Over turkey week, a Hawk led the Green masses.
Frank Hawkins of Bayfield – Hawk99 – was one of only four Gridiron Guru contestants to correctly pick 13 out of 16 in Week 13.
The tiebreaker was the Denver-Kansas City game. The Broncos won by 13 points, naturally, 29-16, with Hawk99’s 28-21 pick good enough to win all the green.
Fittingly, 12 contestants were next with 12 correct picks, but none had tasted the basted victory turkey this season. The 31 tied at 11 correct picks included Week 11 winner Jake McKie of Mancos and Gary Hudson of Cordova, Maryland.
With all those 13s floating around, the superstitious Guru was safely in with nine correct picks, comfortably ahead of the losers’ group that included 24 with eight correct picks – including Week 10 winner Sue Mickelson of Durango – and seven with seven correct picks.
Thursday, Dec. 4
Dallas at Chicago (NFL Network): Both teams are coming off Thanksgiving Day games (both lost), so no short week for either. Will that mean a rare quality game on a Thursday night? No. The Cowboys are perfect on the road this season (5-0), and Chicago is 2-3 at home. Pick: Cowboys, 33-13. Line: Cowboys by 3½.
Sunday, Dec. 7
Kansas City at Arizona: The Cardinals are tough to beat at home. But it wasn’t that long ago that they were tough to beat, period. They need to stop the bleeding, but it won’t happen this week, as they lose a heartbreaker. Pick: Chiefs, 24-23. Line: Cardinals by 1½.
Seattle at Philadelphia: This could be a preview of the NFC Championship game. It won’t disappoint. Pick: Eagles, 20-19. Line: Eagles by 1.
New England at San Diego: Although in a hostile environment for the second consecutive week, and handled by the Packers last week, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady teams don’t struggle on consecutive weeks this time of the year. Pick: Patriots, 23-16. Line: Patriots by 3.
Baltimore at Miami: The Ravens also seem to start clicking this time of year. Pick: Ravens, 17-13. Line: Dolphins by 3.
Buffalo at Denver: Kyle Orton vs. Peyton Manning. Enough said. Pick: Broncos, 34-17. Line: Broncos by 10.
San Francisco at Oakland: The Battle of the Bay will be a battle to avoid a second consecutive embarrassing loss for the Raiders. Oakland will lose that battle and any other this week. Pick: 49ers, 31-6. Line: 49ers by 8.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati: Another battle of neighbors, this one will go down to the bitter end between these bitter rivals. Pick: Steelers, 24-23. Line: Bengals by 3.
Indianapolis at Cleveland: Johnny Manziel will be on the sideline, likely until the Browns again are in a big hole. Expect that to be early, and the hole again too big. Pick: Colts, 30-20. Line: Colts by 3.
Houston at Jacksonville: Too much JJ Watt on defense. And likely on offense. Pick: Texans, 21-9. Line: Texans by 5.
New York Giants at Tennessee: Does anyone really care about this one? In case you do ... Pick: Giants, 9-8. Line: pick ’em.
Carolina at New Orleans: With three wins (and a tie), Carolina is only a game-and-a-half behind New Orleans and in the thick of the division hunt. Until this week. Pick: Saints, 42-16. Line: Saints by 9½.
Tampa Bay at Detroit: This is about the time of year the Lions start unraveling. But not this season. In fact, expect a statement performance from these Motor City Kitties. Pick: Lions, 40-6. Line: Lions by 9½.
St. Louis at Washington: The Redskins aren’t the Raiders, but close enough. Pick: Rams, 34-16. Line: Rams by 2½.
New York Jets at Minnesota: Last week’s victory outdoors in Minnesota – the seventh-coldest game in Vikings history – brought back memories of the Vikings’ glory days at frigid Metropolitan Stadium. Expect a repeat against the brutally cold and hapless Jets. Pick: Vikings, 23-16. Line: Vikings by 6.
Monday, Dec. 8
Atlanta at Green Bay: Beating the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals at home last week is one thing, but defeating the Packers at Lambeau these days is quite another. Pick: Packers, 36-20. Line: Packers by 11.