2009 NFL Football Week Fourteen Preview and Picks

2009 NFL Football Week Thirteen Preview and Picks
2009 NFL Football Week Thirteen Preview and Picks

Who Will Win Each Game, and More Importantly, Who Will Cover the Spread

I probably should have known better than to jinx myself by bringing up the fact that I had been doing much better on my picks over the past three weeks. Last week, I ended taking a bit of step back on the picks. In fact, it might have been my single worst week both on picking straight up winners and picking against the spread. I even got heckled a little bit over on the Bleacher Report.

Of course, it didn't help that there were a bunch of upsets last weak. Nor are Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Oakland, making things easy for me with their up one week and down the next style of playing this week. Plus, I fell for the sucker bet with the 1-15 trend of Denver in Kansas City during December. Trends that are that one sided are usually pretty solid, but I guess eventually new trends have to start.

So, when all was said and done, I ended up 7-9 straight up (SU) for the week and an ugly 5-11 against the spread (ATS). That leaves me with an overall record of 117-73 straight up and 97-92-2 against the spread for the season.

NFL Bloopers

Michael Vick came back to Atlanta and rubbed their face in the dirt
Michael Vick came back to Atlanta and rubbed their face in the dirt

Have Your Say

What did you like most about week thirteen?

  • Michael Vick's triumphant return to Atlanta
  • Seattle going for the win instead of playing for overtime
  • Bruce Gradkowski scoring more TD's in one quarter than JaMarcuss Russell had all season
  • Tom Brady's refutation of the risk fallacy of labor relations
  • Something else (put it in the comments)
See results without voting

What I Liked in Week Thirteen

  1. Michael Vick Finally Having an Impact (kinda) - Seems that if Philly wants to justify their signing of Michael Vick they should play Atlanta (or some other team they can beat by 30 points) every week. It wasn't exactly a huge impact because the game was hardly competitive after the opening kickoff, but I've been pretty critical of Vick all season, so I'll give him credit where it's due. His 63 total yards (46 passing and 17 rushing) in this game almost matched the 73 total yards he had contributed to the Eagles' offense before the trip to Atlanta. Vick also had a very nice 43-yard bomb to Reggie Brown to go along with his 5 yard TD run. It was enough to get the Falcons fans, who initially were booing him to do one of those Rocky turn-arounds and chant "We want Vick! We want Vick!'' by the end of the game. I'm still of the opinion that they can have him back, but it was a good day for him.
  2. Seattle Playing For the Win Instead of Overtime - I one of the things I hate is teams that squander a chance to win in regulation hoping that they can win in overtime. Overtime is sudden death and there are no guarantees that you will even get the ball in the extra period. Yet most teams play for overtime in the closing seconds of a tied game instead of trying to score, because they are afraid of losing in regulation on a turnover. The propensity of that mindset actually helped the Seahawks win in week thirteen. With only 18 seconds remaining in a game tied at 17 and the ball at midfield, the 49ers defense was covering as if the Seahawks would just run the clock out. Instead they called for a deep pass to Deon Butler, which gained 32 yards and set up the game winning field goal as time expired.
  3. Gradkowski Throwing More TD's in the 4th Quarter Than Russell Threw All Season - Derek Anderson did create some doubt earlier in the season about whether JaMarcus Russell is the worst QB in the NFL. However since Russell was benched a few weeks back, Bruce Gradkowski has left little doubt that Russell isn't even the best QB on his own team. Against the Steelers in week thirteen, Gradkowski threw three touchdowns in the fourth quarter of the Raiders' upset. In nine games as a starter this season, Russell threw two touchdowns.
  4. This Quote From Tom Brady - "The commissioner has talked about the risk the owners take. We're not financially invested in ownership, so we don't face that, but we're physically invested in this. What's the price tag for that? Ask Kevin Everett (the Buffalo TE who s now paralyzed as a result of an onfield injury) the price tag. We feel we take great risk every time we take the field. I'm sure the owners feel they take great risk every time they invest their money. Where is the common ground? That's what we need to find.'' The idea that owners (or investors) are the only ones who face a risk, even in jobs where workers face enormous physical risks, is one of the biggest fallacies of labor relations. The fact that NFL players are compensated very well doesn't change that. The risk of losing money doesn't outweigh the risk of a permanent debilitating injury. It's especially less of a bargaining chip when the owners' risk is mitigated by the fact that the NFL (an eight billion dollar a year industry) is officially a non-profit organization, which allows it to not pay taxes and sell tax free bonds to fund stadium construction, most of which are also subsidized by taxes.

Troy Aikman's tenth and final concussion
Troy Aikman's tenth and final concussion

Have Your Say

What did you like the least about week thirteen?

