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LOOKING AT WEEK 12 IN THE NFL
by Trace Armstrong on November 23, 2011 a 8:55 AM

Week 10 was a week of mostly good football and contained a few upsets. Last week I went a very nice 11-3 to bring my overall total for the season to 105-55.

With that bragged about slightly, letís look at what we learned in NFL Week 10.

Tebow strikes again. He played terribly for the majority of Thursday nightís game, only to engineer a 95 yard game-winning touchdown drive. I still donít get it. On another note, the Jets looked exhausted by the fourth quarter. The quick turnaround, going west, Mile High Stadium, etc. played a bigger factor in Denver winning than I think the ďexpertsĒ would like to admit.

Oakland still looks solid. Minnesota has a few good things going. There really isnít much more to analyze.

Miami obliterated Buffalo taking the last wheel off the bandwagon. Told ya soÖ Baltimore got down early but was able to stay calm and take control of what turned out to be a hard fought game. Really enjoyed it and looking forward to the sequel in a couple of weeks.

Once again, the Redskins gave false hope to a beleaguered fan base. Had Gano not choked the game-winning kick, Iíd probably be in a much better mood. What we really learned Sunday here is that Shanahan screwed up the chemistry. Seriously. Grossman is not a long-term answer by any means but itís obvious that he is light years ahead of John Beck. Even with all the injuries, the offense responded and played decently and for that, I must give them some respect. That said, Shanahan needs to pick some horses and stick with them. His constant tinkering and reinserting quarterbacks and running backs is getting old quickly.

Tampa Bay did something rather surprising on Sunday; they exposed some issues with the Packersí defense. LeGarrette Blount on two occasions broke 5 tackles on a single play for big gains. The Packersí defense is a poor run defense and Tampa exploited it. Donít let the 35-26 final fool you, the Bucs came close and Josh Freeman threw an untimely INT near the end that led to the final 7 points. The stupid thing is, Raheem deciding his young team would go for an onside kick twice led to points against them. If he hadnít been so aggressive there, his team might have won.

Detroit again had to engineer a fourth quarter comeback. Anyone think they were looking ahead to Thursday? I do.

St. Louis is pretty terrible.

Chicago pretty handily killed the Chargers however Cutler suffered a broken thumb and is done until maybe the first round of the playoffs. Luckily for the Bears, they can probably go 3-3 and still make it, then get Cutler back for the game in New Orleans.

I hate the Atlanta Falcons. They are not a very good team but they keep hanging around and hanging around by getting wins at home with a relatively soft schedule. If they creep into the playoffs I may just track down Matty Ice, grab him by his shirt collar, and scream ďWHY? WHY? WHY?Ē 300 times before releasing him and continuing on with my day.

Gosh, the Giants really donít want to win the NFC East do they? No Michael Vick and Vince Young at QB? This should have been easy, but not for Uncle Tommy and the Giants.

Now, letís predict what will happen in Week 11.

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions

Who would have ever thought that a Lions Thanksgiving Day game would actually hold meaning? Iíve been alive nearly 28 years and I donít think thatís happened once! I think the Lions come into this game extremely pumped up and on fire. Green Bay has to lose a game at some point and this is shaping up to be it. I think the Detroit crowd makes Ford Field so loud Rogers has a hard time audibling at the line leading to a close win by the Lions.

Winner: Detroit by 3.

Miami Dolphins @ Dallas Cowboys

I like how Miami has played in recent weeks BUT they arenít that good. Also, Tony Romo is undefeated in Thanksgiving Day games.

Winner: Dallas by 7.

San Francisco 49ers @ Baltimore Ravens

How many marriages will end this holiday season due to inattentive husbands? This is the first Thanksgiving in forever where the two traditional games have great meaning and the NFL Network primetime game being a possible Super Bowl preview? Give thanks indeed. So what happens? Of any game this season, this is by far the hardest the game to pick. Do you trust Alex Smith against the Ravensí defense? Do you trust Flacco to score on the 49ers defense? Will the Ravens commit to the run and Ray Rice or will Flacco be unleashed for 50 throws? There is a lot of guesswork involved so it really boils down to who wants it more. This game will be decided by a matter of inches.

Winner: Baltimore by 1.

Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons

I still hate Atlanta for games like this.

Winner: Atlanta by 7.

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals

Please.

Winner: Cincinnati by 6.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Tennessee Titans

Yikes. Where do you go here? The Titans are still on the bubble but the Bucs just came off a game where they hung with what is arguably the leagueís best team this season. Iíll ride this horse until it kills me.

Winner: Tennessee by 3.

Carolina Panthers @ Indianapolis Colts

Ugh! Iíve tried picking Indy before and theyíve laid eggs.

Winner: Carolina by 2.

Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams

Gosh. There are some terrible games on Sunday.

Winner: Arizona by 3.

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets

The bandwagon is gone and the true Bills are sitting there staring at us.

Winner: New York Jets by 7.

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Picking this game is a lot like being on ďLetís Make A DealĒ. You can choose whatís behind Door Number 1, Door Number 2, the envelope, or the mystery box! Then you choose Door Number 2 and you win a burrow and a little wooden cart.

Winner: Houston by 3 (not crazy about it).

Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders

Can the bears win on the road without Cutler against the Raiders? Probably not and hereís why. The Raidersí defense is rather good and the offense is holding their own even without their playmaker Darren McFadden.

Winner: Oakland by 3.

Washington Redskins @ Seattle Seahawks

As close as Washington played Dallas, a lot of the ďexpertsĒ are going with the Ďskins as their Week 12 sexy pick. For some unknown reason, I am doing the same. I think itís a matter of not being all that thrilled with picking Seattle.

Winner: Washington by 3.

New England Patriots @ Philadelphia Eagles

Offensively, the Pats have found a groove. The Eagles will be able to move the ball so whoever wins the horse race, gets the W.

Winner: New England by 3.

Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers

Does the Tebow magic run wild here? Do we factor in Norv? He finds the most creative ways to collapse in games and a loss at home to the Denver Tebows will be the nail in his coffin as head coach of San Diego.

Winner: San Diego by 3.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Please.

Winner: Pittsburgh by 21.

New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints

Finally, ESPN gets a good Monday night matchup. The Saints do a lot of things well and itís in the Dome. On the other hand, New York plays better when everyone is counting them out. They still have the lead in the NFC East but Eli always has to make things interesting.

Winner: New Orleans by 3.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. May no pilgrims or mutant turkeys invade your dinnertime!



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