Week 13 (December 2, analysis of actual pick to come on Wednesday):
- Tentative game: Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
- Prospects: Very much in trouble. The Steelers (7-3) look great but the Bungles (3-7) are anything but. Also a factor: the Steelers’ high number of primetime games. NBC will want to flex this out for a better Steelers game later.
- Protected games according to Hiestand: Jaguars-Colts (CBS) and Giants-Bears (Fox)
- Other possible games mentioned on Wednesday’s Watch and their records: Chargers (5-5) v. Chiefs (4-6), Lions (6-4) v. Vikings (4-6), Titans (6-3) v. Texans (5-5).
- Impact of Monday Night Football: The Titans play tonight but may have already locked up its supremacy. Its only vulnerability is its lopsided nature compared to Chargers-Chiefs, but not by much. A Titans loss, however, could bring the no-change option back, but that game is so lopsided compared to a potential divisional showdown and the appeal of Vince Young.
- Analysis: On Wednesday, I wrote: “At the moment, Titans-Texans is likeliest (but very dependent on the Texans), followed by Chargers-Chiefs (but very dependent on the Chiefs), followed by Lions-Vikings (but very dependent on the Vikings). If the Texans, Chiefs, and Vikings all lose? Then a Cincinnati win over the Cardinals brings the no-change option back into the fold, and I believe NBC and the NFL will lean towards no-change when possible.” Well, the Bengals lost, and Lions-Vikings held up its end of the bargain while Chargers-Chiefs didn’t. Unfortunately, the Lions lost, and more importantly, Titans-Texans got what it needed as well. Strangely, I still wouldn’t be surprised to see no change.
- Final prediction: Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans.