By IAN WUKITSCH
I start this week off with a little question for the Trax Pack — say you are in the owners seat — do you draft Jameis Winston? If so, how high? To be honest, I don’t think this guy is worthy enough to be a “Face of the Franchise” kinda guy. The talent and ability he has shown in college is unquestioned, the guy can flat out ball, but it is his off the field issues that really get to me. I can live with stealing crab legs and selling your autographs to get some cash, times are hard financially I get that; I’m in the same boat. But sexual assault and shaving points? No thanks. Winston has too many issues with his personal character to make him my starting QB, there’s just no way around it. Especially if this guy is shaving points for people to win bets, and putting his team — his FAMILY — at risk out on the field. Cut the crap Jameis, grow up and play football. Leave the off the field antics somewhere else. Now that I’m all fired up, here are my picks for Week 12.
HOME team in CAPS
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-7) over Detroit Lions
Lets face it, Tom Brady can flat out run a football team. The Patriots are RED HOT since their sluggish start, and I don’t think there is anyone who can stop them. Factor that with the Pats at home in the freezing cold weather, and this one is a no brainer. Look for the Brady Bunch to score a ton of points as they have all season (over 32 ppg) and exploit Detroit’s defense. Matt Stafford is a good QB, don’t get me wrong, and he has great weapons in Golden Tate and Megatron, but I don’t think the Lions will be able to keep this manageable. The Pats are too hot, and we have already seen them blow out two of the best signal callers in the last three weeks in Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning. Stafford is not even close to those guys in terms of ability, and I think the Patriots D will hold this offense, especially if the Lions are playing from behind and have to throw the ball all game. Take the Patriots to cover at home this week.
DENVER BRONCOS (-7) over Miami Dolphins
Denver is coming off an absolutely stunning loss to the Rams, but don’t expect that to happen again. These Broncos will be ready to go, and Miami is very unlucky to play them this week after a loss. Peyton Manning is too good of a QB to be held in check back to back weeks, and I see him taking it to the Dolphins. There’s a reason why this team averages close to 30 points a game, and gains more than 400 yards of total offense. Repeat poor offensive performances is one of the only things not in Manning’s repertoire (and scrambling, he can’t do that either.) Throw in an above average Broncos defense that yields only 22 ppg and an unproven Dolphins offense, and you have a recipe for a blowout. If the Dolphins want to win this football game, they will have to stop the Broncos on defense and control the clock. If they can’t do that, there is no way they can win — in a shootout. Take the Broncos to cover in grand style this weekend.
Not So Fast My Friend
The following games are ones I’d try and stay away from this weekend — unless you’re a complete degenerate gambler and are feeling lucky. In that case, good luck.
Dallas Cowboys (-3) at NEW YORK GIANTS
Every time these two teams play it’s a close one. There are too many factors in this game that makes me a little weary about picking it. The first one being, is Tony Romo going to be healthy enough to perform? The Giants can get after the quarterback on occasion, and if Romo takes one hard hit in this cold weather, I don’t think his back will be able to withstand it. The Giants are also fresh off a close game against the 49ers last week, and two weeks ago they hung around with the Seahawks for the first three quarters. I think this Giants team is on the verge of turning it around, and sooner or later Eli is going to put together a complete game. If Romo gets hurt and Eli plays well, this will be a nail biter until the end. Too many variables in this one — stay away.
Tennessee Titans (+11) at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, double-digit points scare me. Especially when you’re asking Mark Sanchez of all people to beat a team by that many points. The Eagles looked helpless last week against the Packers, and although I don’t think that will happen again, I don’t see team morale being high enough to put a spanking on Tennessee. The Titans have looked like a respectable team the last two weeks, and have given Mark Sanchez fits in the past when they played against him as a Jet. I think this Titans team could keep this one interesting, especially if Zach Mettenberger continues to throw the ball well, which is a distinct possibility against a weak Eagles pass D. Mostly though, I’m just staying away from this game on a hunch that Sanchez will revert back to his former self and look completely clueless out there. Sanchez sucks, he won’t cover.
St. Louis Rams (+5) over SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Jeff Fisher has really turned this young Rams team around. St. Louis has transformed from being an easy W for opponents early this season, to a possible playoff contender. They enter this matchup following a very impressive win against the Broncos last week, flipping the script with a 2-1 record in their last three games. On the other side, the Chargers have been underperforming these past few weeks. A blowout loss to the Dolphins three weeks ago and a nail-biter last week against the Raiders (who actually won a game against KC!!!) leads me to believe that their overwhelming success early on was just a flukey hot spell. On paper these teams are fairly similar— the only difference being the Chargers stingier defense (almost a TD less per game than the Rams). All in all though, I’m playing the hot hand with the Rams this week. This team does all the little things right to win football games, and I think this is the week they will showcase that. Take the Rams to upset the Chargers on the road.
So there ya have it folks….another week, and another set of predictions from yours truly. And although I never say anything is a “lock pick”, I’d say that the Packers will 99% hit the over against the Vikings this week. Aaron Rodgers is downright NASTY.
Good luck my friends, see ya next week.