The holiday season. A time for sharing, a time for sport, a time to restrain yourself from hitting that annoying relative in the chops with a 12 inch, copper, heavy bottomed frying pan, a time to throw your wireless router down the boulevard like a 70 yard bomb from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson, or Matt Stafford to Calvin Johnson, depending what side of Lake Michigan you rest your feet on.
I love this time of year. The air is crisp, there is a ton of football, great deals on electronics, and even an occansional MVP win by favorite player (way to go Brauny!). With that I give you the picks to start Week 12, and besides the adult libations, the only thing that will keep me sane today.
Green Bay @ Detroit
The Packers roll into the motor city with a perfect 10-0 record. Arod and the boys have been playing great football. Offensive football, I should say. Dom Capers’ defense is not touted like it once was in Title Town, but talent still reigns there. Clay Matthews is a gigantic talent, but with no one to help with the pass rush on the other side, Matthews has been double or triple teamed, and dropped into coverage. The Packers safety’s have blown coverage assignments all season since Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins went down for the season with a neck injury against the Panthers earlier in the year.
The Lions, for the most part, have not disappointed. The fans in Detroit feel like they have a solid, well-rounded club now, not just the slashing and dashing of Barry Sanders with a bunch of crab grass growing around him. When Matt Stafford is healthy, he is as good as anyone in the league. Alright, maybe not Rodgers who has SICK numbers ( 31 TD’s; 4 INT’s), but great just the same.
This game will not come down to just the quarterbacks. Both teams have injuries to their running backs (James Starks; Javid Best) and both defenses can play better. If Ndakumong Suh, Cliff Avril, and Kyle Vanden Bosch can get to Rodgers, and Charles Woodson is allowed to go rover and pick off Stafford a time or two, we won’t have a 49-43 contest. Let’s be realistic though, we want one of those, no matter who you’re pulling for. I see the game being tight early, then turning into a slugfest. The Packers offense is built like a dome team, and they’ll thrive at Ford Field. Even though James Starks is hurt, the Packers don’t run the ball and haven’t had to. The Lions, not that far off from that blue print (less the animal of a game Kevin Smith had). Megatron and Jermichael Finley will be the stars, and we will get our 100+ point contest.
Packers 44 – Lions 38
Miami @ Dallas
The Dolphins have played better of late and look to give Jerry Jones a nice holiday coronary. Kind of like the one Leon Lett (dumb drunken asshole) did when he jumped on the ball after a blocked FG during the snow covered 1993 game versus these two teams. The Cowboys have been struggling to keep it in the middle of the flock all year, so this could end up being a pretty interesting game.
If Matt Moore comes out and plays like Dan Marino instead of Cleo Lemon, like he is very capable of doing, then the Fish have a chance at winning this game. This game might actually be won on some trick play by Reggie Bush, who has had a USC Heisman flashback the last couple of weeks, and not by a heroic Tony Romo performance.
The Biggest thing to watch here for me is whether DeMarcus Ware can have another 4 sack day like he did against the dream team of Philadelphia a few weeks ago, or if Matt Moore can get the ball out to Bush if a quick hit, or down the field to Brandon Marshall for a game breaker. Otherwise, the Cowboys offense will continue to be just above average like usual against a not-so-bad-you-want-to-puke Miami defense. Does Matt Moore wear a concussion helmet?
Cowboys 23 – Dolphins 17
San Francisco @ Baltimore
This game marks the first time brothers will coach against each other in an NFL game, and is even being touted as the “Harbowl”. Ravens coach John Harbaugh seems to be the more reserved, put together coach. He knows what to say to the media, he’s politically correct. Jim, on the other hand, tends to have more fire, and he can say some pretty silly things. Jim met with the media on Monday. He was asked how he felt about going head to head with his brother. He remarked that it would probably be a big deal to their parents, but he also had this to say:
You probably want to peel back the onion some more and get into my soul, but this week my brother is someone we’re just tying to beat…
Phuew…that first part is kind of morose there Jimmy. Maybe you want to snap back to reality and see that you have a good team, that you’ve molded that way. The 49ers couldn’t win with Mike Singletary (Can’t do it!) with basically the same personnel, and you can. Let’s not act like you’re getting emotional about butting heads with your brother, no one is buying it.
Smash mouth football will be on the late Thanksgiving Day menu, and if you’re a fan of that, this will be your favorite game of the day. Both teams have defense, both can run the ball. Old school, bloodied, bear-knuckled football will be on display. We can’t really expect Raven quarterback Joe Flacco or his 49ers counterpart, Alex Smith to put on a show right? Never. This will be Ray Rice, Ricky Williams, Ed Reed, and Terrell Suggs v. Frank Gore, NaVorro Bowman, and Aldon Smith. The 49ers have traveled east to Cincinati, Philadelphia, and Washington and pulled off wins this year already and have debunked the rule that says when west coast teams travel east, they lose. Can they do it one more time?
49ers 17 – Ravens 16
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE