YouGabSports Blogs
NFL Week 16 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Thursday December 18

Titans (2-12) @ Jaguars (2-12)

EverBank Field, Jacksonville 8:25 (NFLN)

Favorite Jags by 3 ½

Last Week Titans lost to Jets 16-11, Jags lost to Ravens 20-12

Fast Facts TEN: Titans are allowing league worst 139.6 yards rushing a game.  JAX: QB Bortles has been sacked a league high 41 times since

The last Thursday night game of the year is a real snoozer. Neither team going anywhere but home after next week. The Titans lost a sloppy ugly game to the equally woeful Jets and while Jacksonville got beat beat by the Ravens last they are at the very least playing competitive and pushing their opponents, the Titans have been getting housed on a weekly basis. The Titans haven’t won since they last played these same Jags in week 6. Im thinking that the Jags get some get back here.

Pick- Jacksonville

 

Saturday December 20

Eagles (9-5) @ Washington (3-11)

FedEx Field; Landover, MD 4:30 (NFLN)

Favorite Eagles by 7 ½

Last Week Eagles lost to Cowboys 38-27, Washington lost to Giants 24-13

Fast Facts PHI: Ranked second in QB sacks WAS: Allowed second most  sacks in NFL

Stung by a second straight home loss the Eagles now need help to return to the playoffs they head to DC to face a Washington team that is light years away from contention. The Eagles allow way too many points on defense primarily because their high speed offense isn’t on the field long enough to give a proper rest, but the anemic Washington offense should not give them that much trouble. Mark Sanchez should be able to get enough time to pick on the soft Washington secondary to make the road to victory pretty easy.

Pick-Philadelphia

 

Chargers (8-6) @ 49ers (7-7)

Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, CA 8:25 (CBS)

Favorite 49ers by 1

Last Week Chargers lost to Broncos 22-10 49ers lost to Seahawks 17-7

Fast Facts SD: Have won the last three meetings  SF: The 49ers 3 game losing skid is the longest in the Jim Harbaugh Era

The Chargers are on playoff life support after their lackluster loss against the Broncos while the 49ers are dealing with the cold fact that for the first time since 2010 they will not be going to the playoffs after being dominated by another despised rival. The Chargers will be without leading receiver Keenan Allen who broke his collarbone but the Niners are a virtual MASH unit in comparison Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman , Ahmad Brooks, Frank Gore and standout rookie Chris Borland all either out or uncertain with injuries. Combine that and the growing ineptitude of the Niners offense. I think the Chargers are good enough to keep their feeble playoff hopes alive with a win and further fuel speculation of Harbaugh's exit

Pick-San Diego

Musings From The Hoodwood 12-16
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL NBA MLB College Football

Run for your life Johnny Football! Manziel bombs against the Bengals

Greetings from the Hoodwood where the locals are hoping for another Fantasy Football title.

NFL: Manziels Big Flop

The hype was palpable. Johnny Football was going to get his first start in the NFL, the much ballyhooed 2012 Heisman winner and first round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns was going to get take the stage and possibly shine against a vunerable Cincy squad that had suffered a painful 4th quarter collapse against the Steelers. But the Bengals came out running and the Browns came out…flat. Far from being inspired by their crazy crowd, Manziel looked scared. He looked tentative. The Bengals seemed to be everywhere on defense and Manziel was getting beat on like a rag doll. Manziel finished a pathetic 10-18 for only 80 yards. 80! Manziel and the Browns only had the ball 38 plays and barely 20 minutes as the Browns were hammered 30-0 to be formally eliminated from the divisional and for all intents and purposes the AFC playoff race. Manziel said he was “humbled” by his performance. You think about it, Manziel had been chirping to get the start and when Brian Hoyer finally played his way out of the starting position, the natives figured Manziel was going to be ready to step in. Instead, Manziel looked confused, unprepared. He threw two interceptions and was sacked three times and his QBR? 1.0 That’s it…it wasn’t like his counterpart Andy Dalton was that much better but he didn’t really need to be. He had the redoubtable running of Jeremy Hill who ran for 148 yards which was more yards by himself than the Browns had in the entire game. Manziel may look back at this inauspicious start of his career and laugh. I doubt that though.

NFL: Reseed the playoffs?

Here we go again, the whining commences because the NFC South is the bastard child of the NFL this year. Remember when the NFC West champ won the division with a 7-9 record? That team was the Seattle Seahawks they won the division and hosted a playoff game while the NFC South had three teams win 10 games or better and the Tampa Bay Bucs with the New York Giants both won 10 games and were on the outside looking in. This year it’s the reverse. The NFC South is the weak team and there is a chance that a team with a worse than .500 ledger will win the division. Commence the whining, reseed the playoffs. Now this has quieted some as the chances that the Cowboys might win the NFC East, but there will likely be a team that will win at least 10 games and miss the playoffs. Now who will it be? Detroit? Green Bay? Philly? Seattle? Dallas? Keep in mind that Arizona has already taken one playoff spot off the table. There are five teams but only four spots left. Someone is going to be left out in the cold and the crying will commence. Lets be clear the playoffs don’t need to be reseeded, you don’t need to add an extra team. The playoffs are fine the way it is. This isn’t every one gets a trophy. Some teams  are going to get left out, you have to have a division winner and that winner hosts a playoff game as reward. Yeah the NFC South is weak but the game is cyclical.

Quick Hits

Six Divisional Titles in a Row for the Pats

Is Peyton getting the noodle arm?

The end of the Jets-Titans game was a madhouse

The Pacers were up on the Lake Show at one time 53-19

Kobe passes MJ and his sycophants go nuts, I say big deal

Damn, Jay Cutler is that bad…

The Bandits win in the GMFL Playoffs and are going to the title game.

Im going to add more to this I promise.

NFL Week 15 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

 

Thursday December 11

Cardinals (10-3) @ Rams (6-7)

Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis 8:25 (CBS/NFLN)

Favorite Rams by 5 ½

Last Week Cardinals defeated Chiefs 17-14, Rams defeated Washington 24-0

Playoff Implications Cardinals clinch a playoff berth with win (Clinches with either DAL or PHI loss)

Fast Facts StL: Posted back to back shutouts for the first time since 1945 (two moves ago when they were in Cleveland)

Arizona: First back to back 10 win season since 1974-75, when they were in St. Louis

The Cards continue to show resiliency grinding out a gutty, grimy win against a good Chiefs squad and are poised to take one of the NFC playoff berths off the table right now.  Meanwhile, The Rams are fattening up on weak teams and taking care of business. This is the best going nowhere team in the league right now and the Cards need to be especially wary of the Rams solid defense. That said, the Rams will not be facing a weak defense themselves and the Cards will cash in any mistakes. The Cards got left at the train station with 10 wins last year, I think the Cards will make sure that they are the first team on the playoff train this year

Pick-Arizona

 

Week 15

Thursday December 11

Cardinals (10-3) @ Rams (6-7)

Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis 8:25 (CBS/NFLN)

Favorite Rams by 5 ½

Last Week Cardinals defeated Chiefs 17-14, Rams defeated Washington 24-0

Playoff Implications Cardinals clinch a playoff berth with win (Clinches with either DAL or PHI loss)

Fast Facts StL: Posted back to back shutouts for the first time since 1945 (two moves ago when they were in Cleveland)

Arizona: First back to back 10 win season since 1974-75, when they were in St. Louis

The Cards continue to show resiliency grinding out a gutty, grimy win against a good Chiefs squad and are poised to take one of the NFC playoff berths off the table right now.  Meanwhile, The Rams are fattening up on weak teams and taking care of business. This is the best going nowhere team in the league right now and the Cards need to be especially wary of the Rams solid defense. That said, the Rams will not be facing a weak defense themselves and the Cards will cash in any mistakes. The Cards got left at the train station with 10 wins last year, I think the Cards will make sure that they are the first team on the playoff train this year

Pick-Arizona

 

Sunday

Bengals (8-4-1) @ Browns (7-6)

FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Browns by 1

Last Week Bengals lost to Steelers 42-21, Browns lost to Colts 25-24

Fast Fact Bengals WR AJ had career 224 yards on 11 catches last week, has been limited to 12 catches for 83 yards in his last 3 games against the Browns

Playoff hopes fading fast, the Browns turn to first round pick Johnny Manziel. Manziel comes into this rivalry just in time to be called a midget by Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. The Bengals suddenly look vulnerable after crumbling in the 4th against the Steelers, while the Browns blew a sizeable lead against the Colts and lost. I think while the Browns are grasping for straws in starting the polarizing Manziel, they have a rugged enough running game to give the Bengals suspect run defense fits. The road teams stunning fade into irrelavnce continues here

Pick-Cleveland

 

Packers (10-3) @ Bills (7-6)

Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite

Last Week Packers defeated Falcons 43-37, Bills lost to Broncos 24-17

Fast Fact GB:  Win puts Mike McCarthy into second as all-time winningest coach passing Vince Lombardi but he has a ways to go before catching wins leader Curley Lambeau .

Buf: Has only allowed two TD’s passes over the last five games

The Packers are on a roll as of late and Aaron Rodgers stellar play has been the engine for this roll. The Packers have been scoring at a furious clip, since their defense has been a bit ragged at times. The Bills have played admirable as of late but the same familiar pattern is starting to set in. The latest loss to the Broncos shows that the Bills are simply not ready for playoff caliber teams. This game here will further prove this notion

Pick-Green Bay

 

Raiders (2-11) @ Chiefs (7-6)

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Chiefs by 10½

Last Week Raiders defeated 49ers 24-13, Chiefs lost to Cardinals 17-14

Fast Fact Oak: Raiders are 2-20 away from home over the last three seasons KC: has not had a receiver score a touchdown since December 8 2013

The Raiders not the Chiefs are the team coming into this matchup winning, having stunned their hated cross bay neighbors. The Chiefs once riding high and tied for the division lead have lost three straight which started with a shocking upset loss to these same Raiders. I think the Chiefs have played good enough to win but have lacked a finishing kick. Trying desperately to stay in the playoff hunt the Chiefs will break their respective home and overall losing streaks with a healthy dose of Jamal Charles running and a defense stung by the memory of the humiliating loss to their long time rivals.

