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PFT’s Week 12 picks

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

The good news is that I went 10-4 last week, thanks to every overtime game falling the way I’d pick them.  The bad news is that MDS went 13-1, chopping my seven-game lead down to four.

The worst news, potentially, is that we disagree on four games this week.  Which means that MDS can catch me.

Along the way, MDS pulled off the first-ever hole-in-one in the PFT picks battle, correctly guessing the score of the Saints-Raiders game, 38-17.

So, yeah, MDS had a pretty good week, relegating me to muttering, “Son of a bitch.”

But, hey, I still have the better season record, at 103-56-1.  MDS is 99-60-1.

For now.

Texans at Lions

MDS’s take: The Texans looked very vulnerable on Sunday, needing to rally in the fourth quarter just to force overtime before beating the Jaguars. So a Lions win wouldn’t shock me here. But Detroit’s loss to Green Bay on Sunday likely ended the Lions’ playoff hopes, and I see them coming out flat on Thanksgiving.

MDS’s pick: Texans 20, Lions 10.

Florio’s take:  The Lions have lost 11 of 12 Thanksgiving games.  Make it 12 of 13 when the one-loss Texans come to town, four days after getting a wakeup call against the one-win Jags.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 27, Lions 17.

Redskins at Cowboys

MDS’s take: The Cowboys are surprisingly back in the NFC East hunt, less because they’re playing better than because an easy stretch in their schedule has coincided with the Giants’ annual November swoon. They should keep it going against an inconsistent Redskins team.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 24, Redskins 20.

Florio’s take:  The Cowboys are 6-0 all time against the Redskins on Thanksgiving.  Though Washington never has rolled in to Dallas with a quarterback as good as Robert Griffin III on the roster, the Cowboys are too close to the top of the division to stumble now.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 24, Redskins 20.

Patriots at Jets

MDS’s take: I give Rex Ryan a lot of credit for having his team playing hard in the face of adversity last week, and I think Rex will put together a good game plan to stop a Gronkowski-less Patriots offense. But the problems with the Jets’ own offense are real, and not getting any better. The Patriots will win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 17, Jets 10.

Florio’s take:  A possible classic is in the offing, the first-ever nationally-broadcast Thanksgiving night NFL game on a major network.  The fact that the Jets won on Sunday makes it more interesting.  The fact that the Pats have been pounding teams lately makes it potentially less interesting — except to see which players get hurt on the PAT team in the fourth quarter.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 38, Jets 24.

Vikings at Bears

MDS’s take: If Jay Cutler is back, this is a game the Bears should win handily. If Cutler is out, all bets are off. But it’s looking like Cutler will be cleared to return, and the Bears should turn things around with a convincing win.

MDS’s pick: Bears 24, Vikings 13.

Florio’s take:  The Vikings emerge from their bye week with a six-game stretch that doesn’t look quite as challenging given the Bears’ two-game losing streak.  But the Bears know they need to reverse the slide now, and the Vikings’ second-year quarterback simply isn’t as good as the second-year quarterback who picked the Bears apart on Monday night.

Florio’s pick:  Bears 30, Vikings 17.

Raiders at Bengals

MDS’s take: The Raiders look like they’re ready to give up on the season, and the Bengals look like they’re ready to go on a run. This one won’t be close.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 34, Raiders 10.

Florio’s takeCarson Palmer returns to Cincinnati, with a team far worse than the one for which he notoriously refused to keep playing.  He’ll tell himself he doesn’t feel regret.  And if he tells himself enough, maybe he’ll believe it.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 28, Raiders 13.

Steelers at Browns

MDS’s take: Given the uncertainty surrounding the Steelers’ quarterback situation, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Browns take this one. But I think Charlie Batch will surprise some people by running the offense competently and putting points on the board, and the Steelers’ defense will give Brandon Weeden trouble.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 24, Browns 7.

Florio’s take:  Whether it’s Charlie Batch or Brian Hoyer or Ben Roethlisberger or Kordell Stewart or Terry Hanratty under center, the Steelers will find a way to get things back on track against a Browns team that isn’t nearly as bad as their record would suggest.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 17, Browns 13.

