NFL Survivor Pool Advice - Week 12
by Drew Mangione - 11/20/2007
Bill Belichick is a vengeful man. He's come under flack for running up the score (the over is 8-2 in Patriot games this year). However, he's not running up the score against the teams he's playing. He's getting revenge. He's tearing down the legend of the league's biggest star and further elevating his sixth-round stroke of genius like he's playing a season of Madden 2008. Tom Brady may have tossed that fifth touchdown pass to Ben Watson against the Bills, but the score went against the NFL and Peyton Manning record 49 TDs.
This is why it didn't surprise me when Randy Moss had four end zone grabs. Terrell Owens continuously knocked Belichick's WR last season, so surely if Dallas's loudmouth wideout had four scores in one game, the Patriots rehabilitated superstar had to have that many in one half. So when I count my blessings this Thursday, I'll be glad that my Jets suck this year. I feel sorry for Dallas fans and Colts fans and Packers fans. Be glad if your team stinks this year. Worry about revenge next year.
With that said, let's talk about survivor pools. If you're still alive: well done. I'm expanding the range of picks this week, because you're probably scraping the bones of that deep-fried turkey. This late in the season, you probably feel like your stuck with the part of the turkey that goes over the fence last, since that carnivorous relative who scoffs at the idea of gnoshing vegetables just claimed four portions of bird for himself. So here are my Week 12 picks:
New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys (-14) (4:15 p.m. Thursday): The Jets pulled off a tremendous upset Sunday, caused in part by the Trailman Big Bobby D's cell phone call to me from the game pronouncing his Steelers victorious after Kellen Clemens threw a pick late in the fourth quarter. Don't count the turkeys before they're hatched. Still, the Cowboys were at home on Sunday, giving them an extra day of practice since the Jets had to travel. It may be ugly in the first half, but Dallas will pull away.
Indianapolis Colts (-11.5) at Atlanta Falcons (8:15 p.m. Thursday): If a game is played on the NFL network and nobody watches, does it still count? Should you have DirectTV and you've escaped a food coma, don't be surprised if the Falcons make this close. Like the Cowboys, Bobby Petrino's club did not have to travel and besides, I think I just got a call to bring my 300lbs south to help Indy's offensive line.
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars (-7.5) (1 p.m. Sunday): The Bills are giving up 120 yards on the ground each game and with wins over the Jets twice, Miami, Baltimore and Cincinnati, I wonder how much stock we can put in the Bills' resurgence prior to Sunday night. The Jags can run and did so against better defenses in Tennessee and at home against San Diego.
Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants (-7.5) (1 p.m. Sunday): Everyone is expecting the Coughlin Crumble, or at least I'm waiting for it. However, the G-men's D-men abused a high-powered Lions offense. Then again, their lame secondary could look good when run support wasn't even a thought in their head all game long. Strahan and Umenyiora face a more formidable line this week and if Adrian Peterson plays, this could be upset city. Then again, I can't figure out why Tavaris Jackson is preferred to Brooks Bollinger or you for that matter.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) (1 p.m. Sunday): Scraping the bottom of the barrel and here we find the Chiefs at home against the Raiders. Herm Edwards likes to run the ball and Oakland's D is allowing almost 190 rushing yards per game on the road. How sweet would it be to win your pool by picking the lowly Chiefs?
Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals (NL) (1 p.m. Sunday): The once top-notch Titans D has looked average without Albert Haynesworth and Nick Harper. If they're out, the Bengals have a chance.
Seattle Seahawks (-3) at St. Louis Rams (1 p.m. Sunday): Two in a row? Three? The Seahawks have won five straight against the Rams, regardless of where they play. Though it's been an up and down year for Seattle, they seem better off with Maurice Morris running the ball, rather than Shawn Alexander, who has pushed down so much grass, he's being implicated in crop circle frauds.
Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) (1 p.m. Sunday): The Redskins should be in the midst of a four-game losing streak, were it not for a second half collapse by the Jets three weeks ago. Jeff Garcia's squad has continued to improve and should hold on in this one.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (-10.5) (4 p.m. Sunday): Signs of the Apocalypse: The Cardinals are favored by 10 or more points. Alas, the 49ers suck.
Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers (-9.5) (4 p.m. Sunday): Can you count on either of these teams?
Philadelphia Eagles at New England (-22) (8:15 p.m. Sunday): The Patriots beat Philly in the Super Bowl three years ago, when the Eagles were better and the Pats were worse. The only thing that might surprise anyone in this game is if the blitzing D can injure Brady.
Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers (-16) (8:30 Monday): The Dolphins almost beat the Jets and the Jets beat the Steelers. That means this one will be close. Oh, wait, do you remember what Roethlisberger did on Monday night a couple weeks ago? After two poor performances, look for a rebound game.