WEEK 13 PICKS / WEEK 12 RECAP

We’ve re-tooled the blog and podcast, since we’re releasing it later in the week to emphasize our upcoming picks, instead of recaping what’s happens.

You can also download the podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/53johnsons-podcasts/id705309250

We’re as excited as Mugatu for this Thanksgiving week of football.

16 games, no more bye weeks, baby!
mugatu

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This week we’re using NFL logos re-imagined as European football clubs by “six co-workers based in Minneapolis, MN” http://www.footballasfootball.com/about to illustrate the week 13 match ups.

Check out all their designs here:

http://www.footballasfootball.com/

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All point spreads quoted are from sportsbook.com, but suggest you check out the VegasInsider.com that show you lines from the most common sports books:

http://www.vegasinsider.com/nfl/odds/las-vegas/?s=1083

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THANKSGIVING THURSDAY 12:30PM GAME

(5-5-1) Green Bay Packers at (6-5) Detroit Lions (-6.5)

GB at Detroit

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 at Detroit Lions 21  /  Minnesota Vikings 26 at Green Bay Packers 26 (TIE)

Aaron Rodgers has not practice on the this short week and is not likely to start. Green Bay are going with long time back-up Matt Flynn, who was put in last week after Scott Tolzien started and made this nifty spin move in the first quarter:

TolzienSpinBetter

Surprisingly, some players still didn’t know that a regular season game can end in a tie, as reported on Twitter by Sports Illustrated Scott Klemko:

Screenshot (72)

Full story here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1864217-multiple-green-bay-packers-had-no-idea-game-could-end-in-a-tie?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=nfl

C’mon Man!

In the Detroit-Tampa match up Matt Stafford threw 4 interceptions, and Tampa Bay got their 3rd win of the season.

Despite the loss, the Lions are still the 3rd seed in the NFC at 6-4, although Chicago are also 6-4 and Green Bay are 5-5-1. 

Without Rodgers, and despite Detroit’s ability to beat itself, we can’t help but pick:

LIONS

However it’s unlikely they cover the spread, so take Green Bay for the points.

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THANKSGIVING THURSDAY 4:30PM GAME

(4-7) Oakland Raiders at (6-5) Dallas Cowboys (-9.5)

Raiders at Cowboys

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

Dallas Cowboys 24 at New York Football Giants 21  /  Tennessee Titans 23 at Oakland Raiders 19

Dallas is favored, but we feel Romo slipped the noose last week by not doing something stupid against the Giants and getting the win. This means he’s overdue for a major choke out against a mediocre team like Oakland.

We also really like Raiders’ QB Matt McGloin, aka McLovin’

So we’re taking:

RAIDERS

for the upset on Thanksgiving!

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THANKSGIVING THURSDAY 8:30PM GAME

(5-6) Pittsburgh Steelers at (5-6) Baltimore Ravens (-3)

Steelrs at Ravens

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

New York Jets 3 at Baltimore Ravens 19  /  Pittsburgh Steelers 27 at Cleveland Brown 11

Big Ben and the Steelers seemed to have found their mojo, and have improve to the projected 7th seed in the AFC, and are ahead of the Ravens in the division (the Bengals lead it and the Browns are in last place).

Baltimore are favored because they are the home team, and the general consensus is that these two division rivals always split their wins (Steelers winning in Pittsburgh in week 7), but after Joe Flacco & co’s lackluster performance against the Jets last week, we are not convinced.

Even if they are the defending Super Bowl champions, we’re picking:

STEELERS

for the upset on Thanksgiving!

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SUNDAY ONE O’CLOCK GAMES

(3-8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at (8-3) Carolina Panthers (-8)

BUCS AT PANTHERS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 at Detroit Lions 21   /  Carolina Panthers 20 at Miami Dolphins 16

Carolina are coming off their 8th straight win and are currently the 5th seed right behind division leader New Orleans (who they still have to play twice before the end of the season!). This can be considered another trap game, like last week against Miami, who they barely beat in the 4th quarter.

Tampa Bay seem to be surging, after starting 0-7 and have won 3 straight games. Our only reservation about taking them for the upset is that corner back Darrell Revis went out last week with a groin injury and that usually doesn’t heal 100% in 7 days.

We’ll reluctantly take:

PANTHERS

We don’t think they’ll cover the 8 point spread, so better to take Tampa for the points.

