Sport

Saints sleepless in Seattle as Seahawks cruise

By Tony Scott

Friday, December 06, 2013    

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It was dubbed the game of the week in the loudest arena in the league, Century Link Field, the home of the amazing Seattle Seahawks and their vocal fans. This was going to be the clash of Titans, an epic confrontation between two evenly matched teams, broadcast in prime time on international TV and watched by millions. Instead it turned out to be a continuous romp to the end zone as the Seahawks, under the guidance of quarterback Russell Wilson, took apart the Saints and beat them convincingly 34-7. By so doing the 11-1 Seahawks clinched a playoff berth and could end up being the number one seed in the NFC. This being the case, the road to Super Bowl XLVIII in the NFC would pass through Seattle. Not a pretty thought for the opposition.

Century Link Field is the loudest stadium in the NFL and on Monday night they broke the decibel level record with their hollering and screaming. The fans are referred to as "the 12th man" and rightly so, because their task is to disrupt and distract the opposing team which they do quite effectively. They certainly got to the Saints quarterback, Drew Brees, as the Seahawks defense held him to a season low 147 passing yards and only one touchdown. The Saints possess one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. They are now 9-3 and their next opponent is the Carolina Panthers, a team boasting an 8 game winning streak and which happens to have a red hot quarterback, Cam Newton. The Saints' luck did not improve much after the game as their plane broke down and they were forced to spend the night in Seattle instead of heading home to New Orleans.

Sometime during last season, when Eagles back-up quarterback Nick Foles filled in for the injured starter Mike Vick, he acquitted himself very well. I was impressed with his performance and mentioned this in an article. Well Michael Vick got injured again earlier this season and Nick Foles was called upon to fill the breach, which he has done in amazing fashion. As a matter of fact, he leads the NFL with a 125.2 passer rating and if he throws one more touchdown, he will tie Peyton Manning's NFL record for most touchdowns without an interception (20). Foles' performance has prompted Eagles head coach to declare him the starting quarterback for the team for the remainder of the season. He also made it clear that he will be the quarterback of the future as long as he stays healthy.

Another story that is being featured and getting a fair amount of attention is the Mike Tomlin incident. Tomlin is in his seventh year as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The incident occurred during the fourth quarter of the Ravens' 22-20 Thanksgiving Day win over the Steelers in Baltimore. During a long kickoff return by the Ravens' Jacoby Jones it appeared as if Jones was interfered with by Tomlin who was on the field of play, and at the last minute as Jones approached, just managed to get out of Jones' way. It is being argued that Tomlin's foot may have caused Jones to change direction and get tackled, thus preventing a Ravens' touchdown. But more importantly it's being argued that Tomlin was watching the entire play develop on the big screen in the stadium, and deliberately interfered with Jones during his return. Tomlin himself called the incident "embarrassing, inexcusable," and "illegal" and seemed prepared to take whatever punishment the League decided to hand down. Well, the NFL sent a strong message to Tomlin and Steelers on Wednesday, fining him US$100,000 and in addition, the League will consider a forfeiture of NFL draft choices for the Steelers. Talk about bringing the hammer down. Now I have seen the video over and over again and I'm not convinced that Tomlin deliberately tried to interfere with Jones, but he was on the field of play, which is illegal, and so he had to pay the price.

My colleagues and I did fairly well this week with our picks against the JustBet point spread with most of us ending up in the plus column except for Peter Lindo who was 7-9. Roper was a respectable 10-6 and Hutchinson at 11-5 even more so. Yours truly had a season best of 12-4 and regained the "lead dawg" position.

There was so much amazing action in Week 13 I can't do it all justice in this one article. What I do have to highlight is the performance of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon who racked up261 receiving yards in a 32-28 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, becoming the first player in NFL history to have 200 or more receiving yards in back to back games. Now that's a real baller.

In other Week 13 action, the Patriots and Broncos kept on rolling, beating the Texans and Chiefs respectively, while the Carolina Panthers look like the real deal, winning yet again (27-6 over the Bucs) and putting some serious pressure on the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.

So if the playoffs started today, over in the AFC, the Denver Broncos would be the top seed and would have a first round bye along with the second seed the New England Patriots. The Wild Card matchups would feature the third seeded Colts at home to the sixth seeded Ravens and the fourth seeded Bengals at home to the fifth seeded Chiefs (who incidentally have now lost three straight games). In the NFC, the top seeded Seahawks and second seeded New Orleans Saints would each have a first round bye, with the Wild Card matchups featuring the third seeded Lions home to the sixth seeded 49ers and the fourth seeded Cowboys home to the fifth seeded Panthers. Somehow I feel that there will be a bit of moving and shaking in the playoffs seedings before all is said and done so stay tuned.

