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Home / Articles / Mike Handzelek NFL Week 12 Analysis/Review/Notes/Power Rankings

Mike Handzelek NFL Week 12 Analysis/Review/Notes/Power Rankings

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Dec 1, 2021
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Sunday, November 28, 2021 Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers (NFL) - 4:25 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -165 San Francisco 49ers Rating: 9* Mike's NFL Analytic Nightmare Play (WIN) Both of these 5-5 SU squads know that this game will most likely have Wild Card implications. The winner can actually go up 2 games on the loser via the head-to-head playoff tiebreaker. Even though the current Vikings are NFC's 6th-seed, they had to play hard & physical for 60 minutes in beating hated divisional rival Green Bay 34-31. Their defense looks like a MASH unit right now with CB Bashaud Breeland nursing a groin injury, FS Camryn Bynam (ankle injury), SLB Anthony Barr (ankle injury), 3-Technique & Run-Stop DT Dalvin Tomlinson (assigned to the COVID-19 list) & Edge Rusher/DE Everson Griffen (personal reasons). The problem now exists for DC's Andre Patterson & Adam Zimmer 4-3 scheme creating enough pressure with a makeshift front to disrupt the strong rhythm that QB Jimmy Garoppolo has established with his offense. San Francisco's "O" (leads league with 77% red-zone TD's & is 1st the past 2 weeks in 3rd-down conversions going 14-for-26) now faces an injured "D" that ranks 30th in rushing defensive expected points added (EPA) per play, 25th in rushing defense success rate, 27th in rushing defense DVOA, 28th in total defensive yards & 31st in rushing yards allowed per attempt. Other opponents have tried to stop the punishing 49ers' ground game by playing 5 or 6-man fronts. This ONLY works if you have enough depth & speed on the 2nd-tier to penetrate the gaps. Minnesota doesn't have enough fresh legs to play those schemes effectively. The 49ers will continue to effectively utilize WR Deebo Samuel (7.2 per Rush, 18.1 per Reception, 8 TD's) both @ WR & in the backfield. My bottom line says San Francisco has the better defense that ranks 9th in points allowed (Vikings are 20th), 5th in total defensive yards & 3rd in defensive passing yards. This game ALSO qualifies for my play-against 60-90 exhaustion theory since the Purple People Eaters have put up 92 points their past 3 consecutive weeks. Remember, these 2 met in the NFC Divisional Playoffs @ SF 2 seasons ago (49ers 27-10) when the Gold Rush dominated the line of scrimmage. They held the ball for a +16 minutes (38-22) in time of possession differential while limiting Minnesota RB Dalvin Cook to 18 yards rushing while sacking Kirk Cousins 6 times & holding him to 172 passing yards. Throw out the meaningless past trends that say the Vikings were in every game. It won't apply here! Let's travel to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara to play the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS for the "W" as my 9* NFL Analytic Nightmare Play! NOTES/POWER RANKINGS: Hats off to the NY Jets & NY Giants! They both won for the 1st time on the same weekend since 8 weeks ago when the Jets shocked Tennessee in OT 27-24 @ MetLife while the Giants also pulled out an OT thriller 27-21 stunning the Saints @ Caesars Superdome (another re-named venue). After NFL games averaged a total of 49.6 PPG in 2020, we've seen a considerable drop to 46.0 PPG after 12 weeks of football in 21'. There's been 20 out of 32 teams that witnessed going under the projected totals thus far. The last 5 weeks have seen totals average 44.0 PPG which is a jaw-dropping 5.6 off the pace from last season. It was another great week as we dominated with San Francisco over Minnesota. For those who watched, the 8-point victory was not indicative of how the 49ers ruled the game. They out-rushed the Vikings 208 to 67, had a 14-minute advantage in time of possession & knocked Minnesota RB Dalvin Cook out of the game with a shoulder injury after a hard hit from DT Kevin Givens. Minnesota had no answer for the 1-2 punch of Elijah Mitchell & Deebo Samuel on the ground. The final score seems a lot closer after factoring in a missed Robbie Gould FG & a 99-yard kickoff return by the Vikes' KR/RB & ex-Iowa State product Kene Nwangwu. Let's move on to the ever-changing power index after Week 12 with each team's probability percentage of making the post-season. 1) Arizona Cardinals 100% -- They're 9-2 SU but 4-1 versus winning teams that includes convincing double-digit wins over Tennessee & the LA Rams. I'd love to see a healthy Kyler Murray & DeAndre Hopkins for the Rams re-match set for December 13th. 2) Green Bay Packers 100% -- They're 3-1 SU versus winning teams (same a TB), 6th in Strength of Schedule (TB 11th) & play the 30th easiest slate down the stretch (TB 27th). Green Bay's "D" will need to improve to make it to the Super Bowl. 3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 99.8% -- Another team that needs its defense to step it up (gave up 31 Sunday despite getting 5 defensive turnovers) in order to be the 9th team to repeat as conquerors of the Super Bowl. Their home game with Buffalo on December 12th should tell us if they're close. 