The Sports Man Weekly NFL Picks (Week 13)

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This is NFL week 13. Thirteen has historically been a lucky number. Well, not for the astronauts of Apollo 13. Not really for the campers of Crystal Lake and victims of Jason Voorhies. I suppose not for Alex Rodriguez and his Yankee years either. Come to think of it, maybe the number thirteen kind of sucks. No, I refuse to believe that, I have faith in the redemption of thirteen. I’m taking it back!! The week started off good with two competitive games on Thanksgiving and I sense the trend continuing Sunday. Here’s a look at what will be the finest regular season week of the year (or so I’m hoping)…

Carolina over Tampa Bay
After losing every game the Bucs are actually on a three game winning streak. However, the Panthers are on a seven game winning streak. Carolina won this meeting five weeks ago 31-13. The Panthers defense is playing the best in the league right now and Tampa will have no answer for the versatility of Cam Newton.

Arizona over Philadelphia
Even thought the Eagles have won three in a row that can be misleading. The wins came against Oakland, Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay and Washington. The Cardinals have look much more impressive in their four game winning streak. 27 points scored in three straight before putting up 40 last week. The Cardinals defense is better than the Eagles offense in this one.

Cleveland over Jacksonville
Maurice Jones-Drew is looking like his old self lately. He has three straight games with a touchdown and last week hd his best yardage output with 84 in Houston. The Browns have lost five of their last six. Even with the Jaguars winning two of their last three it’s difficult for me to see them beating the Browns in Cleveland. Would I be shocked if they did, no. That being said I’m going on gut feeling here taking the Browns.

Indianapolis over Tennessee
I know the Colts defense is struggling right now. I know the Titans offense is vastly improved. The emergence of Justin Hunter last week (109 yards and a TD) and the fact that Delanie Walker put up excellent numbers against the Colts last time (10 catches for 91 yards) sways the pendulum in the Titans favor. Again, I’m going with gut instinct here. The Colts need this win to stop the Titans from making a run at the division and Andrew Luck won’t let that happen.

New England over Houston
If you haven’t taken the Patriots in a survivor pool yet (and I don’t see how you haven’t) this is the week to do it. The Texans won their first two games on the year, then proceeded to lose nine straight. New England has won three of four and it would have been four straight if not for the controversial ending against the Panthers. They’re riding a high after last weeks improbable second half comeback over the Broncos. This game is over by the half.

New York Jets over Miami
This games as easy to predict as the end of an M. Night Shyamalan movie. It may just as disappointing too. Both teams are fighting for the final AFC playoff spot and it looks by last weeks games that neither team wants it. The game in in New York so I’ll give the Jets a slight advantage. If Geno Smith can keep from throwing an interception every other possession and getting benched again the Jets will win.

Chicago over Minnesota
Stop Adrian Peterson and you stop the Vikings. Well that’s obviously easier said than done. The Bears defense hasn’t been the same as the season has progressed but the offense has picked them up. Josh McCown has played so well in the absence of Jay Cutler that some in the Chicago area are talking of him being the QB of the future. I’m sure having Brandon Marshall to throw to makes his job easier. That tandem will hook up early and often in this one and gives the Bears a win.

Buffalo over Atlanta
We give Toronto a taste of real football and the best we can offer is Bills against Falcons? We’d have been better off sending the lingerie league up there. Regardless, the Bills should come up with a win here. Atlanta stinks like my 15-months old diapers against the run. Guess where the Bills strength is? You guessed it. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller will both have a monster game (think around 65 yards and a score for each).

San Francisco over St. Louis
I know the Rams seem to play San Francisco tough every time but the 49ers are battling for a playoff spot and I see no way they let an inferior Rams team stop them. With this game in San Francisco I’d expect the 49ers to come out strong and establish the passing game. Look for big things from Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree.

Denver over Kansas City
This one’s basically for all the marbles in the division. The Chiefs are getting exposed as the over achieving team we all knew they were the last two weeks. That trend doesn’t stop this week. The Broncos are out to prove to the world they are still AFC favorites after last weeks collapse against the Patriots and the Chiefs will be their whipping boy. Against a banged up Kansas City defense the Broncos will have nearly 40 points in this one (BOLD PREDICTION!!)

Cincinnati over San Diego
The Bengals are trying to hold off the Ravens for the division. The Chargers are trying to catch the Ravens for the last playoff spot in the AFC. When I started writing I picked the Chargers but as I looked at the numbers I convinced myself the Bengals have the advantage. Giovanni Bernard will find holes in a struggling Chargers run D and Andy Dalton will pick apart a secondary that has given up eight touchdown passes in the last three games. Even with the loss of Geno Atkins the Bengals have not missed a beat on the pass rush. Philip Rivers won’t have much time in the pocket to find his receivers or backs.

New York Giants over Washington
The Giants crushing loss last week all but ended fans hopes of a miracle playoff run. The shining spot in Giants fans lives now…they’re are the worst team in the division!! That honor goes to the dysfunctional Deadskins and two-time Super Bowl winning coach that may be on the hot seat. Mike Shannahan cant seem to get the locker room in order and it carries over to the field. As long as Eli Manning doesn’t turn the ball over (and that may be a tall task for him) against a secondary with holes in it that would sink the Titanic the Giants should get their fifth victory in six games.

Joe Namath Pantyhose Pick Of The Week–> The Browns and Jaguars is such a horrible game. Fans in Cleveland should petition to have it blacked out on local television just so they’d get to see an actual entertaining game. That makes it the perfect pick for this section. Browns win a stinker 20-13.

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