Week 13 NFL Predictions: Meme Edition

Calvin Johnson is on fire!

Different week with same results as The Cover 4 is on absolute fire. Don’t believe us? Let me break it down for you.

Last week we finished 11-5 with a number of very close games where we picked plenty of underdogs. Since the first week the Cover 4 made public picks (week six – 5 wins, 9 losses), the Cover 4 is 69 – 14 – 1 aka a winning percentage of 83%. In those 14 losses, the Cover 4 finished with only ONE loss on three occasions (weeks 7, 10 & 11).

If the numbers don’t speak for themselves, we can explore the number of times we have been correct in our analysis, point predictions, key players and fantasy studs! That subject will be saved for another day.

In a quick recap of week 12, Matthew Stafford and the Lions had more than their fair share of opportunities to defeat the Texans while RGIII completed our prediction and went beast mode on the Cowboys. The Pittsburgh Steelers made me chose with my heart and not my brain, something I rarely do, as they were atrocious in Cleveland. Cecil Shorts was a fantasy stud! Tampa Bay puts us at 4 -0 versus the spread after they were upended by the Falcons by just one point. Money makers realized the easy money was on the Rams as they ruined Lindleys day. Finally, the Panthers made me look so good with their underdog matchup on MNF – thank you Cam Newton.

Lets jump right into the picks!

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New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

Say what you want about this 10 -1 Falcon team. They may have won a number of games this season at the end of regulation but GREAT TEAMS WIN BAD GAMES. PERIOD. How can you not pick the Falcons in this matchup? The Saints may have had the Falcons number once earlier this season but the Falcons will be ready to rock this time around.

Keep your eyes out for: Asante Samuel. The cornerback had a tremendous games last week despite playing through an injury; his health is vital to containing the pass happy Saints attack.

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Pick Center of the Week (1 of 2): Jacksonville Jaguars +6 @ Buffalo Bills

Yikes, did I really just pick the Jaguars to cover? Jacksonville has been steady with Chad Henne behind center and the offense is actually moving the ball. I had high hopes for the playoff bound (or at least I thought) Bills but they have faltered time and time again. Expect the Bills to narrowly come out with a victory in this one.

Score Prediction: Bills 27 – Jaguars 24

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Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears

Seattle is coming off a disappointing loss in Miami and will be traveling into Chicago to take on the Bears, who host a 5 -1 home record. Last week Jay Cutler returned to the lineup and the Chicago defense regained its form against the Vikings. Expect the Seahawks to have a tough time running the ball against the Bears and, as a result, will be very one dimensional.

Fantasy Stud: The Chicago Bears defense. I believe Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson will be forced to win this game with his arm, which should result in a few turnovers for the Bears defense (expect one very big play from this unit).

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Game of the Week: Indianapolis Colts @ Detroit Lions

What a heart breaker for the desperate Lions last week. Let me first point out how incredibly disappointed I was watching Brandon Pettigrew play the tight end position. Pettigrew looked terrible on the field for the Lions as he dropped a number of passes and had a costly fumble as well. The former first round pick is vital to the success of this passing game. Did anyone else trade for Calvin Johnson like I did (in two leagues)? Johnson is on pace to finish with the second highest receiving yards in a single season (forget the Madden Curse…knock on wood). This matchup will be very similiar to the Colts game against the Patriots a few weeks ago. The Colts will hang tough for the first half of this game but as the Lions continue to light up the scoreboard, the Colts will struggle to keep up.

Fantasy Stud: Calvin Johnson. How can you not roll with him?

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Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

How the tides have turned as the Vikings, who started out winners in 4 of 5, are struggling while the Packers, winners of 5 of their last 6, are starting to put it all together (excluding last week loss to the Giants- didn’t see that coming). How many more weeks will I pound Christian Ponder as a starting quarterback? What is more important is the impact of Percy Harvin on this teams success. As terrible as Ponder is (10.3 QBR & 58.2 passer rating last week), without Harvin the Vikings have no chance at victory. Adrian Peterson is putting together a magical season in his return from an injury but the Vikings can’t ride the AP train if they continue to play from behind. The Packers are coming off a bad loss against the Giants; I am the first to admit I was terribly wrong in that game as I expected way more than 10 points from the Packers. Rodgers and crew should take care of this Viking defense who allowed the Bears to be 11 for 19 on third downs.

