NFL Picks Week 13 - Turkey Day is upon us

Here’s a head start on this weeks picks thread. I’ll do the Turkey day games now, and get back later, probably tomorrow, with the rest of the games since I have absolutely nothing to do on thanksgiving and will be home alone enjoying some football. Happy Holiday everyone, and try not to sleep through the Lions game.

Green Bay @ Detroit Turkey Day 11:30 AM (Green Bay -7)
Too bad the Lions are so awful these days with the traditional Turkey Day nod. It gets people talking about making the Thankgiving games a more fluid programming choice, but in some ways I think tradition is worth the sacrifice. Sure, its not socialized like most everything else about the NFL these days, but the Lions created the tradition and i say let them keep it. I was nice having Barry Sanders to watch for many years even when the team sucked, and we can only hope that sooner or later these games at least become watchable again. I don’t want them to be good, since they are in the Norris, but more watchable. Anyways, this game probably won’t be very close, but the Packers aren’t exactly dominating. Threy’ve got some serious issues on defense, especially in the secondary, and Favre’s bum finger makes them beatable. However, the one thing that hasn’t been questionable this year has been Green. There’s not much chance of the Lions miraculously learning to stuff the run on the short week. Harrington has regressed and has virtually no weapons to hope to keep up on offense. As long as the Pack don;t turn the ball over too often, they’ll win going away. Final Score, Packers 28 - Lions 12. Might be an OMNI- pick if our commish makes a decision if we’re counting these games or not.

Miami @ Dallas Turkey Day 3:05 PM (Dallas -3)
Believe it or not, the Cowboys have the top defense going in this game. They’ve been showing up every week, and I don’t expect much from little Ricky in his return to Texas this week. Fiedler is back at the helm, and it’s probably a upgrade from the erratic play of Griese, especially in a hostile environment. Feidler will probably be less apt to making game breaking errors, however his rust won’t do much to help him overcome any deficit or pressure packed situations. Miami has a little more talent on offense, but Wanny is going to get badly out coached. We’ll see how reliable Quincy is against a talented, opportunistic D. As long as he doesn’t give away the game, they’ll be fine. The fact that Dallas will have a real difficult time running the ball is the only thing that makes me hesitate at making this a confident pick. Final Score, Dallas 24 - Miami 17.

Here are the Silly picks for the Turkey day games:

Green Bay @ Detroit: The Lions seem to bite when least expected. Look for a flubbed coin toss to give the ball and the game to Detroit; alternately it could be a 51-0 blowout. No, I’m thinking of the Steelers’ luck on Thanksgiving.

Favre has to step up if he plans to make his jarbaby proud. Look for a solid performance by Ahman Green to make the difference.

**Miami @ Dallas: ** Leon Lett is retired, so Dallas won’t have that nightmare again. If the Dallas D can stop Rickey, and it’s very possible, the Fish will need a good day from Fiedler to stay ahead of the Pokes. Miami has a tendency to choke in big audience games- look at the playoff loss to Jax a few years ago- and Dallas is looking to regain the lost respect of the league, so Big D has the initial momentum.

So, what am I really saying? Pick the home teams.

Green Bay and Miami. I’m brave. :slight_smile:

OK. well, I slept through the first game and can’t really say what went wrong, but I’m going to hang my hat on that fact that I said the Pack would win as long as they didn’t turn the ball over, with Dre Bly’s two INTs I’m going to pretend to have been ‘right’ about that outcome.

Well, I clearly know nothing about the NFL this year. Bummer.

A silly side note, I found that I really liked the halftime show of the Cowboys game. I can’t stand country music, but for some reason this one was working for me. Not too overdone, and not too artificially partiotic like most things in Texas these days. And of course the Cowboy Cheerleaders make everything better. My favorite moment was when they has a close in shot on one of the soldiers on the field, he was looking fairly ambivilant about the whole think, just going through the motions as expected, then his face lites up with a big grin and wide eyes, you then notice that the cheerleaders had broken onto the stage right in front of him. Good times.

I picked both absolutely wrong. My only consolation is that I had Detroit against the spread. Sure hope Sunday bodes better.

You guys are no fun any more, but I’m not quitting. Stubborn is me.

