PFT’s Week 12 picks

Getty Images

Not long ago, MDS held a five-game lead in this year’s PFT picks battle.  Now, it’s three games.  In the other direction.

That eight-game swing could end up being a 12-game swing, based on the four disagreements we have for Week 12.

And I led with that because it wasn’t a great week for either of us.  I generated a so-so 9-5; MDS was a sluggish 6-8.

For the year, I’m at 105-56 (65.2 percent).  MDS stands at 102-59 (63.3 percent).

For this week’s 15-game slate of prediction, keep reading.

Chiefs at Raiders

MDS’s take: I still don’t think the Raiders are going to go 0-16, but as the season wears on I’m finding it harder and harder to find a game they’ll win. I certainly don’t think they’ll beat the Chiefs, who can step into first place in the AFC West.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 27, Raiders 17.

Florio’s take:  Oakland has completed the Raider Slam, losing 16 games in a row over two seasons.  They’ll now move a step closer to the Lion Slam.  Potentially finishing the year only four away from the Tampa Slam.

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 27, Raiders 10.

Browns at Falcons

MDS’s take: The 4-6 Falcons are currently the No. 4 seed in the NFC playoff race, while the 6-4 Browns are currently the No. 10 seed in the AFC playoff race. The Browns probably need this game more than the Falcons do, but I’ll pick the Falcons to pick up their fifth win and remain on top of the NFC South.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 21, Browns 20.

Florio’s take:  The Browns play up and down to the level of the competition.  So the Browns need to think of the Falcons not as a 4-6 team, but as a division leader.  Throw in the return of receiver Josh Gordon and renewed doubts about quarterback Brian Hoyer, and that could be the recipe to send the Falcons to 4-7, but still only 1/2-game out of first place, pending Monday night’s game.

Florio’s pick:  Browns 24, Falcons 21.

Jets at Bills

MDS’s take: The Bills are probably out of the AFC playoff race after their loss to the Dolphins, but there’s definitely a wide gulf between the third-place Bills and the last-place Jets. Snow might affect the Bills’ preparation this week, but I still expect them to win.

MDS’s pick: Bills 27, Jets 16.

Florio’s take:  The Bills would be the obvious pick if they were able to, you know, practice in advance of the game.  A delay until Monday or Tuesday would make it a more fair arrangement.  Assuming the league will find a way to preserve competitive balance on this issue, the Bills become the obvious choice.

Florio’s pick:  Bills 20, Jets 13.

Buccaneers at Bears

MDS’s take: Lovie Smith will have his new team playing hard against his old team, but the Bucs are still at least a year away from having the talent to compete week-in and week-out. The Bears will take this one.

MDS’s pick: Bears 30, Buccaneers 20.

Florio’s take:  Lovie Smith gets his shot at revenge against the team that fired him after a 10-6 season.  Another loss by the Bears confirms that Chicago won’t finish with a record that good in Marc Trestman’s second season.  A Tampa win may not be the smart pick (when has that ever stopped me?), but it would be a great story.

Florio’s pick:  Buccaneers 24, Bears 20.

Bengals at Texans

MDS’s take: This was the toughest game of the week for me to pick. The Bengals looked awfully good last week against the Saints, but I think the Texans’ pass rush may be too much for Andy Dalton to handle, and Houston will win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Texans 14, Bengals 13.

Florio’s take:  It would be a lot easier to pick Bengals games if they played a little more consistently.  A week after shellacking the Saints in their own building, it’s time to take on a much less accomplished quarterback on a team with less overall talent.  But the Texans clobbered in Cleveland a Browns team that outscored the Bengals by 21 in the prior game.  Actually, it probably makes sense for the Bengals to complete the round-robin by beating the team that beat the team that blew out the Bengals, especially since Marvin Lewis has something the Browns didn’t — actual game tape on Mallett.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 27, Texans 20.

Jaguars at Colts

MDS’s take: This was the easiest game of the week for me to pick. The Colts will shake off last week’s loss to the Patriots with a beatdown of the Jaguars.

MDS’s pick: Colts 33, Jaguars 10.

