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NFL Pro Football 2010 Week 12 Picks

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Pro Football Week 12 Picks - late games

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 12 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | November 25-28

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, November 25

New England Patriots (-7, 51) at Detroit Lions 12:30 pm - Well, a Thursday game that's an easy pick to start off your holiday football weekend. Anyone taking sides with Detroit on this games gets no gravy and no pumpkin pie. The Pats are coming off a nice win over their arch-rival, Indianapolis and still seek the AFC East title, in step with the Jets at 8-2. A few more wins will qualify the Patriots for a playoff spot, but they are obviously in search of the best record in the division.

The fact that this game is on the road and sandwiched between two tough contests (New England hosts the Jets next weekend) would be cause for concern as a trap game, but the Lions are 2-8, without a quality QB and in the hunt for the #1 draft pick.

Prediction: Patriots 27 Lions 14


New Orleans Saints (-3 1/2, 50) at Dallas Cowboys 4:15 pm - Dallas is still a wounded team, despite wins over the Giants and Lions the past two weeks. Meanwhile, the Saints are riding a three-game win streak but continue to trail the Falcons by a game in the NFC South. While there's little concern of missing the playoffs as there are five teams in the NFC with 7-3 records and Atlanta at 8-2, every game gets magnified as November turns to December.

Statistically, the two teams are relatively similar on offense, but New Orleans holds a 10-point edge in scoring defense, 17.0 ppg vs. 27.1. Unless the Cowboys suddenly find a way to limited opposing offenses from big plays - an area in which the Saints are very strong - this one goes only one way. Additionally, New Orleans is 3-1 on the road, and, even though Dallas won last year's meeting, the Saints had taken the six previous meetings by no less than 6 points in any game and covered the line in all of them.

Prediction: Saints 34 Cowboys 17


Cincinnati Bengals at NY Jets (-9, 43 1/2) 8:20 pm - Well, everyone had a feeling that with TO and Ochocinco on the same team that this would happen: that the Bengals would revert into the Bungles, making the latter part of the season a true circus. Following their shattering 49-31 home loss to Buffalo last week (their 7th straight loss), a number of observations: 1. Carson Palmer is not a very good QB; 2. half of the team seems to have given up; 3. The other half is mad that so many of their teammates are bagging the season so early and are upset; 4. the defense completely falls apart in the second half of almost every game.

Now, the Jets have gotten into a nasty habit of winning without covering, such as their 30-27 win last week over Houston, but that trend should end as lines tighten up down the stretch. Sanchez and company should put a 40-spot on the underachieving Bengals.

Prediction: Jets 44 Bengals 20


Sunday, November 28

Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (-2, 47 1/2) 1:00 pm - Here is the best game of the week, pitting the 7-3 Packers against the 8-2 Falcons, who have proven to be absolutely unbeatable both at home and over the past four weeks. Green Bay is itself in a dogfight with the Bears for NFC North supremacy, and if there's one team that can top Atlanta it would likely be these Packers, also winners of four straight.

Two of Green Bay's three losses have come on the road, so the numbers seem to be saying that Atlanta is the pick. Besides, Green Bay still is not convincing with their running game at an even 100 yards per game. If Atlanta stuffs the run and makes Green bay one-dimensional, QB Aaron Rodgers could be spending much of the afternoon on his backside.

Prediction: Falcons 21 Packers 16


Pittsburgh Steelers (-6 1/2, 43) at Buffalo Bills 1:00 pm - Buffalo is an amazing 5-0 since their bye week, but it appears that this streak of good fortune could come to an end against the Steelers, one of the top defenses in the league.

The Bills have won two straight, but those wins were over Detroit and Cincinnati, not exactly top-eschelon teams like Pittsburgh, which is locked into a battle with the ravens in the AFC North at 7-3 and in need of every win they can get.

That said, there are two or three factors which could work in Buffalo's favor: they like the cold, crisp weather as much as the Steelers and are at home, and they haven't shown one bit of quit over the course of the season. despite their 2-8 record, they play until the final gun. It may be overstating the case, but nobody wants to play these guys right now and if Pittsburgh does manage to escape with a win, it will not be by much.

Prediction: Steelers 27 Bills 24


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Philadelphia Eagles (-3, 42 1/2) at Chicago Bears 1:00 pm - The Michael Vick rehab wagon rolls along, as the Eagles have seized control of the NFC East with their nifty win over the Giants last week. They've now won three straight, including key victories over Atlanta and Indianapolis. The offense is now the 2nd-highest scoring unit in the league, behind New England, at 24.8 ppg, and the defense continues its season-long improvement.

Chicago has become one of the brightest success stories of the year, and their defense is a large reason why they're 7-3 and tied with Green Bay in the NFC North. The Bears allow a stingy 290.4 yards per game, are tied with the Packers for fewest points allowed at 14.6 and give up just 78 yards rushing per contest. If they're able to pin Vick in the pocket or force him to the right as the Giants did last week, the Bears should be able to keep pace in a low-scoring affair. Home field, clock management, field position, red zone defense and good kicking will win this one.

Prediction: Bears 20 Eagles 16

Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns (NA, NA) 1:00 pm - Will update once a line is posted.

Prediction:


Jacksonville Jaguars at NY Giants (-7, 44 1/2) 1:00 pm - Jacksonville continues to hang around the fringes of playoff possibilities and are joined by the Giants at 6-4 even though the two teams are from opposing conferences. The Jags actually could put a one-game lead on the Colts in the AFC South should Indy fall short against the Chargers Sunday night, so this really shapes up as a key game for both teams. Jacksonville is 2-2 on the road and the Giants 3-2 at home, so there's no real edge there, but Jacksonville is ranked 28th in pass defense and aren;t too good against the run either.

The Giants lost Hakeem Nicks for at least the next three games, further decimating their depleted receiving corps, which works in Jacksonville's favor. The general perception is that the Giants are a better team, which may be a bit misleading since Jacksonville has achieved the same record having lost two games without QB David Garrard. He was injured in a 30-3 loss to Tennessee and missed the 42-20 beating by Kansas City. with him behind center, they're 6-2. Additionally, nobody's been able to slow down Maurice Jones-Drew, who has rushed for over 100 yards in each of his last three games and is 4th in the league with 878 yards.

Prediction: Jaguars 24 Giants 23


Be.


Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins (-2, 43) 1:00 pm - Well, Vikings fans, how do you like them apples. Your head coach is finally out and Brett Favre will be following him soon. Since Favre has been exposed as over the hill this season - finally - can we put his legacy to rest? He's seen better days and has been a detriment to the team since the end of last season, beginning with his childish indecision over playing this year (should have stayed home), to the cell phone scandal, to his on-field performance (69.8 passer rating, 10 TDs, 17 INTs, 19 sacks).

The Vikings are making a huge mistake starting him in any further games. He may get seriously injured (who knows whether some offensive linemen might just miss a block or two?) and needs to step aside to give Tarvaris Jackson the rest of the playing time this season. But, he's hard-headed Brett Favre, and that's not going to happen, so the Vikings will simply continue to spiral downward as losses mount.

Prediction: Redskins 34 Vikings 17

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2010, 2011, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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