Pick-Kansas City

 

Texans (7-6) @ Colts (9-4)

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Colts by 7

Last Week Texans defeated Jaguars 27-13, Colts defeated Browns 25-24

Playoff Implications Colts can clinch AFC South with win

Fast Fact HOU: Have never won in Indinapolis in team history (0-6, in RCA Dome, 0-7 in Lucas Oil IND: Andrew Luck needs 70 yards to better his season best passing yardage mark

The Texans have gamely fought their way back into the playoff picture but face long time division nemesis in a place that has been a house of horrors. The Jags easily knocked of the Jags while the Colts rallied smartly to beat Browns. JJ Watt will have to be dealt with possibly on both sides of the ball and Andrew Luck will have to deal with the reduced role of Reggie Wayne who is nursing torn triceps, yet has TY Hilton playing like a beast in an increased role. Though the Texans are coming on strong, they still cant beat the Colts in Indy…sorry wont happen

Blurb

Pick-Indianapolis

 

 

Steelers (8-5) @ Falcons (5-8)

Georgia Dome, Atlanta 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Steelers by

Last Week Steelers defeated Bengals 42-21, Falcons lost to Packers 43-37

Fast Facts PIT: Antonio Brown has logged at least 5 catches and 50 yard in 29 straight games the longest streak in NFL history

                   ATL: Julio Jones had a franchise record 11 catches for 229 yards last Monday against GB

THe Steelers used a relentless running game to bully past the Bengals while the Falcons took too long to get warmed up in Green Bay and their rally fell short. Between the stellar play of LeVeon Bell and the precise throwing of Ben Roethliseberger the Steelers have gotten off the mat and forced their way back into the AFC playoff picture. Meanwhile try as the Falcons might, they cant fall out of the NFC South divisional race. This would be the week you would expect the Steelers to go off into la-la land and have an underwhelming performance. The Falcons have just enough talent and proper motivation to spring what would be a home upset. But I wont do it, the Steelers are the better team and are breaking the habit of giving away games. Though I think the game will be close I think the Steelers take it

Pick-Pittsburgh

 

Washington (3-10) @ Giants (4-9)

MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite

Last Week Washington lost to Rams 24-0, Giants defeated Titans 36-7

Fast Fact WAS: One of two teams to have had three starting quarterbacks this season (TEN) NYG: Eli Manning will be making his 175th consecutive start

A pair of teams going nowhere fast, Washington looked lost and listless in getting shutout by the Rams while the G-Men awoke from their slumber to thrash the equally bad Titans. Washington is a hot mess offensively and while the G-Men might not repeat their primetime thrashing from October, they are comptent enough to get the win

Pick-New York Giants

 

Jaguars (2-11) @ Ravens (8-5)

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Ravens by 14

Last Week Jaguars lost to Texans 27-13, Ravens defeated Dolphins 28-13

Fast Fact Jax: Have lost five straight visits in Baltimore BAL: In the last five games the Ravens have allowed a total of 3 points in the 3rd quarter

The Jags play hard but usually end up find a way to self destruct and the Ravens after waxing the Dolphins are in a position to roll to the playoffs. I think the Ravens are light years better and shouldn’t be troubled much by the punchless Jags

Pick-Baltimore

 

Buccaneers (2-11) @ Panthers (4-8-1)

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Panthers by 3

Last Week Buccaneers lost to Lions 34-17, Panthers defeated Saints 41-10

Fast Fact Panthers have won the last three outscoring Bucs 78-33 TB:

Believe it or not this actually has some playoff implications since the 4-8-1 Panthers are still on the edge of the NFC South race after they thrashed the Saints in the Superdome. THe Bucs? They are the only team that is out of the NFC South race. Without Cam Newton the Panthers offense is less dynamic but the starting QB Derek Anderson has played and won against the Bucs. As crazy as it seems I thnk that the same thing will happen again, it wont be pretty. These games rarely are but the Panthers will stay on the fringe of the playoff race by winning here

Pick-Carolina

 

Dolphins (7-6) @ Patriots (10-3)

Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Patriots by 7½

Last Week Dolphins lost to Ravens 28-13, Patriots defeated Chargers 23-14

Playoff Implications Patriots can clinch AFC East with win

Fast Facts NE: Has notched it 12th consecutive 10 win season, second longest in NFL to the 49ers 16 from 1983-96 MIA: Have allowed 661 yards rushing in the last three games the most that they have ever given up in a three game stretch

