Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thursday has the making of an exciting day of professional football. Things are getting shook up across the NFL and the same is true with the Outside the Redzone staff’s weekly picks challenge. Jason Skelton was an astounding 13-1 last week and moved out of the cellar by one thousanth of a percent. Skelton will be on his bye week this week. While Bartel will be replacing Skelton as the Cardinals starting quarterback, Jason Skelton replaced Ricky Bartle as this week’s picks winner. Ricky Bartle finished second with a 12-2 week and has opened his lead over second place Quinne Lowe. Mike Ferguson, who led the staff early in the season, has fallen into last place.
Overall Standings (Last Week)
Ricky Bartle 108-52 (12-2), (.675)
Quinne Lowe 90-54 (10-4), (.625)
Cody Pace 93-57 (9-4), (.620)
Jason Skelton 95-63 (13-1), (.601)
Mike Ferguson 90-60 (10-3), (.600)
Gloat of the Week!
I’m going to take a bye this week. I figured that since I no longer have the lowest winning percentage, I can take a break and also watch the Colts game in peace. – Jason Skelton
Here are the Week 12 Picks:
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (Thursday)
Ricky Bartle – The Packers need to be thankful for Aaron Rogers, the Lions will have their hands full with the NFL’s most potent offense. The emotions will be high, but the Packers have too much for the Lions. Packers survive another week without a loss.
Mike Ferguson – 10-1…three games in 11 days proves to be too much for the Pack. Look for the Lions to get a big win at home.
Quinne Lowe – The homer in me would love to see the Lions win, but the PACKERS find a way to pull out this shootout.
Cody Pace – Green Bay.
Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys (Thursday)
Ricky Bartle – The Cowboys are playing winning football, so are the Miami Dolphins. The Cowboys need to make sure to hold on to the ball and get in the endzone, something no team has been able to do for three weeks against the Dolphins. This will be a close one in Dallas. Cowboys win.
Quinne Lowe – The ‘Phins have been hot lately but the COWBOYS end the streak.
Cody Pace – Dallas.
*Mike Ferguson covers the Miami Dolphins for Outside the Redzone and therefore will not make a pick.
San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (Thursday)
Ricky Bartle – The Harbaugh Bowl will be the game to watch on Thanksgiving. The Ravens are one of the best teams in the AFC and the 49ers are one of the best teams in the NFC. The story lines are there for this to be a slugfest. The Ravens will use the stronger veteran defense to take one from the 49ers. No worrying about the post game handshake here.
Mike Ferguson – One thing we know for sure, Harbaugh will get a W in this one. Sorry, Jim, I’m going with John and the Ravens. You’re still my pick for Coach of the Year though…
Cody Pace – 49ers.
Quinne Lowe – The battle of brothers… Jim proves that even as a rookie NFL coach he knows what he is doing. 49ERS.
Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons
Ricky Bartle – The Falcons will hope to avoid a turkey hangover in what should be a very winnable game. The Falcons are too strong for the Vikings. Falcons win.
Mike Ferguson – Atlanta continues to play well. I think Turner outshines A.P. in this one as the Falcons stay in the thick of the playoff chase.
Quinne Lowe – The FALCONS welcome a hapless Vikings to get a much needed easy win to keep their division title dreams going.
*Cody Pace covers the Atlanta Falcons for Outside the Redzone and therefore will not make a pick.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
Ricky Bartle – The battle for Ohio part 2 features the surprise Bengals taking on the same old Browns. Coming off a tough loss to the Ravens the Bengals will be looking to rebound against there weaker Ohio brothers. Bengals win.
Mike Ferguson – I picked Cleveland to win this match-up on Opening Day. I think I’ve learned from my mistakes. Give me Dalton and the Bengals to get back on track.
Cody Pace – Cincinnati.
Quinne Lowe – The BENGALS continue the surprise season as they continue to fight for a division and playoff spot.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans
Ricky Bartle – The Buccaneers are slowly slipping out of the NFC South race, while the Titans lost ground on the idle Texans. The return of Matt Hasselbeck should help the Titans, but when will Chris Johnson return? CJ2K has been missing all season and continues to slump. The Bucs will ride Lagarret Blount to a tough victory.
Mike Ferguson – Both teams looked good in losses last week, but Tennessee now has a wide open division with Matt Schaub out. The Titans with more to play for and home field advantage win this one.
Cody Pace – Tampa Bay.
Quinne Lowe – I don’t know what to make of the BUCS; they also have taken a step back but get things righted against Tennessee.
Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts
Ricky Bartle -The Panthers are thankful for Cam Newton this Thanksgiving. The Colts are thankful the season is almost over. The Panthers should cruise to victory over a team that seems to have mailed it in and is getting ready to release a black friday specials; half price Peyton Jerseys and buy one get Luck free. Panthers win.
Mike Ferguson – This may be Indy’s last chance to win a football game. I still think Cam and Carolina put up too many points. Carolina in a very close game.
Quinne Lowe – The PANTHERS scared the hell out of me and my Lions last week and keep the up the improvement against the listless Colts.
