Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Week 13 Picks

Posted by mizzou1028 on December 3, 2010

Last Week: 11-5 Season: 95-81

The last couple of weeks have been much better for yours truly in the picking department.  Two weeks ago, I sat four games under .500 for the season.  Now, two weeks of success have turned that around (If you missed my selections last week I did them on Twitter, with the Thanksgiving holiday and the fact that I spent it in Nebraska with the Buffs there was just no time).

A quick note on last night’s game: Michael Vick certainly deserves to be in contention for MVP.  The way he is playing, I’m not sure any NFC team wants to see the Eagles in the playoffs.  As for Houston, they continue to stumble and let winnable games get away.  I can’t see any way that Gary Kubiak isn’t in trouble at the end of the season.  At any rate, on to this week’s selections, as we go for several upset specials:

– Bills over Vikings: Upset pick #1.  Look, I know the Vikings won last week, but it wasn’t as if they jumped off the stat sheet against the Redskins.  I do think they are playing harder for Leslie Frazier than they did for Brad Childress, but this team still doesn’t feel right from Brett Favre all the way to the defensive side of the ball.  I pick the upset because the Bills are rapidly improving and no one seems to be noticing.  They would have beaten the Steelers last week if not for a dropped ball in the end zone.  The Metrodome is always loud, but if Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to play well and the Bills defense can slow down Adrian Peterson, I think they have more than a puncher’s chance.  I’m going with the upset.

– Browns over Dolphins: Upset pick #2.  Miami played very well last week in Oakland, but they certainly have not been consistent, especially on their home field.  They have just struggled to put back to back solid performances together.  The Browns continue to be among the surprise teams in the league, and I think Peyton Hillis could be in line for another huge day.  Frankly I don’t think this is much of a stretch, I only call it an upset because a vast majority of folks are picking Miami.

– Saints over Bengals: The complete mismatch of the week. a classic case of Super Bowl contender vs league doormat/soap opera.  If I hadn’t already used New Orleans in my eliminator pool, I would do so here without hesitation.  The sad part is the Bengals’ diva receivers probably don’t even regret the disastrous T-Ocho Show.

– Cowboys over Colts: Upset pick #3.  The Colts are simply not the Colts right now.  Injuries have played their part for sure, especially Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai.  Peyton Manning is trying his best to keep it together, but even he is not having a Manning-esque season.  The Cowboys meanwhile look like a new team under Jason Garrett.  Frankly this doesn’t look right because I have a hard time picturing the Colts under .500 and not in the playoffs, but that is rapidly where they are heading.  This is more of a hunch than anything, but I think Dallas wins on the road.

– Jaguars over Titans: Tennessee destroyed the Jags in the first meeting, but a lot has changed since then.  For starters, David Garrard is healthy and Maurice Jones-Drew has looked much more like his old self in recent weeks.  For the Titans, you know things are bad when their best hope is that Kerry Collins MIGHT be healthy enough to start on Sunday.  Chris Johnson was so ineffective last week he was held to five yards, and the Jaguars have a much better rush defense than Houston.  I think Jacksonville wins, and it may not be particularly close.

– Chiefs over Broncos: I gave my in depth assessment of the Broncos earlier in the week.  Frankly, this game is going to get ugly for them.  Arrowhead Stadium has never been kind to Denver (the Broncos are just 2-16 there in December all-time), plus the Chiefs are going to be highly motivated to avenge the 49-29 defeat a few weeks ago.  Kansas City is the best rushing team in the league, and while the Broncos contained Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones in the first meeting, they won’t be able to do it twice.  Kansas City rolls, and perhaps Todd Haley will actually shake Josh McDaniels’ hand this time.

– Chargers over Raiders: San Diego lost the first meeting because of very poor special teams play.  This time, Philip Rivers will have such a good game it won’t come down to special teams.  The Chargers are hitting the gas pedal hard for their annual December run (Philip Rivers has never lost in the month if you can believe that), and they have both momentum and revenge on their side here.  The Raiders went back to looking lost and confused last week against Miami, and this is simply put a bad matchup for them.  The Chargers win this easily.

