2009 NFL Football Week Thirteen 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

Now that the big Monday night clash between the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots is behind us, I think we are about done with matchups of the year at least until the playoffs start. We do still have some potential big games coming up though, such as this weeks Titans-Colts battle.

The Cowboys and Giants game is another that could get a bit heated. Also, the Seahawks-Niners game could be one of those ones like the Titans-Cardinals game that kinda sneaks up on you and turns into a classic.

So in other news, it must be getting close to the end of the season because my pick percentage is getting higher as the weeks go by. As I mentioned in my season preview, I tend to get better at picking games as the season progresses. Last week I ended up with a 10-6 record straight up (winners) and a 10-5-1 record against the spread. So after twelve weeks, my overall record stands at 110-64 straight up and 92-80-2 against the spread. I'm finally starting to make some headway against the casinos.

Top Ten Coach's Rants

Kenny Britt Celebrates his Game Winning TD catch
Kenny Britt Celebrates his Game Winning TD catch

Have Your Say

What did you like most about week twelve?

See results without voting

What I Liked in Week Twelve

  1. The Titans vs. Cardinals Game is High on the List for Game of the Year - There have been some great games this season and there are a couple you can make an argument for ahead of this game. The Colts' victory over the Patriots and the Vikings' last second win over the Niners would be in that category. But there is no way you can leave the Titan's week twelve victory out of the conversation. This game had everything you could ask for in a game from the seemingly game ending fumble on the penultimate drive to the 18-play, 99-yard touchdown drive with just 2:37 remaining for the game winning TD. Plus, this game featured plenty of redemption. Kenny Britt, who caught 7 passes for 128 yards including that last second score, was the guy who fumbled on the previous drive. And of course Vince Young not only resurrecting his career and the Tennessee's hopes for the playoffs, but also making up for blowing an opportunity to score a field goal at the end of the first half when he held the ball too long and let the clock run out.
  2. The Saints Removed All Doubts Monday -I did pick the Saints to win the Super Bowl in my season preview, so I've been on their bandwagon from the start. However, I did waver a bit during their stretch of games where they got into the habit of starting late. I never actually changed my mind about them winning it all, but I did think they were due for a loss. Which is why I picked the Patriots over them last week. After last Monday's game there should be no doubt whatsoever about the Saints. There winner over New England was so dominant that Bill Belichick conceded the game by pulling Tom Brady with five minutes left. After leading 7-3 early in the first quarter, the Patriots were outscored 35-10 by the Saints offense, which racked up 480 total yards and 5 TD's. The New Orleans defense did their part too intercepting Brady twice, limiting New England's passing game to just 237 yards, and forcing Laurence Maroney to fumble. According to Randy Moss "They played real good football, something we really haven't seen on film or from anyone we've played so far.'' Which would include the Colts.
  3. Charles Woodson Almost Single-Handedly Shutting Down the Lions Offense - Charles Woodson gave Packers fans a lot to be thankful for last week against the Lions. Matthew Stafford wasn't quite so thankful though after Woodson picked off two of his passes (returning one for a touchdown), sacked him once, put pressure on him twice during blitzes, and broke up four of his passes. Just for good measure, he also forced a fumble and recovered another fumble.
  4. San Francisco's Defense in the Red Zone - To be fair Jacksonville's offense should get equal credit for being too inept to score. But the Forty-Niners still deserve credit for shutting the Jaguars down almost every time they got within what should have been scoring range. During Sunday's game, Jacksonville had drives that got all the way to San Francisco's 22, 17, 14, 13 and 3, and managed just three points. The Jaguars even managed to miss a 21 yard field goal from the three yard line. On the drive that reached the 13 yard line, Jacksonville was stopped for no gain on second-and-1, lost a yard on third-and-1, and then watched as David Garrard was sacked on fourth-and-2. 

Yet another second half meltdown for Matt Schaub and the Texans
Yet another second half meltdown for Matt Schaub and the Texans

Have Your Say

What did you like the least about week twelve?

See results without voting

What I Didn't Like in Week Twelve

  1. Matt Schaub Giving a Huge Assist to the Colts' Comeback - The Colts deserve a lot of credit for coming back from a 17-0 deficit in the first half of the game against the Texans. However the Houston offense, and Matt Schaub in particular, should be credited with an assist for putting Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis offense in position to make up the deficit. During the time that Indianapolis was outscoring Houston 28-0 Schaub threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, and fumbled while being sacked, which was recovered by the Colts at the Texans 37 yard line. When you gift wrap those kind of opportunities against a team like the Colts, you aren't gonna win too often.
  2. The Terrible Pass Interference Call on the Texans - The refs did a little of gift wrapping for the Colts during that comeback also. During their first Colts touchdown drive in the third quarter they called a pass interference penalty on the Texans that amounted to a 43-yard gain. The penalty was so obviously bad that even the head NFL officiating called it a "40-some-odd-yard mistake that is hard to stomach." That says a lot when the NFL admits it's refs blew a call. And while it could be argued that Indy might have scored anyway, without those seven points Houston would have been within a TD and a successful two point conversion of tying the game at the end.
  3. Desean Jackson Suffering a Concussion - The Eagles offense took another big hit in week twelve against the Redskins. Just like Brian Westbook did in the first game they played in Washington, Desean Jackson left the game with a concussion and isn't expected to play against Atlanta. What would have been a pretty easily winnable game might now be a petty tough game without two of Philadelphia's main weapons on offense. The Eagles are in the thick of the fight for the NFC East title with games coming up against the Giants and Cowboys and potentially tough game against the Forty-Niners coming up. The could be in trouble if Desean Jackson misses many games down the stretch.
  4. The Lions Kicking a Field Goal While Down 18 with Five Minutes Remaining - I'm not a big fan of teams going for a field goal when trailing big late in a game. But when you are a 2-9 team coming off an 0-16 season like the Detroit Lions maybe you should go ahead and play with a little aggression instead of just trying to make the final score look a little less ugly. Which in this case didn't even pan out after they allowed Green Bay to score another touchdown in those final minutes.

Which team am I supposed to be throwing to again?
Which team am I supposed to be throwing to again?

Have Your Say

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

See results without voting

What I Learned in Week Twelve

  1. The Honeymoon is Officially Over in Chicago - The bloom has actually been off the rose for some time with the Bears losing four straight games and six out of the last seven games. However after Jay Cutler's latest interception-filled game, even teammates are going public with their dissatisfaction over the twenty interceptions he has thrown this season (with just just 16 touch downs). In a recent Yahoo interview Brian Urlacher stated that he hates "the way our identity has changed. We used to establish the run and wear teams down and try not to make mistakes, and we'd rely on our defense to keep us in the game and make big plays to put us in position to win, Kyle Orton might not be the flashiest quarterback, but the guy is a winner, and that formula worked for us. I hate to say it, but that's the truth."
  2. Teams are Forced To Pick Their Poison Against the Saints - The thing that makes the Saints so incredibly unstoppable is that you have to stop so many people. In spite of all the passing yardage Drew Brees has racked up this season, they don't have a single receiver with more than a thousand yards and only one (Marques Colston) who will likely get there by the end of the year. Plus, they have three legitimate big play threats at RB. Against the Patriots, Devery Henderson registered a 75 yard second quarter TD catch, Marques Colston caught a 68 yard reception that set up another touchdown, and Robert Meachem grabbed a 38-yard touchdown catch. Against New Orleans teams don't know where it's coming from or who it's going to.
  3. Maybe Trading Richard Seymour Wasn't Such a Great Idea - It's still pretty debatable because the Raiders' number one pick that the Patriots got in return for Seymour is going to be pretty far up there and they may get a marquee player out of it in the end. However, one of the big flaws that was exposed against the Saints and Colts was their lack of an ability to get to the QB. This could be a fatal flaw for New England come playoff time with Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Drew Brees leading the teams they are likely to face in order to win a Super Bowl this season. Letting them guys sit back and wait for a receiver to get open is too dangerous a game of Russian roulette. Doing that to or three times and hoping to survive is just asking too much.
  4. Mike Holmgren Will Probably be the GM in Seattle (Again) - On Thursday Tim Ruskell, the Seahawks GM resigned, paving the way for Mike Holmgren to return to the team he formerly coached . Holmgren was a bit non-committal,but expressed his willingness to return in a radio interview. In the interview he stated, "Absolutely, I would like to talk to them. I think I made it pretty clear I would like to go back to work after this season. But I've also said this, that the people and the team has to want to. The situation has to be right, the opening has to be right. And that's why I've tried to keep an open mind, not get too emotional about it. This is not news. My family is there. I have a strong attachment to the city and my time there, but I also know things change. You never know. The organization has to feel you're the right fit." Personally, I don't think it's a coincidence the Seahawks GM spot opened up a few months early (Ruskell's contract originally ended after the season) right after Holmgren started talking to teams about GM jobs. The only thing is Holmgren already has been fired once before as the Seattle GM when he was forced to give up those duties and concentrate on coaching. Maybe the problem was he had to much on his plate as coach and GM, but his personnel moves during that time were less than stellar.