  • Troy Aikman saying that players should just "accept" head injuries as a part of the game
  • Josh Freeman throwing five interceptions against the Panthers
  • Green Bay and Baltimore's sloppy Monday night game
  • Flozell Adams being a scumbag (again)
  • Something else (put it in the comments)
See results without voting

What I Didn't Like in Week Thirteen

  1. This Quote From Troy Aikman - "At some point I think players have to understand that there are certain risks that are involved, and if you decide that you want to go out and play football, then you've got to understand that part of that means you're going to break some bones and you may have some head injuries. But if you try to eliminate all of those things, then we're no longer playing football." I don't disagree that players should be prepared for injuries and they have to accept that they are a part of the game. Nor do I disagree that you can't completely eliminate hard impacts and the associated injuries without watering the game down and destroying what attracts people to it. However, I do disagree with (possibly unintentional) implication that trying to eliminate those risks will ruin the game. Fact is that there are specially designed mouthpieces and helmets that have been proven in studies to lesson the risk of concussions. Furthermore, just the act of allowing for proper healing is a key to avoiding unnecessary head trauma. The tape it up and get back in there mentality isn't so bad when you have a sprained ankle or a broken finger, but it's a lot different when you are talking about brain trauma. And as we saw concerning Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner in week 12, that mentality is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to addressing concussion related issues. Someone such as Troy Aikman, who had to retire early because of repeated concussions, should know better. Limping in your old age doesn't even begin to compare to not being able to function because your brain is scrambled.
  2. Josh Freeman Throwing Five Interceptions - I had some hope for Josh Freeman when he first started. I even picked the Bucs a few times based on his strong play in his first couple starts. Maybe it's just the freshman jitters or maybe it was beginners luck, but either way, the bloom is off the rose. Apparently, there is some rule that any game the Panthers play must feature four or five turnovers. Since Carolina's regular turnover machine was on the bench, Freeman picked up the slack for Jake Delhomme by tossing five touchdowns. The Panthers proved their own offensive prowess by scoring just 16 points in spite of the helping hand provided by Tampa Bay's rookie QB.
  3. Nine Pass Interference Penalties by the Packers and Ravens - This game might just be the most sloppy game ever played. Fortunately, it was featured on Monday Night Football for all the world to witness. The Baltimore Ravens gained more yards (135) by penalty than they gained passing (119). Similarly, the Green Bay Packers gained more yards (175) by penalty than they gained rushing (94). Between them they gained 535 net yards and committed 254 yards in penalties. Then to top it off, Joe Flacco threw three interceptions, Aaron Rodgers threw two interceptions, and both teams lost a fumble, while combining for seven turnovers.
  4. Flozell Adams Acting Like a Dirtbag - Adams, who at one time was an elite tackle, has always been a dirty player, but the depths of his low tactics have increased as his abilities have diminished has now been fined four times this season for blatant cheap shots. The latest, pushing Justin Tuck from behind and almost starting a bench clearing brawlat the end of the first half against the Giants, cost him $50,000 and brought his season total to $75,000. (Fortunately, false starts aren't a fine able offense or Adams might be in debt from the fines.) As Tuck said, pushing someone from behind because he's getting the best of you in the game is just cowardly.

Yet another routine missed kick this season costs the Redskins a most improbable upset
Yet another routine missed kick this season costs the Redskins a most improbable upset

Have Your Say

What is the most significant thing you learned in week thirteen?

  • The Football Gods hate the Redskins
  • This is the worst season ever for kickers
  • The Steelers completely falling apart
  • The AFC East is far from settled
  • Something else (put it in the comments)
See results without voting