First off, let me give you guys a little update regarding my OMNI- pool. As you know you need to pick 5 games right to win, and if no one does it rolls. It rolled several weeks in a row, I think about 5, and we were looking at a pot of about $4000 last week. After Sunday’s games there was one guy left alive, he’d taken the Bucs to cover on Monday. Most of you probably know how that turned out. You can imagine I’m pretty pissed with teh whole Giants organization for a plethora of complete and total breakdowns capped off by a totally idiotic intentional safety that cost them the game. It was the wrong call, this wasn’t the Carolina situation, they’d botched the clock management so badly that there’s no way they should have taken the safety. Basically they had the ball, and they chose to give it up in exchange for maybe gaining 30 yards on a 1 in 4 chance onside kick. Dumb dumb dumb. Don;t even get me started on Stoudamire and Toomer.

Now to my picks for the rest of the games.

Sunday Games
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh 12:00pm (Pittsburgh -3.0)
I’m not really sure why Pittsburgh would be favored. I know what you’re saying, I say that every week. The only indicators in their favor is the fact that they are at home, and that they won the last meeting. The latter isn’t much of an indicator since these two teams are nothing like they were in week 3. The Steelers haven’t exactly been a juggernaut at home, nor has Cincy been extraordinarily poor on the road either. The gut knows that Cincy is a much better team, and while that hasn’t always meant victory this year, it certainly is better than flipping a coin. I’ll gladly take the points in this one. Cincy can run, and Pittsburgh can’t. Kitna has been solid and Maddox has been erratic. Pittsburgh only scored more than 21 points twice, once in week one in an abberation vs the Ravens and once against the Cards at home. Cincy’s D isn’t awesome, but they will be good enough here. Final Score, Bengals 27 - Steelers 16.

New England @ Indianapolis 12:00pm (Indianapolis -4.0)
Really difficult game to call. On one side you have the legend of the Belichick schemes on D against the newly consistent and balanced Indy attack. You’ve got Brady playing great ball with no running game against a pretty respectable pass D. Peyton had a tweak in the arm, but all signs point to it being a-ok. I really don’t have a good read on this game, and I’d guess that it’ll be really exciting to watch. The difference could very likely be one mistake. In games like these, its tough to choose between home field and the points, but I think in this one I’m going to lean towards New England. Both teams have serious injury concerns, the Pats mainly at WR. The question I’m left with is this, is the Pats D good enough to offset the holes at WR? I say yes, but barely, and I might flip flop between now and gametime. Final Score, Pats 28 - Colts 27.

Buffalo @ N.Y. Giants 12:00pm (N.Y. Giants -3.0)
Couple of ugly teams. The Bills D is playing well enough to think they’ll force more of those errors that plague the Giants. Granted, how good can you feel about picking against a team that scores 30 points without even trying if they just catch the ball and not fumble it? I give up on both these teams this year. Since I have no insight that can’t be undone by the inevitable string of turnovers for both squads, I’m just gonna guess. Final Score, Giants 17 - Bills 13.

Atlanta @ Houston 12:00pm (Houston -3.0)
This game worries me, I want to take the Texans with all those young guys on offense who seem to be clicking wonderfully. However, Atlanta’s shown up to play every week and scares everyone they play lately. Neither D is really impressive, especially Atlantas, but the Atlanta running game has the pop to be really scary. And, there’s even a chance that Vick could be playing. Not sure how I expect that news to effect the team. The simple thing would be for them to lose out and start from scratch next year with Vick and a new QB. Thats exactly why they won’t. However, all this diminished by the fact that Warrick Dunn is out. He was probably the most important player on that team. I’m going to cop out and take the home team here, though the Texans QB uncertainty makes it iffy. Final Score, Texans 17 - Falcons 13.

San Francisco @ Baltimore 12:00pm (Baltimore -3.0)
The Niners suck on the road, and they are mysteriously plugging Garcia back in the line up against the Ravens on the road. Ray Lewis is going up against the only guy in the league who I hope he’ll get the better of in TO. How do you think TO will feel when they struggle early? I think this is a pretty safe bet, Jamal Lewis all day long. Final Score, Ravens 23 - 49ers 16.

A funny aside, I was just watching the Sports Center Not Top Ten. They had a couple clips of refs getting plunked in the jumblies during games last week. That was pretty funny, sadly I don’t think any were the refs from the Seattle-Baltimore screw up.

