PFT’s Week 12 picks

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The first three games of Week 12 went better for MDS than for me. He swept the Thanksgiving games; my misplaced faith in Matthew Stafford left me at 2-1.

With 12 games to go in Week 12, I have a season-to-date record of 104-60 (63.4 percent). MDS is 101-63 (61.5 percent).

For the balance of the week, we disagree on two games. All picks appear below.

And stay tuned for this week’s official best bets, not to be confused with the Thanksgiving picks against the spread, in which we both stunk.

Browns at Bengals

MDS’s take: The Browns haven’t won a road game in more than three years. I don’t think they’ll win this one, either.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 20, Browns 17.

Florio’s take: The Browns are closing in on a record-tying 26th straight loss on the road. The Bengals are happy to oblige.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 27, Browns 20.

49ers at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: Jameis Winston vs. Nick Mullens? I’ll go with Winston. Barely.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 27, 49ers 24.

Florio’s take: Both teams have struggled this year, but the desperation factor could be the difference for the home team, with a quarterback playing his future and a coach coaching for his job.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 30, 49ers 21.

Jaguars at Bills

MDS’s take: Neither of these teams is going anywhere this season, but I think the Jaguars’ defense is still good enough to shut down the terrible Buffalo offense.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 13, Bills 6.

Florio’s take: If Chiefs-Rams set back defense by 100 years, this one may set offense back by 1,000.

Florio’s pick: Bills 10, Jaguars 9.

Raiders at Ravens

MDS’s take: The Ravens are still fighting for a playoff berth, and the Raiders coming to town ought to help.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, Raiders 10.

Florio’s take: Lamar Jackson may not become Lou Gehrig, but Joe Flacco is looking more and more like Wally Pipp.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 24, Raiders 10.

Seahawks at Panthers

MDS’s take: This is a big one in the NFC wild card race, with the winner in great shape but the loser in trouble. I expect the Panthers to bounce back from last week’s disappointing showing.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 27, Seahawks 20.

Florio’s take: Both teams need this one badly, but the Panthers are tough to beat at home.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 24, Seahawks 22.

Patriots at Jets

MDS’s take: The Patriots need to bounce back after an ugly showing in their loss to the Titans, and the Jets may be the best team for them to bounce back against.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 30, Jets 13.

Florio’s take: Both teams emerge from a bye, only weeks before the Jets say farewell to their coach.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 34, Jets 16.

Giants at Eagles

MDS’s take: At this point the Eagles are probably out of the playoff race, and the Giants are definitely out of the playoff race, so there’s nothing on the line but pride. In this old-school NFC East matchup pride should be enough to produce what I’m expecting to be a fairly entertaining game that the Eagles manage to win in the end.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 31, Giants 27.

Florio’s take: The Giants have won two in a row, against a pair of cupcakes. The Eagles aren’t quite at that level, but they’re getting close.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 24, Giants 21.

Cardinals at Chargers

MDS’s take: The Chargers dropped a game they should have won to the Broncos last week. This time they’ll win the game they should win, and win easily.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 28, Cardinals 10.

Florio’s take: Last week’s loss hurts the home team’s chances of winning division. Losing to the Cardinals would hurt the home team’s chances of making it as a wild card.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 35, Cardinals 17.

Dolphins at Colts

MDS’s take: The Colts just keep rolling along, with Frank Reich making a case for himself as coach of the year. This should be a big Indianapolis win.

MDS’s pick: Colts 28, Dolphins 17.

Florio’s take: Ryan Tannehill returns, and the Dolphins are good enough to keep it interesting. But the Colts are good enough to run their winning streak to five.

Florio’s pick: Colts 23 Dolphins 20, 

Steelers at Broncos

MDS’s take: The Steelers showed last week that even when they don’t play their best game, they can pull out a win in the end. I won’t be surprised if this week’s game is similar, with the Broncos holding strong but the Steelers finally pulling out a win on the road.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 27, Broncos 24.

Florio’s take: Last week’s upset over the Chargers gives Denver a lift. But not enough of one to keep the Steelers from making a push toward a possible bye.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 30, Broncos 20.

Packers at Vikings

MDS’s take: I have a hard time seeing either of these teams catching the Bears in the NFC North, but the Vikings should be able to grab a wild card spot, whereas the Packers look like they’re heading toward an offseason in which they need to make major changes.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 23, Packers 17.

Florio’s take: Kirk Cousins is good not great. Aaron Rodgers is great, and he’ll be carrying extra incentive to beat Minnesota at the site of his broken collarbone from a year ago. Year One of the Cousins experiment moves closer to being an official failure, and Packers coach Mike McCarthy gets a reprieve, for now.

Florio’s pick: Packers 27, Vikings 24.

Titans at Texans

MDS’s take: This is a big game in the AFC South race, and one where I’m expecting Deshaun Watson to put on a show.

MDS’s pick: Texans 30, Titans 20.

Florio’s take: The up-and-down Titans are running out of chances to push their way into the playoff chase. The Texans keep finding ways to rack up wins.

Florio’s pick: Texans 23, Titans 20.

