Not figuratively (I'm awesome, figuratively), but literally, as my 6-7-1 Week 11 experience has me under .500 on the season. So while everyone slugs wine and inhales mashed potatoes, I'll have my eyes keenly focused on the telvision. It's a sickness, to be sure, but it's the only world I know.
For some self-help, I looked, naturally, back at myself. Last year at this time, I was in crisis mode, sitting at 79-76-5 and scrapping for answers. I decided to go up against the flip of a coin to see if my picks were any better than the randomness of the universe. I ended up going 10-6, beating the coin's 7-9 record, thereby making me feel like a real winner for once in my life. So why not go back to the well?
This year, instead of going against a good old U.S. quarter, I'm using what I've discovered to be 100 South Korean won, which has randomly been in my desk for years. I've never been to South Korea, so I don't know where it came from, but hopefully it's terrible at picking NFL games so I can feel good about myself. Heads is the home team, tails is the road team, if you were wondering.
As always, I'll have Ridiculous Quotes From Last Week's Picks (RQFLWP) and the picks from the early game on Thanksgiving through the Jim Harbaugh–John Harbaugh meeting at night.If you want to read the rest of my Week 12 NFL picks, you can do that by clicking right here.
(Home team in caps.)
DETROIT (+6.5) over Green Bay
South Korean coin pick: Green Bay (-6.5)
No team really wants to go undefeated (they want to win the Super Bowl), and no team should go undefeated. The 2011 Green Bay Packers will not go undefeated.
That's in part because history and logic dictates that it won't happen, but also because they're not quite as dominant on either side of the ball as the 2007 Patriots. Those Pats were ranked first in offense and fourth in defense (both in points and yards allowed per game), while these Packers are ranked 30th in yards allowed and 15th in points allowed per game. They're the best team in football right now, but they may lack that historical ability that the '07 Patriots had.
So I'm comfortable picking Detroit, where I've seen the home crowd win a nationally televised game already this year, and this has to be as spirited a Thanksgiving crowd as we've seen in The Motor City since some guy named Barry was carrying the football every play. The team, after an impressive 17-point comeback last weekend, should follow suit.
DALLAS (-7) over Miami
South Korean coin pick: Miami (+7)
Dear NFL world,
Let's all slow our roll on the Miami Dolphins, OK? Peter King's got them in his Fine Fifteen, and crazy people are pointing out that they've won their last three games 86-20. Wow! Three blowouts of the Chiefs (4-6), Redskins (3-7) and Bills (5-5)?! That's incredible!
What about the seven games before that, when the Dolphins got outscored 166-107? What about when they got Tim Tebowned in their own house after honoring the former Gators quarterback? What about when they lost to Cleveland? What about when Tony Sparano was definitely going to be fired? Didn't all of this happen in the past couple of months?
You are what your record says you are, and the Dolphins are 3-7 and in last place in the AFC East. Three weeks doesn't change that.
Dallas is a better team and should be on the winning side of the only blowout of the day.
RQFLWP: "Cowboys roll."
Note: Cowboys did no such thing.
BALTIMORE (-3) over San Francisco
South Korean coin pick: San Francisco (+3)
I'm the first guy to point out when Vegas puts too much emphasis on a team traveling across the country, but this week is a little different. San Francisco is traveling 3,000 miles, on a short week, on a holiday, while riding a hard-to-maintain eight-game win streak, in a weird Brother vs. Brother head coaching showdown and a must-win for a Ravens team that is too good to be stuck in a three-team race to win the AFC North. There are just too many distractions and reasons for the Niners to lose.
It will be interesting, though, to watch the teams that allow the fewest (San Francisco) and third-fewest (Baltimore) points in the NFL and are tied for scoring the seventh-most points per game. When the teams are this easily matched, you go against the team that has too many opposing forces facing them.
RQFLWP: "Remember, 8-1 record or not, these are still the 49ers."
Note: This comment rubbed Niners fans the wrong way (can't imagine why!), but I still don't like a rookie head coach and a bad quarterback going up against a capable quarterback not named John Skelton in January.
Last week: 6-7-1