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Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 13 NFL Predictions: Teasers of the Week

UPDATE: With the KC and GB lines dropping today, I've added them as a late teaser.

6 Point Teasers
Eagles -2 & Chiefs -2
If Andre Johnson was suspended for this game I might have consider taking PHI against the normal line, but HOU is a team that can air it out and move the sticks at any time.  I fully expect PHI to dominate this game because HOU's defense will have trouble containing all of the offensive weapons on the other side of the ball.  I expect Vick to have a very big game and he should be able to pick this defense apart.  He will be able to go deep with D-Jax and Maclin or underneath with Celek, Avant, and McCoy.  If HOU somehow morph into the 85 Bears and scheme these guys good, Vick will just tuck it and run for the first down.  I also expect PHI's offense to get back on track in the red zone because HOU have been horrible in this area.  This is a tough spot for HOU.  Traveling to a cold environment on a short week isn't doing them any favors. 

Vegas set a pretty good line on the KC game when it first came out at -8.  If it had fallen to -7 I would have taken it, but it quickly moved northward.  If you can still find the line at -9 I still think it's worth it to add to a teaser because KC should win this game by more than a field goal.  The primary reason?  They should absolutely dominate this game on the ground and the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.  Even though Moreno has looked healthier the past few weeks, they still won't be able to control the clock enough to win.  KC have the best running game in the NFL with Charles/Jones and if the coaches stick with it they should have little trouble pounding the rock down DEN's throats.  To add insult to injury DEN don't have a good pass rush.  Cassel and Bowe have been on fire so it could be a case of pick your poison.  The KC o-line does a great job in both pass protection and blowing holes open on the ground.   They are great in the red zone, dominate time of possession, and force teams to drive most of the field.  The only edge DEN will have is in the passing game.  Orton should put up enough points to make this a high scoring affair, but at the end of the day it won't be enough.  They've already proved that their philosophical approach doesn't win games.

Saints -1 & Giants -1
NO travel to CIN to take on a god-forsaken Bengals team on Sunday.  Is there any leadership on this sad-sack team?  The weapons are there.  The same defense is in place.  Yet they are terrible week after week.  I could go into a lot more detail in this one but the bottom line is CIN have had trouble producing consistent pressure on the QB all year and NO do a great job protecting Brees.  Now he has Bush back in the mix which opens up their playbook immensely.  Brees should have little trouble finding mismatches down the field and look for them to sustain a lot of drives and eat up the clock.  CIN will continue to be inconsistent on offense and Palmer might have another multiple turnover game trying to keep up with the SI Sportsman of the Year.  

In the other half of this teaser I got the G-Men taking out the Skins in an NFC East matchup.  Even without Nicks and Smith, I love NY to completely dismantle WSH.   NY have major mismatches all over the field and up and down the roster.  Much like the KC game, this game is going to come down to the running game and the line of scrimmage.  Mcnabb is in for a long day because he'll be a sitting duck behind that embarrassing offensive line.  There is going to be pressure coming off both ends and if they double team Tuck or Umenyiora, there will be overloaded blitzes galore.  Mcnabb is not an accurate passer and they don't have the running game needed to keep the pressure off him.  Meanwhile, Eli should be able to find his receivers down the field off of play action and a balanced attack will eventually wear down this disinterested WSH defense.  

Packers -2 & Chiefs -2

10 Point Teaser
Packers PK & Chargers -3 & Falcons +7
I've already broken down the ATL game so I'll move onto the remaining two.  

The Packers are favored by a full 10 points, but I'm a little surprised it's not a little more.  I love Brian Westbrook and he looked fresh on MNF, but he is not Frank Gore.  The workhorse back of this SF team is out for the year and now they must travel to a cold Lambeau field for a 10 o'clock game.  We all know how these usually turn out when the West travel East. Clay Mathews and company are going to wreak havoc on Smith as it's going to be a long day.  Does this mean I think SF will roll over and die?  No.  But they are going to be in a world of hurt trying to match the offensive production of Rodgers.   GB rank near the very top in red zone offense and score twice as many points as SF from long, sustained drives.  It also doesn't help that SF is traveling on a short week.   Unless Rodgers goes down with an injury, this tease is close to printing money.

In the last matchup, we have the souring Chargers looking to exact some revenge on their division foes.  OAK have fallen back to earth after their little run and it's not a good time to be facing SD.  They annihilated IND on the road and it could get ugly for OAK as well.  McFadden hasn't looked the same the last few weeks after tearing up the league earlier in the season.   Even if OAK was running well, he'd have a heck of a time putting up yards against this defense.  SD do a great job with gap integrity and swarm the ball.   That means they will need to find other ways to keep up with Rivers.  At this point can anyone do that?   SD is averaging a whopping 20 points per game from long drives.  That's tops in the NFL.  They rank near the top in almost every meaningful category and they have shown signs of improvement on special teams.  If SD do happen to stall a few times, they can take heart that OAK will keep most drives alive with penalties.  This has blowout written all over it.
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124-132 (+34.13u)
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