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Dec. 2, 2007

NFL - Week Thirteen predictions

by Andrew Kung, Online Sports Editor and Copy Editor, Pia Nargundkar, Online Editor-in-Chief and Nitin Sukumar, Online News Editor and Copy Editor
As promised, here we are with the rest of Week Thirteen. The story this week of course is the tragic passing of Sean Taylor, the enigmatic Redskins safety. Whether he deserves a moment of silence is not for comment on (see the discussion here). All we have to say is that he was one heck of a football player, and will be sorely missed in the Redskins community.

Thursday saw three wrong experts and a potential threat to Brett Favre's consecutive game streak, but unchanged standings. As we head down the home stretch, a neck-and-neck battle is brewing just as the playoff picture gets interesting.

Standings:

This weekSeason total
Nitin 0-1110-67
Pia 0-1 109-68
Anshul0-1 105-72
Andrew 1-0 101-76


Sunday December 2, 2007

Buffalo Bills (5-6) at Washington Redskins (5-6)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Washington Washington Washington Washington

Andrew says: Any pithy comment I'd normally make would be a disgrace to Sean Taylor's memory, so I'll leave only my favorite moment: Taylor decking a punter at the Pro Bowl.

Nitin says: Washington will show up and rip Buffalo for Sean Taylor.

Pia says: Win this one for #21, Washington.

Anshul says: All of Washington is behind the 'Skins and Sean Taylor will be watching. Make him proud.

San Francisco 49ers (3-8) at Carolina Panthers (4-7)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Carolina San Francisco San Francisco Carolina

Andrew says: Sorry Niners fans, one win off of a defensive touchdown in overtime won't turn around a season of mediocrity.

Nitin says: San Fran's Frank Gore looked a lot like his 2006 self while Carolina will once again switch to Vinny Testeverde. Change can be good, but changing around quarterbacks constantly denies teams the confidence they need.

Pia says: The 49ers will carry over their momentum from last week and continue to deny the Panthers a home win this season.

Anshul says: San Francisco has won one game in their last nine. Even though Carolina is not looking too good, an easy win over the 49ers should get them back on track.

Atlanta (3-8) at St. Louis Rams (2-9)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
St. Louis St. Louis Atlanta St. Louis

Andrew says: Even with our old friend Gus Frerotte behind the helm, the Rams have enough firepower (read: Steven Jackson) to rip through the Falcons.

Nitin says: The Rams' playoff hopes are pretty much over, but their offense is continuing its resurgence.

Pia says: Just as the Rams were starting to gain some (useless) momentum, their starting quarterback gets injured. Without Marc Bulger, St. Louis is as hopeless as ever.

Anshul says: The Rams are starting to play better. Even though they have no chance at a playoff berth, they can at least finish the season strong.

Seattle Seahawks (7-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Seattle Philadelphia Seattle Philadelphia

Andrew says: The return of Shaun Alexander against a questionable Philly front seven gives the Seahawks the edge.

Nitin says: A.J. Feeley looked better against New England than McNabb has looked nearly all season. The playoff picture is a little murky but the Eagles might be able to steal the last wild card spot with continued aggressive play.

Pia says: Philly put up an impressive show last week, but I doubt that we're in for an encore.

Anshul says: The Eagles gave the Patriots a scare last week and let's face it, the Seahawks are no Patriots. With the combination attack of A.J. Feeley and Brian Westbrook, Philly will win to keep pace in the NFC East.

Detroit Lions (6-5) at Minnesota Vikings (5-6)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Detroit Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota

Andrew says: Hey, maybe Jon Kitna can get another dose of divine intervention and again lead the Lions past the Vikings. Adrian Peterson may be back, but at what capacity? Minnesota won't sacrifice their franchise player over a lost season.

Nitin says: Minnesota's D torched Eli and Chester Taylor played well as Adrian Peterson's replacement yet again. AP's possible return won't be necessary to seal the win over the Lions, who have dropped three straight. Given Detroit's brutal remaining schedule, QB Jon Kitna's 10-win prediction looks less likely than ever.

