2009 NFL Football Week Twelve Preview and Picks

2009 NFL Football Week Twelve Preview and Picks
2009 NFL Football Week Twelve Preview and Picks

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

That's more like it. The Saints finally woke up and spoiled my big upset pick of the year (by about 30 points), but I still did pretty good last week. There were a couple teams that threw me a bit, but I seriously doubt anybody foresaw the Steelers getting beat by the Chiefs or the Bengals losing to the Raiders. Unless you knew about Cincinnati's 0-10 record in Oakland. Even then, I woulda been a bit skeptical of the Raiders' chances. Outside of that and my sucker bet with the Buccaneers, there weren't any real shockers in week eleven.

Once all was said and done, I ended up with a 11-5 record straight up (winners) and a 10-6 record against the spread (ATS). That leaves me with an overall season record of 100-58 straight up and 82-75-1 against the number. I'm finally starting to get some breathing room on my picks against the spread.

Matthew Stafford Beats the Browns With One Arm Tied Behind His Back

The Colts have been making Mr. Blue very happy
The Colts have been making Mr. Blue very happy

Have Your Say

What did you like most about week eleven?

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What I Liked in Week Eleven

  1. Indy's Red Zone Defense Against Baltimore - To be fair they got a big assist from the Ravens' offense, but the Colts kept the Ravens out of the end zone from scoring range seven times, including five times inside the red zone. Baltimore's drives ended up stalling at the 28, 26, 20, 18, 14, 12 and 1 (which began with a first and goal at the one yard line). And yet all they ended up with in the end was an interception, six field goal attempts (one of which they missed) and a two point loss.
  2. Philip Rivers' Performance in the Chargers' Win Streak - He wasn't exactly a slouch earlier in the season, but Philip Rivers has really kicked things up a notch during the past five games. Since losing to the Broncos in week six, Rivers has been completing close to seventy percent of his passes, including just under seventy-nine percent the last two weeks, with 10 TD's and just 3 INT's and a QB rating over 100. As is the tradition in San Diego, the Chargers in general are playing better after starting slow, however the fact that Rivers has been playing at an MVP level has a lot to do with it.
  3. Wes Welker's Connection With Tom Brady - Earlier in the season the Patriots offense was struggling and out of sync. They also happened to be missing one certain player. Then as soon as Wes Welker returned, they suddenly were right back to normal. The Patriots' ineffectiveness without Welker is no coincidence, since he has averaged 7.4 catches in his 40 games with the Patriots. His 15 catches for 192 yards in week eleven topped the all of the Jets receivers combined, who managed just 8 catches for 136 yards.
  4. The NFL's New Concussion Policy - Last week I mentioned how badly the NFL was handling the concussion issues within the league. Obviously, I wasn't the only one giving them a hard time about the NFL's refusal to accept responsibility or even acknowledge a connection between getting hit in the head constantly while playing football and brain disorders, since even Congress was beginning to ask questions. As a result of all the bad publicity, Roger Goodell announced during the week that the NFL will be implementing a new concussion policy involving evaluations by neurologists independent of the league prior to allowing payers to return to play. The fact that the players will no longer be cleared by doctors who have an incentive to clear players because they are being payed by the player's team is a huge step in the right direction.

Eagles defensive backs dropped almost as many Jay Cutler passes as Bears receivers did
Eagles defensive backs dropped almost as many Jay Cutler passes as Bears receivers did

Have Your Say

What did you like the least about week eleven?

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What I Didn't Like in Week Eleven