Cody Pace – Carolina.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Ricky Bartle -Matt Lienhart will have his chance on Sunday to prove he can be a starter on a playoff team, even though Matt Schaub spotted him some wins. The Texans should continue the Foster/Tate show and ease Leinart into passing. The Texans win.
Mike Ferguson – Leinart vs. Gabbert. Give me the former Heisman winner to hand the ball to Arian Foster and get Houston their 8th win of the year.
Quinne Lowe – Even without Schaub the TEXANS have enough on D and in the running game to beat the Jags.
Cody Pace – Houston.
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams
Ricky Bartle -The Cardinals and Rams have gone from playoff race to bottom feeders. It’s time to find out what these teams have going forward. The Cardinals win in what is sure to be a game only watched in St. Louis, Arizona, and Las Vegas, some desperate gambler will have money on this one.
Mike Ferguson – Dear St. Louis, do not kick to Patrick Peterson. The Rams listen to my advice and get a win at home. This may be the first time all year that anyone has picked the Rams in consecutive weeks.
Quinne Lowe – The Rams are one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL; the CARDINALS take advantage of it.
Cody Pace – ST. Louis.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
Ricky Bartle – Both teams are coming off gut check losses. The Bills were demoralized by the Miami Dolphins, while the Jets were Tebowed. Which loss hurt more? The Jets seem to be the team more likely to rebound, but both teams hope their quarterback can avoid the interception bug and get a win. Jets are too strong as the Bills begin to regret the Fitzpatrick extension. Jets win.
Mike Ferguson – Who is in the mood for Tom Petty? Both of these teams are free falling. Buffalo happens to be falling just a little faster. J.E.T.S. Jets, Jets, Jets.
Quinne Lowe – The Bills are in a freefall and the JETS continue it.
Cody Pace – New York (A).
Chicago Bears at Oakland Raiders
Ricky Bartle – Cutler is out, that is going to hurt for the Bears. The Bears still have defense and Forte to lean on. The Raiders are beat up at receiver which doesn’t help the growth of Carson Palmer in their offense. This has the feel of a field goal black and blue game. Bears win on the road.
Mike Ferguson – Carson Palmer has worked out! Who would have thunk it? Raiders over Hanie and the Bears.
Cody Pace – Chicago.
Quinne Lowe – Losing Cutler hurts the bears A LOT the RAIDERS take advantage and steal a key win.
Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks
Ricky Bartle – The Redskins are struggling. The Mike Shanahan face meter says,amber which means look out on the sideline. The Seahawks have been competitive the last couple weeks, but its hard to know which Jackson you will get under center week in and out. The Seahawks use the “12TH” man to get a victory.
Mike Ferguson – Rex and the Skins continue the skid. Remember when they were 3-1? Me neither. Seattle at home.
Quinne Lowe – Can I just pass on this one? I don’t know who to
bear mercy on… FLIPS A COIN- SEATTLE.
Cody Pace – Seattle.
New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles
Ricky Bartle – The Patriots continue to win, even with wide receivers playing nickel corner. The Eagles got a much needed win against their division foes. The Patriots offense should keep the Eagles at arms length and their defense bother the Eagles just enough to get the win. Patriots win.
Mike Ferguson – I don’t know that I’ve gotten a Philadelphia game right all year. Look for the Eagles to win this week because I’m picking Brady and the Pats.
Quinne Lowe – The PATS are too cohesive to lose this one and Vick uncertainty really makes this an easy one.
Cody Pace – New England.
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
Ricky Bartle -Stats and wins say that if you were picking a team in this game go with the better quarterback, gulp, Tim Tebow. But the Tebow-fest felt in Denver still has one unimpressed person, John Elway. The Chargers can use a victory Sunday to get right back in the thick of the AFC West race. The Chargers make sure the last drive doesn’t mean anything for the Broncos. Chargers win.
Mike Ferguson – Tebow completes a career-high four passes, but it’s not enough as the Chargers get their first win in more than a month.
Quinne Lowe – Tebow just finds a way to win but I think the CHARGERS have a lot more to prove.
Cody Pace – Denver.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs
Ricky Bartle -There isn’t much to say about this game. The Steelers cruise to victory.
Mike Ferguson -Remember when the Chiefs had won 4 in a row, were in first place and then got killed by the Miami Dolphins? I’m starting to think the ‘Fins and Chiefs may have just switched teams before that game. Warm weather for a bad team…seems like a fair trade. Steelers by less than 1,000.
Quinne Lowe -The STEELERS are setting up for another playoff run and this is a speed bump.
Cody Pace -Pittsburgh.
New York Giants at New Orleans Saints (Monday)
Ricky Bartle -The Saints seem to be emerging as the third best team in the NFC. The Giants are going to need a strong performance to stay with the Saints. The Saints should use the bye week to get a win against the Giants. Saints win.
Mike Ferguson -Dome sweet dome. The Saints are not that far removed from a World Championship. Brees and the boys send the G-Men to a third straight loss.
Quinne Lowe - Another tough NFC East team to figure out, I think the SAINTS see the Falcons too close in their rearview to let up and win a good game.
Cody Pace – New Orleans.