The NFL has completed twelve out of seventeen weeks of regular season competition. The playoff picture is beginning to emerge. Houston, Baltimore, New England, Denver and Atlanta could all clinch playoff spots and/or division titles this week. Other teams could find themselves joining Kansas City among the ranks of the eliminated. The competition between Readers and Staffers for bragging rights as prognosticators is not nearly as clear. As the contest enters Week 13, we find that the Readers and Staffers are tied in overall game predictions. The table below outlines each week's results-to-date:
|3||7-8||5-10||Reader Jeff Rodriguez|
|4||8-6||12-2||Staffer Topher Doll|
|5||10-3||10-3||TIE - Hogblog and John Bena|
|6||5-8||6-7||Staffer Jess Place|
|7||7-6||12-1||Staffer Colby Mueller|
|8||8-5||9-4||Staffer Zach Eckels|
|12||7-8||8-7||Staffer Mike Gomez|
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out. This week, the Readers will be represented by YouAreSignedIn. YouAreSignedIn writes:
Rhune Kincaid is a musical comedian, video director for the radio show Loveline, and an amateur writer on the topic of the Denver Broncos and the NFL. You can find his "7up" Previews and "Mile High Rewind" VHS reviews on this very site and LABroncosFans.com (very sporadically). The first football game he can remember is Super Bowl XXII. He hopes he wins an orange hat. He has two cats. Follow him at twitter.com/rhunekincaid and www.rhunekincaid.com.
Going against the Readers' YouAreSignedIn will be Staffer Colby Mueller. Colby writes:
Hello Broncos Country. I am Colby Mueller. We call it Broncos Country but it really could be Broncos Continent because there are plenty of Bronco fans up here in Canada! I am 21 years old, I enjoy candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach. I just finished university in April and currently work at a television station in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. Outside of the Broncos, I am huge hockey fan and I love the Calgary Flames. My favorite hockey player ever is Joe Sakic. I also really enjoy the Canadian Football League and major supporter of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. That's all you need to know. Go Broncos.
And now, onto the picks.
YouAreSignedIn: Because the Falcons are especially tough in the regular season and the Saints are all kinds of discombobulated.
Colby: The Saints need this win if they want to stay alive. I like the Saints in a desperate situation but Atlanta is good at home so it should be a tight game.
YouAreSignedIn: The Jaguars seem like a new team with Chad Henne and the Bills continue to look clueless. When they decide to give CJ Spiller 25 carries, I’ll start picking them.
Colby: This game to me could be a toss up and in games like this, I like to see who has the better playmakers and to me that is the Bills.......I do not have a lot else to say about this game....There is not a lot of appeal to me....
YouAreSignedIn: I’ve been picking the Seahawks for upsets all year long and getting burned. Not this time!
Colby: This is a big game for Seattle. The Seahawks have to prove they can win a game against a tough team on the road. I've never seen a team that is so bipolar depending the venue of play. I like Chicago here. Jay Cutler seems as focused as ever after coming back from a concussion.
YouAreSignedIn: I’m taking the Colts on the road, because the Lions never run out of ways to disappoint. Stafford looks off to me and their defensive secondary is not going to be getting back in shape anytime soon.
Colby: Detroit has improved since the slow start to the season. Calvin Johnson just won offensive player of the month in the NFC and seems to have his game back after a madden curse like start. Indianapolis is coming off a win but this season, they seem to go cold after a win. If Indy can find a way to win, it would go a long way to trying to secure the first wild card spot.
YouAreSignedIn: This might be the closest call of the week. The Packers looked like they couldn’t protect Aaron Rodgers from me against the Giants on Sunday night. Still, with Percy Harvin ailing, it shouldn’t be too hard for the Packers to key on Adrian Peterson and shut the Vikes down.
Colby: The Packers need a bounce back game this week. I do not want to call it must win, but in a division game at home, they need this because if they lose, they risk falling back 2 games to the Bears with only 5 to play. I like the Pack here by double digits.
YouAreSignedIn: I guess this is my upset special. These are 2 of the last 3 Broncos opponents and having watched both games, I can say that the Chiefs looked tougher. Both teams suck, so why not go for the underdog at home.