Bills at Colts

MDS’s take: After getting demolished by the Patriots, the Colts need this one. I like Andrew Luck to have a big game against a suspect Buffalo defense, and the Colts to get a win that allows them to keep pace with the Steelers and a game ahead of the Bengals in the AFC wild card race.

MDS’s pick: Colts 28, Bills 20.

Florio’s take:  A potential playoff knockout game, with the winner in pretty good shape to make it to January and the loser, well, not.  The Colts aren’t as bad as their loss to the Pats would indicate, and the Bills aren’t as good as their win over the Fins would suggest.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 24, Bills 17.

Titans at Jaguars

MDS’s take: I give the Jaguars a lot of credit for coming out and playing hard against the Texans on Sunday, but the reality is they’re just a bad football team in all phases of the game. The Titans aren’t great either, but they should beat Jacksonville comfortably.

MDS’s pick: Titans 34, Jaguars 17.

Florio’s take:  Giving the Texans their best shot and losing in heartbreaking fashion will either help a bad team find its groove or grease the skids for an epic collapse.  I’m guessing the latter, especially with the Titans still in position to bogart a wild-card berth.

Florio’s pick:  Titans 27, Jaguars 10.

Broncos at Chiefs

MDS’s take: The Broncos have all but clinched the AFC West. No way they lose to the worst team in the division, and maybe the worst team in the league.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 38, Chiefs 10.

Florio’s take:  The Chiefs wanted Peyton Manning, but he didn’t want them.  He’ll get a chance to prove why he made the right choice on Sunday.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 34, Chiefs 10.

Seahawks at Dolphins

MDS’s take: In Seattle, this game would be a blowout. In Miami, I’m tempted to pick the Dolphins, because the Seahawks have struggled so much on the road. But the Dolphins have been finding ways to lose recently, and I suspect they’ll do that again on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 20, Dolphins 17.

Florio’s take:  The next step for the Seahawks is to find a way to consistently win away from home.  And they can’t get much farther away from home than Miami.  So why not start there?

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 24, Dolphins 9.

Falcons at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: This is a huge opportunity for Greg Schiano’s Buccaneers to show they’re legitimate NFC playoff contenders, but I don’t think they’re ready to take that step. The Falcons will stay ahead of the NFC pack with a win in Tampa.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 21, Buccaneers 20.

Florio’s take:  The Falcons have looked shaky in the past few weeks, and the Bucs have had a solid four games.  The Bucs have the run defense and the running game to give Atlanta a glimpse of the flaws they need to fix before the postseason.

Florio’s pick:  Buccaneers 27, Falcons 24.

Ravens at Chargers

MDS’s take: I don’t believe the Ravens are as good as their 8-2 record suggests, and they’re bound to come back to the pack in the AFC eventually. But after the Chargers’ loss to the Broncos on Sunday, San Diego isn’t going anywhere. The Chargers will come out flat and the Ravens will win.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 20, Chargers 16.

Florio’s take:  The Ravens are getting closer to a fifth straight postseason, and Norv Turner is getting closer to a third coaching postmortem.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 24, Chargers 20.

Rams at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Cardinals’ offense will be a mess until they can get their quarterback situation straightened out, but Arizona’s defense is good enough that the Rams will lose a low-scoring game in the desert.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 10, Rams 7.

Florio’s take:  The Cardinals have no one to play quarterback and, more importantly, no one to cover Danny Amendola.

Florio’s pick:  Rams 20, Cardinals 10.

49ers at Saints

MDS’s take: This is a fascinating game, with the Saints making a furious run toward the playoffs after a disastrous start to the season, and the 49ers coming off a Monday night when they looked unstoppable. If there’s any defense that can slow Drew Brees and Co. down, it’s the 49ers’ defense. I like San Francisco to get a big road win.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 28, Saints 27.

