THE WEEK 12 PICKS
It's the 5th annual Happy Thanksgiving NFL Picks. Thanksgiving Day football should continue to be unwatchable with Detroit, Dallas and Cincy facing teams that will blow them out. Anyone who declares love for NFL Thanksgiving Day football is insane.
I rebounded from a poor week ten with a 14-2 week eleven. If not for the Browns inability to tackle Maurice Jones-Drew and Rusty Smith of the Titans, the perfect week would've been mine. But alas, the perfect week eludes me. My overall record is 94-66.
New England over Detroit
-I'm so glad the Lions remain a Thanksgiving tradition. It's so much fun watching the team get blown out every Thanksgiving as the broadcasters lie to the audience about the bright future of the Lions. Calvin Johnson's the only player worth watching on the Lions. Belichick will be thinking about which pie he wants by half-time rather than adjustments to win the game.
New Orleans over Dallas
-You'll be wise to the mute audio of the game and engage in discussion with relatives because Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will speak incessantly about the Cowboy woes and how Jason Garrett's out to prove that he can be the permanent successor to Wade Philips. Maybe he will be and maybe he won't be. I don't care. Their season is over. Please move on and discuss how the Saints somehow became the dark horse in the NFC, the team that talking heads forgot about because of Mike Vick and the-team-that-can-only-win-on-turf Falcons of Atlanta. The Saints offense has returned. The hangover is gone.
New York Jets over Cincinnati
-The rematch of last year's awful wildcard playoff game. Terrell Owens described his team as terrible. It's about time Owens realized the truth of the situation. What an amazing loss to the Bills. Marvin Lewis should feel relief when Mike Brown makes him the scapegoat for the team's failures. If the Jets struggle to beat the Bengals then perhaps the Jets conversation can steer towards criticism rather than praise for their never-say-die attitude. The Jets haven't exactly beaten the 85 bears in these comebacks and have fallen two scores behind some mediocre football teams. But the team is good. They have a realistic chance to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Green Bay over Atlanta
-The Packers became bored with only ending the seasons for opposing quarterbacks. The Pack decided to end coaching tenures now. Mike Smith is safe though. The Falcons need to win the game to prove themselves as a legitimate power in the NFC. The team absolutely needs home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. I won't be surprised if Green Bay views this game as a statement game. Green Bay could win by two scores, which would lead to the talking heads hopping on the Packer bandwagon they leaped off after the team suffered a few injuries. Also, how long until Greg Jennings gets respect as a number one receiver? I thought he was considered a number one but apparently not.
Pittsburgh over Buffalo
-If the Bills plan on trailing by 17 at the half then making their move in the second half, I would advise Chan Gailey to re-think his plan. The Bills deserved those two weeks of happiness since James Harrison will try to kill one of the Bills. The Steelers caused a fumble only to have the takeaway taken away because Harrison committed an unncesscary roughness penalty. James Harrison's tempter-tantrum about retirement forever altered my perception of him. He is like the 123 Kid after he lost the Cry Baby match to Razor Ramon.
Cleveland over Carolina
-Did anyone's jaw drop when CBS showed that Brian St. Pierre's Panthers made it a 1 TD game against Baltimore? Cleveland experienced a period of time that went very well for them. Losing to the Panthers would be a Cleveland thing to do, just the thing the city doesn't need on the first Sunday of advent. The Browns defense played great except when it came time to tackle Jones-Drew. This is a good test for the Browns. They can lay down and kill their season or they can continue to fight.
Jacksonville over New York Giants
-The Jags had a 6-4 record last year at this point in the season. Shortly after, the Jags went into a free-fall. The Jags, of course, face a team that only loses when the games really matter. The pick is a lose-lose. Eli will be without his top 2 wide receivers. Jacksonville continues to defy logic and reason so why not pick the Jaguars. They used to be my favorite AFC team until Del Rio tossed Leftwich aside like a piece of garbage.
Washington over Minnesota
-Childress gets fired and everyone assumes Favre will pack his bags and head back south. I thought athletes and the media hated quitters. What would make Favre anything but a quitter? The team falls to 3-7 and he bails? What a terrible way to end a career. The Vikings make the Redskins look like a functional franchise. Imagine how good McNabb would've been if he had one awesome receiver to go to his entire career. McNabb gets plenty of criticism for his performance this season but he's throwing to Santana Moss and Anthony Armstrong plus he has no running game to rely on. I loathe the Redskins but I'm a Donovan McNabb fan. I have no comment on the 12 interceptions. Moving on.
