2013 Week 11 Review & Week 12 Picks
Week 11 Review (Week 2-3, Season 27-26-2)
Week 11 was one of affirmation for the elite teams of the NFL. Carolina proved it could win back-to-back games against elite teams, which they will need to do in the playoffs, while New England proved it could effectively move the ball against defenses better than just Pittsburgh’s. Similarly, New Orleans showed that its difference making defense could be equally effective against the run or the pass, which will be key against teams like Carolina or Seattle who they will likely see in the post-season. At the same time, the 49ers showed signs that they might be recapturing the defensive form from 2012 that made them favorites for a 2013 Super Bowl, holding New Orleans to somewhere between 17 and 23 points (depending on your view of roughing penalties), in the Superdome. However, the most impressive team of Week 11 was Denver, and not because of their offense. Denver’s defense, which we have seen as severly overrated for multiple seasons, showed that its pass rush with Von Miller may be good enough to carry the team should the offense stall in a cold weather playoff game. Moving forward, these types of teams should really separate themselves from the pretend contenders like Detroit, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis.
Week 12 picks
Atlanta +9 vs New Orleans
These two teams continue to be worlds away from one another in terms of on the field play through 11 weeks. At the same time, we think that New Orleans is being slightly overvalued considering their propensity to play down on the road. While we have been lower than most on Atlanta this season, and for good reason, we expect them to put together a decent game against their biggest rival, at home, in prime time, on their way to covering 9 points.
Tampa Bay +9 @ Detroit
This Tampa Bay team is looking like it is finally realizing its robust talent on both sides of the ball. Though we expected their defense to be well above average, we have been surprised by their ability to run the football and by Mike Glennon's outstanding play (for a rookie). Though Detroit will be a difficult matchup given their stout run defense, we think Tampa Bay is being significantly underrated by oddsmakers and we like them to keep it close.
Dallas +3 (-130) @ New York
Though they did extend their winning streak to 4 games on the back of a resurgent rushing attack, we remain incredibly low on New York. We believe Tony Romo and the Dallas offense will (re)-expose the defensive issues that have plagued New York all year, while a healthier Demarcus Ware will force Eli Manning into a few game changing bad decisions. Post bye week, Dallas should be ready to retake control of this division with an outright victory.
Arizona -2.5 vs Indianapolis
Somehow, this Arizona team continues to fly under the radar. Throughout the season, the Arizona defense, especially its secondary has played at an elite level. Furthermore, the recently added explosiveness of Andre Ellington on the offensive side of the ball has made this team a viable playoff contender. Indianapolis on the other hand is currently struggling to regain the hard-nosed identity that led them to early season wins over San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver. We believe that Arizona’s defense will completely shut down Indianapolis’ tepid running game as they grind out a narrow home victory.
St. Louis -1 vs Chicago
Though we had significant mid-season skepticism regarding this St. Louis team, their recent play on the defensive line and in the run game has completely altered our opinion. Similarly to Tampa Bay, we see St. Louis as a talent team that is finally “clicking” and putting it all together. Conversely, Chicago is trending downwards do in large part to a staggering number of injuries on defense. We believe these subtle trends will become strikingly obvious this week as St. Louis effectively ends Chicago’s playoff aspirations in another big win.