Florio’s take:  By the end of Thanksgiving weekend, we’ll be giving thanks for one of the great games of the 2012 season.  The Saints may not be able to keep it going, but they’re not ready to stop now.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 34, 49ers 31.

Packers at Giants

MDS’s take: With the Cowboys closing in on them in the NFC East, the Giants can’t afford to lay an egg like they did two weeks ago against the Bengals. I believe the bye week will help Tom Coughlin’s crew right the ship, and the Packers will be handed a tough conference loss.

MDS’s pick: Giants 24, Packers 17.

Florio’s take:  The Giants annual theme song is Wake Me Up When November Ends.  November is ending.  The Giants are waking up.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 38, Packers 35.

Panthers at Eagles

MDS’s take: A lousy Monday night game ends the week on a down note. Neither of these teams is any good, but at least the Panthers don’t look like they’ve completely quit on the season.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 21, Eagles 20.

Florio’s take:  Yep, this one sure looked a lot more interesting when the schedule came out in April.  The only question is whether the cries of “Fire Andy” will be drowned out by the chants of “We Want Gruden.”  In the background, the Eagles will prove to be the slightly better of two bad teams.

Florio’s pick:  Eagles 24, Panthers 14.

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48 Responses to “PFT’s Week 12 picks”
  1. teamobijuan says: Nov 21, 2012 10:18 AM

    Pats are going to rout the Jets.

  2. stoogy says: Nov 21, 2012 10:25 AM

    Raiders beat bengals. You will see. Browns will beat steeler. You will see.

  3. sicklnick121 says: Nov 21, 2012 10:25 AM

    I realy dont think the Raiders Team has givin up on the season… I think the defense is just that bad. Whether its the players or the coaching not getting these guys in the right spots I dont know. I think after the meeting with Mark Davis, Dennis knows he dont have forever to right this ship and progress must be made. I think he will have this team humming this weekend, and Im willing to go just the opposite of your prodiction Raiders 27 bangels 10…
    If im wrong then DA should be replaced..and let the Gruden talk begin…You know he would love to bring this team back again..

  4. evomike06 says: Nov 21, 2012 10:27 AM

    I think the redskins beat Dallas. RGIII isn’t going down in his home state. He’s gonna set the field on fire just like sunday!

  5. ceschatz says: Nov 21, 2012 10:28 AM

    Good to see you guys arent jumping on the RG3 bandwagon too bad. Dallas’s defense is ranked in the top 10 and the Skins have only met one top 10 defense this year so far (Steelers) and I’m sure most of you see how that turned out. Not to mention the Skins have one of the worst pass defenses in the league, look for Dez and Austin to have huge games.

  6. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Nov 21, 2012 10:29 AM

    with the way the Ravens have looked on the road this year and Rivers going up against a crippled secondary it will be a tough game for the Ravens.

  7. piratefreedom says: Nov 21, 2012 10:32 AM

    The Patriots don’t win low scoring games, they win high scoring games.

    29 points is the lowest they’ve scored in a victory
    18,23 and 30 have been in losses

    so I don’t think they will win if they only score 17, which would be their lowest total of the year

  8. cabby782 says: Nov 21, 2012 10:33 AM

    Packers Giants and 49ers Saints might be the defining games in NFC

  9. gotampabay52 says: Nov 21, 2012 10:33 AM

    Tampa final is getting some love. To bad all of you that move from other city’s still root for your old city’s team and now you all are going home for Thanksgiving we are short some tickets for Sunday’s you leave your city adapt to the new city’s team dam snow birds

  10. iloveflorio says: Nov 21, 2012 10:34 AM

    Ravens are regular season champs and post season chumps! And… Will be again this year! Broncos won’t go far this post season b/c Mannings their qb and his playoff record speaks for itself. Anyone think this Denver team is better than his Indy teams of the past?? And they won 1 ring with his majesty

  11. lesliedevereaux says: Nov 21, 2012 10:39 AM

    I think I’m going with the Packers over the Giants — in a close one.

