Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Week 12 Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on November 26, 2009

While I clearly misfired on last week’s upset special, several others occurred that no one saw coming.  That is life in the NFL.  It will be interesting to see how everything unfolds going forward, but I think we’re starting to see a clear separation of teams at the top.  That said, maybe some of the teams we thought were really bad are starting to get better.  The bottom line is no team is safe in this league in any given week.

Last week: 11-5  Season: 107-51

– Packers over Lions: Unfortunately the Thanksgiving holiday starts with its usual dud of a Lions game.  Detroit did show offensive spark last week, but Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are both unlikely to play against the Packers as of this writing.  Aaron Rodgers is starting to cut down on his sack total, and it’s paying big dividends.  Green Bay rolls so easily that you may want to check out some of the college hoops going on if you’re looking to avoid helping in the kitchen.

– Cowboys over Raiders: Dallas squeaked one out against the Redskins last week, while the Raiders pulled off their second major upset of the season.  However I don’t buy Oakland’s chances of winning on the road right now, especially in the Jones Mahal with a fired up Thanksgiving crowd.  I expect the Cowboys to have no trouble running the ball, and I think they’ll get enough big plays from Tony Romo to pull away relatively easily in the second half.

– Broncos over Giants: I know I’m probably picking with my heart more than my head here, but the Broncos cannot possibly get any more rock bottom than Sunday’s loss to San Diego.  A player’s only meeting called Tuesday by Brian Dawkins seems to have woken the players up.  You can tell in the comments leading up to this game that there seems to be a renewed attitude and vigor in the team.  It also seems clear that Kyle Orton will get the start, which he clearly should have against the Chargers.  Meanwhile, Ahmad Bradshaw will not play for the Giants, and Brandon Jacobs is really banged up as well.  Thus I think the Broncos will completely shut down the Giants running game, which will allow them to put some pressure on Eli Manning.  The deciding factor for me though is this will be Denver’s first home Thanksgiving game since 1963, and I think the team will get a tremendous lift from a fired up night game crowd.  I also think the Giants are at a tremendous disadvantage with the long travel and the short week.  Broncos win 21-13.

– Dolphins over Bills: The Dolphins proved last week that they can run the ball even with Ronnie Brown out for the year.  If Ricky Williams continues to play like that, Miami could be a interesting team to watch down the stretch.  The Bills finally had a Terrell Owens sighting last week, but otherwise let another winnable game slip away.  I think even in the wind and cold of upstate New York, I like the Miami running game to carry the Dolphins in this one.

– Panthers over Jets: Carolina has been a really tough team to figure all year long, but I like their running game on the road.  The Jets also have a solid running game with Thomas Jones, but Mark Sanchez has really struggled as of late (even more so than Jake Delhomme in my opinion).  This could end up being a very ugly game, but I like the Panthers to steal this one on the road.

– Bengals over Browns: Many times meetings between these two teams seem to take odd turns with unexpected results, but I don’t see that happening this time.  The lock of the week has got to be that Brady Quinn will absolutely not duplicate his performance of a week ago when he tossed 3 TDs against Detroit.  I think the Bengals looked past the Raiders last week, and they will not make that mistake two weeks in a row.  I think Cincinnati wins in a blowout.

– Texans over Colts: UPSET ALERT.  This is a very intriguing game in Houston, being that the Colts won a thriller in the first meeting.  Also, the Colts come in off several very fortunate wins while Houston has a short week to recover from a crushing loss.  Call this one a hunch, but I think the Texans are due.  There is way too much talent on that team for them not to be in the playoff discussion one of these years.  Houston has come very close against Indianapolis more than once and I think this is their chance to break out.  Peyton Manning is having a great year, but the Colts have undoubtedly caught quite a few breaks along the way so far.  Besides, I don’t think any team in this league is ever good enough to go through undefeated (even the Patriots couldn’t quite get it done in 07, even with a perfect regular season).

– Jaguars over 49ers: Jacksonville has very quietly muscled their way to the top of the wild card standings in the AFC.  They don’t score a lot of points, but as long as they have Maurice Jones-Drew I wouldn’t want to have to face them as a defensive coordinator.  Home field hasn’t been much help for the Niners in a long time, and while they always play hard, they don’t seem to have enough there to really compete on a week to week basis.  I think the Jaguars carry their momentum into a west coast road win.

