NFL 2001 NFL - Week 13

oh_my_hat

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From TSN

GAME OF THE WEEK

San Francisco at St. Louis. This game will have so many special effects, expect the game film to be turned into a fully-loaded action-packed DVD.

It's not often that the circus and professional football come to town at the same time at the same venue, but prepare to be amazed by breathtaking human feats in St. Louis on Sunday. Forget the Justice League: A more dazzling display of superpowers will be found under the Dome at America's Center in Week 13.

OK, you get the drift. Lots of points. Lots of fun. Very little defense. I know that both the Rams and 49ers have improved dramatically in stopping the opposition on the scoreboard, but that's mostly when they don't face each other's big-time offenses.

Both teams aren't doing much pass-rush wise and both teams have pretty good pass protection when facing little pressure. It seems all the Rams' defensive backs are dinged up, while the 49ers' young cornerbacks are still learning on the fly with a fair share of mistakes and picks.

In the teams' first meeting in Week 2, a few key Terrell Owens drops canceled out three Rams turnovers and St. Louis survived at San Fran, 30-26. The Rams held the 49ers to a season-low 232 total yards of offense, but are facing a much different 49ers offense in the rematch while working with an injury-filled defense.

First, Garrison Hearst, much healthier now than he was in September, is now up to 900 rushing yards and a sparkling 5.2-yard average after rushing only four times for 10 yards in that game. Second, don't expect Owens and J.J. Stokes to combine for six catches and only 56 yards again.

In addition, Jeff Garcia has displaced Kurt Warner in being the most efficient and consistent TD passing quarterback in the league. Garcia is on quite a streak, throwing for at least two TDs in eight consecutive games, and all signs point to making it nine in a row.

Of course, Warner is no slouch, and his recent interceptionitis was well cured with a flawless four-TD outing vs. Atlanta. His Wonder Twins, Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, should make it a tough tutorial for 49ers corners Ahmed Plummer and Jason Webster.

The Rams must avoid those pesky turnovers, however, to keep the offensive flow in their favor. It's a weakness as annoying as the color yellow is to the otherwise unstoppable Green Lantern.

In their darkest day and darkest night, the way to fight this is calling on The Flash or Superman to help, of course. Luckily for the Rams, those two Super Friends are wrapped into one neat package: This is a job for Marshall Faulk.

Of all the offensive talent in this game, Faulk stands out as supreme. He burned the 49ers for 184 combined rushing and receiving yards on 26 touches in the first meeting. He is coming off a 198-yard and three-TD performance at Atlanta.

No linebacker or safety in the league can stay with him in coverage for a whole game and very few front fours can thwart his running instincts. Faulk has the greatest individual mismatch working for him in this game, and Rams coach Mike Martz always exploits those. This game will turn into a shootout, but after three hours of feeding Faulk, the Rams will nab the upper hand in the game and in the division.

Buckle up, put your 3-D glasses on, and please don't exit the couch until this contest between the 9-2 NFC West co-leaders comes to a complete stop -- you may miss a touchdown or six. . . .Rams 38, 49ers 31.

UPSET OF THE WEEK

Chicago over Green Bay. The Bears have found their best growl on the road this season, with their only loss away from Soldier Field coming in the opener at Baltimore. They were impressive in coming away with divisional road wins at Tampa and Minnesota, and will continue their string here in their most important test of the season.

The Packers have dominated this series at Chicago recently, but the Bears have returned the favor by winning squeakers at Lambeau the past two seasons.

Coming off a short week and expending a lot of emotional energy in their Monday night comeback win on the road, Brett Favre and the Packers may not be in the best shape to welcome a visit from Brian Urlacher and the eager Bears defense. Chicago will get past the glass-slipper stage and take control in the NFC Central with a hard-fought win. Bears 24, Packers 23.

LOCK OF THE WEEK

"If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong." -- Murphy's Law.

"If there is a way to lose, we will find it." -- Millen's Law.

Tampa Bay over Detroit. Because the Lions lose every week, why not this week, too? And it's December, which means the Bucs finally start waking up to the fact that the playoffs are just around the corner.

