Thursday Morning Picks

By Bryan Jeon

Season: 118-58
Last week: 11-5
Brandon Funston (top Yahoo! expert): 115-61

Week 12 Recap: What did Brett Favre do on Thanksgiving? Just complete 20 straight passes against the Lions and toss 3 TD passes, breaking Dan Marino‘s career record for most games with 3 or more TD passes with 63…Kurt Warner outdid Favre in passing yards (484, 381) but threw two picks and lost a fumble in the endzone in an overtime loss to the 49ers…The Denver Broncos are known to have a solid offensive line. Add the Kansas City Chiefs to the list. With Larry Johnson out for his third consecutive game and Priest Holmes retired, rookie Kolby Smith rushed for a week-high 150 yards and 2 touchdowns…The Pats looked vulnerable on SNF, the first step in breaking down an undefeated team. Tom Brady threw under 3 TD passes for the first time this season, finishing with just one. He now has 39, just 10 shy of Peyton Manning’s single-season record with 5 games to play.

Week 13 Picks:

Thursday:
Dallas (10-1) over Green Bay (10-1) – In a probable preview of the NFC Championship, the Boys’ offense will prove too much for Favre and Co.
Sunday Morning:
San Diego (6-5) over Kansas City (4-7) – The Chargers will avenge their 30-16 loss to the Chiefs in Week 4. LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 132 yards in that game, one of just two 100-yard rushing games for him this seaon. The Chiefs have lost four straight and Smith will get his second NFL start with Johnson out for his fourth straight game.
Houston (5-6) over Tennessee (6-5) – The Titans’ 3-game losing streak has booted them out of the Wild Card and Vince Young‘s magic seems to be fading. Remember the Titans’ wild win at Houston in Week 7, 38-36? Expect them to be on the other end in this contest with a healthy Andre Johnson and a solid Ron Dayne in place of the injured Ahman Green, both of which did not play in the first meeting.
Jacksonville (8-3) over Indianapolis (9-2) – One of my two big upset picks this week. Indy may have won their Week 7 match up, 29-7, but David Garrard will have plenty of motivation to play well, as he was knocked out of that game and went on to miss three more with a sprained ankle. How much of a difference is he than Quinn Gray? In that game, Gray threw two picks, lost a fumble and was sacked for a safety.
Washington (5-6) over Buffalo (5-6) – The Skins will have emotions running high with the death of Sean Taylor early this week. It also helps that Marshawn Lynch and backup Anthony Thomas are out of this contest, and Fred Jackson will start his first career game. He has just 9 carries this season in his first playing year. 
San Francisco (3-8) over Carolina (4-7) – The Panthers have lost five straight, are 0-5 at home and last week, had Steve Smith‘s 22-yard run lead the team in rushing. David Carr was benched in favor of rookie Matt Moore mid-game after starting the game with seven straight incompletions and eventually throwing two interceptions. They were in a state of panic without 44-year-old Vinny Testaverde and unfortunately, play this one at home as well.
Minnesota (5-6) over Detroit (6-5) – So much for the Vikings having the worst pass ‘D’ in the NFL. They pick off Eli Manning four times and return three of them for touchdowns in scoring as many points on defense as the Giants did on offense. They don’t need to create nearly as many turnovers to avenge a Week 2 overtime loss in Detroit, 20-17.
Miami (0-11) over NY Jets (2-9) – When the Fins lost in New York, 31-28 in Week 3, who would have guessed they would still be looking for their first win when they met nine games later? John Beck will get his third consecutive start, as he has improved in his last game against Pittsburgh, and Jesse Chatman is good to go, as the city of Miami will have something to cheer about for one week. But really, if they don’t win this one, it could really happen.
St. Louis (2-9) over Atlanta (3-8) – Even with the absence of Marc Bulger, the Rams will get their first win at home.
Philadelphia (5-6) over Seattle (7-4) – There are those that say had Donovan McNabb played against the Pats instead of A.J. Feeley, they would have won the game. The way I see it, they wouldn’t have played the way they did with the mediocre McNabb in, and I would have gone with the Hawks if McNabb were good to go in this game. Andy Reid, we want a QB change!
Sunday Afternoon:
Tampa Bay (7-4) over New Orleans (5-6) – The Bucs won the first meeting in Week 2, 31-14, but will have to rely heavily on their ‘D’ to force Drew Brees into making mistakes if Jeff Garcia can’t go. 
Cleveland (7-4) over Arizona (5-6) – The Browns now own a Wild Card spot in the AFC and can feasibly win the division with an easy schedule remaining (they currently don’t play anyone with a .500 record or better) and trailing Pittsburgh by just one game, who has New England and Jacksonville left.
Denver (5-6) over Oakland (3-8) – The Broncos won the first meeting in a 23-20 overtime win and have some good stuff coming to them. They get starter Travis Henry and backup Selvin Young back, as both were out the week before with injuries. Daunte Culpepper, who is the only Raider QB to win this season is likely out, putting Josh McCown in, who passed for 73 yards in the Week 2 contest.  
NY Giants (7-4) over Chicago (5-6) – The Cowboys virtually clinched their division when the Giants fell to the Vikings last week. Manning needs to shape up to lead this team against the Bears and the return of Derrick Ward behind him sure would help him out.
Sunday Night:
Cincinnati (4-7) over Pittsburgh (8-3) – Pittsburgh is 6-0 at home, beat the Bengals 24-13 in Week 8 and look to coast against their underachieving division rival. They don’t call it the Upset Special for nothing. The Steelers have played in 3-point games the last three weeks, and Santonio Holmes is out. Rudi Johnson is back for the Bengals, scoring his first rushing touchdown of the season last week against a stout Tennessee run ‘D’. If the Bengals offense doesn’t click, they don’t have a shot.
Monday Night:
New England (11-0) over Baltimore (4-7) – The Pats play their third straight game on primetime and shouldn’t come across any surprises like they did against the Eagles last week. The Ravens offense is horrid, their defense is not nearly as dominant as it was last year and they are on a 5-game losing streak, going from being an AFC Wild Card to last in their own division. Not good news against the Pats, who face very few obstacles remaining in their bid for a perfect season.

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