By The Coach and Dr. Football
The Detroit Lions should beat the Chicago Bears. The Minnesota Vikings should beat the Carolina Panthers. The Green Bay Packers are in tough, albeit at home, against the New England Patriots.
By the end of Week 13, we could have a runaway winner or a battle for top spot. We could also have a Vikings organization either feeling good about its future or devastated at 4-8.
This isn’t the week that separates the NFL’s contenders but it will be close. In the NFL North, a Packers’ win and a Lions’ loss could all but give Green Bay the title with only four games left. In the AFC West, the Cardinals will be in the driver’s seat with a win, but in trouble with a loss because the Seahawks play the 49ers and one of those two teams could be hot on Arizona’s tail. Philadelphia and Dallas could be the Game of the Week and in the NFC South, the entire crew could be 4-8 or worse. That’s sad.
In the AFC, New England could lock up the East with a win at Green Bay and a Miami loss to the Jets (that won’t happen). Cincinnati, Baltimore. Cleveland and Pittsburgh will still be in a battle in the North no matter what happens. Indy could run away from the field if Houston loses to Tennessee (not likely) and if Denver buries Kansas City, they’ll own the West.
It’s a week that could result in big moves or bigger deadlocks. Regardless, it should be fun.
Our fearless prognosticators have been having a good time.
Dr Football went 12-3 (115-60-1) straight up and 8-7 (82-94) against the spread while The Coach went 10-5 (111-64-1) straight up and 6-9 (87-89) against the spread. It has not been an easy season.
But we never quit (despite our critics, and there are many). This week, the Doctor writes brilliantly while The Coach actually takes some of this seriously. Remember, this is for recreational use only. Please, no wagering.
Let’s look closely at the 16 games that make up Week 13 starting with a little Thanksgiving football on Thursday afternoon:
Chicago Bears (5-6) at Detroit Lions (7-4) Line: Lions by 7.
Over the past two weeks the Bears have been hot while the Lions have not. But the Bears defense is the perfect cure for Matt Stafford. The Coach says: As the weeks go by, one gets the sense that Matthew Stafford isn’t as good as he’d made out to be. Still, it’s the stinkin’ Bears.
Dr. Football: Take the Lions to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Lions to win and cover.
Philadelphia Eagles (8-3) at Dallas Cowboys (8-3) Line: Cowboys by 3.
It’s almost December and you know what that means for Tony Romo. Will be a turkey of a game for the Cowboys. The Coach says: Game of the Week on Turkey Day.
Dr. Football: Take the Eagles in an upset.
The Coach: Take the Cowboys to win and cover.
Seattle Seahawks (7-4) at San Francisco 49ers (7-4) Line: 49ers by 1.
The 49ers have got their act together over the past few weeks, while the Seahawks have only managed to cover the spread on the road only once this season. The Coach says: Home team.
Dr. Football: Take the 49ers to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the 49ers to win and cover.
Washington Redskins (3-8) at Indianapolis Colts (7-4) Line: Colts by 10.
Colt McCoy vs. Andrew Luck? In Indianapolis? Won’t be pretty. The Coach says: The NFL has an imaginary list of quarterback whose mere presence on the roster will make your team successful – Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck are on that list. Colt McKoy is not.
Dr. Football: Take the Colts to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Colts to win and cover.
Tennessee Titans (2-9) at Houston Texans (5-6) Line: Texans by 6.
This one will be won on the ground as both starting QBs are…are…are…what’s the word? Oh yeah…talentless. Houston has the run game. The Coach says: Good thing Tennessee is really lousy because the Texans are not as good they thought they were.
Dr. Football: Take the Texans to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Texans to win and cover.
Cleveland Browns (7-4) at Buffalo Bills (6-5) Line: Bills by 2.5.
The Bills return home after destroying the Jets in Detroit and will have some solid momentum on their side. Their defense should be able to handle Brian Hoyer with ease. The Coach says: I really like Brian Hoyer. I like Kyle Orton better. Never thought I’d ever say that.
Dr. Football: Take the Bills to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Bills to win and cover.
