NFL 2012 Week 13: Just for fun.

This might be the first Chargers game I will watch this season without thinking about the playoff implications.  It's kind of liberating in a way...and very, very depressing.  Well, not exactly.  Depressing was watching Ray Rice convert 4th and 29, just to get a first down.  The Ravens weren't even in field goal range and the were still down by 3.  Depressing was watching all of these things happen.  4th and 29, another first down to get into field goal range, kick good, overtime, lots of punts, big pass from Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith (when is Quentin Jammer moving to safety?), very strategic clock management by one of the Harbaugh brothers (I want a head coach who impresses me with his strategic decisions), field goal good, DEPRESSED...and...scene!  So should I stick with BJ's Hopstorm IPA or go with the sampler? Nachos, two mini pizzas or the Thai shrimp lettuce wraps?  Lots of fantasy to follow.  I need Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Carolina's defense to have big games, while RGIII, Cam Newton and Calvin Johnson follow Drew Brees' lead this week.

ATLANTA (-3.5) over New Orleans: You know who didn't help me this week? Julio Jones.  And I wasn't even lucky enough to be playing against Drew Brees in the leagues that matter.  As for the Falcons' hope to go deep into the playoffs, 1) individual games are very random and 2) I don't think they are frauds, I think they are the 3rd best team in the NFC and the 6th best team in the NFL.  If they are home dogs in their first playoff game, I will definitely be taking the Falcons and the points.
Not So Bold Prediction: Drew Brees throws a touchdown.  I mean he's done it in 54 straight games and they were making a HUGE deal about it when the Saints were playing the Chargers...what's that? He didn't throw a touchdown pass?  Ooh, this is awkward...
Bold Prediction: Lance Moore has 7 catches on 11 targets for 123 yards.

Jacksonville (+6) over BUFFALO: Did you know Chad Henne was starting for the Jaguars?  Yeah, he took the Texans to overtime and everything.  He even won last week.  Apparently now he has a chance to win the starting job next year.  This way the Jaguars end up with the first pick in the 2014 draft, which should have a much better quarterback than whoever gets taken at the top of next year's draft.  And CJ Spiller should have a good game.
Not So Bold Prediction: CJ Spiller outscores Maurice Jones-Drew.
Bold Prediction: CJ Spiller outscores every running back who actually plays in this game.

CHICAGO (-3.5) over Seattle: Is Jay Cutler playing?  You know what? It doesn't matter.  Not because I don't think he is an important part of the Bears' success, but because I still haven't cared to figure out any adjustment when the starting QB is out.  Mostly because I think the spread already prices that in.  If this line would normally be 6.5 (and I'd still be taking the Bears) with a fully healthy Jay Cutler, then I am ok taking the Bears -3.5 without him.
Not So Bold Prediction: Marshawn Lynch outscores Michael Bush...but not by that much if Forte doesn't play.
Bold Prediction: I really wanted to write, "Sidney Rice outscores Brandon Marshall" but I try to write something that I actually believe will happen.  Russell Wilson outscores Jay Cutler.  That's feels better.

Indianapolis (+4.5) over DETROIT: My apathy towards the Chargers extends to the AFC wild card contenders.  I'm hoping Matthew Stafford throws 4 touchdowns, but none to Calvin Johnson.  Maybe he'll be an awesome decoy and takes double coverage and lets the rest of the Lions beat the Colts.  OOH, a screen pass from Stafford to Mikel LeShoure for a touchdown would be awesome for me! Also, the Colts are 22nd in the NFL in goodness (the unofficial term for Pythagorean winning percentage).  And they are 7-4.  They should be 4.4-6.6.  And they will be making the playoffs while the Chargers, who still have a positive point differential, are out.  Washington and San Diego are the only two teams with a positive point differential and a losing record.  Minnesota and Indianapolis are the only teams with a negative point differential and a winning record.  I'm done.
Not So Bold Prediction: Matthew Stafford throws more passes than Andrew Luck.
Bold Prediction: Stafford throws a screen pass to LeShoure for a touchdown.

Minnesota (+8.5) over GREEN BAY: This line should only be 3.5, so this is actually my biggest opportunity.  Which surprised me a little.  Even though it shouldn't have.  The Packers have never been one of the dominant teams in the NFL this year.  They are an above average team.  And the Vikings are an average team.  And this spread shouldn't be this big.
Not So Bold Prediction: Aaron Rodgers outscores Christian Ponder.
Bold Prediction: Christian Ponder has more rushing attempts than Aaron Rodgers.

Houston (-6) over TENNESSEE: Only 6?  And this line opened at 4.5?  What happened to the double digit spreads that the Texans weren't covering? Oh yeah. I'd love to take the Titans with a double digit spread, but I'll take the Texans up to 8.5  Maybe I'll predict that the Texans win by exactly 7.
Not So Bold Prediction: Arian Foster scores a touchdown.  I beat Arian Foster in the semifinals on my way to the fantasy championship last year.  I'm feel like I'm going to have to do that again.
Bold Prediction.  Houston wins by exactly 7.  Of course, this means they'll win by 20 or so.

