PFT’s Week 12 picks

AP

For anyone who cares (i.e., only MDS and me), the picks contest is getting interesting.

My lead has fallen to three, by virtue of MDS having a 2-1 edge in the the games on which we disagreed last week. He went 11-3 overall; I was 10-4.

This week, we disagree on only two of 16 games, starting with the first game of the weekend. For all of the picks, do the thing you always do when you decide that you’re curious to see how poorly we’ll do when it comes to picking games.

Vikings at Lions

MDS’s take: The winner of this one is the favorite in the NFC North with five games to go. Last time they met the Lions came back to win in overtime, and this time I think the Lions will again win a close one.

MDS’s pick: Lions 24, Vikings 23.

Florio’s take: The NFC North title could be on the line — unless the Packers can finally find the gas pedal. Detroit’s habit of cutting it close isn’t sustainable, and the streaky Vikings are back on the right track, at least for now.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 27, Lions 24.

Washington at Cowboys

MDS’s take: Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott may be the best combination of quarterback and running back in the league. They should put up some big yardage against Washington’s defense.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 30, Washington 20.

Florio’s take: The Cowboys haven’t played a team currently above .500 since beating Washington in Week Two. They’ll do it again, completing the sweep and holding the Giants at arm’s length, for now.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 30, Washington 24.

Steelers at Colts

MDS’s take: Even if Andrew Luck were healthy, I’d pick the Steelers. With Luck in the concussion protocol, I’ll pick the Steelers in a blowout.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 31, Colts 14.

Florio’s take: Attention restaurant customers. Scott Tolzien. That is all.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 33, Colts 17.

Titans at Bears

MDS’s take: Even if Jay Cutler were healthy, I’d pick the Titans. With Cutler suffering a shoulder injury, I’ll pick the Titans in a blowout.

MDS’s pick: Titans 35, Bears 13.

Florio’s take: Attention restaurant customers. Matt Barkley. That is all.

Florio’s pick: Titans 27, Bears 13.

Jaguars at Bills

MDS’s take: Gus Bradley is doomed in Jacksonville, and his team is just playing out the string. I don’t think the Bills are going anywhere, either, but I think Rex Ryan will have them playing hard down the stretch with his job on the line.

MDS’s pick: Bills 27, Jaguars 17.

Florio’s take: The best two-win team Rex Ryan has seen could be just good enough to get a third win. But with LeSean McCoy expected to play, Buffalo will remain on the fringe of a playoff berth.

Florio’s pick: Bills 27, Jaguars 20.

Bengals at Ravens

MDS’s take: Without A.J. Green and Gio Bernard, the Bengals don’t have much in the way of big-play threats on offense. Against a good defense like Baltimore’s, that’s a problem.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 16, Bengals 9.

Florio’s take: The Bengals are falling apart; the Ravens are treading just enough water to still be alive and relevant.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 20, Bengals 10.

Cardinals at Falcons

MDS’s take: I see this game as a statement for both teams, as the Falcons will show they’re the clear frontrunners in the NFC South, while the Cardinals will show they’re officially out of it.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 34, Cardinals 20.

Florio’s take: Atlanta had extra time and now has every incentive to keep their distance from the Bucs — and to deliver a potential death blow to Arizona’s playoff chances.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 34, Cardinals 26.

Giants at Browns

MDS’s take: As the Browns continue their march to 0-16, the Giants should pick up an easy win to help them march to the playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Giants 28, Browns 7.

Florio’s take: With an ultra-late bye, the Browns will have two weeks to enjoy being 0-12.

Florio’s pick: Giants 30, Browns 17.

Rams at Saints

MDS’s take: The Rams’ collapse against the Dolphins feels like it could be the kind of game that sends a team into a nosedive. I have a feeling the Rams are heading into a long losing streak.

MDS’s pick: Saints 20, Rams 10.

Florio’s take: Bounty scandal architect Gregg Williams returns to New Orleans. When he leaves, he’ll be one step closer to leaving L.A.

Florio’s pick: Saints 24, Rams 14.

49ers at Dolphins

MDS’s take: I’m not totally sold that the Dolphins are a good team, but they have a fairly easy schedule that should keep them in playoff contention. It doesn’t get much easier than a home game against the 49ers.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 24, 49ers 12.

Florio’s take:  The Dolphins have won five in a row. The 49ers have lost nine in a row. It won’t make up for Super Bowl XIX, but it will nudge the Dolphins closer to a possible playoff berth.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 35, 49ers 14.

Chargers at Texans

MDS’s take: The Texans are a first-place team, the Chargers are a last-place team. Put them in each other’s divisions, and the Chargers would be in first place while the Texans would be in last place. I think the Chargers will show in Houston that they’re a better team.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 21, Texans 20.

Florio’s take: The Texans keep winning when they should, losing when they should.

Florio’s pick: Texans 30, Chargers 23.

Seahawks at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: The Buccaneers are playing better football than I thought they’d be playing at the end of November, but the Seahawks look to me like they’re not going to lose another game this season.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, Buccaneers 21.

Florio’s take: The Bucs are 1-4 at home, 4-1 on the road. This one would be a tough test regardless of where they play it, given how well the Seahawks are performing.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 31, Buccaneers 20.

Panthers at Raiders

MDS’s take: A win by the Raiders here keeps them atop the AFC West and ends the Panthers’ playoff hopes. It’s over for the reigning NFC champions.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 23, Panthers 17.

Florio’s take: This is the kind of game the Raiders could blow, but the Panthers are simply too banged up to take advantage of the possibility that the Raiders will be primed to step in a pothole.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 24, Panthers 17.

Patriots at Jets

MDS’s take: New England shouldn’t have any trouble against a Jets team that has nothing to play for.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 30, Jets 10.

Florio’s take: The Jets stink. The Patriots don’t. #analysis.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 31, Jets 13.

Chiefs at Broncos

MDS’s take: The AFC West is the best division in football, and this game will go a long way toward determining who wins it. I think the Broncos will pull out a close, low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 14, Chiefs 13.

Florio’s take: The game of the day allows the loser to chase the Raiders, the winner to worry about being caught by the Dolphins. Advantage, team that has extra rest.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 23, Chiefs 20.

Packers at Eagles

MDS’s take: I’m not totally sure what is wrong with the Packers, but they look like a team in need of a major overhaul. The Eagles, on the other hand, are a better team than their record suggests. They’ll show that with a big win on Monday night.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 31, Packers 17.

Florio’s take: It’s another prime-time elimination game. I continue to think the Packers will turn things around, but I’m no longer willing to ignore how poorly they’re playing when the time comes to make picks.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 35, Packers 23.

59 responses to “PFT’s Week 12 picks

  1. .
    I think you are both mistaken on the Jets. This is their Super Bowl. This is their chance to salvage some respect before the home crowd. It would be a sad commentary if they just mailed it in.
    .

  2. The NFC North title could be on the line — unless the Packers can finally find the gas pedal.

    This has to be a joke, right?

  3. PFT picks might as well make it easy on themselves by locking in the Packers for losses from here in out.

  4. Even though the Bucs record shows they play better on the road than at home, I think they have a better shot at keeping the game competitive at home than they do in Seattle. Hawks win big though 34-10. This is even without Earl Thomas, Deshawn Shead, and Michael Bennett (I doubt he plays, but could be a possibility).

  5. MDS’s take: The Texans are a first-place team, the Chargers are a last-place team. Put them in each other’s divisions, and the Chargers would be in first place while the Texans would be in last place. I think the Chargers will show in Houston that they’re a better team.

    —————————————–

    So if the Chargers will be in the AFC South they will be first with their 4-6 record? Wow, I must have been sleep because I thought that 5 was greater than 4 (Colts 5-5)

  6. Redskins will surprise everybody. Again, Dallas hasn’t played a decent team except for the Steelers. Their schedule has been a cake walk thus far.

  7. unless the Packers can finally find the gas pedal.

    It’s cute that Florio is still holding out hope. Every knew this team was awful back in OTAs.

  8. Even with the easiest schedule in the league and catching the Colts without Luck, the Steelers are still a massively disappointing team compared to what the media pretends they should be.

  9. tajuara says:
    Nov 23, 2016 11:56 AM
    MDS’s take: The Texans are a first-place team, the Chargers are a last-place team. Put them in each other’s divisions, and the Chargers would be in first place while the Texans would be in last place. I think the Chargers will show in Houston that they’re a better team.

    —————————————–

    So if the Chargers will be in the AFC South they will be first with their 4-6 record? Wow, I must have been sleep because I thought that 5 was greater than 4 (Colts 5-5)

    —————————————————————–

    What he is saying is if the Chargers were in the pathetic AFC south, they would be 7-3. If the Texans were in the AFC West, they would be 3-7. Not to hard to figure.

  10. The Packers will give up at least 45 points Monday night. The 23 might be an accurate score on the Packers side of the board. It will be close in the first half, then the Eagles will run away with it. Eagles 47 – Packers 20.

  11. What’s the joke about Scott Tolzien and restaurant customers? I’d like to know.

  12. 6ball says:
    Nov 23, 2016 11:50 AM

    .
    I think you are both mistaken on the Jets. This is their Super Bowl. This is their chance to salvage some respect before the home crowd. It would be a sad commentary if they just mailed it in.


    They are playing Fitz so yes it sounds like they are in fact going to try to compete.

    They’ll still lose by a whole bunch.

    🙂

  13. What a bunch of crappy games.

    Guess their doing their patriotic duty by encouraging family outings this Thanksgiving weekend.

  14. If the Chiefs don’t get healthy and their offensive continues to blow chunks they’re going to go from 1st to 3rd in the span of 2 weeks. If they can get Ware back at full speed, Macklin back, Ford back, Peters back, and continue to throw the ball down field… They can finish first and make a deep run in the playoffs with possible home field advantage.

    This is totally feasible too. But it needs to happen now and has to start with the Broncos. At their house.

  15. This just seems to be more the Lions’ year than the Vikes’ year — can’t say I’m very confident about the Vike’s chances Thursday. Weird season.

  16. 2 things I don’t understand that I hear quite a bit lately.

    1) I’m not sold on the Dolphins as a good team. I’m not sure how a team pulls off 5 wins in a row, more than 1/4 of the season and is not considered at the very least good. I’m not sure what else a team has to do to prove it to you.
    2) the Dolphins have an easy schedule the rest of the way to help them get in to the playoffs. Baltimore, Arizona, Buffalo, and New England doesn’t really seem like a cake walk to me. Not to mention the Jets a divisional game in NY. That’s 5 of the last 6. Now if you’re having a hard time considering the Dolphins a good team how can you consider that an easy schedule? Doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Point is the Dolphins are a good team, pretty much on par with the rest of the teams they play (minus NE of course). So nothing is going to come easy to them especially 4 more wins to hopefully make the playoffs. But I for one think the team and the coach know that and it is showing up in their play

  17. Their overall record is poor, mostly because they pick the pack every week. Looks like they’ve learned their lesson and their record will improve.

  18. This is just the kind of game the Steelers should win. Which is exactly why they won’t. Mike Tomlin will make sure of that.

  19. minson15 says:
    Nov 23, 2016 11:56 AM

    Even though the Bucs record shows they play better on the road than at home, I think they have a better shot at keeping the game competitive at home than they do in Seattle. Hawks win big though 34-10. This is even without Earl Thomas, Deshawn Shead, and Michael Bennett (I doubt he plays, but could be a possibility).

    —————————————————

    While I don’t think the Bucs have a chance of winning (of course, thought that last week as well), I see no way they get curb stomped by 24, either. The Bucs are playing much better as of late, and Seattle typically doesn’t run up the score. Russell Wilson is clearly healthy, but I worry about their running game, and their injuries. Only way this score happens is if Jameis is forced in to multiple stupid mistakes.

  20. Redskins 27 Cowboys 20 I think the Redskins defense will give Prescott fits and to be honest they should have beaten the Cowboys the last time they played them. It makes me sick to say this, but the Colts will smash the Steelers as not only are they playing at home, but they really need to win this game to stay on pace with the Texans 38 to 31. Finally, the Patriots game against the Jets will be much closer than than expected as the Jets always play the Patriots like it’s their Super Bowl at home (well except Thanksgiving 2012.) Patriots win with the combination of quick passing to Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman, and James White, run game with Blount, and a defense that will force a couple of turnovers to pull away to a 38 to 27 win over the Jets.

  21. tajuara says:
    Nov 23, 2016 11:56 AM

    MDS’s take: The Texans are a first-place team, the Chargers are a last-place team. Put them in each other’s divisions, and the Chargers would be in first place while the Texans would be in last place. I think the Chargers will show in Houston that they’re a better team.

    —————————————–

    So if the Chargers will be in the AFC South they will be first with their 4-6 record? Wow, I must have been sleep because I thought that 5 was greater than 4 (Colts 5-5)

    ——————————————

    You do realize if the Chargers were in the South, their schedule would include Indy, Tennessee, and Jax, and therefore likely casue them to have more than four wins, while if the Texans were in the west, they’d likely have more than four losses. It’s not a matter of simply carrying over the Chargers current 4-6 record to a new division.

  22. There is no way the Jets just mail this one in. I’m the biggest Pats fan you’ll ever meet, but this game has 21-20 with a late field goal to decide it written all over it. It all depends on how they feel about their coach, Rex would always get his team up to play the Pats regardless of record. This win could potentially save Bowles’ job… so we’re gonna find out real quick how those players feel about their coach this week.

  23. firesnyder says:
    Nov 23, 2016 12:05 PM

    Redskins will surprise everybody. Again, Dallas hasn’t played a decent team except for the Steelers. Their schedule has been a cake walk thus far.
    ———————-
    LOL, the Redskins are playing the exact same teams and lost to Dallas…WOW

  24. Packers were (somehow) ahead of the Eagles on the Power Rankings yesterday, and today both of these guys pick the Eagles to win easily. smh

  25. Florio’s take: The NFC North title could be on the line — unless the Packers can finally find the gas pedal. Detroit’s habit of cutting it close isn’t sustainable, and the streaky Vikings are back on the right track, at least for now.

