Excellent week last week, though some teams cough Houston cough needed overtime to win against less talented opponents. I went 12 -2 and stand 94 -49 for the season. Apparently given the following scenarios Houston can be the first team to clinch a playoff spot this weekend:
1) HOU win + TEN loss/tie + MIA loss/tie + NYJ loss/tie + CIN loss + SD loss/tie
2) HOU win + TEN loss/tie + MIA loss/tie + NYJ loss/tie + CIN loss/tie + PIT loss
Honestly, as a Texans fan that’s great but by the end of week 14 they could have the division wrapped up so let the scenarios play out. ESPN and CBS already have playoff watches up. Six games left and most teams can still claim to be in the hunt. All the byes are done and everyone is playing again. (Good because my fantasy teams need all the help they can get.)
These are out a day early due to the holiday.
On to the picks:
Houston Texans (9-1) at Detroit Lions (4-6) – Great Expectations at Who are these Guys?
The vaunted Houston D decided to take last Sunday off for the most part. However, the league was reminded that Houston has a powerful O when needed. Detroit is a mess of epic proportions. This is a short week and the Lions are at home. Houston is one of the youngest teams in the league, but even young legs need time to recover. Pick: Lions
Washington ‘Skins (4-6) at Dallas Cowboys (5-5) – Wonderboy at Egomaniacs
The Cowboys also came close to losing to a bad team. Dan’s team is dangerous and as a division game, this is going to be a battle. Cowboys are always overrated by analysts. They are a mediocre team and have been since their last Super Bowl. One team is heading up and another is sideways. Pick: Dan Snyder’s Toy
New England Patriots (7-3) at NY Jets (4-6) - The Empire at Media Hos
Karma kicked the Sith Lord in the butt with the Gronk injury. The Empire is missing key weapons as they travel to Gotham. However, the Jets are a mess and even with a win over the Rams, don’t have the firepower to hang with the Empire. Even with Batman they could not pull this off so great are the Sith’s powers. Pick: The Empire
San Francisco 49ers (7-2-1) at New Orleans Saints (5-5) - West Coast Controversy at Coming back STRONG!
Alex or Colin is all the rage at the moment. As the great Steve Young put it, “Start a QB controversy in THIS City?” However a truly superior QB will be on the other sideline for this game. Right now I am hearing, “Never get involved in a land war in Asia,” but has morphed into, “Don’t bet against the Saints with the playoffs on the line.” Pick: Saints
Minnesota Vikings (6-4) at Chicago Bears (7-3) - Midwest Pillagers at Midway Maulers
The Bears miss Jay. After all those jock strap wedgies and snarly attitude, they know they need him. The Vikings also know that as Adrian goes so goes that team. The Bears D needs to step up and win this game. The Vikings will need to get a little lucky for this one. Pick: Bears
Oakland Raiders (3-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-5) - Ineffective villains at Not so Slumping Sophs
I miss a competent Raiders team. The NFL needs a ‘villain’ and the Raiders made a good one. The Bengals are back in the playoff chase and need a win here to really keep pace. With six games left they have a small margin for error. Pick: Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Cleveland Browns (2-8) – Old & Rusty at Just not Good Enough
The Steelers are hurting. They are down to a third string QB and some duct tape. The Browns tried, oh they TRIED, to win a game against the Cowboys…but didn’t. I feel for those fans. Hopefully new ownership and a clear direction will help because they have some nice pieces. Still for this game, even if it could be an Ackbar Special, I’m taking the duct taped ones. Pick: Steelers
Buffalo Bills (4-6) at Indianapolis Colts (6-4) – Overrated at Surprise of the Year
This is a test for the young Colts. How will they response to their epic beat-down from the Sith Lords? The Bills are a cure for offensive woes, but not defensive ones. It was the D that got shredded for the Colts. The Bills are on life support for the season and the Colts are still in the 5 spot. The better QB wins. Pick: Colts
Denver Broncos (7-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-9) – Peyton’s Place at Wretched
Mismatch. Seriously this game has stinker written all over it. Maybe Peyton is still full of turkey and naps through most of the game. If that is the case then the Broncos win by a single TD when he wakes up. I see lots of rebuilding in KC’s future. Pick: Broncos
Seattle Seahawks (6-4) at Miami Dolphins (4-6) – Russell’s Wranglers at Not this Season
The Dolphins looked like a good story for awhile. However, that story ended. The Seahawks can still write a good ending for this season. My only quibble is the west to east travel, but I think the Seahawks are the better team. Pick: Seahawks
Atlanta Falcons (9-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-4) - Really needs to Prove Something at Feisty Pirates
The luster is off the Matt Ryan MVP watch. This game is a statement game for the Bucs. They are fighting for a Wild Card and a win gives them credibility. The Falcons can’t silence critics until the post season. Flirting with disaster as they have been has only added fuel to the fire. The Bucs are a team I don’t want to face right now. Pick: Buccaneers
Tennessee Titans (4-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) – As the Locker Turns at See ya, Blaine!
This could be a tougher game than it first appears. The Titans are hanging onto playoff hopes by a thread. The Jags are in the hunt for the overall first pick of the 2013 Draft. The Jags gave the Texans everything they had and more. Let’s see if Blackmon is the real deal. Pick: Jaguars
Baltimore Ravens (8-2) at San Diego Chargers (4-6) – The Contenders at Bye Norv!
The Ravens are not a good road team, but they beat a much depleted Steelers team. Admiral Ackbar has poked his head around the corner. The Chargers can only hope for a Wild Card at this point. I’m calling the upset as the Ravens play the Steelers again next week. Pick: Chargers
St. Louis Rams (3-6-1) at Arizona Cardinals (4-6) – Rebuilding Rollercoaster at Weren’t you Unbeaten?
This game HAD potential earlier in the season. The Cards are on QB no 3 now and the Rams…is Sam the Man? If I were a Cardinals QB I’d want hazard pay for playing with that O-line. The Rams D has moments of brilliance. So given that match up I’ll take the visitors. Pick: Rams
Green Bay Packers (7-3) at NY Giants (6-4) – Look who is back! at The Champs
Statement Game. The Giants haven’t looked good lately and the Pack are back. Division leads are at stake here. The question is which teams will show up? Will the Giants that play D or the Packers that can light up the scoreboard? The Giants need this game more. Pick: Giants
Carolina Panthers (2-8) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-7) – All kinds of Wrong at Fire Andy!
Since the NFL Network didn’t have a game the stinker goes to ESPN. This is the fired coaches walking game. The Eagles look worse than the Panthers right now. I like Andy Reid so I think it would be best to let him go. Given everything he’s been through this season, I won’t make a joke. Pick: Panthers
I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving!