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    Cris Collinsworth

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  • Council of the Learned 2012: Week Fourteen NFL Picks



    I have never seen a week from the Council in two years where it seems it has been more sure of itself. It is only fitting because the fans can finally be sure of things in the NFL with four weeks to go. In response, I think it is apt for me to go through each game this week and tell the readers what I am sure of.

    14th Week

    Thursday, Dec. 6

    Denver at Oakland, 8:20 p.m- I am sure that Peyton Manning won’t lose again during the regular season. I am sure that no casual fan knows who the Raiders coach is. Still. Hint: Rhymes with Tennis Fallon. PICK: (DEN 9-0)

    Sunday, Dec. 9

    St. Louis at Buffalo, 1 p.m- I am sure that Jeff Fisher is building a decent team in Saint Louis and I am also sure that Stephen Jackson still has yet another year or two in him. I am pretty sure that the Bills are going to turn into the AFC version of the Lions. PICK: (BUF 7-2)

    Atlanta at Carolina, 1 p.m- I am sure that the Falcons have gone from underrated to overrated this season. They are the team version of Barry Sanders. They cannot be trusted on a 3rd & 1. I am sure that Cam Newton needs to work harder now that RGIII, Luck and Wilson have all the pub. PICK: (ATL 9-0)

    Dallas at Cincinnati, 1 p.m- I am sure that Tony Romo kind of feels like Vinny Testaverde 2.0 in terms of a NFL career with yards and picks. He will have a lot of both. I am sure that the Bengals fans are terrified about just how good the team seems to be coming along with their talent base. They are awaiting a horriffic event, like watching "Home Improvement." PICK: (CIN 6-3)

    Kansas City at Cleveland, 1 p.m- I am sure that Romeo Crennel will keep coaching as long as he can so he doesn’t have enough time to sit back and remember what happened every single day. I am sure that the Browns will go one for two between Weeden and Richardson. PICK: (CLE 9-0)

    Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1 p.m- I am sure that Mike Munchak will be good at something other than being a head coach in the NFL. I am sure that the Colts will have a quarterback pantheon with three heads better than any other team’s in fifteen years. PICK: (IND 9-0)

    N.Y. Jets at Jacksonville, 1 p.m- I am sure that the Jets need a quarterback and I am sure I will laugh if they replace one USC guy with another. I am sure that Chad Henne will be the opening day starter for the Jaguars in 2013. PICK: (JAC 8-1)

    Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m- I am sure that the biggest problem for the Bears now is injuries, not their offensive line. I am sure that Christian Ponder will become a house dad. PICK: (CHI 8-1)

    San Diego at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m- I am sure that this is the season that everyone is really sure that both the GM and coach get fired in San Diego and am sure that one of them will survive. I am sure the news will slightly increase surfing traffic next year. I am sure that the Steelers-Bengals game will be a good one. PICK: (PIT 9-0)

    Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m- I am sure that the Eagles will win one more game this season. I am sure that Schiano’s act will get old sooner rather than later. PICK: (TB 9-0)

    Baltimore at Washington, 1 p.m- I am sure that Ray Rice needs more carries and I am sure that the luster is gone from that offense that was averaging a touchdown more than it’s previous version. I am sure that Washington loves RGIII more than Strasburg; at least until next September. PICK: (BAL 5-4)

    Miami at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m- I am sure that the Dolphins will be a part of a low-scoring game in San Francisco. I am also sure that the closeness of the game will make the screams on each side of the Smith-Polish astronomer debate louder. PICK: (SF 8-1)

    New Orleans at N.Y. Giants, 4:25 p.m- I am sure that no team should judge it’s results without throwing out any game against the Saints. I am also sure that Brees cost me the playoffs in fantasy football. I am sure that the only thing preventing a real conversation about Eli Manning is the New York Jets. PICK: (NYG 9-0)

    Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m- I am sure that I agree with David Jacoby in that DVDs of last week’s Cardinals-Jets game need to be put on the market immediately. I am sure that Seattle fans like Russell Wilson only slightly less than Washington fans like RGIII. PICK: (SEA 9-0)

    Detroit at Green Bay-x, 8:20 p.m- I am sure that Jim Schwartz will be on the chopping block next season. I am sure that Green Bay is a better team with injuries than without them. They find a way. PICK: (GB 9-0)

    Monday, Dec. 10

    Houston at New England, 8:30 p.m- I am sure that the Council severely underestimated the Texans chances this week. I am sure that no man has asked for Uggs “man” boots this holiday season. I am also sure that the Pats lose against Houston or lose against the Niners, but not both. PICK: (NE 8-1)

    LAST WEEK: 10-6
    SEASON: 123-68-1 (64.3%)

    Comments 15 Comments
    1. biggittyb's Avatar
      Without Gronkowski, I like Houston this week
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Nice writing!

      I'm the lone voice for Houston. I'm surprised by the near-unanimity of the vote.

      I agree about Schiano. Can his act endure in the long run? Or will players start to tune him out? I'm guessing they will. I also agree about Eli. I think a lot of Monday's loss goes to his trouble managing the game.

      The Panthers are making brave noises this week. It wouldn't shock me to see an upset, just as it wouldn't shock me to see Denver lose.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      I'm ATD on Dallas and Washington. Just realized I'm favoring the NFC East this week. I usually try to avoid that. Then again, it means I'm disfavoring the AFC North. Perhaps bias may have something to do with that...

      I think Dallas can make things difficult for the Bengal passing game, and I don't trust BJGE to be good enough to keep Cincy in it. Romo's been a 2nd half monster in recent weeks, so as long as it's close at halftime, I don't think it will be close enough in the end for Garrett and Romo to screw this game up.

      Other than Torrey Smith, the Ravens really don't have the WRs to exploit the Redskins' secondary. Perhaps this becomes a Jacoby Jones game, but that stadium should be rockin' and rollin', and Flacco has struggled on the road. I don't see the Ravens defense being able to stop the spread option.

      Not ATD on NE over Hou. I agree with Rich that NE loses one of their next 2 games. I just happen to think SF matches up much better against them. Houston has been the cream of the AFC, but I think NE makes this a "Get off my lawn!" game.

      A Carolina upset would shock me more than an Oakland upset. This game has all the makings, being on a weird night, the "come together" event regarding Dennis Allen's dad passing, and the fact that Allen is facing his former team. But I can't see Manning tripping up against a secondary that's that bad. I think Denver pulls away in the 2nd half and ends up blowing them out.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      I am after the dash with the Cowboys, the Redskins, and the... Jets. I can't claim this as my reasoning for picking them, but there is no universe in which the Jacksonville Jaguars deserve to be a unanimous winner. In any week.

      That is also why the Council's unanimity on the Cleveland Browns makes me nervous.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      I'm not buying the Falcons.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      I'm not buying the Falcons either, but I think they can beat a crap team like Carolina. That's exactly what they do.
    1. xmenehune's Avatar
      STL should win, even coming off a big division win over SF, true this will be an outdoor game for STL, but BUF D & O tend to sputter, we'll see if they keep using their duo RB run game.
      I just thought they used it last week vs JAC due to weather and JAC DL is fairly weak, even adding DE Babin didn't make enough of a difference.

      it's also interesting to note that the council were nearly unanimous (9-0) for all division games
      DEN @OAK, TEN @IND, CHI @MIN, ATL @CAR, ARI @SEA, DET @GB
      what are the chances for all of them to be correct, I don't know, but I think at least one of them will go the other way and DET has the best chance, maybe even MIN (due to CHI is beat up)
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by mkocs6 View Post
      I'm not buying the Falcons either, but I think they can beat a crap team like Carolina. That's exactly what they do.
      Gus Johnson is back, calling that game! It'll end with a Hail Mary or another weirdly big play.
    1. Hoser's Avatar
      Granted it's a small sample size but amongst Niner fans that I rant and rave with...there is no QB controversy. I think any speculated controversy is a product of the media.

      Smith was playing his very best and it sucks for him that he lost his starting job but I don't know one person that follows the Niners that felt comfortable with him as the long term answer. And it appears fairly certain after only a few games that the Kaeper has a much higher ceiling than Smith.
      Done and done in my book. Let the young man get his reps in now and get ready for the playoffs.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      Denver at Oakland, Cause Oakland sucks.

      St. Louis at Buffalo, I don't actually believe it, but I want it, so I am going to.

      Atlanta at Carolina, See Denver v. Oakland

      Dallas at Cincinnati, tHIS IS WHERE cINCINNATI NEEDS TO WIN TO SEPARATE FROM pITTSBURGH.

      Kansas City at Cleveland, Neither team is good. KC is probably worse.

      Tennessee at Indianapolis, Why not?

      N.Y. Jets at Jacksonville, I hate the Jets, but Jacksonville iis s---ty on top of being injured.

      Chicago at Minnesota, They have to do what I pick once, don't they?

      San Diego at Pittsburgh, I hate Pittsburgh as much as I hate the Jets.

      Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, Just to be annoying.

      Baltimore at Washington, The defense scares me, but not as much as the monthly brain cramp surrounding Ray Rice. They forgot they had him last week, so this week shouold be better.

      Miami at San Francisco, Miami is bad. They looked OK early cause they were playing the weak sisters of the blind early. The reverse of Buffalo and the Jets.

      New Orleans at N.Y. Giants, Tie.

      Arizona at Seattle, Not even close.

      Detroit at Green Bay- See Arizona at Seattle.

      Houston at New England - Houston wins this one. We shall see about the rematch in January, after I go back and see what I predicted pre-season.
    1. Curtis's Avatar
      San Diego at Pittsburgh
      Worthlessberger will play but it won't matter. Typical Tomlin will under prepare them again.

      Baltimore at Washington
      RG3 will lock it up.
    1. xmenehune's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Hoser View Post
      Granted it's a small sample size but amongst Niner fans that I rant and rave with...there is no QB controversy. I think any speculated controversy is a product of the media.

      Smith was playing his very best and it sucks for him that he lost his starting job but I don't know one person that follows the Niners that felt comfortable with him as the long term answer. And it appears fairly certain after only a few games that the Kaeper has a much higher ceiling than Smith.
      Done and done in my book. Let the young man get his reps in now and get ready for the playoffs.
      I wonder if Kaepernick will run the pistol again? RGIII is doing it in WAS with success, Kaepernick ran the pistol for 4yrs @UNR, much to the dismay of UNLV, maybe next year???
    1. Hoser's Avatar
      Well...if they do...and why wouldn't they?...it will be far more seamless with the flow of the offense and more difficult to defend.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      Nice writing!
      Sorry, I just caught this. Thank you for the kind words.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      I'm the lone voice for Houston. I'm surprised by the near-unanimity of the vote.
      If only I hadn't typed these words right after that!