December 14, 2012

Which 12 would you build around? + Week 15 picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

In case you didn’t notice, earlier this week was the date 12/12/12. I’m sure if you were on Facebook or Twitter, you couldn’t have avoided a maelstrom of updates regarding the rarity of the day. Even most sports websites ran some sort of feature about who was the best No. 12 in any given sport.

Well, I hate to kick a dead horse its mouth or whatever the expression is but here’s my question: Which No. 12 in the NFL would you want if you were starting a team now?

Would you go with grizzled veteran and three-time Super Bowl-winner Tom Brady? Would you go with probably the best current quarterback in the game, Aaron Rodgers? Or how about hotshot rookie and first-round pick Andrew Luck?

First things first, Tom Brady is a future hall of famer and is still playing at an incredible level. He led one of the most prolific offences ever and is currently at the helm of a squad that could shatter the record for most first downs in a season. But, he’s significantly older than the other two guys. So even though you could build around an all-time great, you would only be building with him for the next five years tops.

Next, we have another Super Bowl-winner, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. While he may stink at acting in TV commercials, he’s a maestro on the field. Four years in a row he has had a QB rating of more than 100 and has tossed total of 132 TDs to only 32 interceptions in that period. The thing is he plays on one of the most talented teams in the league, so how much about his stats are really him? We did see Matt Flynn throw for six TDs, nearly 500 yards and a huge contract in one game controlling this offence last year. Also, don’t forget that thanks to spending three years behind Brett Favre, Rodgers is older than you probably would have guessed at 29 year old.

Then there’s the 2012 first-overall pick, Andrew Luck. He has already shown the clutch ability to lead his team to late wins and has quadrupled the amount of wins that Indy had last year. He’s young, talented and even more athletic than most give him credit for. But, we’ve seen the league figure out first-year guys pretty fast – look at Cam Newton – so there’s no telling what the future really holds for Luck.

So who do you go with? Well, if I’m building my team from the ground, I’ll take the middle ground and take Rodgers. You get more years out of him than with Brady and a better guarantee of quality than with Luck.

The lines are from 5Dimes and the home teams are in CAPS.

Green Bay -3 over CHICAGO

Jay Cutler is banged up, the Pack is getting Clay Matthews back and the Bears are sliding at the worst possible time.

New York Giants +1 over ATLANTA

I’m not ready to trust the Falcons in a game in against a contender when they just lost to the Panthers.

NEW ORLEANS -3 over Tampa Bay

This one should be a high-scoring affair. Neither side can defend the pass, but take the Saints since they’re better at airing it out.

Minnesota +1.5 over ST. LOUIS

Adrian Peterson is all the Vikings need to win a game. Even if they are on the road against a better team.

CLEVELAND (NL) over Washington

Even if RG3 plays, how well will he be able to run on his injured knee? He was hobbled at practice and the read option doesn’t work so well if he can’t roll out.

Jacksonville +8 over MIAMI

The Jags play better on the road and the Dolphins barely have a home-field advantage.

Denver -2.5 over BALTIMORE

The Ravens are a better team at home, but the Broncos know how valuable getting home-field advantage can be for them in the playoffs.

HOUSTON -9.5 over Indianapolis

The Texans were just embarrassed by the Pats and will be looking to extract some vengeance and finally clinch their division.

SAN DIEGO -2.5 over Carolina

The Chargers win in Pittsburgh I’m going to call a fluke, but the Panthers win over the Falcons was all emotion.

Seattle -5.5 over BUFFALO

Buffalo is only the “home” team here and Seattle are on a run to the playoffs.

ARIZONA +7 over Detroit

You can’t give seven points to a home dog when you’re only a 4-8 team that can’t defend – even if Ryan Lindley is starting at QB.

Pittsburgh -1 over DALLAS

The Steelers are always better when it comes to make-or-break time. That’s also when the Cowboys usually falter.

OAKLAND -2.5 over Kansas City

What a terrible game. This one’s basically just for bragging rights and at least the Raiders have Darren McFadden.

NEW ENGLAND -5.5 over San Francisco

Bill Belichick showed on Monday that he’s still a defensive genius against the Texans. He should be able to scheme up something to slow down Colin Kaepernick.

New York Jets +1 over TENNESSEE

This might be the worst Monday Night Football game ever played. It will at least be the least interesting. I’ll take the Jets to somehow keep their improbable playoff hopes alive.

This week:  1-0
Last week: 8-8
This season: 103-101-9

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