The only thing that stinks about the Pats win over the Jets is that we don’t get to see the Patriots play Sunday. I guess that means we can all root for the Browns, Chiefs and Chargers on Sunday – or to be more accurate, root against the Steelers, Broncos and Ravens.


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3-7 Oakland Raiders at 5-5 Cincinnati Bengals
early game on CBS and DTV ch 707

Carson Palmer is getting noticed for putting up great fantasy football numbers (5th in the NFL with 304 yards per game), but what is being over looked is his 14 turnovers. On top of that the Raiders are settling for too many field goals. Darren McFadden is out once again and the Raiders usually play poorly traveling to play an early game. I think Cincy should win but that point spread is scaring me off.

Prediction: Bengals 31, Raiders 23 … √
— final score: Bengals 34, Raiders 10
Raiders +8½ … X
Over 49½ … X


6-4 Pittsburgh Steelers at 2-8 Cleveland Browns
early game on CBS and DTV ch 708

Charlie Batch may be about fifty years old, but I can still recall him being a capable quarterback – in fact, probably more so than Byron Leftwich was. Although they don’t seem to be able to force a turnover (only 9 takeaways, 2nd worst), the Pittsburgh defense is still very efficient (NFL best 259 yards per game). Besides that, how often do the Steelers not take care of business against Cleveland? (16-1 over the last 17 games in case you were wondering). Brandon Weedon’s confidence can’t be very high with reports that the Browns will look for another QB; combine that with Dick LeBeau defenses being 14-1 versus rookie quarterbacks, and I’m sensing a blowout.

Prediction: Steelers 27, Browns 10 … X
— final score: Browns 20, Steelers 14
Steelers -1½ (3 units) … X (-330)
Over 34½ (1 unit) … X (+100)


4-6 Buffalo Bills at 6-4 Indianapolis Colts
early game on CBS and DTV ch 709

The Bills are still playing poorly against the run, so Vick Ballard and Donald Brown should have some success on the ground. I expect the Colts to bounce back from an embarrassing loss, though Indy’s defense could be gashed by C.J. Spiller and the possible return of Fred Jackson.

Prediction: Colts 24, Bills 23 … √
— final score: Colts 20, Bills 13
Bills +3½ … X
Under 51½ (1 unit) … √ (+100)


7-3 Denver Broncos at 1-9 Kansas City Chiefs
early game on CBS and DTV ch 711

The Broncos are way overdue for a bad game, but I wouldn’t count on that happening against the worst team in the league. While Denver is without Willis McGahee, that doesn’t compare to the Chiefs possibly being without Dwayne Bowe.

Prediction: Broncos 35, Chiefs 3 … √
— final score: Broncos 17, Chiefs 9
Broncos -10½ (3 units) … X (-330)
Under 44½ (2 units) … √ (+200)


4-6 Tennessee Titans at 1-9 Jacksonville Jaguars
early game on CBS and DTV ch 710

A lot of people will be backing the Jaguars after they nearly beat the Texans, but that game was their Super Bowl; I’m expecting just the opposite, for them to come out flat. For whatever reason the Titans have rediscovered their running game; look for Chris Johnson (130.4 yards per game over the last five weeks) to have a big game.

Prediction: Titans 31, Jaguars 20 … X
— final score: Jaguars 24, Titans 19
Titans -3½ (2 units) … X (-220)
Over 43½ (2 units) … X (-220)


6-4 Minnesota Vikings at 7-3 Chicago Bears
early game on Fox and DTV ch 704

Even without Jay Cutler the Bears should win this game easily. Chicago’s defense will bounce back with a big game, and the Viking’s early season start is like a house of cards. Even though Jason Campbell isn’t that great, I’d much rather go with the Bears offense against that fraudulent Vikings defense than expect Christian Ponder to succeed without Percy Harvin against the Bears’ D.

Prediction: Bears 17, Vikings 10 … √
— final score: Bears 28, Vikings 10
Bears -2½ (2 units) … √ (+200)
Under 39½ (4 units) … √ (+400)


9-1 Atlanta Falcons at 6-4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
early game on Fox and DTV ch 706

It’s sad that this game is blacked out in the Tampa area, even after the Bucs have been playing so well of late. Doug Martin is on fire, averaging 6.0 yards per carry over the last six games, while Atlanta is allowing a third-worst 4.9 yards per carry. That will set things up for Josh Freeman, who has thrown sixteen touchdowns in the last six games. Expect Atlanta to get caught napping, looking ahead to next Thursday’s game against the Saints; Julio Jones’ ankle injury doesn’t help matters any.

