Hey, there ! Welcome to Week 13 of The GIST’s Football Pool!
This week we’re doing things a bit differently. In addition to making your picks using Facebook Messenger, we’re giving you #thegist of each game in this message too instead of sending you a GIST newsletter. Get it? Got it? Good.
Want to know if you won last week’s pool? Play and see if you won! We announce the winners at the end of the pool.
So, are you ready to play this week for your chance to win a prize from Canadian-owned fitness company, White Lion Athletics?!
New Orleans Saints (10-1) at Dallas Cowboys (6-5) at 8:20 p.m. ET
The Saints have won TEN STRAIGHT GAMES - TEN STRAIGHT! Just insane. Much of the Saints success is due to their amazing offence led by the easy, brees-y and beautiful quarterback (QB), Drew Brees. We expect he’ll have a big game on Thursday.
That said, Dallas is not an easy opponent. The Cowboys are desperate for a win as they’re leading the NFC East division by just a thread. They’ve won three games in a row and will be looking to keep the good vibes going this week.
Ellen’s Pick: NOLA
Baltimore Ravens (6-5) at Atlanta Falcons (4-7) at 1:00 p.m. ET
New look, who dis?! The Ravens are heading into Falcon territory with a new look. After their starting QB, Joe Flacco, went down with a hip injury (okay old man) on Nov. 4th, the Ravens turned to their rookie QB, Lamar Jackson, to take the lead. AND LET US TELL YOU, the 21-year-old has done just that. The Ravens have won two games straight with Jackson as QB. It’s still TBD if Flacco will be healthy for Sunday’s game; however, even if he is ready to come back, we think the Ravens should go with Jackson - sometimes all you need is a fresh look. Meanwhile, the Falcons have lost three straight.
Ellen’s Pick: Ravens
Carolina Panthers (6-5) at Tampa Buccaneers (4-7) at 1:00 p.m. ET
This is somewhat of an important game because it’s a divisional matchup. Both the Panthers and Bucs are in the NFC South Division. The Panthers sit in second; whereas the Bucs sit in last.
That said, It’s been a rough month for the Panthers. They’ve lost three straight games in November. Their only saving grace? Beating the Bucs on Nov. 4th 42-28.
On the other side of the coin, we just can’t keep up with the Bucs. They’ve been flip-flopping between their QB’s the same way we flip-flop between our Bumble dates. This Sunday, it looks as though QB Jameis Winston has beat out Ryan Fitzpatrick (aka Fitzmagic) for the starting role.
Ellen’s Pick: Panthers
Chicago Bears (8-3) at NY Giants (3-8) at 1:00 p.m. ET
Da Bears are rockin’ and rollin’. They are leading the NFC North division and have won five games in a row. *Mambo No. 5 plays in the background*. This success is largely due to their insanely talented defence.
Conversely, the NY Giants are v bad this season. Although they have some star power, they’re lacking in depth, and their offence and defence are mediocre at best. Still, maybe their hometown crowd can help pull them to a miracle win?
Ellen’s Pick: Da Bears
Buffalo Bills (4-7) at Miami Dolphins (5-6) at 1:00 p.m. ET
Here we have another division game. The Dolphins are sitting in second and the Bills in third in the AFC East Division. Yes, that’s how bad the AFC East Division is - there’s a second place team that is sitting below .500 (more losses than wins). Both of these teams are pretty ‘meh’ most of the time but will randomly have games of greatness. We think they’re pretty evenly matched so this one will be close.
Ellen’s Pick: Miami
Indianapolis Colts (6-5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8) at 1:00 p.m. ET
After a horrible start to the season, the Colts are heading into Jacksonville on a five-game winning streak. *Mambo No. 5 replays in the background*. Their QB Andrew Luck has thrown at least three touchdowns in each of the last eight games which is just insane.
On the other hand, the Jaguars had a good start to the season but have since lost seven (!!!) games in a row. Not good. It’s so bad that the Jags offensive coordinator (the coach that creates and calls plays for the offence) was fired earlier this week, and their QB, Blake Bortles, has been benched in favour of backup Cody Kessler. Ay yi yiii.
Ellen’s Pick: Colts
Cleveland Browns (4-6-1) at Houston Texans (8-3) at 1:00 p.m. ET
The Cleveland Browns are coming off a bye week (each team gets a week of rest) and are cruising into Texan territory. But, the cruising stops there. After beating the Titans 34-17 on Monday night, the Texans became the FIRST TEAM in NFL history to win eight straight games after starting the season 0-3. Slow claps for the Texans. A lot of the Texans’ success is thanks to their defence led by stud defensive end JJ Watt.
Cleveland, well, they have one of the worst defences in the league, and their offence is ho-hum as well.
Ellen’s Pick: Texans
Denver Broncos (5-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) at 1:00 p.m. ET
As you can see from these teams’ records, these squads are pretty evenly matched. They’ve also historically had really close games. What’s different though is their recent records. The Broncos have won two games in a row, whereas the Bengals have lost three (including an ugly loss to the Browns last week… yuck). While both teams have a pretty bad defence, Denver edges out the Bengals in offence thanks to their rushing (running with the ball as opposed to throwing/passing) game.