How ya like me now
How ya like me now

Have Your Say

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

See results without voting

What I Already Knew

  1. Vince Young isn't the Only Reason For the Titan's Resurgeance, but... - Vince Young undoubtedly has been playing great during the Titans five game win streak, but others have played a part in that as well. The defense has stepped it up a notch and, more than anything else, Chris Johnson has stepped it up even further than the already great level he was playing at prior to that. Johnson has rushed for 800 yards during those five games and average of 160 yards per game (vs. 99.3 ypg in the first six games). So it's not all Vince Young, although Johnson's success is partly due to the threat posed by Young. Opposing defenses can no longer just concentrate on stopping Johnson, which leaves things more open for the running game. By the same token, the fact that the Titans' offense is now producing makes it that much easier for the defense. So while Vince Young isn't the only one playing better lately, he deserves a lot of credit for allowing them to bring more to the table.
  2. Playing Injured Might Cost Eli Manning the Season and Probably Already Cost the Giants Theirs - I predicted back when it first happened that if Eli Manning tried to play with the plantar fasciitis injury that it could potentially derail his and the Giants' season rather than costing them a few games if he sat out and let himself. Now word has come out that not only has the original injury been bothering Manning, but he has developed a stress reaction as a result of compensating for the plantar fasciitis, which could progress to stress fracture and end his season. And with the Giants having lost five out of the seven games that they played since the injury and manning not playing very well throughout time, it's not like they really would have done much worse with him in street clothes for a month. Their remaining schedule includes the Cowboys, Eagles and Vikings and the Giants pretty much need to win all of them to get to the playoffs. So, they are going nowhere if Manning ends up on injured reserve down the stetch.
  3. It Shouldn't Have Taken a Broken Finger to Put Jack Delhomme on the Bench - I pointed out several times that the Carolina Panthers' refusal to run the ball is the reason that they have been losing all season. When you have a QB that turns the ball over three times a game, you should probably focus your offense on your top rated running game instead of that QB. So, after four more interceptions in week twelve bringing his totals to eighteen interceptions, six fumbles, and just eight touchdowns through eleven games. Even without a "reliable" backup, could anyone really have done worse?
  4. The Steelers Still Have a Good Chance to Get to the Playoffs - A lot depends on when Troy Polamalu comes back and how well Ben Roethlisberger recovers from his concussion problems, but in spite of losing three straight games, the Steelers still have a great chance to make the playoffs this season. Their remaining schedule is weak enough that they should easily win at least three of their final five games (Raiders, Browns, and Packers) and should be able to beat the Dolphins, as well. They might still need to beat the Ravens to get in, but provided Big Ben and Polamalu are both back,they should be able to pull that off too. On top of that, Steelers' coach Mike Tomlin promised this week to "unleash hell" upon the rest of the NFL during the remainder of the season. That's some apocalyptic stuff right there.

It's never good when a lineman cries and his mascara runs allover the place
It's never good when a lineman cries and his mascara runs allover the place

Have Your Say

Which Prediction Do You Think is Most Likely to Happen?

