Movie Quote of the Day:
“A man can convince anyone that he’s someone else, but never himself.”
– Roger “Verbal” Kent, The Usual Suspects (1995)
Here are the matchups for week 12:
Overall record: 7-7 (50%)
Overall record: 82-64 (56.2%)
Philadelphia (4-6) vs. Detroit (3-7)
Line: DET -2.5
Philadelphia is the better team in this matchup. The Eagles haven’t played to their potential all season and can’t seem to come together as a team. Detroit has been playing better the last two weeks as they knocked off Green Bay and Oakland. I’m tired of picking Philadelphia every week. All they do is let me down. I don’t feel good about it, but I’m taking Detroit.
Prediction: Lions 27, Eagles 23
Carolina (10-0) vs. Dallas (3-7)
Line: DAL -1.5
Carolina is has been fantastic so far this season. You could talk me into the whole “Cam Newton for MVP” argument. Dallas’ record is misleading because the Cowboys have been without Tony Romo since week two. If this game were in Charlotte I’d take Carolina. However, the game is in Dallas and Romo is back. I think this is where Carolina finally gets their first loss.
Prediction: Cowboys 34, Panthers 28
Chicago (4-6) vs. Green Bay (7-3)
Green Bay, Wisc.
Line: GB -8.5
Green Bay wasn’t spectacular last week against Minnesota, but they still played well enough to win the game and get back on track. Green Bay is the much better team than Chicago. This is the greatest rivalry in the NFL and you never know what to expect. The Packers are retiring Brett Favre’s number for this game. I can’t see Green Bay losing this game with Favre (and Bart Starr) there. I think the Packers win easily.
Prediction: Packers 31, Bears 14
Oakland (4-6) vs. Tennessee (2-8)
If you ready my blog regularly, you’d know that I’m a believer in the “West Coast to East Coast Theory.” Very rarely do you see a West Coast team win when they have to travel across the country to play an early game. I don’t expect that to change for this game. I’m taking the Titans.
Prediction: Titans 26, Raiders 23
Buffalo (5-5) vs. Kansas City (5-5)
Kansas City, Mo.
Line: KC -7
Buffalo has the better roster, but they’ve been up and down all season. That’s mainly because the Bills lack a quarterback. Kansas City has won four straight games and Arrowhead Stadium is one of the toughest places (if not the toughest) to play for opposing teams. I’m picking the Chiefs to keep their win streak going.
Prediction: Chiefs 24, Bills 14
Tampa Bay (5-5) vs. Indianapolis (5-5)
Lucas Oil Stadium
Line: IND -3
Indianapolis had a great come-from-behind victory against the Falcons last week. The Colts have yet to lose a game with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback. However, the Buccaneers have been playing very well, especially Jameis Winston, in recent weeks. I want to pick go with an upset, but I think the Colts find a way to get another win with Hasselbeck.
Prediction: Colts 28, Buccaneers 24
New York Giants (5-5) vs. Washington (4-6)
Line: NYG -2.5
I think the Giants are the better team in this matchup. I expect the Giants to be ready to play for this game after getting their hearts ripped out by New England two weeks ago. Washington got embarrassed last week by Carolina. Now Washington will be back on their home field, which is always an advantage. The Redskins aren’t a bad team, but I think the Giants win in a close one.
Prediction: Giants 31, Redskins 30
New Orleans (4-6) vs. Houston (5-5)
Line: HOU -3
Houston has been playing very well recently. The Texans have won four of their last five games. It’s hard to pick against Houston right now. That defense is playing lights out. I don’t see an aging Drew Brees going into Houston and winning this game. Especially since New Orleans has the worst defense in the NFL.
Prediction: Texans 26, Saints 20
Minnesota (7-3) vs. Atlanta (6-4)
Minnesota finally got exposed last week against Green Bay. The good news for the Vikings after getting embarrassed is that they now have to play an Atlanta that has been struggling. The Falcons have lost three of their last four games (none of those teams currently have a winning record). I think Minnesota comes out and plays well after the game they had on Sunday against Green Bay.
