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Sunday, 24 November 2013

TPL Picks: Week 12 & Spread Bets

Week 12 sees the marquee match-up of any NFL season, Tom Brady against Peyton Manning. It will be their 14th game against each other (Brady leads by a staggering 9-4 margin). Thousands of words have been added to the library of Manning-Brady debates this week in the run up to it, but we won't be adding many more here. It's not our game of the week due to the sheer gulf in talent between the two teams at the moment. Just sit back, enjoy the game and know that Toby will be yelling and breaking things as Manning bounces untouched in the pocket before finding Wes Welker over and over and over again.

Instead of our normal weekly picks column which features a look at one game, we're going to go over some of the more interesting head to head battles that will take part across the field, be they pass rushers vs. tackles, corners vs. receivers or what have you. We realise not everyone has the ability to put 3 or 4 games on at once, but hopefully by highlighting some of these match-ups you might watch some teams you'd never normally consider.




Darrelle Revis Vs. Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson may not be of this earth. His ridiculousness has become so routine that we just expect 150+ yards, multiple TD's and at least 3 plays a game that make you question the laws of physics. He's on pace for 98 catches, 1,805 yards and18TD's while also posting a career-high 18.4 yards per reception. It's just crazy how good he is.

But this week he'll be facing Darrelle Revis, who in their only other game against each other held Johnson to just 1 catch for 13 yards on 4 targets. Revis hasn't been himself for a lot of the year as he works his way back to 100% after last years ACL injury, but if the Bucs have any shot at winning this he's going to have to handle Johnson one on one for long stretches of this game. It should be a great battle.

Family Feud: Chris Long Vs. Kyle Long

The Long brothers won't be going against each other on every play, as Chris Long plays defensive end while Kyle plays guard, but they will be lining up extremely close to eachother. Perhaps the Rams call some stunts to get Chris inside, or Kyle runs a few fold blocks to get angles onto him. Either way this should be a fun clash between what's been an impressive All-Rookie right side of the Bears O-Line and the Rams defensive line.

Jets Defensive Line Vs. Ravens Offensive Line

These two units are playing at different ends of the spectrum this year. The Jets D-Line, featuring a trio of 1st round selections and led by Muhammad Wilkerson, have been incredible this year. They're the driving force behind the best run defense in the NFL and are also doing a good job of getting after the QB. The Ravens offensive line on the other hand has been dreadful all year. They're sorely missing retired centre Matt Birk, and the others just aren't anywhere close to the level they were at during their playoff run. Even Marshal Yanda is having a down year. Perhaps being able to beat up on the Bears 3rd-string defense last week will have helped them, but this week it's just going to be too much for them to move the ball consistently.

Daryl Washington Vs. interior Colts offensive line

The Colts offense has had some issues since Reggie Wayne got hurt. They haven't been able to run the ball all year despite Pep Hamilton's insistence on wanting to be a power-run team and now without Wayne Andrew Luck is really struggling when facing extra rushers. And no one likes to blitz more than the Arizona Cardinals. The main reason for this is that Daryl Washington is an exceptional blitzer. He can time the snap and hit the A-gap about as well as anyone does anything else in the NFL today. If centre Samson Satele can read Washington and organise the interior properly than the Colts should be able to get Luck some time, but if they're as porous as they normally are then Washington will be getting through a lot, and he'll be bringing his friends too.

Patriots pass rush vs. Peyton Manning

Ok, so we have to make one remark about this game. Yes, Denver are an exceptional offense this days, but if you can hit Peyton Manning you always have a chance against him. Unfortunately that's pretty hard to do. Last week the Chiefs didn't register a single QB Hit against Peyton Manning, and they have a much better pass rush than New England. The hope is that Bill Belichick can scheme a way to get Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich just long enough to start forcing Peyton Manning off his spot and getting some hits on him. If they can do that then the Pats stand a chance. If not....

Toby's Spread Picks (Last Week: 0-3, Overall 10-19)

Last week didn't go well, but we're going to get back on the horse and try again!

Denver (-2) Over New England

The Patriots are strong at home, Brady's 9-4 vs. Peyton, but this game shouldn't even be close. There is nothing that New England is better at than Denver except for coaching (Belichick Vs. Del Rio isn't even a fair fight), but the Dark Lord of Foxboro can only do so much.

Tampa Bay (+8) Over Detroit

Revis on Calvin, a terrible Detroit secondary vs. Vincent Jackson and just maybe the Bucs can run the ball on anyone now. Detroit have been such a Jekyll & Hyde team that getting more than a TD against them feels like a lock (but it definitely isn't).

Carolina (-4.5) Over Miami

The Dolphins look all set for the off-season while Carolina are on a roll. Sure, there's a chance they have a let-down after back-to-back nail biters vs. top opposition, but their defense is so good they might only need 14 points to cover this line.




Toby Durant 
Phil Gaskin 
Gur Samuel 
Saints @ Falcons

Saints 
Saints 
Saints 
Steelers @ Browns

Browns 
Steelers
Steelers
Bucs @ Lions

Lions 
Lions
Lions
Vikings @ Packers

Vikings 
Packers
Vikings
Chargers @ Chiefs

Chiefs 
Chiefs
Chiefs
Bears @ Rams

Rams 
Bears
Bears
Panthers @ Dolphins

Panthers 
Panthers
Panthers
Jets @ Ravens

Ravens 
Ravens
Ravens
Jaguars @ Texans

Texans 
Texans
Texans
Titans @ Raiders

Titans 
Raiders
Titans
Colts @ Cardinals

Cardinals 
Colts
Colts
Cowboys @ Giants

Giants 
Giants
Giants
Broncos @ Patriots

Broncos 
Broncos
Broncos
49ers @ Redskins

49ers 
49ers
49ers




Last Week: 

 10-5
8-7 
10-5 
Overall: 
99-62 
95-66 
102-59 

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