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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

PRO FOOTBALL MEDIA Week 12: #NFL Game Predictions (w/ spreads & analysis) SUNDAY-MONDAY EDITION


Week 12: #NFL Game Predictions (w/ spreads & analysis)
2020 WEEK 11 TOTALS:
7-7 .500 (WINS); 6-8 .429 (ATS); 10-4 .714 (O/U)
112-48-1 .700 (WINS); 80-78-3 .506 (ATS); 87-72-2 .547 (O/U)
4-1 .800
32-22-1 .593

Key (when applicable): Statistical analysis based on the following metrics (abbreviations): EWL (Expected W-L record); SoS (Strength of Schedule); SRS (Simple Rating System from PFR); Points scored (PF); points against (PA); Point differential (PD) Yards gained (YG); Yards allowed (YA); Red Zone TD efficiency (RZ); 1st downs (1st); 3rd-down efficiency (3rd); Turnover ratio (TO); Time of possession (TOP); Yards per play (YPP); P/R NY/A (Pass/Rush Net yards/attempt); Sacks (S); Interceptions (INT); Penalty yards (PEN); Against the spread (ATS). *All images from Google using Creative Commons license unless otherwise stated (including source)
Last season PFM began the < Drake voice > "TOP 5 TOP 5 TOP 5" segment, where PFM chooses their Top 5 Betting Games of the Week using either the spread OR O/U (denoted by an asterisk *). Roll with our Top 5 and watch the money pile up all season!

Good luck at the window this season and enjoy the 2020 NFL season whiles it lasts, because with the ways things are going it won't be long!


Sorry, dude.


Houston Texans 3-7 (-3) @ Detroit Lions 4-6 (51.5): Texans 30-24

Thanksgiving, 12:30 PM, Ford Field, Detroit, MI (Weather: Indoors)

Keys: The Texans are riding high after beating the New England Patriots Sunday while the Lions just suffered one of the only shut-outs, if not the only, so far in 2020 to the Carolina Panthers, to boot. With all due respect to the Panthers, they shouldn’t be shutting anyone out, especially these Lions. Detroit also comes into Thanksgiving limping on defense, so look for Deshuan Watson to put on another incredible show against a banged up defense that was awful in the first place.

Washington Football Team 3-7 (+3) @ Dallas Cowboys 3-7 (46): Cowboys 24-23

Thanksgiving, 4:30 PM, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX (Weather: Indoors)

Keys: The Cowboys actually won Sunday on the late Dalton-to-Dalton go-ahead TD pass, while the Football Team was the recipient of an injured Joe Burrow after dropping the previous two games to awful teams. You get the point. In fact, the last time Washington won in earnest it was a dismantling of these Cowboys (25-3 in Week 7). Look for Dallas to get revenge in front of the home crowd on Thanksgiving while riding the momentum of Sunday’s improbable win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Las Vegas Raiders 6-4 (-3) @ Atlanta Falcons 3-7 (54): Raiders 30-28

Sunday, 1:00 PM, Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA (Weather: Indoors) 

Keys: The Raiders struggle to defend the pass (28th), which the Falcons have excelled at for years on offense (3rd). The Raiders can run the ball as well as anyone (7th), but the Falcons actually defend the run well (9th) and the Raiders are banged up at RB. In other words, this is a great chance for the Falcons to cover here, or even win, but the Raiders can’t afford to make too many more mistakes going forward or it’s on to 2021 for Las Vegas, no pun intended.

Los Angeles Chargers 3-7 (+5.5) @ Buffalo Bills 7-3 (52.5): Bills 28-27

Sunday, 1:00 PM, New Era Stadium, Buffalo, NY (Weather: Sunny; low 50s)

Keys: These teams couldn’t be more opposite. Buffalo is cold and in the northeast; Los Angeles is warm and in the southwest. Buffalo is 7-3 with a +0.7 ppg point differential; Los Angeles is 3-7 with a -1.3 ppg point differential. The Bills score almost exactly what the Chargers give up (BUF: 27.2 ppg; LAC: allow 27.3 ppg) and vice versa (LAC: 26.0 ppg; BUF: allows 26.5 ppg). The Bills are leading their division; the Chargers are definitely not. One thing they have in common is young, talented QBs, although Josh Allen is certainly more proven than Justin Herbert. They also have talent on both sides of the ball and have vastly underachieved on defense, although it’s clearly hurt the Chargers more than the Bills. Buffalo doesn’t lose to bad teams and they need to stay ahead of the Miami Dolphins, but 5.5 points is steep with Joey Bosa back on the other side of Melvin Ingram.