The Dolphins playoff hopes went from decent to fragile after getting thrashed at home against the Ravens, combined with the Pats bounceback win in San Diego have put the Pats on the precipice of winning the AFC East, I think that the Dolphins suspect run defense will get a workout and that will open up things for Tom Brady. The Dolphins rarely play good in the cold and this will be no exception

Pick-New England

 

Jets (2-11) @ Titans (2-11)

LP Field, Nashville 4:05 (CBS)

Favorite Jets by 2½

Last Week Jets lost to Vikings 30-24 in OT, Titans lost to Giants 36-7

Fast Facts NYJ: Geno Smith has lost nine straight starts TEN: Has lost their last seven by an average of 15 points

Another useless game on the docket here, both teams are playing out the string. The Jets have the comfort of a strong running game and the Titans have not much going for it, even playing at home. I think Geno Smith finally gets a breakthrough as the Jets are still playing hard and the Titans have already developed their thousand yard stare into the offseason

Pick-New York Jets

 

Broncos (10-3) @ Chargers (8-5)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:05 (CBS)

Favorite Broncos by 4

Last Week Broncos defeated Bills 24-17, Chargers lost to Patriots 23-14

Playoff Implicatons Denver can clinch AFC West with win

Fast Fact DEN: Last week marked only the 11th time in 253 regular and postseason starts the Peyton Manning attempted fewer than 20 passes.
SD: Philip Rivers needs 3 TD passes to be the 17th QB with 250

The Broncos have suddenly developed at credible running game and balance, and it showed in a gritty win against a solid Bills squad. The Chargers are hanging tough as of late but were worn down by the Pats. The Broncos are coming together at the right time. Im thinking that Peyton Manning is overdue for a big breakout game The Chargers have a capable offense to be sure but Im never very sure when their defense will come to play.

Pick-Denver

 

Vikings (6-7) @ Lions (9-4)

Ford Field, Detroit 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Lions by 7½

Last Week Vikings defeated Jets 30-24 in OT; Lions defeated Buccaneers 34-17

Fast Facts: MIN: 87 yarder TD pass in OT was the 2nd longest overtime touchdown pass in NFL history

DET: Lions are 2nd in NFL with 17 interceptions

The Vikes got a feel good win over the Jets in OT, while the Lions are playing their best ball battering the hapless Bucs. The Vikes need to get Teddy Bridgewater off to a solid start against the highly aggressive Lions defense. Matthew Stafford will likely go to his security blanket in Megatron Johnson early and often. I don’t know why but the Lions are way overdue for a flat performance here and Im calling the upset here…

Pick-Minnesota (Upset of the week)

 

 

49ers (7-6) @ Seahawks (9-4)

CenturyLink Field, Seattle 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 10½

Last Week 49ers lost to Raiders 24-13, Seahawks defeated Eagles 24-14

Fast Fact SF: Have had only one play longer than 25 yards in the last ten quarters against the Seahawks. SEA: Have had 35 minutes or better in their last four games and have won three of them

These two teams despise one another but the Niners offense has picked the wrong time to go punchless as they suffered a humiliating loss to their despised cross bay brethren. The Seahawks went to Philly and ground out a tough hard earned win against the Eagles. I just don’t trust the Niners offense and it puts way too much pressure on their capable though beleaguered defense. The Seahawks are eager to deep six their hated rivals and doing so at home in front of their crazy fans would be extra sweet.

Pick-Seattle

 

Cowboys (9-4) @ Eagles (9-4)

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia  8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Eagles by 3½

Last Week Cowboys defeated Bears 41-28. Eagles lost to Seahawks 24-14

Fast Facts DAL: NFL leading rusher DeMarco Murray has yet to have a 100 yard rushing game against Eagles in four games

PHI: 139 yards vs SEA was teams lowest output since 2005

The Pokes thrashed the Bears while the Eagles got pounded by the Seahawks to set up this mammoth NFC East showdown. The Eagles win and get a crucial leg up on the tiebreakers, The Pokes win and get ahead of the Eagles in the division. I still have a hard time believing the Mark Sanchez will be able to get his way against the Pokes defense. I like the Pokes running game but I really don’t trust Tony Romo in big game situations. I think the Eagles running game at home bounces back strong and the Pokes have another one of those “huh” games

Pick-Dallas

 

 

 

Monday December 15

 

Saints (5-8) @ Bears (5-8)

Soldier Field, Chicago 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Saints by 3

Fast Fact NO: Have allowed 27 points or more in their past five games. CHI: Jay Cutlers 21 turnovers are the most by a QB

Last Week Saints lost to Panthers 41-10, Bears lost to Cowboys 41-28

The Saints got handed another humiliating home defeat this time against division rival Carolina while the Bears just got run over by the Pokes and took another Thursday whipping. Drew Brees is way overdue for a breakout game and the Bears suspect defense is just the tonic. Jay Cutler is just lost, hes been playing like someone who is clueless and it’s a shame with as much offensive talent he has. The Bears have mailed it in long ago and the Saints are needing the win a lot more.