Pia says: After the Lions' impressive start, everyone seemed to forget that the Lions are after all, well, the Lions. They've lost the last three games and are going to suffer a fourth after being swallowed by Minnesota's defense.

Anshul says: Chester Taylor is playing well and Adrian Peterson may also return. Their defense returned three interceptions for touchdowns against the Giants and Lions QB Jon Kitna is their next prey.

New York Jets (2-9) at Miami Dolphins (0-11)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Miami New York Miami Miami

Andrew says: This may be Miami's best chance for avoiding the goose egg. With Jerricho Cotchery out and Laveranues Coles iffy, the Kellen Clemens-led offense should give the Dolphins little trouble, while John Beck continues his progression as NFL starter, earning career win number one.

Nitin says: I had hope for Miami when Ricky Williams was reinstated, but he's gone again with a season-ending injury. New York's porous secondary may boost rookie Miami QB John Beck's confidence but the Jets' passing attack will fry the fish.

Pia says: The unwritten rule of the NFL is that no team can go 16-0 or 0-16. It's time for Miami to win.

Anshul says: Going 0-16 is hard and it isn't too much of a stretch to say the Dolphins are better than the Jets.

San Diego Chargers (6-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-7)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Kansas City San Diego San Diego San Diego

Andrew says: Kolby Smith is a lot like another smallish, unheralded running back who played for the Chiefs: Priest Holmes. A strong effort against the defense that gave up 296 to AP is not out of the question. Damon Huard is back under center, and may very well pull another upset against the Chargers in front of the home crowd.

Nitin says: The Chargers are hungry for this one. The last time these two teams played, Damon Huard embarrassed San Diego. With Larry Johnson out of the picture, this week will be a much different story; rookie Chiefs RB Kolby Smith will be brought back to earth after his stellar debut last week.

Pia says: If Philip Rivers plays like he did last week against the Ravens, and LaDainian Tomlinson shows the Chiefs why he's gotten 10,000 yards in his career, the Chargers are set.

Anshul says: San Diego played well last week, including Philip Rivers. Although Kolby Smith played pretty well last week, the Chargers are rolling again.

Houston Texans (5-6) at Tennessee Titans (6-5)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Tennessee Houston Tennessee Houston

Andrew says: After losing three is a row, the Titans no longer look like a playoff team. On the other hand, neither do the Texans. Vince Young looks to play in this matchup against his hometown team after sitting out their first meeting, so eight field goals from Rob Bironas probably won't be necessary.

Nitin says: Tennessee is really bad. Sure, Albert Haynesworth wasn't in. But Cincinnati limited them to under 10 points... that puts the Titans in the same offensive class as the Ravens.

Pia says: Tennessee has dropped three straight without their defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. With Haynesworth slated to be back in the lineup, the Titans' playoff chances are looking up once more.

Anshul says: Tennessee has started to fall and the Texans are on their way back up. Give it to the Texans on the road.

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-3) at Indianapolis Colts (9-2)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Indianapolis Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville

Andrew says: It appears that Peyton Manning's mini-slump is over, and the offensive light show should return, with or without Marvin Harrison.

Nitin says: Justin Durant had a great start replacing injured MLB Mike Peterson for the Jags. With the staunch defense set, David Garrard will just have to continue his can't-touch-this style to put away the injury-rattled Colts.

Pia says: Jacksonville is itching to catch up to Indianapolis, and they need this win in order to even the season series tiebreaker at one a piece. Injuries plagued the Jaguars the last time they played the Colts, so this time around with everyone healthy, the stars may be aligned for the big cats to come into the spotlight.

Anshul says: The Colts escaped last time around, but this time a healthy Jags team is going to make the Colts work. David Garrard still hasn't throw a pick and their combo running attack is working magic, or should I say mojo.

Cleveland Browns (7-4) at Arizona Cardinals (5-6)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Arizona Cleveland Cleveland Cleveland

Andrew says: Edgerrin James breaks out of his slump in what looks to be a shootout in the desert.

Nitin says: Both quarterbacks have a shot at having huge games. But with all-Pro SS Adrian Wilson out for the season, Browns QB Derek Anderson will be able to connect deep with WR Braylon Edwards easily.