Florio’s take:  Indy isn’t as good as we all thought they were.  But they’re good enough to use a game against the Jaguars to stay at least one game ahead of the Texans.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 30, Jaguars 17.

Packers at Vikings

MDS’s take: The way the Packers have steamrolled everyone in their path recently, they look like the best team in the league right now. They certainly won’t struggle with the Vikings.

MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Vikings 14.

Florio’s take:  The Vikings are moving in the right direction, but they can’t hang with the Packers this year.  Or probably next year.  Or pretty much every year until Aaron Rodgers retires.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 42, Vikings 21.

Lions at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Patriots took over the top spot in the AFC last week, while the Lions lost an opportunity to take over the top spot in the NFC. Now New England will take another step toward home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, while the Lions will take another step backwards.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 21, Lions 10.

Florio’s take:  The Patriots keep on rolling, regardless of the opponent or the location.  Until they have to go to Lambeau Field.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 30, Lions 20.

Titans at Eagles

MDS’s take: A matchup with the lousy Tennessee defense is just what Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez needs. Philadelphia’s offense will look a whole lot better on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 31, Titans 20.

Florio’s take:  Nothing helps erase the memories of an ugly game at Lambeau Field than a visit from one of the worst teams in the league.

Florio’s pick:  Eagles 37, Titans 14.

Rams at Chargers

MDS’s take: The Rams showed last week that they can beat good teams, and although they’re in last place in the NFC West, they’d probably win the NFC South. I’m tempted to pick them to win a second straight upset over a good AFC West team, but I just can’t see them winning in San Diego, even though they’ll make it close.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 21, Rams 17.

Florio’s take:  The Rams keep finding ways to play well against teams that qualified for the playoffs in 2013.  But they haven’t established true consistency.  The Chargers have been consistently mediocre since starting 5-1.  On this one, trust the team that’s playing at home with the better quarterback.

Florio’s pick:  Chargers 24, Rams 17.

Cardinals at Seahawks

MDS’s take: I’m a believer in the Cardinals — I expect them to earn home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs and be a very tough team to beat in January. But the Seahawks, who have a tough road to the playoffs ahead of them, still have a big game in them, and I think that game is coming Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 27, Cardinals 17.

Florio’s take:  Sure, the Seahawks don’t often lose at home.  Yeah, they’ll have even more motivation to beat Arizona, since Arizona won in Seattle last year.  Right, the Seahawks can’t afford to fall four games behind the Cardinals with only five games to play.  Regardless, something is wrong with the Seahawks and plenty is right with the Cardinals.  Coach Bruce Arians will have them ready to play — and to secure a win that will be just as unlikely as their season so far.

Florio’s pick:  Cardinals 13, Seahawks 9.

Dolphins at Broncos

MDS’s take: If you’re a Broncos fan, you have to be nervous right now. They’ve basically played 20 minutes of good football (last five minutes before halftime and the third quarter against the Raiders) in the last three games. If Denver doesn’t turn things around in a hurry, Kansas City is going to steal the AFC West. But I expect Peyton Manning to bounce back with a huge game.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 31, Dolphins 21.

Florio’s take:  The Dolphins wanted to sign Peyton Manning in 2012.  They’ll about to get a very good look at how things might have been.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 34, Dolphins 17.

Washington at 49ers

MDS’s take: Robert Griffin III is “focused on San Francisco.” But no matter how much he focuses, Washington isn’t beating the red-hot 49ers.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 28, Washington 10.

Florio’s take:  With Trent Williams injured, Aldon Smith may end up injuring Robert Griffin III.  Given the way Griffin has played, the 49ers may not want to knock Griffin out of the game.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 30, Washington 10.

Cowboys at Giants

MDS’s take: Tony Romo should be healthier after the bye week, and Eli Manning is playing some lousy football right now. That adds up to a Cowboys win in what could be another Sunday night blowout.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 31, Giants 17.

Florio’s take:  Even if the Giants make good on safety Antrel Rolle’s vow to run the table, it may not be good enough to get an invitation to the playoff party.  It would be fitting for a team that has looked so bad to find a way to turn it around, but the Cowboys are good enough to overpower the team with the worst rush defense in the league — and a quarterback who threw five interceptions last Sunday.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 24, Giants 13.

