last week 10-6
but in fairness, nobody in the world would have picked the chiefs and raiders against the bengals and steelers.
week 12 picks::
packers @ lions
I really want to pick the Lions here, but there are more reasons to pick Green Bay than Detroit. For Detroit, you can say "They are riding momentum. They are home. They usually do pretty well on Thanksgiving. And the Packers just lost two key defenders (Al Harris and Aaron Kampman) for the season. Plus Green Bay is kind of overrated, and their O-line completely stinks."
For Green Bay, you can say, "Stafford is out, Calvin is likely out, which means Culpepper has had a 3-day week to prepare for a 3-4 defense that's still pretty good, and he has no one to throw the ball to. Bryant Johnson is awful. A-Rodgers has his whole arsenal of weapons and destroyed the Lions a couple months ago. Having a lousy offensive line doesn't matter against a team with no pass rush. Plus, do you really think the Lions are going to win two in a row? I don't think so ..."
So I'm picking Green Bay. I think they'll make it look easy and embarass the Lions on national TV. The injuries to Harris and Kampman are ultimately going to spell doom for the Packers' playoff chances, but just not this week. GB by 13.
Oakland @ Dallas
Much like the Lions aren't going to win two games in a row, the Raiders (who shocked Cincinnati last week on a fortunate fumble) are not beating Romo and the 'Boys in big D. It's just not happening. Interesting question though: will Nnamdi Asomugha be matched up against Roy Williams (the Cowboys alleged #1 receiver) or Miles Austin? If he matches up against Roy, it's an easy day for Nnamdi but Miles goes nuts for 200 yards. If he matches up with Austin, then he shuts him down, but Roy Williams goes postal and starts twittering about how he should be the #1 guy and demands respect It's an interesting dilemma for Nnamdi. And the fact that that's the first thing that came to mind with this game provens that Roy has reached the ultimate diva status of an idiot NFL receiver. Millions of Americans can't wait to watch Bruce Gradkowski on Thanksgiving. Oh man. Dallas by 21.
Giants @ Broncos
If Denver loses, they will have dropped from 6-0 to 6-5, which would be historically hilarious. Let's look at the facts: Kyle Orton has a gimpy ankle, Brandon Marshall got in a fight with Knowshon Moreno last week when the Broncos were blasted by 30 points at home, their defense has been exposed as a fluke, and New York is in desperate need of a win to keep pace for the playoffs. Eli has three very good receivers and two very good running backs to work with, and a defense that got a whole lot better with the return of cornerback Aaron Ross last week and is still rushing the passer as well as anyone. Denver has an elite left tackle (Ryan Clady) who should be able to contain Umenyiora, but the Giants can create pressure via the blitz and Justin Tuck up the middle. I just think New York has more good players and more momentum. And a better coach. Giants by 10.
(the sunday games ... )
Tampa @ Atlanta
Falcons win big. (by 18)
Seattle @ St. Louis
So do the Seahawks, who remarkably are only favored by 3 points. (they'll win by at least 14)
chiefs @ chargers
And San Diego wins by 20ish.
miami @ buffalo
TO had a dynamite game last week against jacksonville, but the bills still lost. miami is coming off a 9-day week (they won last thursday thanks to a huge ricky williams game), and should be able to dissect a subpar bills defense, especially given the extra days to prepare. miami's not out of the wildcard picture and this win will help. dolphins by 17.
washington @ philly
the redskins are terrible offensively and now will be without both portis and betts. rock cartwright might have a cool name and might have an okay statistical game, but he's not going to baffle the eagles defense, and philly will force campbell to pass the ball. asante samuel blankets santana moss and washington really has no offense in this game. philly, meanwhile, is an offensive juggernaut and they keep on rolling here. eagles by 20.
carolina @ ny jets
two 4-6 teams with slim chances at wildcard berths. the jets started out 3-0 while the panthers started 0-3, so carolina has been the much better team over the past two months. much better. the first month of the season, the jets would have won this game - kris jenkins would have been able to clog up the panthers run game. but with him out for the season, new york has fallen apart on defense and deangelo is going to run wild in this game. the jets season is living proof that a 3-4 defense lives and dies by the nosetackle. great nosetackles can dictate coverage and blitz schemes and make your defense flexible and unpredicatable, while undersized nosetackles make the entire defense suffer. that's why the packers shouldn't have switched. but anyway, how many interceptions can we expect to see in this game, with delhomme and sanchez duking it out? at least six right? maybe ten? carolina by 14.
cleveland @ cincinnati
last time these afc north rivals played, the browns forced overtime and the game came within a minute of being a tie. then the bengals became a powerhouse. and then they lost to the raiders. so my question is, are the bengals actually good? i mean, they almost lost to the browns, and they did lose to oakland. but what's the point of worrying about that now, they are winning this game and next week they face the lions, so they're still going to the playoffs. but only winning this one by 6 or so. i'd bet the under and the browns.
indy @ houston
i really want to pick houston. they're at home, they almost beat indy a few weeks ago, and the colts should have lost the past two weeks. the colts are due for a loss. and if houston wins, it's the biggest win in their franchise's history, and they freak out. but, i'm still picking the colts. by 6.
jacksonville @ san fran
two of my favorite preseason sleepers who are both having very mediocre seasons. gore and jones-drew should both amass a ton of yards in this one, but i like jacksonville to win the game and keep the streak alive. Jacks by 3.
bears @ vikings
cutler sucks. cutler sucks. hahahaha. cutler sucks. vikings by 16.
cardinals @ titans
well, after starting 0-6, tennessee is 5-6 and chris johnson looks more and more like barry sanders every week. can arizona stop him? no they can't. but can tennessee stop the cards passing attack? nope. this should be interesting. and high-scoring. i like tennessee. well, i like both teams, but i think the titans win due to ball-control offense and home-field advantage. tennessee by 7.
pittsburgh @ baltimore
roethlisberger should play. polamalu will be out. flacco is coming off a string of some terrible performances, including blowing the game last week with a red-zone INT against the colts when they were down 2 and a field goal would have won it. last season these were the two best defenses in the world. now, with troy injured, this may actually be a barn-burner. i don't think pittsburgh is the kind of team that loses two games in a row. that's not a very good reason, but that's all i got. stellers by 10.
*EDIT - Ben is out, Dixon is in. I'm taking the Ravens. ***
and now for the big one ...
patriots @ saints
there's a lot to unpack in this game. the undefeated saints at home in the loudest dome in the nfl riding a momumental wave of emotion ... versus the dynasty powerhouse cheating patriots and their hated coach and gorgeous quarterback and we're-better-than-you attitude. this is the MNF game of the year. the two best passing offenses in the nfl. but you know all that...
my pick is going to be the patriots. i said a long time ago that i wasn't picking against drew brees until he lets me down. well, here i go. i'm sticking with new england. this is going to be such a hype-fest and new england thrives in those games, while the saints are unfamiliar with the pressure. drew brees hasn't ever played in a game like that. brady has, a dozen times at least. welker and moss will have no problem getting open against the saints secondary, and brady proved two weeks ago that a loud crowd on the road doesn't affect him. we know the saints aren't going 19-0 or even 16-0, so we have to pick against them eventually. this is the best shot for them to lose. new england completely outplayed the colts two weeks ago, and i believe the colts have been more impressive than the saints this season. so i'm picking the pats. by 4.
go lions. happy thanksgiving.