  12. gottaplan says: Nov 21, 2012 10:39 AM

    Seahawks have to travel to East Coast for the early game, Fins have had 10 days to game plan (and rest), Seahawks are not good on the road…. Fins rebound on this one!

  13. mungman69 says: Nov 21, 2012 10:45 AM

    Too bad they can’t change who plays on Monday night, two bad teams

  14. dansnyderswallet says: Nov 21, 2012 10:50 AM

    @ceschatz

    And the last time dallass went up against an offense like the Skins i.e. Atlanta, we all see how that turned out. Good try with the numbers though.

  15. EJ says: Nov 21, 2012 10:50 AM

    The Colts may beat Buffalo, but they are going to have a rough day doing so.

  16. thetokyosandblaster says: Nov 21, 2012 10:52 AM

    I think this is the last game the Packers lose, including the postseason.

  17. insidej0b says: Nov 21, 2012 10:56 AM

    Don’t sleep on the Saints. They’ve had winning streaks of 13, 6 and 8 the past three years.

  18. htown1035 says: Nov 21, 2012 11:01 AM

    Texans got a wake-up call against the Jags and the defensive players will be fired up for this game. Sharpton will start, and even though Joseph probably won’t play the rest of the team knows they’ll have to step up to cover for him.

    I’m not too worried about Johnson – he’s having a monster year and they’re still 4-6. They have no running game and they’re all about throwing it all over the place. I think they should have beaten the Packers last week but they won’t be as intense in this game – it’ll be a letdown for them.

    31-21 Texans

  19. ceschatz says: Nov 21, 2012 11:02 AM

    dansnyderswallet says:Nov 21, 2012 10:50 AM

    @ceschatz

    And the last time dallass went up against an offense like the Skins i.e. Atlanta, we all see how that turned out. Good try with the numbers though.
    _________________________________

    Comparing ATL’s offense to the redskins Offense? Congrats on showing everybody here exactly how much you DON’T know about football.

  20. rockthered1286 says: Nov 21, 2012 11:06 AM

    iloveflorio says:
    Nov 21, 2012 10:34 AM
    Ravens are regular season champs and post season chumps!
    _____________________________
    No no good sir… that would be the Falcons. The Ravens are the only team in the NFL to win a post season game each of the past 4 seasons, and Flacco is the only rookie QB in NFL history to take his team to the playoffs 4 years in a row.

  21. Just a Fan says: Nov 21, 2012 11:08 AM

    To follow up on my hastily typed post…….

    I FEEL for the Fans and they COULD NOT BE ANY NICER.

    Sorry for the typos….it is misleading that way.
    —————————————————-

    I miss having The Buccaneers in the NFC North!

  22. ravioles says: Nov 21, 2012 11:11 AM

    Looks like a first grader is formatting these picks. Impossible to read.

  23. wludford says: Nov 21, 2012 11:14 AM

    Cutler or no Cutler, Vikings will beat the Bears. The Bears can beat teams with losing records, but its a different story with teams with winning records.

    This is the third game in a row for the Bears against teams that can run the ball well and play physical, tough defense. They’re 0-2 so far, soon to be 0-3.

    It’s a long, gruelling season for an aging Bears defense, and their injury-prone QB. Take away Brandon Marshall, and there isn’t much going on with the Bears offense, which strikes me as a lot like Detroit these days.

  24. bkostela says: Nov 21, 2012 11:17 AM

    dansnyderswallet says:
    Nov 21, 2012 10:50 AM
    @ceschatz

    And the last time dallass went up against an offense like the Skins i.e. Atlanta, we all see how that turned out. Good try with the numbers though.
    _____________

    the skins offense couldnt be any more different than atlanta’s. what are you talking about? dallas played good defense against atlanta though.

  25. wludford says: Nov 21, 2012 11:17 AM

    I think the Giants will bounce back against the Packers at home. The Giant defense will finally step-up and get to Rodgers enough to slow down the Packer offense and give them the win.

  26. wludford says: Nov 21, 2012 11:19 AM

    I would not be surprised to see the Bucs hand Atlanta another defeat as well. The only surprise to me with the Bucs this year was the early losing streak.

