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Nov 24

NFL Week 12 picks vs spread… I’m back!

I missed a week… I have not been regularly posting and am ready to get back at it.

In week 10 I was 3-2 with one major gafffe that has been erased from all internet history. Look but you won’t find it.  Oh well.  I am 11-8 on two weeks of pics.

Home teams are in CAPS as always, my pics are in bold.  I will start with the Turkey Bowl games and preview the others on Fri or Sat…

Thanksgiving

early game…

LIONS over Packers line Pack by 7

The 2011 Packers are not the 2007 Patriots.  I think we all know this.  The Packers have not beaten many serious contenders this year.  See my new post http://shawnkfrazier.com/?p=210   Packers vs. Niners… They haven’t played anyone yet!

It is about time the Pack lose.  Last year the Lions were 1-1 vs the Pack.  The last match-up between these teams was 12/9/2010. Pack QB Aaron Rodgers left that game with a concussion before halftime in a game that the Lions won 7-3.

This year marks the first time since 1962 that an undefeated team plays on Thanksgiving.  On that fateful day 49 years ago, the Detriot Lions beat the undefeated Green Bay Packers in what was the Pack’s only loss on the year.  The Pack went on to win the Championship.

For this game, Packers RB James Starks may be out with a knee injury he sustained in this past Sunday’s game.  That is a big hit to the Pack as they like to lean on him to control clock late in the game.

The Lions’ fierce front four featuring Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are very good and will pressure the NFL’s best QB, Aaron Rodgers. The Lions are still without opening day starter RB Jahvid Best, but now have recently signed RB Kevin Smith who went off on the unstellar Carlina run D last week… Interestingly enough, the Green Bay run D isn’t so great either…

I see the Lions winning in a stellar contest 23-20.

afternoon game…

Dolphins cover the spread against COWBOYS line Cowboys by 7

I am the biggest Cowboys hater… I might as well get that out of the way right now. Anything that comes from Texas is either steer or queer and I don’t see any horns on you boy!

Yeah I’m biased.  Those that read my posts know I was pissed when Dallas beat San Francisco in week 2.

I also have noticed that the Dolphins are showing up 3 weeks in a row.  They have a recent common opponent.  The Washington Redskins.  The Cowboys needed overtime to beat them and the Dolphins beat the Redskins in a rout.  I don’t normally make a pic without citing players and scheme.  This will be the exception.

Those that read my posts also know that I recently stated “there are no DOLPHIN SAFE PICKS”  lol.  I once again make an exception.  The Miami Dolphins are 5-1 all time on Thanksgiving Day.  Nothing, not even a Niners Win today will make me happier than seeing the Cowboys lose to the Dolphins.  My prediction is a cover.  The Cowboys are the better team.  May the better team win and the other cover!

Cowboys find a way to get past Tony Romo’s mistakes and win 27-24.

San Francisco 49ers over the BALTIMORE RAVENS line Ravens by 4

It is my humble opinion that this is the biggest game in the NFL all year.  In the beginning of the season, I didn’t see it this way.

Let me tell you what I did see in the beginning of the year.  I expected the Niners to contend for the NFC West Crown.  I predicted 9-7.  I also said I expected the St. Louis Rams to be the team to beat in the NFC West.  At that point, no one expected the insane amount of injuries that the Rams have suffered.  If you were to look back on my Niners posts, you will find my season prediction at the bottom of the final preseason game post Niners vs. Chargers.  This I didn’t post, but I expected the Niners to be 6-4 when we played the Ravens on Thanksgiving.  If anyone had told me that one of the teams playing in this match-up would be 9-1, I would have said “No doubt that’s the Ravens!”  Instead it is the 49ers at 9-1 vs. the Ravens who are 7-3.

This line has moved from -3 to -4 in favor of the Ravens at home.  Vegas initially figured on a neutral field that these teams are evenly matched.  I agree.  The bettors have moved the line a bit, showing the national favoritism towards the established Ravens team.  No harm, no foul.

Let me tell you why as a biased 49ers fan, I have good reason to believe my bias is accurate.  I will start on offense.  Comparing Joe Flacco to Alex Smith is something I have always liked to do.  In the past, Joe Flacco was what I figured Alex Smith wanted to grow up to be.  Someone that could win games if he had to, but not someone you counted on week in and week out.

Joe Flacco had a great comeback win against the Pittsburg Steelers earlier this year.  This was a statement win for Flacco.  John Harbaugh did something with Flacco that until now, little brother Jim Harbaugh would never do.  John let Flacco throw for the win.  Flacco let it fly time after time on the last possession of the game, when the Ravens needed a TD to win it.  Flacco was missing with his receivers at first.  Elder Harbaugh kept allowing/and or calling the same play call.  He was not expecting Flacco to throw a quick out to stop the clock… Instead, Flacco defied odds and expectations by winging it downfield time after time late in the game until it worked for the winning touchdown.  Against the great rival Steelers, this feat is magnified, as it should be.

