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I served in the US Navy as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier from 2002-08. I engage in political activism in Democratic circles and occasional engagement with issues concerning Women and LGBT Rights. I have a cat and I am an Uncle. All opinions expressed in my blog are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2012 NFL SEASON: WEEK 12





Thanksgiving is here and for the first time since 2001 a time honored tradition has returned. The Madden Turducken is BACK! NBC announced that their Thanksgiving Game MVP will be given this sacred award.

The best part of Thanksgiving is that this is when the push to the playoffs begins. 62.5% of the season is completed. Everyone has 6 games left to play.


While the best record is good metric to measure to determine who is the best team it has not lead to the eventual Super Bowl Champion in previous years.

The last team to claim both the best record and Super Bowl Title was the 2003 Patriots. Since then as shown by the chart below, the team that had the best record has not won that respective season’s Super Bowl.

SEASON
SEASON’S BEST RECORD
SUPER BOWL CHAMP
2004
Steelers (15-1)
Patriots (14-2)
2005
Colts (14-2)
Steelers (11-5)
2006
Chargers (14-2)
Colts (12-4)
2007
Patriots (16-0)
Giants (10-6)
2008
Titans (13-3)
Steelers (12-4)
2009
Colts (14-2)
Saints (13-3)
2010
Patriots (14-2)
Packers (10-6)
2011
Packers (15-1)
Giants (9-7)

In 2004 the Steelers (15-1) hosted the Patriots, who were the defending Super Bowl Champions, in the AFC Championship Game. The Steelers were the hot team having won 14 straight games and a playoff game but the play of rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger cost the Steelers a chance to play their instate rivals in the Super Bowl.

The following season the Steelers were 7-5 with 4 games left to play. Pittsburgh finished the season on a four game winning streak claiming the AFC #6 seed, then went on the road to defeat the AFC #3 seed at Cincinnati, followed by the upset of the AFC #1 seeded Colts, and dominating the #2 seeded Broncos in Denver. They capped off the journey in Detroit by beating the #1 NFC seed Seahawks 21-10. Interesting enough the Steelers were the designated home team for that game, but wore their white jerseys. The Steelers ended the 2005 season winning a combined eight regular season and playoff games and became the first 6-seed to win a Super Bowl.

The Packers repeated the Steelers feat in 2010 becoming the first NFC 6-seed to win a Super Bowl. Heading into the final two weeks of the 2010 season the Packers were 8-6. They won their final two games to claim the NFC’s last playoff spot, won three road playoff games, and defeated the Steelers in that season’s Super Bowl. They also won a playoff game in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area for the first time since the 1966 NFL Title Game when they defeated the Cowboys at the Cotton Bowl 34-27.

The team that has perfected the Hot Team Theory was the New York Football Giants. In 2007 the Giants were 10-6 and had lost their season finale to the Patriots who had clinched a perfect regular season. That loss sparked a playoff run for the Giants where they went to Tampa and crushed the Buccaneers, upset the #1 seeded Cowboys, took the Packers to overtime at a frigid Lambeau Field, and were matched up against the Patriots in Arizona in Super Bowl XLII. As the cliché goes, “The rest is history.” Manning to Tyree, 17-14 is the final score, Giants win, Eli Manning is the Super Bowl MVP.

In 2011, the Giants started the season 6-2, then lost 4 straight games including a 38-35 loss to the Giants that had feelings of that 2007 matchup against the Patriots in the regular season. The following week the Giants came back from 12 down to beat Dallas in dramatic fashion, then laid an egg against the woeful Redskins to pull their record at 7-7. Two games left, one road and one home both in New York. They beat the Jets on the road in New York, and then soundly defeat Dallas in the final game of the entire NFL season. In the playoffs the Giants dominated the Falcons at home and Packers on the road, and then another overtime game in the elements this time at San Francisco for the NFC Title. And another Super Bowl against the Patriots. And the Giants win the Super Bowl and Eli Manning is your game’s MVP.

Right now at this point of the season, the Falcons and the Texans are the league’s best teams in their respective conference. The last time we had an all #1 seed Super Bowl was Super Bowl XLIV between the Saints and Colts, but before that it was the Cowboys-Bills at the end of the 1993 season.

So, if I was a fan of either of these teams, do I make plans to be in New Orleans in early February?

No.

The Texans are in a conference with two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks: Tom Brady of the Patriots and Peyton Manning of the Broncos. Plus the Ravens could sneak into the Super Bowl talk mix. Yes, the Texans have defeated the Ravens and Broncos and they play the Patriots in the Week 14 Monday Night Game. Should the Texans complete the sweep, yeah, I could buy into the whole Texans are going to the Super Bowl talk.

Meanwhile the Falcons are 9-1 but probably the most under-the-radar 9-1 in recent memory. The 49ers just put a beat down on the Chicago Bears. Green Bay is sneaking up the ladder. The Giants are… well, the Giants. And the Saints at 5-5 could easily become the Giants of 2012.

Brace yourselves… the final 6 weeks are going to be a bumpy one.

Now to the picks: I have closed my gap with Monica down to three games with a spectacular 13-1 record. Missed perfection by picking the Rams over the Jets… dammitall!

Let’s go for perfection… or at least take down Monica again!

Hope everyone has a safe and fun Thanksgiving holiday.

WEEK 11:            13-1
TOTAL:        103-57-1

BREAKDOWN OF RECORD
MONICA
NOON
3PM
NIGHT
HOME
AWAY
TV
≤ 8 PTS
OT
WK 11
12-2
7-1
3-0
3-0
8-1
5-0
6-0
8-0
3-0
TOTAL
106-54-1
59-29
21-16-1
23-12
63-25-1
40-32
47-21
47-37-1
9-5-1

The picks for Week 12 are below.

Kickoff Times are Central Time
Picks Indicated in BOLD
Sunday Day Games for the Dallas-Fort Worth Area are indicated with (DFW)

NFL 2012 Week 12 TV Distribution Map


THANKSGIVING (11/22)
Houston Texans at Detroit Lions, 11:30 AM CBS
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys, 3:30 PM Fox
New England Patriots at New York Jets, 7:30 PM NBC


SUNDAY (11/25) FOX DOUBLEHEADER

NOON FOX
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (DFW)
Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NOON CBS
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (DFW)
Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars


3PM FOX
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (DFW)
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals

3PM CBS
Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers


SUNDAY NIGHT
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants, NBC 7:20 PM


MONDAY NIGHT (11/26)
Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles, 7:30 PM ESPN

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