Not sure what game will be on while waiting for the main event Monday night? Check out the television maps at the506.com, courtesy of J.P. Kirby.

Some random thoughts …

- More tragic NFL news out of Dallas, with NT Josh Brent being booked on manslaughter charges after an alleged night of partying by several members of the Cowboys. No comment until more on this sad event becomes public; condolences to friends and family of teammate Jerry Brown.

- Was it really necessary to release the police surveillance video in the murder-suicide involving the Chiefs player?

- Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau Roger Goodell cannot be happy with the current NFL standings. The never-ending quest for parity, (i.e., get every team in the playoffs as often as possible in order to keep fan interest high so they keep buying tickets) has taken a setback this season. Right now it looks like the only team that will not repeat as division champ is the New Orleans Saints, which really is not a surprise at all considering their head coach and de facto offensive coordinator was suspended for the season. Meanwhile with 25% of the season still left to play four teams have already clinched a playoff spot, three have clinched their division, and three are already mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. The most intrigue is between the 13 teams that have 5-7 wins: three will make the playoffs, leaving ten from that group out in the cold.

- Goodell has also floated the idea of eliminating kickoffs, in the name of player safety. Questions: how is it that an 18-game season is safe, but kickoffs are not? How is it that punts are safe, but kickoffs are not? Do you really want to take away the opportunity for a team to recover an onside kick? As for the idea of letting each team start with the ball after a score with a 4th and 15, and the option to go for it or punt: what happens when a good offense versus a bad defense goes for it, converts, scores, lather, rinse, repeat ad infinitum?

- The media has made a big thing out of Miami defensive tackle Tony McDaniel saying that the Dolphins felt disrespected because the patriots kept running the same play over and over again … successfully. I’ll chalk this up to frustration and a poor choice of words. In a way he is correct: the Pats did not respect his or his teammates’ ability to stop the run, so they kept running that play. If I’m a head coach or an agent I file this away and keep it to use as an example of what not to say after a loss.

 

 

Please note that neither I nor this website am in any way advocating, promoting or recommending gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes. It is just something I do for fun to test myself on my knowledge of the NFL. If you have a gambling problem get help; call 1-888-ADMIT-IT.

 

Games of primary rooting interest for Pats fans:
- Ravens to lose to the Redskins
- Steelers to lose to the Chargers (or do we root for Pittsburgh to win the division?)
- Jets to lose to Jacksonville (or do we root for the Jets to win, so they don’t get as good a draft pick?)
- Bills to lose to the Rams (or ditto from above?)
- Dolphins – 49ers: better off if Miami wins and shows us a vulnerability, or better off if SF does not lose so they have less of a chip on their shoulder next week?
- Giants to lose while Redskins and Cowboys win, creating chaos in the NFC East and schadenfreude in regards to any and all New York sports teams.

 

9-3 Baltimore Ravens at 6-6 Washington Redskins
Early game on CBS and DTV ch 713
The Ravens will have a big chip on their shoulder after last week’s loss to Pittsburgh, and this hardly qualifies as a ‘road trip’. Ray Rice did not touch the ball once in the 4th quarter last week; I’m guessing Harbaugh does not make that mistake again. To me the line in this game is a bit of an overreaction to each team’s most recent game; there is still a reason why Baltimore is 9-3 and Washington is 6-6: it’s because the Ravens are better, and as much as the Baltimore defense has dropped off it is till much better than Washington’s D.

Prediction: Ravens 31, Redskins 24X
- final score: Redskins 31, Ravens 28 in OT
Ravens +2½ … X
Over 47½ …

 

2-10 Kansas City Chiefs at 4-8 Cleveland Browns
Early game on CBS and DTV ch 709
How much has Brady Quinn’s career underwhelmed? Consider the fact that Sunday he has the opportunity to have back-to-back 200 yard passing games for the first time since ever as a pro. Forget that, the Chiefs need to rely on Jamaal Charles, who is averaging 4.8 yards per carry and has rushed for 421 yards the last four weeks. Cleveland’s run defense has improved since Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin returned to the lineup, but I’d rather place my chips on Charles and Peyton Hills than Quinn. The Brown’s Brandon Weedon had his best game as a pro last week, and although much of that can be attributed to the Oakland pass defense, this week should even be better; KC’s 83 yard per pass defense ranks dead last in the NFL.