The worst news for the losing Lions: Even if they finish rock bottom with no wins, the best they can do is draft No. 2 in 2002 behind the Texans. Is there anything more painful than watching Matt Millen in the skybox with that look of chagrin on his face?

Mike McMahon (is there anyone of note in Detroit without those initials?) a rookie quarterback from Rutgers of all places, will likely get his first start, and will get promptly thrown to the Bucs' ready-and-willing opportunistic defense. McMahon has brought some excitement in his limited playing time, but starting at Tampa is a whole different story.

This may sound like a broken record in Motown, but the Lions will stay in it all the way, closing within a few points and then eventually lose. Buccaneers 19, Lions 16.

GAME OF THE MEEK

Carolina at Buffalo. The Lions can only hope to reach the heights of the one-win Panthers and one-win Bills. The post-Polian effect is in full swing, as the former uber GM of both of these Week 13 opponents is currently scratching his head over the Colts' woes. Both teams have very few healthy bodies left -- just fielding a full roster will be a victory in itself.

I guess I need to pick someone in this one, huh? I'm going with Bills QB AVP as the MVP of this battle of attrition. Bills 20, Panthers 14.

REST OF THE WEEK

New York Giants at Dallas. With Quincy Carter starting vs. the Giants' pass rush, look for the Strahan Sackmeter to get more use than the hometown scoreboard. Giants 16, Strahan 4, Cowboys 3.

New Orleans at Atlanta. The Saints' roller-coaster season will keep from hitting another freefall by avenging a Week 6 home loss. Brooks and Horn are the best southern collaboration since. . . . Brooks and Dunn? Saints 31, Falcons 20.

Cleveland at New England. Bill Belichick once coached the Browns, but they weren't these Browns, so that may or may not play a factor in this game. Tom Brady will, however. Patriots 20, Browns 16.

San Diego at Philadelphia. Donovan and Duce are finally doing it all for the Eagles, while Doug's days could be done soon. Eagles 27, Chargers 17.

Jacksonville at Cincinnati. Considering what the Lions are doing, this hasn't been a good year for our feline friends in the NFL, and these two big-kitty AFC Central clubs are also no longer on the playoff prowl. The Jags are showing a little more pep and are just a little bit hepper cats. Jaguars 23, Bengals 21.

Tennessee at Minnesota. A team featuring a big strong-armed athletic quarterback and two game-breaking receivers will win this one. A-ha! Isn't it funny how Steve McNair, Derrick Mason and Kevin Dyson have fit that description better than the Vikings' trio has in the past few weeks? With both teams featuring porous secondaries, however, it will be tough for the Titans to match Minny pass for pass in the dome. Vikings 35, Titans 34.

Washington at Arizona. If you haven't seen the NFL's best-kept receiving secret in action yet, don't worry -- there are plenty more hours left in Tempe Land's David Boston Marathon. Cardinals 23, Redskins 19.

New York Jets at Pittsburgh. Bus No. 36 may be out of service, which means the Steelers might need to trade in their usual wheels for the Amos Express. Luckily, Air Kordell has them looking sleeker than the Jets' Ferrari Testaverde. Quickly moving on. . . . also, Pittsburgh is 13-1 all-time vs. the Jets. Steelers 19, Jets 13.

Kansas City at Oakland. Jon Gruden and the Raiders are seeing a lot of red after losing to the Cards and they'll take it out on their archrivals. Raiders 31, Chiefs 14.

Seattle at Denver. The new Mile High experience hasn't been too kind to the banged-up Broncos, but they'll buck the trend by clipping the Seahawks. Broncos 14, Seahawks 13.

Indianapolis at Miami. The Dolphins' newfound penchant for the big passing game with Jay Fiedler will mean newfound nightmares for the Colts' cornerbacks. Dolphins 31, Colts 21.

BYE OF THE WEEK

The defending Super Bowl champs finally get a break as they work through a tough season marked by injuries. The 8-4 Ravens probably won't win the division with the Steelers rolling, but they are close to getting a good grip on a wild-card berth, and remember, that's how they won it all last year.
 

Longboysfan

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Hat: Coming off last weeks performance by the Boys....

You may get an unexpected win here. Or at least a close game.