Prediction: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 24 … X
— final score: Falcons 24, Bucs 23
Bucs +1½ (1 unit) … √ (+100)
Over 49½ (1 unit) … X (-110)


6-4 Seattle Seahawks at 4-6 Miami Dolphins
early game on Fox and DTV ch 705

Seattle not only plays much better at home than on the road, but they also have a terrible history when they have to play an early game on the east coast. On the other hand the Seahawks should be able to just hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch and wear Miami down, sucking the life out of a Dolphins team that is woozy and reeling like a boxer about to hit the mat. If the Fins can’t beat the Bills or Colts, can they possibly beat this defense?

Prediction: Dolphins 17, Seahawks 16 … √
— final score: Dolphins 24, Seahawks 21
Dolphins +3 (1 unit) … √ (+100)
Under 38½ (3 units) … X (-330)


8-2 Baltimore Ravens at 4-6 San Diego Chargers
late game on CBS and DTV ch 712

Logic says the Ravens are playing well while the Chargers are inconsistent, and therefore Baltimore wins easily. The thing is that the Ravens are coming off a big game against a division rival, and now travel across three time zones. Philip Rivers finally has a receiver to replace Vincent Jackson: Danario Alexander has twelve receptions for 230 yards and three touchdowns over the last two games.

Prediction: Chargers 24, Ravens 20 … X
— final score: Ravens 16, Chargers 13 in OT
Chargers +1½ (2 units) … X (-220)
Under 47½ (1 unit) … √ (+100)


7-2-1 San Francisco 49ers at 5-5 New Orleans Saints
late game on Fox and DTV ch 714

As a fan of the Patriots I have witnessed the following many times: a backup quarterback comes in a plays well. The public gets all excited, and a week or two later he is not as successful. Why? Maybe it’s because once opponents have a game or two worth of film on that new QB they discover some tendencies and flaws that they are able to exploit. Will that happen Sunday? Tough to say, since New Orleans doesn’t have a very good pass rush. But if the Saints are able to move the ball and score, my money is on Drew Brees and not Colin Kaepernick in a shootout.

Prediction: Saints 28, 49ers 24 … X
— final score: 49ers 31, Saints 21
Saints +1½ (1 unit) … X (-110)
Over 48½ (1 unit) … √ (+100)


3-6-1 St. Louis Rams at 4-6 Arizona Cardinals
late game on Fox and DTV ch 713

Red John Skelton is mad that he’s been benched and replaced by Ryan Lindley. Considering how bad Lindley was last week against Atlanta I don’t blame him; I would have assumed Skelton would be starting this week too. Even though the Rams are coming off a big win tie, I wouldn’t expect a letdown since this is a division game.

Prediction: Rams 20, Cardinals 13 … √
— final score: Rams 31, Cardinals 17
Rams +2 (1 unit) … √ (+100)
Under 37½ (1 unit) … X (-110)


7-3 Green Bay Packers at 6-4 New York Giants
Sunday Night Football on NBC

The New York secondary has not been playing very well, so it’s up to the Giants’ front four to get to Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay’s secondary has been solidified by Casey Hayward and it’s as if their defense hasn’t dropped off at all despite the injuries to Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson.

Prediction: Packers 28, Giants 27 … X
— final score: Giants 38, Packers 10
Packers +3 (1 unit) … X (-110)
Over 50 (1 unit) … X (-110)


2-8 Carolina Panthers at 3-7 Philadelphia Eagles
Monday Night Football on espn

Nick Foles takes the snaps again for the Eagles behind a sieve for an offensive line and without LeSean McCoy; on the other ise of the ball their pass defense is getting toasted. Carolina’s defense is still mediocre but at least with Luke Kuechly they’re making a good effort – something Philly is not doing.

