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NFL Pro Football 2013 Week 12 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 12 Picks - Early Games

Welcome to the very best in winning NFL and College Football picks.
Rick Gagliano | November 21-24, 2013

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, November 21

(Byes: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Seattle)

New Orleans Saints (-9 1/2, 53) at Atlanta Falcons, 8:25 pm - Can the Falcons get any worse? They are 2-8, following last week's 41-28 drubbing at Tampa Bay, their fourth straight loss, and they haven't had a 100-yard rusher all season.

Meanwhile, the Saints are 8-2, but have Carolina breathing down their backs at 7-3. In week one, the Saints won, 23-17, but Atlanta has fallen on hard times. However, this game is in the Georgia Dome, and though the fans may not be too friendly, even to their beloved Falcons, the home team is getting a load of points.

Of course, the Saints' offense can, and has, put up points in a hurry, and Atlanta's defense is 29th overall, allowing 29.2 ppg. One would have to be very hopeful to take the Falcons and the points, since New orleans has won three of the last four meetings in Atlanta, though each of those wins were by three points and the loss was by 10, last season, a 23-13 Atlanta win.

A divisional contest and the Saints coming off a brutally physical, 23-20, win against San Francisco with the Saints just 2-2 on the road says go with the ATL.

Prediction: Saints 23 Falcons 19

Sunday, November 24

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens (-4, 39), 1:00 pm - The Jets dropped a clunk in Buffalo last week, being thoroughly beaten by the Bills, 37-14, becoming the first NFL team to alternate wins and losses over ten consecutive games, an odd statistic, to be sure.

The question is whether the Jets will revert to a win this week, which is the pattern, or whether the Ravens can overcome their 23-20 OT loss in Chicago last week and win one at home.

The Ravens are one of the worst road teams in the league, at 1-5, but are a solid 3-1 in Baltimore, while the Jets are a woeful 1-4 on the road. This seems to be the spot at which the Jets' weird W-L-W-L pattern ends, with a loss, as the 4-6 Ravens revive playoff hopes.

Prediction: Ravens 30 Jets 13

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (-1, 40), 1:00 pm - Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cleveland are all 4-6, looking up at 7-4 Cincinnati in the AFC North, and the Bengals have the luxury of a week off, while at least one of their three divisional foes is guaranteed fall to 4-7.

While both the Steelers and browns have identical records, the similarity ends there and this is the first meeting this season between the two. Cleveland has lost four of their last five, with QBs Weeden and Campbell obviously not the answer. Pittsburgh has a healthy Ben Roethlisberger, has won two straight and four of their last six, but are lousy on the road, at 1-4.

Still, the Steelers have a history of rising to the occasion down the stretch, their 37-27 win last week over Detroit maybe just the right tonic to start a run to the playoffs.

Prediction: Steelers 28 Browns 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions (-9 1/2, 49), 1:00 pm - Detroit's defense fell apart in the fourth quarter last week after failing to convert on a key fourth down off a fake field goal. Pittsburgh scored twice for the win, leaving the 6-4 Lions tied with Chicago in the NFC North.

Tampa Bay has turned things around with two straight wins after an 0-8 start, the defense getting the job done with three turnovers in their 41-28 win over Atlanta last week, while the offense clicked with 163 rushing yards from Bobby Rainey and 165 yards receiving by Vincent Jackson.

Both teams have the tools to get the win, and, realistically, the Bucs aren't as bad as their record makes them appear. Take the points and enjoy a wild, high-scoring, turnover-illed affair.

Prediction: Lions 38 Buccaneers 34

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Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-5, 44), 1:00 pm - Green Bay will be without Aaron Rodgers for a fourth straight week (broken collarbone), leaving Scott Tolzien to direct the offense. while Tolzien has played well, he's only produced 13 points in each of the last two games, identical, 27-13, losses to Philly and the Giants.

The Vikings announced Christian Ponder as the starter for this divisional meeting, even after the QB tossed three picks in a 41-20 defeat at Seattle. Ponder should fare better against the Packers, who won the first meeting of the season, 44-31, though Green bay had Rodgers behind center for that win.

The Packers have lost three straight, and even though the Vikings are only 2-8, they will extract some sweet revenge by dragging down their rival.

Prediction: Vikings 21 Packers 17

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-10, 43 1/2), 1:00 pm - The Texans have been the worst plunge of the season, having lost eight straight and now giving the 1-9 Jaguars 10 points?

Let's face it. Houston plain sucks and may not win another game this season. At least Jacksonville has a win in November, two weeks ago, winning at Tennessee, 29-27. That was a divisional game, as is this one. Go, Jags!

Prediction: Jaguars 27 Texans 24

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San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-5, 41 1/2), 1:00 pm - The Chiefs played well at Coors Field last week, but could not score against a surprisingly good Denver defense in a 27-17 loss, but they were certainly not embarrassed, holding Peyton Manning and the league-leading Bronco offense to their lowest point output of the season.

Phillip Rivers can fling it with the best of them, but will prove no match for the KC secondary, one of the league's best. The Chiefs are still undefeated at home, at 5-0, and the Chargers aren't about to change that. Five points will be easily overcome by Kansas City as they keep pace with Denver in the divisional race.

Prediction: Chiefs 31 Chargers 21

Carolina Panthers (-4 1/2, 41) at Miami Dolphins, 1:00 pm - This may come as a surprise to some, but the Panthers have the league's best scoring defense, at 13.5 points per game, just a little better than Kansas City's 13.8.

While Carolina gave up more than their average last week, the Monday night game was in Foxboro, where they held down Tom Brady and the Patriots in a controversial, 24-20 win, the final play marred by a picked-up flag on the final play.

The Panthers take a trip down the coast to balmy Miami, and despite the short week, Carolina figures to plaster the Dolphins, whose offense has been erratic, at best. The Dolphins are 3-2 at home, after their 20-16 win over San Diego last week, but the Panther defense may keep them out of the end zone for the duration. Miami, offensively challenged, has no shot in what should be this week's best play.

Prediction: Panthers 38 Dolphins 6

Chicago Bears at St. Louis Rams (even, 45 1/2), 1:00 pm - The Rams' 38-8 win at Indianapolis two weeks ago has to be the shocker of the season, and St. Louis got a bye after just their fourth win of the season.

With no realistic shot of making the playoffs, the Rams may feel free to experiment on both offense and defense, making this game a tough one to pick. Even the oddsmakers had no decisive opinion.

Jay Cutler remains on the bench with his high ankle sprain, leaving Josh McCown as the starting QB for the Bears, who won at home, in overtime, 23-20, over the Ravens last week. The defense is doing its job, and the offense is getting production from RB Matt Forte. The Bears need this win badly and will get it done.

Prediction: Bears 27 Rams 24

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2013, 2014, 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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