Pick-New Orleans

 

Last Week: 10-6 (Lock/Upset both correct-2nd straight week)

Overall: 130-77-1

Locks: 11-3

Upsets: 4-10

 

 

Musings From The Hoodwood 12-9
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL NBA NHL College Football

How much longer will Johnny Football be on the sidelines?

 

Greetings from the Hoodwood where the locals are gearing up for the playoffs

College football: The chosen four

You now have the four teams that will compete in the the playoff for the initial college football championship all four teams have flaws in their own way yet have the tools and talent to be the last team standing in Jerry World next month

You have Alabama, SEC heavyweight, Nick Saban and his crew aren’t near the dominating team that they have been in years past but they still have the ruthlessly effiecent offense and the punishing defense. You wonder sometimes though if they mentally wander. But they made it through the rugged SEC with a few bumps but only 1 loss.

You have those wacky quackers from west with the myriad of unis. Led by Heisman finalist Marcus Mariota, Oregon is a high speed high scoring juggernaut who dominated the Pac 12 and avenged their only loss to Arizona with a devastating revenge beating in Santa Clara in the Pac-12 title game. This is a team that plays fast scores fast and never wears the same unis twice.

You have the defending champs, Florida State who is the only unbeaten team who dodged bullet after bullet in seemingly every game but got out every time with a win. Jameis Winston may be the most hated and polarizing college player in the game but he seems to get the win every time. The Noles have the nations longest win streak and will have gone better than 2 calendar years without a loss when they line up in Pasadena against the Ducks on New Years Day

Finally you have the school that makes sure you know it start with THE. Bullies of the Big Ten, Ohio State took a puzzling loss to a weak Virginia Tech and was seemingly written out of the national championship picture before the season turned to fall but grinding away he Bucks climbed back in behind the sterling play of JT Barrett who was thrown into action when senior QB an incumbent starter Braxton Miller was injured before the season started, but the Bucks jelled behind Barnett and rolled to another perfect Big Ten regular season, their 3rd straight but the in the season finale against hated rival Michigan Barrett suffered a gruesome ankle injury he was also lost for the year. The Bucks seemed to be the heavy underdog to the Badgers of Wisconsin behind their rugged run game. But the Bucks started fast and never let the Badgers up for air much less off the proverbial canvas and laid a frightening woodshed beating to the tune of 59-0, you can clown on my beloved Bearcats giving up 50 back in September, but they lead some in the game and were competitive in the game. Wisconsin was never close to being in the same area code much less competitive. The Bucks impressed the selection committee to bypass TCU and Baylor to get the final dance invite.

So did the committee get it right? I think given they could only take four, yes. You have the playoff winners of the four power conferences with title games. The co-champs of the Big 12 were left on the outside looking in. Baylor might have had more of a beef, they beat TCU in a wild shootout in October but shared the title with the Horned Frogs. Both teams were shunned. I think personally that it should be 8 teams, take the power 5 conference winners. Add three wild cards either the teams that get upset or the little conference champ that goes unbeaten. Play the tourney over three weekends, the first after the conference title games the semis on New Years day and the championship either on a Monday or the Saturday between the pro conference championships and the Super Bowl that would be a real lead into the Super Bowl fesitivities and use the big six bowls Cotton (at Jerry World) Fiesta, Rose, Orange, Peach/Chik Fil-A (in Atlanta) and Sugar and rotate the quarters semis and championship. Keep the other bowls as rewards for the other schools. You still have your fill of football and the major ones have their proper stage…Problem solved.

Phat Dap

To John Wall who played his usual beast self (26 points, 17 dimes) in a thrilling double overtime against the Celtics but revealed side many don’t get to see, getting very emotional revealing that he was playing this game with an especially heavy heart after losing a young friend to cancer. Wall played this game in her memory and broke down during the post game interview talking about losing his friend. Dap to Wall who showed a tender side.

Dap also to Southern Methodist Football who is arguably the worst team in college football and the only team in FBS yet to taste victory. The Mustangs played more often than not played like glue factory nags, getting beat by ridiculous scores. My beloved Bearcats toyed with them beating them 41-3, but they got beat by more lopsided scores. They were shutout twice, where they didn’t score more than 6 points in any of their first four and aside from a painful 14-13 loss to South Florida were never in any game. Until their last game against UConn, which looked like the same old same old when they fell behind 20-6 but the Mustangs rallied to score 21 unanswered to upend the Huskies and win 27-20 to avoid a winless season. The Mustangs not only avoid an ofer but they get out of the American conference basement since their 1-7 conference record matches UConn and they won their head to head matchup. The win wasn’t without its laughable difficulties, The Mustangs took three penalties late in the game trying to run out the clock in a victory formation. Ironically when the Mustangs came off their death penalty in 1989 their first win was a 31-30 decision over then Division II… UConn.

