Site Editor Matt Loedes NFL Picks for Week 12

Last week I was robbed of that Steelers game like a lot of Vegas, but at least I didn’t have real $$$ on it.  Nevertheless, I went 7-8 vs the spread, and now sit at 70-73 after the Pittsburgh win and cover on Thursday night.  Here are my picks for week 12.

Houston at Cleveland (-3)

It’s been another wild week for the Browns, as their QB has a fractured finger, and their GM is dropping F-bombs in emails to fans.  The weather should not be so good in Cleveland, and that could play in the hands of the Browns.  But, Steve Slaton is running well, a bright spot for the Texans, and I don’t trust the Cleveland D, which is just awful.  The Texans bounce back and finally get a win.  Houston 27 Cleveland 21

Buffalo (-3) at Kansas City

The Bills have fallen apart, losing at home Monday night because of a shanked kick by Rian Lindell in the end.  Now they go to KC, where the Chiefs continue to play hard, but just don’t have enough to get wins week in and week out.  I think the Bills may realize that their 08 season is just about over, and I’ll throw caution to the win and give the Chiefs a rare home win.  Kansas City 20 Buffalo 17

NY Jets at Tennessee (-5.5)

The Jets are red hot after Thursday night’s huge OT win over the Pats on the road.  It gets no easier here, as the Titans are playing great, undefeated and overcoming odds week in and week out.  They were down 14-3 early to the Jags last week, but again were able to come back.  Look for Brett Favre and that Jets offense to have a tough day vs the Titans, and for the boys in blue to move to 11-0.  Tennessee 20 NY Jets 10

New England at Miami (-1)

The Dolphins are thinking…gulp…playoffs?  Yes, this team has what it takes at 6-4 to make it as a wild card, or even the AFC East champs, but this is a HUGE game for them.  They beat the Pats in week three, but Matt Cassel is playing much better, and the Pats have been pretty good even though they are nowhere near where they were a year ago.  The Fins need a better game than they had a week ago vs the Hawks, and I think they will again run over NE here at home.  Miami 27 New England 23

San Francisco at Dallas (-10)

Tough spot here for the 49’ers, as the Cowboys are back on track after a huge road win in DC last Sunday night.  They are going to come home with Tony Romo back in the fold, and they should be able to do what they do best, play good on offense vs a bad Niners D, and dominate Shaun Hill and make plays in the 49’ers backfield.  I like the Cowboys in a big way at home.  Dallas 31 San Francisco 14

Tampa Bay (-8.5) at Detroit

Will the Lions ever win?  Maybe, but it won’t be here against old friend Jeff Garcia and a pretty good Bucs team.  I like the Bucs defense to stomp all over the Lions, and the Detroit D will do what it does best – give up a lot of yards on the ground and points on the board.  Garica will make some plays, and it will be another long day at Ford Field.  Tampa Bay 29 Detroit 20

Philadelphia at Baltimore (-1)

A very tough game to call, as the Ravens have been playing well up until they were beaten up bad last week by the Giants.  The Eagles are going to play with a chip on their shoulder after an ugly tie vs the Bengals on the road.  The Eagles can do some things here, but the Ravens strive on their fans at home, and that defense and running game will get back on track while they will hold down Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook enough to win.  Baltimore 16 Philadelphia 10

Chicago (-8.5) at St.Louis

The Bears played an awful game at Green Bay last Sunday, and will take out their frustrations on a bad Rams team Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams will be without Steven Jackson, and at this point are playing out the stretch just looking towards the offseason. Look for a big day for Kyle Orton and Matt Forte, and the Rams to roll with a lot of Bears fans in the stands. Chicago 34 St.Louis 21

Minnesota at Jacksonville (-2)

I have no idea what to make of this game. The Jags look like a team that is going backwards, and I thought they were playing well last week till the third quarter and then things got out of control in losing to the Titans. The Vikings could not run, nor protect Gus Frerotte, and despite having a lead were not able to stop the Bucs in the end. I think the Vikings are a better team, and I guess based on that I’ll take them. Minnesota 21 Jacksonville 14

Carolina at Atlanta (-1)

The huge game in the NFC South this week, and the Falcons need to win if they have any visions at all of coming back to win the South title. The Panthers are not playing their best football, but the run game did more than enough to beat the Lions and set team records in the process. I think the Panthers D will control Matt Ryan and Michael Turner enough to eek out a huge win and expand on their lead in the division. Carolina 26 Atlanta 24

Oakland at Denver (-9.5)

Mike Shanahan has never forgiven Al Davis for firing him years back, and this is the perfect spot for the Broncos to again run it up on the Raiders. Oakland is having a tough time scoring, and while the D is trying to hang in there, I think the Broncos are starting to play like they did in the first three weeks of the season. I like the Broncos in a route. Denver 37 Oakland 17

Washington (-3.5) at Seattle

The Hawks are a terrible team, and while the Skins lost last week, they come to Seattle playing much better than the Hawks. Last week the team was a bit banged up, but should get their big horses back, plus don’t forget Jim Zorn and Shaun Alexander come back to Seattle, and the rest of the Skins will want to win it for them as much as themselves. Look for a Redskins win here. Washington 24 Seattle 14

NY Giants (-3) at Arizona

Could this be an NFC Title game preview? How nuts would that be to have former Giants QB Kurt Warner looking to get to the dance again against one of his former teams. In this one, the Cards at home can do some things against that Giants defense. I think that the Giants may be a bit on edge with Brandon Jacobs being banged up, and the Cards will do what they do – throw, and throw a lot. Something tells me Arizona is out to take a big step to the next level here. Arizona 21 NY Giants 20

Indianapolis at San Diego (-3)

Have the odds makers watched the Chargers this year? I guess not, because the Chargers are not a very good team. The Colts may be playing their best ball of the year, and while I think this one has the makings of a shoot-out, I think that the Colts are the better team, and they know a win here is a huge step towards the playoffs. The season basically ends for the Chargers with a loss here. Indianapolis 31 San Diego 29

Monday Night:

Green Bay at New Orleans (-2.5)

Reggie Bush could be back for the Saints, giving them a big lift. They got the monkey off their back with a road win last week in KC, and now here at home I think they outplay a Packers team that comes in off a huge win over the Bears at home last week. The Saints have got to start playing better, and I think on the national stage it starts here. New Orleans 24 Green Bay 17

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