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Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 16 Analysis/Review/Notes

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Dec 26, 2019
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Monday, December 23, 2019 Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings (NFL) - 8:15 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -200 Minnesota Vikings Rating: 9* Mike's NFL Public Missed Perception Play (LOSS) Before the mushes got EVERYTHING down on their beloved Pack (their Flavor Of The Week), they should have looked @ how they've done on the road of late instead of their 11-3 SU record. Yes, Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins (3,481 passing yards, 70.5% completions, 25/5 TD/INT ratio & a superb 111.1 QBR) is a perfect 0-8 SU & ATS when it comes to Monday night, but I strongly feel that gets shattered here even without leading TD man (13) -- RB Dalvin Cook. The X-Factor for this game is NOT Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers (3,463 passing yards, 63.3% completions, 24/2 TD/INT ratio & a 100.4 QBR). It rests on the Vikings' coaching staff OC Kevin Stefanski, Offensive advisor & 25-yr vet Gary Kubiak & QB Coach Klint Kubiak who installed a moving pocket for Cousins that's paid BIG dividends. If it wasn't for some defensive lapses versus KC & Seattle, that new wrinkle would have Minnesota undefeated since its inception. My bottom line says that Green Bay had trouble disposing a predictable Cousins back in Week 2 (21-16), what's in store for the "Green & Gold" on the road? Who keeps the sticks moving better? The answer is the Vikings who enjoy a 44.1% to 35.5% advantage on 3rd-down conversions. They now take on a Cheeseheads' squad that's lost its last 2 roadies (minus the NYG) by a 37-8 count @ 12-3 SF & a 26-11 score @ the 5-10 L.A. Chargers. We'll stick with HC Mike Zimmer whose innovative on defense & knows how to utilize his trademark double A gap defense (positions LB's over gaps which keeps offense on their toes to see if its a blitz or drop back). I think he gets consistent play from his secondary to seal the deal here. I'm confident that's going to happen with a Purple People Eater record of 6-0 SU @ home entering in. I can't trust a GB team (even with Rodgers) that's getting out-gained by an average of 35 YPG each week. Their record clearly tells me they've been very fortunate. Let's head to U.S. bank Stadium in Minneapolis to play the MINNESOTA VIKINGS as my NFL Public Missed Perception Play! Sunday, December 22, 2019 Carolina Panthers vs. Indianapolis Colts (NFL) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 6.5/-105 Carolina Panthers Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Game Of The Also-Rans (LOSS) This one is basically for who gets to the golf course first! My Colts have been a disappointment with WR T.Y. Hilton injure for a major part of the season. Frank Reich is an excellent head coach. However, there is so much you can do with a lack of playmakers. It looks like the Rivera-less Panthers have far from given up with their loss to the Seahawks last week. Indianapolis were in every game MINUS Tennessee before last week's blowout loss @ New Orleans on Monday night. Yes, the Horseshoes are operating on a short week in the hefty favorite role with nothing to play for. My bottom line points out that Indy definitely SHOULDN'T risk further calf issues by pressing Hilton further in a meaningless contest here. This game pits the Colts' #9-ranked rushing defense versus the Panthers' #13-ranked rushing offense with their featured RB Christian McCaffrey who became the 1st RB in the history of the franchise to gain 2,000 yards from scrimmage AND only the 7th in the NFL with over 1,200 rushing yards along with more than 750 receiving yards. McCaffrey & the Carolina faithful get to watch the debut of 3rd-string QB Will Grier who played his earlier NCAA career @ SEC Florida before transferring to the Big 12's West Virginia for the last 2 seasons. Colts ORT Braden Smith (2nd-year out of Auburn) will have his hands full with Carolina's front-four bookends in 9-year vet Mario Addison & rookie Brian Burns. I cannot see RB Marlon Mack running wild versus a front-7 anchored by Luke Kuechly. In the numbers clearly slows that Carolina has has BIG success versus teams from the AFC South going a perfect 9-0 SU & a take-me-to-the-window 8-1 ATS! We'll confidently go to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to play the CAROLINA PANTHERS (buying to a key + 8 1/2) as my 8* NFL Game Of The Also-Rans! Cincinnati Bengals vs. Miami Dolphins (NFL) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 0/-110 Cincinnati Bengals Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Ugly Pig Game Of The Week (LOSS) I HIGHLY doubt there will be a lot of fans in Miami for this game between teams with a combined record of 4-24 SU. What intrigues me about this game is the opportunity for the Bengals to get 1 last win BEFORE they seal their chances of getting #1 draft pick & QB Joe Burrow out of L.S.U. after finishing the season with a loss @ home to Cleveland. On the flip side of the sidelines, we find a Dolphins' team that gets a chance NEXT WEEK to play their SUPER BOWL versus their hated rival, the New England Patriots (Fish lost 43-0 to them in Miami in Week 2). O'h