Things Are Starting to Get Graphic- This was as inevitable as it was unavoidable. The NFL has become graphic. You can’t stop it, and really cannot even look away. It is there right in front of all of us. The NFL has become graphic. That’s right, Week 11 brought out the first of what will be many NFL playoff scenario graphics. These graphics will be prominent as the NFL starts approaching it’s home stretch as we get close to December. CBS, FOX, NBC and ESPN all are now already full fledged with graphics on how the playoffs are starting to look. Each week ofcourse there will be changes. It is entirely possible with few exceptions (Seattle being the obvious one) that the graphics you see tomorrow and Monday, and on into Thanksgiving week will not be the same graphics you will see at the regular season’s end. The Kingshark Line ofcourse has it’s own set of graphics so to speak (not really) and will break down the playoff scenario’s as they stand before the beginning of play on Sunday (factoring in New Orleans win over Atlanta Thursday night):
NFC (In order of current seeding):
1) Seattle 10-1 (lock for post season); 2) New Orleans 9-2 (lock for post season); 3) Detroit Lions 6-4 (shaky) ; 4) Philadelphia 6-5 (NFC East = shaky, but the cheese stakes are the best in the world) ; 5) Carolina 7-3 (on Saints tail); 6) San Francisco 49ers (must have a strong showing in their final six games)
In the Hunt: Arizona 6-4 (on 49ers tail); Chicago 6-4 (swept by Lions, shaky); Green Bay 5-5 (different team w/o Aaron Rogers); Dallas 5-5 (gets in their own way too much); NY Giants 4-6 (believe it or not); St Louis 4-6 (No, I’m not auditioning here for the local Improv)...
AFC (In order of current seeding):
1) Denver 10-1 (could flip with KC); 2) Indianapolis 7-3 (lock for post season, will win AFC South by default); 3) New England 7-3 (Patriots a lock, penalized one seed for Tom Brady’s usage of foul language at end of Carolina game...jk); 4) Cincinnati 7-4 (still needs to learn how to win pressure games on road, will be critical in January); 5) Kansas City 10-1 (could flip with Denver); 6) New York Jets 5-5 (noticeable drop off once the Jets enter the conversation) ...
In the Hunt: Miami Dolphins 5-5 (trying to get focus back to football), Oakland Raiders 4-6 (believe it or not), Pittsburgh Steelers 4-6 (have chance knowing Jets are sixth seed), Baltimore Ravens 4-6 (hard luck defending champs will need to win out, get help. They did last year and look what happened), Tennessee Titans 4-6 (better chance of Carrie Underwood performing a live concert in your home garage), Cleveland Browns 4-6 (better chance of Drew Carey singing along with Carrie Underwood in the same concert); San Diego 4-6 (just stay classy, some locals expected way too much here. A rebuild is inevitable in SD); Buffalo 4-7 (time for an intervention if you believe this unless you live in Western New York).
Obviously this will be updated each week as needed or relevant. Most teams “In The Hunt” in the AFC will need help, then again when the Jets are number six it pretty much means someone else has a chance.
The Kingshark Line- In Week 11 the KSL went 10-5 for the weekend. In the Thursday Night game the KSL had the Saints over the Falcons 31-17. Currently sitting at 112-53, the KSL continues to give the NFL a run for the money so to speak. However the one thing about picking NFL games as we have learned is that one week you can be on top while the next week you look at some of the picks made and wonder what you were thinking. However what makes the NFL unique is that just when you think you have it all figured out, you realize you don’t. That’s the thrill of the chase. Each week is different. NFL Week 12 will be as unique as any other of the previous 11 weeks before it. This is the time of the season where football and brass tax start to meet. The best teams will be perfecting their game for a likely post season run. The “On the Bubble” teams are looking to do what they can to get through Week 17 and on in to January. And then there is Houston and Jacksonville who at least have decent downtown convention centers. So does Eugene, Oregon. Week 12 is a bye week for the Bills, Bengals, Eagles, Seahawks. Here’s how the KSL sees this week playing out:
NY Jets@Baltimore (CBS)- The NY Jets, a team that can look solid one week and horrendous the next. They are arguable the hardest team to read in the NFL. They hold the sixth seed in the AFC right now. The Baltimore Ravens would love to have that sixth seed. Baltimore out of all the teams in the hunt despite the 4-6 mark still have the experience to overcome their tough luck and find a way into January. This would need to start with this game if the Ravens don’t want to miss the post season just a year after winning it all. The Ravens have been the league’s unluckiest team this year. Joe Flacco may not light up the scoreboard, but has much more in the way of experience with pressure than does Geno Smith. Ravens 23 Jets 13.
Pittsburgh@Cleveland (CBS)- The Browns and Steelers renew their twice a year rivalry as both teams enter the game with 4-6 marks. While 4-6 in Cleveland tends to be somewhat expected, it certainly is not acceptable to most Steelers fans. The Steelers last week had a strong character win over the Lions while the Browns got hammered in Cincinnati. The Steelers need this game to at least have a little bit of daylight in the post season picture. However the Steelers have had way to many problems on offense and not enough plays on defense. If the Browns have one thing going for them in this game is that they have nothing to lose either way. Spoiling any Steelers hopes is something they live for. Will be a tough battle throughout. Steelers 19 Browns 16.
Minnesota@Green Bay (FOX)- The Packers are probably the one team that can honestly say their season turned on a dime with the loss of one key player. Without Aaron Rogers, they are a different team period. Scott Tolzien will start for the Packers as they take on a Vikings team who is just looking to do whatever they can with the remaining schedule ahead of them. The Packers will be doing the same if they can’t right the ship here. The Packers take an ugly one here. They have no other choice really. Packers 20 Vikings 13.
Tampa Bay@Detroit (FOX)- The Lions return home after a splitting a two game road trip in which the more important game was in Chicago. The Lions offense is in a place where they are most comfortable playing and taking on a team that is at this point playing out the schedule. If Matthew Stafford is on his game here the Lions should be able to handle their business. Lions 34 Buccaneers 20.
San Diego@Kansas City (CBS)- The Chiefs enter this game a week removed from their first loss of the season in Denver. The Chiefs get a rematch with their Colorado rivals next week. This is only mentioned to make certain they don’t get caught looking ahead which is the only thing that can really hurt them here. The Chargers are on fumes and are fading after three consecutive losses, two of which were in winnable games. Head Coach Andy Reid should have the Chiefs well focused against a team who does not historically perform well in cold weather games. Sunday’s kickoff calls for a temperature of around 26 degrees. The Chargers played in 74 degrees in Miami last week and couldn’t get it done. Below freezing the following week is simply way too much to ask. That and a road game against one of the NFL’s top teams (and best home teams to boot). This one is not really close. Chiefs 24 Chargers 10.
Carolina@Miami (FOX)- The Panthers enter this game the hottest team in the NFL having won their last six games, including impressive wins over the 49ers and Patriots in the last two weeks. The Carolina defense got a strong test from the Patriots last Monday night and passed despite the controversial call at the end of the game. The Panthers on offense still can struggle at times however when given the opportunity can match points with any team in the 20's or 30's when needed. Cam Newton has a solid supporting cast and is having arguably his best season yet. The Dolphins came up with a much needed win at home last weekend versus the Chargers and are looking to defend the Miami turf against maybe the best team outside of New England and New Orleans that they are playing this season. If the Dolphins can contain Newton they have a good chance to make a game of it. However the Panthers defense is going to bring many challenges to Ryan Tannehill and the Miami offense. The Panthers on paper look to be the better team but it wont be played on paper. Carolina takes this one, Miami makes them earn it in what could be the best game of the day. Panthers 30 Dolphins 27.
Chicago@St Louis (FOX)- The Chicago Bears come into this game tied for the lead in the NFC North division with the rival Lions who hold all tie breakers. The Rams at 4-6 are still mathematically alive but will have to have an unbelievable showing over their next six games to get to January. The Bears last weekend won a brutal battle with Baltimore that went into overtime on a weather beaten field. The good news for the Bears here is that the game is indoors. The Rams are coming off a bye week after their best game of the season in a 30 point rout of the Colts on the road. The Rams however face two problems here, 1) The Bears are not in the AFC South, and 2) the game is not on the road. The Bears are banged up but will fight for a game they need 300 miles away from home. Bears 20 Rams 17.
Jacksonville@Houston (CBS)- The two teams meet twice in the next 11 days in what could conceivable be the two worst football games this season or even in NFL history. Not to say that nobody in either city will watch this game, but odds are a rerun of “The Sound of Music” will probably pull higher TV ratings numbers. Both teams actually in the next 11 days have the rare opportunity of spoiling each other’s bid for the top pick in next year’s NFL draft. This is also a battle between teams with the two ugliest uniforms in the league to boot. Whoever designed them had to foresee this game well in advance. As the old adage goes, “Plenty of Good Seats Are Available”. No Kidding. We haven’t picked Jacksonville all season. Perhaps this is the weekend to get on the Jaguars bandwagon. If you play for the Texans, cut your dreadlocks before the game. Jaguars 13 Texans 10.
Indianapolis@Arizona (CBS)- This will be an interesting watch as Arizona Head Coach Bruce Arians goes up against the team he led last season while their (Indy’s) Head Coach Chuck Pagano was out battling an illness. With Arians on the other sideline the Colts are going up against a team who will have scouted them and know them very well. Meanwhile the Colts are coming off 10 days rest after a much needed win in Tennessee following an embarrassing home loss to the Rams. The Colts have a comfortable lead in the AFC South and probably want to close things out before they can get interesting again. Arizona at 6-4 is tied with the 49ers for second place in the NFC West and is only one tie breaker out of the sixth seed. The Cardinals have played decent football in their three game winning streak and need this game to boost their playoff chances. The Colts have enough to win this game and need it to maintain their current spot as the number two team in the AFC. This has the potential also to be a very good game in it’s own right and should be. Colts 34 Cardinals 31.
Tennessee@Oakland (CBS)- The Raiders return home after stopping the franchise’s ten game road losing streak in Houston last week. The Titans in their last outing 10 days earlier gave the Colts all they could handle before Indy took a thriller in Nashville by three points. The Titans by and large have been a disappointment and have faded considerably after a 3-1 start. With QB Jake Locker out for the season the Titans have hinted they may now be looking ahead to 2014. The Raiders will start Matt McGloin at QB after a successful outing in Houston as Terrell Pryor remains out with injury. Neither team figures to be a factor come January however this is one where pride will be enough of a motivator for both teams. The Raiders right now are the team which is more on an upswing and is actually playing the better football if only slightly. Raiders 23 Titans 19.
Dallas@NY Giants (FOX)- Could it be that the NY Giants at 0-6 had the NFC East if not the entire league right where they wanted them? False sense of security; No way they will come back from 0-6; They’ll be lucky to win a game all year, etc. The Giants at 4-6 have a chance to actually get back in the NFC East race and become the factor they have been in years past. The Cowboys may have been a favorite here but aren’t because they are their own worst enemy. The Cowboys just seem to be prone to become very human when the game is on the line. After an 0-6 start which included an opening week loss at Jerryworld, the Giants have won four in a row and are acting like a team playing with house money. That’s what makes them most dangerous. Giants 24 Cowboys 17.
Denver@New England (NBC)- Sunday Night Football once again features a match that everyone wants to see when the Broncos lead by Peyton Manning face the Patriots led by Tom Brady. This is the 14th time these two QB’s have met, and Manning’s second time as a member of the Broncos. Denver took care of business against the Chiefs in the Mile High City last Sunday night while the Patriots lost a tough game against the Panthers that more or less was decided on the game’s final play. There are a number of arguments you can make for either team either winning or losing this game and they are all valid points. The Patriots at home are one of the NFL’s toughest challenges. If the Broncos can win in Foxboro, it could spark a run that will take them deep into January. Another one of those games where whoever wins will either have the ball last or do just enough to offset what the other team has planned. Patriots at home get a close one. Patriots 31 Broncos 27.
San Francisco@Washington (ESPN)- The 49ers at 6-4 are looking to rebound after two tough losses in a row to Carolina and New Orleans. The Redskins at 3-7 are looking to find something that will make their season meaningful. Colin Kaepernick has struggled since the 49ers bye week as the passing game has dropped all the way to the bottom of the NFL statistically. If the 49ers are to win here they need to find a way to get this working once again. The good news for the red and gold is that the Redskins rank amongst the bottom of the NFL in most defensive categories. The 49ers should be able to run the ball and stretch the field against the Washington defense. Meanwhile RGIII despite completing 60% of his passes this season for over 2,700 yards has not enjoyed the same success he had a year ago. The Redskins can also move the ball but will be challenged by a 49ers defense which is in the top ten in the league. The 49ers are in need of a win and will need to start taking care of business on the road as a wild card is likely going to be their only option to get into the post season tournament. 49ers 27 Redskins 16. For more information on this game please go to this link: http://goldengatereport.com/articles/49ers-begin-wild-card-quest-against-redskins-on-monday-night-football
Follow me on Twitter @Kingshark49
*Mandatory Disclaimer: The Kingshark Line is stickily for entertainment purposes only. I have the same exact information that anyone else has and do not claim to know any more or less than the next guy. This is not to promote or encourage gambling on football or any other sport. No point spreads are played here or implied in any way. Scores are for entertainment purposes only and are only based on team trends, team reports, etc. There is no inside information given here or implied. This is just for your information and entertainment. Enjoy the games.