Carolina (-3) over KANSAS CITY: Kansas City, Arizona, Jacksonville, Philadelphia.  Those are the teams I stream an opposing defense in fantasy.  Week 12 St. Louis D scored 25 points against Arizona.  Week 11 Washington D scored 20 against Philly.  Week 10 Indianapolis D scored 21 against Jacksonville.  Week 9 San Diego D scored 26 against Kansas City.  These are all actual one week pickups I made in my three leagues that matter.  This week I went a little all in on Carolina's D. And I need Jamaal Charles to do well.
Not So Bold Prediction: Kansas City turns the ball over.
Bold Prediction: Jamaal Charles scores a touchdown and Carolina's defense scores a touchdown.

San Francisco (-7) over ST. LOUIS: If the Rams tied the 49ers in San Francisco, then obviously they are going to win by 6, right?  St. Louis isn't Oakland, KC, Jacksonville, Philly bad...but they are Arizona, Nyj, below average.  And the 49ers are the best team in the league in goodness.
Not So Bold Prediction: This game doesn't end in a tie.
Bold Prediction: Colin Kaepernick leads the game in fantasy points.

MIAMI (+7.5) over New England:  Considering I have the Patriots as the second best team in the NFL, I was a little surprised that they weren't covering this.  But in Miami, I think the line should only be 6.5 or 7.  I'm not putting $ on it, but apparently I'm picking the Dolphins?
Not So Bold Prediction: Tom Brady throws a touchdown.
Bold Prediction: Tom Brady throws four touchdowns.

Arizona (+4.5) over NYJ: Do I really have to comment on all the games?  Do I have to? These teams aren't even bad enough to be interesting.  But they're about the same and I'm taking the points.  In fact, the only reason the Jets are favored is because of home field advantage.
Not So Bold Prediction: Mark Sanchez doesn't run into his lineman's ass causing a fumble that gets returned for a touchdown...again.
Bold Prediction: Tim Tebow makes a tackle.  Could be special teams, could be an interception he throws.  You never know, that's what makes it so exciting.

Tampa Bay (+7) over DENVER: The old me would have been cheering hard for the Buccaneers.  The new me is just cheering really hard for Vincent Jackson.  I also wouldn't mind if Peyton Manning has a good run through the playoffs because getting that second Super Bowl win will silence the old writer narrative that he's not as good as Tom Brady or Joe Montana...but it could make Peter King just absolutely insufferable.
Not So Bold Prediction: Peyton Manning throws a touchdown pass.
Bold Prediction: Doug Martin scores 12 points.

Cleveland (Off(0)) over OAKLAND: I really don't care to figure out why this line is Off.  I've seen this from Oakland favored by 1.5 to Cleveland favored by 3.  I'll take Cleveland until they are favored by 3.5.
Not So Bold Prediction: Trent Richardson has a good game.
Bold Prediction: I really want Brandon Myers scores a touchdown.

SAN DIEGO (+2) over Cincinnati: Oh, come on!!  Just let me go in peace!!  OR... Hey, I think the Chargers will win this week, that could be fun to watch.
Not So Bold Prediction: Antonio Gates does not catch a touchdown. (...sad sigh...)
Bold Prediction: The Chargers win by 10, totally screwing up their Pythagorean winning percentage for the rest of the season.

BALTIMORE (Off(0)) over Pittsburgh: I've seen this line at Ravens -3.  I've also seen Ravens -9, which probably reflects Roethlisberger being out.  We'll just say no one can put $ on this game.  Come on Ray Rice!!! 
Not So Bold Prediction: Joe Flacco outscores Charlie Batch, especially if Roethlisberger plays.
Bold Prediction: Four different plays have carries for the Steelers.

Philadelphia (+10) over DALLAS: Wow, no one likes the Eagles. Although I love Matthew Berry's ongoing joke that the Eagles are already checked out and on vacation.  Nnamdi Asomugha checking in for scuba diving? Hilarious.
Not So Bold Prediction: The Eagles turn the ball over.
Bold Prediction: Bryce Brown runs for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns and carries my fantasy team.

NYG (-2.5) over Washington: So the Giants could actually be a good team?  Like, between 10-1 Atlanta and 9-2 Baltimore good.  Now I'm hoping the Giants' defense can keep RGIII in check and let Alfred Morris go crazy.  Don't worry, I have also noticed that as I get closer to the end of the column, my thoughts on the game get shorter and shorter.  Is this a good thing?  Do you appreciate this?
Not So Bold Prediction: RGIII outrushes Eli Manning.
Bold Prediction: Alfred Morris outscores RGIII.  Ok, fine.  I don't actually think that will happen.  I do think Hakeem Nicks outscores Victor Cruz.


  1. $40 on Minnesota, Cleveland, Arizona, Philadelphia.

    $20 on Chicago, Houston, Tampa Bay, Carolina, San Francisco.

  2. L,W,W,W


    Up $20 to $1,190.

  3. And while lots of my Bold Predictions were correct, I want to call special attention to my Bold Prediction for the Eagles-Cowboys game.

  4. Screw you 49ers.

    Split decision. Still trailing the immortal MP with $905.