Week 12 is here, and there are a few big games which will hopefully clarify the playoff picture, and separate the real contenders from the rest of the league. In the Thursday night game, the Raiders actually won! Derek Carr’s celebrations were hilarious and it really showed how desperate they were for a win (even though they almost blew it celebrating and being 20 yards offsides when the game wasn’t over, but don’t blame them, they’ve never been in a position where they might win before so they probably didn’t know what to do). So good for them, I didn’t see it coming. Without further ado, here’s my picks this week.
Browns at Falcons: Now this is a really interesting matchup just because of how irrelevant it might’ve seemed a few weeks into the year. The Falcons at 4-6 are somehow playing for the division lead in this one, and despite the Browns being 6-4 and having a great season, they desperately need to keep winning in order to stay in the playoff hunt. The Falcons are at home, and I think that gets them a much-needed win. Falcons 27-23
Buccaneers at Bears: Here’s two teams that have played horrible this season but were both able to earn a win last week. The Bears are playing purely for pride at this point, while the Bucs, at 2-8, are still in the NFC South hunt. Wait, did I say that correctly? WOW. In a division where six wins could send you to the playoffs, the Bucs are still alive and just need to win their division games. Unfortunately, they are just so weak I can’t possibly pick them. Bears 31-20
Jaguars at Colts: Seriously? Does this matchup even need to happen? And to top it off, the Colts get to be home for this slaughter? The Colts won 44-17 when Jacksonville was home. However, the Jaguars are a little better now, and I’ll let them off easy hoping the Colts show mercy. Colts 38-17
Packers at Vikings: This might as well be renamed Jags-Colts 2. The only difference is that the pathetic team is home this time. The Packers won 42-10 at home in this matchup, and are the hottest team in the league at the moment. They’ve won six of seven and have scored 108 points in their last two games. I thought a mercy rule was supposed to kick in at some point? The Vikings might need one. Packers 41-16
Lions at Patriots: Hey, a good game. Finally. The 8-2 Patriots host the 7-3 Lions in a game that might give the Patriots some trouble, despite how dominant they have been of late. The Lions have a strong D, but will need to jump to a quick start on offense and feed Megatron the ball. Detroit is catching a break that the weather is reasonable, but that’ll be one of the only breaks they’ll catch in this one. Patriots 27-14
Titans at Eagles: I don’t know what to say about this one. Hopefully for Titans fans Mark Sanchez butt fumbles and throws five picks? That’s about all that could save them in Philly. Eagles 34-17
Bengals at Texans: The 5-5 Texans are trying to crawl into the AFC Wild Card picture and a win over the unpredictable Bengals would be a great way to do it. At 6-3-1, the Bengals are smack dab in the middle of the jumbled mess commonly referred to as the AFC North. The Bengals are usually not a strong road team, and the Texans are riding a bit of confidence after beating the Browns with new quarterback Ryan Mallett, so I’ll have to pick the Texans. Texans 27-24
Rams at Chargers: The Rams are the best 4-6 team of all-time, no questions asked, no doubt in my mind. They’ve beaten the Seahawks, the 49ers, and the Broncos this season (along with the Bucs, but who really cares about them), and aren’t even .500! It’s so unfortunate that they couldn’t pull out close losses against the Eagles and Cowboys and are in the division they’re in, because they could run away with the NFC South but will most likely finish last in the NFC West. My instinct tells me to go with the Rams because of how they tend to beat good teams, and due to how the Chargers have been struggling as of late. So despite how dumb this might look after the game, I’ll trust my gut, and make my big upset pick of the week. Rams 24-20
Cardinals at Seahawks: The 9-1 Cardinals proved once again they can win without Carson Palmer in their impressive win over the Lions, but let’s be real here. It’s just too tough to win in Seattle for me to pick against the Seahawks, even knowing how good the Cardinals’ defense is. For some reason, the Seahawks are another team at home from on the road. It also doesn’t hurt that Russell Wilson is my fantasy QB, although I might have to go against all my morals and start Romo against the Giants. Seahawks 27-20
Dolphins at Broncos: Talk about a game that wasn’t supposed to be close at the beginning of the year. The Dolphins have proven they are not to be messed with, and have wins over the Chargers and Patriots. Unfortunately, they run into the best offense in the league (arguably) at the wrong time, in a game where Denver must rebound from a loss at the hands of the Rams. Peyton will go off, and that will be scary. Broncos 38-27
Redskins at 49ers: This one will be painful to watch. RG3 is not the same guy as he was a couple years ago. I mean, these guys lost to the Buccaneers last week! (OK, sorry Bucs fans, your team is getting a lot of hate from me). But seriously, blowout. 49ers 31-10
Cowboys at Giants: I don’t want to do this. I really don’t want to do this. I just can’t’ pick the Giants until I see them win something. (This will all change next week when they play the Jags). Eli was having a pretty good year until last week, where they really should’ve beaten the 49ers. Oh well, there’s always next year. Cowboys 27-20. Oh, who am I kidding? It’ll be a good day if the Giants only allow 27.
Jets at Bills: Tickets for this one will be free as the game is in Detroit, but I might need to be paid to watch this one. That’s how bad the Jets are. The Bills aren’t much better than an average team, but the Jets make average look great. Bills 30-17
Ravens at Saints: This is a must-win for both teams to keep pace in their respective divisions. The Saints have lost two in a row at home (earth-shattering, I know), but I have to think it ends here. The Falcons have caught them in the NFC South (not that hard to do really when division leader is 4-6…) and now they have to start winning or else they won’t be playing in January. Saints 31-20
Have a great week 12, and a happy Thanksgiving break (if you’re out this week like I am).