If we play it just like last week in the Offense and Defensive sides of the ball.
We could be pulling it all together late as the team is very young and got a great confidence boost off last week game.

Giants are banged up a bit still on their D side and Collins has been spotty this year.
 

carb70

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I'm looking forward to the 49ers-Rams game luckily FOX Sports has shown some common sense and decided to show that game this week instead of the Panthers-Bills game.

Also guys it would be great if your Cowboys can beat the Giants. It would help my Bucs out but I don't like the Cowboys chances. I also think the Giants will waste their time trying to rush Carter because I reckon I only saw the Cowboys throw the ball once last week but then again that did end up being a TD reception.
 

oh_my_hat

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Originally posted by carb70
I'm looking forward to the 49ers-Rams game luckily FOX Sports has shown some common sense and decided to show that game this week instead of the Panthers-Bills game.
That is great news!! I was spitting chips that we looked like missing this game and were getting the Bill v Panthers game. Finally some sense has prevailed. Is this a 5am game too carb?


Originally posted by carb70
Also guys it would be great if your Cowboys can beat the Giants. It would help my Bucs out but I don't like the Cowboys chances. I also think the Giants will waste their time trying to rush Carter because I reckon I only saw the Cowboys throw the ball once last week but then again that did end up being a TD reception.
I have a gut feel that we may beat the Giants as the Cowboys really should have beaten them both games last season and 4 weeks ago when Stoerner threw 4 INT's. Carter threw 14 times last week and may not even through as often this week against the G-Men.
 

oh_my_hat

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Originally posted by Longboysfan
Giants are banged up a bit still on their D side and Collins has been spotty this year.
If we can stop Toomer and Joe Jurevicius I think we may get over the line. The Giants are tough to run against so that we be the key on Offense.
 

carb70

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Originally posted by oh_my_hat
If we can stop Toomer and Joe Jurevicius I think we may get over the line. The Giants are tough to run against so that we be the key on Offense.
omh, I think Hilliard is the reciever the Cowboys must stop. Toomer has had a very poor season and they don't seem to throw to Jurevicius as much now that Hilliard is back from his injury. If the Giants are going to throw a TD pass then more than likley it will be to Hilliard.

Also I think the Cowboys will need to shut down the Giants running game if they are going to be a chance.
 

oh_my_hat

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Looks like game balls go to Quincy Carter, Reggie Swinton for providing the O with good field position all day and Rocket Ismail with 10 receptions. Sounds as though Emmitt was having a tough day until he broke one for 44 yards to make his day look respectable and keep him in the hunt for a record 11th years in a row rushing for 1000+ yards.

Tiki Barber for the Giants must have had a good game and Toomer was held to a reasonable game to be the G-men's most dangerous receiver. Now can we win a game outside the NFL Least??

carb you'll be happy that Keyshawn finally got a TD after 90+ catches this year and more importantly squeaking past the Lions this week. Must have had a few heart flutters along the way? :)
 

carb70

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Originally posted by oh_my_hat

carb you'll be happy that Keyshawn finally got a TD after 90+ catches this year and more importantly squeaking past the Lions this week. Must have had a few heart flutters along the way? :)
omh, It was the best news I heard all day. I was watching the Rams-49ers game and when I heard Pat Summerall say, and Keyshawn has just scored a TD, I was punching the air with excitment.

I must admitt I was also excited about the Cowboys winning, that win meant the Giants are now 2 games behind the Bucs and with the Saints beating the Falcons it looks like the last playoff birth might come down to the Saints-Buc game in a few weeks time.
 

oh_my_hat

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carb, stick a fork in the Giants, they're done!! If it does come down to a Bucs v Saints game that should be a beauty to watch. The Saints are pretty exciting to watch with Aaron Brooks at qb and Ricky Williams against Sapp, Lynch & Co.

I have mixed feelings about the Cowboys winning too many more games. If they run the table they could end up 8 - 8 which is a good season for a team with $23M in dead SC money and will do wonders for the confidence running into next year. On the other hand we may just win enough games to move out of the top 10 with our first draft pick although I have hear that after the 5th pick it doesn't really matter if you pick 6th or 15th as the talent is pretty equal after the drop off in talent compared to the top 5.
 

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