NFL Office Pool Picks - Week 13
by Trevor Whenham - 12/1/2009
It was a solid week last week - one of those ones that makes you feel like you like you have this whole NFL office pool picks thing figured out. That's almost always a dangerous sentiment, but let's go with it anyway. Here's what we have in Week 13 - a week that seems set up for us to do well. Remember, these picks are straight up as always, not against the spread.
N.Y. Jets vs. Buffalo - This game is played in Toronto, so there won't be a home field advantage to speak of. Mark Sanchez isn't completely healthy and could be limited in his play. Both teams are coming off of nice wins, but I took more from what I saw from Buffalo, and I like their chances of replicating it better than the Jets. Take the Bills.
Philadelphia at Atlanta - The Eagles are a frustrating team to me - they never seem to play quite as well as they should be able to. That being said, they are up against a team that has two big offensive stars - Michael Turner and Matt Ryan - and both are facing injuries. Take the Eagles.
Tampa Bay at Carolina - Both of these teams have a whole lot of problems, but the difference between them seems to be attitude - Tampa Bay is still playing with optimism while Carolina is clearly frustrated. Tampa Bay has come close to getting their second win a couple of times recently against better opponents than Carolina, so I expect them to finally get it here. Take the Bucs.
St. Louis at Chicago - The Bears are a mess right now, and I really hate the thought of having to trust them. Still,they are at home against a pretty lousy team that doesn't play particularly well outside when it's cold. If the Bears can't win this one then they are even worse than I think they are. Take the Bears.
Detroit at Cincinnati - I'll spend very little time on this one. Detroit was really terrible on Thanksgiving day. Cincinnati is supposed to be a contender. Contenders don't lose games like this. Take the Bengals.
Tennessee at Indianapolis - I have spent a lot of time thinking about this one. Tennessee is red hot, the Colts are going to lose at some point, and a Titans' win would be a great story. Still, I ultimately can't pull the trigger on picking the upset. Indianapolis is very tough at home, and Manning far eclipses Young. Take the Colts.
Houston at Jacksonville - On pure talent Houston should have this one. The Texans just have a major deficit of heart, though - as witnessed in their collapse against the Colts. Jacksonville is a team I like more than most, and they can still stay alive in the wild card picture with a win here. Take the Jaguars.
Denver at Kansas City - A week ago I would have had to think more about this one than I do now. The Broncos impressed me tremendously with the way they shed their issues and manhandled the Giants. The Chiefs just looked demoralized as they got crushed by the Chargers. Denver is by far the better team right now. Take the Broncos.
Oakland at Pittsburgh - The Steelers are not at all playing well right now. They have too much talent to stay in a freefall forever, though, and this is a good spot for them to get their mojo back. I like Oakland a lot better with Gradkowski than Russell, but I still don't like them. Take the Steelers.
New Orleans at Washington - After watching the Saints play on Monday night I'm not sure that there is any team that can beat them. They probably won't be as good here as they were on Monday, but they don't need to be. The Redskins just aren't in the same class. Take the Saints.
New England at Miami - The Patriots have to be humiliated after their trip to New Orleans. When this tam is bouncing back from humiliation it generally isn't good news for their opponents. I like the direction Miami is headed in, but this one could get ugly. Take the Patriots.
San Diego at Cleveland - One of the two or three best teams in the AFC visiting the worst team in the league. Seems fairly obvious, doesn't it? Take the Chargers.
Dallas at N.Y. Giants - Tough game because these teams don't like each other and are always ready to play when they meet. Dallas is playing significantly better than the Giants right now, though, and Tony Romo is in a better place than Eli Manning. Take the Cowboys.
San Francisco at Seattle - Alex Smith played a great game last week and they got a big win. The Niners are not out of the NFC West race - they could be one game out after this week - and they'll be motivated by that here against a lousy Seattle team. Take the Niners.
Minnesota at Arizona - When the Minnesota offensive machine is playing in a dome with perfect conditions they are scary. Arizona has lacked consistency recently, and we can't be sure of the state of their quarterbacks. The Vikings are clearly the better team. Take the Vikings.
Baltimore at Green Bay - This is the hardest game of the week in my eyes. I like a lot of things about both teams, but they also both have a whole boatload of flaws. When I close my eyes and think about these two teams I am left with the feeling that the Ravens are the better squad, so that's really all I have to separate the squads. In other words, this isn't my most confident pick. Take the Ravens.