Well, you can’t win them all. Week “unlucky” 13 was my first losing week in my free NFL football picks in a long time, seriously, look at the records, I’ve been tallying up winning weeks like it was my job, (and it kind of is), but Week 13 broke in and slapped me in the face. A lot of games started out well and looked good going down the stretch, but finishes weren’t good to me and a Monday Night egg laid by the Ravens was the last straw needed to break my winning back. Here’s how the crumbs tumbled….
New York Jets (-1) @ Buffalo Bills (Winner) The Bills couldn’t do anything offensively as Darrelle Revis absolutely shut down Terrell Owens. The rest of the Bills offense didn’t fare much better as they could only muster 13 measly points. The Jets did just enough to keep themselves in the win-column, winning by 6.
Philadelphia Eagles (-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (Winner) The Eagles just flat out dominated the Falcons. From start to finish, the whole idea of Mark Redman being a very good back-up option, and maybe even a better down-field thrower than Matt Ryan was basically put to rest. The Eagles moved the ball easily, and Mike Vick even got in the end-zone twice against his former team.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers (-6) (Winner) The Panthers didn’t do much offensively, at least not after the first drive, but the way their defense was picking off Josh Freeman’s passes, they didn’t need to put up a gaggle of points. 16-6 was the final score, as Jonathan Stewart put in work running the ball for Carolina.
St. Louis Rams (+10) @ Chicago Bears (Winner) The Bears could only put up 17 against an improving Rams defense, and Steven Jackson rushed for just enough yardage to keep the Rams close. St. Louis didn’t get into the end-zone, but 3 field goals were good enough to cover.
Detroit Lions @ Cincinnati Bengals (-12.5) (Loss) The Bengals were up 23-7 in the 4th quarter before they magically blew my cover and got me beat up by a mob of angry gamblers. The Lions got a late touchdown and covered up just like that. Hate.
Tennessee Titans (+7) @ Indianapolis Colts (Loss) The Titans were close all day, they just couldn’t get the ball in the end-zone. No late game heroics from Vince today, oh no, it was Peyton stealing the show early, and the Colts defense bending and bending and bending with very little breakage all day long. The Colts are good. I still think I’d take the Titans +7 if they played one more time.
Houston Texans (+1) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (Loss) The Texans didn’t have it in them. Jacksonville’s secondary played much better than I imagined, and believe it or not, I think the Texans desperately missed Steve Slaton. Whether they’d like to admit it or not, since they’ve benched Slaton (though this week it was his health that kept him out), the Texans have really struggled to get wins. Weird.
Denver Broncos (-4) @ Kansas City Chiefs (Winner) This game was an easy one. And I always love an easy one. The Broncos dominate bad teams, they’ve done so often this year, and the Chiefs definitely qualify, even at home in Chief-town.
Oakland Raiders (+11.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (Winner) The Raiders just flat out beat the Steelers, and Big Ben was in the game and everything. This really was fantastic, I can’t believe what the Raiders have done to good teams this year. The Steelers are falling hard, and all but out of the playoff race going into the final four weeks of the season.The Raiders, well, they’ve only beaten the Bengals, Steelers, and Eagles this year. Amazing.
New Orleans Saints (-8.5) @ Washington Redskins (Loss) The Saints should have lost this game, but Shaun Suisham wanted to see an undefeated season, so he missed a 2 yard field goal that would have put the Skins up 10. Sure enough, Drew Brees obliged and found Meachem to tie it up. To overtime we went, and a tough fumble call brought the Saints into field goal range – and they got the win. They found a way to win while the Redskins found a way to lose – weird, 12-0 and 3-9…
New England Patriots (-6.5) @ Miami Dolphins (Loss) Oh New England, yet another game that started so well, had me thinking “of course this was going to happen, you’re so smart, Lucky” – third person business and all – they the Patriots poo the bed and end up losing. I don’t know what’s more amazing, the Patriots losing all these games while being ahead in the 4th quarter, or Baxter eating an entire cheese log…
San Diego Chargers (-12) @ Cleveland Browns (Loss) The Chargers were killing the Browns, slowly but surely getting closer and closer to a cover. Ah, but then the “slow down game” started happening, and all of a sudden, the Browns score sixteen 4th quarter points behind James Harrison’s quick feet (dude should have been playing more a long time ago). The Chargers did nothing, but they did win – which of course, isn’t good enough for me. Up 27-7 going in, me counting my winnings, it’s never a good thing to do – that fat lady does some funny stuff before she sings.
Dallas Cowboys (+1) @ New York Giants (Loss) I don’t know what it was, but the Giants found some highlight reel plays to get late scores. Brandon Jacobs took a pass for 70+ yards and Dominik Hixon returned a punt for a TD. Dallas couldn’t run the ball at all. Those big plays put the Giants ahead for good, and despite a big day from Tony Romo, the Cowboys allowed the Giants to get back in the race, and now see themselves tied with Philadelphia at the top of the NFC East.
San Francisco 49ers (+1) @ Seattle Seahawks (Loss) Oh, I don’t know what to think about San Francisco. Since they finally signed Michael Crabtree, they’ve really struggled. I think they are trying to force the ball in the air too much. They should remember back to when they were 3-1 and running the ball 50% of the time – that might help them moving forward. This team has no identity right now, and despite force feeding the ball to Julius Jones relatively ineffectively, the Seahawks walk away with a win anyway. It was a close one, came down to Olindo Mare’s last second field goal. But the loss hurt.
Minnesota Vikings @ Arizona Cardinals (+1.5) (Winner) The Cardinals brought it right to the Vikings. They passed the ball with a lot of success, kept that intense Vikings pass rush off of Kurt Warner, and the defense forced Brett Favre into one of those Favre-like-days that hadn’t shown up over the course of the season thus far. He probably should have had 5 interceptions, but 2 was enough for the Cardinals, they easily handled the Vikings.
Baltimore Ravens (+3) @ Green Bay Packers (Loss) I needed a Monday Night cover from the underdog Ravens, and I felt pretty confident. Unfortunately for me, Flacco was way off, he wasn’t throwing his normal lasers, and Ray Rice couldn’t find any running room against the Packers’ rush defense that has really improved from the first few weeks of the season. Green Bay looked very good while Baltimore looked old and injury ridden. This game was tough to watch, but the Packers definitely outplayed the Ravens and I finished a couple games under .500 for the first week in a long time…