The football gods clearly do not like pride. I know this because, after boasting about a fantastic Week 11, the gods smote my NFL picks with a giant turkey leg, drowned it in gravy, and stood it in front of the closest department store minutes before Black Friday.
Touche, football gods. I leave my knowledge comments to the public for lucky Week 13.
Thursday, November 29th, 2012
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
Joe Vitt and the Saints may have been derailed from their defensive game plan a bit last week when Jim Harbaugh couldn’t publicly decide which quarterback to start, but that issue shouldn’t happen when they visit the Falcons. Matt Ryan is the starting franchise quarterback there, even with an injured finger. Why? Because even injured quarterbacks are more useful than backup Luke McCown.
LINE: Falcons by 4
Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Buffalo Bills
Last week, the Jaguars took a step back from their NFL draft lead by defeating another team in NFL limbo in the Titans. Maybe this is Jacksonville’s way of saying, “Hey, really, we’re fine at quarterback.” Chad Henne has done a great job, considering this is his first season in the NFL where he’s thrown more touchdowns than interceptions, but there’s still a few games to go. Meanwhile, the Bills…well, the Bills are at that lovely point in the season where wins only get you pride and a lower draft pick.
LINE: Bills by 6
Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears
Richard Sherman’s Twitter account became as quiet as Mark McGwire at a congressional hearing, just without the crying. Due to the NFL appeals process, he will be traveling to Chicago to try and keep the Seahawks playoff hopes alive by defending against Jay Cutler, who, I will admit, showed his toughness not only with his moustache, but by not taking an extra week off from his concussion because his team needed him. While the game may be great, the signs that Bears fans should be holding up will be even better.
LINE: Bears by 4
Indianapolis Colts @ Detroit Lions
Jim Schwartz is silently becoming one of the most emotional head coaches in the NFL. I say silently, considering no one outside of Detroit is really bothering with the Lions this season. Last year it was the aggressive back-tap by Jim Harbaugh that set Schwartz off. Last week, it was the excitement of throwing a challenge flag for once and being correct, forgetting that all scoring plays are reviewed and throwing a challenge flag is akin to spitting in an official’s face and kicking a football into his crotch. Now he is visited by the Colts, who are playing up their Cinderella status for all it’s worth. They must be shooting a movie.
LINE: Lions by 5
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
The battle for second place of the NFC North continues with two teams that have been giving both fans and analysts headaches. On one side are the Vikings, who seem to win games based on looking at their schedule and using the “eenie meenie miney mo” game plan. On the other side, we have a banged up Packers defense making games look like playoff tests. Yes, that’s what some Packers fans are saying as an excuse these days.
LINE: Packers by 10
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
The Texans have fallen to some incredible lines this season. It’s not that they shouldn’t have beaten some of those teams handily. They must obviously be resting up for the playoffs. What’s scary is that they have the talent to take their foot off the gas and still win games. This game against the Titans should be another restful week as the Texans look ahead to the Patriots game, the last game of the regular season that may actually give them a hint of trouble.
LINE: Texans by 6
Carolina Panthers @ Kansas City Chiefs
For the past few seasons, I’ve heard Chiefs detractors call them “The Chefs.” I’m really not sure why. Sure, there was that Snickers commercial where the groundskeeper misspells “CHIEFS” on the field, but is that really a derogatory term if it has no meaning whatsoever? Yes, this is the most important thing to talk about in this game, because a team with a 1-10 record against a team with a 3-8 record means that all my sarcasm has probably been used up in their last 11 games. Yeah, Jamaal Charles got Peyton Manning’s autograph last week. I’m pretty sure even Dan Marino got Peyton Manning’s autograph at one point.
LINE: Panthers by 3
San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams
I’m not sure if Jim Harbaugh’s medical procedure was due to a heart issue or a brain issue. Apparently, he didn’t see what even a sliver of quarterback controversy can do in the media when the Jets went and got Tim Tebow. Now he’s going halfway into prep weeks, at a minimum, without allowing anyone to know who the 49ers starting quarterback is, including players. I’m not sure if this is to make sure that Alex Smith doesn’t fall asleep at the wheel like he didn’t do last season, or this is “Joe Montana vs. Steve Young” all over again, but, at the very least, it’s getting other teams excited about the idea of Alex Smith being on the market.
