I’m so excited for this week to get started. Food and football all day is the perfect combination for men in need of a long weekend.
So, without any further delay, here are our games of the week.
New England (8-2, 3-2 road) @ Detroit (2-8, 2-2 home)
Mike’s pick: NEW ENGLAND
There isn’t much thought that goes into this one. New England is the better team, and Bill Belichick should show he’s the better coach as he aims to eliminate Calvin Johnson from the Lions game plan.
New Orleans (7-3, 3-1 road) @ Dallas (3-7, 1-4 home)
Mike’s pick: NEW ORLEANS
New Orleans got their rhythm back last week, hammering the Seahawks at home after a bye week. Now the travel to Dallas on a short week, but should be ready to play at 4:15 ET.
Saints RB Reggie Bush should be in the line-up today, after missing the last eight games because of a broken fibula in his right leg. Even if Bush doesn’t receive a full workload, his elusiveness should be a difference maker.
If Dallas wants to win (and they certainly can), they need to continue to feature rookie WR Dez Bryant. He’s become the offenses best player, and he needs to continue to play at a high level if the Cowboys want to play spoiler on Thanksgiving.
Cincinnati (2-8, 1-4 road) @ New York Jets (8-2, 3-2 home)
Mike’s pick: NEW YORK JETS
Like the New England game, this game seems too easy to pick.
New York is at home, they have the better team and Cincinnati is dysfunctional.
Mark Sanchez has tight, sound mechanics, and has been making plays in and out of the pocket. However, many of his big throws last week were simple slant routes that the Texans simply didn’t know how to cover.
If Cincinnati can press/jam the Jets wide receivers at the line, they have a good chance at winning. But with an erratic Carson Palmer throwing to a secondary of Darrelle Revis, Jim Leonhard, Antonio Cromartie and Brodney Pool, that chance seems slim.
Green Bay (7-3, 3-2 road) @ Atlanta (8-2, 5-0 home)
Mike’s pick: GREEN BAY
This game could be the closest game of the week. To me, it comes down to two factors: Atlanta’s run game and Green Bay’s pass rush.
I predict the Green Bay defense will present more problems to the Atlanta offense than vice-versa. After all, the Packers may have the best defensive player in the league (Clay Matthews).
Either way, this should be a game decided by three points or less, with both teams scoring between 24 to 34 points.
Tampa Bay (7-3, 4-1 road) @ Baltimore (7-3, 4-0 home)
Mike’s pick: BALTIMORE
Tampa Bay has yet to beat a team with a winning record and they are the youngest team in the league.
The Ravens are undefeated at home.
A young team with no experience beating a winning team going on the road is not a situation I’d feel comfortable being in.
San Diego (5-5, 1-4 road) @ Indianapolis (6-4, 4-0 home)
Mike’s pick: INDIANAPOLIS
Peyton Manning at home after a loss (last ten games): 10-0.
Upset Game of the Week: Philadelphia (-3.5) @ Chicago
Mike’s pick: CHICAGO (+3.5)
Yes, despite the Bears being at home and getting 3.5 points, I am nervous picking them because of Jay Cutler.
I’m picking the Bears as the upset of the week for two reasons. One, there aren’t many big upsets out there, and I always like picking a home underdog. Two, Michael Vick’s luck is about to run out. And say what you want about Jay Cutler and the Bears surprising 7-3 record, but their defense is outstanding.
Julius Peppers, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman and Danieal Manning lead a Chicago-style defense.
One more thing: Chicago has Devin Hester. Philadelphia doesn’t.
Currently, I’m one game better than Rob (13-12 vs. 12-13). With two more games added to our picks, things figure to get very interesting, quickly.
Before the games start in week 12, I need to give you my fantasy stud and dud of the week.
Week 12 Fantasy Stud: Philip Rivers (@ IND)
- Rivers is the leader for the 2010 NFL MVP award. He is getting Vincent Jackson and maybe Antonio Gates back this week in Indy. I really like the Colts to win, but Rivers should have to and be able to throw many times in this game.
Week 12 Fantasy Dud: Brandon Jackson (@ ATL)
- Best case scenario: Jackson gets about 80 yards and a touchdown. Worst case scenario: Jackson gets little progress on the ground as the Packers have to throw a lot to keep up with the Falcons. I’m going with the ladder.
Thanks for reading.