JC's Take: NFL Week 12 Review
Hello everyone. Welcome back for my Week 12 picks!
New England Patriots vs Detroit Lions
The Thanksgiving day traditiion. The Lions are an improving young team, and their games should get more interesting in the next few years. But even this game shoukld be closer than the people think. This game, especially for a young Lions team, will be their Super Bowl. Expect the Lions to play their best game of the year here. The problem is, the Patriots are just too good of a football team with much better talent. The Lions secondary is vulnerable and Tom Brady will expose it. The game will be close early, but expect the Patriots to pull away late.
New England 35 Detroit 24
New Orleans Saints vs Dallas Cowboys
This game looked like a cake-walk for the Saints a few weeks ago, but now they have to be worried about a new-look Cowboys team. Their playing better under new coach Jason Garrett, and have won two in a row with him as coach. The Saints are also playing the best football they have all year in the last few weeks. The offense looks back to Super Bowl form, and the defense is getting there as well. The Cowboys will play hard and keep this game close, but I think the Saints pull away in the end. Too much talent on offense for a weak Cowboys secondary to handle.
New Orleans 28 Dallas 23
Cincinnati Bengals vs New York Jets
At the beginning of the year, this looked like an interesting playoff rematch from last year. But now, it looks like a Jets blowout. The Bengals just quit last week against the Bills, giving up a 21 point 1st half lead, and being outscored 42-3 after being up 28-7 with 10 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. The offense just hasn't been able to put a full game effort all year, and the defense has struggled mightily. The Jets have been playing some close games recently, but they are finding ways to win. The shouldn't have any problems this week against a down Cincinnati team. Marvin Lewis may be gone by the end of the weekend.
New York Jets 31 Cincinnati 14
Green Bay Packers vs Atlanta Falcons
Huge game in the NFC. This could be a potential NFC Championship preview. Both teams have a high-powered offense capable of scoring plenty of points in a game. They both have young franchise QBs capable of taking their team far in the playoffs. So with that in mind, the key to this game will be the defense. And I think the Packers have a bit more talent on defense than the Falcons. The Falcons are a great team at home, and that's why this will probably be the most interesting game of the weekend. But I think the Packers squeak one out here and move closer to the top spot in the NFC.
Green Bay 23 Atlanta 21
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills
This just may be the Bills fan in me thinknig this, but this feels like a trap game for the Steelers. The Bills have been playing some good football the last month. They've won two in a row, and could easily be on a five game winning streak right now. The offense has finally come together, and the defense is playing better. The Steelers put together a dominating effort over the Raiders last week. They held a hot Raiders offense to only 3 points. The reason I call this a trap game is because the Steelers have a big Sunday night game next week at hated rival Baltimore. While the Bills are capable of pulling off an upset, the Steelers have too much talent to not win here. The defense will more than likely pressure Ryan Fitzpatrick into making a few mistakes, and shut down the run enough to pick up the victory.
Pittsburgh 28 Buffalo 24
Carolina Panthers vs Cleveland Browns
Have you seen the movie "Invincible"? I think head coach John Fox will soon be holding public tryouts for positions on his team. I think it's quite clear that Fox cannot wait to get out of Carolina. Ownership has not given him the talent to win this year, and they look to be headed towards the first pick in next year's draft. The Browns have come back down to earth after two huge upsets, but they're still playing some good football. Colt McCoy is injured, and he may not play here, but it shouldn't make a difference in the outcome. The Browns care more than the Panthers. I bet the Panthers are wishing they had drafted Colt McCoy instead of Jimmy Claussen at this point.
Cleveland 27 Carolina 16
Jacksonville Jaguars vs New York Giants
These are two teams that seem to be heading in opposite directions. The Jags are riding a hot streak and are now currently sitting in first place in the AFC South. The Giants have lost two in a row and are hurting because of injuries. They'll be without top WRs Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks this week. They've also been having problems stopping the run on defense. The Jags have been clicking offensively and David Garrard looks like the Garrard of old. You would think the Giants should rebound here at home, but they can struggle their as evident in their game agaisnt the Cowboys two weeks ago. I think the Giants are falling fast, and Tom Coughlin needs to be worried about his job. I'm picking Jacksonville here in what some may consider a slight upset.
Jacksonville 30 NY Giants 24
Minnesota Vikings vs Washington Redskins
The Vikings finally fired coach Brad Childress, and there was much rejoicing in Minnesota! Leslie Frazier takes over, and he'll be given every opportunity to win the job. The Vikings front office is hoping that they can turn around their season and play the way the Cowboys are playing right now. They're sticking with Brett Favre at QB, which makes you seem to think Tavaris Jackson is done in Minnesota. The Redskins rebounded nicely with an OT win in Tennessee, and stayed in the playoff hunt with the win. Now they have to keep winning and hope they can stay in the playoff hunt. It'll be interesting to see how the Vikings come out and play under their new coach. I think they'll play hard, but I think the Redskins pull out the win.