Ravens at Saints

MDS’s take: I’m about to give up on figuring out the Saints. The way the played the Packers, I’d think no one would go to New Orleans and beat them. The way they played the Bengals, I’d think they’re one of the worst teams in the league. It’s a close call with the Ravens coming to town, but I’ll pick the Saints to have a big game with their backs against the wall.

MDS’s pick: Saints 24, Ravens 17.

Florio’s take:  The Saints haven’t lost three straight games at the Superdome since 2001, and it won’t be easy to avoid falling for a third time in 15 days, given that the Ravens have had 15 days to prepare for this one.  The Saints remain too good to let it happen.  I think.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 27, Ravens 17.

69 responses to “PFT’s Week 12 picks

  1. Some good games this week, Ravens-Saints and Dolphins-Broncos are surprisingly compelling. Also, we should make the Bills and Jets play in 5 feet of snow, that would be amazing — basically a 0-0 tie overseen by Rex Ryan as a swearing snowman.

  2. What does losing the last 2 weeks have to do with losing this week? Raiders have not won but no one is picking them saying they lost the last 10 games so they will win this week. Ravens win

  3. Seahawks…Swagger-time…gettin’ it back this game. Wagner with 6 tackles and a forced fumble…Sherman Pick Six and Earl with a pick. Stanton on his backside all of the 2nd half. Who’s backing him up by the way?

    Seattle 37……….Card’s 13

  4. Back in April when the schedule was first released, I thought for sure the Ravens playing in New Orleans would be a loss, even with them coming off a bye. I can’t figure out the Saints at all, and with Brandin Cooks done for the year I wouldn’t be all that shocked if the Ravens left the bayou with a win. After all, things worked out pretty well the last time they had to play in the Superdome.

    Ravens 24
    Saints 20

  5. I would take the Dolphins over the Broncos if the game was played in Miami. Thin air in Denver is the ultimate home field advantage.

  6. OK. Let’s play.

    Chiefs 34 Raiders 0
    Falcons 24 Browns 20
    Bills 26 Jets 13
    Bears 40 Bucs 10
    Bengals 19 Texans 16
    Colts 41 Jaguars 14
    Chargers 27 Rams 13
    Seahawks 31 Cardinals 13
    Broncos 35 Dolphins 24
    49ers 34 Redskins 6
    Patriots 22 Lions 20
    Giants 27 Cowboys 21
    Ravens 31 Saints 30

  7. Ravens have destroyed the other 3 NFC South teams, the rwason the AFC North is so competitive and the NFC South is competitive for the wrong reasons is because this division has been taking the other to the woodshed in all but two matchups so far this year (Bucs beating Steelers at home, Bengals tying Panthers). I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Saints get off their skid but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the Ravens take it to them seeing as how they’ve comfortably beaten the other 3 NFC South teams. On a side note, the Ravens are the one team out of 32 Brees has never beaten (he beat Saints as a Charger), interpret that either way as you will.

  8. Florio’s take: The Vikings are moving in the right direction….

    Really?? Florio must be watching a different Vikings team than I have, ’cause the Vikings I know stink to high heaven! Can’t start getting better until they fix that O-Line.

  9. Saints will go down this week – again!

    The Ravens have only lost 1 game after the bye under Harbaugh and that was last year with a horrible team.

    Good night Saints

  10. Six Ships Set Sail and the Seventh Ascended. #SFL says: Nov 20, 2014 9:45 AM

    Steelers are going to win the division and earn the 3rd seed, as it was written. This we be a sweet March. The Steelers are the most decorated sports franchise in the world. We have a right to be proud.


    For someone who, supposedly, is part the Steelers organization, and not just some loco fan, you sure do spend a ton of time trolling an internet forum.

  11. I did not know the Dolphins looked at Manning. I mean, I’m sure pretty much every team looked at him, but since you put that in here, I’m assuming it was more than just a look.