New York Giants 3-7 (-6) v. Cincinnati Bengals 2-7-1 (43.5): Giants 23-20

Sunday, 1:00 PM, Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH (Weather: Partly Sunny; low 50s)

Keys: Try to read this without laughing: The Giants are in the playoff hunt. The Bengals were actually in the hunt for their second number one draft in a row before Joe Burrow was lost for the season. So it’s no wonder the Giants are getting six points on the road against the Bengals. Wait a minute, it’s a huge wonder. The Giants are awful and Joe Burrow doesn’t move any needles six points. I don’t care if New York is 3-3 in their last six games and have only lost those three games by an average of 2 ppg, the only thing they do well is defend the run (6th), so a few wins in the putrid NFC East shouldn’t impress anyone, especially when two of those last three losses also came via NFC East teams, too. I’m not saying Brandon Allen is going to win, I’m just saying I doubt these Giants cover six points.

Tennessee Titans 7-3 *(+3) @ Indianapolis Colts 7-3 (51.5): Titans 26-23

Sunday, 1:00 PM, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN (Weather: Indoors)

Keys: Much like the Indianapolis Colts couldn’t afford to lose to these Titans Week 10 after losing to Baltimore the week before if they wanted to keep pace in the AFC South, these Titans now can’t afford to lose to the Colts or risk losing the tie-breaker in the event of a tie five weeks from now. The Titans also play three more tough games, including Sunday, and more three divisional games, including Sunday. Sometimes all the analysis in the world doesn’t change desperation, and while Colts stout run defense might’ve kept Derrick Henry out of the end zone last time, they didn’t exactly keep him in check (103 rushing yards).

Carolina Panthers 4-7 (+3.5) @ Minnesota Vikings 4-6 (51): Vikings 27-23

Sunday, 1:00 PM, US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN (Weather: Indoors) 

Keys: I’m not really sure what to expect out of either of these teams at this point. The Vikings have arguably the three best skill players at their respective positions (Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook & Justin Jefferson), a solid offensive line and a borderline good QB, yet they’re 4-6. Not just because of a bad defense, either, but more so because all that talent can’t muster more than 26.4 ppg, which in today’s NFL is only good for 14th, or middle-of-the-pack. The Panthers, on the other hand, should have been left for dead months ago, yet can pop up in Week 11 and shut out the Detroit Lions. There are no parties to be spoiled here, anyway, so who cares?

Arizona Cardinals 6-4 *(-2.5) @ New England Patriots 4-6 (49.5): Cardinals 24-21

Sunday, 1:00 PM, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA (Weather: Sunny; high 40s)

Keys: It wasn’t too long ago Cam Newton was going to revolutionize the NFL because no one had ever seen someone so big and so athletic at the same time. Isn’t it ironic that ten years later we’re saying the same thing about Kyler Murray, except it’s because we’ve never seen someone so small and athletic at the same time. We have no clue what the hell we’re talking about. These are two are the best rushing offenses in the NFL, while both defenses rank in the lower third of the NFL defending the run. Considering Bill Belichick and some of the league’s best pass defenders will be all over DeAndre Hopkins it’s safe to say we’re in for a quick, run-heavy game. Considering the weather won’t be too cold, and the Cardinals explosive ways, I’d say we’re in for a Cardinals cover and a recover from last week.

Miami Dolphins 6-4 (-7) @ New York Jets 0-10 (44.5): Dolphins 27-17

Sunday, 1:00 PM, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ (Weather: Sunny; high 50s)

Keys: The offensively-woeful Jets have exploded for 27.5 ppg their past two games, and nearly beat the New England Patriots three weeks ago. The Dolphins were on a tear trying to catch the Buffalo Bills, but stumbled against the Denver Broncos last week after the Broncos chased Tua Tagovailoa off the field, literally. Look for one of the league’s best scoring defenses (4th) to get the Dolphins back on track by stifling Joe Flacco and the league’s worst scoring and total offense, because the Jets are incapable of revenge.

Cleveland Browns 7-3 (-6.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars 1-9 (50): Browns 24-17

Sunday, 1:00 PM, TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, FL (Weather: 30% storms; high 70s) 

Keys: Whoever is missing on defense for the Browns is more than made up for by the offensive players missing Sunday for Jacksonville. It might rain Sunday in Jacksonville, too, which would be Cleveland’s fourth straight game in the rain. Where is Las Vegas getting an O/U of 50 points from? The bottom line is Cleveland is capable of losing any game at any time, but these Jaguars are one of the league’s worst teams, and the Browns should be able to run them out of their own building. It’s so fitting that in one of the few places in the country where they value football over human life they're forced to watch one of the worst teams in the NFL. That’s a shame.

New Orleans Saints 8-2 (-6) @ Denver Broncos 4-6 (43.5): Saints 24-17

Sunday, 4:05 PM, Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO (Weather: Sunny; mid-40s)

Keys: The Broncos had given up 36 ppg over their previous four games before holding the Miami Dolphins to 13 points last week, but before you think the Broncos have found their defensive ways again, or that they’ll automatically yield 36+ to the Saints (6th 29.5 ppg), think again. It’ll be somewhere in between, because New Orleans will be trotting out Taysom Hill with a week’s worth of starter tape out on him, but the Saints line is better than Miami’s, and Hill is at least as mobile as Tua Tagovailoa if you consider his experience. The Saints defense should stifle the Broncos, while their offense will score just enough to cover.

San Francisco 49ers 4-6 (+6.5) @ Los Angeles Rams 7-3 (48): Rams 27-20

Sunday, 4:05 PM, SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA (Weather: Indoors)

Keys: The Rams are home and seeking revenge against a hobbling 49ers team. That’s a bad recipe and one not really worth analyzing. Besides, I don’t want to hurt my greater Sacramento family member’s feelings.

Kansas City Chiefs 9-1 *(-3.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-4 (56): Chiefs 31-27

Sunday, 4:25 PM, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL (Weather: Partly Sunny; low 80s)

Keys: What appears as a great match up on paper is really what should be the Chiefs covering the 3.5 points with ease. The Buccaneers are not as good at beating up teams that excel at all three phases of the game and the Chiefs more than qualify. With one of the highest point differentials in the NFL (11.3 ppg) and arguably the league’s best kicker to complement a good pass defense and an offensive line that gives up the 4th-fewest sacks, it’s hard to find a way to justify Tampa Bay covering.

Green Bay Packers 7-3 (-8.5) @ Chicago Bears 5-5 (45): Packers 30-20

Sunday, 8:20 PM, Soldier Field, Chicago, IL (Weather: Windy; high 30s)

Keys: If I’m the Packers I’m thinking one thing: Keep Kahlil Mack away from Aaron Rodgers. That’s it. Game plan. Besides that the Packers well-rounded offense (3rd scoring offense; 7th total offense) should score enough points to cover against a Bears team going back to Mitch(ell) Trubisky. Instead of jinxing my choice to start Rodgers over Deshaun Watson in a critical fantasy football week, I’ll just leave it there.

Seattle Seahawks 7-3 *(-5) @ Philadelphia Eagles 3-6-1 (50): Seahawks 30-24

Monday, 8:15 PM, Lincoln Financial Stadium, Philadelphia, PA (Weather: 40% rain; high 40s)

Keys: These teams combine to average 53.8 ppg (SEA: 31.8 ppg; PHI: 22 ppg) and allow 54.1 ppg (SEA: 28.7 ppg; PHI: 25.4 ppg), which is not only bizarre, but cause to take the over. That’s about the only interesting thing about this game, besides the fact that despite being 3.5 games apart in the NFC conference standings and the Eagles being three games under .500, both teams are fighting for their respective divisions and could even face each other in the playoffs. What a year. The Eagles (3rd sacks) could easily get to Russell Wilson, but one of the only offensive lines that allows more sacks than the Seahawks are the Eagles (32nd).

Baltimore Ravens 6-4 (+4) @ *Pittsburgh Steelers 10-0 (45): 23-17

Tuesday, 8:00 PM Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA (Weather: 50% snow; low 30s)

Keys: Are you ready for some footbaaaaall?!?! A...Tuesday night party? Again​​​??? Who said the Steelers were getting the short end of the stick this season because of covid? Now they might get a Ravens team led by RGIII scrambling to fill other roster spots with practice squad players, including the back-up QB position. Not to mention the weather went from Sunny and 50º (Sunday afternoon) to snowing (Tuesday evening). So the real question is, how much do the Steelers win by and do we put an asterisk next to their team if they go undefeated this season?



Stay tuned for PRO FOOTBALL MEDIA Tuesday's Gone: Week 12 #NFL Game Reviews coming Wednesday by the morning commute!



PRO FOOTBALL MEDIA Tuesday's Gone: Week 11 #NFL Game Reviews


Tuesday's Gone: Week 11 #NFL Game Reviews
2020 WEEK 11 TOTALS:
7-7 .500 (WINS); 6-8 .429 (ATS); 10-4 .714 (O/U)
112-48-1 .700 (WINS); 80-78-3 .506 (ATS); 87-72-2 .547 (O/U)
4-1 .800
32-22-1 .593

Key (when applicable): Statistical analysis based on the following metrics (abbreviations): EWL (Expected W-L record); SoS (Strength of Schedule); SRS (Simple Rating System from PFR); Points scored (PF); points against (PA); Point differential (PD) Yards gained (YG); Yards allowed (YA); Red Zone TD efficiency (RZ); 1st downs (1st); 3rd-down efficiency (3rd); Turnover ratio (TO); Time of possession (TOP); Yards per play (YPP); P/R NY/A (Pass/Rush Net yards/attempt); Sacks (S); Interceptions (INT); Penalty yards (PEN); Against the spread (ATS). *All images from Google using Creative Commons license unless otherwise stated (including source)
Last season PFM began the < Drake voice > "TOP 5 TOP 5 TOP 5" segment, where PFM chooses their Top 5 Betting Games of the Week using either the spread OR O/U (denoted by an asterisk *). Roll with our Top 5 and watch the money pile up all season!

Good luck at the window this season and enjoy the 2020 NFL season whiles it lasts, because with the ways things are going it won't be long!


Kyler Murray isn't bored, he just looks it sometimes when he's lighting up bad defenses, and he faces the league's worst Thursday night.


Arizona Cardinals 6-3 (+3) @ Seattle Seahawks 6-3 (57): Cardinals 33-27 Seahawks 28-21

Thursday, 8:20 PM, CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA (Weather: 40% rain; high 40s)

Keys: The Seahawks are spiraling into the ocean, losing three of their past four games, which started with an OT loss to these Cardinals Week 7 in Arizona. The Seahawks are pretty banged up, especially along the offensive line, and the Cardinals defense isn’t half bad. The Seahawks defense is all bad. Seattle allows by far the most yards in the league (448.3 ypg) and gives up 29.6 ppg (28th), which is 0.5 points from being second worst in the league. The Cardinals just so happen to be the most explosive offense in the league, led by sophomore Kyler Murray, and lead the league in rushing and total yards. Coincidentally, Arizona scores 29.6 ppg (6th), which isn’t ranked first, of course, because that spot belongs to the Seahawks (32.2. ppg). What a whirlwind. The bottom line is the Russell Wilson, despite all his greatness, is clearly no miracle worker and these Cardinals are just too explosive for the worst defense in the league, although the one thing Seattle does well defensively is stop the run (5th). Go figure. 


Kyler Murray brought the Cardinals within two points in the 4th quarter with a TD pass to Chase Edmonds, but also intentionally grounded a pass from the end zone on Arizona's next drive, which increased the Seahawks lead and gave them the ball back, which ultimately led to the Seahawks win. Now the Cardinals find themselves third in a three-team race for the NFC West. 



Philadelphia Eagles 3-5-1 (+3) @ Cleveland Browns 6-3 *(47.5): Browns 24-20 Browns 22-17

Sunday, 1:00 PM, First Energy Stadium, Cleveland, OH (Weather: 90% rain; high 40s)

Keys: Again with the torrential downpours??? Apparently it hasn’t stopped raining in northern Ohio for almost a month <insert election joke here> but now Cleveland’s running game (3rd ypg & ypc) is back to full speed with the return of Nick Chubb, so let the mudding begin against the league’s 7th-worst run defense. On a basic stat sheet (ppg; yards; yards allowed) you can barely tell these two teams apart; in fact they have nearly identical negative ppg point differentials (CLE: -3.1 ppg; PHI: -3.2 ppg). But before we can point to SoS, the Eagles play in arguably the worst division in the NFL and sit atop that scrapheap two games under .500 more than halfway through the season. The Eagles just qualify as a top-10 running team themselves (9th-ranked LAC rushes for almost +10 rypg while the 11th-13th-ranked teams rush for within -2 rypg of PHI), but the Browns happen to be one of the best run defenses in the league (T-6th ypc; 8th rypg allowed). 


The weather dominated the scene, Nick Chubb tossed Joe Ostman to the ground like the Browns tossed the Eagles (Cleveland led 22-10 with 30 seconds remaining) and Carson Wentz looked absolutely awful, getting hit 11 times, sacked five and saw eight of his passes defended. Wentz now has as many INTs as TDs (14), matching his rookie and career total after just 11 weeks, and has also fumbled nine times already on his way to a very Eli Manning-esque season. It's worth noting he's rushed for five TDs, too, but who cares?

Atlanta Falcons 3-6 (+4) @ New Orleans Saints 7-2 (52): Saints 26-24 Saints 24-9

Sunday, 1:00 PM, Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA (Weather: Indoors)

Keys: I hope the Falcons defense has been staying loose because they’re about to have a bunch of balls thrown their way. Jameis Winston gets the nod Sunday with the injury to Drew Brees so it’s interesting to note that Las Vegas has them giving four points. Wait...Winston’s not even starting? Taysom Hill is?! Now the line makes zero sense, because Hill is essentially a larger Julian Edleman, and I don’t want a 3rd-string gimmick QB in charge of a divisional game in a tight divisional race. The Falcons have won all three of their games over the past four and have had a week to prepare for, well, probably Winston before Sean Payton threw this change-up at Atlanta. In New Orleans’ current six-game winning streak they’ve had two one-possession wins v. terrible teams, two OT wins v. bad teams, one win v. a depleted team and a win against Tampa Bay past Tom Brady’s bedtime. In other words, I’m taking the four points. 


Taysom Hill beat the Falcons by himself with two rushing TDs so I guess I'm the fool. Not a chance, Atlanta (248 total yards; 2 TOs) just sucks that bad.  

Cincinnati Bengals 2-6-1 (+1.5) @ Washington Football Team 2-7 (47): Bengals 27-24 Football Team 20-9

Sunday, 1:00 PM, FedEx Field, Landover, MD (Weather: Cloudy; high 50s)

Keys: Oy vey. Do we have to? Let me keep this one quick: I’m running to the window to take the 1.5 points against Washington, I don’t care what their passing defense is ranked against the mediocre competition they’ve faced all year. I’m on this hypothetical, alternate universe, “if only X they’d be 7-2” Bengals train sink or swim. 


Rookie QB Joe Burrow was carted off the field and so were the Bengals chances of winning. 

Detroit Lions 4-5 (-1.5) @ Carolina Panthers 3-7 (47): Panthers 24-21 Panthers 20-0

Sunday, 1:00 PM, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC (Weather: Cloudy; high 60s)

Keys: Another dozy. The Lions got a gift in the form of a questionable roughing the passer call last week against the previously glossed-over Washington Football Team that ultimately led to a game-winning FG instead of OT. Hey, at least the rookie defender who made the mistake claimed he “learned from his mistake, but would do the same thing over again”. Wait, that was the last preview. Never mind. The point here is Detroit likely won’t get that lucky again, but they may not need it against a Panthers team with a questionable Teddy Bridgewater and who is again without Run CMC indefinitely. The Lions have their own attrition issues, but this is anybody’s game.


The Lions managed 185 total yards and only turned it over once, which is half as many INTs as former XFL star and Panthers QB PJ Walker threw, yet the Lions couldn't do anything with them. Like I said, a dozy. 

Pittsburgh Steelers 9-0 (-10.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars 1-8 (46): Steelers 33-17 Steelers 27-3

Sunday, 1:00 PM, TIAA Bank Stadium, Jacksonville, FL (Weather: Mostly Sunny; high 70s) 

Keys: Everyone is on upset alert, but that’s because it’s so obvious. 9-0 v. 1-8. Divisional game. The notion that Pittsburgh has to lose at some point, which, of course, is ridiculous. Oh, Jacksonville brought the Packers to the brink? The Packers are an overrated team with a terrible defense led by one of the mot arrogant people in the league. You really think the Packers weren’t looking past the Jacksonville Jaguars in the snow at home in Green Bay? Mike Tomlin and the Steelers will make no such mistake Sunday as the league’s best overall defense lays waste to the team that gives up as many points as the Steelers average on offense (30.1 ppg). 


The Jaguars kicked a FG after a nine-play, 52-yard drive that lasted over four minutes to take a 3-0 lead. Then they turned the ball over four times on four Jake Luton INTs and only managed another 154 yards from that point on against a Steelers defense that hit Luton seven times, sacked him twice and defended eight of his passes. 

Tennessee Titans 6-3 (+5.5) @ Baltimore Ravens 6-3 (49.5): Ravens 27-24 Titans 30-24 OT

Sunday, 1:00 PM, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD (Weather: Mostly Sunny; high 50s)

Keys: Arguably the week’s best game, the Titans come into Sunday needing a win to keep pace with the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South and the Ravens need a win or risk third place in their own division in a year when many people though this team was running away with the Super Bowl if not for the Kansas City Chiefs. The way things are going for both of these teams they’re lucky the NFL has that extra playoff spot or they both could potentially be screwed. The Titans are pretty bad defensively, but they’re abysmal against the pass (28th), which is good considering the Ravens are one of the worst passing offenses in the NFL (31st at 184 ypg). Baltimore is, however, the league’s best running game (164 ypg) and the Titans are mediocre at best defending the run. Both teams come in banged up, but the Titans are hurting. Look for the Ravens to take advantage of the Titans on the ground, as long as Lamas Jackson can handle it, but the way Tennessee holds onto the ball (1st TO ratio) combined with the air of desperation is certainly cover-worthy. 


The Titans salvaged their season on the literal heals of Derrick Henry (133 rushing yards) after scoring the go-ahead TD in .OT. The Titans scored 14 unanswered 3rd- and 4th-quarter points to turn a 21-10 deficit into a 24-21 lead before Justin Tucker tied the game with 15 seconds remaining. Now the supposedly dominant Ravens are looking up at the Browns in the AFC North, which is a weird view for a bird. We shall speak of these Ravens being dominant...nevermore. Well, at least not for now.

New England Patriots 4-5 (-2) @ Houston Texans 2-7 (48.5): Patriots 24-21 Texans 27-20

Sunday, 1:00 PM, NRG Stadium, Houston, TX (Weather: Indoors)

Keys: How the mighty have fallen. Just a few short years ago the Texans seemed to try and failed to dethrone the Patriots annually, but the Tom Brady era seems like a distant memory in New England at this point and the Deshaun Watson era in Houston stagnated under Bill O’Brien, especially after the Deandre Hopkins trade. So what we have here is a game between two teams that likely won’t even make the playoffs this season, unless the Patriots and Cam Newton can get back to their dominating run game, which could happen against the league’s worst run defense in Houston. Considering Houston’s pass defense is middle-of-the-road, the game plans seems pretty obvious, which means Bill Belichick will do the opposite of what everyone’s thinking. Wait though, doesn’t that mean Belichick will know what everyone is thinking and will do the opposite of the opposite of what everyone thinks he’ll do? Keep that brow unfurled everyone, the Patriots will chew this clock and run all over their former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. 


