D Gulley from The Shop Report with this week’s NFL Picks.
As the playoff picture really starts to take shape, there are some who are already in grave danger of missing out. Let’s see how week 12 looks for the teams.
Kansas City Chiefs (7-3) @ Oakland Raiders (0-10)
- Against better judgment, I picked against the Chiefs last week vs the defending champs. The Chiefs league best pass defense and punishing running attack should make themselves at home in the Black Hole keep the Raiders winless this week.
Cleveland Browns (6-4) @ Atlanta Falcons (4-6)
- Both of these teams are worse than they should be; the Browns had better exploit the league’s worst pass defense (especially with Josh Gordon’s return) because the running game may have a tough time against the top 10 run defense of the Falcons. I’m taking the Falcons.
Tennessee Titans (2-8) @ Philadelphia Eagles (7-3)
- Every game counts; and margin of error decreases at week 10. Philadelphia and Chip Kelly know this – which is why they’ll win this one handily vs the Titans who had everything slip away (including their momentum) last Monday.
Detroit Lions (7-3) @ New England Patriots (8-2)
- The best overall defense in the league travels to Foxboro in what could quietly be a Super Bowl matchup. I actually like the Lions to win this game in Foxboro. Stranger things have happened (the tuck rule… oh wait…) Still, I’m going with the Detroit.
Green Bay Packers (7-3) @ Minnesota Vikings (4-6)
- The Vikings claimed Ben Tate off waivers from Cleveland this week and he plays running back; not corner back, or safety. Aaron Rodgers is Green Bay’s quarterback. See the problem that the Vikings haven’t solved? Good for Tate to become a feature back, but wait until next week perhaps for it to spell a victory.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) @ Indianapolis Colts (6-4)
- I have no idea what the Jaguars can do to mimic the Patriots who visited and thrashed the Colts last week in Lucas Oil Stadium. Furthermore, I haven’t seen Luck and company ever play the same type of bad game two weeks in a row.
Cincinnati Bengals (6-3-1) @ Houston Texans (5-5)
- I’m struggling to figure out why the Bengals beat the Saints but won’t beat the Texans, I’d like to not make a gut feeling about this one. Thank you Ryan Mallett, your running game and receiving core, and the front 4 on defense for bailing me out.
New York Jets (2-8) @ Buffalo Bills (5-5)
- This is going to be a bit of an emotional game for the city of Buffalo, where The Day After Tomorrow poured mountains of snow on the city and on a serious note, some people have died as a result. This will be a rallying cry for the team to play Grade C football, which is all it takes to beat the Jets.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) @ Chicago Bears (4-6)
- I’m going with the Bears and to continue to correct the ship, and win another one at home.
Arizona Cardinals (9-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (6-4)
- I like the Seahawks to win this game at home, getting back to their old ways and figuring out how to win despite their lingering Lynch problem . Still, a loss this week doesn’t mean that the Cardinals aren’t still the best, it’s just that you can’t win them all.
St. Louis Rams (4-6) @ San Diego Chargers (6-4)
- The Chargers need it more, and the playoff (and legacy) window is closing quicker by the week. Expect the Chargers to defy the “Any Given Sunday” axiom and beat an inferior Rams team.
Miami Dolphins (6-4) @ Denver Broncos (7-3)
- Since this is a home game for the Broncos, I expect that they’ll win this on that advantage alone. Miami doesn’t turn the ball over a lot, but they don’t score a lot either.
Washington Redskins (3-7) @ San Franciso 49ers (6-4)
- The only player more toxic on a team than Marshawn Lynch is for Seattle is RGIII for Washington. Compound that with a visit to San Francisco, with a league leading 16 interceptions and you have a victory for the Niners
Dallas Cowboys (7-3) @ New York Giants (3-7)
- Their team standings run parallel to each team’s progression. The Cowboys are truly an elite team, and the Giants era of greatness is just about over. The Giants do force a good deal of INTs but unfortunately, Eli Manning is giving them right back (if last week is any indication).
Baltimore Ravens (6-4) @ New Orleans Saints (4-6)
- The Saints do not like the AFC North because they match up too well with them (reference losses to the Browns, and Bengals). The Ravens are tougher than both of those teams, and I think Monday night will be another example, especially given the injury situation.
BYE WEEK: Pittsburgh, Carolina