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(2-9) Jacksonville Jaguars at (4-7) Cleveland Browns (-6.5)

JAGS AT BROWNS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

Jacksonville Jaguars 13 at Houston Texans 6  /   Pittsburgh Steelers 27 at Cleveland Brown 11

With another win last week over division rivals Texans, the Jags are no longer in last place in the league or in their division!

Browns third starting QB of the season Jason Campbell sustained a concussion in the third quarter last week and it looks like Cleveland are back to where they started in week 1 with quarterback Brandon Weeden, who took over, and will get the start against the Jags.

Because of Brandon Weeden, we pick:

JAGS

Better to avoid watching this game entirely… or take Jags and the points, as we predict no touchdowns and a final score of 6-3.

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(5-6) Tennessee Titans at (7-4) Indianapolis Colts (-4.5)

TITANS AT COLTS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

Tennessee Titans 23 at Oakland Raiders 19  /  Indianapolis Colts 11 at Arizona Cardinals 40

Everyone is writing off the Colts, even though they still have a 2 game lead in their division lead over the Titans. We agree that the Trent Richardson trade was a joke, and find it disconcerting that they won’t admit to their mistake and run the ball with Donald Brown (only got 2 carries last week).

It’s hard for us to pick the Titans, as QB Ryan Fitzpatrick aka “The Amish Riffle” is streaky at best, even if he was growing a beard before it was hipster cool. Still, most analysts seem to be on the Titans’ bandwagon.

We hate bands and the wagons that carry them, so we’re going with:

COLTS

But if you can stay away from this game, then do.

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(8-3) New England Patriots (-9) at (2-9) Houston Texans

PATS AT TEXANS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

Denver Broncos 31 at New England Patriots 34 (in OT)  /  Jacksonville Jaguars 13 at Houston Texans 6

This game is so lackluster that CBS flexed it out of it’s 4:25pm start and moved it back to 1:00pm (in favor of the Broncos-Chiefs re-match).

New England is coming off their Sunday night overtime victory over Denver. If you didn’t watch this game, what’s wrong with you? We know the Pats were down 24-0 at the half, but this was  Belichick and Brady at home.

Granted they had turned the ball over 3 times half way through the first quarter.

Our highlight was Brady’s attempted “tackle” on Von Miller after the Ridley fumble:

bradytackle

But in the end it was Wes Welker who won the game, albeit for his old team:

welker muffed punted

Welker stepped up after the game and admitted it was all his fault.

Houston are terrible and now occupy the 32nd spot on most analysts’ team power rankings. Of course we’re taking:

PATS

And given how bad JJ Swatt and the Houston defence has been playing, expect New England to comfortably cover the 8 point spread. Patriots’ Back up QB Ryan Mallett could even make an appearance in the 4th quarter.

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(6-5) Chicago Bears (-1) at (2-8) Minnesota Vikings

BEARS AT VIKS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

Chicago Bears 21 at Saint Louis Rams 42  /  Minnesota Vikings 26 at Green Bay Packers 26 (TIE)

Even the oddsmakers can’t really decide who should win this game as Chicago is still starting QB Josh McCown for the injured Jay Cutler and the Vikings are starting…. does it real matter anymore? We’re told it’s Ponder, but again, does it really matter anymore.

We flipped a coin and we’re taking:

BEARS

Stay away from this game…

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(5-6) Miami Dolphins at (5-6) New York Jets (-1)

FINS AT JETS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

New York Jets 3 at Baltimore Ravens 19  / Carolina Panthers 20 at Miami Dolphins 16

Both teams have a losing record and are coming off losses, which is why oddsmakers again can’t decide who’s favored (anything under -3 should be considered a pick’em)

The Jets QB Geno Smith was really bad last week at Baltimore going 9/22 for 127 with 2 INTs. Perhaps he should consider switching to wide receiver. Our only highlight of this game was when Josh Cribs and Geno Smith switched positions, and Geno got a first down as a wide receiver:

cribbsgeno

As for Miami, our biggest confusion last week was when Miami coach Joe Philbin took a time out on defence with :46 left, when the Panthers had no time outs. It made no sense to us…

As the RealMrPlus pointed out, Joe Philbin looks like a clueless dad from an 80’s sitcom:

Joe+Philbin+Miami+Dolphins+Rookie+Camp+d754hXbIc2ol

At home, in the cold, we’ll take the home team:

 JETS

but we’re not confident about our pick and are tired of riding the Geno-coaster.

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(7-4) Arizona Cardinals at (6-5) Philadelphia Eagles (-3)

EAGLES AT CARDS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

Indianapolis Colts 11 at Arizona Cardinals 40  /  Philadelphia Eagles: bye week

Apparently we now have to take Arizona seriously as they are now the 6th seed in the NFC. Carson Palmer has now gone two games in a row without throwing a pick.

