The Old Man is coming off a solid 12 and 4 outing, his best week in months. This week, things get interesting. The playoff picture is starting to come into focus and several teams in the NFC are still
alive and kicking thanks to most of the wild card teams losing last weekend. In the AFC, it’s looking more and more like the Patriots could end up with the top seed. Their schedule is very favorable for the rest of the year and Tom Brady and the O is starting to play like they did at the beginning of the season. That being said, let’s get on to the picks. As always picks are straight up, points are give for reference only.
Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Seattle Seahawks
The Eagles, as bad as they’ve played, are not quite out of the playoff picture just yet, thanks to their being in the wacky NFC East. The Seahawks are still in it as well. Both team sport 4 and 7 records but are only three games back from the wild card and the Eagles are three back from the Cowboys. This is a must-win game for both clubs. The loser will be out of the playoffs in this one. I know the Eagles had high expectations but I look for them to go to Seattle and lose. The Eagles are coming apart at the seams. Look for a new head coach next season. Take the Seahawks at home Thursday night.
Tennessee Titans (+1.5) at Buffalo Bills
Earlier this year, Buffalo looked like a shoe in for the playoffs. They were scoring points, shutting people down, and playing great football. What happened? They signed their QB to a big contract and the wheels came off. Well, maybe that’s not the reason, but they started losing right about that time. This is a tough one to call because both of these teams are still alive in the playoff race. I’m going to go with the Bills at home in what I think will be a close game.
Kansas City Chiefs (+8) at Chicago Bears
The Bears simply lost the game last week in Oakland. The turnover just before halftime was the dagger in that one. That was as much as a ten point swing against the Bears. This week they have the Chiefs who looked pretty good last Sunday night against the Steelers. Question is who will be the Chiefs QB in this one? Perhaps Kyle Orton? If so, it will be close game but I think the Bears will win this game and keep the number one wild card position…for this week.
Oakland Raiders (+3) at Miami Dolphins
The Raiders are a game up in the AFC West and need to continue to win to keep Tebow and the Broncos at bay. Miami is coming off a tough loss to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving day and are still playing their best ball of the year. Tough game to call but I’m going with the Dolphins at home. Raiders have too many injuries.
Cincinnati Bengals (+7) at Pittsburgh Steelers
A tough, tough game for both clubs. This one could have major implications as to who goes to the playoffs, and who stays home. The Bengals were playing great ball earlier in the year. The past few weeks, not so much. I look for the Steelers to flex their muscles in this one and give the Bengals an old fashioned wood shed whooping. Take the Steelers at home.
Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) at Cleveland Browns
The Ravens are in the drivers seat in the AFC North. However, they have a very bad tendency to lose to teams they should beat. The Browns are one of those teams they should beat. If the Ravens are for real, they’ll win this game by a big margin. I look for the Raven D to have a big day as they knock off the Browns. Ravens D is a must start in fantasy football this week.
New York Jets (-3) at Washington Redskins
The Jets are on the outside looking in right now when it comes to the playoffs. However the stumbling Bengals are in front of them and, if the Jets continue to win, they’ll make it as the second wild card team. The Redskins are coming off a big win last week, but that was against Seattle. The Jets have too much on the line to lose this one to the Redskins. Jets win as their D shuts down Grossman and company.
Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) at Houston Texans
Anyone want to play quarterback for the Texans? Anyone? Buehler? The dream season for the Texans is quickly turning into a nightmare. Seriously, if I told you at the beginning of the year that Matt Leinart was out for the season, would you have cared? You do now if you’re a Texans fan. Who will drive the ship? It’s unknown at this time. Jake Delhomme was brought in to try out and, of course, Favre watch is on. The Texans still have a solid running game and their D has been good all year. They are the Bears of the AFC. Look for them to squeak out a win against the Falcons.
Carolina Panthers (+3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
At the beginning of the year, I really thought the Bucs would make it into the playoffs. Not going to happen. Tampa fans are calling for the firing of coach Raheem Morris (he’s a good coach, don’t fire him) and things don’t get any easier as the Cam Newton show comes to town. This will be a fun game to watch as two of the better young quarterbacks duel it out under the hot Tampa sun. Coin toss game but I’m going with Tampa to win at home.
Detroit Lions (+8.5) at New Orleans Saints
In the words of Bob Seger, “Everyone want to do the Ndamukong Stomp.” Okay, maybe the lyrics aren’t that, but his little dance cost him two games. The Saints, they have their sites on that number two seed in the NFC and they looked unbeatable Monday night. Look for the Saints to roll the Lions as they keep pressure on the 49ers and the Lions drop further out of the NFC wild-card race.
Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings Pick ‘em
The Tebow Express is making its way to Minneapolis to take on the Vikings. The big question is will Adrian Peterson be able to play. My guess is yes but that Denver D has been playing “lights out” the past couple of weeks. I have to stay on the Tebow train for this week. There’s just something about this Denver team. Keep in mind if they win, and the Raiders lose, the Broncos would take the lead in the AFC West.
Saint Louis Rams (+13.5) at San Francisco 49ers
The Rams are a terrible team this year. Who’s to blame? Don’t know but I think they’ll have a new coach next season. Look for Gruden’s name to pop up during the off season. As for this week, the 49ers will re-establish themselves as the king of the NFC West and will wrap up that division with a home win. 49ers will pummel the Rams.
Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) at Arizona Cardinals
The Cowboys are leading the NFC East and should continue to do so after this game. The thing with the Cowboys is that they like to keep games close and interesting. I don’t think they’ll blow the Cardinals out, but I think they’ll do enough to win. Close game but the Cowboys will prevail.
Green Bay Packers (-7) at New York Giants
The Cowboys love the fact that the schedule isn’t getting any easier for the Giants as they play the defending champs at home. This game was flexed to Sunday night and that was a good move by the NFL. I think last weeks beating by the Saints will inspire the Giants to play better. This week they’ll only lose by 20. Take the Packers as they continue to roll.
Indianapolis Colts (+21) at New England Patriots
What is this, a college football point spread? 21 points in an NFL game? Man, how fast the mighty have fallen. Word on the street is that Belichick really does not like Bill and Chris Polian. Translated that means if he can run up the score, he will. I look for the Patriots to beat the Colts not by 21, but maybe by as many as 40. I’m actually going to predict a shut out in this one. Pats 42, Colts 0. You heard it here first.
San Diego Chargers (-2.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Holy cow, you go to sleep, wake up, and Jack Del Rio is fired AND the Jaguar franchise is being sold? In the words of Mike LaFontaine from the show “A Mighty Wind, ‘Wha’ Happened?’” How will this affect the Jags, I have no idea. I do know they’re lucky the hapless Chargers are limping into town. I think the Chargers will win this simply due to the fact that the Jags are in so much turmoil. Not a very exciting game, but one that should be there for the Chargers to win.
That’s it for week 13, take it to the bank!