Friday, December 02, 2005

NFL Week 13 picks

MIA -4.5 buf

I can’t pick Miami games for the life of me. I lost another one last week to bring my record to 3-7 on the season. It’s safe to say that I don’t have a clue when picking a Dolphin game. They shouldn’t beat Buffalo by more than four points no matter where the game is played. The Bills, on the other hand, have been abysmal on the road this year. The Dolphins looked good against Oakland last week (which apparently isn’t saying much) and I’m not sure if it’s because Oakland is terrible or if Nick Saban lit a fire under Miami’s rear-ends. On a different note, can any news source in the world match ESPN’s ability to make the news? Saban said he was more focused on getting the Dolphins better rather than being concerned with their record. What a novel concept for a team out of the playoff race looking towards next year. Yet, ESPN spent hours covering the comments as if they were taken straight from the Devil’s mouth. As for my pick, Buffalo can’t score on the road. Miami seemed to get things going last week. I’ll take Miami.

PIT -3.5 cin

If I judge this game on how each team has performed against the Colts year, then I’d have to take Cincinnati. These two teams played at Cincy earlier this year with Cincy having all of the momentum. Pittsburgh came out and busted the Bengals in the mouth. Pittsburgh will be looking to make amends for its performance in Indy last week. But, it is not crazy to think the Bengals could win this game. Throw in the fact that Big Ben is hurt and you don’t have to think too hard to imagine the Bengals covering the spread. I’ll take Cincinnati.

BAL -8.5 hou

If I took Baltimore with a line this big, I would be downing jars of Pepto-Bismal just to get to bed on Saturday night. I know the Texans are bad but 8.5 points? That seems a little bit over the top to me. As for Lions fans, we really want Baltimore to win this game. I’ll take Houston to keep it close.

IND -15 ten

This game definitely requires a leap of faith. It’s a leap that I’m willing to take. I’ll go with the Indianapolis to dominate Tennessee at home. As for the Colts and going undefeated, I think it’s going to happen. Then again, I thought Minnesota was going to do it in 1998. The Colts have three tough games left in; Jacksonville, San Diego and Seattle. Indy should win all of those games with the toughest one (SD) being at home. There has been a lot of discussion about whether Tony Dungy should play his starters in the final game of the season against Arizona if the Colts are 15-0. This is a no-brainer to me. In my opinion, going undefeated in the regular season is very, very close to winning the Super Bowl. In most cases, nobody cares how a team does in the regular season but no team has ever gone 16-0 in the NFL regular season. The Colts would be remembered by history many times over in the same manner that the ’72 Dolphins are. If you’re that close to NFL immortality, you have to take the chance even if it means risking a unnecessary injury. Plus, the Colts should be able to dominate the Cardinals in the first half leaving the second half to the second-stringers.

jax -3 CLE

It’s been a fad lately to pick against the Jags to make the playoffs. I don’t know where this started but clearly whoever started it didn’t look at their remaining schedule. The Jags get to beat up on Cleveland, San Francisco, Houston and Tennessee. The Jags should win all four games giving them a 12-4 record. Even if they lose one game, they’ll be at 11-5. There is no doubt that Jacksonville is going to the playoffs. It's unfortuante that strength of schedule has played such an important role in the NFL this year. In my opinion, the six best teams in the AFC are Indy, Denver, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Kansas City. However, NewEngland will get in because they play in the worst division in football and Jacksonville will get in because there schedule is the inverse of KC and SD's. At any rate, the Jags should pound Cleveland this week. I’ll take Jacksonville to cover.

NYG -3 dal

Normally I would go with Dallas without hesitation. The problem I have with picking Dallas is that the Giants have been so good at home this year and Drew Bledsoe is a ticking time bomb on the road. This game should be relatively close but I think the Giants will get the running game going and take care of business in one of the most important games in the NFC this year.

CHI -7 gb

I don’t know where this line came from. Out of GB’s nine losses, two have come by more than seven points. Brett Favre has kept the Pack in games all year. Just as a side-note, Green Bay, despite only being 2-9, has outscored its opponents. Has that ever happened before? Chicago’s defense is great but the offense has only scored more than 20 points one time in the last seven weeks and only twice all season. Chicago might win by more than seven but the odds are against it. I’ll take Favre to be a pain in Chicago’s side.

min -2 DET

So, Dre Bly and Jeff Garcia think that Steve Mariucci would still be around if Garcia hadn’t broken his leg? That’s like saying that Bob Huggins would still be coaching the Cincinnati Bearcats if nobody ever invented beer. Garcia’s injury had minimal impact on the season. The problem with the Lions offense was with Steve Mariucci and his partner in crime, Ted Tollner’s pre-historic offense. I feel sorry for Bly that he left St. Louis to live in obscurity with the Lions but that doesn’t give him the license to make ridiculous statements. Garcia obviously loves himself at the quarterback position. However, anyone who has been paying attention realizes that Garcia has brought a big pile of nothing to this team. I’ll take Minnesota to keep winning.