For two games in a row, Alex Smith has winged it.  Against the Giants, Alex Smith threw the ball on 30 of 50 offensive plays.  Remember these Giants the week before had just stopped the great Tom Brady and beat him.  It took until halftime for Alex and his receivers to really warm up, but all of a sudden, there was an outburst of offense and two touchdowns scored within 61 seconds.  The first was a 10 yard pass to Vernon Davis who was as wide open as Jerry Rice ever was that was taken to the house for 31 yards (21 yards after the catch).  The second was after a Carlos Rodgers INT that gave the Niners the ball on the Giants 17 yard line.  The Niners scored on the very next play when rookie Kendall Hunter took advantage of a nice hole on the left side of the line, made a nice little shifty move, and used his speed to beat the second level defenders to the end zone.  Explosive? The Niners? Really? Yes.

Same thing happened against the Arizona Cardinals who the Ravens had a hard time beating recently.  In the first half, the 49ers had a hard time scoring points.  I will tell anyone that the 2 blocked field goals and the one that was missed was a product of the wet field.  I always like to think of Candlestick on a wet soggy field as favoring the Niners, but you never know who will take advantage of it.  In the first half, the Cardinals had the advantage on big plays, but it was the 49ers who led 9-0 at the half. In the second half, the sun had come out and begun to dry up the sod.  The Niners immediately took advantage.  They scored 14 points in the third quarter in a very quick-strike fashion as they did against the Giants.  In less than 3 minutes of game time, Alex Smith threw a quick 8 yard TD strike to emerging rookie Kyle Williams (who I really like) followed by a beautifully thrown corner end zone route to Vernon Davis for 18 yards and a TD.  Davis took a straight go route to the end zone and Smith hit him perfectly in stride while Davis beat the corner to the ball.  It was just a 3 step drop and a launch by Smith.  The best touch passer in the NFL, Drew Brees (IMO) could not have delivered a better ball to Davis on that touchdown.

This makes 2 straight games with a TD pass from Alex Smith to Vernon Davis in crunch time.  We will see if that continues to develop.  Or, as Niners fans and fans of the NFL and fantasy football, we could conclude that Vernon Davis and Alex Smith are starting to work their magic again.  Vernon Davis and Alex Smith are one of the very best QB to TE connections in the NFL and have been for many years.

have a look at this chart at the bottom of my post provided by Mike Sando and ESPN on 12/11/10.  link http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/29133/alex-smith-vernon-davis-connection-back

On the Ravens, at this time I would trust Alex Smith more than I would trust Joe Flacco… looking at the numbers, Smith has the rating, the better TD to INT ratio, and more TDs than Flacco.  Flacco has the edge in yards per game.  The Ravens have been hot and cold on relying on their running back Ray Rice.  In the game that the Ravens lost against the Seahawks, they barely let Rice touch the ball.  He had 5 runs and 8 catches for a total of 81 yards from scrimmage on 13 touches.  When the Niners’  Frank Gore gets fewer touches than that, he is injured.  Look only at the Giants game.

The Ravens have an outstanding WR, Torrey Smith who went for 165 yards on only 6 catches and scored a TD last week against the Bengals.  The Ravens have shown they like to lean on Flacco’s arm much more than the Niners like to lean on Smith’s arm… We will see if the trend of forcing turnovers continues as the Niners gathered 2 more INTs last week by their secondary.  Patrick Willis also intercepted a pass.  It has been shown that the Niners can give up some yards and TDs by the pass, but Niners make opposing teams pay as well by forcing more turnovers in the league than anyone else.

On the Raven’s D, there are scary players as much as on the Niner’s D.  LB Ray Lewis may or may not play due to turf toe.  His absence seemed to make a huge difference against the Bengals last week, who had nearly 500 yards total against the vaunted Ravens D.  If Lewis misses this game, I would be very surprised, and it would affect the game much more than the Ravens would like to admit.  Other than Lewis, the Ravens have Terrell Suggs who had a beautiful interception against Big Ben and the Steelers recently.  Ed Reed masters their secondary in much the same way that Donte Whitner has learned to do for Our Niners.

This is the most scary test for Our Niners all year.  Alex Smith has the opportunity to show the Nation that he has the nuts to win against a great defense.  Up to this point, this may be Smith’s biggest game of his career, and it comes with a short week of preparation.  I have all the faith in the world in him, and so will Coach Harbaugh.

With this, I give you my score for the upcoming game between Our 49ers and the Ravens, 24-20 Niners.

A stat I was looking to find internet backing for and did not find, is that from 2008 to 2010, no one has caught more TD passes in the NFL than Vernon Davis.  I’m NOT TALKING ONLY ABOUT TE’s.  ALEX SMITH TO VERNON DAVIS HAS BEEN THE MOST PROLIFIC TD COMBO IN THE NFL FOR YEARS.  DON’T EXPECT A LETDOWN NOW.