Houston over Tennessee
-Remember when the Titans were considered one of the top AFC teams? Now, Rusty Smith becomes the face of the franchise. Beat writers will have fun in their game stories if Rusty struggles on Sunday. He shouldn't struggle. The Texans defense have as much talent as the New York Islanders do. Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans used to be enough to earn the defense respect. And will Jeff Fisher ever be fired?
Oakland over Miami
-ESPN's John Clayton raised an interesting question: why doesn't Tony Sprano use his two running backs more? Without paraphrasing the backstory, I declare that Tony Sprano's gone insane. Without any clear motive, he abruptly benched Chad Henne. With Thigpen, he didn't bother running the ball too much even though Thigpen clearly needed the help. Regardless, the Dolphins are doomed to fail. The Raiders are no sure thing to win the game. If they do, Raiders and playoffs will be in the same sentence. People of Oakland, do not fret that your baseball team might not sign Iwakuma. Rejoice that the Raiders have begun to turn the corner.
Seattle over Kansas City
-The Qwest field factor disrupts rational thought. The Seahawks held their own for the most part in New Orleans. Brees and the offense were unstoppable though. It's like they were out to show the talking heads that the champs are still strong. The Chiefs are an average-but-maybe-good team. I'm not sure. I don't trust any team in either of the western divisions except for San Diego. Also, Dwayne Bowe continues to have monster weeks. He waited long enough.
Philadelphia over Chicago
-One knows the Eagles have become prime-time again, along with Vick, when the Daily News sends Donnelon to his local sporting goods store to report on whether parents will buy their children a Vick jersey. The Eagles are fun right now. The young team gets better with each week which is what I expected in the pre-season (with Kolb of course). The sky's the limit for them in a league full of parity. Also, how does Asante get fined for his hit and Tolefson doesn't? I'm well-aware of the rules but the rules have gaping holes in them. Asante led with his shoulder, and the helmt contact were unintentional and unfortunate while Tolelfson led with his head as he hit Ellis Hobbs. A kick returner is considered fair game even though Tolefson led with his head. Why doesn't that hypocritical fuckhead Roger Goodell outlaw helmet-to-helmet hits as a whole? If a hit leads to a season-ending neck injury from a legal helmet-to-helmet hit (HUH?!?) then maybe that hit shouldn't be legal. But Goodell is the same asshole who wants to extend the season by two games despite the overwhelming physical evidence that 16 games is even too much for the players.
St. Louis over Denver
-Denver's the favorite? DENVER'S THE FAVORITE? Maybe the Rams won't make the playoffs but they will in seasons to come because Spags has done a great job overhauling the team and team atmosphere. As for Denver, McDaniels has to be on the hot seat. He's made more bad decisions than the 76ers front office.
Baltimore over Tampa Bay
-Raheem Morris might need sedation if his team upsets the Baltimore Ravens. Tampa's certainly allowed to have the 'no one believes in us' mantra because no one should believe in the team to do anything worthwhile in January. Baltimore's on-fire and they need this game to be considered a team on the same level as the Pats and Jets.
San Diego over Indianapolis
-Chargers/Colts games never disappoint. Both teams have had their fair share of injuries during the season. This game could decide the NFL MVP because both QBs have gotten praise for keeping their teams above-water (the Chargers just got above water of course) so the game's all about which QB plays better. Yes, I'm basically picking Rivers over Manning which is risky since Rivers won't have Crayton to throw to but Chargers only win games at this time of the year.
San Francisco over Arizona
-I thought flex scheduling started at week 12. What the hell are these two teams doing in prime-time? ESPN insults me with this game and they insult every football fan by expecting people to watch the game. And I will because I like football but that doesn't mean I won't complain about the battle between two teams who have no bright prospects for a long-term QB in the near future. The majority of America will enjoy themselves more if they watch ABC Family's sequel to The Dog Who Saved Christmas.
Last Week: 14-2
SCREENPLAY OF THE DAY
Buffy, The Vampire Slayer--"Pangs"--Written By Jane Espensen--http://buffyworld.com/buffy/scripts/064_scri.html
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK