2012 NFL Week 14 Picks – FootballSunday, December 9, 2012 8:40
Game picks for the 2012 NFL season Week 14.
NFL Week 14
When will Roger Goodell stop lying about why he is doing what he is doing–transforming the violent, brutal, and beautiful athletic ballet that is American Gridiron Football into a candy-striped caricature of itself?
The NFL’s Idiot-in-Chief, aka, HLIC–Head lawyer in Charge–is considering eliminating the KICK-off from FOOTball!
The Big Lie
It’s all about player safety.
The Big Truth
If the NFL had genuine concern about player safety, they could make the game safer, right this second, by eliminating:
- THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL…Any NFL player will tell you the very short week and the lack of prep, recovery, and practice time significantly endanger player safety.
- UNPROTECTIVE HELMETS…Players still are not required to wear helmets the league’s own research has shown reduce concussions and that minimize their potential effects.
- CUT BLOCKING/BLOCKING BELOW THE WAIST…This technique is still prevalent in the game. I wonder how many lower leg injuries could be avoided if it were banned.
Each of the above, if immediately implemented, would significantly alter both the rate and severity of injury. None would prohibitively change the nature of the game.
The following have been suggested but would make the NFL a whole different ball of yarn:
- ELIMINATE THE THREE POINT STANCE…This move would lessen the cumulative brain damage caused by repeated clashing of linemen’s helmets. Football is a unique game of leverage–”the lower man wins.” If the down stance were eliminated, the running game would suffer an even more accelerated death than Goodell envisions because blockers would be unable to create the holes they can by exploding into a defender.
- TACKLING BELOW THE WAIST…This “Rugby Rule” sounds good on paper, but Goodell and his cadre of lawyers have spent three years pissing fans off by handcuffing defenses and whining about helmet-to-helmet contact on quarterbacks and just about any other player they label as defenseless. If players were now forced to raise their target, even with more protective helmets, heads would roll–literally.
- HELMET-TO-HELMET CONTACT…The crown jewel of Goodell and his minion’s mendacity. After all the fines to defensive players, all the rhetoric about “changing the culture”…after all the boldfaced bullshitting about protecting players, the NFL has done absolute zero to address the consequences of running backs and defenders butting heads on every play–not to mention the documented, inarguable, and many times more damaging reality of lineman exploding head-to-head fifty or sixty snaps a game.
THAT, ladies and gentlemen is the issue Goodell and his lawyers nuts.
Even they are smart enough to know that if Roger and the owners were genuinely concerned about player safety, they would immediately disband the league, take the ensuing huge financial hit and declare bankruptcy, you know, for the good of humanity.
I don’t think that outcome is on the horizon.
If the owners don’t do the “humane thing” and scuttle the game, The Big Conundrum becomes clear…If we eliminate all possibility of potential brain damage or other crippling injuries from NFL football, the game as we know it cannot be played, so how then do we convince our fans we really care about player safety when, in reality, we don’t give a flying fuck???
- FIND A PATSY…A real mean, surly player, preferably on a signature franchise, to be the poster boy for illegal hits–the same ones we made billions off of for the last half century–that were legal for 70 years…
- FINE AND/OR SUSPEND the Patsy and like-minded mean guys and win the hearts and minds of our loyal fans that these changes are necessary “for the good of the game.”
- MANIPULATE THE FAN BASE even more by convincing them such hits, which occur maybe 3-5 times in a given week, are the real problem and not other collisions that medical science has determined cause equally debilitating brain damage–and occur hundreds of times in practice and games.
- CREATE THE FALSE REALITY that we can solve our Big Conundrum by changing rules that really do not address actions we take that only marginally address player safety. You know, like moving up the kickoff or banning the “blindside” block.
- INDIGNIANTLY DENY that any of the owners’ three-year crusade against on field violence that was celebrated for the last half-century has nothing whatsoever with the fear of lawsuits from anyone…
The Goodell Doctrine
NFL owners–whose hands are spleen deep up Roger Goodell’s ass–want higher and higher ROI. They believe that the absurd song and dance the Commissioner performs a couple times a month, during which he squawks about “doing the right thing,” will ultimately be less expensive than sitting down with the former players and spending a few billion dollars guaranteeing them health care for their injuries, an apology for not informing players about the hidden dangers of NFL football, and a fair settlement for all outstanding lawsuits.