yes, Dolphins' QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will still be slinging jump balls to WR DeVante Parker & TE Mike Geisicki in hopes they come down with a decent gainer. However, so will Bengals' QB Andy "Red Rifle" Dalton being doing the same for Cincinnati. The better pass defense of these 2 actually dons "Orange & Black" as the "Boys from Ohio" rank a smooth 15th while the "Turquoise & Orange" chime a distant 24th in that category. My bottom line says it's time to crunch some SERIOUS numbers. The Fish have been out-gained in 12 of 14 games this season & have been @ a league-high deficit of -109 yards per game throughout. Their past home finales haven't produce much results as the Flippers have lost their last 5 of 6 SU & ATS coming in. This fits like a glove for us since ex-Horned Frog & 9-year vet Andy Dalton is a stellar 9-3 SU & a money-making 9-2-1 versus the number against - .600 opponents when he takes to the road in the month of December. Sealing the deal is the Bengals' 11-4 ATS record as an away dog. Nope, we're not by HC Brian Flores getting his troops sky-high here with that revenge game with New England on deck. Let's go to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens to play the CINCINNATI BENGALS as my 8* NFL Ugly Pig Game Of The Week! Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chicago Bears (NFL) - 8:20 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -285 Kansas City Chiefs Rating: 9* Mike's NFL Headliner Moneyliner (WIN) It's easy to say that Mitch Trubisky is loose & will be firing salvos all day versus a KC team that sealed up their division awhile back. But if anyone knows HC Andy "The Walrus" Reid, NEXT WEEK might be that time to lay off the gas a little if the game can't improve things dramatically for the playoffs. However, the Chiefs have built some SERIOUS momentum since their bye week out-scoring opponents by an average score of 27 to 9. In that 3-game stretch was a pivotal road win over a New England team that came into this campaign 17-0 SU @ home. In fact, it was this same Andy Reid team that went into Foxborough just 2 seasons ago & embarrassed the Patriots 42-27 in their season opener. Even though the stats show that the Chiefs' "D" ranks 18th overall & 11th versus the pass, 20-year veteran DC Steve Spagnuolo (who Reid brought in from his successful years @ Philadelphia) is seeing his defense starting to gel with his 4-3 defensive scheme taking root with GM Brett Veach bringing in newcomers DE Frank Clark, DE Alex Okafor & secondary playmaker & S Tyrann Mathieu. What would this "D" be like if they held on to their 1st round draft pick of 4 years ago in CB Marcus Peters? At any rate, they've recorded 39 sacks (versus 24 to Mahomes) & intercepted 14 balls (versus 4 from Mahomes) along with improving their 3rd-down conversion yield to 35.4% (their offense coverts @ 45.8%). My bottom line says Chicago OLB's Khalil Mack & Leonard Floyd may have some early success with containing Pat Mahomes from getting outside the pocket. However, look for KC's field general to find success downfield to #1 target/TE Travis Kelce as well as to big-play WR's Tyreek Hill & rookie out of Georgia Mecole Hardiman as the game progresses. Remember, Reid was Bears' HC Matt Nagy's former mentor & Mahomes doesn't forget Chicago passed him up in the dradt for now QB Mitchell Trubisky. With Trubisky having a vanilla 17-10 TD/INT ratio & a low 84.2 QBR (Mahomes is @ 23/4 & a 106.2 QBR), I look for Bears' mistakes down the stretch leading to a close KC outright win. Let's fly up to historic Soldier Field to play the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS with confidence as my NFL Headliner Moneyliner! Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) - 4:25 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -135 Dallas Cowboys Rating: 10* Mike's 10* NFC Least Survivor (LOSS) I've scoured & dug deep into the archives to find ENOUGH reasons to play Eagles in an upset. I haven't found much! Forget last week's games, Jerry Jones, Philly struggling with Washington & concentrate on fundamental football. Dallas is not only the better football team here but is very RELAXED playing in the "City Of Brotherly Love". They've won there 6 out of the last 7 seasons SU AND even won there 20-10 just 4 seasons ago when they were a 4-12 SU team! The past 2 seasons have seen the Pokes win 27-20 last year while also winning 6-0 the year the Eagles won it all. I feel getting TE Jason Witten out of retirement & obtaining WR Randall Cobb from the Packers are key cogs in becoming NFC Least champions. My bottom line says there are too many inconsistencies with QB Carson Wentz. I can't see how 24-year veteran DC Rod Marinelli can't get his defense to expose them. Let's go to Lincoln Financial Field to play the DALLAS COWBOYS as my 10* NFC Least Survivor! Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks (NFL) - 4:25 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 9.5/-110 Arizona Cardinals Rating: 10* Mike's Barking Out Loud Dogger/Divisional Grudge Match Play (WIN) Has ANYONE taken a close look @ this rivalry of late with emphasis placed on the last 2 weeks of the season AND @ this venue. Three seasons ago, the 5-8-1 SU Cardinals won OUTRIGHT in Week 16 by a 34-31 count as 8-point dogs. Two years ago, 8-7-1 SU Arizona won OUTRIGHT again in Week 17 (26-24) in that familiar 8-point underdog role. In 2018 @ this venue, the 3-12 SU Cards did come up on the short end of a 27-24 verdict but EASILY covered the inflated number of +14. Are we seeing a pattern here? In each of those past 3 games, Seattle was either coming off exhausting games (Kansas City & Dallas) OR they were looking forward to a key divisional rivalry in their finale (SF). This season, the Seahawks have a heated game with San Francisco @ home immediately on deck that should determine the NFC West. In order to get BEEFED up for the SF game, HC Pete Carroll is resting defensive stalwarts like Jadeveon Clowney, Ziggy Ansah & Mychal Kendricks to name a few so they can heal enough to give the Hawks' a fighting chance to get the "W" in front of the 12th man next week. My bottom line says this line looks better than good if we're getting double-digits since the last 3 have been decided by a total of 8 points! For this Late-Steamer, I'm eager to jet up to Washington, skip the Space Needle & go directly to CenturyLink field to play the ARIZONA CARDINALS (buying to a savory + 11 1/2) as my 10* Barking Out Loud Dogger/Divisional Grudge Match Play! Saturday, December 21, 2019 Houston Texans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -160 Houston Texans Rating: 9* Mike's Playoff Bound'r (WIN) The Buccaneers may have an excellent HC in Bruce Arians. However, we just cannot trust QB Jameis Winston (who could be destined for the 1st ever 30/30 Club for a QB) especially without WR Mike Evans (67 catches for 1,157 receiving yards, 17.3 YPC & 8 TD's) & Chris Godwin (86 catches for 1,333 receiving yards, 15.5 YPC & 9 TD's) who are the 2nd & 3rd best receivers in yardage in the NFL. Even though Winston has passed for an amazing 4,573 yards, his 24 INT's has him @ a very ho-hum 87.9 QBR. I'd rather go with the better QB in Deshaun Watson (3,668 passing yards, 67.8% completions, 26/11 TD/INT ratio & good for a nifty 100.4 QBR). We won't be asking for the cover since the number has risen. However, we will be putting some extreme faith in the Texans to squeak out the SU win. Let's go to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to play the HOUSTON TEXANS on the ML as my 9* Playoff Bound'r! Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots (NFL) - 4:30 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 6.5/-105 Buffalo Bills Rating: 9* Mike's Strongest Play Of The Day (WIN) What? You think the Patriots are going to lose 2 in a row @ home? Hey, if it wasn't for Dallas self-destructing in a narrow 13-9 loss in Foxborough 4 weeks ago, we might be looking @ possibly 3 in a row. I fell the New England offense CAN'T be trusted. Minus Cincinnati, the Tea Men are averaging 17 PPG over the last month. That's right, 17! In meeting one when the Patriots were much healthier on both sides of the ball, they only beat Buffalo on the road 16-10 AND that's after getting 4 INT's a blocked punt for a TD! The Bills actually out-gained them 375-224 & had a 23-11 1st down edge in that game. My bottom line says Bills' X-Factor RB Devin Singletary (729 rushing yards, 5.4 YPR, 2 TD's, 192 receiving yards, 6.9 YPC & 2 more TD's) wasn't carrying the ball in meeting 1. That's going to make a difference for a team that's already won 2 nationally televised games SU in Dallas & Pittsburgh. Numbers don't lie as these NY up-staters have risen to the occasion in this familiar road underdog role going a near-perfect 4-0-1 ATS as well as a nifty 6-1 SU overall on the road. This game is still about the numbers & they show Buffalo having their worst road defeat by 3 points. another key item to mention is the fact that leading WR Julian Edelman is forced to play hurt. Tom Brady's ability to NOT stretch the field on a consistent basis looms large here. Those are BIG factors determining this decision. Remember, HC Sean McDermott & Co. want to force NE into a 1st weekend Wild Card matchup with giving them a SU loss here! With Josh Allen & Brady having a QBR difference of just about 2 (84.6% to 86.5%), I'm ready to go to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough to play the BUFFALO BILLS (buying to + 8 1/2) with sprinkling some pasta on the ML as my 9* Strongest Play Of The Day! NOTES: Had that very deep card going & was expecting a 6-2. Settled for a crappy 4-4 as the Bengals came up short in OT (was teetering to buy to + 3 1/2 but settled for the ML?), the Cowboys LIED about the status of QB Dak Prescott's injury (pretty much killing their chances) & the Vikes' QB Kurt Cousins regressed after looking ultra-sharp in his moving pocket system for the past 5-6 weeks? However, we;ll still take the 10* win on Arizona, sharp moves on Kansas City & Houston with the key buy points win with Buffalo + 8 1/2 over NE! Enough said as we move on. Let's brace ourselves for a flurry! Here's my NFL Top 12 Power Ratings heading into Week 17: 1) Baltimore Ravens 2) San Francisco 49ers 3) New Orleans Saints 4) Kansas City Chiefs 5) Green Bay Packers 6) New England Patriots 7) Seattle Seahawks 8) Buffalo Bills 9) Houston Texans 10) Minnesota Vikings 11) Tennessee Titans 12) 2-way tie between the Dallas Cowboys & Philadelphia Eagles Mike Handzelek's 2019 Week 16 NFL Record: 4-4 for a humbling 50% Mike Handzelek's 2019-20 NFL Overall Seasonal Record: 41-33 for a sub-par 55%

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