Nov 27, 2009

NFL 2009, Week 12 - Part Two

by Joe Mulder

Last Week: 5-11

Overall: 80-79-1


The Smartest Thing I Said Last Week:

TITANS @ Texans -4.5

I don't think that the Titans think they're out of it just yet. As such, this is a huge Monday night game for them, and I say they win.

The Titans did win, by three. The Texans came up short in a big game yet again. Why bet against that when it happens every time? And I mean every time.

The Dumbest Thing I Said Last Week:

Saints @ BUCCANEERS +11

I know it sounds crazy to back a one-win team over one of the two remaining undefeateds, but the Bucs have looked like a different team the last couple of weeks. Not a team that's going to beat the Saints, necessarily, but a team that could at least keep it close.

The Buccaneers didn't keep it close; they lost 38-7. That was just a dumb pick.

Okay. We need to gain some ground. I already gave you my picks for yesterday's games; here's the rest of the lineup.

BUCCANEERS @ Falcons -12

The Falcons have lost four of five, and three of those losses haven't really been close. I'm not sure they're very good. Should they really be favored by 12 over anybody?

DOLPHINS @ Bills +3

I checked the weather forecast for Buffalo on Sunday; low 40s and cloudy, but that's as bad as it's supposed to get. I'm not sure, then, why the Dolphins are only three point favorites. Seems like they should win by a lot more than that.

Redskins @ EAGLES -9

This Redskins game comes on the heels of two straight road games for the Eagles, with two straight road games to follow. Philly can't really afford to miss around at all if they hope to make the playoffs, so I figure they'll take care of business against a Redskins team that has actually shown signs of life lately.

Seahawks @ RAMS +3

Why not? The Rams are bound to win at least one more game this year; no one goes 1-15 these days (I know the Lions went 0-16 last year, but still). And, looking at the St. Louis schedule for the rest of the season, if they're going to win another game it would probably have to be this one.

And this might not be as crazy a pick as you think; in the last two weeks, the Rams lost to the undefeated Saints by only five and to the first-place Cardinals by only eight. Seize that day, Rams! Make a genius out of me.

PANTHERS @ Jets -3

Between Jake Delhomme and Mark Sanchez, this game could easily set the all-time record for most interceptions.

In a season.

I suspect that the Jets are done. This week should help is to tell for sure.

Browns @ BENGALS -14

Can anyone out there remember a better game between two worse teams than last week's Lions/Browns thriller? Aren't sports great? Even a matchup that looked like a complete turd can end up being the most memorable game of Week 11.

Anyway, that was probably all the Browns have to offer. And after an embarrassing loss to the Raiders last week, one suspects that the Bengals will be eager to reassert their dominance. This one won't be pretty.

COLTS @ Texans +3.5

This is basically a big-time, must-win game for the Houston Texans, which , as I've mentioned, probably means that they don't have much of a chance. A trendy pick this week is that the Colts' undefeated season will come to an end (Indy has played – and could easily have lost – four close ones in a row); I say they blow the Texans out.

Chiefs @ CHARGERS -13.5

The Chargers might actually be the second-best team in the AFC right now.

I realize that's not an incredibly flimsy limb on which to go out, seeing as how the Chargers are actually tied for the conference's second-best record, but San Diego does seem to be having a bit of an under-the-radar season thus far.

As for the Chiefs, that was a huge win for them last week against the defending champs. Good for them. Something to hang their hat on, for sure, while they're getting destroyed in by the Chargers on Sunday.

JAGUARS @ 49ers -3

Who could possibly imagine what either of these teams will do anymore? Your guess is as good as mine.

Bears @ VIKINGS -11

Last week I predicted that the Vikings would let the Seahawks hang around, that the game would be closer than it should. Well, the Vikings won 35-9. And with that, I'm all in. For the rest of the season, I will fully expect the Vikings to beat every single team that they're better than (which is every team they play for the rest of the year, at least until the playoffs).

Which means that every time they pull a "Minnesota Vikings" on me, I'll be devastated. Instead of being disappointed but not surprised, which is how we Vikings fans are conditioned to feel.

Cardinals @ TITANS -3

It's amazing what a four-game winning streak will do for you. Back when the Titans limped into their bye week with that 59-0 loss to the Patriots in New England to drop their record to 0-6, how many of us suspected that six weeks later Tennessee would be favored by three points against a first-place team?

The thing is, I really think they should be favored by three over the Cardinals. It doesn't even sound crazy to suggest that they could run the table and sneak into the playoffs at 10-6, the way the Titans are playing (it is crazy to suggest that, but it doesn't sound crazy. That's how good the Titans have looked over the last month. That's my point).

STEELERS @ Ravens -2.5

A must win for both teams. As much as I don't think the Steelers have it this year, I just can't convince myself that the Ravens are any good.

PATRIOTS @ Saints -1.5

Here's where the Vikings move into a tie for the best record in the NFC. This is the year. I can't help it; I'm setting myself up. The fall could be hard. But the Vikings are 9-1, after this week they'll be 10-1, and so will the Saints.

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