A clean, buttoned-up game (0 TOs; 90 combined penalty yards) between two familiar foes saw the Texans take an early big mid-game lead that the Patriots couldn't recover from.

Miami Dolphins 6-3 *(-3.5) @ Denver Broncos 3-6 (45): Dolphins 30-21 Broncos 20-13

Sunday, 4:05 PM, Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO (Weather: Sunny; high 40s)

Keys: Tua Tagovailoa can become the 2nd QB to start his career 4-0 and the Dolphins could be winners of six straight if they can climb 5,280 feet from sea level dropping 40º F and beat a team they match up pretty well with in yardage totals, both gained and allowed, and both on the ground and in the air. They even sack the QB at basically the same rate. So what gives between two teams so evenly matched, yet couldn’t be further apart in point differential; in fact, they’re polar opposites (DEN: -7.5 ppg; MIA: +7.7 ppg)? TOs. The Dolphins are +5 (4th), while the Broncos are an astonishing -12 (31st). Therein lies the key to the NFL. 


Denver turned the ball over twice, but Miami only gained 223 total yards and allowed six Tua Tagovailoa sacks, which led to his benching. Just when we though the Dolphins were for real...

New York Jets 0-9 (+9.5) @ Los Angeles Chargers 2-7 (46.5): Chargers 30-20 Chargers 34-28

Sunday, 4:05 PM, SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA (Weather: Indoors)

Keys: The Jets are putrid, and the Chargers, a mere two games better in the record column, simply aren’t. They’ve just shot themselves in the foot as much as any team in the league, in addition to other issues, most glaring of which could be their TO ratio (25th at -3), because as bad as the Jets are their TO ration is 0, which explains and average team having seven losses in nine games, and it’s not because of their rookie QB (LAC: 7th passing yards; 10th passing TDs; 11th fewest INTs; 11th ypa).


The Chargers are so annoying they can't even keep a 15-point deep in the 4th quarter to cover the 10.5 points. Nope, their underachieving asses found it fit to allow J-J-Joey the Jets to score with four minutes remaining to ruin the cover.

Green Bay Packers 7-2 (+1.5) @ *Indianapolis Colts 6-3 (50.5): Colts 30-24 Colts 34-31 OT

Sunday, 4:25 PM, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN (Weather Indoors)

Keys: The Packers and Colts have sacked the QB nearly the same amount of times, which doesn’t really make much sense considering the Colts destroy the Packers in every important defensive metric, including pressure percentage and QB hits. So what gives? Blitz rate – the Colts blitz about 6% less, which explains the disparity in every pass rush metric but actual sacks. The problem there is the Packers give up the 3rd-fewest sacks (11), and possess one of the best overall offenses in the NFL to offset their terrible defense. The Colts offense is nothing to sniff at, however, and their defense is one of the best in the league. Considering neither team turns the ball over this game comes down to whether or not the Packers can get the ground going well enough to take the Colts 2nd-ranked pass defense off their backs. That might be a tough task – the Colts rank 4th against the run. Unless the Aaron’s and Davante Adams can somehow take over the game, and Aaron Rodgers has dominated the turf in three games this season, the Colt should have not trouble covering the 1.5 points, if not completely exposing the Packers. 


The second OT thriller between two top contenders in Week 11, the Colts pulled it off after kicking the game-winning FG mid-way through the OT period. Both QBs had nearly identical brilliant performances, save an INT each, but the Packers turned the ball over four times, including three fumbles from Aaron Rodgers, Marques Valdes-Scantling and kick returner Darius Shepard. The Packers pushed this stellar Colts defense to the brink, but the four TOs ultimately killed them. Ok, so maybe it wasn't a stellar perfromance from Rodgers.

