NFL Week 12 Predictions

NFL Week 12 is already upon us, as hard as that is to believe. Thursday was a good start to the picks, going 3-0 with the Lions, Cowboys and Chiefs. Now at 100-61 for the season, its time to finish off this weeks edition of the pics to see if I can improve on last weeks 10-6 mark.

Arizona at Minnesota – This is the time of the year when you start to get some matchups with teams that have to start looking ahead to 2007, and this is one of those games. The Cardinals finally got a win last week at home, their first win since week one, while the Vikings meltdown continued in the heat in Florida. Minnesota, once 4-2, have dropped four in a row, allowing 21 points a game in those losses, and averaging just 11. This week they should finally rebound as the Cardinals are just awful on the road. Minnesota 24 Arizona 19

Carolina at Washington – The Panthers, now tied with the Saints in the NFC South, are starting to make some noise. Last week the Carolina defense put on a show, stopping the Rams offense from scoring in a 15-0 home shutout. The Redskins at 3-7 lost in Tampa Bay with new QB Jason Campbell, and without a running game the new starter will struggle trying to lead his team to points. Campbell was 19-for-34 for 196 yards and two TD’s in last weeks loss 20-17. With the Panthers D not allowing a touchdown in the last six quarters, I think the Skins will really struggle putting up points. Carolina 17 Washington 6

New Orleans at Atlanta – The Falcons season is on life support after three straight losses, and at 5-5 a loss here would be a killer, as it would put the Saints up by two games with just five to play. Atlanta’s problems revolve around an offense that can’t sustain drives, and a defense that has fallen apart since being so good early in the year. The Saints are putting up a ton of offense, but the last two weeks the defense has allowed too many yards which has translated into too many points. I see a big time shootout here with Michael Vick and Drew Brees as the stars. New Orleans 34 Atlanta 30

Cincinnati at Cleveland – The Bengals saved their season last Sunday with a win over the Saints, while the Browns gave up three TD’s in the final 9:44 to Pittsburgh to lose 24-20 at home. The last time these two teams played the Bengals were in high form, marching up and down the field at will in a 34-17 win in week two. The Browns have played better at home, giving tough games to Baltimore and the Steelers, and beating the Jets. Cincy has been so up and down this year, and with the sting of a loss in week two still bothering them, I’ll take the upset here. Cleveland 17 Cincinnati 14

Houston at New York Jets – New York, despite getting shut out last week 10-0 by Chicago, still has hopes of a shot at the playoffs with a 5-5 record. The pressure is on Chad Pennington to come up big vs the weak Houston defense, as Chad has not thrown for over 300 yards since week two. The Jets don’t score much, averaging just 13.5 per game over the last six games. The Texans lost a tough one at home to Buffalo last week on a TD pass with just :09 left. Houston is still not getting enough pressure on the QB and allowing way too many yards on the ground. The Jets playoff hopes will get a boost with this one. New York 24 Houston 17

San Francisco at St.Louis – What a turnaround for both teams as the 49’ers now look like a darkhorse for a playoff shot, and the Rams are just hoping to finish the year .500. Not what you would have thought when St.Louis started 4-1 and the 49’ers began the year 2-5. Frank Gore and the progress of Alex Smith has given the 49’ers fans reason to believe, and that is something that has been missing the past few years. St.Louis needs to run the ball to open up the pass, but with the 28th ranked rushing offense that won’t be easy. Marc Bulger needs some support from his O-line and recievers to open the field, and the 49’ers will be after him like week two when they beat the Rams 20-13 in San Fran. Tough one to call but the 49’ers seem to have some solid momentum going. San Francisco 26 St.Louis 17

Jacksonville at Buffalo – A critical game in the playoff hopes of the Jaguars, as they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills. Despite a big Monday night win, the Jags suffered a major blow with safety Donovan Darius breaking his leg, ending his season in the win. The Jacksonville defense has been playing well, allowing less than 14 points in four straight games, and the team is 3rd in total defense. Buffalo got a big win in Houston last week, and J.P. Losman threw for a career high 340 yards. If Willis McGahee is able to come back after missing the last two games with broken ribs, that will only give the Bills more firepower. Despite that, the Jags know they have to find a way to get a win here and keep their playoff hopes alive. Jacksonville 13 Buffalo 10