However, Philadelphia QB Nick Foles has 16 TDs and 0 INTs, albeit in 5 starts (8 games played total this season).

While the Chip Kelly offense has not revolutionize football, we think it’s enough to beat Carson Palmer who’s due for a bad game on the road:

EAGLES

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FOUR O’CLOCK SUNDAY GAMES

(2-9) Atlanta Falcons at (4-7) Buffalo Bills (-3.5) — GAME IN TORONTO, CANADA

FALCONS AT BILLS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

New Orleans Saints 17 at Atlanta Falcons 13  /  Buffalo Bills: bye week

This counts as one of Buffalo’s home games, although it will be played inside at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada. We saw the Bills beat down the Jets live at Orchard Park, New York two weeks ago, but we can’t think of a bigger snooze fest than this game.

Because the Falcons are really bad and the Bills merely mediocre we’ll take:

BILLS

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(7-4) Cincinnati Bengals at (5-6) San Diego Chargers (-2)

BENGALS AT CHARGERS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

San Diego Chargers 41 at Kansas City Chiefs 28 / Cincinnati Bengals: bye week

The Chargers game last week against the Chief had 8 lead changes , culminating in this game winning touchdown from AJIROTUTU!!!

ChargersGameWinner

At -2 for San Diego is it virtually a pick ’em, but we feel that Cincy, coming off the bye will have the edge, and Phillip Rivers is always inconsistent, especially this time of year, so we’ll take:

BENGALS

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(5-6) Saint Louis Rams at (7-4) San Francisco 49ers (-9.5)

RAMS AT 49ERS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

Chicago Bears 21 at Saint Louis Rams 42  /  San Fransisco 49ers 27 at Washington Redskins 6

This is a division game with SF coming off a short week with victory over Washington on Monday Night Football. Although the Rams had a convincing win at home last week against the Bears, we think with the return of Kapernick’s favorite target, wide receiver Michael Crabtree,  we can’t help but pick:

49ERS

who, at home, should cover the spread.

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(9-2) Denver Broncos (-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-2)

BRONCOS AT CHIEFS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

Denver Broncos 31 at New England Patriots 34 (in OT)  / San Diego Chargers 41 at Kansas City Chiefs 28

Both teams lost last week and both teams are both 9-2, with Broncos having the lead because they beat KC two weeks ago. They play for all the marbles, as the winner will lead with the 1st seed in the AFC regardless of how everyone else plays.

Peyton seemed to struggle in the cold in the cold last week against the Patriots, and the big move was Belichick deferring to the Broncos in overtime, so that they could play offense with the wind. Basically saying we don’t think Peyton can throw into the wind, in this cold, after playing for 60 minutes.

We doubt this will be an issue against Kansas City, so we pick:

BRONCOS

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SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

(4-7) New York Football Giants (-1.5) at (3-8) Washington Redskins

GIANTS AT REDSKINS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

Dallas Cowboys 24 at New York Football Giants 21  /  San Fransisco 49ers 27 at Washington Redskins 6

Not much of an evening game, but I guess NBC couldn’t flex the Denver-KC game into prime time twice in three weeks.

We could care less about either of these team, but we’ll pick:

GIANTS

But we wouldn’t put any money on it.

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MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

(9-2) New Orleans Saints at (10-1) Seattle Seahawks (-6)

SAINTS AT SEAHAWKS

LAST WEEK’S GAMES FOR BOTH TEAMS:

New Orleans Saints 17 at Atlanta Falcons 13  /  Seattle Seahawks: bye week

This is definitely the game of week. Both teams are well rested, Seattle coming off a bye, and New Orleans having played on Thursday night last week. It is also their first game together since the playoffs two years ago where the Seattle won their division with a 7-9 record, forcing the Saints at 10-6 into a road playoff game (and a loss)

We’re annoyed that the Saints didn’t cover the 9.5 point spread last week against the Falcons. TheRealMrPlus says this was predictable.  I’m going to avoid the Christmas rush and start hating him now.

Our highlight of this game was when Jimmy Graham bent the uprights with his post TD signature dunk. Wonder if he’ll get fined by the league for wrecking their shit:

Graham week 12 dunk

Nice work Jimmy

Graham bent goal posts

For this reason alone we pick:

SAINTS

Prepare to get bent, Seattle.

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iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/53johnsons-podcasts/id705309250

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