Ellen’s Pick: Broncos
LA Rams (10-1) at Detroit Lions (4-7) at 1:00 p.m. ET
The Rams had a bye week last week, but prior to, they had AN EPIC, and we mean EPIC, 54-51 win over the Kansas City Chiefs (both teams were 9-1 at the time) during Monday Night Football. Hands down it was the best regular season NFL game we’ve ever watched and could have been a preview for the Super Bowl this year.
Anyway, given the Rams have fresh legs and are coming off a big win, we’re actually scared for what they could do to the Lions. However, the Lions have had some pretty impressive wins this year (including over the New England Patriots) so they might just stop the Rams in their tracks.
Ellen’s Pick: Rams
Arizona Cardinals (2-9) at Green Bay Packers (4-6-1) at 1:00 p.m. ET
While the Cardinals are bad, everyone kinda sorta expected them to have a pretty lackluster year. What was not expected is that Green Bay is below .500 and is sitting in third place in the NFC North Division, with their playoffs hopes and dreams all but dashed. While Green Bay looks like a great team on paper (QB Aaron Rodgers is the highest-paid player in football and linebacker Clay Matthews has some of the most beautiful flow), they just haven’t found a way to win. This is a must-win game for the Packers if they want a remote shot at making it into the post-season.
Ellen’s Pick: Packers
Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) at Oakland Raiders (2-9) at 4:05 p.m. ET
As mentioned already, KC’s last loss came to the LA Rams. However, from the 54-51 score, that game really could have been anybody’s. Similar to the Rams, KC is also coming off a bye week. So with rested legs and a thirst to get back on the winning track, you can bet KC to come out guns-a-blazing.
You can also bet that the Raiders will be doing anything but that. You can see from their record, the exact opposite of KC’s, that they’re pretty brutal this season. In fact, the football experts expect KC to win this game by 15 points - that’s over two touchdowns.
Ellen’s Pick: KC
NY Jets (3-8) at Tennessee Titans (5-6) at 4:05 p.m. ET
While the NY Jets have won all three of their head-to-head matchups against the Titans over the last few years, the Jets have lost five straight games this season. *Mambo No. 5 plays on repeat in the background* The Titans aren’t faring much better as they’ve lost their last two. The good news for the Titans is that they’re 3-1 when playing at home, and 2-5 while playing away. Let’s see if the home-field advantage can help them get their first win against the NY Jets in over three years.
Ellen’s Pick: Titans
San Francisco 49ers (2-9) at Seattle Seahawks (6-5) at 4:25 p.m. ET
Both teams are in the NFC West division. The 49ers are in last place (fourth) and the Seahawks are in second (they’ll probably stay there - the Rams are in 1st place). After losing both their starting and backup QB to injury, the 49ers’ third-string QB, Nick Mullens, is at the helm. He won the first game he played three weeks ago, but since then has successively gotten worse. But it’s his first year, so let’s not go too hard on the guy! The Seahawks QB, Russell Wilson, is anything but a noob having won a Super Bowl back in 2014.
Ellen’s Picks: Seahawks
Minnesota Vikings (6-4-1) at New England Patriots (8-3) at 4:25 p.m. ET
So the Vikings and the Patriots seem to only play each other every four years like they’re in the football Olympics or something. The last time they played was way back in 2014 when Obama was still the President (miss you, love you). By now, y’all know we (okay maybe just Ellen) are biased for the Patriots, but it’s for good reason. They sit atop the AFC East this season and have appeared in 8 Super Bowls, winning 5 of them, since 2000.
However, we will admit that this season the Pats have had it easy as their AFC East division is sh!t, whereas the Vikings compete in the competitive NFC North.
Ellen’s Pick: Pats (forever and always)
LA Chargers (8-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1) at 8:20 p.m. ET
We are SO STOKED for this Sunday nighter. As you can see from their records, both of these teams are v good.
The Chargers are coming off a big 45-10 win against the Cardinals due in large part to the exceptional play of their QB, Philip Rivers. Rivers completed his first 25 passes and finished 28 for 29 for the night - both were NFL records. Simply beautiful.
On Sunday, the Steelers, due to some costly turnovers, lost to the Broncos. You better believe that their coach Mike Tomlin will have told his team to straighten the eff up and be ready for Sunday.
Ellen’s Pick: Steelers (if only for the home-field advantage)
Washington Redskins (6-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) at 8:15 p.m. ET
And for Monday night’s game, we’ll be watching two underachievers. We expected more from both of these teams this year - especially from the reigning champs, the Philadelphia Eagles. But, this week we learned something crazy about Washington, that just goes to show, the apocalypse is around the corner: Washington’s record is 3-3 in their last 6 games, 4-4 in their last 8, 5-5 in their last 10, 6-6 in their last 12, 8-8 in their last 16, 9-9 in their last 18, 10-10 in their last 20, 13-13 in their last 26, 19-19-1 in their last 39, and 21-21-1 in their last 43. WHAT THE HECK?! (Source: SportsInternet)
Ellen’s Pick: Washington
And to close this thing out, a big congratulations to our winner, Tessa Lorraine!
Tessa got 14 games correct last week which is just unreal. Special shout out to Carissa Dougal and Kaley Stewart who tied for 2nd with 13 picks right and off by 3 points on differential. GIRL POWER!