2012 NFL Week 12 Picks – FootballSunday, November 25, 2012 10:42
Game picks for the 2012 NFL season Week 12.
NFL Week 12
Who Coaches the Coaches?
Most NFL coaches are the epitome of success, having amassed wealth and a pretty good lot in life. Along with that status comes the respect of thousands of people for their teams’coaches and the mythology that accompanies the rich and successful coaches–especially in American football.
Let’s play Myth Busters:
Football Coaches are Great Leaders of Men…
This myth springs from the iconic images of Vince Lombardi who in some of his most famous locker room speeches likened football to war and summed up the professional coaches mentality with the iconic phrase, “Winning isn’t everything–it’s the only thing.”
Lombardi, George Halas, and Paul Brown–the Mount Rushmore of NFL coaches–were, at least in their eyes, Great Generals, taking reluctant soldiers into weekly battles against cruel enemies waiting to score touchdowns and dance in celebration.
We’ll concede exceptional leadership qualities are a prerequisite to being a successful NFL coach, but do you really believe Bill Parcells isn’t what he appears to be in the countless film clips of him at practice and on the field–not to mention those post-game pressers where he berates any reporter who challenges him?
You think Barry Switzer has a Super Bowl ring because he was a great coach? Mike Ditka? –And I love Ditka!–Listening to his former players talk, there was no real leadership charisma emanating from Ditka. Ditka’s crew–rightly or wrongly–credits more of their team’s success to Buddy Ryan’s 46 defense.
Being an asshole is at least as important to great NFL coaching as leadership–neither is as important as quality players.
Football Coaches are Overrated
Now here is a myth we immediately agree with…Think about it…Name any great coach. I’ll wait…Go ‘head, look up his stats.
Every damn one of them is overrated.
Never in the history of the NFL or any other level of virtually any organized sport has a coach taken a rag-tag bunch of no-talent Johnnies and turned them into an efficient team of consistent winners. N…E…V…E…R…
Remember, we are talking about the NFL, not Hollywood.
Why do you think Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino bolted from the NFL after a couple months on the job? All of a sudden they couldn’t coach football? Pro football was just too much for them?
My money is on the theory football coaches are only as good as their talent. Saban and Petrino woke up one day and said, “I don’t have blue-chip players pounding on my door to come and be on my team…These pros are grown men–and half of them are bigger assholes than me!”
Conversely, look at Jim Caldwell, the former Indy coach who transitioned the Colts through the final Manning years. He wins 26 games, two division championships and one AFC championship with Peyton Manning…Without Manning…not so good. Of course people forget in Caldwell’s forgettable 2-14 season, which ended up giving the Horseshoes some Luck–the Colts were absolutely devastated with injuries to key players on both sides of the ball…
Football Coaches are Underrated
History tells us very few legitimately “great” coaches are ever underrated. To paraphrase Denny Green, “You are what you record says you are.”
They might be underfunded; ask any Cincy coach before Marvin Lewis squeezed some dough from Mike Brown.
They might be undermanned. The ’76 0-16 Buccaneers team is the perfect example. Yeah, Lombardi or Halas would have taken that team to the Super Bowl. And Tampa Bay’s first ever coach, John McKay? The guy was obviously incompetent. He only won 76% of his games and four national championships in 15 years coaching the USC Trojans.
They might be undermined. If you don’t know what I mean, ask any Cowboys coach after Jimmy Johnson left.
Football Coaches Can “Change the Culture” of a Bad Football Team
Okay, this one we agree with…Well, almost, because there is only one way to change a losing culture:
Chuck Noll undoubtedly changed the losing culture of the consistently wretched Steelers–but it took four years, five phenomenal drafts and revolutionary talent evaluation (i.e. hard work); his team that was perfect in Super Bowl competition only had eleven HOFers.
It was all because of Noll…Not to be sarcastic…
Jim Schwartz has certainly changed the culture in Detroit. The Lions have gone from a perennially bad football team of questionable talent and ability and are now a supremely talented bunch of impulsive, undisciplined, gonad kicking, and pathetically coddled assholes. (I’m sorry, I recently saw the “Asshole” scene in Mel Brooks’ SPACEBALLS and that viewing reignited my love for the word’s seminal perfection in a variety of contexts. Apologies for its overuse.)