Prediction: Vikings 27, Falcons 22
St. Louis (4-6) vs. Cincinnati (8-2)
Paul Brown Stadium
Line: CIN -10
St. Louis keeps struggling against teams they have no business losing to. Some of that is understandable when you bench Nick Foles and have Case Keenum at quarterback. Cincinnati has lost back-to-back games, but only one of those was a bad loss. The Bengals almost went into Arizona last week and knocked off a very good Cardinals team. I think Cincinnati is for real and I think they’ll win this game comfortably against St. Louis.
Prediction: Bengals 31, Rams 17
San Diego (2-8) vs. Jacksonville (4-6)
Line: JAC -4
San Diego continues to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. Jacksonville has quietly played well in the last month. The Jaguars are 3-1 with wins against Buffalo, Baltimore, and Tennessee. I think Gus Bradley has Jacksonville trending in the right direction and Blake Bortles is having a pretty good season. I think Jacksonville gets another win under their belt.
Prediction: Jaguars 28, Chargers 24
Miami (4-6) vs. New York Jets (5-5)
East Rutherford, N.J.
Line: NYJ -3
Miami has been an unpredictable team all season. They play great for one game. Then they’ll be awful for the next game. I can’t figure them out. Both of these teams have been struggling recently. When I’m picking a game like this I think it’s safe to take the home team. The Jets have the better head coach. I think Todd Bowles gets this team ready to play.
Prediction: Jets 31, Dolphins 27
Atlanta (8-2) vs. San Francisco (3-7)
Santa Clara, Calif.
Line: ARI -11.5
I think Arizona is one of the best teams in the NFL. The Cardinals can score points and have a terrific defense. I think San Francisco is officially in “tank mode” now that they put Colin Kaepernick on the injury reserve list. Carson Palmer has been playing at a MVP level. I don’t see Blaine Gabbert outplaying Palmer, ever. This is probably the easiest pick this week. I’m taking the Cardinals.
Prediction: Cardinals 38, 49ers 13
Pittsburgh (6-4) vs. Seattle (5-5)
Line: SEA -4.5
I’m not sure why the spread is so far in Seattle’s favor. I guess Vegas thinks that the Seahawks are “back” after their win over San Francisco last week. I got news for you, a lot of people are about to start beating San Francisco. Seattle will be without Marshawn Lynch for this game. I understand that Pittsburgh has had a lot of injuries and this is a long road trip for them, but I like the Steelers in this game. Seattle’s defense isn’t as dominant as it used to be and the chemistry isn’t gelling in Seattle’s locker room.
Prediction: Steelers 30, Seahawks 24
Baltimore (3-7) vs. Cleveland (2-8)
Line: CLE -2.5
This is going to be a battle for last place in the AFC North division. Luck has not been on Baltimore’s side all season. Cleveland keeps trending in the wrong direction and look to be setting up for the top pick in the draft. Baltimore will be without Joe Flacco for the remainder of the season. I’m not sure if Jimmy Clausen has what it takes to go into a hostile environment and get a win. Because of that, I’m going with the Browns to get the win in a low-scoring game.
Prediction: Browns 17, Ravens 16
Game of the Week:
New England (10-0) vs. Denver (8-2)
Sports Authority Field
Line: NE -2.5
New England has been lights out all season, but they’ve quietly been struggling in recent weeks. That’s because the Patriots have lost Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis for the season due to injury. Tom Brady struggled moving the ball last week against Buffalo’s defense. Denver has a much better defense than Buffalo. I think the Broncos are going to give Brady fits. I think Denver’s defense helps keep Brock Osweiler and Denver’s offense stay in the game. Denver is a tough atmosphere and I’m going to pick the upset. I’m going with Denver.
Prediction: Broncos 21, Patriots 17
Thanks for reading
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