Thursday, November 22, 2012

NFL Picks: Week 12

Lions over the Texans
The Texans are the better team but a little home cooking on Thanksgiving day should help the Lions.

Redskins over the Cowboys
I'm looking forward to watching a couple of mobile QBs run around and fling the ball all over the place.

Patriots over the Jets.
NY gave the Pats a close game back in October, and that was in New England. But I just can't see Brady and pals tested twice in one season by a team that has been so messy.

Vikings over the Bears
I may be reading too much into the offensive ineptitude of the Bears this past week. But if I'm not then that means the Bears defense needs to score again. And certainly they are capable of that but it seems more likely that if the Bears can't score the Vikings may be able to win an ugly game. Maybe something like 10-7.

Bengals over the Raiders
Did you see that amazing endzone grab by A.J. Green last week? Ridiculous.  Cincinnati is the better team but Oakland still can be dangerous if Palmer limits his mistakes. Occasionally he flashes the talent that made him one of the best QBs in the league for a couple of years. Sadly for Oakland he'll never be that guy full time again. This will be a fun game to check out based on bad blood between Palmer and the Bengals. He hated the losing ways of the Bengals so he becomes a Raider. Sounds about right.

Steelers over the Browns
It wouldn't surprise me at all to see the Steelers tough this one out and grab the win, even with their 3rd string QB Charlie Batch. I know Batch has moved around a bit but is it just me or does it seem like he's been a backup for the Steelers since the Jurassic age?

Colts over the Bills
I've been watching Luck each week and wondering about his penchant for throwing the ball down the field. The pundits in ESPNland are correct that he does it pretty well for a rookie. But he does throw it into traffic a lot (thus the 12 interceptions already) and his completion percentage is lower than it probably should be for a guy that is as talented as him. The comparisons with the Redskin's Griffin will never end as long as they are both in the league and it's true that Griffin throws a lot of short passes (helping his completion percentage), however, Griffin throws a nice deep ball as well as great intermediate pass and if they asked him to do it more I think he might do it as well as or better than Luck. I love the idea of watching these guys for the next decade.

Broncos over the Chiefs
McGahee's knee injury is a bummer for both him and the Broncos but this is Manning's show anyway so it shouldn't cripple their chances.

Seahawks over the Dolphins
I've given up on Miami.

Falcons over the Bucs
Tough one to pick since these guys usually have close games. The Bucs are a good team and even though Atlanta has only lost one game are we really sure they are a great team? This game will say a lot about that question.

Jags over the Titans
Maybe the Jags are showing signs of life. Justin Blackmon finally broke out last week, something I've been waiting for all season. When he was playing at O.K. State, he was unstoppable. Where the hell has he been?

Ravens over the Chargers
Phillip Rivers looks like he's in his late 30s rather than just barely turning 30.  He's slow, his arm strength seems down, and he's not moving very well in the pocket.  If this is the beginning of the end for him then I'd say we can close the book on the debate about whether or not it was the right move to draft him and push Drew Brees out in San Diego. I made up my mind about that long ago but Rivers has been just good enough over the last 6 years to at least make it an argument.

Cardinals over the Rams
Even having Ram loyalties, I'm not planning to watch this one.

49ers over the Saints. 
Pretty incredible that Alex Smith can play as well as he has the past season and a half and yet he's replaced after one good game from his backup. Well, to be fair it was a great game by Kaepernick against pretty much the best defense in the league this year. And as efficient as Smith has been he doesn't throw for a lot of yards very often. That's partly because the team doesn't game plan for that but it's also due to Smith's willingness to show throw shorter passes if his downfield receivers aren't wide open. He doesn't want to risk interceptions and I can't say I blame him since he was bound to have a short leash if he played badly under Harbough. I think we can see that has played true since the leash was shorter than even expected even with Smith playing very well. It seems that Smith was in a tough spot--- if he took more risks and ended up with more incompletions and interceptions he would have been pulled, but if he played it safe then that ultimately would open the door to a guy like Kaepernick. I personally think Alex Smith has it in him to be a better deep passer, but the shackles need to come off.  Smith himself needs to just go for it, and if he's pulled then so be it. At least he won't be yanked for not trying to be a more dynamic passer.  Some might say, Alex should just be who he is (ie. game manager) and don't try to change that. I think he can be more than that.  Having said that, I see why Harbough wants to check out the young kid at QB. Last week he looked like RG3, Aaron Rodgers, and Payton Manning all rolled up into one 49er holiday snowball.  For San Fran's sake they better hope it doesn't melt.

Giants over the Packers
Seems counter intuitive right? The Packers are playing well and NY is struggling. Each week though the NFL teaches us that the league is unpredictable. It's not that hard to see the Giants starting to kick it into gear again.

Panthers over the Eagles
It's starting to look like Philly is giving up now. That may lead to Andy Reid being fired before the season is out. When you aren't competitive, even in your effort, then the time has come.

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