Man in Dailymotion: Must-Watch NFL Games of Week 16
I love tailgating. It’s probably my favorite pastime. The food, the adult beverages, the anticipation. Your team could be 0-15 heading into the final week, but your tailgate will still be at full tilt. As a Giants fan, I’ve only tailgated at one other pro football stadium than the Meadowlands – Raymond James in Tampa – so you can imagine how much I foamed at the mouth to discover ‘Tailgate 32‘.
The 32-part documentary series follows the adventure-loving brothers Mike and John Trupiano as they tour the country in a 42-foot RV to explore the American traditions of road tripping, tailgating, and professional football. This 25,000-mile nonstop trek reveals what drives the world’s most passionate and colorful fans. It’s also known as my ultimate fantasy (other than that one with Kate Upton and the alcoholic whipped cream).
So, for the remaining two weeks of the regular season and the entire playoff run leading up to and including the Super Bowl, we’ll be breaking down games, delivering predictions, and highlighting Tailgate 32′s webisodes for each of the teams featured. This way, when you embark on your own quest, you waste no time getting to the good stuff (and you clearly invite me…seriously). ENJOY!
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23RD, 2012
1PM ET – Houston Texans (12-2) @ Minnesota Vikings (8-6) on FOX
HOUSTON – Outside of the Patriots Monday Night Massacre (L, 42-14) and the Green Bay Gutting (L, 42-24), the Texans have looked like a championship-caliber team all season. They can clinch a first round bye in the playoffs with a win. Many believe JJ Watt is the Defensive Player of the Year while Arian Foster’s decision to go vegan before the start of the season has only made him better. Cows everywhere are pumping their hooves. They outrank the Vikes in every major category except for one – rushing yards per game. If the key to the game hasn’t slapped you in the face by now, here it is: STOP ADRIAN PETERSON.
MINNESOTA – Adrian Peterson is eyeing the single-season rushing record but he and his lineman will be up against a defense that allows fewer than 100 rushing yards per game. If Minnesota wants a chance to win, they’ll need newlywed Christian Ponder to play mistake-free football. Statistically, Christian’s been one of the worst (they’re dead last in the league in passing yards per game), but the team keeps winning behind the legs of All Day. Keys to the game? Bottle up Foster, double up Andre Johnson, and pressure Matt Schaub into picks inside his territory.
PREDICTION: HOU – 23, MINN – 20
4:05pm ET – Cleveland Browns (5-9) @ Denver Broncos (11-3) on CBS
DENVER - With a remarkable run of nine wins in a row, the Denver Broncos are in position to secure a playoff bye. Sweeping their final two games would do it, setting up Manning to be at home until at least the AFC Championship Game. On that note, Peyton is making his case for not only Comeback Player of the Year but also League MVP, battling the aforementioned Peterson for both honors.
CLEVELAND – After an embarrassing 0-5 start to the season, the Browns have gone 5-4 in their last nine. They gave the red hot Redskins a run for their money last week and will be playing spoiler to the Broncos playoff plans. This is the quintessential trap game for Denver – overlooking Ohio’s second best might cost them a first round bye. If Trent Richardson can muscle his way to 4 or 5 yards a clip, it could open up the passing game for the old rookie Weeden. Josh Morgan has also stepped up at the wideout position.
PREDICTION: DEN – 41, CLE – 28
4:25pm ET – New York Giants (8-6) @ Baltimore Ravens (9-5) on FOX
NEW YORK - New York appears to have the ability to flip the switch, and they typically come up huge with their backs against the wall. If Bradshaw can power through the pain and Nicks/Cruz/Bennett can get open quick, the Giants might stay alive in the playoff hunt after having it pretty much sewn up weeks ago. Injuries have taken their toll, so the keys to the game are to keep Eli on his feet so he can take advantage of a depleted Ravens secondary while mixing in David Wilson and SHUT DOWN RAY RICE while taking away the deep threat (Boldin / Smith).
BALTIMORE – News broke this week that Ray Lewis will NOT be returning for this game. Despite his steady decline in performance, Ray brings inspiration, motivation, and intimidation to that squad when’s he’s suited up. They’ve had the sound of a despondent, broken down and beaten up group, but that could easily turn to empowering anger in this last pair of contests. The teams are pretty even in every category, but Baltimore has a knack for converting third downs. That could prove to be the difference here.
PREDICTION: NYG – 26, BAL – 24
8:20pm ET – San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (9-5) on NBC
SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers are ranked first in scoring defense, allowing a paltry 15.6 points per game. San Francisco has the multi-talented Colin Kaepernick (who predicted he’d be the starting QB of the Niners in 4th grade!) and Frank Gore who’s like a machine slowly and methodically wearing down the opposition’s front seven. However, Seattle’s 12th Man will be out in full force – we’ve seen Kaepernick handle tough crowds before but this is a whole ‘nother beast.
SEATTLE – The Seahawks D is second in the league in points allowed. They boast the tough-minded Wilson and the Skittles-devouring Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch. To me, Seattle is the team to fear most in the NFC.
PREDICTION: SEA – 19, SF – 17
WRITTEN BY Neal – the Editor & Content Manager of Dailymotion’s Sports Channel.
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