November 2012


NEW YORK (AP) -- In David O. Russell's ''Silver Linings Playbook,'' Bradley Cooper plays an unstable former teacher trying to improve himself after exiting a mental institution. When his character, Pat Solitano, consults his otherwise level-headed psychiatrist Dr. Cliff Patel (Anupam Kher) on whether a Philadelphia Eagles' jersey is appropriate attire for a dinner party, Patel questions which jersey. On hearing that it's star wide-receiver DeSean Jackson, he responds unequivocally:
COMMENTARY | With the white-hot Washington Redskins and Robert Griffin III next on the docket, how well do you think New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is sleeping these days?
As bad as things are going for the Dallas Cowboys, it's that much worse for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey spent two seasons (2004-05) as head coach of the Bills and will need to solve the riddle at the quarterback position to avoid a similar short stay in Jacksonville. Chad Henne has stepped in for the injured Blaine Gabbert to pass for 615 yards with six touchdowns and one interception in helping lead the Jaguars to an overtime loss against the AFC South-leading Houston Texans and defeating the Tennessee Titans last Sunday. Kudos to Bills head coach Chan Gailey for finally handing the starting running back job to C.J. Spiller. Pick: Bills 23, Jaguars 20 Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears With starting cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner facing four-game suspensions for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy, this is a must-win game for the 6-5 Seahawks. Fortunately, unless both players drop their appeals — which isn't going to happen — Sherman and Browner will play against a banged-up Bears team that has already ruled out wide receiver/return specialist Devin Hester and left guard Chris Spencer, a former Seahawks' first-round pick who was injured in his first start as a replacement for an ineffective Chilo Rachal at left guard. Matt Forte and Lance Briggs are banged up, too, which should help the Seahawks win in Soldier Field for a second consecutive season. Pick: Seahawks 21, Bears 16 Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions Since Chuck Pagano's leukemia diagnosis, the Colts are 6-2 and have a final five-week schedule that sets them up for a 10-win season, 11 if they can split with the Texans, who they'll play twice in the final three weeks of the regular season. At the start of the season, this game was likely circled as a "W" for the Lions, who at 4-7 are in last place in the NFC North and are among the league's bigger disappointments. Pick: Colts 20, Lions 17 Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers Playing without Greg Jennings, Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and a pair of first-round offensive tackles (Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod) who were drafted to replace Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher was bound to catch up to the Packers. And it did so in a major way in last Sunday night's 38-10 loss to the Giants. Green Bay should rebound at home against a Vikings team that will likely be without it's most versatile offensive weapon, wide receiver Percy Harvin, who has been unable to practice due to a sprained left ankle. Pick: Packers 31, Vikings 24 Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs Give the Chiefs credit: They hung tough against the Broncos last Sunday, even leading the game in the second half for the first time in what has been an absolutely miserable season. Since the Chiefs ended the 2011 Packers' attempt at an undefeated season on Dec. 18, 2011, they are 0-7 in regular-season games at Arrowhead Stadium, including an 0-6 mark entering December. The franchise needs and will likely get a front office and coaching overhaul, but it'll upset the Panthers, who are heading back on the road after beating the Eagles in Philadelphia on Monday night. Pick: Chiefs 23, Panthers 21 New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins The last time the Patriots played in Miami, Tom Brady passed for 517 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-24 blowout win. The Dolphins are much improved under first-year head coach Joe Philbin, who has the team in the playoff race entering December despite playing a rookie quarterback who had less than 20 starts at the college level. The Patriots have won 11 straight games in the month of December and Bill Belichick is notoriously harsh on rookie quarterbacks. Pick: Patriots 38, Dolphins 28
Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey spent two seasons (2004-05) as head coach of the Bills and will need to solve the riddle at the quarterback position to avoid a similar short stay in Jacksonville. Chad Henne has stepped in for the injured Blaine Gabbert to pass for 615 yards with six touchdowns and one interception in helping lead the Jaguars to an overtime loss against the NFC South-leading Houston Texans and defeating the Tennessee Titans last Sunday. Kudos to Bills head coach Chan Gailey for finally handing the starting running back job to C.J. Spiller. Pick: Bills 23, Jaguars 20 Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears With starting cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner facing four-game suspensions for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy, this is a must-win game for the 6-5 Seahawks. Fortunately, unless both players dropping their appeals — which isn't going to happen — Sherman and Browner will play against a banged-up Bears team that has already ruled out wide receiver/return specialist Devin Hester and left guard Chris Spencer, a former Seahawks' first-round pick who was injured in his first start as a replacement