– Giants over Redskins: Another mismatch on tap.  The G-men had a nice bounce back victory last week and look to get back in the race for the best record in the NFC.  Washington continues to really be a mixed bag, and this just doesn’t bode well for them heading on the road, especially since Mike Shanahan can’t seem to find a healthy running back right now.  I think the Giants win easily behind their strong running game and defense.

– Bears over Lions: This is my eliminator selection for this week (the first time I’ve taken one of these things into December).  When I found out the Lions are starting third string quarterback Drew Stanton, that’s all I need to know.  Shaun Hill was actually doing a capable job leading the offense, but Stanton doesn’t stand a chance against a Julius Peppers-led pass rush that was able to disrupt Michael Vick last week.  The other key for the Bears is Mike Martz has finally discovered his running game.  I think Matt Forte will be more than effective, and the Bears defense will completely shut down Stanton.

– Packers over 49ers: The 49ers are still in playoff contention only because they have the fortune to be part of the worst division in NFL history.  I am genuinely fearful we’ll see a 7-9 champion come out of that division.  The fact that San Francisco is just one game out at 4-7 is downright disturbing.  Despite their playoff chances, I don’t think they have much of a shot at Lambeau Field.   The Packers suffered a tough road loss in Atlanta last week, but they are still very much in play for a division title themselves in a legitimate race.  Green Bay should get this one without too much difficulty.

– Falcons over Buccaneers: It’s hard to believe that is a legitimate big game in the NFC South.  Atlanta won the first meeting at home. but it was much closer than expected.  Tampa Bay is clearly the league’s biggest surprise, but I’m sure they are wishing they were part of the NFC West this year.  New Orleans and Atlanta are both sure playoff teams, so the Buccaneers still have a large hill to climb.  I think this should be a great game, and while I do give Tampa Bay a chance, I think the Falcons are the best team in the NFC right now.  I am starting to think they might be the NFC representative in the Super Bowl.

– Seahawks over Panthers: This game could be the dud of the week.  Carolina did nearly pull the upset last week in Cleveland, and that is one reason I shied away from Seattle for my eliminator pick this week.  The other reason is the Seahawks have been flat awful in recent weeks, especially last week at home against the Chiefs.  The only reason I’m not going with an upset here is because Seattle is tied for the division lead despite their sub.500 record.  Therefore, they have something tangible to play for when Carolina does not.  A Carolina win wouldn’t shock me, but if Seattle has any pride at all they’ll win this one at home.

– Rams over Cardinals: Arizona hit a new low last week when they got clobbered at home on Monday night against San Francisco.  Derek Anderson’s postgame tirade made things worse.  If Arizona continues to be that inept offensively, they may not win another game all season.  St. Louis continues to show improvement, for Sam Bradford had his first 300-yard game in Denver last week.  St. Louis might be the least bad so to speak of the awful NFC West teams.  I think they will win this one rather comfortably.

– Ravens over Steelers: For once the night games are the two best games of the week.  Baltimore won the first meeting between these two teams in Pittsburgh, but that was without Ben Roethlisberger.  Speaking of the Steelers quarterback, he’s trying to debunk rumors of a broken foot this week.  I still stand behind the Ravens as my preseason Super Bowl pick because of their defense and balanced offensive attack.  One thing you can bank on with this matchup is it will be decided by a field goal or less.  I still go with the Ravens on their home field, especially after Pittsburgh’s near miss in Buffalo last week.

– Patriots over Jets: The winner of this game will very likely win the AFC East.  Regardless, it looks like both teams are headed to the playoffs.  The Jets won the first meeting, but the Patriots have been retooled since then, subtracting Randy Moss and adding Deion Branch and Danny Woodhead.  I like New England here for two reasons.  One, they are at home, where they rarely if ever lose especially in a big game.  Second, I still think the Jets can owe a large part of their record to luck.  At some point that is going to run out on them.

 

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