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LOOKING AT WEEK 13 IN THE NFL
by Trace Armstrong on December 1, 2011 a 2:19 PM

Welcome one and welcome all. I trust those of you that celebrate it had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of tryptophan and sweet potato casserole. The NFL served up a great slate of games that I enjoyed in the midst of eating and working on my Masterís course work. I went a seasonís best 14-2 last week which I am quite proud of.

Letís look at we learned in Week 12.

Detroit choked, Suh looked like an idiot, and sounds like an even bigger idiot following the Thursday loss to Green Bay. It was another solid game by the Packers.

Dallas is lucky and Miami is scrappy. Not sure what else to say.

I loved the defensive struggle between the Ravens and 49ers. Both teams stuck to the running game (wisely) and had a great back and forth matchup. I know we wonít see this again in the Super Bowl but I wouldnít mind it either.

The Vikings had a great showing offensively and seeing Jared Allen long-snapping was awesome but that defense is horrible. If Iím Minnesota, Iím satisfied on offense but making big moves in the offseason to repair the defensive problems particularly in the secondary.

Indy stinks and the news is out that Manning may practice. If Iím Indy, Iím not playing him in a game EXCEPT maybe in the 2nd half of the last game of the year just to shake some rust off and make the fans happy.

Tampa Bay is on the way down and the Titans are on life support. Chris Johnson stepped up big again and ran like the CJ of old. Titans have an outside chance at the playoffs. Especially becauseÖ

Ladies and gentleman, meet the unluckiest franchise in NFL history. They have the #1 defense, a competent offense, and now a 3rd string QB as their starter with Jake Delhomme backing him up. They should creep in the playoffs but they are a one and done team.

The Rams stink. Cardinals are a hair better which isnít saying much.

The Jets once again were able to grind out a win against a solid Buffalo team that did some good things on offense. Jets are in must win, canít lose mode. Be afraidÖ.be very afraid.

The Bengals hung on yet again to improve to 7-4. The tough break is they still have Pittsburgh and Baltimore still on the table. The playoffs arenít a lock yet but look likely with Indy and Houston still to come.

Let me sing ďHail to the RedskinsĒ because they went into Seattle and got a much-needed win. Iíll be honest; I got lucky picking Washington over Seattle.

Wow, the Bears playoff door is slamming shut which is a true shame. If Cutler was playing, the Bears really should and would have won this game. The Bears had possible ďSuper Bowl ContenderĒ until Cutler went down. Tough break. On the other hand Iím really liking Oakland. They look great, play hard, and can score points via run, pass, or FG. They will be really dangerous when McFadden comes back.

Shut the door on Philly. Fire Andy Reid. Start over. Itís time.

I donít get the Tebow deal, actually I do. Denverís defense is awesome and Vaughn Miller is rookie of the year. He is one of the most talented defensive players Iíve ever seen. He can penetrate the line, hit hard with good speed, and drop back in coverage too. The defense is keeping games close to allow Tebow and company to grind out wins. So far it is working but you have to think that magic runs out eventually.

Steelers won. Need I say more?

New Orleans is scary good. Their defense is getting better and playing with a lead allows them to be more aggressive. Loved how New Orleans played. They could beat Green Bay now and this game is the exact blueprint of how to beat the Packers.

Now letís predict Week 13.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Seattle Seahawks

Now that it really doesnít matter, Eagles grind out a road win. Tarvaris is hurt which means we probably see Charlie Whitehurst which is not good for the Sea Chickens.

Winner: Philadelphia by 3.

Tennessee Titans @ Buffalo Bills

I have no idea where to go here. Buffalo is due for a win and the Titans need the win. If Johnson can run like he did on Sunday, Titans should win. If he stinks, Matty Hasselbeck probably wonít get the job done. Buffalo plays San Diego, Miami, Denver, and New England to close the season. They might win 2 of those, maybe. I think this could be the last win for them but Iím riding the Titans into the ground.

Winner: Tennessee by 1.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Chicago Bears

As I write this, McNabb was just released by the Vikings. Bears will make a play. This could get interesting. Either way, KC wonít win on the road in Chicago.

Winner: Chicago by 3.

Oakland Raiders @ Miami Dolphins

Oakland has Green Bay, Detroit, Kansas City, and San Diego left. To win the division, they probably need 10 wins. The Raiders can beat KC and San Diego easily. Detroit they have at home and can probably beat them as well. That leaves the Dolphins and Packers as the possible losses. The Dolphins have been performing well defensively but Iím skeptical about their ability to get past the Raider D-Line.

Winner: Oakland by 3.

Denver Broncos @ Minnesota Vikings

I know Peterson will not be on the field for the Vikings and that worries me. Throw in that terrible secondary and Tebow MIGHT actually be able to pass the ball on the Vikings. For some reason, I know the Tebow train is getting full but Iím going with the home team here.

Winner: Minnesota by 3.

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots

Please. Big Bill does his screw you tactic and runs up the score.

Winner: New England by 21.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Something feels fishy for the Steelers. Sure, they beat KC but they played against Tyler Palko. The Chiefs defense also held them to 13 points. Right now, Iím looking at Yahoo pick distribution and 92% are picking Pittsburgh. This is my HUGE upset special of the year and oddly, Iím confident for some reason.

Winner: Cincinnati by 3.

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I think Blount runs all over the Panthers defense.

Winner: Tampa Bay by 3.

New York Jets @ Washington Redskins

The Redskins are in spoiler mode. The Ďskins can defend New York but Iím worried about their ability to actually pass on them, particularly Revis. Itíll be a 13-10 type game but here goesÖ Winner: New York Jets by 3.

Atlanta Falcons @ Houston Texans

Itís time for Atlanta to yet again play a good team at the best time possible. Falcons win here again.

Winner: Atlanta by 7.

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns

Possible trap game for Bímore but the Browns arenít good enough to take advantage.

Winner: Baltimore by 3.

Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants

The Giants have lost three in a row and the defending Super Bowl Champs are coming. Green Bay has a playoff spot clinched essentially and almost certainly the division. They want the undefeated mark but after New York they get Oakland, KC, Chicago minus Cutler at home, and Detroit at home. They win all but this one. Upset special #2. Expect the Giants to show up and get the inexplicable win. Eli always has an amazing what the heck game following a bad loss.

Winner: New York Giants by 1.

Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals

*Yawn*

Winner: Dallas by 3.

St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers

*Double Yawn*

Winner: San Francisco by 10.

Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints

Scary scary game for Detroit on all levels. Saints win big.

Winner: New Orleans by 21.

San Diego Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Can the Jags get a ďwe fired our coachĒ win? Nope.

Winner: San Diego by 3.

Final CommentsÖ

San Diego stinks and all I can say is: ďItís the end of the Norv as we know it, itís the eeennnddd of the Norv as we know it, and I feel fine.Ē



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