Thoughtful Thursday (12.13.12)

By: Kevin Cottrell Jr. @SportsVentz

Just a Thought…BODY LANGUAGE: Have you ever wondered why your favorite athlete retired without notice? Or why your favorite athlete couldn’t quite get the job done in the 4th game on a 5th night? Better yet have you ever played a continuos amount of pick up basketball and thought to yourself the next day, “I should have stopped after the 4th game?” Look we all have to do like our favorite athletes and listen to our bodies when it speaks. Often times we think we control our motors when it couldn’t be farther from the truth. This is the time of year that we all scramble to make everyone’s holiday a cheerful one. The weather’s changing, temperatures are dropping and we aren’t stopping until everyone is satisfied. While doing your best to make everyone happy is a great thing, we still have to learn to schedule down time for our minds and bodies to get its needed rest. Just like our favorite athletes seek treatment after practice and massages on days off. While getting the royal treatment may not always be feasible, no one can treat you like royalty quite like YOU. So go ahead do your best to be Superman (or Superwoman) just know that even they learned to take their capes off from time to time, just like our favorite athletes.

NFL WEEK 15 PREDICTIONS: Week 15 in the NFL will mark the first time 6 games will feature two teams with winning records this late in a season. Wonder about the playoff implications and how those games will play out? Let’s dive head first into our Pick 6 predictions!

PICK 6!
(8-5) GIANTS @ FALCONS (11-2): It was just last postseason that the Falcons traveled to New York to take on the Giants with Super Bowl aspirations. The Giants would win the game 24-2 in route to another Super Bowl win, while the Falcons took another early exit. This season the Falcons are in the driver’s seat to represent the NFC in the Big Game. What will make this outcome different? The Falcons are at home, a place they rarely lose and Roddy White has even come out to say that their group of wideouts are better than the Giants. While that may be true on paper, the Falcons still have to prove that their 11-2 start is not a fluke. The Giants are in must win mode to keep their distance in the division whereas the Falcons are simply trying to gain everyone’s respect around the L. This game will be played much closer, but something tells me the Falcons shaky O-Line won’t be able to keep the Giants front four off Matt Ryan. This game will be very intense, outcome won’t change much. Prediction: GIANTS by 4

(10-3) BRONCOS @ RAVENS (9-4): Don’t look now but the Broncos are the hottest team in the league winning their last 8. Peyton Manning has 30 TDs to 10 INTS leading the league in passing yards. As for the Ravens they’re doing their best to hold on to the AFC North lead despite the uncertainty surrounding the availability of LBs Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. Baltimore has been hit with a rash of injuries in their secondary which can’t be good when facing the uptempo Manning’s. In order for the Ravens to cool off the hot Broncos they’ll have to disrupt Manning’s flow by applying the pressure for 60 minutes. The pressure will also be on Flacco and company to keep Manning on the sideline with a balanced offense. If Baltimore can’t match Denver’s scoring this may be another long week for the guys in purple. If you’ve doubted the return of Manning up to this point, you may just be a believer when the game goes final. Prediction: BRONCOS by 7

(9-4) COLTS @ TEXANS (11-2): Last Monday the Texans went to New England only to show us all they may not be quite ready to compete with the elite. Now, they just have to prove they can wrap up their division. The Colts are coming in just as hot as those Broncos previously mentioned having won 7 of their last 8 games, with the lone loss at New England. Houston must get back to the basics of establishing their run game to set up their passing attack. The Colts have excelled at keeping the game close and in the end being led by the rookie Andrew Luck to victories. Luck has led the Colts on 6 game winning drives this season. A feat that cannot be overlooked by Houston since 3 of their last 4 wins were by 7 or less with two going into overtime. The Colts will be no easy out for Houston, but the Texans will find a way to pull away from the young Colts in the second half. This Indy team reminds me of last year’s Bengals who quietly found themselves in the postseason led by a Rookie QB. But just like Cincy, the Colts won’t be able to do so by defeating the best in their division. Prediction: TEXANS by 10

(7-6) STEELERS @ COWBOYS (7-6): Before Steelers and Cowboys fans get too nostalgic, this game will be far from the rivalry that existed in the 70s. These are two desperate franchises needing every win along the way for a chance to clinch a playoff spot. The Steelers are currently in the 6th spot in the AFC while the Cowboys are in 8th. The biggest difference in this matchup will be the balanced offense that the Steelers often display. They’re equipped with a stable of running backs and Big Ben has the ability to extend plays and find multiple receiver options. As for the ‘Boys, I’m not so sure Murray is the answer at running back and with Dez Bryant’s health in question (broken finger), things just got a tad tougher for Tony Romo. As long as the Steelers can take care of the ball and control the clock they will force the Cowboys to be one-dimensional and that’s what get Tony Romo in trouble throwing to the other jersey. Again this game will not resemble the rivalry of the 70s, but still cool to see nonetheless, if you’re a Steelers fan. Prediction: STEELERS by 6

(9-4) PACKERS @ BEARS (8-5): The Packers-Bears rivalry is the oldest in the NFL. Typically the winner of the season series is the division winner and this year is no different. Currently the two are separated by a game, that being the one the Packers won in September. The Bears are in need of this win to assure their chances of clinching a playoff spot while the Packers can clinch the division with a W on Sunday. The Bears just can’t seem to avoid the injury bug having lost the Heart of the Defense (Brian Urlacher) and their Soul (Tim Jennings) along with 4 of their last 5 games. The Packers are getting healthy at the right time as they expect to have Clay Matthews back in the lineup (although Charles Woodson will still be sidelined). The Bears will host this must win match up and Brandon Marshall is pumped, challenging the Packers D to play him one-one-one. Something tells me they’re going to ignore his request. The Bears are in must win mode and they haven’t responded well in that mode as of late. The Packers are as hot as can be having won 7 of their last 8 and nothing motivates them more than having to come into Soldier Field and clinch the division against their rival Bears. Look for the Packers to attack the Bears from the start through the air, looking to fill the hole vacated by Urlacher’s 6’4 frame. Chicago needs to do two things to slow that attack, win the turnover battle and get a TD out of the Special Teams. I can see one of those happening but the other is less likely. As a Bears fan this is tough for me to analyze, but since the CheeseHeads have won the last 5 match ups nothing tells me this Sunday will be different. Prediction: PACKERS by 4

**GAME OF THE WEEK**
(9-3-1) 49ERS @ PATRIOTS (10-3): Prior to last Monday’s dismantling of the Texans, some still questioned the Pats ability to win it all, now everyone is on notice. With the 49ers flying across country for the Sunday night showdown I have one question, are they going to leave that “Pistol” offense in the Bay Area? If not, this may be another blow out! Just last season we witnessed the Broncos fly into Foxborough attempting to run the spread offense with Tebow that did not work. I understand that the second year QB Kapernick is a better passer than Tim but that still means nothing when facing this attack. The one thing that will help the Niners is that their defense is better than that Broncos team last season and the Texans this year. But will it matter? The one thing that can wear down an aggressive defense is an uptempo offense that has the ability to sustain long drives, kind of like the Patriots. This game will be more entertaining than last season but Coach Harbaugh will need a more conventional offensive attack because the game will be far from a 13-6 final, at least on the Patriots side. Look for the Patriots front four to hit the QB until they stop running the spread and for the Pats QB to continue hitting his Tight Ends and Receivers until the final buzzer sounds. Prediction: PATRIOTS by 10

QUICK PICKS!
BENGALS over Eagles
DOLPHINS over Jaguars
SAINTS over Buccaneers
CHARGERS over Panthers
SEAHAWKS over Bills
LIONS over Cardinals
RAIDERS over Chiefs
JETS over Titans
VIKINGS over Rams

 

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