Prediction: Panthers 24, Eagles 17 … √
— final score: Panthers 30, Eagles 22
Panthers -1½ (2 units) … √ (+200)
Over 40½ … √


Results from last Thursday:

9-1 Houston Texans at 4-6 Detroit Lions
Prediction: Texans 31, Lions 17 … √
— final score: Texans 34, Lions 31
Texans -3 … push
Under 50½ … X

4-6 Washington Redskins at 5-5 Dallas Cowboys
Prediction: Cowboys 27, Redskins 24 … X
— final score: Redskins 38, Cowboys 31
Redskins +4 … √
Over 46 … √

7-3 New England Patriots at 4-6 New Jersey Jets
Prediction: Patriots 31, Jets 17 … √
— final score: Patriots 49, Jets 19
Patriots -7 … √
Under 48½ … X



Three-Team Teaser (9 points, 3 units): Titans-Jaguars over 43½; Bears-Vikings under 48½; Packers-Giants over 41½
— final scores: Titans-Jags 43 (X); Bears-Vikes 38 (√); Packers-Giants 48 (√) … X

Three-Team Teaser (9 points, 3 units): Saints +10½ vs 49ers; Chargers +10½ vs Ravens; Packers +12 vs Giants
— final scores: Saints lost by 10 (√); Chargers lost by 3 (√); Packers lost by 28 (X) … X



Tale of the Tape

Two weeks in a row of 6-8 ATS on all games is not good. Fortunately I eked out several one-point wins (thanks in part to the overtimes) on the money selections last week.

Results for Week 11 (and the season):
Straight Up: 10-4 (71%) last week, 108-51-1 (68%) for the season
Against The Spread: 6-8 (43%) / 73-86-1 (46%)
Over/Under: 7-7 (50%) / 91-65-4 (58%)
1 Unit Plays: 3-3 (-30) / 34-24 (59%)
2 Unit Plays: 2-2 (-40) / 29-25-4 (54%)
3 Unit Plays: 4-3 (+210) / 20-11-2 (65%)
4 Unit Plays: 0-0 / 1-2
5 Unit Plays: 0-0 / 2-1
Weekly Total: 8-7 regular; 1-1 teasers
All Confidence Picks: 9-8 (53%) / 92-65-6 (58%)
Week 11 Total: +140
Season Total: +7480

Previous College Games
6-2, +5 Units, +480

Season Grand Total



This Day In Patriots History


November 25, 1960:
Houston Oilers 24, Boston Patriots 10 at Nickerson Field

Butch Songin hit Joe Johnson on a 51-yard touchdown pass but the defense of the Oilers, who would go on to win the AFL title, proved to be too strong for the Pats. Songin finished with 254 yards passing Johnson had five receptions for 123 yards.


November 25, 1973:
New England Patriots 32, Houston Oilers 0 at the Astrodome

The Pats defense absolutely dominated, recording their first shutout since they defeated the Jets 20-0 two years earlier. Ron Bolton and Ralph Anderson had interceptions, Steve Kiner had a safety when he sacked Dan Pastorini in the end zone, and the defense held Houston to just 11 first downs and only 184 total yards of offense.

Jim Plunkett threw touchdown passes of 5 yards to Bob Windsor and 8 yards to Reggie Rucker; together with a Mack Herron touchdown run and the first of three Jeff White field goals that gave the Patriots a 24-0 halftime lead. With the defense controlling the game the Pats cruised from there, with most all of the back ups getting playing time in the second half.


November 25, 1979:
Buffalo Bills 16, New England Patriots 13 in OT at Schaefer Stadium

Rookie Jim Haslett intercepted two Steve Grogan passes, the second one setting up Nick Mike-Mayer‘s game-winning field goal, as Buffalo held the NFL’s number one offense to 13 points in a big upset over the Patriots.

In overtime the Pats moved the ball to the Buffalo 32, where they were faced with a 4th & two. Ron Erhardt decided that was a bit long of a field goal attempt for John Smith and too close to punt, so the Pats went for it. On a play-action pass Grogan rolled and threw to Don Calhoun but Haslett was able to reach out and make a one-handed pick, returning it to the 42 before he was tackled by Russ Francis. Two plays later Joe Ferguson hit Jerry Butler with a 51-yard completion to the Pats 12, and Mike-Mayer kicked the game-winner on the following play.

