Thursday, December 1, 2011

NFL Picks - Week 13: Because Ndamukong Suh's stomp wasn't really that big of a deal

Week 12 NFL Picks: 7-8
NFL results season to date: 82-82-8

Week 12 College Football results: 4-3
College Football results season to date: 25-26-2

Week 13 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Eagles vs. Seahawks (Seahawks, home, +2.5) Philadelphia not only seem to lack chemistry, but they have to travel across the country on a short week. Seattle has one of the best home field advantages in the league, which will only be enhanced by a Thursday night game on national TV.

Titans vs. Bills (Titans, road, +1.5) Buffalo just isn't the same team as they were earlier in the season due to injuries to their secondary and RB Fred Jackson. Tennessee has been average all season, and Chris Johnson has been showing signs of life against inferior run defenses of late. The Bills give him third straight favorable match-up this week. 
Chiefs vs. Bears (Bears, home, -7.5) This game features two teams with quarterbacks who really have no business playing in the NFL (note, if your starter goes down and you immediately start to look for someone off the waiver wire or the street to take over for your back-up, your personnel department did not do a good job of selecting your back-up to begin with). Both teams will try to run first in order to minimize mistakes. Unlike the Chiefs, I think the Bears have the defense to win with that game plan.
Raiders vs. Dolphins (Raiders, road, +3) Miami is playing just well enough on defense to potentially save Tony Sporano's job. Oakland is also a decent team, although their run first philosophy will be tested by the Dolphins stout run defense. I'll take the Raiders and the points in a close and low scoring game.
Bengals vs. Steelers (Bengals, road, +7) Cincinnati has proven that they can hang tough against the best teams in the AFC North. While Pittsburgh's defense is doing well score wise, they are no longer the playmaking unit they were in years past when it comes to sacks and forcing turnovers.
Ravens vs. Browns (Ravens, road, -7) This is the type of game that Baltimore has been losing this season, as they've looked dominant against the best teams in the league, yet lost to Tennessee and Seattle. Cleveland has done a decent job of moving the ball to the Redzone, but has struggled to score touchdowns once they get there. I'll take the Ravens this week, but beware of a trap game.
Jets vs. Redskins (Jets, road, -3) New York's defense was a huge disappointment when they failed to stop Tim Tebow and a one-dimensional Broncos offense three weeks ago. If they can't frustrate a Washington offense lead by the erratic "Train-Rex" Grossman, their season is as good as over.
Falcons vs. Texans (Falcons, road, -3) Atlanta has been playing better now that they've gone back to being a run first team behind Michael "Burner" Turner, but will face a tough test against the Texans No. 4 ranked run defense. With Houston down to a third string rookie quarterback, I think the Falcons have too much firepower for them to keep up with.
Panthers vs. Buccaneers (Panthers, road, +3) With Josh Freeman either out or playing with an injured shoulder, Tampa Bay will struggle to move the ball through the air. While both teams should be able to move the ball on the ground, I like Carolina and Cam Newton to cover as they've been doing for much of the season.  
Broncos vs. Vikings (Vikings, home, even) Denver does not have the luxury of playing against another crappy AFC West defense this week. I look for the Vikings front seven and a loud Metrodome crowd to shut down Tim Tebow in what should be a close game if Adrian Peterson does not play, and a blow-out in the event that he does.
49ers vs. Rams (49'ers, home, -14) San Francisco should be able to run the ball all over the Rams in the event that Frank Gore plays, while their defense should be able to shut down Steven Jackson and make the St. Louis offense reliant on the pass, which is not a good thing.
Cowboys vs. Cardinals (Cowboys, road, -4.5) Even with Kevin Kolb returning at QB for Arizona, I LOVE Dallas giving 4.5 points in this game. I think they should be able to run and throw against the Cardinals at will, while taking advantage of an Arizona offense that lacks any sort of identity.
Packers vs. Giants (Packers, road, -7) On one hand I can see this as a trap game for Green Bay on the road. On the other hand I see Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay passing attack downright abusing a New York secondary and linebacking corps that have been battered by injuries.

Look for Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings to have huge days against the Giants patchwork defense