Washington 23 Minnesota 20
Tennessee Titans vs Houston Texans
Both of these teams are facing rough times. The Titans have a problem with Vince Young and Jeff Fisher. There's a rift there, and somebody will probably be gone in the off-season. With Young on IR, rookie Rusty Smith gets his first career start at QB. He's lucky in that he faces a Texans defense that has been shredded late the last few weeks. Gary Kubiak is on the hot seat, and he probably needs a win here to have any glimmer of hope for his future. I think the Texans pull off the win here. Having a rookie QB will make life a little easier for the Texans secondary.
Houston 27 Tennessee 19
Miami Dolphins vs Oakland Raiders
Both of these teams are coming off pitiful offensive performacnes. The Dolphins got shut out at home against the Bears, while the Raiders only scored 3 points against the Steelers. The loser of this game may be just about done in the playoff race. That might hold truer for the Dolphins, because at least the Raiders still play in the AFC West. The starters at QB for both teams is up in the air. I'm taking the Raiders here. The Dolphins will likely be without top WR Brandon Marshall, which leaves the Dolphins with very little firepower on offense. Give me the Raiders.
Oakland 21 Miami 17
Kansas City Chiefs vs Seattle Seahawks
The two leaders of the two worst divisions in football meet. The Chiefs rebounded last week with a nice home win against Arizona. The Seahawks lost in New Orleans last week and didn't look good in doing it. The Chiefs have a good offense but are very inconsistent. The Seahawks play much better at home than they do on the road, and are very dangerous in Seattle. I think I'm gonna take Seattle in this one. They're a much better home team, and the Chiefs are too inconsistent.
Seattle 33 Kansas City 27
Philadelphia Eagles vs Chicago Bears
Another big game in the NFC. The Bears have quitely put together a nice 7-3 record and still stand atop the NFC North. Jay Cutler hasn't been making mistakes in recent weeks that have cost his team games, and the defense is playing back to form. The Eagles continue to play some of their best football under coach Andy Reid. Mike Vick is playing at an all-world level at QB. He seems almost unstoppable. The Eagles have all their weapons healthy on offense and are a tough team to stop. And their defense is also looking like they are picking up their game. I just can't pick against the Eagles with the way they are playing right now. Until they lose with Vick at QB, I'm not picking against them.
Philadelphia 26 Chicago 21
St. Louis Rams vs Denver Broncos
Many people are wondering when the Tim Tebow era will start in Denver. The Broncos seem to think they are still in it, but that seems highly unlikely. The Rams have struggled recently, and they have problems winning on the road. And Denver, especially in late November, is a very tough place to play. The Broncos still have a very good offense under Kyle Orton and can put up points. The Rams are a young team, and that's why I think they will struggle here in Denver and fall back in the NFC West race.
Denver 34 St. Louis 21
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Baltimore Ravens
Another chance for this young Tampa team to prove they are for real. They're 7-3, but are still only beating the teams that they are better then. They haven't beaten a truly elite team yet in the league, and they have another chance here to do that. The defense put together a great effor last week shuting out the 49ers. Josh Freeman is another young QB that the Bucs franchise can build around. But the Ravens are a good football team that can be tough to beat. Joe Flacco has thrown only 1 interception since Week 4. The defense finally put together a great effort last week, even if it was against the Panthers. But the Ravens know they need to keep winning. This may also be a trap game for them with Pittsburgh coming to town next Sunday night, but I think the Ravens are playing too well to slip up here.
Baltimore 28 Tampa Bay 20
San Diego Chargers vs Indianapolis Colts
Could the injuries be finally catching up to the Colts. They cameback last week against New England, but Peyton Manning seemed like he tried to do a little too much and threw that late INT that costs the Colts the game. The Chargers, meanwhile, are on a hot streak. Phillip Rivers is playing at an all-world level, and has to be considered the leading candidate for MVP. The Colts are a better team at home, but this feeling has to be something different for them. They're not used to being in a dogfight for their division. Usually they are just about pulling away with it at this time. I expect a high scoring game here. But I like the Colts simply because they are a better team at home.
Indianapolis 38 San Diego 34
San Francisco 49ers vs Arizona Cardinals
Even if these teams were looked at as young and up-and-coming in the off-season, I still don't know why this game is a Monday night game. It'll probably have the lowest rating for MNF this year. Both these teams are coming off of bad performances, and the loser will all but be out of the NFC West race. The Cardinals have problems at QB, and may be looking at the end of Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona. The 49ers just got shutout at home after winning two in a row. I think Arizona is due for a break sooner or later, and they get it here with a nice victory for their fans.
Arizona 24 San Francisco 20
That's it for this week. Happy Thanksgiving too everyone who does read my blog. I'll be back Monday with my WWE Week Review and King of the Ring Tournament preview, then NFL Review on Tuesday.
Plus on Monday I will finally be able to tell you where you can read my writing on another site.
Until next time,