Head Slap

To the Cincinnati Bengals who melted down royally in the 4th quarter against the Steelers. I was a personal witness to the carnage, entering the 4th quarter of a tight 21-17 game with their hated divisional bullies cum rivals, the Bengals were riding high having just scored a touchdown on a long bomb from Andy Dalton to AJ Green, but after a field goal cut the Bengals lead to one, Andy Dalton fumbled on the ensuing possession and the Steelers cashed in four plays later on a run by LeVeon Bell and also converted a two point conversion. After a short possession by the Bengals the Steelers looked backed up after Kevin Huber landed a punt at the 6 yard line. A defensive hold might flip the field and make a tense game tenser. The Steelers had other ideas and Ben Roethlisberger threw a bomb to a streaking Martavis Bryant who had badly burned Bengals CB Leon Hall, Bryant caught the ball in stride and barreled down the sideline in front of a stunned Bengals bench into the end zone and the sound you hear was the Bengals back breaking from the Steelers kill shot. Bell finished the job with his 3rd touchdown score of the day and the Steelers rolled to a 42-21 win. The Steelers scored 25 points in the 4th. The Bengals never got close to the end zone and now the AFC North is once again in chaos. The Bengals are in trouble and their defense once a proud gem of the team, may have fueled their collapse.

Quick Hits

Scoring a game winning goal after losing a chunk of your ear? That’s why hockey players are inherently tougher. Kevin Cline of the Rangers lost a chunk of his ear on a high stick but had it reattached and game back later in their game Monday against the Pens and scored the game winner in OT…that’s stones brudda!

Im in two playoffs in my fantasy and won one of the first round games by .5 of a point…YEAH!

Johnny Football will likely get the start for the Browns and implode that team

13 in a row for the Warriors as they beat the Timberwolves…but they need to call up former Bearcat stud Sean Kilpatrick from the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors…just sayin…

Cordarelle Patterson…what happened to that guy?

I spot light the Sixers losing 17 in a row and they beat…the Timberwolves…sigh

My beloved Bearcats won their 5th conference title in 7 years but nearly gave me heart failure holding off Houston

Landon Donovan gets to ride off into the sunset with an MLS title, a fitting end for a classy player.

Until next post fellow sports fans!

Week 14 Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

 

Not a bad week for doing the picks last week, we head into the last quarter of the season with every division still very much up for grabs and everyone except maybe the Raiders and Jets still in contention for a playoff spot. So more than a few games have playoff implications, submitted once again for your review perusal and review are this week’s picks with the odds being provided by ESPN.com for entertainment and comparison purposes only. Since I’m so broke, I can’t pay attention. So I can’t help you if you take the lines and get took.

 

Sunday December 7

 

Steelers (7-5) @ Bengals (8-3-1)

Paul Brow Stadium, Cincinnati 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Bengals by 3

Last Week Steelers lost to Saints 35-32, Bengals defeated Buccaneers 14-13

Fast Fact The Steelers are the only team to lose against an NFC South team, the rest of the division is 10-0-1 against the division this year

The Steelers remain one of the most enigmatic team in the NFL, they beat the big guys but fall asleep at the switch as against sad sack teams like the Jets Bucs and to an extent the Saints (who despite being in first place have a losing record) They face the Bengals who tried everything they could to lose against the lowly Bucs but held on for the ugly yet effective win that keeps them a game and a half ahead of the morass that is the AFC North and other 7-5 AFC teams. Much is made of how many people that will be at this game that support the visitors and much is made on how well Ben Roethlisberger plays in his native state, but I think that Steelers are a flawed teams that has gotten along on their name and rep for a little too long. If the Bengals strong defense (given up 10, 13, & 13 in their past 3) plays the same I think it gives the home team a chance. I think that Andy Dalton who seems to play better in the non-primetime hours will play good enough to get by and that their underrated running game will carry the day

Pick-Cincinnati

 

Jets (2-10) @ Vikings (5-7)

TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Vikings by 5

Last Week Jets lost to Dolphins 16-13, Vikings defeated Panthers 31-13

Fast Fact The Jets have won 8 of the 9 meetings, but the Vikings only win was the only meeting outdoors in Minnesota, albeit in 1975

The Jets played a vanilla boring game in losing to the Dolphins while the Vikings parlayed 2 punt blocks into scores that fueled their throttling of the Panthers. Neither team has much to play for but the Vikings can continue to positively develop the growth of young Teddy Bridgewater who is showing signs of molding into a solid QB. The Jets have more or less quit and the grins and jeers of the buffoonish Rex Ryan are long gone. Relishing another chance to be the bully, the Vikes should be able to roll here

Pick-Minnesota

 

Colts (8-4) @ Browns (7-5)

FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Colts by 3

Last Week Colts defeated Washington 49-27, Browns lost to Bills 20-13

Fast Fact Colts QB Andrew Luck is 81 yards shy of eclipsing Peyton Manning’s record for passing yards in a players first 3 seasons

Both teams are in serious playoff contention but the Colts are more safely ensconced in their 3 seed with the AFC South division lead while the Browns are struggling to stay afloat and now with the increased scrutiny of a QB battle are tottering on the brink of a collapse. The Colts are better balanced offensively and defensively will be strong enough to give either starter Brian Hoyer or erstwhile backup Johnny Manziel a hard way to go.