The Patriots had taken a 10-6 lead ealy in the 4th quarter on a one-yard keeper by Grogan, and then Smith’s 32-yard field goal with 1:25 left to play put the Pats up 13-6. However Buffalo got a good runback on the kickoff and Ferguson marched the Bills 64 yards in just 1:08, tying the game with 11 seconds left in regulation on an 11-yard pass to seldom-used Lou Piccone.

Calhoun and Horace Ivory both finished with 83 yards rushing while Harold Jackson had four catches for 87 yards. It was an off day for Grogan, who went just 9-25 for 160 yards, no touchdown passes and four interceptions.


November 25, 1990:
Phoenix Cardinals 34, New England Patriots 14 at Sun Devil Stadium

The Patriots couldn’t take advantage of Phoenix being without the NFC’s leading rusher as his backup ran for 136 yards, leading the Cardinals to victory in front of a more than half empty Arizona stadium, attended by just 30,110 people.

Anthony Thompson had run for just 82 yards prior to this game but the Cardinals ran for four touchdowns after posting just six rushing touchdowns in the previous ten games of the season.

The Pats offense, which ranked dead last in the NFL, was actually okay in this game. Tom Hodson was 17-29 for 182 yards, two touchdowns and no picks in his first NFL start; the scores were an 18-yard pass to John Stephens and a 22-yard pass to Marv Cook. The last TD made the score 14-14 at halftime, but it Phoenix scored 20 unanswered points in the second half. The defense allowed 6 yards per play and 201 yards rushing, forcing Phoenix to punt the ball away just twice the entire game.


November 25, 2001:
New England Patriots 34, New Orleans Saints 17 at Foxboro Stadium

Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes and Antowain Smith ran for 111 yards as the Pats beat the Saints in Foxboro. The win was the first of what would turn out to be a nine-game winning streak, culminating in the Patriots first NFL championship.

The game is noteworthy because it was the first game after Drew Bledsoe was healthy enough to return, but Bill Belichick decided to name Brady the permanent starter over Bledsoe.

Brady completed 19 of 26 passes for 258 yards with no interceptions. His touchdown passes of 41 yards to Smith, 8 yards to Troy Brown (7 catches for 91 yards) and 22 yards to Charles Johnson gave the Patriots a 20-0 halftime lead. The Saints cut that lead in half in the third quarter, but then two 4th quarter scores – a 2-yard pass to Marc Edwards, and a 3-yard run by Smith – put the game away.

Though it was not their highest scoring game of the year, the Patriots did gain a season high 191 yards rushing as well as 432 total yards of offense, all while committing zero turnovers for the fourth time.


November 25, 2007:
New England Patriots 31, Philadelphia Eagles 28

In their closest game of the season to this point, the Pats had to come from behind in the 4th quarter to win, improving their record to 11-0.

The two teams alternated scores through the entire game. Asante Samuel returned an interception 40 yards to start things off, then Brian Westbrook scored on a one-yard run; Heath Evans‘ one-yard run gave the Pats a 14-7 lead at the end of one quarter.

The Eagles scored on two passes from A.J. Feeley to Greg Lewis sandwiched around a Stephen Gostkowski field goal before Tom Brady‘s 19-yard touchdown pass to Jabar Gaffney with 8 seconds on the clock gave the Patriots a 24-21 halftime lead.

Feeley’s 8-yard 3rd quarter TD pass to Reggie Brown gave Philly the lead for the first time but a 69-yard drive finished off with a 4-yard TD run by Laurence Maroney put the Pats back on top with 7:20 still left to play. Samuel came up with his second interception of the game, picking off a Feeley pass intended for Kevin Curtis in the end zone with just under four minutes to play, and on the first play after the Eagles got the ball back deep in their own territory with 18 seconds left to go Feeley was picked off again, this time by James Sanders, to end the game.




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November 25, 1940:
Percy Sledge was born in Alabama; most well known for When A Man Loves A Woman

November 25, 1976:
The Band made their final appearance at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco; the show was filmed by Martin Scorcese and released as The Last Waltz in 1978.

November 25, 1992:
The Bodyguard, starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston premiered. The screenplay was originally written twenty years earlier with the idea of featuring Steve McQueen and Diana Ross in the starring roles.

November 25, 2007:
Kevin Dubrow died; was singer for Quiet Riot (most well known for cover of Slade‘s Cum On Feel The Noize back when MTV played music videos)





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