2013 NFL Pick ‘Em: Week 12
Picking the NFL's Week 12 Action
Can you believe that it’s already Week 12 of the 2013 NFL campaign? Even though it seems like the season started a couple of weeks ago, there are now only six games left for each team to solidify their playoff positioning or send themselves on an early vacation.
As the end of the regular season inches closer, picking each week’s gridiron action grows increasing difficult. If it was easy, we’d all do it, though.
Last week wasn’t great for me, as I walked away from Monday night’s showdown with a 9-6 record. While it’s not exactly my worst showing of the season – that came in Week 10 when I went 6-8 – it wasn’t the type of showing I was hoping for. After this past weekend, my record on the year now sits at 100-63. Not too shabby, but it could be better.
So what can you look forward to in Week 12? Well, there are a number of intriguing matchups between teams jockeying for playoff positioning. Several teams will simply be looking to avoid falling into “mathematical elimination” territory. At this point, there could even be some prideful performances from teams just looking to avoid being embarrassed (again).
Either way, it’s sure to be exciting week full of more unexpected upsets and blowout wins. We’ve seen plenty of both through the first 11 rounds of NFL action this season, so there’s no reason to expect anything different in Week 12.
With that in mind, here’s a look at every one of Week 12’s games and what you might expect to see when game day arrives.
New Orleans Saints (8-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-8)
As weird as it seems, the Falcons don’t stand a chance. They’ve tanked through the last several weeks this season, and that’s why they’re near the bottom of the NFL standings. Drew Brees and the Saints are rolling right now, and will keep on track against a pitiful Falcons team.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) at Detroit Lions (6-4)
Who knew the Buccaneers could win, let alone two in a row? Suddenly clicking on both sides of the ball, Tampa Bay heads into Detroit with a chip on their shoulders. They enjoyed a breakout performance from Bobby Rainey last week, who should be able to gash the Lions defense this week.
Minnesota Vikings (2-8) at Green Bay Packers (5-5)
Even with Scott Tolzien as their starter, the Packers shouldn’t have too much trouble handing the Vikings yet another defeat. Minnesota has been playing pitiful football all season long, and don’t stand a chance against a Packers team featuring the running game of Eddie Lacy.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) at Houston Texans (2-8)
Great… A battle between two of the worst teams in the NFL. It’s going to be a snoozer as these two try to avoid getting themselves further away from the No. 1 overall pick next May. It’ll be interesting to see who can be worse, but I expect Cecil Shorts to play hard enough to get the win.
San Diego Chargers (4-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-1)
At the beginning of the season, it looked like the Chargers might have actually stood a chance of making the playoffs this year. Instead, they continue to tumble down the standings. Coming off their first loss, Alex Smith and the Chiefs will be smelling blood as they look to get back on track at home.
Carolina Panthers (7-3) at Miami Dolphins (5-5)
Currently riding a six-game winning streak, the Panthers are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. While the Dolphins appear to be bouncing back, their offensive line won’t be able to handle Greg Hardy and the ferocious Carolina pass rush.
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-6)
Even after Ben Roethlisberger put up big numbers a week ago, the Browns have the defense to shut the Steelers down. With an outstanding secondary and an underrated front seven, Cleveland will keep them off the scoreboard often while Jason Campbell does just enough to earn the win.
Chicago Bears (6-4) at St. Louis Rams (4-6)
The Bears have been barely getting by, and it’s time the Rams brought an end to that. After shutting down the Colts and recuperating during the bye, St. Louis and their surprising ground game led by Zac Stacy will take the NFC North crown away from Chicago.
New York Jets (5-5) at Baltimore Ravens (4-6)
For the first time in NFL history, a team has gone through the first ten games of the season bouncing back and forth between wins and losses. They’re coming off a loss, so it seems about right that they’d come away with a win against the Ravens, right? Plus, Ed Reed will be looking to topple his former team.
Tennessee Titans (4-6) at Oakland Raiders (4-6)
When Matt McGloin finally got his shot to start for the Raiders, he didn’t disappoint. While the Titans secondary will give him a tough challenge, the Raiders balanced offense and Rashad Jennings should be enough to let them squeak out a win in this battle of 4-6 teams still clinging to playoff hopes.
Indianapolis Colts (7-3) at Arizona Cardinals (6-4)
At this point in the season, the Colts are looking very fragile. They barely overcame an average Titans team after getting pummeled by the Rams, and are quickly falling apart. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are quietly putting together a playoff run and could watch Carson Palmer orchestrate another win.
Dallas Cowboys (5-5) at New York Giants (4-6)
All of the sudden, the Giants are serious contenders in the NFC East. They’ve won four straight, and now have Andre Brown back in the fold to help even out their offense. With the way the Cowboys have been playing as of late, New York might just make it five in a row.
Denver Broncos (9-1) at New England Patriots (7-3)
Following a huge Week 11 win against the Chiefs, it’s clear the Broncos are the team to beat in the AFC. Peyton Manning continues to build chemistry with his receivers, especially Demaryius Thomas. Against a susceptible Patriots team, Denver shouldn’t have too much trouble earning another big victory.
San Francisco 49ers (6-4) at Washington Redskins (3-7)
If the 49ers aren’t careful, they could fall to third in the NFC West. Luckily for them, they’re playing a Redskins team that doesn’t have much left in the tank heading into Week 12. Colin Kaepernick, Anquan Boldin and the San Francisco passing game will get them back on track on Monday night.