    Can you imagine Brady and Manning in the same Division?

    That would have been crazy.

    As for SFL guy… I’m pretty sure you mentioned earlier in the year that the Steelers were going to be 6th seed and then show the world or something. Now it’s 3rd seed “as written”? I don’t understand…

    Duelling prohpecy’s written by the same person? How does that work…

  12. These guys still think the Dolphins are rubbish, well wait until Sunday. No respect all year, so get on with your stupid picks. Peyton might be on his rear end a bit on Sunday, get ready for it.

  13. Minnesota’s basically a home game for the Packers every year. Vike fans hate that…….Packerds Roll big time.


  15. Oh, and today is supposedly Kick a Ginger Day. J.J. Watt will (metaphorically) kick Andy Dalton all day Sunday

    Texans 27
    Bengals 17

  16. I’m a Patriots fan, so obviously I hope they win, but win or lose I can’t WAIT for that November 30th meeting with the Packers at Lambeau. The Packers are just as tough to beat at Lambeau as the Patriots are at the razor, but the Pats just kicked the snot outta the Colts in their dome with the piped in crowd noise, and weather won’t be an issue cuz the Patriots are used to playing in the same, if not worse, weather conditions. Obviously I’m biased, but I think, barring any significant injuries to either team, that Patriots at Packers is gonna be the game of the year for the regular season. CAN’T WAIT!

  17. Lovie Smith has a lot more inside intel on the Bears than Trestman has on the Bucs. And you have to wonder if the Bears vets who are still loyal to Lovie will go all-out. I see a game that could go either way but will be close and ugly regardless.

  18. I don’t think November 30th weather will be a factor for either team at Lambeau. The polar vortex will be long gone by then and temperatures at the end of November just are not that bad.

    The Green Bay crowd will be in it and that will be a factor. People in Wisconsin are thinking the same two teams meet in the Super Bowl. The adrenaline and electricity on the 30th will be noteworthy.

    Lots of people with influence must be praying that the Packers finally have a season without xteen major injuries …….. because that has been the blessed/miraculous result so far. The consistent health of the team has been a big, big factor this year vis-a-vis prior years since the last Lombardi trouphy.


  19. I’m a Cardinals fan, and I think it’s entirely possible that the Seahawks win on Sunday. It’s a tough place to play, regardless of how good their team is or that we beat them there last year.

    Personally, I think the Cardinals defense is better than Seattle’s this year, but Seattle’s D is still very good and it will be a close game.

    I could see a 13-10, 17-14 type game and I’m hoping that it’s the Cards who pull it out.

  20. Chiefs-Raiders is almost always a close hard fought game, no matter how good or bad the two teams are.

    Think it comes down to a last minute play, but Chiefs still win.

  21. About the Minnesota/Green Bay contest this weekend …… I’m thinking that this is the game when the Packer defense decides it wants to prove it can win a game without Aaron ever getting on the field.

    The last two weeks the big story has been the high 50+ point scores, but that has left excellent defensive work too much in the shadows.

    The Pack defense was playing against veteran QBs the last two games and those two veterans ended up visibly rattled. This week we have a rookie calling the signals. It’s well known that 1st year QBs can have a really bad game in them if they get rattled. I’m thinking that is going to happen this weekend …. in front of a crowd that is +/- 45% Green Bay fans …. and my prediction is that after 4 quarters, Mr. Bridgewater’s body of work is going to take the pressure off Eli’s 5 picks last week.


  22. You Dolphins complainers are funny. No one is going to pick Miami over Denver. Come on. Could there be an upset? Sure…look what happened last week. But there is no logical reason to predict one.

  23. Here’s hoping the Patriots are looking at the next game vs the Packers.

    The Lions can then maybe steal this one:)

  24. bassplucker says:
    Nov 20, 2014 11:06 AM

    Lovie Smith has a lot more inside intel on the Bears than Trestman has on the Bucs. And you have to wonder if the Bears vets who are still loyal to Lovie will go all-out. I see a game that could go either way but will be close and ugly regardless.
    First off, this is football, a sport, a business! You have to be out of your mind if you think players are gonna be loyal and let Lovie win a game. You kidding me? Let me ask you…if you were playing for the Bears and Lovie was your ex coach who you loved and you were playing him this would not play hard for your own team? Man something is wrong with you basspluker!! The only way I concede something like that is if I was playing against my MOM!