By telling the owners that their calculation is absurdly stupid and negotiating exactly that type of settlement, Roger Goodell could create the most important and enduring legacy of any sports commissioner in history.
If Ol’ Roger had the guts to create such a legacy TIME magazine would name him Man-of-the-Year. At that point, the newly leveraged and respected Commissioner should conduct a publicly televised town hall, during which he says something on the order of:
We now have shown our alumni what we will continue to show the current NFLPA: we do care about your safety and will spend 5% of all revenues finding ways to assure our players perform in the safest environment possible.
But, make no mistake, the NFL hasn’t been the only organization deceiving the public. We were prepared to go to court with months-long reels of video showing NFLPA members in various forums bragging about how they wanted to injure their brethren, how they knew the risks they were taking, and how they would have “played the damn game for free.”
Therefore, no NFL football will ever again be played until each current and every future player signs a waiver indemnifying the NFL from any and all claims regarding injuries suffered on the NFL football field–and the league and union will pay an agreed-upon amount into a fund for NFL alumni with long term injuries.
Finally, it is time for our fans to take responsibility for their own deception. You love the violence of the game, you revel in the bone-snapping contact because you, more than anything, want to be part of a winner that most of you can never be part of on your own. Having said that, players, fans, and owners involved in this great game must accept the following reality going forward:
American Gridiron Football, the way it should be played–even if reasonable people agree we must eliminate hitting to and with the head–can never be safe. We will no longer ruin the game by trying to make it so.
Yeah, yeah, I know, that outcome is highly unlikely.
That’s what happens when you send in a lawyer to do a man’s job.
NFL Week 14 Picks
I continued a strong November with a nice December start of 11-5 and three out of four on my Specials. I’m ranking as good or higher than six of the eight handicappers/writers at CBSSports.com and am just wins away from overtaking the leader.
Last Week: 11 – 5 = .687 (Specials 3 – 1)
Overall Tally: 99– 89 – 4 = .526
Specials: 30 – 21 – 1 = .588
This is not an easy week to handicap games. As we move close to year’s end, the dynamic, the feel of who has the upper hand in a given game changes. Is Carolina losing seven games by four points or less a sign of how close to greatness they are…or indicative of how they need to grow up? Does Baltimore winning most of their games by less than six points mean the Rat Birds are really good at closing…or are they merely eking out wins against overrated opponents?
If there were a game I was sure of last week other than my Lock of the Week–which I lost by a half point–it was Carolina likely thrashing the Chiefs given the murder/suicide perpetrated by Jovan Belcher.
Another interesting note is the excellent class of phenom rookie QBs–will any/all hit the thirteen game wall Big Ben smashed into during his 15-straight win rookie season?
Let’s try and divine some coherent answers to our questions…
GAME OF THE WEEK (7 – 6)
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots –3.5
We are going for eight straight correct calls on this Special.
Tom Brady is on his usual euphoric run as an offensive show runner. Sorry folks, when Brady is on, there is no one better and never has been. The guy has done it for 13 years now with almost unreal consistency. I bet even rabid Pats haters like me should not be able to name one bad year (I think he ripped up a knee and didn’t play one year). I can’t remember Brady going through even a mild slump.
In 13 years, Brady has 325 TD passes and 119 picks–nearly a 3-1 ratio. He averages 1.87 touchdown passes a game. Brady has lost only 38 games out of 173 played–a little more than 3 losses per year.
Why, then, am I picking the Patriots to lose to Houston?
New England’s passing game is the league’s sixth best statistically, the running game 14th. Offense is the only aspect of the game where New England can claim a semblance of balance. The Pat’s Special Teams are middle of the road and the pedestrian defense will keep a fourth Super Bowl ring out of their grasp.
Houston is in the top ten in every offensive and defensive category and are the AFC’s best team. They know they have to prove it to New England.
