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NFL 2011 Week 12 picks

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9-5 last week, not bad.

This week, we have the best bunch of games on Thanksgiving since... ever. In fact, all 3 games qualify for the honorific Game of the Week. Yes, you have a valid excuse for watching TV while the wife cooks all day.

Game of the Week

Packers @ Lions

Packers' offense is plainly unstoppable. QB Rodgers has an embarrassment of riches at WR & TE, and he'll terrorize the Lions' D. They have a strong pass-rush in their DL, but Rodgers will scramble on key downs. Packers' D on the other hand has been rather liberal this year, so perhaps the Lions may grind it out to minimize the number of possessions for the Packers' juggernaut offense, but they're not built to do so.

Packers by 13

Dolphins @ Cowboys

In the past 3 weeks Dolphins have been steady thanks to RB Bush & QB Moore, and they're facing a decent D this Thursday. Dolphins must run the ball and control the tempo. Cowboys will see a disciplined secondary, but QB Romo will eventually find his guys, since WR Bryant & TE Witten are solid route runners. RB Murray may ahve trouble vs the Dolphins' tough run D, but it might not matter.

Dallas by 3

49ers @ Ravens

The 49ers' offense is now versatile with TE Davis, WR Crabtree & QB Smith making play after play. If LB Lewis can't go, the middle will be soft and welcoming for crossing routes. Ravens has to pressure Smith, and I expect Kruger & McPhee to up the ferocity on 3rd down. 49ers must feed RB Gore early to keep Ravens second-guessing. Ravens' run offense has disappeared this year for mysterious reasons, & facing a very stubborn 49er run D, don't expect anything different. QB Flacco may find WR Torrey Smith a few times, but he's been inconsistent all year. 49ers should smash Flacco early & often.

49ers by 1

Rest of the Week

Bills @ Jets

Bills has suddenly collapsed the past 5 weeks. Coaches or players, it's gotta be solved ASAP. Perhaps a few trick plays for the Jets' D that has suddenly lost confidence vs the run. Get RB Jackson going early, and it'll be downhill from there. Jets are on the brink of blowing it, so expect Ryan to throw them the book. Jets should not show any mercy vs a weak D, and unleash the Sanchize.

Jets by 13

Pats @ Eagles

Pats rediscovered their rhythm on offense, and QB Brady will terrorize the Eagles' inferior LB corps with two talented TEs. Eagles' solid coverage will be useless against Brady's rhythmic attack. Irrespective of who starts at QB, it is up to the Eagles' WR. If Maclin or Jackson aren't available, that's all she wrote.

Pats by 11

Broncos @ Chargers

QB Tebow & RB McGahee are solid runners, but if the Broncos fall behind early, they're toast. Tebow is still a shitty passer, and the true test would be passing in the face of a early deficit. Expect Broncos to hog the ball and control the clock. Chargers must stay disciplined, unlike the Jets last week. QB Rivers HAS to wake up and be ready to bomb from the opening whistle. Broncos' D is solid, and even good at rushing the passer, so RB Matthews has to keep them honest so Rivers can find WR Jackson downfield. LB Miller & Dumerveil are unstoppable at pass rush, so Chargers has to keep Rivers in max protection.

Chargers by 4

Giants @ Saints

Giants are banged up. They need RB Bradshaw & WR Nicks back to force the Saints' D to respect the offense. Their DL has been shitty this year, and the Giants should overpower them. QB Manning must have time - he didn't have it last week vs the Eagles. QB Brees has been on fire all year, and the Saints' Offense continues to ring up the points. TE Graham will negate the Giants' staunch safeties, and watch for RB Sproles to wriggle a few key yards.

Saints by 7

Hardcores only

Browns @ Bengals

Browns' RB Ogbonnaya has been decent, and QB McCoy is steadily getting better. He's lucky the Bengals' top corner Hall is out, so he should unleash the ball a few times deep. Bengals' front D is fierce, so they'll need help from the LB corps. Bengals' star rookie WR Green will play so QB Dalton can breathe easy. Browns' D is solid, but doesn't have enough manpower to slow down the Bengals.

Bengals by 9

Bucs @ Titans

Bucs seemed to move the ball successfully vs the Packers, but it was mostly in desperation. At least QB Freeman & Blount & Williams might be slowly waking up from their season-long funk. But they're facing an ornery Titans D - very consistent and prudent. Bucs should move Freeman around to avoid that pass-rush and loosen up the D. It's official. RB CJ sucks. However, deep threat WR Britt has been out all year, and nobody has stepped up. Whether QB Locker plays or Hasselbeck recovers in time, the Titans will have a stout scheme.

Titans by 4

Steelers @ Chiefs

Steelers' deep WR corps will shred the Chiefs' inferior secondary. QB Rothlisberger will be laughing at the Chiefs' lack of pass rush - as long he avoids the key guys Johnson, Hali & Flowers. Chiefs have nothing left to play for except pride (and their jobs). Shitty QB vs Blitzburg? Jesus Christ.

Pitt by 27

Bears @ Raiders

QB Cutler is out for 2 months, so they're going with an unknown in Hanie. He'll be scrambling come sunday, and Martz should have a few tricks up his sleeve. Raiders have sucked vs the run, and they're facing the most productive RB in the league in Forte. He should get the rock early and often. QB Palmer will be fine if he avoids the all-pro corner Tillman. Raiders have been feeding RB Bush lately, but he'll have trouble vs the solid Bears front. Play-action passes is in the cards.

Raiders by 7

Texans @ Jags

Holy cow! Former Heisman winner Leinart's still in the league!? Lucky for him, the Texans have two solid RBs in Foster & Tate. Jaguars are decent on D, but they are facing the best OL in the league. Plus they stink on offense, and they're facing a swift, hungry and relentless Texans D. QB Gabbert has been shitty but he hasn't had anyone to help him out.

Texans by 11

Lame of the Week

Vikings @ Falcons

QB Ponder has been inconsistent so far, and he'll miss star RB Peterson deeply. He needs to re-introduce himself to WR Harvin ASAP. Falcons will go after Ponder for 60 minutes. Falcons need this game to prep for the playoff stretch. Double-team DE Allen and keep QB Ryan clean, and happy.

Falcons by 10

Cards @ Rams

Does it matter who starts at QB for Cards? Either way RB Wells & WR Fitzgerald will make plays, and the Rams' D has a strong DE in Quinn. But little else. Rams should be wary of Patrick Peterson at all times. Cards' D has been both good and shitty, but they are enough to stop QB Bradford. But RB Jackson may revert back to beast mode and help the Rams steal one.

Rams by 3

Panthers @ Colts

Expect QB Newton to explode. Colts won't be able to keep up on D. Panthers dropped 35 on the Lions, so I expect them to ring up even more vs a shittier D. Colts must blitz and confuse Newton, but this isn't just their year. Panthers' D royally suck, however. Colts will have chances, but they don't have the players. QB Painter might steal one but he's already blown too many chances this year.

Panthers by 24

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