  27. bosfaninva says: Nov 21, 2012 11:20 AM

    Big night for the Pats’ four-headed TE monster of Hernandez, Fells, Shiancoe, and Hoomanawanui, not to mention Welker, Edelman, and Llloyd. Brady is in his usual second-half groove.

    Pats 34-Jests 24

    And it’s still November, so the Jints will lose to the Pack.

  28. shoobiedoobin says: Nov 21, 2012 11:24 AM

    People are way too preoccupied with history. It’s silly that we need some kind of comforting precedent to have any confidence. It’s completely illogical to think that because one team is on a 6 year win streak that that’s a reason why they’ll get that 7th win. When they won the 6th game it wasn’t because of the other 5. The 5th win wasn’t because of the other 4, etc. But we do this because we don’t actually watch games. We can’t possibly watch every single one. But everyone desires a strong opinion even if they have no clue, including those paid to have one. Lookin’ at you, Florio.

  29. jae121704 says: Nov 21, 2012 11:28 AM

    rockthered1286 says:
    Nov 21, 2012 11:06 AM
    iloveflorio says:
    Nov 21, 2012 10:34 AM
    Ravens are regular season champs and post season chumps!
    _____________________________
    No no good sir… that would be the Falcons. The Ravens are the only team in the NFL to win a post season game each of the past 4 seasons, and Flacco is the only rookie QB in NFL history to take his team to the playoffs 4 years in a row.

    ___________________________________

    And how many Lombardi’s did that equal? Since that is the only real way to measure playoff success.

  30. bucrightoff says: Nov 21, 2012 11:41 AM

    Bucs weren’t in the NFC North, twas the old NFC Central, but yes good times there. Bucs had some strong rivalries with Minnesota and Green Bay.

  31. steelerben says: Nov 21, 2012 11:45 AM

    I’m still wondering why you guys are awarding yourselves ties for the tie game in San Fran. You picked someone to win and were wrong. That isn’t a tie. If I had bet money on the game I’d have lost it, not had the bookie declare it a push.

  32. mrbullgator says: Nov 21, 2012 12:00 PM

    Bucs beat the falcons at home without a sellout! No worries I’ll be there! I like the Browns over the Steelers too, they got a good defense and maybe can get enough offense against the Steelers. Steelers may want to phone Terry Bradshaw see if he can make a spot start

  33. rockthered1286 says: Nov 21, 2012 12:10 PM

    jae121704 says:

    And how many Lombardi’s did that equal? Since that is the only real way to measure playoff success.
    ________________________________
    Did I call the Ravens playoff CHAMPS? No. But they’re certaintly not chumps, like the Falcons who haven’t won a playoff game in Matt Ryan’s NFL career, and couldn’t even muster a single offensive point in their sole playoff game last year. That my friend, makes you a CHUMP.

  34. dansnyderswallet says: Nov 21, 2012 12:16 PM

    @bkostela

    the point is, numbers can always be skewed to make a point. Saying a tenth overall D should win a game because the first overall D beat the same opponent is ridiculous. Both of these teams are inconsistent. No outcome should be a surprise.

  35. j0esixpack says: Nov 21, 2012 12:40 PM

    Hopefully the Patriots defense shows some pride – they have a way of making mediocre QBs look good

  36. fwippel says: Nov 21, 2012 12:45 PM

    Not sure I buy the suggestion that Colin Kaepernick is a better QB than Christian Ponder at this point, especially given Kaepernick’s playing time

    However, I will say that the 49er offensive line is far better than the Minnesota OL, which may very well have a role in which QB actually plays better against the Bear defense.