They will slay that dragon Monday Night.
TEXANS 30, PATRIOTS 24
LOCK OF THE WEEK (7 – 6)
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons –3.5
To answer our own question, we believe the Black Cats aren’t ready for prime time yet and that injuries, inconsistency, and lack of focus is why it will be a year or two before they will be Super Bowl contenders. Right now, Cam Newton pouts like a five-year old and the offensive linemen talk too much.
The Falcons have been flying high all year, trying to convince anyone and their mother they are for real…really…
The trouble is one of those putrid little monkeys from The Wizard of Oz has perched its scrawny little body squarely on the Falcons back. They talk like a pissed-off team that knows that, without a deep playoff, run their regular-season win total doesn’t mean a thing.
In recent years this game would have been a prime candidate for Upset Special consideration. Now, it’s time for the Birds to lock down home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
At least they won’t have to buy the monkey a plane ticket.
FALCONS 34, PANTHERS 16
UPSET SPECIAL (8 – 5)
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks –10
We have made some nice picks with the Cardinals this year. With a decent quarterback, this team would be in the playoff hunt. Instead, the Red Birds are trying to avoid their worst losing streak in over fifty years–and the Bidwells are thinking of firing Ken Whisenhut.
Yeah, go ‘head, good coaches are easy to find.
The spread for this baby is just too damn big for a divisional game and, to answer another of our own questions, look for Russell Wilson to have a rough game as John Skelton finds a much needed measure of redemption.
CARDINALS 20, SEAHAWKS 19
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK (8 – 4 – 1)
San Diego Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers –8 (39.5)
Pittsburgh might be the luckiest team in the league. Just as everyone is writing their 2012 obituary, the Men of Steel beat the vaunted Baltimore Ravens with third-string QB Charlie Batch.
I say they are lucky because their immensely talented stable of injured players is returning just in time for a stretch run–Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison, and Troy Polamalu–and don’t forget first-year stud OL David DeCastro.
Pittsburgh hosts the cast and crew of “As the Norv Turns” from Sunny San Diego. Rumor has it that the sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and always strange program is about to be unceremoniously cancelled.
I know, I’m a Steeler fan, but the secondary play by the Steelers is getting to be awesome. I just don’t believe the talented, but obviously reeling Phillip Rivers has the game right now to do what RGIII, Eli Mannning, Andy Dalton, and Joe Flacco couldn’t do–dominate Pittsburgh’s pass defense.
Look for Harrison to look like Harrison and score off a strip sack.
STEELERS 30, CHARGERS 13
As usual, my picks are in italic below…
NFL Lines For Week 14 – NFL Football Line Week Fourteen
NFL Line 12/6 – 12/10, 2012
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|√12/6 8:25 ET||Denver||-10||At Oakland||48|
|12/9 1:00 ET||At Washington||-2.5||Baltimore||47.5|
|12/9 1:00 ET||At Cleveland||-7||Kansas City||38|
|12/9 1:00 ET||At Pittsburgh||-8 O/U||San Diego||39.5|
|12/9 1:00 ET||At Indianapolis||-5.5||Tennessee||46.5|
|12/9 1:00 ET||NY Jets||-3||At Jacksonville||38.5|
|12/9 1:00 ET||Chicago||-3||At Minnesota||39|
|12/9 1:00 ET||Atlanta LW||-3.5||At Carolina||48|
|12/9 1:00 ET||At Tampa Bay||-7.5||Philadelphia||47.5|
|12/9 1:00 ET||At Buffalo||-3||St. Louis||42.5|
|12/9 1:00 ET||At Cincinnati||-3||Dallas||45.5|
|12/9 4:05 ET||At San Francisco||-11||Miami||38.5|
|12/9 4:25 ET||At NY Giants||-5||New Orleans||53|
|12/9 4:25 ET||At Seattle US||-10||Arizona||35.5|
|12/9 8:30 ET||At Green Bay||-7||Detroit||48|
Monday Night Football Line
|12/10 8:40 ET||At New England||-3.5 GW||Houston||51|
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