Pocket Doppler Prognosticators: Week 13
Each Friday during the football season the 3 founding fathers of Pocket Doppler (yours truly, BigSnakeMan & Chris Richards) will pick the winners of the Packers, Sunday night & MNF games with a running tally through out the season.
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Pocket Doppler Prognosticators. Entering Week 13 the current standings are:
I pretty much sucked last week, Mike only sorta sucked but Chris was dead on with his picks going 3 for 3 and creating a tie between him and BigSnakeMan. As we close head into the ‘fourth quarter’ of the NFL season, it’s still anyone’s game.
Packers over 49ers – The Packers suffered a disappointing loss at Atlanta last week but should be able to get back on the winning track in their return to Lambeau…..provided no one else of significance gets put on IR between now and the Sunday kickoff. Running back ‘flavor of the week’ James Starks figures to make his Packers’ debut but the key is the running back on the other side; veteran concussion-sufferer Brian Westbrook takes over for 49ers star Frank Gore who is out for the season. Westbrook fared well last Monday night against the Arizona Cardinals but we’ll find out how he performs against a defense that actually cares to be on the field. This one may be close for awhile but I expect the Packers to eventually impose their will on the 49ers.
Ravens over Steelers – This could be one ugly game as the Sunday night contest features two teams with hard-hitting defenses. By the numbers, I’m tempted to take the Steelers in this one as they have the top ranked D against a Baltimore offense that doesn’t stand out in any one area. Baltimore’s defense, by contrast, has been more up and down largely due to injuries. But Pittsburgh struggled last week in Buffalo before prevailing over the Bills in overtime while the Ravens have won 8 consecutive home games. Somehow I believe Baltimore will find a way to pull this one out in the end. Besides, I have to stay true to my vow to never pick the Steelers again after they betrayed my trust in the New England game a few weeks back.
Patriots over Jets – No love lost between these two 9-2 teams battling for supremacy in the AFC East. The Jets won the first meeting early in the season at the Meadowlands and have the much better defense. New York coach Rex (Blowhard) Ryan likes to boast that his team always finds a way to win, but the guess here is that they’re living on borrowed time. New England seems to have found themselves after getting punked in Cleveland, winning 3 in a row. They’re also tough to beat at home. As good as the Jets defense has been, they’re surprisingly vulnerable to the passing game, which is what QB Tom Brady and the Pats do best. New England should claim the inside track over control of the division with a win over the Jets.
Packers over 49ers – After what could be called a heartbreaking loss last week, the Packers return to Lambeau to play their first home game in what seems forever. Earlier this week I lamented about the throwbacks which will be worn by the Packers this weekend, but my superstitions really don’t matter to the players. The Packers should come out strong and continue that way, erasing the memory of last week and what will begin a winning streak which will continue through January 2nd.
Steelers over Ravens – I’m thinking this game will be have a cumulative score of less than 20. Both teams have have solid defenses but its the offense that (usually) puts the points on the board and in this area I have to give the nod to the Steelers on the road.
Patriots over Jets – AFC Champioinship preview? Most likely the way things look right now. I’m really up in the air on this one as I do think it could go either way so when in doubt, go with the home team. That and although I never thought this possible, I think I dislike the Jets more than the Patriots these days.
Packers over 49ers – Another week, another two guys hit the IR for GB. It’s a testimony to Ted Thompson that the Packers can still field a competitive team given the onslaught of injuries. The fact that Mike McCarthy has gotten them to play as well as they have given that they aren’t playing with the team they expected speaks very well for him, too. So, on the heels on the team’s near miss in ATL, I have to believe they can beat a Niners team playing on the road without its top RB. Give me Green Bay.
Ravens over Steelers – This looks like a great match up – two good defensive teams tied at 8-3 atop their division. I think PIT has the better QB, and they’ve won the last five meetings between the teams. But the Steelers don’t seem as solid as in the past while BAL has won four of five and is playing at home. In a Coin-Flip Special, I will take the Ravens by a narrow margin.
Patriots over Jets – Some think this will be an even better game than PIT v. BAL – two more division leaders squaring off, this time putting matching 9-2 records on the line. I’m not really sold on the Jets, though – I’ve seen two of their games start to finish and came away less than excited. On the other side of the ball, NE hasn’t lost at home since 2008. It could come down to whether NY’s defense is up to the challenge of one of the NFL’s best offenses, and whether NE’s pedestrian defense can perk up enough to hold NY’s offense in check. I expect Tom Brady will show up in this one; but I am not sure Mark Sanchez is good enough to take advantage of the opportunities that the Pats porous pass defense will give him. In another close call I will take NE.