– Cardinals over Titans.  There is huge caveat here.  I change this pick to the Titans if Kurt Warner doesn’t play.  As of right now, Warner says he is going to play after suffering a concussion last week, and if he does I like the Cardinals to keep their momentum going and stop Tennessee’s hot streak.  The Cardinals have proven that they can win on the road (in fact they’ve played better there than at home this year).  I will say that Vince Young seems like a completely new player and person and Chris Johnson is incredible, but if Warner plays I like the Cards.  If he doesn’t, than Tennessee will have a chance to roll with poor play from Matt Leinart.

– Chargers over Chiefs: I am still attempting to figure out how Kansas City beat Pittsburgh.  All I can figure is that any outcome is bound to happen once out of every 100 times.  As for the Chargers, they are starting to look scary good.  San Diego has rebounded to win five in a row and they show no signs of slowing down.  LaDainian Tomlinson is back to his old self, and that means the Chargers have once again been balanced on offense instead of completely relying on Philip Rivers.  The defense is also stepping up with key turnovers.  If San Diego is focused, they will win this one going away.

– Eagles over Redskins: Washington’s defense actually hasn’t been half bad recently.  They allowed just seven points to Dallas last week and they’ve actually kept the team in more games than not.  The problem for the Redskins has been the offense, and that will be enough to doom them against Philadelphia.  The Eagles are starting to show signs of life offensively, and while they have yet to meet preseason expectations, they are showing that they could be a player in the NFC East with a few breaks.  The Eagles already handled Washington once without any real difficulty, and I like them to do it again.

– Vikings over Bears: I think Minnesota is the best team in the NFL.  Keep in mind their one loss came in Pittsburgh thanks to two long fumble returns.  They have the running game, the passing game and the defense.  Last week against the Seahawks it was clear that the Vikings are incredibly difficult to even compete with when they are clicking on all cylinders.  I don’t see any way they slow down this week in the Metrodome against a Bears team that is needless to say limping in.  Chicago has lost three in a row and continues to be plagued by incredibly poor decisions by Jay Cutler.  Perhaps he can learn a thing or two Sunday by watching Brett Favre, who is having one of the best years in his career.  Minnesota wins easily.

– Falcons over Buccaneers: Atlanta suffered a rough overtime loss last week to the Giants, and now the Falcons are in a position where they can’t afford any missteps if they want to actually make the playoffs for the second straight year.  They have the pieces in place offensively, but defensively they’ve given up a ton of big plays.  That shouldn’t be a problem against Tampa Bay, who last week reverted to form after two weeks of playing better.  Atlanta may not have enough to quite be in it at the end, but they’ll get this one at home.

– Seahawks over Rams: St. Louis has given some good effort in recent weeks, but it won’t quite be enough without Marc Bulger, who will possibly miss the rest of the season.  Seattle has been really up and down, but I think they’ll have enough in this one (Watch for T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who got shut down last week by the Vikings, to rebound with a big day).  This is a dud game, so my sympathy if you’re stuck with it.

– Ravens over Steelers: Minor upset alert in a good Sunday night matchup.  The Ravens have really underachieved this year, while Pittsburgh is still trying to figure out what happened in Kansas City last week.  I think the Ravens know that Pittsburgh beat them three times last year, and I think there is no way they allow the Steelers to beat them this time.  Baltimore’s nasty defense will tee off on Ben Roethlisberger early and often to test him after he left last week’s game with a concussion.  I expect a low scoring hard hitting game, and that gives the Ravens a chance to gain the edge with just one big turnover.  I think they’ll get it, and the win.

– Patriots over Saints: It doesn’t usually happen that the game of the week ends up the Monday nighter, but that’s what we have this time.  New Orleans certainly deserves a ton of credit for an outstanding season so far, and they certainly have an ability to light up the scoreboard quickly, but their defense has also given up its fair share of large point totals.  I think the Patriots have shown that they have an ability to put up big numbers even on the road, as indicated by their 34-point night in Indy two weeks ago.  If this game turns into a shootout as I suspect it will, I actually like New England’s defense to hold up a little better than New Orleans.  This is almost too close to call, but in the end I like New England in this one.


One Response to “Week 12 Picks”

  1. Doug Baker said

    I hope you are right on the Houston v Indy pick and of course the Patriots pick. I am picking both those games as well.

    Good win by the Broncos last night. The Giants looked awful.

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