What I Learned in Week Thirteen

  1. The Football Gods Hate the Redskins - I'm not sure of the exact source for the Redskins bad relationship with the Football Gods, although I am pretty sure it somehow involves Dan Snyder. Any lingering doubts that Washington has some bad mojo working was eliminated against the Saints last week. The Redskins had about every chance in the world to win that game and yet somehow managed to lose. From the interception that was in turn fumbled and returned for a touchdown, to the missed field goal that was essentially an extra point and the subsequent 33 second game tying drive. Nobodywould have bought this scenario if it was a movie script. Even after winning the coin toss, which usually is a precursor to an overtime win, the Redskins got slapped down by fate (and a bad replay decision) when they fumbled just outside of field goal range to set up the Saints victory.
  2. This is the Worst Year Ever for Kickers - Speaking of bad missed filed goals, this is the worst year I've ever seen for kickers. Earlier this year, the Ravens lost three games as a result of missed field goals, including two in the final seconds of games they lost by less than three points. After the second instance they finally fired Steve Hauschka. The next week is replacement missed yet another field goal. Similarly the Texans lost both games they played against the Colts because of missed field goals. In addition to blowing the game winning kick against the Saints last week Saun Suishman of the Redskins (who also was fired this week) missed two easy field goals in a game the Skins lost to the Cowboys by one point. It seems like every week there is a team losing a game because of a kicker missing a routine field goal.
  3. The Steelers Won't be Unleashing Hell on Anyone Anymore - After their ugly loss to the Raiders you can all but officially count the Steelers out of the running for the playoffs. They were already struggling on defense without Troy Polamalu in the lineup. Now on top of that, Hines Ward and William Gay are injured and neither are likely to play this week. They still have a decent chance of beating Cleveland without them, but there is no guarantee after what happened in Oakland. After that, they play Green Bay, Baltimore, and Miami. Which means they might not win another game this season. Much more likely than not, this will be another season where they miss the playoffs after a Super Bowl win.
  4. There Might be a Dogfight in the AFC East After All - I still think the Patriots are going to win the AFC East once all the dust settles, but they sure have bounced from one extreme to the next this season. Out of the gate they looked like a shell of their former selves and seemed like the changing of the guard was imminent. Then they reeled off a bunch of impressive wins while everyone collapsed around them to look like their old dominant selves. Act three has been pretty close to those first games. There didn't seem to be reason to panic after a close loss to the Colts or even a blow out loss to the Saints, but their lackluster loss to Miami is enough to inspire wonder if the dynasty is about to fall. It'll be interesting to see if they bounce back in the final four games of this season or collapse upon themselves.

Neither one of theses guys had a good day against the Cardinals
Neither one of theses guys had a good day against the Cardinals

Have Your Say

What is the thing you were least surprised by in week thirteen?

  • Brett Favre going downhill fast in week 13
  • The Vikings getting completely exposed against the Cardinals
  • Alex Smith finally showing some promise for the future
  • Matt Cassell not showing much promise at all for the future
  • Something else (put it in the comments)
See results without voting

What I Already Knew

  1. Thirteen Might be an Unlucky Number for Favre - Over the past five years, Brett Favre has developed quite a habit of falling apart at the end of the season. As I mentioned in a Bleacher Report article after last weeks loss to the Cardinals, the high point of the Jets season last year was week twelve and week thirteen was when it promptly began to unravel. Which means that the fact he played well through twelve weeks in Minnesota is no guarantee that he will avoid the end of season swoon this season. In fact, his stats show exactly the opposite. In the past five seasons, he has thrown 99 touchdowns with 51 interceptions through eleven games and just 15 touchdowns with 36 interceptions during the final five weeks. that's far from a minor variation.
  2. The Vikings are Overrated - The other problem that might contribute to a significant disappointment by Favre is the fact that the Vikings are simply overrated. I fully expected and even predicted last week that Minnesota would be exposed against the Cardinals and Bengals. They were exposed even more than I thought they would be, but their 10-1 record had much more to do with their schedule having a grand total of one team with a winning record prior to the Cardinals. Plus, that one winning team is Green Bay, whose own schedule is loaded with cupcakes.
  3. Alex Smith Might Stick Around for a While - In spite of losing to the Seahawks, the Forty-Niners at least seem to have finally found a potential quarterback of the future and he comes from the past. For the most part, Alex Smith has continued playing well since being resurrected from the dustbin of draft busts in week seven. Last week, he actually had his best game yet while throwing for 310 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. If he carries this kind of play over into next season the 49ers might have a legitimate franchise QB.
  4. Matt Cassell is This Year's A.J. Feeley- Matt Cassell, on the other hand, looks like another case of a backup QB who does well because he is on a solid team and opposing defenses don't know anything about him. As in the case of the Eagles' A.J. Feeley before him, Cassell parlayed his momentary success into a starting roll on another team and a bog time contract. Thus far, the end result looks like it will be about the same as Feeley's not so fairytale like ending was in Miami. His 10-29 passing with two interceptions against the Broncos was the low point of a less than spectacular season.

I love that cameraman in the back ground (and his friend with the big smile)
I love that cameraman in the back ground (and his friend with the big smile)

Have Your Say

Which Prediction Do You Think is Most Likely to Happen?