  37. wjmoffatt says: Nov 21, 2012 12:45 PM

    Lets go Bucs

  38. ultramegacritic says: Nov 21, 2012 12:46 PM

    Gruden is going to Philly, It’s pretty much a lock at this point. Gruden will always love the Raiders, he even was there last Sunday and according to the @RaiderNewsFlash on twitter he had a meeting with Mark Davis. I’m sure if Gruden wanted to come and Mark Davis wanted him he would of offered him a contract right there but they did not even talk about coaching according to RaiderNewsFlash which is right 99% of the time. Just ask this website that steald from them all the time

  39. ceschatz says: Nov 21, 2012 1:24 PM

    dansnyderswallet says:Nov 21, 2012 12:16 PM

    @bkostela

    the point is, numbers can always be skewed to make a point. Saying a tenth overall D should win a game because the first overall D beat the same opponent is ridiculous. Both of these teams are inconsistent. No outcome should be a surprise.
    ———————————————————-

    Numbers are numbers and can’t be scewed to make any point. It’s clearly pointing out that the redskins have yet to do any damage against a top rated defense. That would give the Cowboys the advantage because they have a top 10 defense. Not to mention the Redskins are one of the worst pass defending teams in the league which shows that teams have no problem passing all over them, again giving Dallas the advantage. Nobody can guess the outcome of a game (any given Sunday) but the numbers, which is all we have to go off of, show Dallas with the advantage. I can appreciate your faith in your team, but they are probably going to get smashed on Thursday.

  40. 4dabears says: Nov 21, 2012 1:39 PM

    Typical fan overreaction to a couple of wins or losses. So the Bears got whipped on Monday night. Big deal. Everybody (excluding the coaching staff) knows their O-line is horrible and the defense is aging but that doesn’t mean they’re finished. They still make the playoffs. Mark it down.

  41. rgb2425 says: Nov 21, 2012 1:40 PM

    Florio’s take: Yep, this one sure looked a lot more interesting when the schedule came out in April. The only question is whether the cries of “Fire Andy” will be drowned out by the chants of “We Want Gruden.” In the background, the Eagles will prove to be the slightly better of two bad teams.

    Florio’s pick: Eagles 24, Panthers 14.
    ___________________________________

    Eagles fans can chat whatever they want. Bottom line is that Andy will never quit. For that, and everything else he’s been through, he deserves to be admired. Many of us would have quit already when the going got tough, but Andy didn’t and he won’t.

    Say what ya want about the guy, but he is a heck of a lot stronger than many of us.

  42. joeyd524 says: Nov 21, 2012 1:54 PM

    Gruden NOT going to Philly is a lock..no way he wants a part of that mess..no quarterback,wrs are okay at best,celek and his 1st down celebrations are a joke, good rb who digressed this year,maybe the worse def in football and a gm who doesn’t have a clue..no way gruden leaves his cushy mnf job for that

  43. dansnyderswallet says: Nov 21, 2012 2:04 PM

    @ceschatz

    They haven’t played a top 10 other than the steelers, and yes, got destroyed, but neither of these teams are good. they both fall flat like that game. What was Baltimore ranked when they beat you? 30th. Your argument is a joke and your overconfidence is only matched by your arrogance. Shocked you’re a boys fan.

  44. vikingfan1971 says: Nov 21, 2012 2:45 PM

    the bears are going down again on sunday, with cutler playing or not jared allen will have a big day along with greenway and winfield and williams adrian will have big runs and dont forget wright he did good for percy and smith walsh our kicker

  45. deltaoracle says: Nov 21, 2012 3:59 PM

    Packers defeat the Giants when Mason Crosby drills a record 65 yd. FG as time expires. Bet the farm on it.
    And a lot of posters here put “Punctuation” at the top of the Christmas list they are typing into their “smart” phones.

  46. paythevig says: Nov 21, 2012 4:31 PM

    gonna be tough against the saints now that they’re hot!

  47. larryboodry says: Nov 21, 2012 10:32 PM

    If Cutler starts, Bears win this game…If Campbell starts, Vikings win.

  48. axespray says: Nov 21, 2012 10:49 PM

    No way the Packers and Giants have a shoot out this year…
    Both offenses have been …”off” – just inconsistent this year – and with the way both their defenses are playing – idk…
    Something more like 27 – 24 ‘ish type scoring game.

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