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It’s been another busy week that has left me a bit all over the place so here is a shortened and combined Competition Thursday and Sunday as I stare dispiritedly at the widening gap between Dan and I in the picks competition.

Gee:Week 12:  6 – 9Overall:  91 – 89
Dan:Week 12:  9 – 6Overall:  96 – 84

Survivor Competition

Both Dan and I were eliminated last week as the Giants made me pay for backing the Eagles while the Raiders got a late win against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. This week Dan is picking against the Lions and whilst the Vikings have had an up and down season, it’s hard to see them losing this one. I am going for the Colts visiting the Texans and hoping that the Colts’ winning streak holds for another week.

Current Score

Gee: 8
Dan: 6

Week 13 Selection:

Gee:    Colts
Dan:    Vikings

Early Games:

It’s a bit of a weird early slate and a lot of the games have high lines except for the Dolphins hosting the Giants, which seems strangely low to me given that the Dolphins have now won four straight games, but the closest contest looks to be the Bengals hosting the Chargers.

I’m actually somewhat nervous about this game as the Bengals have not won more than two in a row this season and after convincing wins against the Raiders and Steelers, my heart wants to believe but I can still see the flaws. The Chargers started the season 4-1 and have only won two of their last six games but are also ranked higher than the Bengals by overall DVOA. I had not really realised that the Chargers offence was ranked second overall by DVOA, but interestingly their defence ranks twenty-third which I would not have expected given what Brandon Staley managed as coordinator of the Rams’ defence last year. I think this should be a close contest that I hope the Bengals edge it but I’m not confident. I would be looking forward to getting another look at the Chargers if it wasn’t happening against the Bengals.

Points from the rest:

  • The Buccaneers keep rolling and should have no problem in beating the last placed team in overall DVOA, although the fact that the Falcons have five wins points to Arther Smith doing something right with a limited roster.
  • The Cardinals keep rolling and it’s hard to see the Bears springing an upset whether Kyler Murray is playing or not, which is particularly impressive given how effective Murray has been as a quarterback when healthy this season.
  • The Vikings has struggled to string wins together this season but the Lions have managed none before they were missing running back D’Andre Swift so things don’t look good for them this week.
  • It’s interesting that the Dolphins only have one more win than the Giants but seem to be heading in the right direction after the rough start while the Giants seemed to be mired in mediocrity yet again.
  • The Eagles had a rough showing last week and will be looking to bounce back against the Jets, who beat the Texans last week so honestly, I have no idea what to expect.
  • There are definitely questions about Carson Wentz in the big games, but the Colts have come on so far from how they started the season and the Texans could be the perfect get right game after a tough loss to the Bucs where they were competitive to the end.

Buccaneers @ Falcons (+10.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Buccaneers
Dan’s Pick:      Buccaneers

Cardinals @ Bears (+7.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Cardinals
Dan’s Pick:      Cardinals

Chargers @ Bengals (-3.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Chargers
Dan’s Pick:      Bengals

Vikings @ Lions (+7.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Vikings
Dan’s Pick:      Vikings

Giants @ Dolphins (-2.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Dolphins
Dan’s Pick:      Dolphins

Eagles @ Jets (+6.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Eagles
Dan’s Pick:      Eagles

Colts @ Texans (+9.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Colts
Dan’s Pick:      Colts

Late Games:

The late games are little uninspiring given how the season has worked out, and the one that interests me most is the now 5-6 Washington Football Team taking on a Raiders team who proved me very wrong by beating the Cowboys last week on Thanksgiving. The Football Team have now won three straight, seeming to find their way with Taylor Heinike who was sleeping on his sister’s couch and studying before the Football team late last season and somehow appearing to be playing better defence without second year pass rusher Chase Young. I don’t have a strong side in this contest as it feels like there is such a variance in how both teams have played, but it does intrigue me.

Points on the Rest:

  • The Rams need a win and this week host one of the better teams to get one against as the Jaguars moribund season continues and I increasingly wonder how they beat the Bills in week nine.
  • The Ravens visiting the Steelers should be a marquee game, but for the first time in Mike Tomlin’s tenure as head coach the Steelers are not good, even if it’s not like they are terrible. The Ravens have had struggles of their own, but I think they should win out in this one.
  • Another team not living up to the usual standards of their head coach are the Seattle Seahawks, with Russel Wilson clearly not right coming of his finger injuries but there being bigger problems through the roster. The 49ers have been doing much better recently, though the loss of Deebo Samuel could hurt them, but they should have enough to win.

Washington @ Raiders (-2.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Washington
Dan’s Pick:      Raiders

Jaguars @ Rams (-13.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Rams
Dan’s Pick:      Rams

Ravens @ Steelers (+3.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Ravens
Dan’s Pick:      Ravens

49ers @ Seahawks (+3.5)

Gee’s Pick:      49ers
Dan’s Pick:      49ers

Sunday Night Football:

Broncos @ Chiefs (-9.5)

This could be a sneaky competitive game as I’m not fully convinced by the Chiefs offence and Vic Fangio is the author of the two high defences that have spread through the league this season and caused the Chiefs so many problems. Andy Reid’s record coming of the bye is excellent for wins and given how the Chiefs’ defence has been playing recently I think they should win this game, but this is too big a line for me given how the Chiefs have played this season.

Gee’s Pick:      Broncos
Dan’s Pick:      Broncos

Monday Night Football

Patriots @ Bills (-2.5)

This is pretty much everyone’s pick of the week’s games, and I will certainly be watching with interest, but I do wonder if this will be as competitive as it should be. The Bills have struggled on offence even as their defence continues its reign as the best in the league by DVOA and I wonder if there is a sense of déjà vu as they welcome the division leading Patriots who are playing good defence and efficient offence. Having had one down season last season, the Patriots rebuilt themselves in free-agency and the draft to make themselves the second rank team in the league by DVOA after a six game winning streak. The weather looks like it will be against throwing the ball so it looks like it could be a bruising encounter between two defences, though now would be a great time for the Josh Allen and his receivers to find some form but I’m not sure Belichick is the coach to do that against. I’m sure Dan would be very pleased to see me proved wrong.

Gee’s Pick:      Patriots
Dan’s Pick:      Patriots

DVOA is Football Outsiders statistic for measure a team’s success on every play versus the league average and you can read more about it and other football topics at https://footballoutsiders.com.