Prediction: Browns 27, Chiefs 17
- final score: Browns 30, Chiefs 7
Browns -6½ (1 unit) … (+100)
Over 37½ (1 unit) … X (-110)

 

4-8 San Diego Chargers at 7-5 Pittsburgh Steelers
Early game on CBS and DTV ch 712
Philip Rivers and the Chargers typically play better in December, and then fall just short of the playoffs – though I think they will make a crucial turnover late in the game for another loss. Even though Ben Roethlisberger returns this week, the Steelers are due for a bit of a letdown after beating division rival Baltimore last week.

Prediction: Steelers 24, Chargers 17X
- final score: Chargers 34, Steelers 24
Chargers +8½ …
Over 39½ …

 

4-8 Tennessee Titans at 8-4 Indianapolis Colts
Early game on CBS and DTV ch 710
Despite Indy winning in a shootout and Tennessee having a weak defense, I think the two teams will play this one closer to the vest. Look for the Titans to control the ball and the clock with Chris Johnson, to try and keep their defense rested and Andrew Luck on the sidelines. Even though this is a division game the Colts may get caught looking ahead to playing Houston next week.

Prediction: Colts 24, Titans 20
- final score: Colts 27, Titans 23
Titans +5½ …
Under 47½ … X

 

5-7 New Jersey Jets at 2-10 Jacksonville Jaguars
Early game on CBS and DTV ch 711
If this was almost any other team other than Jacksonville I would be all over the Jags due to the Mark Sanchez factor, but this already bad team is now without Cecil Shorts too.

Prediction: Jets 17, Jaguars 13
- final score: Jets 17, Jaguars 10
Jets -3 …
Under 38½ (3 units) … (+300)

 

8-4 Chicago Bears at 6-6 Minnesota Vikings
Early game on Fox and DTV ch 707
Two weeks ago Chicago was up 25-3 against Minnesota at halftime at Soldier Field; now they play indoors and the Vikings are without Percy Harvin. While Adrian Peterson will likely have another monster game in his incredible comeback season against a Bears defense that will be without Brian Urlacher and Tim Jennings, I still like Chicago versus Christian Ponder, and Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte versus an overrated Minnesota defense.

Prediction: Bears 24, Vikings 17X
- final score: Vikings 21, Bears 14
Bears -3 … X
Over 38½ (1 unit) … X (-110)

 

11-1 Atlanta Falcons at 3-9 Carolina Panthers
Early game on Fox and DTV ch 705
Atlanta has won five straight against Carolina, scoring 30+ points in each of those games. other than Luke Kuechly the Panthers defense has nothing going for them; the Falcons should be able to both run and pass quite easily. Even though Atlanta just beat the Saints there shouldn’t be much of any emotional letdown for another division rival.

Prediction: Falcons 31, Panthers 24X
- final score: Panthers 30, Falcons 20
Falcons -3½ (1 unit) … X (-110)
Over 47½ (2 units) … (+200)

 

3-9 Philadelphia Eagles at 6-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Early game on Fox and DTV ch 708

Tampa Bay is allowing just 3.5 yards per carry to opponents, and the only thing the Philadelphia offense has going for them is backup running back Bryce Brown. The game is a rare sellout in Tampa, and unless lots of Philly transplants bought tickets before the season began I am guessing it is Bay area sports fans jumping back on the Bucs bandwagon. Even though Michael Vick will not play I still don’t see a reason to believe why an eagles turnover or three won’t doom them.

Prediction: Bucs 27, Eagles 23X
- final score: Eagles 23, Bucs 21
Eagles +7½ …
Over 47½ …

 

5-6-1 St. Louis Rams at 5-7 Buffalo Bills
Early game on Fox and DTV ch 704
The Buffalo offensive line once again has neither the depth nor coaching to overcome inevitable injuries. Meanwhile the Rams tend to be ineffective without Danny Amendola.

Prediction: Bills 21, Rams 17X
- final score: Rams 15, Bills 12
Bills -3 … X
Under 42½ …

 

6-6 Dallas Cowboys at 7-5 Cincinnati Bengals
Early game on Fox and DTV ch 706
BenJarvus Green-Ellis has broken off some long runs while rushing for 100+ yards in three straight games. While Dallas gets DeMarco Murray back, their defense is showing signs of attrition. The Cincinnati offensive line has not only done well in the running game, they’re pretty good in pass protection too: Andy Dalton has been sacked just five times over the last four games.

Prediction: Bengals 27, Cowboys 20X
- final score: Cowboys 20, Bengals 19
Bengals -3 (1 unit) … X (-110)
Over 44½ … X

 

5-7 Miami Dolphins at 8-3-1 San Francisco 49ers
Late game on CBS and DTV ch 714
Dolphins just came off a disheartening loss to a divisional rival, and now travel three time zones to face a much tougher defense. on the other hand San Francisco may look past Miami to next week’s game against the Patriots.

Prediction: 49ers 20, Dolphins 13
- final score: 49ers 27, Dolphins 13
Dolphins +10½ … X
Under 38½ … X

 

5-7 New Orleans Saints at 7-5 New York Giants
Late game on Fox and DTV ch 715
Both teams are coming off a loss, so there is no situation where one will be playing with more of a chip on their shoulder than the other team. To me this is really a tossup, so I’ll take the underdog plus the points.

Prediction: Giants 31, Saints 27
- final score: Giants 52, Saints 27
Saints +5½ … X
Over 52½ (1 unit) … (+100)

 

4-8 Arizona Cardinals at 7-5 Seattle Seahawks
Late game on Fox and DTV ch 716
Arizona has lost eight in a row, has no offensive line, no running game, no quarterback, and faces a team with one of the best defensive front seven’s in the league; on top of that Seattle would like some revenge for their week one loss to the Cardinals.

Prediction: Seahawks 24, Cardinals 10
- final score: Seahawks 58, Cardinals 0
Seahawks -10 (1 unit) … (+100)
Under 36½ (2 units) … X (-220)

 

4-8 Detroit Lions at 8-4 Green Bay Packers
Sunday Night Football on NBC
Detroit’s defense seems to be regressing rather than improving as the season wears on, and the Lions are becoming too predictable on offense by abandoning the run, even when they have a lead.

Prediction: Packers 31, Lions 21
- final score: Packers 27, Vikings 20
Packers -6½ (1 unit) … (+100)
Over 49 … X

 

11-1 Houston Texans at 9-3 New England Patriots
Monday Night Football on ESPN

More on this game here and here.
Prediction: Patriots 31, Texans 27
- final score: Patriots 42, Texans 14
Patriots -3½ …
Over 50½ …

 

Three-Team Teaser (3 units): Bears-Vikings over 30; Falcons-Panthers over 38½; Saints-Giants over 43½
- final scores: Chi-Min 35(); Atl-Car 50(); NO-NYG 79() … (+300)

 

 

Tale of the Tape

Week 13 was a mixed bag. I delved back into college football and did very well. On the other hand my pro picks were again sub par; consecutive weeks of 9-7 S/U and 7-8-1 ATS. Earlier this season I was usually hitting my confidence picks more than all or the week’s games; this time the picks I was most confident in (e.g., Giants-Redskins over 50½ – which resulted in a total of 6 units gone including the teaser) lost. I do find that kind of odd because as the season progresses I should have a better, not worse feel for what is going on.

