Friday, November 30, 2007

NFL 2007 - Week 13, Part II

49ers @ PANTHERS -3

Here's what I've got so far:

- I thought I remembered that Vinny Testaverde won the Heisman Trophy when he was in college, but then I looked it up, and it turns out I was wrong. Vinny Testaverde played against Heisman in college.

- Packers backup QB Aaron Rodgers looked sharp and ready to play in Thursday's game against Dallas, which isn't surprising since he's spent two years studying under Brett Favre. Panthers quarterback Vinny Testaverde, on the other hand, once spent two years studying under Plato.

- The Philadelphia Eagles, despite losing to New England by a field goal, may have discovered how to beat the Patriots. Sort of like how Panthers quarterback Vinny Testaverde, when he was a kid, discovered the Bering land bridge.

- It looks like quarterback Vinny Testaverde is back in the saddle for Carolina, which is funny, because Vinny Testaverde used to sit in a saddle on his way to school when he was a kid. Because cars hadn't been invented yet, because he's so old.

- Remember in Spider-Man 3, when he turned into the black Spider-Man and got evil and stuff? Apparently, that's happened to Superman, too! (oh, David Carr. What would this column be without you?)

Anyway. The Panthers have to win at home sometime. And, though the 49ers finally won last week, I don't think a victory over the Arizona Cardinals has ever been a guarantee that your team is necessarily back on track.

Jaguars @ COLTS -6.5

I saw that this line has moved from Colts by 7 to Colts by 6.5. There's a weird football gambling superstition about going with one team when everybody's backing the other, but in this case, it might be a good idea. Sure, the Colts are missing Dwight Freeney and Marvin Harrison. But they've got pretty much everyone else, and this idea that the Jaguars always play them tough was pretty much done away with after Indianapolis beat them in Jacksonville 29-7 in October.

And sure, Jags QB David Garrard missed some of that game. And sure, Garrard hasn't thrown an interception since, like, Vinny Testaverde's dad was born. But I like the Colts to assert their AFC South supremacy here.

Chargers @ CHIEFS +6

The Chargers are inconsistent. The Chargers won last week. Therefore, by some sort of mathematical property that I don't feel like looking (or making) up, the Chargers will not play well in Kansas City this week. Plus, 4-7 though the Chiefs may be, Arrowhead Stadium in December is no joke.

Jets @ DOLPHNIS -1

The Jets are underdogs against an 0-11 team? What, did they hire Dennis Green as their coach last week and not tell anybody but the Vegas oddsmakers?

But seriously folks, as far as the Dolphins go, you can only lose so many close games. They've been in almost every game; sooner or later they're going to win. Sooner (i.e., Sunday), I predict. I mean, think about it: at this point in the season, if you're 3-8, maybe it's a little tougher to get up for a game (not that NFL players aren't professionals, and able to get up for every game to a certain degree. Still. There's got to be different levels of "up;" I don't care who you are).

But if you're 0-11, you've only got five more chances to avoid the humiliation of the NFL's first-ever 0-16 season, you're going to carpe every diem you can.

LIONS @ Vikings -4

I'm going to keep picking against the Vikings, just for misery insurance. If they keep winning and it costs me one game a week, I'll take that (and like it).

How about this: Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was apparently given the nickname "All Day" by his mother because, as a child, Peterson had so much energy that he could run all day. This was shortened to A.D. by the time Peterson became a college star, which led to the perplexing, ridiculous situation of a man whose initials were A.P. being referred to as A.D.

Then what happens? Peterson gets drafted by the Vikings, only to enter into an NFC North division that already has a running back named Adrian Peterson (of the Chicago Bears). How confusing! What's a sports fan to do? How can we possibly tell which Adrian Peterson is being referred to in any given sports discussion?

Well, there you go. Adrian Peterson of the Vikings has been known as "A.D." since he was a kid. It's spooky, isn't it? It's just like Mel Gibson's kid with all those glasses of water in Signs.

SEAHAWKS @ Eagles -3

The Seahawks are hot. The Eagles seem to have disproved the old idea that there are no such things as "moral victories" in the NFL, managing to lose to the Patriots by only a field goal. I called the Eagles "disasters" earlier in the year, and now they're 5-6.

I don't take kindly to being proven wrong; I think the Eagles will be disastrous and the Seahawks will keep on winning.

Falcons @ RAMS -3

We're reaching premium "who cares" status with some of these games by now. It's Week 13; that tends to happen. If we can count on the Rams not screwing up the snap from center at the one yard line on their last play of the game, we should be okay with this pick.

Texans @ TITANS -4

After sitting out three games (all Titans losses) with an injured hammy, Tennessee's beastly defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth is expected to play in this game. So are the Houston Texans. All of this leads me to believe that the Titans will cover the spread.

Bills @ REDSKINS -5.5

Who knows how the Redskins will respond to Sean Taylor's murder? It's distasteful even to think of such a thing in the context of picking a winner against the spread, I know. What a horrible thing to have happen.

BROWNS @ Cardinals pk

Let's see... will a good team beat the Cardinals? Well, that depends... what year is it, currently? Huh? Oh, I see; it's any year in which the NFL has operated? Okay. In that case, I'll pick against the Cardinals.

BRONCOS @ Raiders +3.5

Since it's almost impossible to imagine a way in which the Broncos will be able to manage to kick the ball to Bears return man Devin Hester in this game, I'll take Denver.

BUCCANEERS @ Saints -3.5

I had to triple-check this line to make sure I hadn't gotten it wrong. Apparently it opened at 3 and then went up to 3.5; evidently people couldn't wait to bet on the 5-6 Saints to beat up on the 7-4, first-place Buccaneers. I don't get it at all; either everybody else knows something I don't, or I know something everybody else doesn't. Frankly, I'm not sure which is scarier.

Giants @ BEARS +1.5

Sure, Eli Manning threw four interceptions on Sunday against the Vikings, and the Vikings scored three times on returns. But that's what always happens.

I wondered last week whether the Giants had, in fact, began their annual Tom Coughlin late-season choke job with that 16-10 win over the Lions, only we didn't notice because the Lions started out hot and we though they were good and thus mistakenly gave the Giants credit for beating a good team.

Well, the Giants answered that for us by letting the worst pass defense in the league score three touchdowns on interception returns in a gruesome 41-17 loss to the Vikes. And now they're favored on the road?

Bengals @ STEELERS -7

The Steelers, after that Monday Night Football fiasco with the rainy, muddy field, are due for a big win at home.

PATRIOTS @ Ravens +20

The Patriots might hit triple digits in this one.

If Randy Moss decides he wants to play, that is. According to ESPN's Ron ("Jaws") Jaworski, Moss took some plays off during Sunday night's game against Philadelphia. It's more than a little appropriate that Jaworski would be the one to point this out; Patriots fans, feel free to watch this week's game with those first two notes of the Jaws theme in your heads ("duuuuh-Dun").

Every time Moss dogs it on a route... ("duuuuh-Dun")

When he doesn't throw a block he might have... ("duuuuh-Dun")

When he appears not even to try to break up an interception... ("duuuuh-Dun")

Have fun with all of that, New England!

Sincerely,

Any Vikings Fan.

The five I feel good (or, if not good, better than the others) about:

Jaguars @ COLTS -6.5
BROWNS @ Cardinals pk
BUCCANEERS @ Saints -3.5
Giants @ BEARS +1.5
PATRIOTS @ Ravens +20


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