Have I mentioned that I dislike Thursday night games? I really do - especially when your Houston Texans are on Thursday Night Football. The guys in deep steel blue will take on the Philadelphia Eagles for the viewing pleasure of those with NFL Network. If you're in the Houston TV market, you can also get the game on CW39.
With a lot to write in a few days time, let's get right to the previews.
It's Week 13, so you know the drill: Jump. NFL Preview. BRB Pick 'Em League Update.
Houston's coming off a big win, while the Iggles are coming off a disappointing loss. If Houston could play defense the same way (good tackling, good gap discipline, good penetration up the middle) and get some Arian Foster going, I'd pick them. However, I've yet to see them do that in back-to-back games. I hope I'm proven wrong. Eagles win 31-23. Bleeding Green Nation | Texans vs Eagles coverage
Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5) @ Tennessee Titans (5-6) (Sunday 12/5 at Noon CST)
The Titans continue to implode. After last week's loss, I see the tailspin continuing against a Jaguars team that has seen strong line play the past month. Jaguars win 24-13.
Chicago Bears (8-3) @ Detroit Lions (2-9)
The Bears are coming off their most-impressive win of the season while the Lions collapsed in the 4th quarter. Detroit's had some extra time to rest and performs well at home. I also think the universe needs to balance out Week One's Calvin Johnson no-touchdown. Lions win 24-23.
Buffalo Bills (2-9) @ Minnesota Vikings (4-7)
The Bills would be closer to .500 if they knew how to finish games. The fan base should have some optimism heading into 2011. The Vikings looked like a markedly different team under Leslie Frazier, because they run the ball and don't let Brett Favre throw it deep, and they should continue that at home. Vikings win 27-20.
Denver Broncos (3-8) @ Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
The Broncos cannot stop the run. All Kansas City does is run with the support of a rowdy Arrowhead crowd. Chiefs win 38-19.
San Francisco 49ers (3-7) @ Green Bay Packers (7-4)
49ers in the snow? They don't typically fare well. 49ers without Frank Gore? Yeah, that makes it worse. Also, Aaron Rodgers should shred that bad secondary. Packers win 37-13.
New Orleans Saints (8-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals (2-9)
Saints look like they're getting better every week, and the Bengals just don't seem interested in winning. Saints win 31-16.
Cleveland Browns (4-7) @ Miami Dolphins (6-5)
The Browns could make the playoffs next season. Yes, I'll say that now. I like what they're doing up there. If this game were in cold Cleveland, I'd take them, but I'll take the home team. Miami's getting enough from their offense to back up a strong defense. Dolphins win 24-20.
Washington Redskins (5-6) @ New York Giants (7-4)
This is just what New York needs: a home game against a bad defense. The Giants should beat up on the Redskins with physical line play to get their swagger back. Giants win 27-13.
Oakland Raiders (5-6) @ San Diego Chargers (6-5) (Sunday 12/5 at 3:05 pm CST)
The Chargers have not lost a December game in the last 14 tries. The Chargers have won four straight. I like the Raiders, probably a bit too much, but I just think the stats favor San Diego rolling. Chargers win 31-17.
Dallas Cowboys (3-8) @ Indianapolis Colts (6-5) (Sunday 12/5 at 3:15 pm CST)
Over the past few games, Peyton Manning has looked human and the Colts have looked bad. They can't run, they can't block, and the problems are everywhere. The fact that Felix Jones is starting is also not a good sign, as the Colts struggle with the shifty backs. The Cowboys have the defense and running game to win, but they need to actually commit to the run. I think they will. Cowboys win 27-23.
St. Louis Rams (5-6) @ Arizona Cardinals (3-7)
I'm not taking the Cardinals over any team with a decent defense. The Rams are such a team. Sam Bradford should be more than enough on offense. Bradford's going to be great when he gets a healthy #1 target. Rams win 23-10.
Carolina Panthers (1-10) @ Seattle Seahawks (5-6)
Panthers at Qwest Field? Next. Seahawks win 26-12.
Atlanta Falcons (9-2) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4)
A few weeks back, Tampa Bay was close to beating Atlanta in Atlanta. Simply because they're at home, I like Tampa Bay against the Falcons. Buccaneers win 26-24.
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) @ Baltimore Ravens (8-3) (Sunday 12/5 at 7:20 pm CST)
This is exactly the kind of game you like to see for next Monday's opponent. This is going to be a brutal, physical match-up. The Ravens squeaked out a win earlier this season, and I think their defense is playing better. I'm not sold on Pittsburgh. New England embarrassed them on Sunday night, they struggled against Buffalo, and my confidence isn't there with them. Ravens win 17-13.
