By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN NFL Picks: Week 13
By Tony McClean
Updated: December 1, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — There are some weeks in the NFL when nothing is really needed to be said, just play the games and let the chips fall where they may. Week 13 is one of those instances.
Between the NFC East battle at the Meadowlands between the Tuna Helpers and Big Blue, to an AFC West showdown with the Broncos and Chiefs at Arrowhead, the winding down to a long season gets a kick start this Sunday.
As for playoff scenarios heading into this week, only the undefeated Colts and the NFC West leading Seahawks can claim berths with wins and several losses by other teams.
Indy can clinch the AFC South with a win and a Jaguars loss. They can also clinch a first-round bye with that same scenario along with a Bengals loss.
Meanwhile, Seattle can clinch their division with a win and a St. Louis loss. They same applies if they both tie. If one wins and another ties, your guess is as good as mine.
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
There are 14 teams in the NFL with at least seven wins through 11 weeks of the season. That is one less than the most in history at this point in a season after the 15 of 2000.
Cleveland’s Ruben Droughns is 59 yards away from a 1,000-yard season. True or False: Was Jim Brown was the last Cleveland Brown to lead the NFL in rushing?
In 2004, Tony Gonzalez became the first tight end in NFL history to have at a 100-catch season. He set a Chiefs’ club record 102 grabs.
LAST WEEK: 11-5 (102-67 overall)
Well, I had to make up for going under .500 a week ago. We took a split on Thanksgiving Day, but rallied behind the Panthers, Chiefs, and Bengals on Sunday. We took a chance on the Browns, Raiders, and Packers and got burned. We also had to sweat out a Ram win at Houston. Wow, I got bailed out by a Haaaarvard man.
Both team are entering the game coming off huge losses. Jay Feely’s kick foibles at Seattle cost Big Blue a win while the Tuna Helpers got ambushed by ex-Giant Ron Dayne on Thanksgiving. In their first meeting back in October, Dallas won in overtime. Another close game should be in the cards as eight of the 11 meetings between the two since 2000 have been decided by no more then seven points. Just on the safe side, I’ll take the home team.
Another divisional rematch has the Black and Gold hosting the Lewis Gang at the Ketchup place. Cincy will be look to avenge a 27-13 spanking back in October at the Jungle. We all saw Monday night how effective the Colts were against the Steelers in the no-huddle offense. The Bengals were watching as well. In fact, during the past two weeks, the Bengals have totaled 931 yards and 79 points by emphasizing the no-huddle. Will it be enough? We think so.
When these teams last met a year ago at the Dome, it was a classic back-and-forth contest that saw the Falcons prevail in overtime. At that time, Atlanta was on their way to an NFC West crown while Carolina was fighting for a playoff berth. Now the roles are reverse. While both teams may still make the playoffs, a possible division title is still up for grabs for both as well. I just have a feeling that Atlanta will be able to run against that tough Panther D.
In another divisional rematch, the Chiefs look to avenge their 30-10 loss at Denver way back in September. While Denver has been cruising, K.C. is peaking on offense as well behind Larry Johnson. Since Priest Holmes was lost for the season, LJ has been doing his best to carry the offense. Johnson (968 yards on the year) has rushed for 462 yards as the Chiefs’ main back, including 119 on 31 carries last Sunday. It’s just a hunch, but I think the Chiefs will be tough to beat at home this Sunday as well.
The Seabirds try to solidify their standing as the NFC’s top team as they evade Philly on Monday night. The Iggles D will have their work cut out for them in trying to stop Shaun Alexander. The NFL’s leading rusher (1,339 yards), Alexander has not had a game under 60 yards in a year – since November 28 of last season (39 yards vs. Buffalo). In the 16 games since – a full season – Alexander has had 10 100-yard rushing efforts, including in his last four outings.
Colts over Titans: After Monday’s game, you really get the feeling that Pittsburgh and Indy will see each other again……Maybe sometime in January perhaps??
Saints over Bucs: The upset special of the week.
Bears over Packers: Favre will make it close, but the Smith Bros. are clearly on a mission.
Patriots over Jets: New England may win the East, but they won’t be in the postseason very long this year.
Chargers over Raiders: I still say that the Bolts will be another dangerous team to meet in the playoffs……If they can get in!!!
Dolphins over Bills: My boss is really gonna be mad at me (Hi, Roland!!!!).
Vikings over Lions: As punishment for his comments, Dre Bly must sit through the rest of Detroit’s season next to Joey Harrington.
Jaguars over Browns: David Garrard shouldn’t have a too much of a problem with Cleveland’s D…….However, next week’s assignment may be a bit tougher.
Ravens over Texans: If they can’t beat Houston, fire Billick now.
Rams over Redskins: Look, Muffy!! That Haaaarvard QB can play some ball.
Cardinals over 49ers: The less said about this game, the better.