  25. Bears o-line > Bucs d-line

    Bears d-line > Bucs o-line

    Bears offensive weapons > Bucs defense

    Cutler > McCown

    Trestman > Lovie (with the X’s and O’s of coaching, anyway- Lovie doesn’t know how to make ANY in-game adjustments)

    I think this will be a game where the Bears defense/Mel Tucker find motivation in making a statement about their NEW identity, and that unit will be the difference-maker on Sunday – to the tune of at least 3 McCown turnovers.

    (Or, I could be wrong, and Jay could turn it over 9754 times in 90 seconds – but something tells me the Bears players are going to find more motivation going against their old coach than Lovie or his players will going against his old team).

  26. mancave001 – No logical reason? Brent Grimes-Reshad Jones-Loius Delmas-Jelani Jenkins-Koa Misi-Cameron Wake-Oliveir Vernon-and the rest of that vaunted Dolphin Defense!!! That is reason enough!!! For Denver to have a chance Manning better be great anything less and he and the rest of the Broncos will be toast!!!

  27. Cards fan who sees this game going either way as nothing is as it seems in the NFC West with all four team capable of pulling an upset.
    The Cards defense is even better than last year and the Seahawks are going to bring their A game for this chance to regain face and a step up towards the playoffs.
    Love seeing Fitz on Sherman but if Fitz can’t play, that will be a deciding factor in the outcome. Stanton is perfectly capable but the offense needs both Fitz and Floyd blocking against Seattle’s two amazing corners so the ground game can have some teeth. Should be one of the best and least hyped game of the week.

  28. I say this time and time again, NO ONE WANTS to see the Steelers in the playoffs, because of one thing…….they are the toughest team to beat and all those rings prove franchise is better or has more blue collar pride……nough’ said………USMC #1

  29. Broncos have a big problem and it is NOT Manning. Manning delivers the ball in 2.5 seconds, unfortunately the O-line is only giving him 2 seconds or less. Until we can fix the O-line the road to the SB is not looking good.

  30. The Pats from 2005-2012 had to have the worst 3rd down defense, espcially against the pass. THIS year Manning and Luck have in multiple situations played 4 downs and the result:


  31. Saints will go down this week – again!

    The Ravens have only lost 1 game after the bye under Harbaugh and that was last year with a horrible team.

    Good night Saints
    Saints are 12-0 in the Dome in primetime that equals undefeated.

    The last time we played the Ravens was in 2010 and it wasn’t a primetime game.

    Saints go 5-6 on MNF, count on it!

  32. ^^I could careless about what history the Ravens have against the Saints or the Saints home record. The Saints have lost two home games in a row, and at this stage of the season, every game is in prime time. I am sure the Saints are 11-0 when playing on a Tuesdays as well. Fact is the Saints defense is awful and the offensive is not what it use to be. The Ravens have quietly been winning and I look for that to continue, even on the road.

  33. It pains me not a little to find myself in agreement with you — the rude aroma that emanates from our purple-clad warriors has yet again made its ascent to the highest zenith of the upper firmament. And in regard to your keen observation that a preponderance of blame lies with our offensive line, well, you’ll get no argument from this quarter. Good grief, they are offensive!

    Still, in defense of Mr. Florio (whose acumen I hold in high regard), this squad of young Vikes do have the look of a team to be reckoned with in, shall we say, two or three years (which is Florio’s meaning, is it not?). Give Master Zimmer his allotted time. Same to this Theodore Bridgewater chap. Good night man — he’s barely out of short pants! All the young ones take their lumps before they wear their laurels. I do believe he will be festooned with them, in due time.

    All of which is simply to say: patience, my good man, patience! Rome wasn’t built in a day. I give the Vikings two more years. After that, if they persist in this malodorous funk, it’s back to pub darts for this old anorak.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.