The DEFEND Cleveland Show

Mike James’ Week 12 NFL Picks


We at Defend Cleveland hope your Thanksgiving weekend has been wonderful and filled with friends, family, food and football. Mike has spent the holiday away from home which we think is what gave him the idea to choose only road teams this week. Our official statistician Mr. Sanders wanted to be on record for saying, “According to the mathematical trend here, it doesn’t matter what Mike picks, it’s going to be the wrong.” Blunt as he may be it’s hard to argue with Mr. Sanders’ math since Mike started the first five weeks of the season 13-1-1 against the spread, to only going 3-15 ever since. However, we feel his getting out of town, eating his weight in Thanksgiving fixings, and napping for hours on end in between all the excesses this holiday is known for, is exactly what he’s needed to clear his head and get these picks of his back on the rails of success. We’ll be so thankful if that happens. Oh, to ease up oh him some we’ve eliminated the Randomizer, and mostly because Mike told us one of the first things he realized while away on vacation was: “it’s kind of f**ked up to remind folks every week that no matter how hard you work at beating the odds, sheer chance is still one of the likeliest gambles in the universe.” So with that said, f**k the math, never tell us the odds, keep finishing off those leftovers, and bet along with us that Mike goes 3-0 this week on the road…


Mike is 16-16-1 on the year, and 1-2 last week…

The Randmizer was sacrificed for Thanksgiving.


Buffalo +6.5 at Kansas City. Forget Sammy Watkins pouting after being under thrown nearly every time he has his defender beat, or that Rex Ryan is somehow always the headline no matter what team he’s coaching or what week it is, the real story for Buffalo is when both Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy are out on the field together the Bills are 3-0 on the season…that is of course as long as they’re not facing the still unbeatable New England Patriots. Which shouldn’t count against any other team at this point. Though the Bills’ biggest weakness (beyond committing more penalties per game than there are minutes) has been stopping the run and that’s exactly what KC does best; given the fact that the Chiefs are otherwise wholly incapable of beating you in the passing game downfield, with Buffalo’s talented defensive front stacked 7-8 deep in the box all to stop Jamaal Charles, Knile DavisCharcandrick West, Spencer Ware and Alex Smith from running to a win of a touchdown or better, going with Buffalo would seem like a rather safe bet, right. Kansas City has been playing great of late, but the Bills are sure to at least keep this one close.


Pittsburgh +3.5 at Seattle. This one’s easy: Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, and DeAngelo Williams, amount to a freak show of talent that will just be too much for the Seahawks to answer. Big Ben is still a top 5 NFL QB even with only one foot to stand on. Antonio Brown is so athletic he’s recently added Cirque du Soleil level feats of daring to his routine. Martavis Bryant is clearly the fastest man on the planet in cleats. And DeAngelo Williams, who everyone knows is no Le’Veon Bell, has actually been almost his equal this season as his stand-in.1 Then you add in a Steelers defense that’s one of the best against the run2, and as long as they’re not facing an opponent with a really strong passing attack, has looked significantly improved under first year defensive coordinator Keith Butler.  Meanwhile, the Seahawks are 0-5 this season when facing teams that are at least average or better at stopping the run3 (so you can also bet Thomas Rawls will not look anywhere near as good in his second start filling in for Beast Mode as he did last week against the hapless 49ers). Russell Wilson has mostly looked weaponless throwing the ball, and regardless, has been constantly under assault trying to work behind one of the league’s worst o-lines in pass protection. And though they’re still top 10 and the best thing about this team, Seattle’s defense overall has definitely not been the same outright dominant force that carried the Seahawks to back-to-back Super Bowls. Simply put, Seattle is a .500 team right now and they look most likely to remain that way, and Pittsburgh looks like they’re one of the top two or three teams in the AFC, if not the NFL. Pittsburgh by a touchdown. Easy.


Arizona -10 at San Francisco. Be thankful San Fran fans, you have a champion Golden State Warriors team who’s currently writing its own chapter of NBA all time greatness while making 82-0 seem like it could actually be possible, and your Giants have won the World Series every other year since 2010, which means 2016 looks like it will be your fourth World Series victory parade in seven seasons. But let’s face it, your 49ers are terrible. Just awful. No hope in sight type bad. By comparison the Kardashians, who appear spawned by the fiery hells of America’s over materialistic and warped desires (not to mention its shallowness and outright foolish ignorance), still have more talent than your football team at the moment. With Arizona there’s the Suns who look to have no plans of doing anything of note for the foreseeable future, the Diamondbacks who play in the same division as the billion dollar Dodgers plus the aforementioned Giants, and then there’s the mere notion of a relocated NHL franchise from Canada to a sun scorched southwest desert city in America, which now after almost two decades still doesn’t, nor will it ever, make any sense at all. But you do have the Cardinals who might just be the best team in the NFC and who already beat SF once this year by a cool 40 points. You take what you can get is the notion here, and in this one expect Arizona to take whatever they want as they run and pass their way to another blowout win over the dreadful in every way San Francisco 49ers. Roll on Cardinals, and roll on road dogs.
– Mike James


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  1. In relatively the same amount of carries, Williams has averaged 5.0 YPC with 5 TDs to Bell’s 4.9 and 3 TDs. And though Bell has been targeted more in the passing game and is certainly a better receiver with 11 more catches than Williams, DeAngelo has roughly the same amount of yardage averaging 10.5 yards a reception to Bells’ 5.7 yards []
  2. They rank 6th against the rush on Football Outsiders []
  3. Also according to Football Outsiders ratings, the best run defense Seattle has beaten this year is Detroit whose currently ranks 20th against the rush []

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Posted by on Nov 28 2015. Filed under Featured, Show Reports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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