Colts vs. Patriots (Patriots, home, -20.5) I know that 20.5 points is a lot to give in any NFL game, but given that Indianapolis has no passing game (and is now turning to Dan Orlovsky, who is best known for losing track of where he was on the field and accidentally running out of the back of the end zone for a safety when he played for Detroit) and no possible way of stopping Tom Brady and the New England passing game, I'll gladly lay the points in this game...especially given the way that Bill Belichick and his Patriots have no remorse in running up the score.
Lions vs. Saints (Saints, home, -9) I really don't get all the negative press that Ndamukong Suh has received this week. Did he lose his cool during the game and deserve to get ejected for kicking at Packers G Even Dietrich-Smith? Yes. Did Dietrich-Smith antagonize him by repeatedly untying his shoes? It seems possible. Did he deserve to get suspended for two additional games? Not based upon the precident already established by the NFL Disciplinary Office. I would point out that Vikings defensive end Brian Robison was fined $20,000, but NOT suspended for the much more egregious offense of kicking Packers guard T.J. Lang in square in the nuts just one month ago. Jared Allen of the Vikings then kicked Ray Edwards of the Falcons in the jelly-beans and did not get suspended either, so let's just call this the "circle of life" when you're a lineman in the NFL. This was not a situation like when Albert Haynesworth aggressively stomped on a defenseless Andre Gurode's forehead and gouged open a wound with his cleats after Gurode's helmet had come off. Suh was obviously frustrated, and I'm not trying to defend his actions, but he wasn't trying to hurt anyone. If he wanted to stomp Dietrich-Smith and cause him harm, he had every opportunity to do so, yet didn't.

The way the Roger Goodell punishes certain players, yet lets others off the hook for similar offenses is making the NFL look more and more like the NCAA. And if I have to hear Goodell's lackey Mike Pereira (the Former NFL Head of Officiating and current Fox Sports Analyst) justify the league's selective justice one more time, I just might lose it.  With that being said, the Lions likely lose this game to the Saints, as NBC did them no favor by flexing this game to Sunday Night where they'll play in front of an even more hostile Superdome crowd. And as everyone writes the Lions out of the Playoff picture, they'll rattle off three wins in their last four games to wind up 10-6 and edge out the Bears for the final Wildcard spot.

So it's okay to nut plant someone with your spikes, but if you get frustrated and kick at someone as you're being pulled away from a skirmish it's a two and a half game suspension?  If I ran my fantasy football league that way I'd have a mutiny on my hands.

Chargers vs. Jaguars (Chargers, road, -3) San Diego has favorable match-ups this week with Phil Rivers going against a secondary missing Rashean Mathis and a defensive line that can't get to the passer. Quite frankly, if the Chargers can't put it together this week against a Jacksonville team that inexplicably fired their head coach this week, then San Diego coach Norv Turner and village idiot general manager A.J. Smith need to be fired immediately as well.

College Football's Top Games of the Week:

Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma (Oklahoma State, home, -3.5) Sorry Sooners fans, this is the year that the Cowboys are just flat out the better team.

Oklahoma State Cheerleaders: Jesus, this girl looks like she could play corner for the Cowboys!

Baylor vs. Texas (Baylor, home, -3) Is it just me, or is there something shady going on in Waco? An ultra religious university that has historically been awful when it comes to athletics is quickly emerging as potential power in both football and basketball. With top recruiting classes landed in both sports, I suspect that the Southern Baptists might be dipping in to their donation trays, if you know what I mean. The Bears are going to put up points regardless of who they play. The Longhorns, on the other hand, have struggled on offense for much of the season. I can't see Texas keeping up with Robert Griffin III and the Baylor offense, so I'll lay the points in spite of what my brain tells me to do when I say Texas vs. Baylor on paper.

Baylor Cheerleader: I'm pretty sure that public fountain enemas violate the Southern Baptist Student Conduct Code.

Wisconsin vs. Michigan State (Michigan State, +10) Everyone remembers how Michigan State needed a "Hail Mary" to beat Wisconsin on the final play of the game at home in picking the Badgers to go to the Rose Bowl.

Everyone forgets how Sparty spotted Bucky 14 early points on uncharacteristic fumbles on their opening two drives, then stormed back to take the lead before letting Wisconsin comeback to tie the game with a soft prevent defense. I look for both teams to limit their mistakes this week in the inaugural B1G Championship Game, with the Spartans winning outright 31-27.

After this weeks fall during the B1G-ACC Challenge, Michigan State's Cheerleaders are much safer on grass than on the hardwood.

Georgia vs. LSU (LSU, -14) The Bulldogs have no business even being in this game coming out of one of the weakest conference divisions in all of college football. I'd just like to see where the Tigers would be this season if Les Miles had not reinstated quarterback Jordan Jefferson after he fractured a Marine's face after stomping on him during a bar fight. I find it funny how Ndamukong Suh is vilified for weakly kicking at a fellow player while they were in full pads during a skirmish, but Jefferson is hardly ever mentioned even though he committed what would amount to a felony in front of several credible witnesses who identified him as a primary attacker.

From their government to their football team, everyone is for sale in Louisiana...and I would gladly barter some Mardis Gras beeds with this LSU hottie!

Virginia Tech vs. Clemson (Virginia Tech, -7.5) After a promising start Clemson is slowly collapsing, while Virginia Tech is playing their best football of the season. Even though the Tigers handed the Hokies their only loss while playing in Blacksburg, I these two teams are going in different directions.

Clemson Cheerleader: After a strong start to their season, the Tigers are no longer soaring.

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