35 responses to “PFT’s Week 12 picks

  1. kamthechancellor says:
    November 23, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    The rebuilding Seahawks win a statement game. The statement: you don’t want to play them.
    Did you watch the Packer game? They could barely sneak past a crappy GB team at home.

  2. I have a hard time seeing either of these teams catching the Bears in the NFC North

    Who would have envisioned that being said at the start of the year?

  3. torchsandaardvarks says:
    November 23, 2018 at 12:52 pm
    I think the Giants upset the Eagles. The eagles secondary is beat up, and the Giants’ offense has a terrific game.

    Can you even “upset” the Eagles at this point?

  4. Seahawks have played a much tougher schedule.

    They’ve played five games vs playoff teams (right now) and Panthers have played two and got destroyed one and won one. (Hawks only won 1)

    If Hawks can get a turnover and jump up, Cam will pout.

  5. Buccaneers over 49ers – not even confident of this because if JW throws 4 more ints and fumble twice (normal for him) then the 49ers may get the win…

    Panthers over Seahawks – Panthers have the better defense…

  6. I don’t buy the comment that Cousins is a failure. He’s made some mistakes but also played pretty well overall. The struggling season has more to do with a bad offensive line and some underwhelming play from their defensive stars than Cousins being a “failure.”

  7. tokyosandblaster says:
    November 23, 2018 at 1:34 pm
    Packers 31, Vikings 13
    Vikings 31, Packers 13
    (I fixed that for you)

  8. Packers have yet to win inside US bank stadium, this includes guarantees from packers fans that the pack would win when the stadium hosted its first game and L to vikings mind you and loss of Rodgers to a broken collar bone in 2017, L to the vikings or the packers president spouting off how great it would be for packers fans when they make the super bowl in 2017 so their fans could just drive across the boarder to MN, yet failed to make the play offs. If Rodgers is so great ( largely media driven this year) how come he is 26th in completion % tied with the likes of Baker Mayfield

  9. I agree with the cheese beating my Vikes. Until they play consistent football, I’ll always be skeptical of them. You just don’t know what team is showing up from week to week and it’s getting old.

  10. As a Dolphins fan, I hope this is a chance to get back on the winning track on the road vs a really good AFC team. Tannehill is back, and some other key OL as well.

    Hopefully they can make enough plays on OFF and DEF to give them a chance. Not holding my breath, but Fins fans have been doing this for a long time, so we’re use to it.

  11. tokyosandblaster says:
    November 23, 2018 at 1:34 pm
    Packers 31, Vikings 13

    Now look, I said the Vikes will probably lose this game, but Rodgers and company will not hang 31 points on our defense. The last time a game pitting these two teams was that lopsided was when we shut you out on your home field 16-0 last year.

  12. The way Minnesota played last Sunday Night, NO WAY Zimmer lets them play like that this week. If there are N0 fumbles Vikings win 28-21, If there is a single fumble or pick switch the points around.Pack wins 28-21.

  13. Aaron Rodgers has got to be the most overrated QB in NFL history. Guy just got a $134 million contract and hes 4-5-1. Pathetic.
    HE is 4-5-1? The rest of the team doesn’t matter? Dude’s got around 20 TD’s vs 1 int and on his way to 5k yards. Has he been the Rodgers of old? No. But he isn’t the reason the team is 4-5-1 and any knowledgeable fan should know this.

  14. If there is a single fumble or pick switch the points around.Pack wins 28-21.
    Going to be a close one. I agree….turnovers with probably make the difference. Just hoping for a good game and no tie!

  15. Well, Green Bay’s run defense has been dismal all season long.
    Now, when you couple that with a few injuries across the D-line, if Dalvin Cook can’t hang 100 yards on them with a score or 2, it may be time to start playing the bust card on him.

  16. “the Steelers finally pulling out a win on the road.”

    You and I have VERY different definitions of what the word “finally” means…being that the Steelers are 4-0-1 on the road.

  17. Packers win = Rodgers carried them on his back and single handedly won the game. Packers lose = the team let Aaron Rodgers down, and he is in no way responsible for the loss.

  18. The Titans win over the Pats was one of those “why we play the games” games (code for fluke win). Texans are due for a breakout game offensively and should win easily. Then again, O’Brien is still calling the plays so who knows??

  19. The Packers are not good enough this year. The Vikings aren’t all that good, either. Another tie game would be appropriate.

  20. As bad as Rodgers reportedly wants McCarthy gone, he will put up decent stats, but they will go 2 of 10 on third down. Rodgers will throw it away 5 times, miss a couple guys and have another one stick to his hand. He will throw 2 TDs and have 280 yards for the game. Then he will talk about how they didn’t execute and blah blah blah. If Rodgers wasn’t on a mission, the Packers would have at least a couple more wins. The Packers will come up just short again this week. Vikings 24 Packers 20.

  21. Patriots 30 Jets 20 this game will be close until Michel and Gronk close it out in the 4th. Ravens 27 Raiders 14 I have no faith in Derek Carr at all. Packers 17 Vikings 7 Kirk Cousins does not do well in big games.

  22. Glad to see the purples already triggered about their upcoming yearly beatdown by GB. Packers 45 Vikings 7

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