NFL Picks - Week 12

Sunday Morning

Cleveland @ Atlanta

The Falcons are soaring in first place while the lowly Browns are wallowing in last. Sure Atlanta is 4-6, two games worse than Cleveland, but sometimes that doesn't matter in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. All that matters is that the Falcons play in the south, an area long known for its barren football landscape from which no talent can escape. Interesting tidbit: the Falcons have only played one game in Atlanta since September 19th. Will the home crowd welcome them back with open arms or feel scorned and constantly ask the team where they've been and why they didn't call? Probably the former, but beware the latter.

Falcons 23-20

Tennessee @ Philadelphia

Those spunky little Titans almost pulled off a win on Monday night, which is pretty impressive when you consider the fact that they suck. Don't expect too much from Tennessee, that puts undue pressure on them. They're just a ragtag group trying to sort their way through big time football and maybe learn something about themselves along the way. Can we really ask anything more of them?

Eagles 41-21

Detroit @ New England

Superpowers collide when the Lions' defense (15.6 ppg) takes on the Patriots' offense (32.3 ppg). This will be the biggest test yet for Detroit's D, but surprisingly every game is a test for their O. Sure Calvin Johnson was out for a few weeks, but you'd still expect this team to put up more than 18.8 ppg. And no, I didn't just choose an arbitrary number, that's actually what they're averaging this season. They'll need to far exceed that to have a chance this week, which I don't think they do.

Patriots 27-17

Green Bay @ Minnesota

What a match-up. The Packers are on fire and the Vikings aren't terrible. Really all you could hope for from Minnesota. As for Green Bay, I've discovered their formula for winning: score a shitload of points. Seems obvious but if you look at their results it's downright glaring. In their wins they've scored 27 or more, while in their losses they've put up 23 or less. So if they're in field goal position down 23-21 with a few seconds left they'll have to go for a TD regardless. 27+ points equal a win, it's just that simple. Probably won't be an issue this Sunday though.

Packers 38-21

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis

You can throw the records out when these two get together. At least that's what the Jaguars have petitioned the league to do. The Colts were embarrassed at home last week, while the Jags have been embarrassed so much that they no longer know shame, they're numb to it. They no longer fear losing, which makes them potentially dangerous. Or not.

Colts 33-17

Cincinnati @ Houston

The Bengals return to their house of horrors, Reliant Stadium, a venue in which they lost wild card games following the 2011 and '12 seasons. Will Andy Dalton be able to conquer his demons? Has he ever been able to? The Texans are currently on the fringes of the AFC playoff picture, but if they can get the win here they have a favorable schedule down the stretch and could feasibly get to 10-6. This is their fork in the road game. Luckily for them, they're pretty good and sticking a fork in Andy Dalton.

Texans 24-20

New York Jets @ Buffalo

Speaking of forks and fringes, the Bills' path was determined last week when they laid a stinker in Miami. And when you lay a stinker in Miami that means it's hot, humid, and extra offensive. Buffalo is technically still in the race for a wild card spot, but they still have to face Cleveland, Denver, Green Bay, and New England over the last five weeks. Let's bring back Shooter for that. Throw in the fact that they haven't been able to practice all week and that they have to play a home game in Detroit, it becomes a recipe for disaster.

Jets 20-18

Tampa Bay @ Chicago

After hiring Lovie Smith, signing Luke McCown and drafting Mike Evans to pair with equally large receiver Vincent Jackson, many theorized that the Bucs were building themselves in Chicago's image. Just to recap, that's a Chicago team that had made the playoffs once in the last seven seasons. Time to get a new role model Tampa.

Bears 26-24

Sunday Afternoon

Arizona @ Seattle

How much pride does this Seahawks team have? We'll see this week as they host the team that now sits atop the NFC West with their season (more or less) on the line. The Hawks should have a much higher level of desperation, which should lead to a victory. Though that might require a down-field pass completion (or even attempt) at some point, which has proven rare over the last few weeks. If the Hawks can sprinkle in a couple big pass plays a win will follow. And if not, they'll just get it done with field goals.

Seahawks 19-14 

St. Louis @ San Diego

What's your deal Rams? Three of their four wins have come against conference title game participants from last season, while their six losses have come against ... actually mostly good teams too. Wow, they've had a tough schedule. This will be their ninth straight game against a winning team. But hey, don't start feeling bad for the Rams because of their schedule, feel bad for them because their fans need a video to teach them how to cheer (why not?). The Chargers crawled by the Raiders 13-6 last week for their first win since the last time they played the Raiders. Unfortunately Oakland isn't on their schedule again so they'll have to string together a couple of real victories to make a playoff push. I'm guessing this will be one.

Chargers 16-10

Miami @ Denver

It's crazy to think that the Dolphins are only one game worse than the Broncos right now. Literally insane. It's time to question everything. Like why do they call it football? That's not a ball, its an oblong spheroid at best! Anyway, the Broncos need to hope for a major slip-up from the Patriots now, because if they have to travel to Foxborough for the AFC championship game I don't see it turning out well. Not the traveling aspect, though there may be some turbulence on the flight, really just some light chop; I was more referring to the game itself.

Broncos 31-20

Washington @ San Francisco

RG3 is not good at talking. I don't mean that he has trouble forming words or that his syntax is poor, I just mean that whenever he talks he makes the situation worse. That was on full display over the last week and now he's put himself in a situation in which folks are wondering if he'll be the quarterback of the future in D.C.. If you ask me, the fervor is much ado about nothing, and pretty unfair to Griffin. So few times have we actually seen a quarterback of the future in this league. The last one was probably Zax Brongdor, who became the LA Rams signal caller in 1984 after mysteriously appearing at the team's facility naked and covered in a gelatinous substance. And even he only had a couple of productive seasons before being benched in favor of Jim Everett. So let's cut RG3 some slack.

49ers 24-13 

Sunday Night

Dallas @ New York Giants

Thank God! Did you realize that it's been six weeks since we've had an NFC East match-up on Sunday Night Football?!? I was beginning to wonder what we had done to upset our NBC overlords. Thankfully they had mercy on our pathetic souls and didn't flex out this contest featuring the 3-7 Giants who play in New York and are therefore always relevant. Praise be to you NBC.

Cowboys 27-20

Monday Night

Baltimore @ New Orleans

The Saints lost 27-10 to the Bengals last Sunday and are now in danger of dropping three home games in three weeks. To be fair, their division requires them to have zero sense of urgency, and the city they play in requires them to have zero self-respect, so we can forgive them for taking it (big) easy. I think they'll show some fight this week and send the FlacMan home unhappy. Though, when you think about it, that man has such inner peace that he's never really discontent.

Saints 27-24

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