NFL Results for Week 13 (and the season):
Straight Up: 9-7 (56%) last week, 126-65-1 (66%) for the season
Against The Spread: 7-8-1 (47%) / 87-102-3 (46%)
Over/Under: 9-7 (56%) / 107-81-4 (57%)
1 Unit Plays: 4-3 (+70) / 44-33 (57%)
2 Unit Plays: 2-2 (-40) / 34-30-4 (53%)
3 Unit Plays: 1-3 (-690) / 21-19-2 (52%)
4 Unit Plays: 0-0 / 2-2 (50%)
5 Unit Plays: 0-0 / 2-1 (67%)
Weekly Total: 7-7 regular; 0-1 teasers
All Confidence Picks: 7-8 (47%) / 109-87-6 (55%)
Week 13 Total: -660
Season Total: +5050

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

Last Week’s College Games
7-4, +2 Units, +130

Season College Total
13-6, +7 Units, +610

Season Grand Total
+5660

 

 

This Day In Patriots History

December 9, 1961:
Boston Patriots 35, Oakland Raiders 21 at Candlestick Park

Babe Parilli threw three touchdown passes and Billy Lott scored three times to lead the Pats to a victory, improving their record to 8-4-1. The win allowed the Pats to keep pace with the Houston Oilers, who remained in first place by a one game margin when they won the following day.

The Patriots opened up scoring with a 5-yard TD from Parilli to Jim Colclough, but a Tom Flores TD pass left the score tied at 7 at the end of the 1st quarter. Lott ran for one touchdown and then caught an 18-yard pass from Parilli to give the Patriots a 21-7 halftime lead. Oakland cut the lead in half on a 54-yard touchdown pass by Flores, but Lott ran for another touchdown to restore the 14-point lead. In the 4th quarter Parilli was picked off and the Raiders returned it 35 yards for a touchdown, but the Pats iced it on an 8-yard pass from Parilli to Larry Garron.

The Patriots outgained Oakland 407 yards to 213, and ran 26 more plays then the Raiders did. The Pats defense came up with an interception by Rommie Loudd, a fumble, and blocked a punt while stifling the Oakland running game – limiting them to 27 yards on 10 carries. Lott finished with 148 yards from scrimmage, and Colclough had 72 yards receiving.

 

December 9, 1962:
Boston Patriots 20, San Diego Chargers 14 at Balboa Stadium

Ron Burton ran for 83 yards and Tom Yewcic threw two touchdowns as the Pats improved to 9-3-1. The win kept their playoff hopes alive, though Houston winning on the same day made the prospects dim, as the Oilers victory over Oakland gave them a 10-3 record with only one game remaining in the regular season; the Pats would not only need to win the following week, but also count on the hapless New York Titans to knock off the Oilers.

The Pats defense was superb once again, as they forced three turnovers, had three sacks, and held the Chargers to just ten first downs and 187 total yards of offense. Yewcic tossed TD passes of 43 yards to Jim Crawford and 12 yards to Jim Colclough, and Gino Cappelletti added two field goals.

 

December 9, 1967:
Buffalo Bills 44, Boston Patriots 16 at Fenway Park

The Patriots turned the ball over seven times, as Buffalo jumped out to a 28-0 lead and crushed the Pats. Two future Patriots led the Buffalo defense: Tom Janik had three interceptions (including a 38-yard pick-six), and Marty Schottenheimer had two interceptions (including a 45-yard pick-six). About the only highlights for the Patriots were Jim Lee Hunt sacking Jack Kemp for a safety, and local favorite Bobby Leo getting some action. Leo grew up in Everett and went to Harvard but was considered to be too small to play pro football; he returned six kickoffs and two punts for a total of 160 yards and scored his first (and what would turn out to be only) pro football touchdown on a 25-yard pass from Babe Parilli.

 

December 9, 1973:
Buffalo Bills 37, New England Patriots 13 at Rich Stadium

In 1973 O.J. Simpson became the first player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards; that was possible in large part due to the Bills two games against the Patriots. After rushing for 250 yards against the Pats in season opener, Officer Nordberg followed that up with 219 yards on 22 carries in the next to last game of the season, making the 2,000 yard milestone feasible.