  • The Cowboys are primed for another cold December
  • Indianapolis needs to keep their foot on the pedal
  • Denver is back in the hunt again
  • Arizona is getting hot at the right time again
  • Something else (put it in the comments)
See results without voting

Predictions for Week Fourteen

  1. The Cowboys Will Fade in December Again (even if they play well) - Dallas has put together a pretty solid record of folding up their tents as soon as the calendar reaches the final page recently. Their record is 15-29 in December over the past decade. So it isn't a big shock that they lost badly to the Giants and looked terrible doing it. The problem for the Cowboys (and for Wade Philips' job security) is that with their schedule this December, even if they do play up to their potential, they could still lose at least two of their final four games and end up with a losing record in December. The Cowboys play San Diego, New Orleans, Washington, and Philadelphia to close out the season. The Saints are the Saints, plus the Chargers and Eagles are both playing very well right now. Dallas could easily lose three out of four of those games and when you factor in the Redskins rivalry, they could even lose all four. Even if they do make the playoffs, they are going to have to d something once they get there or the questions will start all over again. 
  2. Indy Needs To Play Out the String - The forgone conclusion is that the Colts are going to rest their starters once they clinch home field advantage, which could happen as soon as this week, regardless of whether they have a chance to finish undefeated. The problem is that this has worked out badly for them in the past. Indianapolis has been the winningest regular-season team of this decade (and only two games away from the winningest in any decade), have won 21 straight regular season games, and have been to the playoffs eight straight seasons. So they are obviously the most dominant team in recent times. Yet every year that they rested their starters in the final games (five times) they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Yet the one year they played their starters all the way through week 17, thy ended up winning the Super Bowl. The question of whether they should try for a undefeated season is the wrong one to focus on. Even if they lose a game before clinching, they need to keep the momentum going into the playoffs.
  3. Denver Is Back - Somehow the Broncos may have managed to pull themselves back together after looking like they might not win another game three weeks ago. Granted the Giants weren't playing well at the time and were already making excuses for losing before the game even started and the Chiefs are pretty horrible, but they did beat New York and Kansas City by an average of 25 points the past two games. At this point, especially with both the Ravens and Steelers collapsing, they are pretty much assured of a wild card spot.
  4. Arizona is Getting Hot at the Right Time Again - After the regular season last year the Cardinals looked like the most unlikely team to go anywhere, let alone make it to the Super Bowl. But they got hot at the right time and rode that all the way to the big game. Their dismantling of the Vikings in week 13 could very well be a sign that, much like last year,  they are starting to play their best late in the season. After a slow start, they have been playing progressively better all season. Right now, the Cards are my favorites to meet the Saints in the NFC Championship. They are also one of the few teams that might have the offense to keep up with New Orleans.

My Picks for the 2009 Week Fourteen NFL Games

Thu, Dec 10
5:20 PM (PST)
6:20 PM (MST)
7:20 PM (CST)
8:20 PM (EST)
Favorite
Underdog
Point Spread
Straight Up
Against the Spread
Pittsburgh
@Cleveland
10.0
Pittsburgh
Cleveland
Sun, Dec 13
10:00 AM (PST)
11:00 AM (MST)
12:00 PM (CST)
1:00 PM (EST)
New Orleans
@Atlanta
10.5
New Orleans
New Orleans
Green Bay
@Chicago
3.0
Green Bay
Chicago
@Indianapolis
Denver
7.0
Indianapolis
@Indianapolis
@Kansas City
Buffalo
0.0
Buffalo
Buffalo
@Minnesota
Cincinnati
6.5
Cincinnati
Cincinnati
@New England
Carolina
13.5
New England
New England
New York Jets
@Tampa Bay
3.0
New York Jets
New York Jets
@Jacksonville
Miami
2.5
Jacksonville
Miami
@Baltimore
Detroit
13.0
Baltimore
Detroit
@Houston
Seattle
6.0
Seattle
Seatte
Sun, Dec 13
1:00 PM (PST)
2:00 PM (MST)
3:00 PM (CST)
4:00 PM (EST)
@Tennessee
St. Louis
13.0
Tennessee
Tennessee
Washington
@Oakland
1.0
Washington
Washington
Dallas
San Diego
3.0
San Diego
San Diego
Sun, Dec 13
5:20 PM (PST)
6:20 PM (MST)
7:20 PM (MST)
8:20 PM (EST)
@New York Giants
Philadelphia
1.0
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Mon, Dec 14
5:30 PM (PST)
6:30 PM (MST)
7:30 PM (M)
8:30 PM (EST)
Arizona
@San Francisco
3.0
Arizona
Arizona

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5 comments

jbsweet profile image

jbsweet 6 years ago from Cleveland, Oh

I love your hub...excellent!


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

It goes without saying my favorite part of week 13 was the Giant win over the Cowdirls.. .and the only game I disagree with is the Giants will beat (fingers crossed) the Iggles.

I loved the Bloopers . .great way to start a great Hub!


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Thanks jbsweet.

Wavegirl I agree that Cowgirls losing was a highlight of wek 13, but I'm very much looking forward to the Iggles trouncing the Giants in week 14.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

ok Eye you got your wish .. . even though you cant say it was a "troucing" the Iggles got the win in their column and the Jints went down one. . .


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

I was also wishing a couple more of these teams would cover the spread, but I'll settle for the Eagles being alone in first place and the Cowboys looking like they might not win another game this year.

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