LINE: 49ers by 7
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
The New England Patriots have come back to form by embarrassing their fellow AFC East teams. That tour continues into Miami, a place that Rob Gronkowski will surely miss due to his injury and likely love of Miami Beach. Luckily, this game will not be on a television station that displays some of Tom Brady’s worst poses wearing a jersey of a losing Super Bowl for the Patriots while “2-Time Super Bowl MVP” is displayed in the graphic.
LINE: Patriots by 9
Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets
I’ve seen some hilarious things in football games. I’ve seen quarterbacks run screaming from linebackers and hide behind referees and wide receivers get quarterbacks so pissed from dropped passes that their first catch happens because the QB drilled the ball into the receiver’s face mask. I’ve seen players sing and dance entire Broadway musical feature songs after scoring touchdowns, and I’ve seen a quarterback run into his lineman’s ass. Unfortunately, only one of those events wasn’t from a movie. That one event was from Thanksgiving’s Jets game and it looked more like a sports comedy than an NFL game.
LINE: Jets by 5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos
The Peyton Manning Tour took a turn for the insane last week when Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles asked for his autograph. It’s getting to the point that the NFL may just have to give him a bouquet of roses, crown, and the Super Bowl right now in case this insanity gets any bigger. Fortunately, Manning is still such a class act that Boomer Esiason wants Peyton’s post-game interviews played for every up-and-coming quarterback. If Josh Freeman were winning on a consistent basis, he could be a prime candidate for this early Christmas gift.
LINE: Broncos by 7
Cleveland Browns @ Oakland Raiders
Equal 3-8 teams will collide in a train-wreck for the season as the Browns and Raiders prepare to battle for a high draft pick in April. Unfortunately, Cleveland is a prime example that draft picks can’t fix everything. Whether Weeden or McCoy start, you can bet that Trent Richardson will probably run more yards than either of those quarterbacks can throw.
LINE: Raiders by 2
Cincinnati Bengals @ San Diego Chargers
It seems that the Norv Turner stock watch is now a reality, as real sports analysts are starting to refer to Turner’s impending doom as the Chargers’ head coach as much as regular fans cracking jokes. It makes sense, since Norv should obviously be the scape-goat as management slowly dismantles his team and leaves Phillip Rivers throwing to the towel boy by accident. The Bengals, meanwhile, are trying to finish the season strong, if only to dash their fans’ dreams in the playoffs again.
LINE: Bengals by 1
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
Everyone laughed when I said that the Steelers would have a better shot at finishing the season in the playoffs if they just let Ben Roethlisberger throw with a bum shoulder until his arm ended up in a receiver’s hands. Who’s laughing now, besides Brian “WHO?” Hoyer who surpassed Byron Leftwich on the depth chart? The Steelers have a chance, provided that they take down the Ravens, which really means that they will be scrambling for a wild card berth at the end of the season.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
It’s hard to imagine what may be going through the minds of Eagles fans. They have backups at the quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and cheese-steak gopher positions. Their coach looks so defeated that you half expect to see him with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s on the sidelines. Now they have to play against yet another division rival that makes losing just a little worse for all parties.
LINE: Cowboys by 10
Monday, December 3rd, 2012
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
While the Giants may have defeated an injury-ridden Packers team last week, they did the almost impossible and had a winning record through November, and that should count for something. Oh, they’re 1-2 with one game left? Well, it’s still an improvement if they win this game. Unfortunately, it’s against this year’s America’s Sweetheart RG3 and the Washington Redskins, who are legitimately in the playoff hunt for the first time since 2007. That should count for something.
LINE: Giants by 3
Patrick Emmel is a football fan who began the manly pilgrimage of seeing an NFL game at every stadium two years ago. You can see more of his work at www.theineptowl.com or heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.
Patrick previously used his football knowledge to break down the best, worst and downright horrible draft picks in NFL history.
If you haven’t had enough NFL jokes, you can check out last week’s Asinine Analysis! —>