10-1) vs. Tennessee Titans (4-7) - CBS, 1:00
Well it looks like that dismantling of the Dolphins was a fluke for Tennessee, because they just lost to the Jaguars. Yes the Jaguars have been more competitive with Chad Henne, but still. Meanwhile, the Texans keep on winning games they should not be winning, with the help of that awful no challenge on a touchdown rule on a blatant miss of a call.
Texans 33 Titans 20

Indianapolis Colts (7-4) vs. Detroit Lions (4-7) - CBS, 1:00
Detroit's season is all but over as three straight losses leave them with all but a miracle remaining of reaching the postseason. That said, I like them for a home upset of the Texans. While they have lost three in a row, they have been competitive in those losses and should have won the last two if Matt Stafford didn't give the game to the Packers and the referees pulling some nonsense on Thanksgiving against the Texans. I'm not quite sold on this Colts defense so I think the potential is there for Stafford to have a big day.
Lions 35 Colts 31

Miami Dolphins (5-6) vs. New England Patriots (8-3) - CBS, 1:00
You know if you think about it, since the Dolphins just beat the Seahawks, and since the Seahawks have defeated the Patriots this season...I'm not going to go there. Yes, Miami stopped their slide last week on a last-second victory over Seattle but I still think they have some real concerns with their football team and given how Ryan Tannehill has been inconsistent of late. Don't look now, but the Patriots have outscored their last two opponents by 65 points. They are rolling right now and I don't think the 'Phins are good enough on defense to slow them down.
Patriots 42 Dolphins 23

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5) vs. Denver Broncos (8-3) - FOX, 4:05
This should be a good one because I like both teams. Peyton Manning has been cranking in the passing game and the Broncos, even after the tight win over the Chiefs, look to be a real Super Bowl contender in the AFC. And the Buccaneers have shown some swagger and thanks to Doug Martin's skills on the ground (and there were people that thought it was a mistake that Tampa traded back into the first round for him) have themselves in playoffs contention in the NFC. I do think it is a tough matchup for the Bucs. because Tampa is trash against the pass.
Broncos 30 Buccaneers 24

Cleveland Browns (3-8) vs. Oakland Raiders (3-8) - CBS, 4:25
You know, Pat Shurmur is a pretty mediocre coach and will probably get the axe but you do have to give credit where credit is due and the Browns have been competitive in every game this season. On the other end, the Raiders have been all over the place, with two-third of their victories coming against the powerful clubs in Jacksonville and Kansas City. At least both have beaten the Steelers...
Browns 20 Raiders 17

Cincinnati Bengals (6-5) vs. San Diego Chargers (4-7) - CBS, 4:25
Since starting 2-0, the Chargers have only won twice, and both of those wins came against the Chiefs. In other words, San Diego is sinking and if there is anyone that I would want to right the ship, Norv Turner is near the bottom of the list. And consider the fact that the Bengals come into town winning three in a row and all in impressive fashion. I think you know where I am going with this.
Bengals 30 Chargers 20

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) vs. Baltimore Ravens (9-2) - CBS, 4:25
It is not a given that Ben Roethlisberger will play this Sunday evening in Baltimore but I think that he will end up under center this week. The team really needs him because without him, the passing game has been lacking. If he suits up, I doubt he would be 100% which is what they would need to take out the Ravens, who come in winning four in a row. These games are always tight but without the guarantee that Roethlisberger is completely healthy, I will take the Ravens.
UPDATE: Big Ben has been ruled out so I will still take the Ravens, of course.
Ravens 20 Steelers 7

Philadelphia Eagles (3-8) vs. Dallas Cowboys (5-6) - NBC, 8:20
Philadelphia has lost seven in a row as well as eight of nine since starting 2-0. In other words, they are in desperate need of a victory and I think this is a great opportunity to get one. After all, the Cowboys are not known for their consistency, and certainly not this season. But Dallas will survive their divisional rivals because right now the Eagles could not stop my kindergarten teacher in the passing game.
Cowboys 19 Eagles 13

Monday, December 3
New York Giants (7-4) vs. Washington Redskins (5-6) - ESPN, 8:30
Did the Giants look impressive on Sunday night or what against the Packers? Save for early on, that game wasn't close. The Giants moved the ball down the field without many problems and they will have to do so against a Redskins club that is grooving offensively right now with that quarterback they call RGIII. While Griffin will certainly make it interesting, I can't see a mediocre Redskins defense slowing down Eli Manning and friends.
Giants 38 Redskins 31

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