NFL Week 12 Thoughts and Predictions
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-4)
Thursday night's game will have huge implications on the race for the AFC South, with the winning going into sole possession of first place.
The Texans have more potential, but are far less consistent than the Colts.
Still, I like the Texans to come back from a huge loss to the Ravens last week. The Colts are definitely not the Ravens, and I expect Deshaun Watson to have a big bounceback week, assuming he gets protection from his O-line.
Score: Texans 23, Colts 21
Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns (-10.5)
Despite a large scoreline gap against the Steelers, I still don't buy the Browns. They have zero discipline, and rack up far too many penalties every game.
Cleveland, talentwise at least, outpace the Dolphins everywhere, but the penalties, sub-par coaching, and underwhelming offense of the Browns will keep the Dolphins in the game.
Score: Browns 24, Dolphins 18
Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills (-4)
I'm not buying either of these two teams' performances last week.
The Broncos huge first half lead against the Vikings is more due to Minnesota's downsides than Denver being good. The second half of that game is a more accurate depiction of the Broncos.
Yes, Josh Allen had an awesome game. He was playing the Dolphins. Calm down, Bills fans. The Bills thrive against weak competition, but don't think for a minute that they will do much better than that.
Score: Bills 28, Broncos 17
Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
Honestly, this could be the Bengals' best chance to win a game.
The Steelers are incredibly depleted at several skill positions. This one will be close. Closer than most people think. I'll still go with the Steelers though.
Score: Steelers 17, Bengals 14
New York Giants at Chicago Bears (-6)
Mitch Trubisky will remain the Bears quarterback after coming out of last week's game early. That's bad news for Bears fans.
The Giants defense is nothing special, but it doesn't seem to matter to the Bears offense who they are playing. They just can't get anything going.
The only saving grace for the Bears is that the Giants offense is equally bad. I'll give the Bears a victory, but it simply won't be too convincing.
Score: Bears 15, Giants 13
Oakland Raiders (-3) at New York Jets
Easily the surprise of the season, the Raiders will roll to a victory here. They're just good at everything on offense.
The blocking has been surprisingly solid. Josh Jacobs is a feature back. Derek Carr is putting up career numbers. It's great to see.
The Jets will stay in the game because the Raiders defense is pretty shaky, but the Raiders will continue their hot streak.
Score: Raiders 27, Jets 20
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-9.5)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-4.5)
The Falcons all of a sudden are on a hot streak with big wins over division foes. The offense is clicking and the defense has seen a complete 180-degree turn and has held up well.
Luckily, their schedule gets even easier facing the Bucs.
The offense turns the ball over far too much, and the defense looks like a bunch of dudes running around.
Score: Falcons 24, Bucs 13
Detroit Lions (-3.5) at Washington Redskins
The Redskins are garbage. Lions win.
Score: Lions 27, Redskins 10
Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5)
Where would the Eagles be if Carson Wentz had receivers that could catch?
Seriously, fingers of butter have hurt Wentz at some crucial moments this season, and in a different timeline, the Eagles would be in first place right now in the NFC East.
So this week we have two teams with no down the field threat and quarterbacks that seemingly have to do everything on their own.
Seeing that the Eagles secondary is super porous and Russell Wilson has excelled in this scenario, I'll pick Seattle.
Score: Seahawks 24, Eagles 23
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-3)
The Jaguars have been a dud the past few weeks. Their defense is a shell of what it used to be. The running attack has dried up.
The Titans have looked much better at moving the ball with Ryan Tannehill under center. They are coming off a bye and they are playing at home. Titans win.
Score: Titans 26, Jaguars 20
Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots (-6.5)
Let me know if you've heard this before:
The Patriots are done. Their offense is a shell of what it used to be.
You may have heard this before because it gets said every year.
Yes, New England's offense has in fact not as stellar this year as in previous years. However, I'm at the point with the Patriots that I will believe they are done when I see it.
Even with this "meh" offense, they are 9-1. The defense is historically good, and the secondary is rock solid.
They may not roll in games like they did earlier in the season, but they are still the team to beat in the AFC.
Score: Patriots 28, Cowboys 24
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-3.5)
The 49ers, while not dominating teams any more, are still showing that they will be a massive force in the postseason.
They can win games through the air. They can win games rushing the ball. They can win games with their defense.
The Packers, while definitely a playoff team, is flawed. The defense is nothing special. They've fallen flat in some big games.
49ers continue to roll.
Score: 49ers 27, Packers 24
Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Los Angeles Rams
The Ravens have wins against the Patriots, Seahawks, and Texans. They have the MVP frontrunner, and a defense that has grown with the season.
The Rams have a quarterback that is looking more and more overpayed each day, a running back that is a shell of his former self, and an offense that when injured, really cannot get anything going.
Which one would you pick?
Score: Ravens 28, Rams 19