Pick-Indianapolis

 

Ravens (7-5) @ Dolphins (7-5)

SunLife Stadium, Miami Gardens 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Dolphins by 3

Last Week Ravens lost to Chargers 34-33, Dolphins defeated Jets

Fast Fact Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill has completed 70% or better of his passes in each of his last five games.

The Ravens lost a heartbreaker at home to the Chargers to remain in the 7-5 mess of AFC teams, the Dolphins with the win over the sorry Jets have the leg up on the 7-5 teams but cannot slack for a minute if they want to be playing in January. The Ravens are a hard team to figure, Joe Flacco is nowhere near the elite QB that some were making him out to be but he gets the job done enough to keep the Ravens relevant. More hurtful is the loss of defensive stopper Haloti Ngata due a drug suspension. I’m still trying to figure if Ryan Tannehill is really going to take the next step as a serviceable solid QB. Both teams have underrated running games and will try to control the tempo. I think that the Dolphins are more of a playoff team than the pundits want to admit and will take a crucial next step here and severely damage the Ravens flickering playoff hopes.  

Pick-Miami

 

Texans (6-6) @ Jaguars (2-10)

EverBank Field, Jacksonville 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Texans by 5½

Last Week Texans defeated Titans 45-21, Jaguars defeated Giants 25-24

Fast Fact The Texans set a franchise record for points in a single game with 45 last week

Both teams coming walking tall after wins, the Texans routing the Titans and the Jaguars upending the Giants. Having had to turn back to Ryan Fitzpatrick after the injury to Ryan Mallett, the Texans offense suddenly came back to life with their highest point output of the season. The Jags are playing hard and finally got a win to show for it, but they are way way out of their league with their divisional brethren who are much better on both sides of the ball and will roll here

Pick-Houston

 

Buccaneers (2-10) @ Lions (8-4)

Ford Field, Detroit 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Lions by 10 ½

Last Week Buccaneers lost to Bengals 14-13, Lions defeated Bears 34-17

Fast Fact The Bucs are the most penalized team in the NFL

The Bucs were their own worst enemy in losing to the Bengals giving away a potential upset with dumb penalties and mental errors and they now face a rugged Lions team extra rested after a Turkey Day beatdown of the Bears. The Bucs have played hard for Lovie Smith but lack many of the key components on either side of the ball. Knock Matthew Stafford all you want but he will strafe the weak Bucs secondary and the solid Lions defense will toy with the punchless Bucs offense

Pick-Detroit

 

Rams (5-7) @ Washington (3-9)

FedEx Field; Landover, MD 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Rams by 3

Last Week Rams defeated Raiders 52-0, Washington lost to Colts 49-27

Fast Fact The Rams 52-0 win last week was their largest shutout win since smashing Atlanta 59-0 in 1976

The Rams ran hog wild against the pathetic Raiders to the delight of a happy home crowd, they could find the going just as easy against an imploding Washington club who lacks direction and focus though they did score their most points since week 3. Both teams are searching for a long term answer at QB but the Rams may have found a gem in RB Tre Mason, look for the Rams to exploit the weak Washington run defense and get another win.

Pick-St. Louis

 

Panthers (3-8-1) @ Saints (5-7)

Mercedes-Benz Superdome 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Saints by 10

Last Week Panthers lost to Vikings 31-13, Saints defeated Steelers 35-32

Fast Fact Carolina has averaged 14.0 points over its last five games and has given up a league-worst 31.0 per game since Week 3.

The Panthers looked listless and were housed by the Vikings while the Saints bounced back to stun the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The Panthers are playing out the string no matter how weak the NFC South is and the Saints are looking to get back closer to .500 and are clearly the better team. Cam Newton’s progress as a QB has slowed considerably and I think he will have a hard time with the freewheeling style of a Rob Ryan orchestrated defense. For those that think that Drew Brees is on the downside of a Canton-bound career, he still has a few tricks and should be able to pepper a weak Panthers secondary at will

Pick-New Orleans

 

Giants (3-9) @ Titans (2-10)

LP Field, Nashville 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Giants by 1

Last Week Giants lost to Jags 25-24, Titans lost to Texans 45-21

Fast Fact The two teams combined have lost 13 games in a row, neither team has won since October

In a real who cares game, the G-Men come in off a humiliating loss to lowly Jacksonville while the Titans got hammered by the Texans. Both teams are going nowhere and wasting space on analysis wastes your time both the Nashville and New York Fox markets are already wishing that they could show something else. Flip a coin here

Pick-New York Giants

 

Bills (7-5) @ Broncos (9-3)

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver 4:05(CBS)

Favorite Broncos by 10

Last Week Bills defeated Browns 23-10, Broncos defeated Chiefs 29-16

Fast Fact The Broncos have won the last 11 games in which they've topped 100 yards. In their three losses this season, they've averaged 35.7 rushing yards.