4) Kansas City Chiefs 80.1% -- After a horrible start, KC has beaten Green Bay & Dallas the past month. DC Steve Spagnuolo's base 3-4 scheme has stepped it up. Spagnuolo blitz packages (30.6%) have led to 57 QB hurries (3rd in NFL). They're also a sound 2nd in the league in missed tackles. If playmakers remain healthy & Patrick Mahomes stays right (ranks 5th with 3,200 passing yards & a 25/11 TD/INT ratio), KC can make a run. 5) New England Patriots 92.6% -- We'll know a whole lot more after their 2 tangles with Buffalo & a December 16th game @ Indianapolis. They're just 2-2 SU versus winning teams. remember, their stats are padded after facing the 30th easiest schedule. They'll be tested when facing the 2nd toughest down the stretch. 6) Buffalo Bills 94.1% -- This team has been hard to figure out. Besides their meetings with the Patriots, I'm looking forward to their Week 14 hookup @ Tampa Bay. 7) Baltimore Ravens 91.1% -- They've been lucky but their 4-2 SU versus winning teams means they know how to win ugly. DC Don "Blitzing Mullet" Martindale's base 3-4 scheme (blitzes 34.8%-3rd highest) has delivered of late (2nd in QB Knock-Downs with 52) giving up 15 PPG over their last 3 after yielding 24.4 PPG their 1st 8 games. If Lamar Jackson can figure out a more controlled passing game with less TO's, they can take another step up. That December 19th home game with Green Bay should tell us what they're made of. 8) Dallas Cowboys 94% -- For Dallas to go anywhere, they'll need Cooper & Lamb healthy plus establish a run game for Prescott to flourish in RPO situations. Their body of work says they're just 2-4 SU versus winning teams. Their last 2 games when they entertain Arizona & a roadie @ Philadelphia should let us know their true stature. They better pray HC Mike McCarthy doesn't become a Baker Mayfield for the franchise. 9) Los Angeles Rams 91% -- They're a sinking team who hasn't figured out the replacement of successful offensive schemes for the void made by versatile WR Robert Woods. They've dipped to an anemic 71 yards rushing over their last 3. A tougher schedule remains when they travel to Arizona, Minnesota & Baltimore. 10) Tennessee Titans 98.3% -- They catch a breather having to face the easiest schedule down the stretch. Unless Derrick Henry comes back healthy, we know Ryan Tannehill cannot carry this team. 11) Cincinnati Bengals 62.9% -- The Bengals 3-4 hybrid (looks like a 4-2-5 mostly) defensive scheme is paying BIG dividends! They shut down Pittsburgh to earn a sweep for a defense that's 2nd in passing TD's allowed (14), 6th in PPG (20.5) & 5th in rushing defense (93.7 YPG). The jury is still out since they've faced the 2nd easiest schedule but remaining games with San Francisco, Kansas City & Baltimore gives us a better indication. 12) San Francisco 49ers 77.6% -- Kyle Shanahan has this team on the rise featuring a brutal ground game (178.3 YPG over the last 3-only 2nd to Philadelphia) & a bend-don't-break passing defense (6th) that's allowed 15 passing TD's this season. They now begin a 2-game road stand @ Seattle & Cincinnati. 13) Indianapolis Colts 40.9% -- If Carson Wentz can get rid of the ball faster, the better Indy's chances will be to sneak into the playoff. The offense put up 31 points & were in the game versus Tampa Bay (who has the #1 rushing "D" in the NFL yielding 81 YPG) despite turning the ball over 5 times. Games with New England, Arizona & Las Vegas in Weeks 15 thru 17 will determine their fate. 14) Los Angeles Chargers 53.4% -- They JUST slip in but are 2-4 SU versus winning teams (faced the 7th toughest schedule). The maturation of QB Justin Herbert will determine how far they actually go. Near misses & hopefuls: Minnesota Vikings 45.6% -- The status of an injured Dalvin Cook looms large. Las Vegas Raiders 21-1% -- They need to establish a better running offense & defense to have a prayer for the playoffs. Denver Broncos 32.1% -- Vic Fangio's team needs a consistent offense with a brutal ground game to consider Wild Card possibilities. Pittsburgh Steelers 9.9% -- Unless Mike Tomlin quickly figures out how he's going to replace many voids, the Black N' Gold will be on the golf courses soon. Cleveland Browns 19.8% -- Unless Kevin Stefanski can utilize his run game effectively, their playoff hopes will continue to sink. Washington Football Team (get a nickname or off to English Premier League) 20.5% -- Taylor Heinicke has won 3 straight (TB win was impressive) because he's take care of the football & learned how to become an efficient manager. The defense has limited opponents to 18 PPG over their last 4. Philadelphia Eagles 23.6% -- They control their own destiny if they can run the table to 10-7. Can they take advantage of a scheduling advantage where they won't board a plane from Week 11 thru the end of the regular season (8 weeks). New Orleans Saints 34.8% -- They're 5-6 SU after taking on the NFL's toughest schedule. They have manageable wins (NY Jets, Miami, Carolina & Atlanta) left but are they enough to grab that 7th & last seed in the NFC? Atlanta Falcons 4.3% -- They're a bad team that's won some manageable games to pad their chances. NFL Week 12 Record: 1-0 for 100% Last 12 NFL Plays: 11-1 for 92% Mike Handzelek's 2021-22 NFL Overall Record: 22-10 for 69% Mike Handzelek's NFL Regular Season Record L2 Years Combined: 54-22 for a Career-High 71%

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