18 December 2012

2012 NFL Week 16 Picks

Only two weeks left to go in the 2012 NFL season and there is still much to be decided. Perhaps most notably, who will win the NFC East? The Redskins, Giants and Cowboys are all tied at 8-6 for first place and all three have potentially tough games this week. Who will get the upper hand going into the final week?
Last Week: 9-7
2012: 136-89

Saturday, December 22
Atlanta Falcons (12-2) vs. Detroit Lions (4-10) - ESPN, 8:30
What has happened to the Lions this year? They came into 2012 with high hopes after the first playoff berth in 12 seasons but it has seemingly hit the fan with this drop to 4-10. And I would give them some thought for an upset but then the Falcons went out and blew the doors off the Giants, one week after getting upset by the Panthers. I'm not feeling an upset in this Saturday Night Special.
Falcons 35 Lions 24

Sunday, December 23
Oakland Raiders (4-10) vs. Carolina Panthers (5-9) - CBS, 1:00
If you take away the two, unimpressive victories against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Raiders have not won since beating the Jaguars on October 21st and they have zero wins on the year against teams with winning records. Let's just be frank, this team is pretty crappy. And now they have to play a game at 10:00 local time  against a team that has won three of four and have looked impressive of late behind the strong play of Cam Newton. Call me crazy, call me maybe, but the Panthers are my Lock of the Week.
Panthers 28 Raiders 14

Buffalo Bills (5-9) vs. Miami Dolphins (6-8) - CBS, 1:00
Looks like once again, the Bills are falling apart late in the season. And also once again, Ryan Fitzpatrick has shown that he should not be considered to be anything close to a franchise quarterback. While it is not as if the Dolphins are some powerhouse club, which they are clearly not, but they have been generally competitive this year. Give me the Phins.
Dolphins 20 Bills 14

Indianapolis Colts (9-5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (2-12) - CBS, 1:00
Are the Colts bound to be upset? It's not crazy. After all, the Colts have been winning with smoke and mirrors this year, seemingly, as well as the strong play of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, considering the fact that they have been outscored on the year by 49 points. In fact, I do think the Colts are on upset alert, although I don't think that the Chiefs can move the ball enough to get a win.
Colts 20 Chiefs 17

San Diego Chargers (5-9) vs. New York Jets (6-8) - CBS, 1:00
So Greg McElroy is the man for the Jets, for real this team. And he is fortunate by taking on a listless Chargers team that has been pretty mediocre this season against the pass. I think the Jets will come out and look somewhat energized and with the Chargers coming across the country for an early start, I like New York.
Jets 12 Chargers 3

St. Louis Rams (6-7-1) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) - FOX, 1:00
Now I understand that Adrian Peterson is in god mode right now running the ball but the Rams have struggled this year to stop the run. While the Buccaneers just got utterly embarrassed, I think they will come out this week with something to prove with their playoff hopes all but gone. Look for a big day from Doug Martin as Greg Schiano looks to pound the rock to get a hard-nosed victory.
Buccaneers 21 Rams 17

New England Patriots (10-4) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12) - CBS, 1:00
It has been a while since the Patriots lost at home in December but that happened on Sunday night as their comeback bid came just short against San Francisco. So you know that they are hungry for a bounce-back game this week and fortunately for them, the Jaguars are awful, especially against the pass. Look for a big win for New England.
Patriots 35 Jaguars 13

Washington Redskins (8-6) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (4-10) - FOX, 1:00
Let me start off by saying that this would be classic Redskins if they were to fall to a lowly Eagles team with so much on the line. Yes, Washington crushed the Eagles a month ago in Landover but with the Skins playing for a division title, maybe Philadelphia would like to play spoiler? Personally, I don't think the Eagles can pull this off since I think that Robert Griffin will play this Sunday but I do think it will be closer than some expect.
Redskins 28 Eagles 24

