NFL Office Pool Picks Week 13
by Trevor Whenham - 11/25/2014
Bye-bye, bye weeks. We are finally back to a full slate of games every week in the NFL. It's how it should be - bye weeks just limit our action and cloud our handicapping. When bye weeks end we know we are heading into the heart of the season, and every game matters more than ever - at least for teams with something left to play for. Here's a look at how I expect the games to break down this week for your office pools:
Chicago at Detroit: I have been very disappointed in the Lions lately. I just don't understand how an offense with so many tools can be so hopeless. Still, I have no choice but to trust them here because the Bears have been even more frustrating and hopeless in recent weeks. The Bears are done, but the Lions have a lot to salvage, and a win here would be a good first step. Take the Lions.
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Philadelphia at Dallas: The Cowboys won a big divisional game last week and overcame the catch of the century to do so. The Eagles faced an easier opponent but still made Zach Mettenberger look good. Tony Romo's health is tough to trust, but I'd take an injured Romo over a healthy Mark Sanchez any day. Take the Cowboys.
Seattle at San Francisco: The playoff hopes of one of these squads will take a massive hit here. Both teams are playing much better lately. It comes down to geography. I'd take the home team wherever the game was played. That means I'll take the 49ers.
Washington at Indianapolis: Washington just isn't very good. Indianapolis is quite good, though they have some issues - like Andrew Luck's sudden love of fumbling. Despite that, this isn't one to think too hard about. Take the Colts.
Tennessee at Houston: This one comes down to a QB battle. Zach Mettenberger has been solid for the Titans. Houston doesn't really have a QB - or not one that excites, anyway. Take the Titans.
Cleveland at Buffalo: Tough game to pick here at this point because we don't know for sure if Buffalo will be affected by the weather after-effects. They were dominant against the Jets, but New York is impossibly bad right now, so that means little. Cleveland won, but it wasn't pretty, and they would have lost if Mike Smith knew anything about clock management. Have to take the home team - the Bills are the pick.
San Diego at Baltimore: Both teams are 7-4, but neither inspires right now. Both have won their last two but had struggled before that. It's a coin flip. I'll take the Ravens, but only because they are at home.
N.Y. Giants at Jacksonville: The Giants have all sorts of issues and are on the brink of some major changes. Luckily for them, the Jaguars have much more serious issues - on the field, at least - and they are no match for New York here. Take the Giants.
Cincinnati at Tampa Bay: I don't understand or trust this Cincinnati team, but they have played reasonably well of late. Tampa Bay is easier to understand - they just aren't very good. Take the Bengals.
Oakland at St. Louis: Oakland finally got a win, and there are things they have done for a few weeks that are impressive despite all of their major issues. St. Louis shot themselves in the foot with a horrible interception late in their last game, but they have played well lately. Take the Rams.
New Orleans at Pittsburgh: Hard to trust the Saints at all right now. They have been a huge disappointment at home where they should shine, and their defense is just a horror show. Pittsburgh's offense can be potent, and it should be here. Take the Steelers.
Carolina at Minnesota: Carolina is coming off a bye, but it is hard to imagine that an extra week will be enough for them to overcome their issues. Minnesota played the Packers tough last week and does a lot of things well. Take the Vikings.
Arizona at Atlanta: The Cardinals had a humbling loss to the Seahawks last week. Luckily, Atlanta is a great remedy for their woes. Atlanta is a mess of a team, and they are outclassed here, The coaching mismatch is as big as is possible in the league. Take the Cardinals.
New England at Green Bay: What a game. Aaron Rodgers is dialed in and at the top of his game. New England is showing offensive creativity and versatility like we rarely see. This will be a chess match between grandmasters. I'll take the Packers, but only because they are at home.
Denver at Kansas City: The Chiefs should be ready for this one because they were obviously looking ahead to it already when they were supposed to be playing Oakland last week. I really hate how Denver's offensive line is playing right now, and Kansas City can exploit that. Take the Chiefs.
Miami at N.Y. Jets: The Jets on Monday night were as bad as a team has been at any time this year. It was humiliating. Take the Dolphins.
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