What to Watch: Greg Jennings. The talented wide receiver has spent the majority of his contract season on the sideline rather than the endzone thus less $ at the end of this season. The Packers have a plethora of pass catching options but Jennings, when healthy, is arguably the best of the bunch.

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Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans

Will I ever get a Titans game correct? With Locker running the show, the Titans have a solid nucleus of weapons but, unfortunately, those weapons are never on the same page. While one of the Titans playmakers may be taking aim at a great game, the others decide to take the day off; call it Randy Moss syndrome. The Texans are coming off two close over time gamess but expect this team to be well rested since the Thanksgiving day showdown.

Score Prediction: Texans 30 – Titans 20

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Carolina Panthers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Coming off a strong game on MNF, the Panthers are looking to put together their first two game win streak of the season. We should give the Panthers some slack as they are 3 -8 with 6 of those losses by six points or less (2 of them by a combined 3 points). The Chiefs are playing some teams very tough this year but it just isn’t their year (too bad this wasn’t last year and the Chiefs had a chance at Luck or RGIII because Cassell is not the answer- duh). Cam Newton shows up to play this week!

Fantasy Stud: Panthers tight end Greg Olsen. The Chiefs are giving up a ton of points to tight ends this year and steady Gregy has been a consistent target all season.

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San Francisco 49ers @ Saint Louis Rams

Oh the Colin Kaepernick era has arrived. Tough break for Alex Smith who has done nothing but win ball games since last year. While Smith isn’t going to beat you with his arm, he is a safe bet to finish with a couple touchdowns, no turnovers, and give you just enough to win. On the flipside, Kaepernick is a dual threat with big play potential (he has a pretty deep ball too). Jim Harbaugh knows what he is doing so I’ll back him up on this one (I got you Jim dont worry) but will the Niners still be SB contenders with the second year quarterback? Lets not forget last time these two teams played, they tied! Not this week….

Player to Watch: No brainer here with Colin Kaepernick. The media will have a close eye on Kaep thus any small errors (or another tie) will result in second guessing the coaches decision.

Keep Your Eye On: Aldon Smith. The second year linebacker is on pace to break Reggie White’s record for most sacks in their first two NFL seasons.

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New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins

Another one of my favorite teams, the Dolphins, are tough to pick. Luckily, the Dolphins won’t do me wrong in this one as I am riding Brady and crew. Ryan Tannehill showed big time play making abilities at the end of last weeks games against Seattle; his running game also helped take some pressure off him. That being said, things may get ugly in Miami this week as I doubt Philbin will be pulling out any crazy Wildcat gameplan.

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Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets

This is a battle of bad teams as the Cardinals aren’t showing any promise while the Jets….

uh…. are the Jets. Rex Ryan and the Jets are the punching bag of the New York Giants media; Mark Sanchez, and his 32.8 QBR, is taking so much heat for his poor performances. To defend this Jets team, they have been derailed by injuries and Sanchez isn’t throwing the ball to the most talented group of players. On the other side, I prefer not to talk about the Cardinals, whom I believe are legitimately in the conversation for the worst team in the NFL. If Beanie Wells can actually put something together and stay healthy, the team may have a chance to be competitive (as they won’t be so one dimensional). The quarterback situation is in flux and Larry Fitzgerald is being wasted as he finished with 3 catches on 12 targets last week (on Lindley’s 52 passing attempts).

Score Prediction: Jets 2 – Cardinals 0 (HAHA)..okay Jets 21 – Cardinals 10

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos

The Broncos survived a trap game last week in Arrowhead but this week they take care of business against a solid Tampa Bay team. Manning must continue to carry this team until the running game gets back on track. Tampa Bay, who are coming off a heartbreaker to the Falcons, will need running back Doug Martin to show up this week as he was held to 50 yards last week. The Buccs will look to rely heavily on Josh Freemans shoulders if they want to cover the 7 to 8 point spread in this one.