For the Patriots Jim Plunkett passed for 292 yards and TE Bob Adams had career-highs of 100 yards receiving and six receptions.

 

December 9, 1979
New York Jets 27, New England Patriots 26 at Shea Stadium

The Pats came up just short in a back and forth game that had five lead changes. The loss overshadowed a fine game by Stanley Morgan, who had six catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

After the Jets scored first on a 13-yard reception by Derrick Gaffney, the Pats came back with a 47-yard John Smith field goal, a safety, and 48-yard TD pass from Steve Grogan to Morgan. However before the half was over the Jets scored on a touchdown and a field goal to take a 17-12 lead.

Sam Cunningham ran for a touchdown to give the Pats the lead back, but the Jets came back with a Richard Todd touchdown and a field goal to go back up by 8. Grogan hit Morgan on a 39-yard touchdown strike to pull within one, but the Pats could not the final needed score.

 

December 9, 1984:
Philadelphia Eagles 27, New England Patriots 17 at Veterans Stadium

The Patriots lost their third game in a row, dropping to 8-7 on the season and were eliminated from the playoffs in an upset loss at the Vet. Stanley Morgan had five receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown, Craig James rushed for 92 yards, and Andre Tippett had two of the team’s five sacks on Joe Pisarcik.

 

December 9, 1990:
Pittsburgh Steelers 24, New England Patriots 3 at Three Rivers Stadium

Pittsburgh’s defense stifled the Pats running game (John Stephens had 11 yards on 11 carries), and Tommy Hodson (14-27-147) couldn’t get much yardage through the air either. Hart Lee Dykes had six receptions for 70 yards for the Pats; Pittsburgh’s Merril Hoge had 117 yards rushing, another 58 receiving, and ran for two touchdowns.

 

December 9, 2001:
New England Patriots 27, Cleveland Browns 16 at Foxboro Stadium

Troy Brown had seven receptions for 89 yards and also returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown to lead the Pats, and for the third straight week (and 8th time of the season) the Pats held their opponent to 17 or fewer points. Terry Glenn made a rare appearance and had four catches for 67 yards while Antowain Smith ran for two touchdowns, including the game-clincher with 2:43 left to play.

 

December 9, 2007:
New England Patriots 34, Pittsburgh Steelers 13 at Gillette Stadium

This was the game the Steeler safety Anthony Smith infamously guaranteed his team would win, and then proceeded to go out on the field and was burnt on tow long touchdown passes.

Tom Brady threw for four passes (and got in Smith’s face after a score), Randy Moss had two touchdowns, and even Bill Belichick said “we’ve played against a lot better safeties than him”.

The Pats scored on 4-yard and 63-yard touchdown passes to Moss where Randy left Smith in the dust to take a 14-3 lead, and a 42-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski gave them a 17-3 halftime lead. On the first series of the second half the Pats ran a flea flicker that looked at first like it might result in a loss (or worse), but ended up leaving Smith flat footed on a 56-yard touchdown from Brady to Jabar Gaffney. From that point on the Pats dominated, shutting Pittsburgh out the rest of the way. Meanwhile the Pats added a touchdown pass to Wes Welker and another Gostkowski field goal, finishing with 34 points against a defense that came into the game allowing less than 13 points per game.

 

 

♪ ♫ ♮ ♯ ♪ ♫ ♮ ♯ ♪ ♫ ♮ ♯ ♪ ♫ ♮ ♯ ♪ ♫ ♮ ♯ ♪ ♫ ♮ ♯ ♪ ♫ ♮ ♯ ♪ ♫ ♮ ♯

 

December 9, 1932:
Harmonica player Junior Wells was born in Memphis

December 9, 1950:
Joan Armatrading was born in St. Kitts

December 9, 1966:
Cream released their first album, Fresh Cream

December 9, 1967:
Jim Morrison was arrested at a show in New Haven

 

 

 

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