Week 13 of the NFL season is now in the history books. The Rams are coming off a game for the ages, pummelling the Oakland Raiders 52-0. This week the Rams head to the nation's capital to face the Washington Redskins. For the first time in what seems like forever, the Rams are favored to win a game on the road. It's also time for Dubs to make a move on the leaders, in the weekly Pigskin Picks contest!
This season has produced many surprises, but none more unexpected than the rise and fall of teams in the NFC. Last year, the Saints, Seahawks, 49ers, and Panthers had a combined record of 48-16. This season, they're a combined 23-24-1. In contrast, the Lions, Cowboys, and Cardinals were a combined 25-23 in 2013. In 2014, they're sporting a combined 25-11 record. Such is the ebb and flow of the NFL from season-to-season.
Week 13 Results
|Week||Wins Straight Up||Wins vs Spread||Hot Picks vs. Spread||Rams Straight Up|
|Last Week||10 6||8 8||1 2||1 0|
|Season||135 56 1||110 81 1||20 18 1||6 6|
Pickwatch is a site devoted to tracking weekly picks results from NFL experts, analysts, and media types. This year, they're tracking 129 experts on a weekly basis. I'm competing against them again this season, and will publish the weekly results!
How did I fare against the experts in Week 13? There were many close games last weekend, and a number of upsets. My 10-6 record was just enough to remain alone in 3'rd place in the overall standings, only 1 win behind the leaders, CBS Sports' Jamey Eisenberg and PFF's Gordon McGuinness. There's plenty of time left in the season to overtake the leaders. In 2013, it took me until Week 15 to catch - and surpass - the leaders. TST's own Ryan Van Bibber stands in a tie for 102'nd overall, with a record of 116-75 on the season.
How did I make out with my "Hot Picks Against The Spread" last week? The Colts won and easily covered the spread. Cincinnati won but didn't cover the spread against Tampa Bay. Arizona lost to Atlanta on the road. Record for the week: 1-2.
2014 NFL Team Records
|NFL ATS RANKINGS|
Dubs' Pigskin Picks - Week 14
|Home||Away||Spread||Straight Up||Vs. Spread||Score|
|Chicago||Dallas||Dal 3 1/2||Dallas||Dallas||27 21|
|Cincinnati||Pittsburgh||Cin 3||Cincinnati||Cincinnati||27 23|
|Cleveland||Indianapolis||Ind 3 1/2||Indianapolis||Indianapolis||27 20|
|Detroit||Tampa Bay||Det 10 1/2||Detroit||Detroit||31 20|
|Tennessee||NY Giants||Even||Tennessee||Tennessee||24 21|
|Miami||Baltimore||Mia 2 1/2||Miami||Miami||23 20|
|Minnesota||NY Jets||Min 7||Minnesota||Minnesota||28 20|
|New Orleans||Carolina||NO 11||New Orleans||New Orleans||34 17|
|Washington||St. Louis||STL 2 1/2||St. Louis||St. Louis||23 16|
|Jacksonville||Houston||Hou 5 1/2||Houston||Houston||28 21|
|Denver||Buffalo||Den 10||Denver||Denver||27 14|
|Arizona||Kansas City||Even||Arizona||Arizona||20 17|
|Oakland||San Francisco||SF 9 1/2||San Francisco||San Francisco||27 13|
|San Diego||New England||NE 3 1/2||New England||New England||24 20|
|Green Bay||Atlanta||GB 13||Green Bay||Green Bay||33 17|
Hot Picks Against The Spread
Green Bay over Atlanta - The Packers have won 4 in a row, and are 6-0 at home this season. They should win by a couple of TD's, over an inconsistent Falcons team.
San Francisco over Oakland - The 49ers are fighting for their playoff lives, and can't afford a loss to the lowly Raiders. The Raiders are reeling after a 52-0 loss to the Rams.
Houston over Jacksonville - The Texans are fighting for a playoff spot, and are 4-2 on the road against the spread.
Check out The Sports Geek for NFL picks, betting odds, tips, and strategies. The site is loaded with information related to sports betting.
St. Louis Rams @ Washington Redskins
Keys for the Rams vs. Washington
- The Rams must get off to a fast start in Sunday's game. In each of their seven victories last season, the Rams were either tied or leading at the half. The Rams were leading or tied at the half in all five of their victories this season.
- Winning the turnover battle. In six of their seven wins last year, the Rams had a positive turnover differential, and a zero differential in the other victory. The correlation is holding true again this season. The Rams had a negative turnover differential in three of their losses, a zero differential in the other four losses, a zero turnover differential in three of their wins, and a positive differential in their last two wins. Turnovers were one of the deciding factors in the Rams' big win over Oakland in Week 13.
- The Rams must establish the running game. If Tre Mason can once again rush for 100 yards, the Rams have good chance to win this game. The Rams face a Washington defense ranked 9'th in the league in fewest rushing yards allowed per game (102.8).
- Minimizing mistakes and penalties. When the Rams play disciplined football, they win games. The Rams are 3-0 when they have a positive team penalty yards differential, and are 2-7 when they have more penalty yards than their opponent.
- Pressuring QB Colt McCoy. Through 12 games, the Redskins have allowed the 2nd-highest number of sacks in the NFL (39). McCoy had a big game against Indianapolis last week, throwing for 392 yards and 3 touchdowns (with no interceptions).
- Shaun Hill will again lead a conservative, ball-controlling Rams offense. A clean, mistake-free game like the one's against Denver and Oakland is all that's expected of him.
Prediction: Rams 23 - Washington 16
The Rams have been wildly inconsistent this season, particularly in the last 8 games. Big wins followed by perplexing losses. Over the last 8 games, the Rams have won all four games on odd weeks, and lost all four games on even weeks. If recent history is any indicator, the Rams are due for a loss in Week 14. They break the cycle this weekend. These two teams are heading in opposite directions. The Rams will finally put together back-to-back winning performances.
Perspective On The Rams Versus The Redskins
ESPN's Nick Wagoner and John Keim preview the game between the Rams and Redskins.
- Washington lost its fourth straight game, 49-27, at Indianapolis last week. The 49 points allowed were the most allowed by the Redskins in a game since a 59-28 loss at home to Philadelphia on Monday Night Football Week 10 of the 2010 season.
- St. Louis demolished the Raiders last week at home, 52-0. It was the first 50-point game for the Rams since Kurt Warner led the Rams to a 57-31 win over San Diego on October 1, 2000, and their biggest win since beating Atlanta 59-0 on December 4, 1976.
- This season marks the Rams' 20th in St. Louis. From 1995 to 2005, the Redskins won five of six games against the Rams, but the Rams have won four of the last six games against the Redskins, including the last meeting on September 16, 2012 (Rams won 31-28).
- Stedman Bailey entered Week 11's game at San Diego with eight receptions and 86 receiving yards on the season. Over the last two weeks, Bailey has 12 catches for 189 yards. His 100-yard performance last week against Oakland was just the second 100-yard receiving game of the season for the Rams (also Kenny Britt, 128 yards vs. Broncos).
- Tre Mason ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns while adding 47 yards and a touchdown on pass receptions. Mason's 562 rushing yards trails only Jeremy Hill (683) among NFL rookies this season.
- Jordan Reed had a breakout game receiving in the losing effort against the Colts, leading the Redskins with 123 yards, but still has yet to find the end zone this season. His 123 yards receiving were more than in his previous three games combined (79).
CBS Sports' Pat Kirwan and Pete Prisco preview Sunday's game between the St. Louis Rams and Washington Redskins.