Tennessee Titans (5-9) vs. Green Bay Packers (9-5) - CBS, 1:00
Tennessee was able to end a three game slide on Monday night, but they did do it against the New York Jets and the Titans seem to do all they could to give the game to the Jets. So I'm relatively bullish on what they will do against a Packers team who has won three in a row and eight of nine. Since the Packers do only have to play for seeding, I could see an upset somehow, but I'm also not that insane.
Packers 30 Titans 9

New Orleans Saints (6-8) vs. Dallas Cowboys (8-6) - FOX, 1:00
I have a strong feeling that we will see a whole lot of offense in Arlington this week because both clubs sure love to throw the ball. The Cowboys have a good chance to get the playoffs, whether that be via the NFC East title or through the Wild Card but they need to take care of business this week. Unfortunately for them, I think they will lose this week as I think that Drew Brees and the Saints will try to close their lost season strong and get an upset win on the road.
Saints 45 Cowboys 42

Minnesota Vikings (8-6) vs. Houston Texans (12-2) - FOX, 1:00
As mentioned earlier, Adrian Peterson is in God mode as he has been truly dominant in the ground and is in striking distance of breaking Eric Dickerson's season rushing record. That said, it will take more than just him to break a strong Texans defense and it will necessitate Christian Ponder to play like a pro quarterback should, but I don't think he can do that right now. Peterson will do his best but the Texans will come out on top.
Texans 27 Vikings 20

Cincinnati Bengals (8-6) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7) - CBS, 1:00
Pittsburgh has not picked a good team to lose four out of five and they risk missing the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Ben Roethlisberger has been doing his part to try to keep the Steelers alive but their lack of a rushing game has been hurting the club. Meanwhile, the Bengals have won five of six since dropping four in a row and they are looking like they may make the playoffs in consecutive years for only the second time in team history and the first in thirty years. I like what Cincy is doing and I think they will get a huge road victory.
Bengals 30 Steelers 26

Cleveland Browns (5-9) vs. Denver Broncos (11-3) - CBS, 4:05
Are the Broncos the best team in football? There is certainly a strong case. They are in the top five in total offense and total defense, Peyton Manning has been tremendous, the running game has been solid, the pass rush has been good and they have won nine games in a row and ten of eleven. Cleveland has been competitive for the most part this year but they do not have the juice to take on the Broncos in Denver.
Broncos 42 Browns 25

Chicago Bears (8-6) vs. Arizona Cardinals (5-9) - FOX, 4:25
Naturally, the day I pick them losing as my lock of the week, the Cardinals kick the Lions' ass by four touchdowns. And Ryan Lindley actually looked somewhat like an NFL quarterback in what may have been the most surprising development last week. That said, I think that was in all likelihood a fluke and therefore I think they will fall to a sliding Bears team that is seeing their playoff hopes fly away.
Bears 20 Cardinals 6

New York Giants (8-6) vs. Baltimore Ravens (9-5) - FOX, 4:25
Is this the Falling Apart Bowl? The Giants, who are supposed to be a club that gets better when the temperature gets colder, especially in December, but they are coming off an extremely embarrassing and disheartening 34-0 loss to the Falcons. Meanwhile, the Ravens have lost three games in a row, Joe Flacco looks completely lost and despite dumping offensive coordinator Cam Cameron in a panic move, they still do not run the ball. And their defense has been the real problem this year as well. I think the Giants will get it together while the Ravens will have more problems going into next week.
Giants 27 Ravens 20

San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1) vs. Seattle Seahawks (9-5) - NBC, 8:20
It's a good question, who has played better of late, San Francisco or Seattle? The 49ers are coming off doing something that has not been done in years, going to Foxborough and defeating the Patriots. The Seahawks are doing something that has not been done since 1960, which is scoring 50 points or more in two consecutive weeks. San Francisco really looked good on Sunday night but given how well the Seahawks play at home, I like Seattle.
Seahawks 20 49ers 17

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