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So Dan’s Dad extended his lead at the top of the picks competition last week as we edge closer to a second consecutive season  win for him unless Dan or I get on a hot-streak.

I would just like to say that I am thankful for all the help and engagement of both 3D and Dan over the years as well as to any of you for reading this, whether you are a long time reader or only recently discovered our little corner of NFL fandom. Anyway, on to the picks as there are games a coming.

Dan’s Dad: Week 12:   8-6 Overall:   97-79
Dan: Week 12:   5-9 Overall:   94-82
Gee: Week 12:   7-7 Overall:   90-86

Bears @ Lions (+2.5)

The 5-6 Chicago Bears have won two out of their last four games but Mitch Trubisky has been wildly inconsistent and frequently plain bad in his third year and so I’m really not sure how the Bears will fare in this trip to play in the Detroit Super Bowl, the Lions’ annual Thanksgiving game. The Lions have the excuse of their franchise quarterback being out with fractures in his back, but they have been underwhelming for much of the season even before having to start Jeff Driskell and now it seems they are down to their third string quarterback as Driskell has surfaced on the injury report with a hamstring injury. I don’t’ exactly feel great about it, but that’s enough for me to reluctantly to give the edge to a team that actually ranks worse by DVOA. Yeah, avoid picking this game if you don’t have to.

Gee’s Pick:      Bears
Dan’s Pick:     Bears

Bills @ Cowboys (-6.5)

There is a big difference between these two teams in terms of DVOA, but the Bills have won two more games and whilst their offence is not setting the world alight, their defence is top ten by DVOA and they have clear found a knack for winning. I’m not sure they will definitely win this game, but I feel like this line is too high, partially because of how popular the Cowboys are and so I’m going to take the Bills to keep this game within a touchdown. It is hard to have too much faith in the Cowboys given their up and down season and I don’t trust their coaching staff, but I am looking forward to seeing the Bills and how they fare on the big stage.

Gee’s Pick:      Bills
Dan’s Pick:      Cowboys

Saints @ Falcons (+6.5)

Will the real Falcons please stand up? There was a mini recovery after the bye week for the Atlanta Falcons but that didn’t last into last week’s loss against the Buccaneers. However, the New Orleans Saints will be very motivated to get revenge after their surprise loss to the Falcons in week ten. This line make me nervous as I like the Saints to win as they are a much better team and will definitely be motivate, but divisional games are funny and I’m sure the Falcons are going to put forward their best effort. However, having just lost to the Bucs by thirteen points I can’t quite bring myself to back the Falcons in this one and I just hope I don’t’ regret that.

Gee’s Pick:      Saints
Dan’s Pick:      Saints

Week 9 Trivia

Well, the only thing that I needed in Week 12 with The Vikings on a bye, was to see the Packers come a cropper against the 49ers and as an early Christmas present it happened leaving The Vikes and the Cheeseheads tied on 8 a piece making for a very interesting final 5 weeks in the regular season and with them facing of in Minneapolis in Wk 16 divisional honours may revolve about that game..

I got to thinking though about what drives fans to pick a particular team. In the US a local preference will dictate many choices, it could be the colours or, radical I know, you may just like the style of play. But with the growth of the game in the UK I wondered if it may be the result of where people have holidayed. That may explain the Miami factor but looking at the crowds at the International series I think all 32 franchises, and more, are represented so I’m at a loss as to why backwater towns get a following.

I do remember visiting Chicago with Dan 11 years ago and took in a high scoring game at Soldier Field. The stadium and the experience generally was amazing but after the game we retreated to a sports bar in our hotel near Grant Park. Remember that only a quarter of Americans possess a passport those we met in that bar were amazed that two Brits were taking on an NFL road trip. I don’t think they realised how big the game was getting over here, let alone that it would be knocking on the door of its own franchise inside 10 – 15 years. Therein lies another question, If (when) there was a UK franchise would all the brits forsake their current teams in favour of the new kid on the block. Somehow I think not.

In trivia for week 12 I asked………   

In the 1996 season, quarterback Brett Favre set an NFC record when he threw 39 touchdown passes in regular season play. Who was the previous record holder?

There are a number of great names it could have been and Dan Marino would have been as good as any, but remember I am a devious so and so and the answer was Brett Favre the previous year and such was his strength in a very competitive position.

So sadly no points this week leaving us on Gee 11 v Dan 14.

Right this week we roll into Houston and the problem is this:

In 2002 The Texans became only the 2nd expansion team to win its inaugural game. Against whom?

The only clue I will give is to do with matching time zones but I know that wont help them at all

See you next time.