Pittsburgh at Baltimore – Baltimore is looking for its first five game winning streak since 2000, and against the turnover happy Steelers, it looks as if they are in position to do so. A win here by the Ravens and you can gift wrap the AFC North to them, as they will be at least three games up on the Bengals depending on their game in Cleveland, and at five up on the Steelers with five to play. The Ravens second ranked defense should be able to pressure Ben Roethlisberger and hold Willie Parker in check, and Steve McNair and Jamal Lewis should be able to move the ball on a Steelers defense that is prone to the big play. The Steelers have no margin for error, but simply put – this is not their year. Baltimore 20 Pittsburgh 10

Oakland at San Diego – The Chargers look poised for a deep January run after two straight weeks of overcoming big deficits to move to 8-2. Last weeks win over the Broncos cemented them as the best team in the AFC West, and a win here would put them up two on the Broncos with five to play. LaDainian Tomlinson owns the Raiders, and in week one had a monster game. Look for much of the same here at home, with Phillip Rivers being able to move the ball against Oakland. The Raiders offense has scored just seven touchdowns, and things will not get much better here against a solid Chargers defense. Look for the lightening bolts to keep rolling. San Diego 28 Oakland 0

New York Giants at Tennessee – Anger and frustration is setting in for the Giants, who now need to win just to stay tied for first in the NFC East with the Cowboys. They travel to Tennessee on a short week, and with Eli Manning struggling, this by no means is a gimmie game for the big blue. The Giants come in after a season low 27 yards rushing, and the Titans, despite the 31st ranked defense in the league, allowed just 13 to the Eagles last week. In Tennessee’s last six games, they have won three, and lost two by a combined two points. The other was a blowout loss to the Jags, the team that New York lost to on Monday night. This should be interesting to see if the Titans can run on a Giants team that allows just 104 yards per game on the ground. Mark one for my choice for AFC coach of the year – Jeff Fisher. Tennessee 20 New York Giants 17

Chicago at New England – The end of a three-game road swing for the Bears has them in New England, where the Pats have lost two straight. Chicago can clinch the NFC North with a win and losses by Green Bay and Minnesota, but the bigger goal is to make sure they stay atop the NFC for home field come January. Both defenses are playing well, with the Bears allowing an NFL best 12 points per game, and the Pats coming off a 35-0 shutout of the Packers. It would seem to attack the Bears the Pats may want to try and spread the field and throw the ball, and Tom Brady, despite his problems at home, can still put up big games in the air. The Bears need Rex Grossman to be better than he has been the last few weeks, and his play is a concern. I think the Pats, with Brady and a good defense, can put a minor dent in the Bears run towards the NFC title. New England 17 Chicago 13

Philadelphia at Indianapolis – Philly might as well start looking to 2007, as the loss of Donovan McNabb is going to be way too much to overcome for them to make a run at the playoffs. The Eagles were struggling with him as of late, and now without him there is not much hope. Indianapolis is coming off their only loss of the year, 21-14 to Dallas, and will look to rebound at home against the short-handed birds. You can look for the Colts to do a better job this week running the ball, as they have been held under 100 yards rushing in three of their last four games. Indy knows that even at 9-1, they have to keep winning to hold onto home field in the AFC. The Eagles are just looking to survive without McNabb. Indianapolis 27 Philadelphia 14

Green Bay at Seattle – The Hakws were flying high before last weeks big setback to the 49’ers. They fell behind 20-0 before a furious comeback fell short, leaving them at 6-4. Matt Hasselbeck is back in the fold as starter for Seattle, and that alone will be a lift. Shaun Alexander should start to get his legs under him as well, which gives stability to the Seattle offense for the first time in about two months. When Hasselbeck and Alexander play together, they are 3-0, apart, they are 3-4. Last week the Packers were shut out for the second time this year at home, and Bret Farve’s status for this week is up in the air with an elbow, but with Todd Bauman now as the backup, you can bet that Favre will give it his all to make sure he’s in there. This should be an interesting game, but the Hawks really need a win here. Seattle 29 Green Bay 24



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One Response to “NFL Week 12 Predictions”

  1. Rockwell says:

    You are extending you lead… but both of us had a pretty good Thanksgiving (as far as predictions go).

    I’m in agreement on most of these. You do know the Browns better than I do… but I think the Bengals have swung the ship around.

    As for the Giants… you should write more (as you have above) about how they are imploding. We know you don’t like them. I agree the Titans will give them fits… as they did for every other NFC East team save Dallas. However, I think they will pull it together. This will be a pivotal game for the Giants… they lose and begin to sink hard… or they win and stay competitive with Dallas… which looks like the best in the NFC right now.