  1. The Eagles Defense and Bears Offense - Both the Eagles' defense and the Bears offense (especially you know who) were struggling somewhat coming in, so it wasn't a real shocker that they didn't perform particularly well Sunday night. But the level to which they played down to each other was somewhat amazing. In fact, they actually managed to cancel each other out almost completely. Jay Cutler overthrew three receivers that were painfully uncovered and would have scored touchdowns. In return, the Eagles defense dropped three interceptions that were thrown right at the Eagles defenders. Two of those drops were by Sheldon Brown, including one that would have been an easy touchdown return.
  2. Eric Mangini Making Excuses for Yet Another Badly Coached Game - If there is any coach in the league that needs to be fired immediately it's Eric Mangini. The game against Detroit was a prime example of his incompetence. First of all, the fact that the Lions were favored by 3 points when they have only won 3 out of their last 34 games says a lot about just how low the Browns have sunk. However to be fair, the Browns sucked before Mangini ever got involved, he's just managed to make it even worse. The real example of Mangini's ability to cost his team a victory is the final sequence leading up to the Lions' winning TD. After Mark Stafford threw a last second Hail Mary pass that resulted in a pass interference call, he was drilled into the ground and ended up with a separated shoulder. When a player is injured inside the final two minutes, the NFL rules require that he sit out at least one play to eliminate the old trick of pretending to be injured to stop the clock. So Daunte Cullpepper, who had no warning and had not even warmed up came out to run one final play with the Lions needing to score a TD or lose. However before the play could start, Mangini decided to call a timeout to demand that ten seconds be run off the clock as a result of the injury to Stafford. Problem is the clock had already ran out and the rule that a game can't end on defensive penalty still applies even if the clock reads -:10. Unfortunately for Cleveland, the one thing that the time out did accomplish was allowing Detroit to organize itself and enable Stafford to come back and throw the game winning touchdown. He then went onto make excuses and act like a complete sore loser after the game by accusing the Lions of faking injuries to disrupt the Browns offense
  3. Aaron Kampman and Al Harris Injuries - Green Bay's defense has struggled most of the season but had showed some flashes of improvement the past couple games. The season ending knee injuries that linebacker Aaron Kampman and safety Al Harris suffered in San Francisco are likely to put a damper on that, though. The Packes are fairly deep at linebacker and Kampman had struggled a bit this season with the new 3-4 defense, so that won't be a huge loss. However not only is Harris one of their top playmakers on defense, the Packers were already short handed in the defensive backfield. Their nickel and dime packages will suffer even more than the starters due to the loss of depth.
  4. Cincinnati Throwing the Game Away at the End - The Bengals pretty much killed themselves at the end of the game against the Raiders. First, they allowed Oakland to tie the game with a touchdown with just 41 seconds remaining. Then Andre Caldwell fumbled the ensuing kickoff leading to a 33 yard FG giving the Raiders the lead. Finally, they completely mismanaged their final drive. At their own 37 needing to get into field goal range with only ten seconds remaining they threw a six yard pass. That left them with just five seconds remaining and since the Bengals had no timeouts they had no choice but to throw a desperation pass that was intercepted. Had they thrown deep on the first play they would have had a chance to get down and spike the ball for a field goal try to put the game into overtime.

You know you suck when the Detroit Lions are dancing in your face
You know you suck when the Detroit Lions are dancing in your face

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

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What I Learned in Week Eleven

  1. The Curse of Bobby Lane May Be Over - I'm sure most people are pretty familiar with the "Bobby Layne Curse," in which it was supposedly decreed that the Lions would not win for 50 years after trading Layne in 1958. Subsequently, Detroit failed to win a single playoff game since while compiling the worst winning percentage of any team. Fortunately for the Lions, that curse finally ended last season during their disastrous 0-16 season. In spite of that, there are some signs that the future may be looking up in Detroit. It might still be a few years before they have a chance to win a playoff game, but the Lions have played hard this season and it looks like they might have a potential franchise QB in the making. Granted this might be a little premature, but even though he's just a rookie Matthew Stafford has shown some glimpses of a very bright future. Not the least of which was the 422 yard (a record for a rookie) 5 TD performance against the Browns last week. More important than the stats though, was the guts and leadership he showed coming back in after having his shoulder separated on the previous play to throw the winning TD.
  2. The Steelers are a Different Defense Without Troy Polamalu - The Steelers have other problems that have contributed to their losses this season, but without a doubt their defense is average, if not downright mediocre, without Polamalu. When he is playing they are the typical dominant, big play Pittsburgh. When he is out they end up getting pushed around by powerhouses like Chicago and Kansas City. It is far from a coincidence that they are 4-1 with Polamalu playing, but just 2-3 without him. In fact you could actually say that they are 4-0 with him and 2-4 without since he left the Cincy loss after being injured during the first defensive series.
  3. Karma Lives in the NFL - As long as we are on the topic of curses, it seems that there are several teams that have suffered as a result of bad karma brought by trouble signing makers. The Jets were rolling right along looking like one of the top teams in the AFC before they traded for Braylon Edwards. Prior to that, they were 3-1 with their one loss being to New Orleans, possibly the best team in the league. Since Edwards joined the team, they are 1-5 with their one win coming against Oakland, possibly the worst team in the league. Similarly, the 49ers were 3-1 before agreeing to a contract with Michael Crabtree, but have gone just 1-5 since. On the positive side of the coin Kansas City has gone 2-0 since cutting Larry Johnson. Meanwhile, Cincinnati immediately was upset by Oakland after signing Johnson.
  4. Atlanta Might Not Post Consecutive Winning Records After All - One of the more reliable traditions in the NFL is the Falcons' habit of following a winning record with a losing record. So far in the history of the franchise they have yet to post back to back winning seasons. That looked like it was in jeopardy earlier this season when Atlanta was 4-1. However they have since returned to form by going 1-4 since. And things got even worse in week ten when Michael Turner, their best offensive player, was injured. They do have four very winnable games (TBx2, Buf, NYJ) within their final six games. So, it is still possible that they could buck tradition this year, but right now the signs are pointing the other way.

"Can you help me pop my shoulder back in its socket?"
"Can you help me pop my shoulder back in its socket?"

Have Your Say

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

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What I Already Knew

  1. Big Ben Might not Survive the Season - The offensive line in Pittsburgh is one of their biggest weaknesses and could potentially be the reason the Steelers end up crashing and burning, since they don't have a reliable back up QB. Ben Roethlisberger has been getting beat down all season long and its fortunate that he is the big physical that he is or he might have already landed on the sidelines. Most recently, in week eleven he ended suffering a concussion against the Chiefs. On top of that, things could get even worse. One of the few bright spots on the Steelers O-line, left guard Chris Kemoeatu, is out for the season with an MCL injury.
  2. It Doesn't Really Matter What TO Does in Buffalo - Even when Terrell Owens has a monster day like he did in week eleven, the Bills still lose to a fairly mediocre team. Not that TO caused the Buffalo to lose to Jacksonville, but his 9 catches for 197 yards (including a 98 yard TD) ended up translating to 15 points and underscoring just how bad the Bills offense actually is. And of course being TO, he did drop a pass in final seconds that would have put Buffalo in range for a game tying field goal.
  3. Matt Leinart is Sitting on the Bench For a Reason - Kurt Warner's injury late in the first half provided a rather perfect example of why Matt Leinart is Arizona's second string quarterback. Prior to leaving Warner had thrown for 203 yards with two TD's and led the Cardinals offense to 21 points. After he left, Leinart managed 74 yards passing and zero points. After being pretty solidly in control of the game during the first half, the Cardinals had to hold on to win by just eight points.
  4. Carolina Should Have Kept Running the Ball - After basing their offense on the passing game for most of the season, the Panthers finally figured out that was probably a bad idea when your QB is averaging three turnovers a game. Especially when your running game has been extremely effective in the instances when you did decide to use it. Beginning in week eight they began running the ball more than passing and ended up winning three straight games as a result. However last week for some reason, they decided to revert back to mid-season form calling 48 pass plays and just 25 rushes in spite of averaging just 4.4 yards per pass and 6.7 per rush. The shocking result: the Panthers lost 24-17 and Jake Delhomme threw his first interception in four games.

We will find out if that faith is justified Monday
We will find out if that faith is justified Monday

Have Your Say

Which Prediction Do You Think is Most Likely to Happen?