Philadelphia @ Carolina 12:00pm (Carolina -1.5)
I want to pick the Panthers here, I just like them for so many reasons this year. They even have a pretty good match up in Davis vs the Eagles D. But, they just seem to not step up when they get those big opportunities. They gotta like getting these guys at home, but the Eagles aren’t exactly a team that cares about a little booing. They even are the healthier team, but my gut and all the momentum just seems to go with the Eagles winning this one. Especially now that they’ve seen the Cowboys lose on Thursday. I wouldn’t wager on it, but the Eagles offense is clicking and I don’t seem McNabb being to troubled by the pass rush. Final Score, Eagles 24 - Panthers 21.

Arizona @ Chicago 12:00pm (Chicago -4.5)
The Bears are a monumental 4.5 point fave! Dear god, what has happened. You guys all laughed when I said that the Bears would have some success against the Broncos. While I never dreamed we’d win the game, and if Portis hadn’t gotten misplaced in the second half, we wouldn’t have, but the D and the running game are decent enough to make every matchup a battle and put them in a position to capitalize on mistakes. Of course, all this just means that Grossman won’t be getting any reps, stalling his development. The lame duck coaching staff can’t afford to start him before the team is technically eliminated because thats their only pipe dream fro being there next year. As a staff what incentive is there to worry about the future at the expense meaningless games now? Of course, playing teams like Arizona also means that we’ll probably win enough to not get a difference making draft choice either to screw up either. The tandem of Boldin and Blake scares me, and the return of Emmitt makes me smile and brim with confidence. I’m gonna hope the cold and possible weather will ice that Arizona passing game. Kordell still can’t hit the broadside of a barn from 8 feet up wind and up hill, so check the confidence at the door. Final Score, Bears 20 - Cards 15.

Minnesota @ St. Louis 12:00pm (St. Louis -6.0)
The Vikings have certainly imploded. The Rams are trying to implode, but keep squeaking by. This ones indoors and the Rams are benefitted by that more than the Vikes. Also, the Vikings need to get back on track running the ball to be successful, and they won’t against the Rams on turf, especially if they get behind. Of course the big caveat is that the key to Viking success was creating turnovers, especially INTS, which has been a huge issue for the Rams as of late. That fact scares me when you consider all the close games the Rams have had lately up against a 6 point spread. We’ll see. The Vikes should feel like they have the division locked up after that Green Bay flop, but frankly I don’t know how to think that’ll effect this team. Final Score, Rams 31 - Vikings 28.

New Orleans @ Washington 3:05pm (Washington -2.0)
No way the Saints are under dogs here. I don’t think that they’ll blow out the Redskins, but all the stats point to the Saints dominating this one. Ramsey is back in the lineup at less than 100% which makes me even less apt imagine them victimizing the Saints so-so D. Duce wins this one on his own, as long as Brooks doesn’t give it away, the Saints win easy. Final Score, Saints 34 - Redskins 14.

Cleveland @ Seattle 3:15pm (Seattle -6.0)
Cleveland’s D has been pretty impressive at times, and their offense fails to capitalize time and time again. They have enough skill to make big plays, but I have the impression that Butch Davis doesn’t understand how to put together a steady attack, especially in the redzone. They win when their athletisism allows them to make things happen, but you can’t count on that in this league when you need it. Seattle has its flaws on offense too, dropping lots of balls. But, alot of those issues seem to clear up at home. 6 is a cozy spread too. Final Score, Seattle 27 - Browns 20.

Kansas City @ San Diego 3:15pm (Kansas City -7.0)
Just 7? Thank you very much. I imagine that LT will pile up some numbers in his own right, and with a little fantasy luck Boston and Flutie will continue to get along nicely, however I’m not sure I can envision any situation where the Chiefs don’t score every time they touch the ball. Final Score, Chiefs 34 - Chargers 24.

Denver @ Oakland 3:15pm (Denver -3.0)
So are we done with the theory that Shanahan is a genius? You’ve got one of the top running backs in the game, he’s averaging some 12 yards a carry and he get lost in teh play calling after about 5 minutes in the third quarter. All this in a game when your QB is just getting back into sync against a team that isn’t likely to out score you. That doesn’t make much sense to me, but I’m just a guy, I’m not getting paid umpteen million bucks. Sterling Sharpe is out and so is Rod Woodson. Probably an edge for Oakland. They’ve been getting it done the old fashioned way as of late, and at home they’ll have a slight edge, but talent wise the Broncos have every excuse to win this game. Mirer has been pretty steady at QB, but Shanahan doesn’t lose to Al Davis. Final Score, Denver 24 - Oakland 20.

