My NFL Picks For Week 12
You have 6 more opportunities to get into the grand prize drawing to win a "Man Cave" with our Pro Football Pickem' Challenge. So in an effort to help (a real life bookie would probably be more helpful) I'm offering up my picks that you can use as a guide. The key to winning these pools is picking an upset or two which I've been able to do but this year the league has been awfully hard to figure and there have been more upsets than usual. Please note that on Thanksgiving Day the NFL has added an extra game for a total of 3 this year so you'll need to make your picks no later than 10:30am on Thursday. My picks are in bold.
PACKERS at LIONS. Even though Aaron Rodgers has returned to practice, head coach Mike McCarthy has said his chances of playing are "Slim to None" and without Rodgers Green Bay has been pedestrian at best.
RAIDERS at COWBOYS. Dallas, while not setting the world on fire, should hold serve at home against a scrappy but undermanned Oakland squad.
STEELERS at RAVENS. Giving the nod to the defending Super Bowl champs because they're at home. No other reason.
TITANS at COLTS. The Titans seem to have found their legs under backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick while the Colts are completely relying on the arm of Andrew Luck. With WR Reggie Wayne lost for the season, the underwhelming duo of Donald Brown and Trent Richardson in the backfield and a so-so defense this is the game when we find out of the Colts are for real after getting blown out by the Cardinals and Rams in 2 of the last 3 weeks.
JAGUARS at BROWNS. Despite starting 0-8 Jacksonville does have some talent and it's starting to show. The Browns may have Brandon Weeden but at least their defense is good. If you're in Vegas take the under but expect the Jags running game to get JAX by in a squeaker.
BUCCANEERS at PANTHERS. If the Panthers look past Tampa Bay because they have the Saints on their mind they'll be making a mistake. The surging Bucs under rookie Mike Glennon should give them all they can handle. Still, the Panthers have won 7 straight and look like a Super Bowl contender.
BEARS at VIKINGS. I really like what Chicago backup QB Luke McCown has been doing for the Bears but their injury depleted run defense has been awful and they are facing the leagues best RB in Adrian Peterson.
PATRIOTS at TEXANS. Who needs convincing?
CARDINALS at EAGLES. Can anyone doubt that Bruce Arians is a hell of a coach. He has to be neck and neck with Andy Reid for Coach of the Year. This game will be close but Arizona is playing great while Philly has struggled. I would flip flop on this pick however if the weather is nasty which it very could be according to reports. Dome teams like Arizona don't fare so well in bad conditions.
DOLPHINS at JETS. Anyone want this? The Jets defense should be the deciding factor especially since the fish are stretched so thin on the OL.
FALCONS at BILLS. What happened to Atlanta? Julio Jones is a huge loss but they still have Matt Ryan, Steven Jackson and Roddy White. Unfortunately White has a total of 6 receptions in 3 games since returning from injury and Jackson has been a no show.
RAMS at 49ers. Pick against whoever I pick here. I am a Rams fan and since 1990 when I've picked against them they win and when I pick them they lose. Still, they have outscored their last 2 opponents (Chicago and Indianapolis) by a score of 80 to 29. I'm taking St. Louis. This is my upset special.
BENGALS at CHARGERS. Chargers are coming off a huge win vs. KC and the Bengals are 1-2 in their last 3.
BRONCOS at CHIEFS. Unless is seriously freakin' cold (Peyton doesn't play well in cold weather) Denver will vent their frustration at having blown 24 point lead last week upon Kansas City. Whenever the Chiefs play a tough team, as always, it'll come down to Alex Smith. If you think he can be the deciding factor go ahead and pick KC. Not me.
GIANTS at REDSKINS. Giants have won 4 of their last 5 and it took Dallas a last second field goal to beat them on Sunday. Meanwhile the Redskins have lost their last 3.
SAINTS at SEAHAWKS. Man I hate picking the Seahags but as good as New Orleans is their kryptonite is a bruising tailback and Marshawn Lynch fits the bill.