San Diego Chargers (7-4) at Baltimore Ravens (7-4) Line: Ravens by 5.5.
The Raven return home after a big win in New Orleans while the Chargers travel across the country and probably will face some non-California type weather. The customary Chargers December collapse will start a bit early. The Coach says: Both teams are 7-4: One is a fraud, one is legit. You pick.
Dr. Football: Take the Ravens to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Ravens to win and cover.
New York Giants (3-8) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10) Line: Giants by 3.
Both teams are terrible, but Eli Manning should be able to rally the G-Men for a win. The Coach says: Wow! This should have been played on turkey day.
Dr. Football: Take the Giants to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Jaguars.
Cincinnati Bengals (7-3-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-9) Line: Bengals by 3.5.
The Bengals are playing their third consecutive road game, having won their first two. The Bucs D is horrible, and Cincy should be able to close out this road stretch with another win. The Coach says: Just when it looks like Cincinnati might not keep Andy Dalton, he forces their hand.
Dr. Football: Take the Bengals to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Bengals to win and cover.
Oakland Raiders (1-10) at St. Louis Rams (4-7) Line: Rams by 7.
The Raiders won their obligatory one game. Now it’s back to more of the same. The Coach says: I’ve been told it will be difficult to tune into this game if you live more than 20 miles away from the stadium. Broadcasters are currently asking the NFL if they can just ignore this one altogether. Ah, c’mon, just kidding.
Dr. Football: Take the Rams to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Rams to win and cover.
Carolina Panthers (3-7-1) at Minnesota Vikings (4-7) Line: Vikings by 2.5.
The Panthers are coming off their bye week, but before that they were struggling on both sides of the ball. Minnesota played tough against Green Bay, and should be able to keep the momentum going at home. The Coach says: If the Vikes don’t win this one, they might not win again this season.
Dr. Football: Take the Vikings to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Vikings to win and cover.
Arizona Cardinals (9-2) at Atlanta Falcons (4-7) Line: Cardinals by 2.5.
Last week Matt Ryan had a tough time against the Browns secondary, and this Sunday will be even tougher as the Cards pass rush will force mistakes. The Coach says: I just love that Cardinals defense.
Dr. Football: Take the Cardinals to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Cardinals to win and cover.
New England Patriots (9-2) at Green Bay Packers (8-3) Line: Packers by 3.5
A fantasy football lover’s dream; Brady vs. Rodgers. But tough times lie ahead for the Patriots; Green Bay has scored 50 or more the past two times they’ve taken the field at Lambeau. They won’t do 50 this week, but they’ll do enough to win. The Coach says: I usually love Green bay at home, but this time they’re playing a team that feels right at home in snow and ice. The Pats are even hotter than the Packers. I’ll take Brady for giggles. Who thought this wouldn’t make for a GREAT Monday Nighter?
Dr. Football: Take the Packers to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Patriots to win.
Denver Broncos (8-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) Line: Broncos by 2.
Were the Chiefs looking ahead to this match up before they were embarrassed in Oakland? Their run defense was exposed last week, and look for Mr. Manning to exploit that as well as passing for 400 or so yards. The Coach says: Oakland? You were beaten by Oakland?
Dr. Football: Take the Broncos to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Broncos to win and cover.
Miami Dolphins (6-5) at New York Jets (2-9) Line: Dolphins by 6.5.
The Jets usually play this rivalry game pretty tough, but how do you recover after playing so poorly against your other rivals? Miami still has something to play for, and they’ll win big. The Coach says: Geno Smith is back at QB for the Jets. This will be ugly.
Dr. Football: Take the Dolphins to win and cover.
The Coach: Take the Dolphins to win and cover.
Listen to The Coach Scott Taylor every Thursday at 10:05 a.m. CT with Dean (Boomer) Molberg on SportsNet 960 The FAN in Calgary with Boomers Pools and Props as two razor sharp NFL minds pick the Pools and Props for Sport Select and Western Canada Lotteries. You can listen live at: http://www.sportsnet.ca/960/