Week 12

2 right and one push last week wasn’t the best pick six, The Raiders really let me down with that loss to Detroit. Are the Lions finally getting some traction late in the year or are Oakland running out of steam? Green Bay seemed to find something again with a cracking win over the Vikings to tie the NFC North at 7-3 with Minnesota sitting in the top spot thanks to their 3-1 divisional record with the Pack being 2-1 going into their game against the Bears this week. The Ravens had a narrow win in a lost season but have also lost Flacco for the rest of the year to injury. The Colts managed a win over Atlanta, the Falcons are really coming unstuck at the minute and are under threat from the Bucs in the NFC South with their big win over the Eagles. The Texans stayed in touch in the AFC South with a win over the Jets with the Colts staying top thanks to the tiebreaker earlier in the year. The Jags are still hanging around at 4-6 thanks to their win in Tennessee. The Chiefs demolished the Chargers and the Seahawks did similar things to the Gabbert fronted 49ers. The big game was the Cardinals close win over the Bengals with a last second field goal to stay out front in the NFC West. The Bills stayed close to the Patriots but had a bit of a breakdown offensively and might be missing Tyrod this week with injury. New England are still struggling with injury and relied quite heavily on Amendola and missed him late in the game but held on to stay unbeaten. Onto this week, we have no teams on a bye and 3 games on Thursday what it being Thanksgiving in America. The games don’t look amazing so we don’t have too much to be thankful for!

Week 12

Eagles@Lions – TNF 5.30pm
Philly seemed to miss Sam Bradford in their embarassing 45-17 home loss to the Buccaneers while the Lions have won two straight coming into this. The Eagles are still going in as one point favourites which I don’t agree with. They can win games as they showed against the Giants but that was way back in week 6. They are way too up and down to believe in as a team and may still be without Bradford this week leaving it up to Sanchez again. Stafford meanwhile had a very good outing last week against the Raiders and I’m tempted to take the home side to get their third win in a row and improve to the heady heights of 4-7.

Panthers@Cowboys – TNF 9.30pm
This line started with the Cowboys as favourites with them welcoming Romo back into the fold and finally breaking that losing streak at Miami. It has flipped back and forth all week and right now is back with the ‘boys being 2 point favourites against the unbeaten Panthers. Dallas could have been a playoff calibre team had Romo not been injured but have to be considered a long shot at 3-7 despite being in the awful NFC East. That being said they lost 7 in a row without him and Carolina have been showing more and more promise each week and look like a legitimate Super Bowl candidate thanks to some great defending and Super Cam! I’ve got to fancy Carolina to stay unbeaten here, and quite honestly look more likely to go 16-0 than New England right now!

Bears@Packers – TNF 1.30am
Green Bay where have you been?! We still had drops galore from Randall Cobb which has to start becoming worrying this late in the season but they got a very important win last time out against the Vikings. Lacy played his part at long last but I need to see more than one game to start believing again. Chicago couldn’t capitalise on the Broncos starting Osweiler and were narrowly beaten but look a different team than earlier this year when the Seahawks shut them out. Chicago actually looked alright in week 1 in the reverse of this game and with Cutler playing better they could cause some problems at Lambeau to close out Thanksgiving Thursday. They are missing Matt Forte but with the bookies making this an 8.5 point spread I quite like the look of the Bears.

Bills@Chiefs
Whether or not Tyrod is fit will settle my opinion on this one. I think Kansas can get it done against a banged up Bills side despite Buffalo holding New England to a 20-13 game on Monday, it was physical and Buffalo had a lot of men carted off the field. Kansas has been great at stopping the run recently and on a short week Shady McCoy must be exhausted. Kansas are field goal experts this year and Buffalo can hold them to needing a lot of them, but Kansas tend to score a lot. 6.5 points? If EJ is listed as a starter that’s probably money in the bank, if Tyrod isn’t fully fit it could be too. As much as I hate to say it. Both sides at 5-5 and in the AFC playoff hunt, this is an important game.

Jets@Dolphins
Divisional matchup and the Jets can move into second in the AFC East with a win here. They’ve been a bit out of sorts recently with back to back losses. Miami have improved on the start of the year and won’t get embarrassed like they did in London.The Dolphins defence has gotten tougher but was exposed by Houston last week which must give the Jets hope. The Jets defense meanwhile needs to get back to how it was at the start of the year as Tannehill can make plays given the chance. A 3.5 pointer here and I’m tempted to take the Jets again as they are a better side than Miami, they just need to show it!

Vikings@Falcons
Vikings. Atlanta are 2 point favourites yet lost against the 5-5 Colts with their backup quarterback. Minnesota were stuffed in the running game by Green Bay but I think they’ll have a field day against the collapsing Falcons. Not much else to say on this except I’m backing the Vikings. Hard.

Saints@Texans
Can’t bring myself to really care about this matchup. Sorry. The Saints defence is utterly, utterly atrocious and Drew Brees just can’t do enough to keep this team respectable. The Texans are staying in the hunt in the terrible AFC South and should probably win here but what a pair of underachieving teams. Both sides expected better this year and frankly so did all the NFL fans. Houston are 3 point favourites and if they don’t do that they ought to be ashamed of themselves!

Giants@Redskins
The reverse fixture this year was a pretty poor game that started with a safety Washington should be ashamed of. Cousins has turned the team around since then however and Washington remain in play, just a game behind the Giants, so big game again. New York still find ways to lose games and I hope they spent their bye week reflecting on how NOT to lose games. They could have got a big scalp against New England but faltered. Manning (the one with 2 Super Bowl rings and less than 6 million interceptions this year) can lead this team to wins but is failing too much. I still think they’re the best team in the awful NFC East but not by much against this improved Washington side. Giants 1.5 point favourites. Go on.

