2010 NFL Week 12 Picks

Last week I wrote that there was a possibility that my college football picks would infect my NFL picks and naturally, that’s exactly what happened.

After going 9-3 the three weeks prior, I went 1-3 last Sunday as the Vikings, Panthers (thanks to two defensive touchdowns by the Ravens in the final minutes of the game) and Lions all laid eggs. My one saving grace was the Jaguars, who needed Maurice Jones-Drew to break off a 75-yard screen pass just to get them into scoring position in the final minutes. Awful – just awful.

Nothing but false confidence this week though, baby – let’s do this!

Packers (7-3) @ Falcons (8-2), 1:00PM ET
I really don’t like the side here because this game could go in one of several ways: Aaron Rodgers could consistently pick apart the Falcons’ leaky secondary for four quarters and the Packers could roll; the Falcons could take this game over on the ground and make Rodgers a non-factor; or it could be a back-and-forth nail-bitter that isn’t decided until the closing seconds (or overtime). For the record, I’ll go with Option C. But while everyone expects this game to be a shootout, I actually think both defenses will step up. There may not be a defense in the league that is playing better than Green Bay’s is right now and Atlanta (while prone to giving up a lot of yardage) is seventh in the league in points allowed (19.2). After weeks of putting games on Matt Ryan’s shoulders, I think the Falcons will turn to Michael Turner and the ground game in order to help neutralize Rodgers and the Green Bay passing attack. Under Mike Smith, the Falcons are 18-5 when they win the time of possession battle, so keeping it in Turner’s hands makes sense. With Atlanta trying to chew up the clock on the ground, I think this one falls under the posted total.

Jaguars (6-4) @ Giants (6-4), 1:00PM ET
The Giants are in the midst of one of their Tom Coughlin-led funks but I think they shake out of it today. The Jaguars have won three in a row but nobody outside Jacksonville fans believes that this team is a serious playoff contender. Opponents have been able to go into East Rutherford this year and beat the G-Men, but today will be a different story. The Jaguars’ pass defense is a major weakness that Eli Manning should exploit. But the key with the G-Men is turnovers. They’re 26th in turnovers this season at -0.8 and they haven’t been shy about turning the ball over multiple times a game. The Jaguars, however, rank 31st in turnover margin at -1.1 so New York’s biggest issue may be a non-factor. I like the Giants to roll.

Chiefs (6-4) @ Seahawks (5-5), 4:05PM ET
I must be missing something here because it’s surprising to me that the Seahawks would be underdogs at home against a Kansas City team that has dropped two of its last three games. They crushed the Cardinals last week at home but a) they were playing the Cardinals and b) it was at home, where they’re 5-0 this year. On the road, the Chiefs have struggled (1-4) and Seattle is a tough road test for any opponent, no matter how poorly the Seahawks may be playing. The Hawks have dropped three of their last four games but they’re 3-1 at home this year and 3-0 when Charlie Whitehurst (who is atrocious) doesn’t start. Maybe I’m falling into a trap here, but I see the Seahawks taking care of business and I’ll gladly take the points in this one.

Chargers (5-5) @ Colts (6-4), 8:20PM ET
It appears as though the public is drunk on San Diego Kool-Aid because the line in this game has gone from 3 to 1 throughout the week. Indy looks highly vulnerable for the first time in years, but they’ve been lights out at home this season. They’re 4-0 at the RCA Dome and have outscored opponents 110-57. Philip Rivers is playing at a MVP-like level but the Colts’ defense has been outstanding at the dome. Peyton Manning won’t lose two in a row with the Jaguars breathing down everyone’s necks and if the line stays under a field goal, I love this play.

Season Record: 20-19-1

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