Football Coaches Will Do anything to Win
Although Belichick transformed mere cheating into a perverse art, he wasn’t the first to dip his beak into that poisonous palette. Lombardi encouraged Ray Nitschke to wrap his forearms with tape dipped in plaster of Paris so opponents could get a taste of the “Tundra’s” mercilessness. Halas used to water Soldier Field when the temperature dipped below freezing. Noll, Tom Landry, and Don Shula conveniently had no “knowledge” of the steroid use running rampant in their locker rooms–along with 15-20 of their brethren. The Colts were known to pipe louder music into the Hoosier Dome during opponent’s possessions.
More recently, Mike Tomlin stood by while one of his players faked an injury. Tom Brady has been listed as “questionable” on the Pats injury report since he became the starter.
That’s why we love them though, huh…The Outlaw Josie Wales rapes some whore in a barn–he’s still cool (and, by the way, she loved it). It’s the American Way–but that mentality gives birth to the most laughable myth surrounding NFL coaches:
NFL Coaches, because of their vast knowledge of strategy and tactics, must at least, be intelligent…
I can’t believe I wrote that with a straight face.
It would be far too easy to just write “Rex Ryan” and get right to my picks, but we’ve come this far…Patience, my dearies…
Ken Whisenhut, Cardinal head man, reminded anyone with a microphone how coaches are reminded by an official before every game not to throw the red flag on a scoring or turnover play.
That moves Jim Schwartz from the impulsive, capricious column into the blithering idiot column. This little item blew up all the media mayhem grating on our ears about the unfairness of it all:
Of course, some coaches are geniuses. Bill Walsh was a legend in his own mind. The ball-licking Bellichickians call their coach the greatest genius of all time. How much of a genius would he be if, say, Curtis Painter or Chase Daniel were on the bench instead of Brady to replace Drew Bledsoe?
Steeler fans, your disillusioned columnist included, once thought Mike Tomlin possessed extraordinary intelligence. His ability to articulate any aspect of the game, the respect he has for people, the way his players talk about him led many of us to believe Tomlin was a coach for the ages.
Until last week’s Sunday Nighter against the Rat Birds.
In postgame pressers, Tomlin insisted Byron Leftwich was “okay” and wasn’t hurt until late in the first half. Anyone with eyeballs saw Leftwich wincing in pain after he scored a touchdown on the game’s first drive.
He was grabbing his ribs and grimacing on virtually every play thereafter. Tomlin’s team was playing their fiercest rival in their usual tight game. Tomlin had the smart, cautious, and experienced Charlie Batch warming up, yet he kept an obviously injured player in the game.
I guess we are supposed to admire the coach’s loyalty. To me it comes across as dumb loyalty that cost his team a game. It only got worse when Tomlin tried to tell me he couldn’t see what millions saw on television–he comes across as seriously delusional or totally oblivious.
Talk about a red flag.
NFL Week 12 Picks
Last Week: 10 – 4 = .714 (Specials 2 – 2 )
Overall Tally: 81 – 77 – 2 = .512
Specials: 25 – 18 – 1 = .581
Savor the moment with me, please…Three straight weeks picking above .640 and I’m in the hunt for the magic 60% on the year. The bad news was my tepid 2 – 2 on Specials. Chicago getting deep-dished by the Niners was a shocker, but sometimes you gotta take what the gods feed you.
More bad news, this week’s slate of NFL match-ups is pedestrian at best. In a full helping of sixteen Week 12 games, there are 10 lines at three points or closer. Essentially ten of the week’s games are pick-ems. And the match-ups–many of them divisional–are just too close to call.
Great example, how do you break down Arizona vs St. Louis or Steelers/Browns? You have a lot of bad teams either injured or going through some kind of quarterback hell. The first four 1:00pm contests are yawners and head-scratchers. I advise the serious bettor to concentrate on the last ten games on the slate–even if they don’t look that much more promising.
GAME OF THE WEEK (5 – 6)
Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants -3
After six straight stinkers to start off the 2012 campaign, I’ve rebounded with five consecutive GOW winners and look to even it out in Week 12.
The Packers are hurting on both sides of the ball–Charles Woodson, Sam Shields, and Clay Matthews on defense, and Greg Jennings with a strained abdomen.