As far as the games go for week 14, must see matchups include the Colts vs. Bengals which should be a barn burner and so should the Lions vs. Eagles. But by far the game of the week has to be the Seahawks against the 49ers, Russell Wilson vs. Colin Kaerpernick for west coast bragging rights. You can't miss this one. Monday's night's Bears vs. Cowboys game should also be interesting and could go a long way in deciding who clinches one of those coveted NFC Wild Card spots.

So that's it for another week folks. Enjoy all the week 14 games, and remember to place your NFL bets early and often with JustBet, Jamaica's number one sports betting game. Remember to give us a listen on HITZ 92FM at 6:05pm every Friday, during the NFL Gameday Forecast. And of course, "Just win baby, just win".

To find a JustBet location near you, visit: www.supremeventures.com/justbetlocations. To find out more about JustBet, and how to bet on the NFL and other sports, visit www.supremeventures.com/justbet, www.facebook.com/justbet, www.twitter.com/justbet_ja , or call 1-888-429-5785 (toll-free).

NFL WEEK 14 SCHEDULE & JUSTBET HANDICAPS

(*JustBet Handicaps for each game in bracket, Under/Over for each game listed)

Thursday December 5

JAC JAGUARS (+ 3.5) v HOU TEXANS, U/O 42.5

Sunday December 8

BAL RAVENS v MIN VIKINGS (+ 6.5), U/O 43.5

CIN BENGALS v IND COL_S (+ 5.5), U/O 44.5

GB PACKERS v ATL FALCONS (+ 4.5), U/O 47.5

NE PATRIOTS v CLE BROWNS (+ 12.5), U/O 44.5

NY JETS v OAK RAIDERS (+ 3.5), U/O 39.5

PHI EAGLES v DET LIONS (+ 3.5), U/O 53.5

PIT STEELERS v MIA DOLPHINS (+ 4.5), U/O 41.5

TB BUCCANEERS v BUF BILLS (+ 3.5), U/O 43.5

WAS REDSKINS (+ 4.5 ) v KC CHIEFS, U/O 44.5

DEN BRONCOS v TEN TITANS (+ 12.5), U/O 49.5

ARI CARDINALS v STL RAMS (+ 5.5), U/O 41.5

SD CHARGERS v NY GIANTS (+ 4.5), U/O 47.5

SF 49ERS v SEA SEAHAWKS (+ 3.5), U/O 40.5

NO SAINTS v CAR PANTHERS (+ 4.5), U/O 45.5

Monday December 9

CHI BEARS v DAL COWBOYS (+ 2.5), U/O 49.5

EXPERTS' PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD

Tony Scott's Week 14 Picks (in bold)

JAGUARS v TEXANS

RAVENS v VIKINGS

BENGALS v COLTS

PACKERS v FALCONS

PATRIOTS v BROWNS

JETS v RAIDERS

EAGLES v LIONS

STEELERS v DOLPHINS

BUCCANEERS v BILLS

REDSKINS v CHIEFS

BRONCOS v TITANS

CARDINALS v RAMS

CHARGERS v GIANTS

SF 49ERS v SEAHAWKS

NO SAINTS v PANTHERS

CHI BEARS v COWBOYS

Last week's record: 12-4

Season record: 99-93

Andre Hutchinson's Week 14 Picks (in bold)

JAGUARS v TEXANS

RAVENS v VIKINGS

BENGALS v COLTS

PACKERS v FALCONS

PATRIOTS v BROWNS

JETS v RAIDERS

EAGLES v LIONS

STEELERS v DOLPHINS

BUCCANEERS v BILLS

REDSKINS v CHIEFS

BRONCOS v TITANS

CARDINALS v RAMS

CHARGERS v GIANTS

SF 49ERS v SEAHAWKS

NO SAINTS v PANTHERS

CHI BEARS v COWBOYS

Last week's record: 11-5

Season record: 95-97

Peter Lindo's Week 14 Picks (in bold)

JAGUARS v TEXANS

RAVENS v VIKINGS

BENGALS v COLTS

PACKERS v FALCONS

PATRIOTS v BROWNS

JETS v RAIDERS

EAGLES v LIONS

STEELERS v DOLPHINS

BUCCANEERS v BILLS

REDSKINS v CHIEFS

BRONCOS v TITANS

CARDINALS v RAMS

CHARGERS v GIANTS

SF 49ERS v SEAHAWKS

NO SAINTS v PANTHERS

CHI BEARS v COWBOYS

Last week's record: 7-9

Season record: 95-97

Andrei Roper's Week 14 Picks (in bold)

JAGUARS v TEXANS

RAVENS v VIKINGS

BENGALS v COLTS

PACKERS v FALCONS

PATRIOTS v BROWNS

JETS v RAIDERS

EAGLES v LIONS

STEELERS v DOLPHINS

BUCCANEERS v BILLS

REDSKINS v CHIEFS

BRONCOS v TITANS

CARDINALS v RAMS

CHARGERS v GIANTS

SF 49ERS v SEAHAWKS

NO SAINTS v PANTHERS

CHI BEARS v COWBOYS

Last week's record: 10-6

Season record: 87-105

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