for an ineffective Chilo Rachal at left guard. Matt Forte and Lance Briggs are banged up, too, which should help the Seahawks win in Soldier Field for a second consecutive season. Pick: Seahawks 21, Bears 16 Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions Since Chuck Pagano's leukemia diagnosis, the Colts are 6-2 and have a final five-week schedule that sets them up for a 10-win season, 11 if they can split with the Texans, who they'll play twice in the final three weeks of the regular season. At the start of the season, this game was likely circled as a "W" for the Lions, who at 4-7 are in last place in the NFC North and are among the league's bigger disappointments. Pick: Colts 20, Lions 17 Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers Playing without Greg Jennings, Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and a pair of first-round offensive tackles (Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod) who were drafted to replace Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher was bound to catch up to the Packers. And it did so in a major way in last Sunday night's 38-10 loss to the Giants. Green Bay should rebound at home against a Vikings team that will likely be without it's most versatile offensive weapon, wide receiver Percy Harvin, who has been unable to practice due to a sprained left ankle. Pick: Packers 31, Vikings 24 Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs Give the Chiefs credit: they hung tough against the Broncos last Sunday, even leading the game in the second half for the first time in what has been an absolutely miserable season. Since the Chiefs ended the 2011 Packers' attempt at an undefeated season on Dec. 18, 2011, they are 0-7 in regular season games at Arrowhead Stadium, including an 0-6 mark entering December. The franchise needs and will likely get a front office and coaching overhaul, but they'll upset the Panthers, who are heading back on the road after beating the Eagles in Philadelphia on Monday night. Pick: Chiefs 23, Panthers 21 New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins The last time the Patriots played in Miami, Tom Brady passed for 517 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-24 blowout win. The Dolphins are much improved under first-year head coach Joe Philbin, who has the team in the playoff race entering December despite playing a rookie quarterback who had less than 20 starts at the college level. The Patriots have won 11 straight games in the month of December and Bill Belichick is notoriously harsh on rookie quarterbacks. Pick: Patriots 38, Dolphins 28
Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has taken the National Football League by storm, but the New York Giants have nothing to worry about this Sunday, as long as Eli Manning is under center for Big Blue. Since becoming New York's quarterback in 2004, Manning is 11-5 against division rival Washington, with a couple of come-from-behind wins to his credit. As the Giants and Redskins get set to renew their long-standing rivalry at FedEx Field on Monday Night Football (Dec. 3), here's a look back at five memorable Manning moments against Washington.
Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has taken the National Football League by storm, but the New York Giants have nothing to worry about this Sunday, as long as Eli Manning is under center for Big Blue. Since becoming New York's quarterback in 2004, Manning is 11-5 against division rival Washington, with a couple of come-from-behind wins to his credit. As the Giants and Redskins get set to renew their long-standing rivalry at FedEx Field on Monday Night Football (Dec. 3), here's a look back at five memorable Manning moments against Washington.
ATLANTA -- Drew Brees' trip to Georgia began with the team bus getting egged and concluded with the rottenest performance of his illustrious career.
The Atlanta Falcons jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half and their defense forced five turnovers in defeating the New Orleans Saints 23-13 on Thursday night. Atlanta used their running game to take an early lead as Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers would combine for five carries for 71 yards on the Falcons' six-play, 80-yard touchdown drive on the opening possession of the game. The Saints would respond, moving down to the Falcons' 37-yard line before Drew Brees was intercepted in the end zone by safety Thomas DeCoud. The Falcons would increase their lead early in the second quarter when Matt Ryan hit future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez for a 17-yard touchdown. For Gonzalez, it was his seventh touchdown of the 2012 season and No. 102 of his 16-year career. Atlanta would add a 45-yard field goal midway through the second quarter after Brees threw a pass slightly behind running back Chris Ivory who knocked the ball into the air and the awaiting arms of linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. New Orleans would respond, driving 80 yards in 11 plays before Mark Ingram would punch the ball into the end zone for 1-yard out. The Saints had an opportunity to put even more points on the scoreboard before halftime, but an offensive pass interference penalty on tight end Jimmy Graham negated a 7-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Darren Sproles. Questionable time management in a sequence where Brees dumped a pair of passes off over the middle to Sproles resulted in the final 45 seconds running off the clock without the Saints putting any points on the scoreboard.
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons jumped out to a big lead and held on to bury the New Orleans Saints, 23-13, Thursday night in the Georgia Dome.

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