In this crazy world, you have to have some principles. You have to stand up and take a stand at times.
In Week 13, I’m doing just that.
I have three hills that I’m going to stand at the top of this week. We’ll see if I survive.
Lions at Bears -3
I have not learned my lesson. I’m going back to the well and betting on Mitch Trubisky to win me a game.
The fact of the matter is that a not-insignificant portion of Trubisky’s NFL success has come against the Lions. In his last four games against Detroit, he has 12 touchdown passes and one interception, posting a 124.4 passer rating.
Now, that might be the ol’ Mitch — the one who, let’s not forget, led the Bears to the playoffs not long ago — but I’m expecting the same ol’ Lions.
The Lions finally fired Matt Patricia. It took 18 game weeks longer than it should have, but the action is nevertheless important.
And one might think that without Patricia in the fold, the Lions will no longer run as much man-to-man defense — the kind of defense that Trubisky can actually succeed against.
The problem is, Patricia’s staff is still in charge, and defensive coordinator Cory Undlin said, per the Detroit Free Press, that “you can’t change an entire defense in three days”.
Detroit might sprinkle some more in, but it seems unlikely that the Lions are going to suddenly become a zone team.
Trubisky should cook as a result, and that, plus this impressive Bears’ defense is enough to cover the three points.
Bills (+1) at 49ers (in Arizona)
This game has been on a roller coaster at the books. When the line first hit on Sunday night, the Bills were three-point road favorites.
Well, then the money started pouring in on the 49ers. It hasn’t stopped since. The majority of the tickets still out there are on the Bills, but all that cash on San Francisco shifted the line four full points and made the Niners a favorite.
The argument for the Niners is simple: they are getting dudes back left and right and they have an elite rushing attack with Raheem Mostert in the backfield. The Bills can’t stop the run.
But is that enough for a four-point swing?
I look at Buffalo and see a team with a mobile and sometimes prolific quarterback. The 49ers have struggled mightily against quarterbacks who can run over the last few years — it’s such a glaring issue for San Francisco that teams without mobile quarterbacks make their quarterbacks run.
I also would like to note that the 49ers have Nick Mullens starting at quarterback.
But feel free to bet on him as a favorite. I’m willing to go down on this hill, too.
Adding to the chaos is the fact that the game is in Arizona. The 49ers had to move out of the Bay Area this week because of new COVID restrictions in Santa Clara County. Is their new “bubble” a benefit or detriment?
We’ll find out, but in the meantime, I’ll take that free point. I was in on Buffalo -2…
New Orleans at Atlanta +3
The final hill of Week 13: Taysom.
He’s just not good at this.
Now, there’s no doubt that the Saints’ defense is legit. It’s the real deal. But the Falcons have pieced together something effective, particularly on the defensive side of things since firing Dan Quinn.
Hill averaged roughly the same amount of yards rushing and passing against the Broncos last week. A conservative gameplan against a team that didn’t have a quarterback? Sure. But why would you think that Atlanta wouldn’t have made the proper adjustments to the game plan from these two teams’ game two weeks ago, when Hill threw for 233 yards but had half a dozen interceptable passes.
I’ll take those points because I think those passes will be intercepted this week.