Player to Watch: Dallas Clark. Although the tight end isn’t the same player he once was, Clark has opened up the middle of the field for the Buccs this year.

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Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens

It pains me to do this twice in one season but I am going with the Ravens. The Steelers are in a must win situation this week as they can’t afford to lose three straight division games but injuries may hamper them in this one. This testy division rivalry is going to be fierce. If Charlie Batch is starting quarterback in this game, the Ravens will have no problem getting the victory. However, if Big Ben returns from injury, this game will be a good ole’ fashion slobberknocker.

Must Watch: The Steelers quarterback situation. If Big Ben does play in this matchup, the Steelers better find some extra bodies to help block for the injured quarterback. The Ravens and Steelers really don’t like each other and I wouldn’t be surprised if Terrell Suggs is licking his chops to get a shot at the injured Roesthlisberger.

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Cleveland Browns @ Oakland Raiders

The Browns are starting to put things together since a week five beating against the Giants. Although I think it is tough for any east coast team to head to the west and come away with a victory, I believe the Browns get two in a row. Oakland had high hopes this season but is still an organization in flux and rebuilding mode; the team just announced they are releasing former first round pick Ronaldo McClain. Don’t be surprised if this one gets sloppy with the Browns stealing one.

Who We Enjoy Watching: Marcel Reece. I can’t tell you enough how much I respect this guy and how he has played this season. The FULLBACK (yes they still exist in the modern day NFL) is putting up numbers Darren McFadden wished we could consistently finish with. Reece is an all around player the NFL hasn’t seen in a few years. I hope he continues to rumble over players in the run game, make guys miss in the passing game and keep up his devastating blocking.

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Cincinnati Bengals @ San Diego Chargers

I am trying to pick the underdog Chargers here but I just can’t do it. The Bengals ground game has picked up in recent weeks and this week will be no different. The Chargers are going to have to pay a lot of attention to the Bengal receivers and that alone should open up Lawfirm for another solid game. Norv Turners & AJ Smith time is up in San Diego; this team is just hanging on for dear life.

Key Player: Philip Rivers

Rivers came into this league with HIGH expectations and those expectations are only higher with his fellow companions (Eli & Big Ben) each owning two Lombardi trophies while Rivers hasn’t exactly put together a solid resume. Rivers is a fierce competitor and a tough player but he is forcing the ball too much this year.

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Pick Center of the Week (2 of 2): Philadelphia Eagles +10.5 @ Dallas Cowboys

Two Pick Centers of the Week?! I have to at this point. The Eagles are 10.5 point underdogs in a tough divisional matchup. The Eagles and Cowboys have both had their fair share of ups and downs this season but, at the end of the day, all division games are usually a dogfight. These two teams know each other so well that I can’t see the Cowboys winning by 10.5 points! No Way.

Player to Watch: Bryce Brown. How many of you saw that coming? I know I didn’t but I do know one person who told me that performance would happen. I did research on Brown and found out he was a highly touted player with a strong pedigree. Brown, who once had 50 scholarship offers, was troubled by an adviser who may have been derailed what may have been an outstanding college career. Brown should shine in Philadelphia given the opportunity.

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New York Giants @ Washington Redskins

Again, I am on the Redskins bandwagon at this point. Remember when these two teams battled earlier in the season? I think the Redskins can pull off a victory in this one against the favored Giants. New York is coming off a very impressive win against the Packers but, like I said in my last post, when it comes to rivals something is always different. RGIII is the key factor in this matchup as his style of play gives the Redskins a chance. Although the ‘skins defense is weak, I think RGIII makes enough plays to keep his team ahead in this one.

Fantasy Stud: Hakeem Nicks. Nicks, when healthy, is getting plenty of targets from Manning and this week will be no different as the playmaker should be able to get open plenty during this matchup.

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Thanks for checking out our picks. Dont forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

James Kaikis

Chief Sports Activist for The Cover 4

http://www.facebook.com/thecover4

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Comments

  1. Great write up.

    P.S. Tom Brady is 0-3 against the Phins in December. If Henne can do it than The Tannchise aka TanneKill aka TannMarino can!

  2. I like your predictions this week. Great job.

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