Pia says: The Browns are known for spiraling downward in December, but then again, they're also known for being a terrible football team. Neither is going to be true this December, as the Browns look to lock up a wild card playoff spot, starting with their win in Arizona.

Anshul says: The Browns can make a run to the Steelers to win the division, and a win over the falling Cardinals should help them with that.

Denver Broncos (5-6) at Oakland Raiders (3-8)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Denver Denver Denver Denver

Andrew says: Thankfully for Broncos fans, the Raiders' return man is not named Devin Hester. As such, the Broncos should get back to .500 with an easy victory against the Silver and Black.

Nitin says: The Broncos need this one to stay in the AFC Wild Card race. And the Raiders need to start playing JaMarcus Russell if they want to take anything away from the remaining portion of their lost season.

Pia says: Denver shouldn't have to worry about blowing leads against Oakland, who only won last week due to an abysmal performance from Kansas City.

Anshul says: Denver looked better last week, even though they lost. Oakland is still not a good team to the Broncos should win on the road to hit .500.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4) at New Orleans Saints (5-6)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Tampa Bay New Orleans New Orleans New Orleans

Andrew says: This is a must-win for the Saints if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. My fantasy team too is on the edge of playoff contention, and I'm banking on a big game from Bucs running back Earnest Graham (tells you something about my roster...).

Nitin says: Tampa Bay has seven Ws because of a man named Jeff Garcia. He isn't playing and backup QB Bruce Gradkowski's 2006 rating of 65.9 is nothing to envy, even against a weak New Orleans secondary.

Pia says: The Bucs got lucky last week with a series of fumbles from the Redskins, but they won't find that kind of break from the Saints' powerful offense.

Anshul says: I like the way both teams are playing right now, but with Jeff Garcia questionable, the Saints have the edge here.

New York Giants (7-4) at Chicago Bears (5-6)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
New York Chicago Chicago New York

Andrew says: Now that Peyton isn't watching, Eli should rebound by picking apart the Chicago secondary.

Nitin says: Do. Not. Kick. To. Hester. No matter how many times its said, teams still do it. New York hasn't looked good since Week 7.

Pia says: Eli Manning threw four interceptions last week, three of which were returned for touchdowns. Comparatively, the Bears' impressive comeback victory puts them in a much better light.

Anshul says: So long as Devin Hester does not touch the ball, the Giants should own this game.

Cincinnati Bengals (4-7) at Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Pittsburgh Cincinnati Pittsburgh Pittsburgh

Andrew says: Now that the Steelers are actually play on a real field, not a swamp, Big Ben and crew should be able to put up more than three points.

Nitin says: Sure, the Steelers played on one of the worst fields imaginable, but managing just one solitary field goal against the worst team in the league is unacceptable. Cincinnati's Ocho Cinco exploded last week and has a huge chance to repeat against a possibly Troy Polamalu-less defense.

Pia says: Everything about last week's Pittsburgh-Miami game was abysmal: the weather, the field and the teams. With their playoff chances hanging in limbo, the Steelers aren't going to let it happen again.

Anshul says: The Steelers are running well, passing well, and defending well. They looked trashy last week, but poor field conditions should not affect this game.


Monday December 3, 2007
New England Patriots (11-0) at Baltimore Ravens (4-7)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
New England New England New England Baltimore

Andrew says: Who else thinks that last week's three point New England win was Bill Belichick playing cat and mouse with the league?

Nitin says: Teams think they can learn from Philly's near upset of New England and they probably will. But executing the same strategy will be extremely difficult for the Ravens, who don't have a healthy Pro Bowl corner to stick to Randy Moss like Eagle's CB Lito Sheppard.

Pia says: Like I said earlier, there's a time for every undefeated team to lose and every winless team to win. This, however, isn't going to be a sad week for the Patriots, if the Ravens' performance last week is any indication.

Anshul says: Probably one of the biggest upsets I could pick. Baltimore has no defense or offense right now. But they're at home, so let's give them the nod.



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  • austin on December 4, 2007 at 4:01 PM
    sucks for baltimore... and anshul.
    they were so close
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