Of course, the silver lining is Aaron Rodgers, who manages to remain one of the game’s best between endless commercial shoots. He’ll need to be a multi-tasker on Sunday, however; the Giants are coming off a bye, and for the last four years, that’s meant very bad news for their opponents.
The thing is, Rodgers can’t play defense. If the Pack can’t pressure Manning it could be a long trip back to the Land ‘o’ Cheese.
The bookies think this baby will be decided by a field goal. If that’s the case, we like G-Man Lawrence Tines’s recent efforts over the Pack’s downright bad Mason Crosby.
GIANTS 29, PACKERS 20
LOCK OF THE WEEK (7 – 4)
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars +4
No, he isn’t getting cocky–although picking against a home dog as a LOW game does take a healthy pair of pecans. I ask you–where is there a lock in Week 12? Houston at Detroit? How did that work out?
We will proceed on, believing a well-rested and refocused–if you believe what they say–Titans squad with Jake Locker back and Chris Johnson finding himself should have its way with Chad Henne and the Jags, who must trudge along without MJD, Blaine Gabbert and promising young receiver Laurent Robinson.
I’m not buying Chad Henne and rookie Justin Blackmon are going to hook up for 250 yards two weekends in a row. Inconsistency has been the hallmark of Henne’s career thus far–it’s not likely to change now.
TITANS 31, JAGS 17
UPSET SPECIAL (7 – 4)
Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers +1
I believe the Baltimore Ravens are the flimsiest paper tiger the league has seen since the 2002 Raidas. Don’t even think that this is te biased slant of a Steeler fanatic. I readily admit when my heart is making a pick–but this isn’t one of those times.
The Ravens are Dr. Jekyll at home and Mr. Hyde on the road. Joe Flacco has been almost ineffective at times, and the defense is a very breakable candy-coated shell of its formal dominant self–the Rat Bird’s defense let the Steelers’ Byron Leftwich score on a 31-yard scramble and run.
Unopened panty hose run faster than Leftwich.
The Bolts have to be salivating at what teams have been able to accomplish on offense against the Poe Boys, and San Diego must play desperately if they have any hope of saving their playoff life–or Norv Turner’s job.
BOLTS 34, RAVENS 20
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK (6 – 4 – 1)
Carolina Panthers @ Philadelphia Eagles +2.5 (40.5)
In the last month opposing quarterbacks have enjoyed performing at a 140+ rating index against the Eagles so-called defense. Six of Carolina’s eight losses have been within a touchdown. This game has all the makings of two monumentally underachieving teams exploding in a mushroom cloud of scoring.
Look for Cam Newton to shine in the national spotlight and the Eagles talent to rise to the top–no team with that much talent could play so badly for so long.
Take the over and enjoy the fireworks.
PANTHERS 36, EAGLES 33
As usual, my picks are in italic below…
NFL Lines For Week 12 – 11/22 – 11/25, 2012
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|P 11/22 12:30 ET||Houston||-3||At Detroit||50|
|X 11/22 4:15 ET||At Dallas||-3||Washington||48|
|√ 11/22 8:20 ET||New England||-7||At NY Jets||48.5|
|11/25 1:00 ET||At Cincinnati||-8.5||Oakland||50|
|11/25 1:00 ET||Pittsburgh||-1.5||At Cleveland||34.5|
|11/25 1:00 ET||At Indianapolis||-3||Buffalo||51|
|11/25 1:00 ET||Denver||-10.5||At Kansas City||44|
|11/25 1:00 ET||Tennessee LW||-4||At Jacksonville||44.5|
|11/25 1:00 ET||At Chicago||-6.5||Minnesota||39|
|11/25 1:00 ET||Atlanta||-1||At Tampa Bay||51|
|11/25 1:00 ET||Seattle||-3||At Miami||37.5|
|11/25 4:05 ET||Baltimore||-1 US||At San Diego||47|
|11/25 4:25 ET||San Francisco||-1||At New Orleans||49|
|11/25 4:25 ET||At Arizona||-1.5||St. Louis||37|
|11/25 8:30 ET||At NY Giants GW||-3||Green Bay||51|
|11/26 8:40 ET||Carolina /U||-2.5||At Philadelphia||40.5|
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