CAR -3 atl

Carolina is at home which is good news considering what happened to them the last two weeks on the road. The Panthers were embarrassed by the Bears in Soldier field two weeks ago and barely escaped with a win at Buffalo. Just three weeks ago Carolina was the darling of the NFC. It’s amazing how fast a two game road trip can change everything. Here’s the deal with Atlanta, they’ve played 11 games this year and they’ve only lost ONE game all season by more than three points. I could take this one of two ways; a). they’re due for a loss of more than three points or b). it’s not a fluke but a trend. Unfortunately for me, I think it’s both. This game could go either way but I’ll take Atlanta because they have Vick, they play close games, and they might actually win the game.

tb -3 NO

New Orleans could very well pull an upset in this game. Crazier things have happened. However, this line is ridiculous. Tampa Bay should (and I emphasize “should”) put the hammer to New Orleans with its suffocating defense. Chris Simms has been up and down but he should be steady enough to not screw up this game for Tampa Bay. I’ll take Tampa Bay to win by 3.1 points.

ari -3 SF

This is another line that is surprising. These two teams have already played once and Arizona won by 17 points. I thought that would happen then and I think something similar will happen now. In fact, San Francisco has been at least a nine point underdog in every game since the last time these two teams played. Arizona was favored by 2.5 when they played on October 2. Apparently that 17 point blowout didn’t register with Vegas. Arizona has a fairly potent offense. Kurt Warner has been putting up big time numbers lately with one of the better receiving corps in the NFL. San Francisco is just terrible. I’ll take Arizona to take advantage of this rare occasion to dominate a team.

was -3 STL

I still have nightmares about picking Washington -3 on the road against the Giants earlier in the year. I am very confident that the Rams are nothing close to the Giants so hopefully there won’t be a repeat. This is a toss-up game with both teams being extremely unpredictable throughout the season. The wildcard in this game might be Rams rookie QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. All he did was lead the Rams to victory after falling behind by 21 points. He also threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. Complicating matters is the fact that I don’t even know if Fitzpatrick is the Rams starter. I can see the Rams throwing Jamie Martin back in the mix for no good reason. The Rams are just too good on offense to get blown out and the Redskins debacle against the Giants is still weighing heavily on my mind almost two months later. I’ll take St. Louis.

NE -10 nyj

The Patriots are definitely ten points better than the Jets. The question is whether or not they care to be ten points better. The Pats seem to be content on doing just enough to beat teams. They aren’t dropping the hammer like they used to. It seems like they’re in “rope a dope” mode just to get through the regular and get everyone healthy for the playoffs. On the other side, the Jets haven’t lost by less than ten points to any team on the road this year. They’ve lost by; 20, 10, 10, 13, 27 and 27. It would be only fitting if I went with the trend by taking New England only to have the Jets show up on the road for the first time all year. I’m going to risk and take New England.

den -1.5 KC

I was on the Kansas City bandwagon to start the season. This team has players all over the field. They have good units on offense, defense and special teams. Then, something happened. The Chiefs were dominated by the Buffalo Bills. Nothing spells disaster more accurately than a drubbing by the Bills. I still have that nasty taste in my mouth. Buffalo was a 2.5 favorite in that game which was ridiculous. The Chiefs should’ve been favored by at least 4 points. They should’ve blown on the Bills. I really think I’ve developed some sort of Post Traumatic Chiefs Disorder (PTCD) after that Bills game. Then last week came. With the Bills game fresh on my mind, I thought for sure that the Chiefs would get tested and possibly beaten by the Patriots. Instead, they put together one of the more impressive showings by any team in the league this year. Where was that in Buffalo? This is exactly what I was talking about in my NFL Road Rage post. I’ll take the Chiefs in an attempt to face my PTCD head on. I respect Dr. Leo Marvin and all but no “Baby Steps” for me.

SD -10.5 oak

The Chargers will be 9-4 after victories in the next two weeks. At that time, they’ll have three huge games left to make the playoffs; at Indianapolis, at Kansas City and Denver. The Chargers have to win at least one of those games and they’ll probably have to win two. I just don’t see it happening. The Chargers are clearly one of the better teams in the NFL but I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs. What a bummer. Anyhow, Oakland is a disaster. They were dominated by Miami (yes, Miami) in Oakland last week. My first inclination is that this line is too big. But, who do the Raiders actually have on defense? Warren Sapp and Charles Woodson are out for the season. That’s not good against the Chargers. I’ll take San Diego.

sea -3.5 PHI

Seattle is funky. The one thing they’ve done consistently this year is win. There has been nothing consistent about how much they’ve won by. They’ve won four games by three points or less and they’ve won four games by 14 points or more. I still have a lot of respect for the Eagles’ defense. They have a lot of veterans that are still playing hard despite being out of the playoff race for the first time in years. The difference in this game should be Seattle’s aggressive defense against former Lion great, Mike McMahon. I’ll take Seattle to cover.

Coin Flip’s picks


My picks


Coin Flip Challenge Standings:

Jake --------75-80-5
Coin Flip—--63-92-5

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