If I want someone to cover a TE, I will pick Patrick Willis before anyone else in the NFL.  I certainly would not pick a healthy Ray Lewis.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

2001-2010 NFL Combos

Rank Passer Receiver TD to Receiver Total TD Pct.
1 Alex Smith Vernon Davis 18 46 39.1
2 Matt Ryan Roddy White 23 59 39.0
3 Mark Sanchez Braylon Edwards 10 28 35.7
4 Philip Rivers Antonio Gates 42 130 32.3
5 Aaron Rodgers Greg Jennings 25 82 30.5
6 Matt Schaub Andre Johnson 23 76 30.3
7 Carson Palmer Chad Ochocinco 44 148 29.7
8 Tarvaris Jackson Sidney Rice 7 24 29.2
9 Ben Roethlisberger Hines Ward 39 140 27.9
10 Joe Flacco Derrick Mason 15 54 27.8

6 comments

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  1. Nico

    What are your thoughts on Suh? He got suspended 2 games for his Thanksgiving antics. IMO, he’s a bully. Someone who despite having alot of talent, blames everybody but himself for his mistakes and reactions. He stomped on that guy’s arm and then has the gall to say I didn’t do anything. Watch the tape idiot. You were out of control, not to mention he’s made previous comments about if he’s going to be fined he might as well really hurt somebody. The best way to get him to stop is to simply sack his pocketbook. I don’t care how tough you’re. The more money you lose, the less you matter, cause then your value to the team that employs you shrinks. They’ll eventually cut you loose and save themselves the trouble of trying to justify your behavior. That Packer game showed just how “not ready” the Lions are. They’re still “cubs” not Lions. They held Packer receivers on almost play. Took cheap shots, including Suh’s antics. The coach was raving. It all pointed to an organization that to me feels shocked to be 7-4.

  2. shawn

    Damn I like Suh. I like his talent. I like his aggressiveness. I like his drive. I just don’t like the fact that he can’t see himself in the mirror. Yeah I have watched that replay many times. The O lineman on the ground held Suh’s leg so he had a hard time getting away. Suh was frustrated and pounded his cleats into the guys arm. No. It he did that to me, fight on. Fines be damned. I would rip the guys helmet off and hit him with it. F Suh for that. Word is Suh was upset he was beat on the play. Yep. No matter how good you are, you will be beat sometimes. That is the mental make up of the Lions. They know they are good, but can’t handle getting beat. You nut up and play the next down and let every failure motivate you to perform better the next time. Otherwise, you might as well be the Raiders.

    1. shawn

      Meaning that if Suh cleated me like that, I would have kicked his damn ass. Lucky the O lineman had more professionalism than Suh. Otherwise Suh would have been hurting much more.

  3. Nico

    Guys like Suh act like thugs because they know most people won’t confront him. Factor in he’s got millions, and it’s the age old I got power complex. The best thing that could happen to him aside from a season ending injury, would be a beat down. For someone to treat him like he’s been treating others. Then I suspect he’d finally “get it”. The Lions are winning, so save the antics for the off season. For now, make it about winning and nothing else.

  4. Nico

    I meant…

    Suh acts like a thug because he knows people won’t confront him face to face. He needs a fan to kick his ass, then post the beat down on You Tube.

  5. Shawn

    lol nice. Maybe we can find Andre the Giant back from the dead or Grave Digger from WWE! Seriously, I love his attitude overall. He likely is too young to tone it down without losing his edge. That’s too bad. Same thing with James Harrison of the Steelers. He is now suspended by the league for the hit on Colt McCoy last week. I want him to play against my Niners, since if they face a tough challenge now, they have a better chance of winning in the playoffs. Well I might as well just give that up anyhow. LOL. If you watched the hit in real time or played it back on youtube like I did, you will see that it was helmet to facemask which is one of the most devastating hits that can be delivered. Have you ever hit someone in the chin, or been hit there? I’m sure you know what I mean. Click the teeth and its all over. Interestingly, people with old-school knowledge of the NFL do not agree. Eric Davis of 95.7 the game (who played CB in the NFL) and Tony Dungy, who coached in the NFL for many years including time with the Colts and Peyton Manning, both say that the hit was normal and should not have drawn a suspension. Dungy especially cites the same reasoning that Harrison does… the QB became like a running back as he ran out of the pocket towards the line of scrimmage and threw the ball at the last second, before Harrison delivered the hit. Yes I agree with that last statement. After looking at the hit, I don’t care if the player with the ball was a QB, RB, WR, FB, or O-Lineman, if you hit him that way, in the facemask with your helmet, it is at minimum a fine, or if you are a recurring fine incurring player, it is at least a 1 game suspension if not more. Who is going to say that he wasn’t hit in the head after he laid there with a concussion? Scratch that! Just look at the film… Harrison had two steps from when McCoy released the ball till he hit him. In that time, he went from aiming at the chest to raising his helmet and aiming it at the facemask of McCoy. It was an illegal hit. Period. I am surprised that with Harrison’s history it was only a one game suspension. The NFL must know that the Steelers can beat my 49ers anyway. SMH.

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