John Royal’s NFL Picks, Week 13: Rushing More Than Ricky Williams

I hate these Thursday night game weeks. It makes me rush to get my wrong predictions made. I don’t have as much time to do the necessary homework. And sure, I had a bad week last time out, but I did go 6-10 and I did predict the Eagles would get within the point spread in the game with the Patriots. But I’m now a full 30-games under the .500 mark, being 73-103 on the season.

I think staging a miraculous comeback is really out of the question.

But enough of that. It’s time for this week’s picks.

1. The Cowboys are favored by 7 points over the visiting Packers. Okay, it seems that lots of people are pissed because this game is being played on the NFL Network, and not many people have access to the NFL Network. But you know something, when it’s the Texans playing on the NFL Network in two weeks, I don’t think people are going to be complaining about not having the NFL Network. For what it’s worth, I’m not sold on the Packers. But I’m even less sold on the Cowboys. I just don’t see the Cowboys winning this game by 7 points, so take the Packers to get within the point spread.

2. The Cards are a 1 point favorite over the Browns. This game may be in Arizona, but I just can’t see the Cards winning this game, especially after they blew it with the Niners last week. And there’s this vibe building around the Browns. Take the Browns to win this game on the road.

3. The Broncos are favored by 3.5 points over the Raiders. Tell me, does anyone outside of Denver or the Bay Area care about this game? And after last week, can we please finally put to rest all discussion about Mike Shanahan being a genius? Still, the Broncos are playing the Raiders, which I liken to team dysfunctional. Take the Broncos.

4. The Colts, meanwhile, are picked by 6.5 points over the Jaguars. I’d like to believe in the Jags. Especially with Jones-Drew. But it seems like that just when you start believing in the Jags, the Jags stop believing in themselves. I’m taking the Colts as Peyton Manning answers some critics.

5. The Dolphins are favored by 1.5 points over the Jets. Wow, just how bad are the Jets if they’re underdogs to the Dolphins? The Dolphins, after all, have yet to win a game this season, whereas the Jets have won twice. And the Dolphins are without their newest savior as Ricky Williams was injured Monday night, in his first game back, and is out for the season. I know the Jets are bad, but they’re not Dolphins bad. Take the Jets.

6. The Vikings are favored by 3.5 points over the Lions. The Lions were 6-2. They’re now 6-5. And the Purple Jesus might be back for the Vikings. But I’m just not buying the Vikings winning this game. I don’t know why. Maybe God is smiling down on Jon Kitna again. I don’t know. I don’t care. I’m picking the Lions.

7. The Saints are favored by 3 points over the Bucs. You people do know the Saints lost to the Texans, right? I know the Bucs stats have looked pretty lousy, but somehow, the Bucs win games. Somehow, I think the Bucs find a way to win this game. Take the Bucs.

8. The Giants are picked to beat the Bears by 1.5 points. I don’t know, but it’s beginning to look like the Giants are going into their familiar second half swoon. Is Tom Coughlin stupid enough to keep kicking to Devin Hester? I don’t think it matters as Eli Manning probably throws enough interceptions to keep the Bears in the lead. Take the Bears.

9. The Eagles are 3 point favorites over the Seahawks. Yeah, the Eagles almost pulled off the upset of upsets last week. I don’t think they can keep it up. Take the Seahawks.

10. The Steelers are 7 point favorites over the Bengals. I think it’s kind of funny about how the Bengals problems this season are suddenly the fault of Chad Johnson. When the Bengals were winning, Johnson’s antics were cute. Now, despite all of the guys who have been arrested on the Bengals, the fault for their lousy season is all due to Chad Johnson. I don’t buy it. But I don’t buy the Steelers winning by 7 points. Take the Bengals to get within a field goal.

11. The Chargers are 5.5 point favorites over the Chiefs. I just don’t buy the Chargers. There’s no real reason to pick the Chiefs. But I just don’t trust Norv Turner. Take the Chiefs to get within the point spread.

12. The Rams are 3.5 point favorites over the Falcons. It’s not sure who’ll be at QB for the Rams this week. But the Rams have a healthy Steven Jackson, which is better than what the Falcons can offer. Take the Rams.

13. The Titans are 3.5 point favorites over the Texans. I was wondering when we would see this story, but the Chron’s finally come out with the Ron Dayne Is a Great Underrated Running Back story; the paper even compares him to Adrian Peterson. Not that anyone really believes it, but I guess the Chron has some contractual obligation to run Texans PR releases during the season. And the Titans have been kind of lousy so recently, but I think the Titans have the Texans number this season. Take the Titans, because in the end, Ron Dayne is no Adrian Peterson.

14. The Redskins are 5.5 point favorites over the Bills. The Bills are changing QBs yet again. And they’re really a disappointing team. But the Redskins are coming off of the Sean Taylor tragedy, so it’s difficult to believe they’ll be fully concentrating on this game. Take the Bills.

15. The Panthers are favored by 3 points over the Niners. Man, what a boring game. What did the people of the Bay Area do to deserve the Raiders and Niners? What did David Carr do to deserve the bad deal he was dealt by the gods for being drafted by the Texans? Take the Niners.

16. The Patriots are favored by 20.5 points over the Ravens. I’m curious, if the Eagles hang on and win last weekend, are the Pats still favored by this much? I don’t think so. The Ravens are bad, but not 20.5 point underdog bad. Take the Ravens to get within about 17 points. – John Royal

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