See results without voting

Predictions for Week Thirteen

  1. Stick a Fork in the Falcons - The Falcons are technically still in the running for a wildcard spot, but for all intents and purposes they are done. However, the reality is they play the Eagles and the saints in the next two weeks. They do close out the season with winnable games against the Jets, Bills and Buccaneers, but in order to make the playoffs they would need to beat either the Eagles or Saints and more likely both. Atlanta potentially could beat Philadelphia because of the injuries the Eagles have suffered in recent weeks, but the Falcons own injuries to Matt Ryan and Michael Turner offset those. Regardless of whether Ryan and Turner play, they aren't beating the Saints in week fourteen.
  2. Having Two Teams Finish Undefeated This Season is a Possibility - Of course there could always be an upset, but at this point neither the Colts or the Saints will lose a regular season game unless they give a game away. Of the two, New Orleans is most likely to finish undefeated for several reasons. The first is that their schedule is incredibly easy with Washington, Atlanta, Dallas,Tampa Bay, and Carolina coming up. the only team on that list that shouldn't be an easy game is the Cowboys and that probably won't be much higher of a risk. Another reason that the Saints are likely to finish undefeated is that they need to stay ahead of the Vikings. If both Minnesota and New Orleans finish up 15-1, then Minn. would get home field advantage because of tie breakers. Indy has already clinched the division and home field advantage will soon follow. So even though the Titans are their last tough opponent, they will likely rest their starters down the stretch, which could cost them the undefeated season.
  3. We Will Find Out A lot About the Vikings in the Next Two Weeks - The Vikings have been impressive this year and they are undoubtedly one of the top teams in the league. However, their schedule has been a bit light on contenders. The one potential big weakness that they do have is their defensive backfield. Exactly how big that weakness isn't really known since they haven't faced many teams with a quarterback good enough to test them. In the three games games they did face good QB's, Joe Flacco threw for 387 yards in a game the Ravens lost because of a missed filed goal and Aaron Rodgers managed to average over 350 yards in spite of being sacked fourteen times in two games. However, in the next two weeks the Vikings pass defense will be put to the test against the Cardinals and Bengals offenses. That should be a good barometer for how they will fare against potential playoff opponents such as New Orleans, Indy, New England, and of course Arizona.
  4. Gary Kubiak is Done in Houston -To their credit the Texans didn't pull the plug early on Kubiak like most teams tend to do these days and actually gave him four years to make it happen. However, as the saying goes all kinda mediocre things must come to an end. In all likelyhood, their current three game losing streak and the meltdown against Indy that capped it off was the final straw. So barring some sort of grand turn around that involves the playoffs, Gary Kubiak will be looking for boxes at the end of the season.

My Picks for the 2009 Week Thirteen NFL Games

Sun, Dec. 6
10:00 AM (PST)
11:00 AM (MST)
12:00 PM (CST)
1:00 PM (EST)
Favorite
Underdog
Point Spread
Straight Up
Against The Spread
Philadelphia
@Atlanta
5.5
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
@Chicago
St. Louis
9.0
Chicago
St. Louis
@Cincinnati
Detroit
13.0
Cincinnati
Cincinnati
@Indianapolis
Tennessee
6.5
Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Denver
@Kansas City
4.5
Kansas City
Kansas City
New England
@Miami
5.5
New England
New England
@Pittsburgh
Oakland
14.5
Pittsburgh
Oakland
New Orleans
Washington
9.5
New Orleans
Washington
@Carolina
Tampa Bay
6.0
Carolina
Tampa Bay
@Jacksonville
Houston
0.0
Houston
Houston
Sun, Dec. 6
1:00 PM (PST)
2:00 PM (MST)
3:00 PM (CST)
4:00 PM (EST)
San Diego
@Cleveland
13.0
San Diego
San Diego
Dallas
@New York Giants
2.0
Dallas
Dallas
@Seattle
San Francisco
0.0
San Francisco
San Francisco
Sun, Dec 6
5:20 PM (PST)
6:20 PM (MST)
7:20 PM (CST)
8:20 PM (EST)
@Arizona
Minnesota
3.0
Minnesota
Minnesota
Mon, Dec 7
5:30 PM (PST)
6:30 PM (MST)
7:30 PM (CST)
8:30 PM (EST)
@Green Bay
Baltimore
3.0
Baltimore
Baltimore

More by this Author


No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working