NFL Week 13: The Picks

Peter Cavanaugh

Photo by Paul Sancya, AP

I took my Thanksgiving celebrations to the country, surrounded by Giants fans. I didn't watch any football, thinking that if I were to devote my time to family and friends I would be rewarded with a Cowboys victory. Similar, if you will, to the Christian doing good under the false blanket of altruism when the end goal is simply to secure a spot in heaven. I was not granted a victory. It was a loss, a supremely Dallasonian loss. Men flanked me at the dinner table, casually shining their smartphones at me when RGIII would light up the defense. A jokester telling me the Boys were making a late run, only to laugh with doubled arrogance when the final seconds ticked down and we had nothing to do but check another into the 'L' column.

But this isn't about me.

It's the holiday season. We tacked on a third Thanksgiving Day game because the people have spoken. Not the people, naturally. The people we run around with, those that still drive themselves to the grocery store, those that work 40-plus hours a week yet can't afford tickets to a football game, but the people that run the show and know the longer the show goes the more money they get. It's also about airing enough NFL Cares commercials and the new commercials that put parents at ease regarding head trauma; it's that time of year.

I'm just projecting. It's still all about me. It's been a long stretch of shitty playing. I'm not even from Texas. Do you know how hard it is to explain to people why I'm a Cowboys fan?

Is it Week 16 yet? Oh, Week 13? I'm broke and the bookie is at the door. This time next week I'll be wheeling myself around on two stumps. Stay gold, my babies.

New Orleans at Atlanta
Gucci Mane's Trap God Trap Game of the Week! Saints by 3

Jacksonville at Buffalo
Amidst player safety concerns, I vote we slowly dissolve the schedule so teams that are out – or nearly out – of the playoff race don't have to play anymore and risk further injury and embarrassment. That said, Chad Henne is making headlines in the small, regional newspapers that still exist solely for coupon cutters and retirees. Buffalo by 10

Seattle at Chicago
I don't have a read on Seattle fans, but looking at Pete Carroll's face leads one to believe they're uniquely positive. Chicago fans, on the other hand, are beautifully calloused fatalists. They want the Bears to win, but know that because they live in Chicago, the Bears probably won't win. It's a weird climate; there's a lake and plenty of disenfranchisement to go around. Seattle by 5

San Francisco at St. Louis
A runner up for the Gucci Mane TGTGOTW, it's easy to see San Francisco forgetting to show up. It's also just as easy to see St. Louis forgetting to show. San Fran by 17

New England at Miami
Have we all paused to acknowledge the Pats are somehow outpacing their 2007 edition? That was the team that went 16-0 in a season full of video game numbers. A native Hoosier, maybe my bias has kept my scope from the Eastern Seaboard. Patriots by 27

Arizona at NY Jets
Both teams are abysmal, but the Jets have a culture just as depressing as their record. Fireman Ed left this week, but that's probably doesn't really mean anything. It'd be ideal if both organizations realized the futility of this game and just went at it like they were playing Madden for the first time: long bombs, going for it on fourth down, onside kicks every time. Jets by 14

Indianapolis at Detroit
Mirrored records with Indy sporting the 7-4 and Detroit stuck at 4-7. Most would probably have predicted it to be the other way around this summer, but sometimes your foot gets lodged in the crotch of the opposing quarterback and you just can't get going. Indy by 10

Minnesota at Green Bay
The biggest story out of Minnesota all season has been whom Christian Ponder is dating. A polite way of saying, don't trust the Vikings. Packers by 3

Houston at Tennessee
The contrarian in me says Houston isn't going get out of Tennessee with a win. It also says I should load up on Ben and Jerry's and turn on the Xbox. Life, it says, can wait. Houston by 56

Carolina at Kansas City
Right. Still undecided on how hilarious it was for Jamaal Charles to ask Peyton for an autograph after getting whooped. Carolina by 14

Tampa Bay at Denver
These are the games that confirm the reasoning behind actually playing out the season rather than awarding trophies based upon preseason conjectures. There were probably quiet whisperings around the league, but really outside of their respected fan-bases, no one expected too much from these teams. Denver is in control, and Tampa Bay might very well make the playoffs. Though, all the money ever always on Peyton. Denver by 20

Cleveland at Oakland
True story, I called the Browns game last week, but I was so satisfied with that lone prediction that I forgot to finish the rest of the picks. It wasn't a reach really, anyway. Pittsburgh was starting Charlie Batch. Browns by 3

Cincinnati at San Diego
Teams breathing just above the mean rarely come through when it's needed most. I've got one last twenty in my pocket, but there's no way I'm putting it on Cincy. San Diego by 10

Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Even if Big Ben was playing, there's no way Baltimore is going to lose. The Edgar Allan Poe House was vandalized this week. The Ravens have discipline to hand out. Baltimore by 21

Philadelphia at Dallas
Technically, it's not over. Just like technically, I'm a published writer. Dallas by 75

NY Giants at Washington
How can one not be an RGIII convert at this point? Sure the Giants have a better record, are a better team, but Eli is Eli. Where Peyton plays off his own square personality, laughs at himself, Eli is efficiently boring. It's not just a numbers game; this is entertainment. Skins by 7

Year-end Predictions, take heed:
AFC Champs – Houston Texans
NFC Champs – Dallas Cowboys
Super Bowl Champs – Dallas Cowboys
Season MVP – Tony Romo
Offensive Player of the Year – Adrian Peterson
Defensive Player of the Year – J.J. Watt
Rookie of the Year – RGIII

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