HOUSTON, November 20, 2013 — This is why fans watch football. Welcome to Super Bowl 47 1/2, where Peyton Manning and Tom Brady face off again. As it has been so many times in the past, this could be a preview of the AFC Title Game. Home field advantage throughout the playoffs may come down to this game.
The 9-1 Denver Broncos take on the 7-3 Patriots, who insist they should be 8-2.
Brady’s golden boy luster took a hit last week when he was caught cursing on camera at a referee after a controversial loss to Carolina on Monday Night Football. Brady critics note that he is the last person on Earth who should ever complain about a bad call.
His entire career began with the Tuck Rule, where the Oakland Raiders were cheated out of a trip to the AFC Title Game in 2001 by the Patriots in the snow. If Brady wants to give his first Super Bowl ring to Charles Woodson or Greg Biekert, he is free to do so.
Yet, Brady remains a great player if not a good sport. Manning is the epitome of class, and is desperate to answer his critics who lament he has just one Super Bowl ring. The Broncos have the better team on offense and defense, but the Patriots have the home field. If anybody knows how to slow down Manning, it is the Patriots’ coach, the Evil Hoodie Bill Bellichick.
There are also other games being played this week. Here is the NFL 2013 Week 12 Preview, with spreads courtesy of “The Linemakers” and all times EST.
Thursday, November 21, 8:30 p.m.
New Orleans Saints (-7) at Atlanta Falcons—The Falcons are playing for pride while the Saints are playing for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Atlanta is decimated, but pride and a nationally televised night game does matter. Saints win but fail to cover
Sunday, November 24, 1:00 p.m.
New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens (-3)—Rex Ryan meets his old team as the loser of this game edges another step closer to playoff elimination. The 5-5 Jets will be facing a desperate 4-6 Baltimore team, and defending champions do not go down without a fight. Ravens cover
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (-2)—Pittsburgh has won four out of their last six after a miserable start, but these Browns are no longer doormats at home. Despite Hanukkah approaching, Ben Roethlisberger is not Jewish. Jason Campbell can play, and every Dawg Pound has its day. Today is that day. Browns cover
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions (-9)—The Tampa Bay Juggernaut is six wins from 8-8, but reality finally hits. Calvin Johnson could have 500 receiving yards in this game. Despite the Lions colors resembling the Israeli flag, Jim Schwartz is also still not Jewish. Lions cover
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (Pick ‘em)—Green Bay is still hoping to find a Black Friday sale at Walmart that gets them a quarterback. They have lost three straight, but Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder may throw a touchdown or two to the Green Bay defense as early Christmas presents. Packers win
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-11)—1-9 Jacksonville on the road against 2-8 Houston. Even the Olympics may be less boring than this battle for the top 2014 draft pick. Texans win but fail to cover
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5)—The perpetually underachieving Chargers take on the overachieving Chiefs. Santa Clause twin Walrus Lite Andy Reid has a defense this holiday season, and Philip Rivers has been known to deliver presents to the other team for interception touchdowns. Chiefs win but fail to cover
Carolina Panthers (-4) at Miami Dolphins—Carolina has won six straight, but has to avoid the hangover of a thrilling win last week on Monday Night Football against New England. Miami is not that special, but Carolina is still growing. The scandal plaguing Joe Philbin has him looking for older and haggard than his great-uncle Regis. Panthers win but fail to cover
Chicago Bears at St. Louis Rams (-1)—These teams are up and down on any given week. A battle of backups inspires nobody, but the Rams defense at home could be the difference. Besides, the Bears could be exhausted from their five hour marathon win last week during the tornado. Rams cover
Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals (-2)—Bruce Arians hosts the team that he coached to the playoffs last year. The Colts have been underachieving this year while the Cardinals have quietly gotten to 6-4 despite not being that good. The Colts are the better team, and the Cardinals have never had much of a home field advantage since the 1800s. Upset special, Colts win outright
Tennessee Titans (-1) at Oakland Raiders—These teams are both 4-6 but the Raiders have two quarterbacks who can play. If Matt McGloin starts the Raiders could really be special. With Terrelle Pryor at home, the Raiders should be ok against reeling Tennessee. Upset special, Raiders win outright
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (-2.5)—The 5-5 Cowboys are a mystery while the Giants started 0-6 but have won four straight. The Cowboys have the better team, but the Giants are at home, so look for another tough battle in the NFC Least. Giants cover
Denver Broncos (-2.5) at New England Patriots—This game cannot happen fast enough. New England loves reminding people that the deal Bellichick and Brady made with Satan in 2001 has yet to expire. Look for them to stun Manning as Bellichick invents a new blitz package never seen in NFL history before. Upset special, Patriots win outright
Monday, November 25, 8:30 p.m.
San Francisco 49ers (-5) at Washington Redskins—Washington at 3-7 is ready to be stuffed and mounted for Thanksgiving as RGIII and Mike Shanahan seem to have a frayed relationship. The 49ers are desperate and have enough talent to dispatch Washington. 49ers win but fail to cover
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