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Predictions for Week Twelve

  1. We'll Find Out A Lot About How the NFC and AFC Stack Up Against Each Other This Week - This week the big barometer game in the NFL is scheduled for Monday night. This week one of the top tier teams in the NFC takes on one of the top tier teams in the AFC. Their is very little doubt that the Patriots are one of the teams most likely to win the Super Bowl. And while there isn't much doubt that the Saints are one of the top five teams in the league, they have had pretty easy schedule and this will be their first big test against an elite team that is playing well. If the Saints do manage to win this game, they will become the big favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
  2. The Titans Might Make the Playoffs - It would be quite an uphill battle, but after starting out 0-6 Tennessee could conceivably make the playoffs this season. At 4-6 they would probably need to win at least 5 out of their final six six games. Fortunately if they keep playing the way they have the past four games, they do have a chance to do just that. In those final six games, they face Arizona, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Miami, San Diego, and Seattle. Beating the Cards and Chargers will be difficult, but not impossible and they should be able to beat the Rams, Dolphins, and Seahawks.
  3. Denver Won't Make the Playoffs - On the other hand, San Diego's 32-3 pasting of the Broncos pretty much closed the door on their season. They are still alive mathematically, but for all intents and purposes week eleven's loss was the death knell for them this year. After their 6-0 start they have completely fallen apart during their four game losing streak. The defense that only gave up 66 points total in those six wins is now giving up an average of 29.3 per game in the four losses. Even their second half play, which was a strength in those six games, has become terrible over the past month.
  4. The Texans are Well on Their Way to Another 8-8 Season - Earlier this season it looked like Houston might finally make it over the top this season and contend for a playoff spot. Just two weeks ago they had managed to be two games over .500 for the first time in franchise history. Of course since then, they have lost two straight games to drop back to .500 again. Even worse, in both those two losses Kris Brown missed kicks that would have sent the games into overtime. Missing two very makeable kicks is inexcusable, but it doesn't help that the Texans threw away a chance to move closer or even go for the win. With enough time for two plays (eight seconds) and a timeout they had Matt Schaub run a yard to the right and slide to center the ball instead of having a running back try to pick up some yardage and make it an easier filed goal or even trying to throw for a touchdown. The end result was they lost anyway.

My Picks for the 2009 Week Twelve NFL Games

Thurs, Nov. 26
9:30 AM (PDT)
10:30 AM (MDT)
11:30 AM (CDT)
12:30 AM (EDT)
Favorite
Underdog
Point Spread
Straight Up
Against The Spread
Green Bay
@Detroit
11.0
Green Bay
Green Bay
Thurs, Nov. 26
1:15 PM (PDT)
2:15 PM (MDT)
3:15 PM (CDT)
4:15 PM (EDT)
@Dallas
Oakland
13.5
Dallas
Dallas
Thurs, Nov. 26
5:20 PM (PDT)
6:20 PM (MDT)
7:20 PM (CDT)
8:20 PM (EDT)
New York Giants
@Denver
6.5
New York Giants
Denver
Sun, Nov. 29
10:00 AM (PDT)
11:00 AM (MDT)
12:00 PM (CDT)
1:00 PM (EDT)
@Atlanta
Tampa Bay
12.5
Atlanta
Tampa Bay
Miami
@Buffalo
3.0
Miami
Miami
@Cincinnati
Cleveland
14.0
Cincinnati
Cleveland
Seattle
@St. Louis
3.0
Seattle
Seattle
@New York Jets
Carolina
3.0
Carolina
Carolina
@Philadelphia
Washington
9.0
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
Indianapolis
@Houston
3.5
Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Sun, Nov. 29
1:00 PM (PDT)
2:00 PM (MDT)
3:00 PM (CDT)
4:00 PM (EDT)
@San Diego
Kansas City
13.5
San Diego
San Diego
@San Francisco
Jacksonville
3.0
Jacksonville
Jacksonville
@Tennessee
Arizona
3.0
Arizona
Arizona
@Minnesota
Chicago
10.5
Minnesota
Minnesota
Sun, Nov. 29
5:20 PM (PDT)
6:20 PM (MDT)
7:20 PM (CDT)
8:20 PM (EDT)
@Baltimore
Pittsburgh
2.5
Baltimore
Baltimore
Mon, Nov. 30
5:30 PM (PDT)
6:30 PM (MDT)
7:30 PM (CDT
8:30 PM (EDT)
@New Orleans
New England
3.0
New England
New England

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4 comments

Rich Brown 7 years ago

dude I hope you put some cash up on those picks so far...3 and 0


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Yeah, hopefully it will carry over into the Sunday/Monday games.


richbrown80 profile image

richbrown80 7 years ago

good luck bro


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Thanks Rich. Hopefully Roethlisberger will make up his mind about playing sometime soon.

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