By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN’s NFL Picks: Week Twelve
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Only five weeks remain after this week’s action. And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to start looking at tiebreakers and playoff scenarios.
Only two teams could clinch a playoff spot this week. In the AFC, the unbeaten Titans can clinch a playoff berth with a win against Gang Green along with losses by Miami, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore.
In the NFC, the Cardinals could clinch the West with a win against the Giants along with losses by the 49ers and Seahawks. Believe it or not, only one team is officially eliminated from playoff contention.
That would be the win less Boys from Motown. But you already knew that!!!
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
New Orleans QB Drew Brees leads the league with seven 300-yard passing games, tied for the most in history through the first 10 games of a season. Arizona’s Kurt Warner has six such games. Oakland ‘s Rich Gannon, who holds the single-season mark with 10 300-yard games, had seven such performances through the first 10 games of 2002.
Arizona’s Tim Hightower currently leads all rookie runners with 7 rushing touchdowns. What player hold the Cardinals’ single-season record for rushing TD’s by a rookie?
A. Ottis Anderson B. John David Crow C. Ronald Moore D. Johnnie Johnson
(The answer comes at the end of this column).
LAST WEEK: 8-6-1 (96-62-1 overall)
Well, at least we finished over .500!! It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it. We took a chance on the Ravens and Bears on the road and got severely beaten. However, we did get it right with the Jets, Saints, and Dolphins. I won’t even mention that debacle in Cincy.
BENGALS at STEELERS
Both teams are coming into this contest off of bizarre home games. We’re still trying to figure out just what the hell happened in the final minutes of the San Diego-Pittsburgh while the Bengals and Eagles played in one of the ugliest ties of all-time last week. The Black and Gold handed Cincy a 38-10 loss last month, but for some reason they’ve struggled against the Bungles at the Ketchup place. In fact, they’ve dropped three of five overall against Cincinnati at Heinz Field. While the team seems to be playing better, I don’t think Marvin’s guys will be able to win Thursday night.
JETS at TITANS
We previously mentioned the postseason possibilities entering this game. However, this could very easily be a playoff preview as well. The big question to me is just how much will Gang Green have left emotionally after their overtime win at Foxboro? In many ways, this game may be more of a gauge of just how good this team is instead of last week’s battle with Team Tivo. The Titans have won every way possible this season ans still there are many skeptics. We’ll see how many they’ll have after they win again Sunday.
GIANTS at CARDINALS
Much like the previous game, this has all the makings of a playoff preview. Arizona has all but clinched the West as we mentioned before, but they’ve had some real ugly, ugly losses (i.e. Jets, Panthers). Big Blue’s bruising win against the Ravens was just another impressive page on their year-long resume. Here’s something to chew on — Since 1990, Super Bowl champs have returned to the venue of their previous season’s Super Bowl victory eight times, with the champion winning seven of those contests. I know the Cards are great at home, but make it eight of nine.
COLTS at CHARGERS
Folks in Indy are calling it a grudge match. Folks in San Diego are calling it the last stand. Both teams have given their fans fits and thrills all season. Just when it appears that the Horseheads are dead, they come back with a big win. On the other hand, just when we thought the Bolts were ready to turn the corner, they and or Norv shoot themselves in the foot. Who do we go with here? I’ll grit my teeth and go with the road team.
PACKERS at SAINTS
Both teams kept their slim playoff hopes alive last week with big wins. The Cheeseheads thumped Da Bears while New Orleans snapped a losing streak by dismissing K.C. To me this comes down to one key point — The Saints’ defense is ranked 26th against the pass and 19th against the run. Green Bay’s D has some warts and Drew Brees can be very lethal when he’s on, but if this is a shootout, I think the Pack can and will pull it out.
Dolphins over Patriots: My upset special of the week.
Panthers over Falcons: The Dirty Birds will keep it close.
Eagles over Ravens: At the half, Sesame Street’s Roosevelt Franklin (remember him?) will explain the infield fly rule to Mr. McNabb.
Redskins over Seahawks: Another bad loss could be dangerous for D.C.
Cowboys over 49ers: San Fran will keep it close, but eventually will find a way to lose.
Broncos over Raiders: This should only count as a half-win for Denver.
Bears over Rams: If they can’t beat St. Louis, Lovie’s team doesn’t deserve a playoff spot.
Chiefs over Bills: Sorry, I’m tired of picking Buffalo and they keep falling apart.
Vikings over Jaguars: Welcome to the Desperation Bowl.
Browns over Texans: Will this late surge be enough for Romeo to keep his job? Probably not, but stay tuned.
Bucs over Lions: The Boys from Motown will be looking past Tampa for Turkey day…….NOT!!!!
C. In 1993, Ronald Moore set a Cardinal franchise record with nine rushing TDs.