By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN’s NFL Picks: Week Thirteen
As for on the field, Week 12 was the first 800-point weekend in NFL history. It averaged out to more than 50 points (52.3) per game. Monday night’s 51-29 win by New Orleans over Green Bay set the mark.
A total of 837 points were scored in the league’s 16 Week 12 games, the most ever in a single NFL weekend. The previous record was 788 points, set three times (September 5, 8-9, 2002; December 5-6, 2004; and December 29-30, 2007).
Games this season are averaging 45.0 points. If that average holds, it would top last season’s average of 43.4 and the record average since the 16-game schedule was instituted in 1978 of 43.7 points per game in 1983.
As we start Week 13, it may be time to get calculators ready again.
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
The Giants posted a 10-6 regular-season record last year en route to the Super Bowl XLII championship. This season, Big Blue is 10-1 and can surpass last year’s regular-season win total with a victory this Sunday over Washington. They can become only the fifth defending Super Bowl champion to win more games in the following season (not including the shortened 1982 season).
Chicago’s Matt FortÃ© is on pace (909 yards) to break the Bears’ rookie rushing record. Who holds the record?
A. Gale Sayers B. Walter Payton C. Anthony Thomas D. Willie Gallimore
(The answer comes at the end of the story).
LAST WEEK: 7-9 (103-71-1 overall)
After weeks of barely getting over .500, the roof caved in on us last week. We got badly burned by the Broncos, Panthers, and Eagles. To save some face, we did have the Giants, Bears, and Vikings. Here’s hoping we can use some Turkey Day magic (Is there such a thing??) to bounce back.
TITANS at LIONS
It’s amazing what one loss can do to one’s reputation. After Sunday’s ass whupping at home, all of a sudden the Jets, Steelers, and others are being looked at the AFC’s best team. While their conservative offensive plans blew up in their face last week, Tennessee is still the team to beat in the AFC. This Turkey Day game has the look of a monstrous trap game, especially when you consider the Boys from Motown have lost their last four games on the holiday, getting outscored 132-52. A team with nothing to lose against a team looking to bounce back. Hide the kids and pass the biscuits because this may get ugly.
SEAHAWKS at COWBOYS
Much like the ill-fated “Magic Show” a few years back, this game looked good on the schedule back in August. However, reality has made this match up look like a good excuse to grab some extra stuffing or piece of pie. The Cowboys have been able to bounce back from their slide with wins in their last two games. On the other side, Seattle is in the midst of their first four-game skid since losing five in a row Oct. 2-29, 2000. Surprisingly, the Birds have won their last battle with Dallas including a playoff finish that No. 9 would like to forget. Thursday won’t make up for it, but they should get their third straight win.
CARDINALS at EAGLES
While the media vultures are swarming around Philly’s favorite whipping boy, the bottom line is that Andy Reid’s offense has become a predictable as an S.D. Jones wrestling match. At this point in time, not even McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Ron Jaworski or the ghost of Norm Van Brocklin could help. They now host a Cardinals squad that’s looking to bounce back from last week’s dismissal at the hands of Big Blue. Expect a hostile crown for both teams given the circumstances. The final result probably won’t make them feel much better either.
GIANTS at REDSKINS
When they last met on that Thursday night back in September, the expectations for both teams were nowhere near what they are now. Big Blue has been the NFC’s best team while the Skins have been up and down more times than the Dow Jones Exchange. New York added more to their impressive resume with their win in Arizona. D.C. struggled but they were able to get a win against the godawful Seahawks. While I don’t deny the Giants are one of the league’s best teams, I get the feeling that a desperate Redskin squad at home will be tough to handle.
STEELERS at PATRIOTS
Yes, he’s thrown for over 400 yards in his last two games and he finally got the ball deep to Randy Moss, but Matt Cassel isn’t the next Tom Brady. The front running nature of Boston sport fans reared its head this week as some of the “loyal fans” of Team Tivo actually thought it might be time to trade America’s Sweetheart in favor of the new flavor of the month. The Black and Gold had no problem with the franchise formerly known as the Bengals last Thursday. While Mr. Cassel has played well the last two weeks, I’m not really sure if he’s the next Drew Brees or the next Scott Mitchell. I have a hunch the Steelers’ D will let us know on Sunday.
BEARS at VIKINGS
Doesn’t it seem like the Bears and Vikes play on Sunday night every season? The last time these two met (October 19), they set the series record for most points in a game (89 in a 48-41 Bears win). The teams also totaled 766 yards of offense. Just how big a game is this? The Vikings are pulling our their classic purple jerseys of the 1960-70s. They’d better bring back the defense as well in this divisional battle. I don’t think we’ll have the shootout like the last time, but I get the feeling that we’ll get a different winner.
JAGUARS at TEXANS
How long has it been since MNF’s cameras were in Houston? It was on November 21, 1994 (Giants 13, Oilers 10), the debut of then interim head coach of the Oilers, Jeff Fisher. As for this game, both teams are just about playing out the string. Both are coming off different directions: Houston smacked up on Cleveland while the Jags fell meekly to the Purple Gang. Since we’re on the nostalgia kick, lets go with the home team for old times sake.
Bucs over Saints: Tampa won’t let Mr. Brees score a half a hundred on them.
Jets over Broncos: Note to Jay Cutler — Even Elway could beat the Raiders.
Panthers over Packers: Carolina will bounce back in a huge upset.
Colts over Browns: Losing Jeff Saturday will hurt, but Indy should still beat the Brownies.
Falcons over Chargers: The ultimate battle between a rising team and a dying team.
Dolphins over Rams: Could the Fish be a player in the postseason party?
Bills over 49ers: The Bills are fighting for their playoff lives.
Ravens over Bengals: Baltimore will be looking to make Mr. Fitzpatrick’s day miserable.
Raiders over Chiefs: Yeah, like you’re really gonna watch this game!!!
C. In 2001, Anthony Thomas set Chicago’s rookie rushing record with 1,183 yards.