    ———-

    We are not back on track. 100 yard pick six and kickoff return for TD are not going to happen every week. Our offense scored just 16 points against a reeling Cardinals team at home. I’m sure for fans, that win covered up the warts, but I sure hope our coaches still understand this team is playing way below potential.

  26. patsfan1820 says:
    Nov 23, 2016 12:45 PM

    Redskins 27 Cowboys 20 I think the Redskins defense will give Prescott fits and to be honest they should have beaten the Cowboys the last time they played them.
    ——————-
    So you think the Redskins D is better than the Ravens?? I actually think your Pats are heading down and the young Cowboys and Raiders are heading up…ba bye

  27. thefootballgodssay says:
    Nov 23, 2016 1:06 PM

    GIANTS 40 browns 9

    ———————————

    Did you say the same thing last week as they raced out to a 16-6 deficit against a pathetic Bears team?

  28. The Lions are playing at home on Thanksgiving, first in the division, with a fired up home crowd, coming off a win.

    They have also been under preforming, hence the last second wins.

    The vikings are bad.

    The Lions win this one decisively , granted I am a fan, but looking objectively I honestly can say that.

  29. svengali666 says:
    Nov 23, 2016 12:21 PM
    Whats pft’s overall record for the year? Probably not very good.
    ———-
    These 2 don’t actually watch football. They have someone else tell them who to pick. They couldn’t even name all 32 teams without Google.

  30. Looks like the VIKINGS will be hanging their 20th championship banner while the Packers sit at home!

  31. You do realize if the Chargers were in the South, their schedule would include Indy, Tennessee, and Jax, and therefore likely casue them to have more than four wins, while if the Texans were in the west, they’d likely have more than four losses. It’s not a matter of simply carrying over the Chargers current 4-6 record to a new division.

    _____________________________

    You do realize the Texans have played the other three teams in the AFC West already THIS season, and the AFC plays the AFC South THIS season, so the Texan’s record would be almost certainly the exact same. And btw – absent having to play against the refs too, the Texans would have beat the best team in the AFC West two days ago.

  32. htowntexan says:
    Nov 23, 2016 2:10 PM

    You do realize the Texans have played the other three teams in the AFC West already THIS season, and the AFC plays the AFC South THIS season, so the Texan’s record would be almost certainly the exact same. And btw – absent having to play against the refs too, the Texans would have beat the best team in the AFC West two days ago.

    ———————————————–

    You do realize you play divisional opponents twice, correct? And there is ZERO arguing the AFC West is a better division than the AFC South. Nice try, though.

  33. If the Packers actually lose by less than 20, they’ll move up in next week’s PFT Power Rankings

  34. So you think the Redskins D is better than the Ravens?? I actually think your Pats are heading down and the young Cowboys and Raiders are heading up…ba bye

    ——————
    Yawn…. been hearing that since the 18-1 year…Still waiting…

  35. allight59 says:
    Nov 23, 2016 12:40 PM

    Whoever plays the Pack is my survivor pick….been winning me lots of money.

    ___________________________________

    If its a survivor league you haven’t won anything yet dum dum. Everyone has to fall out first.

  36. PFT loves the Steelers says:
    Nov 23, 2016 12:13 PM
    Even with the easiest schedule in the league and catching the Colts without Luck, the Steelers are still a massively disappointing team compared to what the media pretends they should be.
    ——————-
    No doubt they have been disappointing , but it’s definitely not the easiest schedule. Before the season it didn’t look bad, but they play the NFC East, Patriots and Chiefs. I would much rather have the AFC east or NFC west schedule. Those teams play next to no one besides the Patriots and Seahawks.

  37. Miami coming on strong with a sure win on Sunday. 7-4, with a winnable schedule remaining, could get us a playoff game.

  38. firesnyder says:

    Redskins will surprise everybody. Again, Dallas hasn’t played a decent team except for the Steelers.
    ====================================

    At least you admit the Redskins are not a decent team, since the Cowboys beat them week 2 haha

  39. Bills need to pretty much win out from here to have a shot at the playoffs. With that said, Buffalo is not very good at “must win” games like the one they have this week against the Jaguars. The Bills may win but it won’t be by more than 3 points. Yes I know they beat the Bengals this past Sunday in a “must win” game but c’mon…AJ Green tore his hamstring three plays into the game. Nuff said!!

    One thing I’ve learned…these Bills don’t do anything the easy way.

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