NFL Expert Picks for Week 13
By Jeff Ellis
I was 12-4 last week and only one ESPN Expert, Tom Jackson, equaled my record. I’m 119-57 for the season which puts me in a solid third place. I have a real good feeling about this week and I’m hoping to catch up to Chris Mortensen who is in second at 124-52. Here are the picks:
Saints @ Falcons I like the Falcons. Both offenses are strong with the Falcons scoring 27 points per game and the Saints scoring 28 points per game. The defenses are another story. The Falcons are giving up just 20 points per game, 6th in the NFL, while the Saints are giving up 28 points per game, 28th in the NFL. Now, I realize that the Falcons have not been dominating their opponents but when I see that they are 5-0 at home and the Saints are 2-3 on the road, I come to the conclusion that Atlanta will win this game.
Jaguars @ Bills I like the Jaguars to win if Chad Henne starts. In the last two weeks, with Chad Henne as a starter, the Jaguars have averaged 31 points per game. The Bills have averaged just 16 points per game over the last two weeks. These teams have equally poor defenses so I’m making my selection based upon which team has the hot offense, and that is, with no uncertainty, the Jaguars.
Seahawks @ Bears Bears will definitely win. The Bears are 5-1 at home and the Seahawks are 1-5 on the road. Also, the Bears looked great last weekend. At the half they were ahead of the Vikings 25-3 and finished 28-10.
Colts @ Lions I am going with the Colts here. The Colts have won five of their last six games. The Lions have lost three games in a row and five of their last six games. Statistically, the defenses are fairly equal. The offenses are fairly equal as well. Over the last six games the Lions have scored 24 points per game and the Colts scored 22 points per game. The Lions will be playing at home but that doesn’t seem to help them because they are 2-3 at home. I like the Colts to win because they are playing better at this point in time.
Vikings @ Packers I like the Packers. The Packers are 4-1 at home and the Vikings are 1-4 on the road. Statistically, these teams are fairly equal with the Packers looking slightly better on both offense and defense. However, the Packers lead in turnovers with +5 and the Vikings at -5. The Packers were crushed by the Giants on Sunday Night Football and I expect them to rebound with intensity. They were embarassed and they will be looking to show the world what they are really made of. Also, this is a division game and Green Bay QB Aaron Rogers is the kind of player who will be at his best for a big game like this one.
Texans @ Titans Texans will win. Texans are 10-1 and Titans are 4-7
Panthers @ Chiefs I pick the Panthers. The Panthers are 3-8 and the Chiefs are 1-10. Neither team is very good but the Panthers are coming off a win on Monday Night Football and I expect that to give them the moment needed to get a win in Kansas City.
Niners @ Rams The Niners should crush the Rams. The Niners have the best defense in the league allowing just 14 points per game. The Rams offense is ranked 28th and earning just 19 points per game.
Patriots @ Dolphins The Patriots will win. The Patriots defense is ranked in the lowest 25% of the league but their offense is clearly the best in the game and averaging 37 points per game. In addition, the Patriots have an incredible +24 turnovers and the Dolphins have a dismal -14 turnovers.
Cardinals @ Jets I pick the Jets. This game is really hard to pick because both teams are horrible. The Cardinals are 1-4 on the road and can only score 16 points per game so I predict they will lose despite the return of RB Beanie Wells last week.
Buccaneers @ Broncos The Broncos will win. They are 4-1 at home, 8-3 on the season, and have won six in a row. In addition, the Broncos offense is scoring 288 passing yards per game, sixth in the league, and the Buccaneers defense is giving up 316 yards per game, 32nd in the league. The Broncos, however, will need to control their turnovers to win. They have -3 turnovers and the Buccaneers have +11.
Bengals @ Chargers I like the Bengals. The Chargers are just 2-3 at home and the Bengals are 3-2 on the road. The Chargers lost three in a row and the Bengals have won three in a row. These defenses are evenly matched but the Bengals have a slight edge in offense because they are scoring 26 points per game versus the Chargers’ 22 points per game.
Steelers @ Ravens The Ravens will win. The Ravens are 5-0 at home and the Steelers are 2-4 on the road. The Ravens also have +12 turnovers versus the Steelers’ -10 turnovers. The Ravens are scoring 26 points per game and the Steelers are scoring 21 points per game. The Ravens and Steelers defenses are pretty equal giving up 20 and 19 points per game, respectively.
Eagles @ Cowboys Dallas will win despite how much they suck. They will win because the Eagles suck more. I want to state that Dallas will win because they are at home, but I can’t. This is because they suck so much that they are 2-3 at home. Meanwhile, the Eagles are a sucky 1-4 on the road. When I have a hard time choosing a winner I like to make my final decision on turnovers. I can’t do that in this game because Dallas has -11 turnovers, second suckiest in the NFC, and Philadelphia has -17, suckiest in the NFC. I give this game to the Cowboys because they are scoring a sucky 22 points per game versus the Eagles’ 17 sucky points per game. The Eagles should not play Michael Vick this week. He is still recovering and they cannot salvage this season so why risk serious concussion damage. At this point, Andy Reid will be fired at the end of the season regardless of how many games they win so playing Vick in hopes of a job-saving victory is a moot point. Did I mention that these teams suck?
Redskins @ Giants The Giants will win. They have now played against the RG3-era Redskins once, and won, and they will now defeat them again. The Redskins have the unfortunate luck of having to play the Giants twice and each time the games come one week after the Giants have played games in which they looked like the best team in the league. In week 6, the Giants dominated the Niners 26-3 and then beat the Redskins the next week 27-23. In week 12, which was last week, the Giants dominated the Packers 38-10. There is one more bigger advantage owned by the Giants.
The biggest advantage the Giants have is they are a learning organization. Here are a few examples:
- In the 2007 season, the Giants lost to the then undefeated Patriots in week 17 with a score of 38-35. Four weeks later the Giants beat the then undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl, 17-14. In addition, four years later, the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, again.
- In the 2011 season, the Giants lost to the Niners in week 10 with a score of 27-20. Ten weeks later the Giants beat the Niners, in San Francisco, in the playoffs 20-17 in overtime. In addition, in the Giants’ next match up with the Niners in week 6 of this 2012 season, the Giants crushed the Niners, in San Francisco, with a score or 26-3.
- Again, In the 2011 season, the Giants lost to the then undefeated Packers in week 13 with a score of 38-35. Six weeks later, the Giants beat the Packers, in Green Bay, in the NFC Championship 37-20. In addition, in the Giants’ next match up with Packers in week 13 of this 2012 season, the Giants crushed the Packers with a score or 38-10.
- The Giants lost to the Cowboys in week 1 of this 2012 season 24-17 at home. Eight weeks later the Giants defeated the Cowboys 29-24 in Texas Stadium.
Are you seeing the pattern here? Once the Giants get a look at you, they can adapt to everything you do and crush your hopes and dreams. This is also why they have so many fourth quarter comebacks. They don’t always need four quarters to learn how to beat you. Three quarters is plenty.
The Giants already know how to beat the Redskins and I am convinced that because the Giants are very good at learning about their opponents, this week, they will show us how to crush the Redskins.