Sunday Night Football
Tampa Bay @ Jacksonville 7:30pm (Tampa Bay -3.5)
Leftwich is gonna start after all, and thats a good sign for the Jags. I do think that the Jags will win the battle of the running games on both sides, and at home thats a big advantage. The defense hasn’t been too shabby either. The Bucs on the other hand got a big gift on Monday night. They certainly haven’t done much to indicate that they are dominant in any phase of the game. The real danger is that the Jags will turn the ball over to an opportunistic secondary and still dangerous pass rush. I’m not sold, and since I won’t be betting it, I’ll be bold under the lights. Final Score, Jags 21 - Bucs 20.

Monday Night Football
Tennessee @ N.Y. Jets 8:00pm (Tennessee -1.0)
McNair is all banged up, and if he plays or not is undecided. Either way he won;t be 100% and that gives the Jets a shot. Normally with a healthy Titans, this would be a 6 point spread even in Jersey. Pennington and Co can score, and will even against this formidable D. I don;t think McNair will play, the smart move is to rest him here. Even as tough as he is, a pulled muscle could get alot worse and cost him the season. This isn’t a strain or a bruise, he needs time to heal for Indy and the playoffs. With Volek in there they still have a very good chance to win, and the Jets struggle so badly against the run that Eddie could look like the guy who was everyone favorite horse. Pass happy teams are the few that give this team troubles, and I think they may just fall short. Final Score, Jets 21 - Titans 20

I love these pick threads. When I follow the suggestions of someone else in the league who is in a higher spot, I’m guaranteed not to lose ground in the points race. It can burn me when someone tries to mislead me, but no one knows why I made the picks until now. You can’t win with this method but it keeps you close enough to make a run. It’s worked for me three out of five times so far this year.

I’m now exploring other prognosticating methods such as dice tables, tarot cards, astrology, calls to psychics, reading tea leaves, using an Ouija board, and throwing darts at a schedule placed on the wall. Next week I may expand that to cowpie bingo.

Hey Omni, my folks are travelling all the way up to Jax this weekend to watch the Bucs, so it’s a near certainty that they’ll lose. The only way that they’ll win is if I try and make money off of this. Maybe I’ll drop in a pick five tomorrow, but haven’t even thought about those games yet.

Hope y’all had a happy t-day.

Omni picks:


You know something that sucks? I generally do my picks early sunday morning when I get home from work, since it gives me a last chance to read the latest on injury reports and what not. Today I had to pick a friend up from the airport early in the morning and it broke up my routine. I of course proceeded to forget to make my picks for the pick 5 league I’m in. I made some emergency picks of the afternoon games via email, but it’s not clear if the commish will accept them or not. For the record I picked Seattle, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Tennessee and Denver. I was 3-1 there today, and had I been able to make my picks on time I’d have taken Cincy, Philly and Chicago instead of Tennessee, Tampa Bay and Denver. So, I would have won this week. Of course I can’t prove any of this, but you’ll have to take my word. What a pisser.

Couple of lessons here, submit provisional picks first thing every week, and as always I’m an idiot.

The saving grace is that the Tampa loss also cost the only other guy alive, so it’s gonna roll and give me a shot to win it next week. Still, I’d have rather won for a change.

Well, this season has totally sucked from a Bucs fan standpoint, but there are still some interesting developments happening. The end of the Bengals-Steelers game was incredible yesterday, and Marvin Lewis has to be in the running for coach of the year. Ditto Bill Belichek and the amazing game that was the Colts-Patriots yesterday. Tough way to lose, Colts. And the Eagles are coming out of a stumbling start to be perhaps the class of the NFC, with the Rams making a case for their team.

Also, FWIW, the guy that runs our local pool and is a die-hard Cincinnati fan had his mom put $25 on the Bengals to go to the playoffs, win their division and make the Super Bowl while she was in Vegas. I think he said the playoffs bet was 80-1. Not bad.