Colby: The Chiefs showed me something against the Broncos. Their defense is not as bad as I thought. They covered our receivers exceptionally well and will have less trouble against the Panthers. Carolina is on a short week too. Chiefs win.
YouAreSignedIn: I think this may be a close game, but the Patriots defense is opportunistic and the Dolphins offense offers opportunities.
Colby: The Patriots are reeling right now. A game against a poor Miami team should be easy. I am not a big believer in trap games but it could be one as they face the Texans and Niners coming up. Those are two big games if the pats want a first round bye.
YouAreSignedIn: I took the Jets, but only because they’re at home and Ryan Lindley likes throwing interceptions.
Colby: The Jets have to have some motivation. They got embaressed, smashed, stomped on and kicked on Thanksgiving and need to answer back. They have to win their fans back and Rex Ryan has to save his job.
YouAreSignedIn: Because, duh.
Colby: The rams will put up a tough fight in this game. Their pass rush should get after the Niners new QB but Sam Bradford in my opinion will not be able to score enough points against the Niners D even on a bad day for SF.
YouAreSignedIn: Because the Titans are terrible. The Texans are due for a stumble, but not against Tennessee.
Colby: This game could be closer than some people think. Houstons dominant defense has disappeared as of late and the Titans would like to have a say in making the Texans path to the 1 seed harder with a win over a division rival at home. However the Texans are too good to lose game
YouAreSignedIn: I’m writing this on Monday and assuming that Roethlisberger will be out.
Colby: If Big Ben plays,I would be all over the Steelers but there is no reason to think the Steelers have a chance without him. The Ravens only needed 13 points to beat the Steelers last time and have the ability to score more. This game scares me but I still like the Ravens.
YouAreSignedIn: This is another Monday call. If Colt McCoy has to suit up, I might change my pick. Either way, I hate picking the raiders.
Colby: The Browns have managed to be a good team on the road. Their defense is not all that bad and Weeden statistically has bad games on the road. The Rolando McClain thing in Oakland could be distraction. Browns win.
YouAreSignedIn: Because any team that can’t stop a 4th-and-29 in the 4th quarter doesn’t deserve to get picked. Why don’t they fire Norv? The Bengals are favored by 1. I’d take that in a heartbeat.
Colby: San Diego is at rock bottom. They are a team though that as soon as they are done, they will start playing well and somehow get back in the race. I think they can do it as Phillip Rivers might have some life in him still.
YouAreSignedIn: Because the Cowboys like to give their fans some hope before crumbling.
Colby: The Eagles are a mess. They are missing their best lineman, quarterback, running back and receiver against a pretty good Cowboys secondary with a rookie quarterback to do it. This game could get out of hand. Is this the end of Andy Reid??
YouAreSignedIn: This will be a lot more fun than the Sunday night game. It will be cool to see RGIII go against a defense that just shut down Aaron Rodgers. The Giants will still win though, because their secondary is intact again and combined with their pass rush, they are Super Bowl caliber.
Colby: The Giants really impressed me last week. They destroyed the Packers and are going to do their thing where they come on late in the season.
What the Broncos Must Do to Win
YouAreSignedIn: The Chiefs game made me nervous on several occasions, as I felt it should've been a blowout and the Buccaneers have the kind of offense that can win a game if you let them hang around. Their pass-rushers aren't big names, but they're at least as good as the Chiefs who gave Peyton more trouble than I expected. Their most glaring weakness is in coverage, which has allowed games to get out of hand. I think this will be a rough one for the defense, but ultimately a high scoring win as long as the Broncos block and make the Bucs work in the Red Zone. I’ll write a longer preview later in the week… or not.
Colby: The Broncos this week must pass pass pass. Tampa has the worst pass defense in the league. I know it is not Fox ball, but we must exploit this early especially at home. If we can get the pass rocking early, then the run will set up late foer the finish. They can score and Doug Martin scares me and I do not want to be in a close game against Tampa late. Get the 10 point half time lead and go for the throat
Good Luck to both of our Contestants.