NFL Office Pool Picks Week 12
by Trevor Whenham - 11/19/2013
There were not many major surprises last week in the NFL. Only the Steelers over the Lions qualifies as a reasonably big one in my eyes, and the odds don’t really suggest it was much of an upset at all. Again this week we have a reasonably straightforward looking week -- at least from where we sit now. Here’s how I see the week playing out for office pools:
New Orleans at Atlanta: The Falcons are one of the biggest messes I can remember in recent history. There have been worse teams, but not one that has fallen so far below expectations. Even the Texans look better by comparison, and they are terrible. I can’t imagine a reason I would pick them again this year - certainly not against a good team. Take the Saints.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland: The Steelers are showing some fight. They have won two in a row, and while they still have plenty of issues, they seem to have gotten their internal ship more in order. Cleveland, on the other hand, is moving in the wrong direction, and the realities of their situation are overcoming their earlier momentum. Take the Steelers.
Tampa Bay at Detroit: The Lions were massively disappointing last week, while the Bucs have looked like a new team in the last two weeks. Still, Detroit is at home and should be ready for a better performance here. Take the Lions.
Minnesota at Green Bay: The Vikings haven’t won on the road in five tries this year, and they just aren’t looking very good. The Packers haven’t started the same QB in three weeks, and they are lacking direction. This isn’t the great showdown that this rivalry is capable of. Take the Packers.
San Diego at Kansas City: The Chargers looked like they had taken steps forward earlier this year, but they have regressed badly in recent weeks. The Chiefs suffered a big setback last time out against the Broncos, but they should be able to bounce back here and earn the win. Take the Chiefs.
Chicago at St. Louis: I really liked the effort that the Rams showed last time we saw them. Chicago is playing better all-round football, though, and they may have found a long-term solution to their quarterback issues with the surprising effectiveness of Josh McCown lately. The Rams will give it everything they have, but take the Bears.
Carolina at Miami: On Monday night the Panthers showed that they are unquestionably for real. The Dolphins aren’t at this point. There is a good chance that this one won’t be very close. Take the Panthers.
New York Jets at Baltimore: The Jets have gone Win-Loss-Win-Loss all season, so they are due for a win here. That last effort was just plain awful, though, so I have a hard time trusting them on the road - even against a Baltimore team that isn’t playing great. Take the Ravens.
Jacksonville at Houston: Someone has to win this game. I really liked the direction the Texans were moving in -- right up until they made the bone-headed decision to bench Case Keenum mid-game last week. That robbed the squad of any momentum they had, and it cost them a winnable game. They are still the better team here, though, and should win regardless of who is under center. Take the Texans.
Tennessee at Oakland: Matt McGloin actually looked pretty good last week in his starting debut with the Raiders. Not bad for an undrafted rookie. As I write this there isn’t a named starter, but I can’t imagine it won’t be him. I don’t think it will matter, though. Take the Titans.
Indianapolis at Arizona: The Colts really need to remember that the games start in the first quarter. They have been very sloppy early the last three games, but they have still won two of them. They are the better team here, and they should hopefully step up with a more complete effort. Take the Colts.
Dallas at New York Giants: The Giants lost six in a row then won four straight. I think you can make it five here. The Cowboys are fine, but they aren’t playing with any particular confidence, and they have been lousy on the road. Take the Giants.
Denver at New England: What a brutal seven days for the Patriots -- at the Panthers then home against the Broncos. Ugh. They played well against the Panthers, and they got cheated by the non-call at the end, but they weren’t quite good enough. They won’t be quite good enough here, either. Take the Broncos.
San Francisco at Washington: There are a lot of issues with these 49ers right now. I don’t like the effort, and I hate the offense. There is nothing better for fixing those issues right now, though, than playing these Redskins. This team is a total mess, and they are outclassed here. Take the 49ers.
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