Well, it wasn’t a grand demonstration of undefeated genius, but it was another winning week. In a crazy week, where I struggled with afternoon games (which I rarely have trouble with), and definitely had a couple late game snake bites (thanks Vince Young, and Pittsburgh trying not to lose). By the time the Pittsburgh line came out late, it was the Ravens heavily favored, and that should have been a win for me, but I had to take it at even to start the week. All’s well though, because a blazing 7-3 start (including a 2-1 Thanks Giving), was just enough to keep me going green. Save the planet, follow my picks. Here’s a little review for Week 12’s NFL action – 9-7 overall.
Thanks Giving Thursday Games:
Green Bay Packers (-10) @ Detroit Lions: (WINNER) Just like I suspected, the Packers were just too much for the Lions. No strong pass rush for Rodgers to deal with means wide open spaces for Aaron to deal out passes to. I was a little worried all week, as I thought Culpepper was starting and figured that definitely gave the Lions a better shot to win. But, luckily, Stafford went out there less than 100% and I knew it was going to be a good turkey day.
Oakland Raiders (+14) @ Dallas Cowboys: (Loss) The Raiders still had a nice chance to cover late, and while they failed, watching this game you have to know where I was going with the road dog cover. Regardless, Tony and the Boys did just enough and I took a Thanks Giving day loss.
New York Giants @ Denver Broncos (+7): (WINNER) Like I said, the Broncos just have a different demeanor when they come out to play and are supposed to get owned. This line was one that described a good road team that has been playing well, coming in against a struggling home team. Sure, the Broncos had struggled, but not any more, and probably less, than New York. A good win for the Broncos, but the Giants are looking up at playoff teams right now.
Sunday Morning Games:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+13.5) @ Atlanta Falcons (WINNER) This was a great game to take the Bucs. They were up most of the game, and Matt Ryan was hurt early, and a cover was a sure thing from just about the 2nd quarter on. Now the Falcons came back to win, but that doesn’t mean much to my account.
Miami Dolphins (-3) @ Buffalo Bills (Loss) Well, this was an unbelievable line, especially with the way the Dolphins had been running the ball, but the Bills came out and thundered the Fins in the second half, and took this game away from Miami in a hurry. The Dolphins surely missed a little Ronnie Brown today, thought Ricky had another really nice game.
Indianapolis Colts (-3) @ Houston Texans (WINNER) When the Colts were down 17-0, I said, “I’d still take the Colts to win this game. It might be by just a point, but I still like them to win.” – And the rest went just like I figured. The Colts scored more than I thought, but hey, they covered and needed all those points to do so. I still think the Texans have a chance to win out.
Cleveland Browns (+14.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals (WINNER) The Brownies didn’t do much, but they didn’t have to. They played well enough defensively to keep the Bengals out of the end zone most of the day. And anytime you do that, 14.5 points is a tough dog to beat.
Washington Redskins (+9.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles (WINNER) The Redskins probably should have won this game, but Redskins and “probably should have” never have much pull when talking about reality. But they definitely were a sure-fire cover for most of this game. I was rarely in any worry whatsoever.
Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams (+3) (Loss) Oh, the Rams gave up some points, and the Hawks did a smart thing and gave Justin Forsett the ball. Jim Mora must have had somebody else making personnel decisions, or I’m sure he would have found a way to get TJ Duckett back in a Hawks uniform. This was still a gross game for Seattle, and I’d be surprised if, despite their ridiculously easy schedule going forward, they won 2 more games this season.
Carolina Panthers @ New York Jets (-2.5) (WINNER) Jake Delhomme. Yep. That’s about all I have to say. Mr. Revis, the rest of the Jets defense, their coaches and fans – they all say thank you, Jake. Thanks for hail-marry’s every time you throw the ball.
Sunday Afternoon Games:
Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Francisco 49ers (-3) (WINNER) The Niners came out shutting down the run and rushing the passer early and often. They did just enough through the air to get the win, and capitalized on good field position. I still think they need to run more to be consistent, but a win’s a win, and the 49ers got that done on Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs (+14) @ San Diego Chargers (Loss) I expected a lot more form the Chiefs, or maybe I just am not respecting the Chargers enough. I think I’m on them next week, which should make me worry as soon as I type out my newsletter.
Chicago Bears (+12) @ Minnesota Vikings (Loss) Oh Jay Cutler. Oh Jay. The Interceptions are mounting my rifle-armed friend. How good does Chicago look now? Brian Urlacher thinks the trade was stupid, I wonder how the rest of the organization feels? I know what I think – it was a great trade, for Denver. I thought the Bears would come out focused for a chance at a huge upset, but they just played the same crappy way they have been. I promise, new head coach in Chicago next season, new coordinators, new everything.
Arizona Cardinals (+1) @ Tennessee Titans (Loss) The Cardinals did just enough to lose this game. That’s right, they played not to lose, and we all know how that always works out. With guys like Anquan Bolding, Steve Breaston, and a little receiver named Larry freaking Fitzgerald, you think they’d take some chances against a Titans defense that has been beat early and often this year. Nope. The Cardinals did just enough to have a late 4 point lead, and we all know what 4-point leads turn into when winners get their hands on them. Yeah, losses.
Sunday Night Game:
Pittsburgh Steelers (pk) @ Baltimore Ravens (Loss) This was my second straight last second tumble, and I have to say, Dennis Dixon was good enough to win this game. The Steelers didn’t want him to lose it, and that’s the recipe for doing exactly that. Get Dixon running the ball a little more, throwing on the move, making plays that he’s always made in football, and you get plays like his rushing touchdown in the 2nd half. Have him hand the ball off on 3rd and 6 and you get overtime. Dixon’s first mistake ended the Steelers’ chances, but the fact that they couldn’t stop the Ravens’ rushing attack despite knowing it was coming in overtime gave the Ravens a much easier kick to win the game. Tough loss, especially when I thought Big Ben would be starting, but you can’t win them all. Plus, later in the week this was a 9 point spread, and if you took my advice, you won this game for sure.
Monday Night Game:
New England Patriots @ New Orleans Saints (-2.5) (WINNER) The Patriots will be shown as a team that got destroyed this Monday Night, and that may be true, but I saw a lot of open receivers down the field that got missed. I saw a lot of underneath coverage taking away the short crossing patterns, but the Pats didn’t move the ball down field to counter that. I saw Tom struggling with his accuracy most of the game. I also saw a defense that couldn’t do anything against Drew Brees – and this turned out to be a much easier win than it should have been. But I’ll take it!