The Bills are trying their best to keep themselves in playoff contention as they battered the Browns, the Broncos ground their way to an ugly but effective win in Kansas City, I don’t think that the Bills are a for real for real team in the sense that they are a team that will be able to play into January, something that is pretty much a foregone conclusion for any Peyton Manning squad. Had this game been in Orchard Park, I might give the Bills a punchers chance but not in Mile High.

Pick-Denver

 

Chiefs (7-5) @ Cardinals (9-3)

University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, AZ 4:05(CBS)

Favorite Chiefs by 1

Last Week Chiefs lost to Broncos 29-16, Cardinals lost to Falcons 29-18

Fast Fact The Chiefs' defense ranks first against the pass, giving up 196.8 yards per game, but it is last in the league in rushing yards allowed per attempt at 4.93

An interesting interconference battle here, the Chiefs are trying desperately to stay in the playoff hunt while the badly listing Cards are coming back to earth after their white hot 9-1 start. The Chiefs rugged running game will face a stern test against the Cards ballhawking defense. I’m still not really sold on the viability of Drew Stanton running the Cards offense, he’s serviceable but defenses do not respect him like they would have respected Carson Palmer. For some reason, I think the Cards defense will carry the day and get their offense some good field positions for scores.

Pick-Arizona

 

49ers (7-5) @ Raiders (1-11)

O.co Coliseum, Oakland 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite 49ers by 8½

Last Week 49ers lost to Seahawks 19-3, Raiders lost to Rams 52-0

Fast Fact The Niners have tallied under 100 yards rushing in five of their last seven games.

This cross bay battle has a pair of teams heading in opposite directions in more ways than one. The Niners remain on the fringes of the playoff race while the Raiders haven’t been in playoff contention since late summer. The Raiders may talk a good game but I just don’t think the Niners will take them lightly and punish them like the Rams did last week

Pick-San Francisco

 

Seahawks (8-4) @ Eagles (9-3)

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Eagles by 1½

Last Week Seahawks defeated 49ers 19-3, Eagles defeated Cowboys 33-10

Fast Fact The Eagles have held each of their last two opponents to under 100 yds rushing

Both teams are coming off Thanksgiving wins so they are plenty rested for this late day tangle, The Seahawks just locked down the Niners while the Eagles ran roughshod on the Pokes, both teams are trying to solidify playoff positions and need this win, the Seahawks will rely on the recalcitrant yet rugged run skills of Marshawn Lynch while the Eagles fast break offense will try to outflank the legion of boom. The Eagles have a puzzling tendency to get careless with the ball so if they can protect the ball they can carry the day, knowing that the Cowboys have already won and are sitting poised to move into a first place tie the pressure is on. This is a game too close to call. I’m gonna go with my gut and bank on the Eagles

Pick-

 

Patriots (9-3) @ Chargers (8-4)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 8:30 (NBC)

Favorite Patriots by 3½

Last Week Patriots lost to Packers 26-21, Chargers defeated Ravens 34-33

Fast Fact Tom Brady has yet to lose a matchup with Philip Rivers. Rivers only win against the Pats was when Matt Cassel was the Pats QB in 2008

The primetime game is a doozy, the Pats went right to the west coast after their loss to Green Bay they face a Charger team flying high after rallying to beat the Ravens on the road. The usual cast of Pats suspects will have their hands full against the Chargers who despite being 8-4 are a Jekyll and Hyde team, I’m never sure to classify them as a real contender or a pretender. The Pats ripped off a 7 game win streak after their last loss so you can bet that they will be looking for a real bounceback here. Tough call since the Chargers are usually very strong in SoCal.

Pick-New England (Upset of the Week)

 

 

Monday, December 8

 

Falcons (5-7) @ Packers (9-3)

Lambeau Field, Green Bay 8:30 (ESPN)

Favorite Packers by 13

Last Week Falcons defeated Cardinals 29-18, Packers defeated Patriots 26-21

Fast Fact Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has yet to throw an interception at home

Despite the visitor’s record, this is a battle of first place teams as the Falcons are still in the NFC South playoff picture after drilling the Cards while the Pack won a taut duel with the Pats. The Falcons are at best a fringe team and though they have beaten good teams in Arizona and New Orleans beating the Pack is another thing beating them on the frozen tundra of Lambeau is a definitely another

Pick-Green Bay (Lock of the Week

 

Last Week 11-5 (Lock & Upset Correct!)

Overall: 120-71-1

Locks: 10-3

Upsets: 3-10

RSS
Blog Categories

This website is powered by Spruz