New York Jets (9-2) @ New England Patriots (9-2) (Monday 12/6 at 7:30 pm CST)
The Jets are bound to lose one with how close their last month has been. After shipping off Moss, New England's tight end heavy offense is a nightmare problem. I think Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez will have a big day against a Jets defense that is weak across the middle. Patriots win 33-23.
BRB Pick 'Em League Update
It's fitting that I wrote Glover Quin's name a lot this week as he redeemed himself with three interceptions. A few weeks ago, after the Q-Tip, I had to do the same, so it is only fair to get to do it now. Another stellar week for the BRB Pickers. Disregarding some of the missed Thanksgiving games, only one person ended up with more than eight incorrect picks. The pickers are really on it. Twenty-three pickers have 100+ correct picks which is pretty damn impressive (and makes me grateful for confidence points). Speaking of impressive, no one has been more impressive this week than the Week 12 winner of the (rather appropriately named) Andre Johnson Award for Ass-Kicking and Excellence...riversmccown.
I feel like I'm talking about someone setting some new BRB Pick 'Em League record every week. After this week's performance from Week 12 winner riversmccown, I don't think I'll be saying it again. Like CowboyH8ter before him, riversmccown, the master of game-tape, Simpsons quotes, and SBN Houston, has been at the top of the standings for the entire season. It was only a matter of time before riversmccown won himself an Andre.
The alter ego of lovable Freddy dominated picking on an insane level - like Andre Johnson whipping Cortland Finnegan level of domination. riversmccown picked 14 out of 16 games correctly with 133 out of 136 points. That's the best 16-game record, most points, and closest to perfection that any BRB Picker has accomplished in a pick 'em week. Aside from games involving the wacky NFC West, riversmccown thoroughly dominated this week.
riversmccown scored more than anyone else, and that's how you win games, according to his favorite announcer Steve Tasker. Let's all congratulate and raise a Red Stripe to the Week 12 BRB Pick 'Em Winner of the Andre Johnson Award for Ass-Kicking and Excellence - riversmccown.
"Should've Put Money On It" Game of the Week: Forty-five out of 46 people picked Texans over Titans. I love that people still picked Texans over Titans...despite the pessimism. That makes me pretty damned happy.
"We Know Nothing" Game of the Week: Six out of 46 people drank too much of ESPN's Mike Vick Kool-Aid. Kudos to riversmccown, BigTexBD, papabear, Xmant2000, .Bonzo, and Jaws for getting the big upset right.
Sippin' on Battle Red Drank: Distant_Texans_Fan, DilloTex, HoustonTransplant, nolander, papabear, RED56, Shake, Taco Joe, txknight, texanmaniac, TexanKevin, BigTexBD, pvavocalist, SouthernLion, tehGrindCrusher, and ketchuppants7 all put down 16 maxmium confidence points on the Texans.
Hidin' Out In the Back of the Meeting Hall: Only periennial underdog picker .Bonzo chose Tennessee. I'm sure he feels dirty by picking them.
The Rex Grossman "F**k It, I'm Goin' Deep" Award: The big upset this week was 4-point underdog St. Louis knocking off the Broncos, so the Rexy goes to...HoustonTransplant. He went deep on this one and threw 14 points down on that. That's how you win a Rexy - big points on an underdog.
The David Carr Misguided Faith Award: Picking 10.5-point underdog Carolina will land you in this spot. Fortunately for .Bonzo, it was all part of his underdog strategy to drop six points on them. It almost paid off too, but almosts don't count in the standings.
The Charley Casserly Decision Making Award: Trex76 went 12-4. Yes, 12-4, but his 31 points put him at the bottom of the week's standings. How did this happen? Well, he didn't put any points on his wins. He'd be in the top-ten if he did. Not scoring points, however, lands you next to Charley.
BRBer with the best weekly record: riversmccown (Glover Quin Never Allows TDs) 14-2.
BRBer with the most weekly points: riversmccown (Glover Quin Never Allows TDs) 133 points.
Overall best record: SATexan (Cake) 115-61 leads by 1 game over riversmccown (Glover Quin Never Allows TDs).
Overall points leader: SATexan (Cake) 989 points leads by 16 points over riversmccown (Glover Quin Never Allows TDs).
Top-Five BRB Pick 'Em League (by record with actual points rankings)
1. SATexan (Cake) 115-61; 989 points (1st).
2. riversmccown (Glover Quin Never Allows TD's) 114-62; 973 points (2nd).
3. CowboyH8ter (AJ Open Downfield) 111-65; 930 points (3rd).
4. BigTexBD (BigTexBD) 110-66; 921 points (4th).
5. USMC_Texas (USMC) 109-67; 842 points (t-20th).
Don't forget to submit your picks for Thursday's game and the rest by Sunday, BRB Pickers. Congrats once again riversmccown! Enjoy this weekend's slate of football and GO TEXANS!