Dallas Cowboys 2-7 (+7) @ Minnesota Vikings 4-5 (48): Vikings 30-20 Cowboys 31-28

Sunday, 4:25 PM, US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN (Weather: Indoors) 

Keys: The Vikings have spent the month of November beating the NFC North to get closer to .500, including an impressive win over the Green Bay Packers, but the Vikings remain a team rife with issues with the exceptions of one of the best offensive line in the league (1st ypc; 3rd sacks allowed; 5th rushing yards), Dalvin Cook (954 rushing yards; 5.5 ypc; 12 TDs), Justin Jefferson (762 receiving yards; 18.1 ypc) and Adam Thielen (9 TDs). Ok, their offense. The point is their defense is terrible, but no matter, the entire Cowboys team is terrible now. 


Minnesota's stars erupted, but those stars also lost two fumbles (Kirk Cousins & Dalvin Cook), including the first drive of the game, which led to six Dallas points. The Cowboys scored the go-ahead TD on an Andy Dalton Shultz (look it up) connection and the rest is history. Say good bye to the 2020 Minnesota Vikings, who join the 2020 Dallas Cowboys as two of the biggest dissapointments of the wackiest year of  most of our lives.

Kansas City Chiefs 8-1 (-8) @ Las Vegas Raiders 6-3 *(57): Chiefs 34-24 Chiefs 35-31

Sunday, 8:20 PM, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV (Weather: Indoors)

Keys: Are the Chiefs really going to lose to the division rival Raiders twice in a row and let them hang around the AFC West? One might think it’s possible since the Raiders are home and Josh Jacobs could open up the run game, but there are no fans in Las Vegas yet and there's just now way these speedsters don’t enact revenge on the indoor turf against the only team that’s beaten them in nearly two seasons. 


The Chiefs will destroy them they said. There's no way the Chiefs even stumble against this division rival that's already beaten them this year they said. Right, or the Raiders held a 31-28 lead with under two minutes left in the game before Patrick Mahomes (348 passing yards; 3 TDs; 1 INT) went Mahomes and did the two-minute drill thing in just over a minute and hit Travis Kelce in the end zone with 28 seconds left to snatch the victory from Las Vegas on the road. Side note: This game featured 61 first downs. That's crazy. 

Los Angeles Rams 6-3 (+4) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-3 *(48.5): Buccaneers 27-24 Rams 27-24

Monday, 8:15 PM, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL (Weather: Clear; high 60s)

Keys: The last time the Rams faced Tom Brady they lost to him in Super Bowl LIII, and it wasn’t because of the defense. Aaron Donald and company (3rd sacks) will be salivating, including Jalen Ramsey of the old New England Patriots punching bag Jacksonville Jaguars, to get to Brady while the Rams try to keep pace with the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. There are many similarities between these teams - from yards to points to sacks – but one glaring difference is TOs (LAR: 0; TB: +5), although if you deleted those four first half TOs against the Miami Dolphins three weeks ago those numbers would be close, too. The Rams have to stay with the Seahawks, but the Buccaneers need to win to stay with the Saints and are home on the other side of the country with an extra day to prepare. It’s hard to bet against Tom Brady in any uniform in that scenario. The money line, that is.


Mr. Irrelevant strikes again! Oh, I meant Jordan Fuller, the 199th pick from this year's draft who picked off Tom Brady, the 199th pick in the draft 20 years ago, twice. No, the latter keeps finding ways to lose games with INTs and make people (Rob Gronkowski, Bruce Arians & Clown Brown) question why they hitched their wagon to a 43-year old QB whose been steadily declining for years. Or at least why they dumped over $40M into him and his two buffoonish buddies for what might amount to an early exit from the playoffs at best. What a bunch of fools thinking Jameis Winston was their only problem. Spare me any big yards and TD number talk re: Brady, even QBs like Matthew Stafford light up the stat sheet most weeks. Brady (26/48 for 216 passing yards; 2 TDs) looked awful, especially on the long ball, but the worst part is he was only hit three times and sacked once. So much for the Rams giving him fits. It's more like the dink-and-dunk version of Brady is here to stay and that's about to give the Bucs fits. Oh yeah, the Rams won, despite Jared Goff's (39/51 for 376 passing yards; 3 TDs) own two INT performance.  I wish I had picked the Rams, then I would've nailed this game. 




Stay tuned for PRO FOOTBALL MEDIA Week 12: #NFL Game Predictions (w/ spreads & analysis) TNF EDITION coming Thursday!