If the NESN.com SuperContest squad of Mike Cole and Ricky Doyle were an NFL head coach, they’d be Jeff Fisher — painfully average and right around .500. In our defense, though, we know who the New England Patriots’ running backs are.
After 12 weeks in the premier football handicapping contest, Team NESN finds itself right in the middle of the pack in the Team OddsShark standings. After a rough start to the season, they’ve been painfully mediocre, going 23-21-1 in their last nine weeks.
Here are their Week 13 picks.
Denver Broncos (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
EverBank Field, Jacksonville
The Broncos lost their starting quarterback, which isn’t ideal, but is there that big of a drop from Trevor Siemian to Paxton Lynch? The Jaguars are dealing with their own injuries — Chris Ivory, Allen Hurns and Rashad Greene already are ruled out — making a matchup with the vaunted Denver defense even more difficult.
Kansas City Chiefs (+4) at Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Georgia Dome, Atlanta
The Chiefs might be a little overrated, and the Falcons might be a little underrated. And this game is in Atlanta. Maybe it’s a little bit of recency bias, but Justin Houston was a monster last week, and if he and the Chiefs generate that kind of a pass rush again this weekend, it’s going to be a long day for Matt Ryan. We feel good about their chances, as only nine teams allow their quarterback to be sacked more frequently than the Falcons. We’ll feel even better if Dee Ford returns.
New Orleans Saints (-6) vs. Detroit Lions, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
The Lions have found ways to win this season, but that’s no thanks to their pass rush. They don’t do a very good job of rushing the passer, which makes this a potentially disastrous matchup. Give Drew Brees time to operate, and he’ll find the open receiver. In the five games Brees has been sacked fewer than two times, he’s got a 118.9 passer rating, averaging 376 passing yards per game.
Oakland Raiders (-3) vs. Buffalo Bills, Sunday, 4:05 p.m.
Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, Oakland
This has the makings of a shootout, and if that’s the case, we’ll take the better quarterback and offensive line.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) vs. San Diego Chargers, Sunday, 4:25 p.m.
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
Gotta love getting more than a field goal here as these two teams seem pretty evenly matched. Both teams turn it over a ton, but they also both force turnovers. If that’s the case here, the final score should be pretty close, making that half-point even more attractive.
Thumbnail photo via Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports Images
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