Raiders@Titans
Oakland have stuttered the last two weeks in games they were capable of winning. I can forgive them in that shootout with Pittsburgh in week 9 but they could have beaten Minnesota with a better run game and they definitely should have beaten Detroit last week. If they don’t beat Tennessee I worry for them. They’re much improved and I still like Carr as a quarterback, but they need a bit more in the backfield and on defence. The Titans should be easy picking for them this year but Tennessee can put up surprises. Oakland are 2 point favourites and I like them on that, but don’t discount the Titans totally. They aren’t as bad as that 2-8 record suggests.

Chargers@Jags
You have to feel for Philip RIvers. The man has kept this team in games all year despite watching his team fall apart at the seams. Last week it all went the way we expected since about week 4! They got humiliated 33-3 by Kansas City and come in against a Jaguars team that can smell the chance of the playoffs. Bortles is better but is still getting hit too often and rushing throws because of it. There shouldn’t be too muchh worry of that this week and I predict a win for Jacksonville but perhaps not by a huge amount. This Jags defence has holes that Rivers can find despite being missing a lot of his targets. Jags -4? Hmmmm…

Rams@Bengals
St Louis must be done now surely? They can’t win games against anyone outside of their division unless they’re Cleveland! Cincinnati lost a close fought game with Arizona and will want the win here to keep Pittsburgh at bay in the suddenly competetive race for the AFC North. They’re 8.5 point favourites against this up and down Rams side and Dalton can fire that up surely?

Bucs@Colts
Anyone have these two meeting at 5-5 in week 12? Didn’t think so! Tampa are so much better this year and, well, we’ve all seen what has happened to Indy. The Colts are 3.5 point favourites but I’m not sure I agree with that. Tampa ran riot over the Eagles last week after a close fought win over the Cowboys the week before. This is a side with some edge right now. I think Indy are the better overall side but they haven’t been putting it all together all season long. Potential upset on the cards? Maybe.

Cardinals@49ers
9.5 points for the Cardinals? If Seattle can do Gabbert and the 49ers by 16 surely the high scoring Cardinals can go more than that! Kaepernick is offically out now and the Niners are apparently looking at trade options for their previous franchise quarterback. Trouble has found this team a lot this year and I don’t see this week being the time for a big upset win over their divisional rivals. Straight easy win for Arizona methinks.

Steelers@Seahawks
This could be interesing. Both sides are improved and fighting for a playoff spot and this game could be a very important one in that battle. The Seahawks have home turf advantage the bookies reckon is worth 4.5 points here. Pittsburgh have Big Ben back and on the back of their 30-9 win against the Browns have had a week off. I think the road team can make a case for a win here to stay in the hunt for that winning spot in the AFC North. Seattle need the win but aren’t looking like the focussed team they have been these last few years. They’re also without Lynch as he goes in for surgery for a sports hernia. Roethlisberger and Brown to go for a pair of big touchdowns and a big road win in Seattle.

Patriots@Broncos
No Brady vs Manning here. Probably for the best as Manning struggles through his injuries. Osweiler showed well in his debut last week and lead Denver to a win. It’ll probably be harder against Brady and the unbeaten Patriots, but this is a much weakened New England side. Denver have the defence to shut them down like Buffalo did for most of the Monday game, it’s mainly on the New England defence to shut down Osweiler and the Broncos offence. New England are 3 point favourites and I think I’ll take them. You never know though, I think it could be a defensive battle and a low scoring grind with someone coming out on top by a couple of points.

Ravens@Browns – MNF
What a way to end the week eh? 3-7 @ 2-8. No Flacco with his season ending knee injury. No Manziel as the Browns benched him after pictures emerged of him enjoying the bye week with a party. Not the end of the world normally but he is weeks out of rehab and supposed to be setting himself up as the best in the NFL – what a pillock! Cleveland are rightly in as favourites by a pair of points which has to be because Baltimore are probably lucky to still have enough players to name as a starting lineup! I haven’t gone with Cleveland yet in my pick 6, is this the week to go with them?

Pick 6:
Lions +1
Panthers +2
Vikings +2
Raiders -2
Cardinals -9.5
Texans -3

Nah, can’t bring myself to back Cleveland. Sorry!

Good luck with any bets, and ya’ll know this is just my opinion right?

Introduction

Greetings Internet folk. I signed up for this a while back with the intention (mainly) of posting my weekly musings of the NFL which I have been writing for the last couple of years but I never got round to it. I’ve finally decided that it’s time to make this available to any poor sod who wants it. Starting at the logical time in the season the first one will land on these very pages just in time for week 12 of the regular season. When would you have started?

 

I’m probably also going to throw up some other random musings about other sports so there isn’t a big empty gap after Super Bowl 50.

 

This also might make it a little easier to share for the main reader of this (you know who you are – Dave!) and for people to either congratulate me when I make spot on observations or, more likely, throw abuse my way for picking the Packers when they were clearly going to lose at home for the first time since 1991 to the 1-7 Lions! Seriously, if you bet on Detroit last week, well done! I thought a ragtag band of one legged Kenyans and a couple of hermit crabs could have beaten the Lions this season. Sometimes strange things happen in this league and that’s one of the main reasons I love it so. Behind all the crap that goes on it’s a great sport.

Anyway. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you make a few quid. Feel free to shout back to me. Game on!