Welcome back to the only NFL picks on Associated Content not blaming Eric Mangini for the latest Cleveland Browns’ loss. As I proclaimed on my Twitter page about halfway through the second quarter, the Browns were losing the game no matter what. Because they’re the Browns. This is the week 12 Thanksgiving edition of Zac’s Backs.
Before I list my NFL picks for this week, I must make a confession. I am indeed jumping the gun, going against my usual “wait until the current week is officially over” motto and writing these NFL picks during the Monday night football game. Hey, it’s Thanksgiving week, the (newly official) wife and I are planning our first Thanksgiving Day meal and there’s also college basketball galore. Busy, busy week for yours truly. There’s one thing I’m especially thankful for when it comes to the NFL, right now.
The New York Giants won a game. Woo.
Here are my picks for week 12 of the 2009 NFL season.
Green Bay at Detroit
The Lions gave up 37 points. To the Cleveland Browns.
Winner: Green Bay
Oakland at Dallas
The Raiders seem to be able to defeat only very good football teams, this season. Unfortunately for Oakland, they’re only playing the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. With that said, I’m going to continue to proclaim the NFC East the most overrated conference in all the NFL until something happens to prove me otherwise. No, a dominating Cowboys victory is not that something.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
I’m told that the Bucs were actually beating the Saints at some point on Sunday. Then New Orleans scored 38 straight points. Granted, the Falcons aren’t quite as efficient on offense as New Orleans. Watching Matt Ryan and company shed apart a (very injured) Giants secondary on Sunday makes me believe they’ll take care of Tampa Bay.
Miami at Buffalo
What new way will the Bills find to lose, this Sunday? Drop kick? Safety on the last play? Spike the ball on fourth down? Eh, only Derek Anderson would do that last one.
Cleveland at Cincinnati
Continuing the Thanksgiving Day theme, I’d like to once again thank my father, grandmother, grandfather and other family members for raising me to root for Cleveland sports. Seriously, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Seattle at St. Louis
Wow, Seattle’s defense is bad. One trend will end this week as the Seahawks are 0-5 on the road and the Rams are 0-5 at home. I’m going with St. Louis in what could be this week’s Detroit-Cleveland game.
Winner: St. Louis
Carolina at New York Jets
Hate to say I told you so about Mark Sanchez but…
The one big concern about Sanchez? What if he really does hate playing in the Meadowlands after September? In all fairness to Sanchez, it took Eli Manning a few years to get it right in New Jersey. That doesn’t do the Jets much good this week, though. With Delhomme and Sanchez playing at the same time, the real question should be “what’s the line regarding total interceptions?” My over-under is seven. What’s your pick?
Washington at Philadelphia
Welcome back to reality, Redskins fans! Just how unhappy will you Washington fans be if Jim Zorn somehow keeps his job after this season? Unhappy like “my team started 5-0 before they lost four straight and just about every defensive player to injury” or unhappy like “my team would have won a game if not for some idiot that was guilty of pass interference in the end zone on the final play of the game, leading to an easy score for the opponent?”
Indianapolis at Houston
Why bother even playing this game? We all know what’s going to happen. The Colts will look shaky at best while the Texans keep things close. Late in the game, Houston will drive down the field down by two or three and then lose on a field goal that is hooked outside the post. This outcome is more predictable than last weekend’s Hogan-Flair match in Australia. Yeah, like Hulk was going to lose on his own tour.
Kansas City at San Diego
Know those 22 minutes season-in-review NFL Films specials ESPN airs before every season? The Chiefs 2010 show will be made up of 18 minutes of last week’s win.
Winner: San Diego
Jacksonville at San Francisco
The 49ers have to win this game simply because if they don’t, head coach Mike Singletary may start kidnapping the family members of his players. Besides, the Jags had to score a game-winning TD in the final minute of the game to beat the Bills. The team that lost to the Browns.
Winner: San Francisco
Arizona at Tennessee
The Titans have undeniably been playing better football this past month and the Cardinals struggled to defeat the lowly Rams last week. Arizona is one of those roller coaster teams, though, that plays really crappy one week and great the next. The Cardinals also play better on the road.
Chicago at Minnesota
Speaking of trends that will continue; if any quarterback can give Cutler advice after another game full of interceptions, it’s Hollywood Brett Favre. His advice to Cutler?
Go with Wrangler.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
OK, so maybe neither team is all that good. This is still a good game to feature on Sunday night as it’s a genuine rivalry between two hard hitting football teams that really need to win. Baltimore had a very real chance to defeat the Patriots, Bengals, Vikings and Colts this NFL season. They failed in all four attempts. The Ravens have to come out on top in one of these games.
New England at New Orleans
The game of the week and it’s on Monday night. Lucky, lucky ESPN. The 10-0 Saints looked dominant against a terrible Bucs team while the Patriots were, well, they were fine against the now lowly New York Jets. In the past month, there have been numerous signs to indicate that the Saints will not be finishing this regular season 16-0.
With that said, the Patriots just haven’t been as sharp on the road (they lost to the Jets in the Meadowlands, after all) and this game just seems like too obvious of an “upset.” Unlike many NFL “experts,” I’m going with the Saints.
Winner: New Orleans
That’s all for me. You’ve been great, as always. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day dinners. Remember to get that nap in, though, especially if you’re waking up at 3 am for those Black Friday sales. See you at Best Buy.