November 26th, 2003

NFL — Week Thirteen

It’s Thanksgiving week. And you know what I’m not at all thankful for? The fact that this week’s games are absolute murder, which would be bad enough if I didn’t have to pick ’em way out ahead and with a good number of important questions (will Steve McNair start for Tennessee? will Jeremy Shockey play? are we having real cranberry sauce or the shit from the can?) still unanswered. I’m gonna keep these short and sweet (mostly) since there’s no real point in pretending I know anything.

As usual, I’ll warn you that taking my advice about betting is a good way to lose money. This week, though, taking my advice would probably be about the stupidest thing you could possibly do. Happy Thanksgiving.

Green Bay (-6.5) at Detroit All I can say is thank goodness this is the early game. Now I can sit at the table for dinner like an actual human being, with no fear of missing anything other than Ahman Green running wild. Take Green Bay and give as much as double the points.

Miami (+3) at Dallas Wasn’t it during a Dallas-Miami matchup on Thanksgiving 10 years ago that dopey Leon Letts stopped short of the goal line in the snow, blowing the game for Dallas (or something like that)? Doesn’t matter. Leon’s gone. And Big D has big, big D. The Cowboys win this one, though the Fins probably cover. Should be a good game, and a season-killer for Miami.

Arizona (+4.5) at Chicago And you are planning to watch this game because … ? Chicago wins. Chicago probably covers. And both teams go right on not mattering.

Atlanta (+3) at Houston Nope. Michael Vick isn’t playing after all. Neither is Warrick Dunn. Neither is David Carr. But Domanick Davis is, which is why the Texans win and cover.

Buffalo (+3) at NY Giants The Giants say Jeremy Shockey, whose season was supposed to be over, may return for this game. That’s actually meaningful. The Giants are gonna need some production on O. They can’t stop the run, which isn’t a good thing with Travis Henry in town. And Bledsoe’s gotta have a decent day sometime. I think it happens here. But I think the Giants get it done, probably by more like four — make it six if Shockey plays.

Cincinnati (+3) at Pittsburgh I don’t give half a damn what happened in Cleveland last week. Pittsburgh’s an uneven team at best. So Cincinnati, but a bit less so. Take the Bengals in the upset.

Minnesota (+6) at St. Louis If Daunte Culpepper could hold onto the damned ball, I’d be inclined to think Minnesota had a chance to win this. One way or the other, expect lots of offense on both sides of the ball. Also look for the Vikes to cover (as Moss has a big day), but the Rams to pull it out thanks to some heroics by Marshall Faulk.

New England (+4) at Indianapolis I’m not a homer. Not in the least. So it’s not wishful thinking that’s led me to conclude the Pats will pull off the upset here. It’s the fact that Indy just hasn’t looked all that good the last few weeks. Peyton Manning’s looked good, sure, but the rest of the squad not so much. I expect the Pats’ D to find a way to shut down Manning (even though he’s tended to play fairly well against New England in the past), as the Patriots continue their cruise toward the AFC’s #2 playoff seeding.

Philadelphia (+1.5) at Carolina Jumpin’ Jesus. It’s another impossible to pick affair. If Donovan McNabb can pick on Carolina’s sometimes soft secondary, the Eagles will be able to pull this off. But I don’t think that happens. I think the Panthers’ excellent pass rush takes McNabb out of his game and opens the door for the Carolina O to sneak out a win by a field goal.

San Francisco (+3) at Baltimore Baltimore probably shouldn’t count on getting help from the officials again this week. But that’s OK. They won’t need it. Jamal Lewis has his last great game of the season here and leads his team to a two-point victory.

New Orleans (+2) at Washington Deuce McCallister should have a field day against the Redskins’ D. Look for him to win this one single-handedly, rushing for 150-plus yards and two touchdowns.

Cleveland (+6) at Seattle The Seahawks will be keeping a very close eye on the clock, and their lead, which they’ll pad at every opportunity. Look for Seattle to win this one by something on the order of three touchdowns.

Denver (-3) at Oakland The Broncos, even with Jake Plummer back, are beatable. So say the Chicago Bears. And the Raiders played Kansas City very close last week. I’m hoping for an upset here. But I’m certainly not counting on one. I’ll take Denver straight up and leave the betting alone.

Kansas City (-7) at San Diego The Chiefs spotting the Chargers seven is a bit like a cheetah giving three steps to a wounded wildebeest. It’s not merely ridiculous; it’s gonna get real ugly real quick.

Tampa Bay (-3) at Jacksonville As it turned out, dumping Keyshawn Johnson really did seem to get the Bucs back on track. They’ll stay on it, too, for at least one more week. But that’s mostly because the Jaguars are awful. Tampa wins by seven.

Tennessee(-1) at NY Jets If Steve McNair doesn’t play, the Jets will win this one by seven. If McNair does play, the Jets will only win by three.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
Comments are closed.