NFL Office Pool Picks Week 12
We are back at the point when things really get serious. Bye weeks are over, and the races that aren't already decided really get serious now. Every game matters for those contenders, and you can cut the intensity with a knife. And for the teams that are out of it and hopeless, this is when the pain and misery really adds up. The good and the bad are what makes this stretch of the season so exciting - and fun for office pools players. Here's how this week sets up for pool players:
Minnesota at Detroit: Both teams are coming off wins, but they weren't equal wins. Minnesota's defense completely overwhelmed a Rams team that had been rolling. Detroit just squeaked past the Bears. Detroit playing at home on Thanksgiving is a significant factor, but not enough. Take the Vikings.
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L.A. Chargers at Dallas: The Chargers are likely the best team in their division, but that's a bit like being the cleanest pig in a mudhole. But Dallas is a mess, and they are coming off a truly ugly effort. Take the Chargers.
New York Giants at Washington: The Giants are riding a winning streak. It's only one game, but considering how bad they are that is significant. But not enough. This won't be a great game by any means, but Washington has the clear edge. Take the Redskins.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta: At this point I have absolutely no faith in either team. They are shells of what they should be this year. Home field is the difference. Take the Falcons.
Cleveland at Cincinnati: Cincinnati is a really ugly team. Just a long way from good and just playing out the string But they are infinitely better than Cleveland right now. Cincinnati has one of the handful of the worst QB situations in the league, but it is dramatically better than Cleveland's. Take the Bengals.
Tennessee at Indianapolis: A recurring theme - this is another really rough game. The Titans have no confidence in their offense, but they are still dramatically better - and in much better shape right now - than the Colts. Take the Titans.
Buffalo at Kansas City: Yet again, here is another ugly game. The Bills have made a mess of their QB situation, and don't play defense anymore. The Chiefs have forgotten how to win and seem to have no confidence remaining. Home field is again the difference. Take the Chiefs.
Miami at New England: The Patriots . By a whole lot.
Carolina at New York Jets: Carolina has won three in a row, and despite seeming to invent themselves on the fly they are well on their way to a wild-card berth. The Jets are the Jets, and that is really all you need to say about them. Take the Panthers.
Chicago at Philadelphia: The Bears are feisty and tough and are better than they have any business being. But they are a long way from a good team. The Eagles are the best team in the NFC and perhaps in all of football. Philadelphia needs to be careful, but it shouldn't be close. Take the Eagles.
Seattle at San Francisco: It's a short week for Seattle, but that shouldn't matter here. San Francisco is coming off a win and a bye, and they will be better than they have been, but they aren't good enough. Take the Seahawks.
Denver at Oakland: Oakland has plenty of issues and isn't a very good team despite facing significant expectations entering the season. Denver is self-destructing, though. The coach is struggling, they are making horrible decisions - like it was the offensive coordinator's fault that the offense isn't working given the QBs he had to work with - and they are just plain lousy right now. Take the Raiders.
New Orleans at L.A. Rams: This is the game of the week in the NFL this week by a wide margin. Who would have guessed that back in August? The Saints just keep finding a way to win. But I think that ends here. The Rams were lousy last week, but they should be angry. This will be a big test for them, and I expect them to pass. Take the Rams.
Jacksonville at Arizona: The Jags have won four straight and have the inside track on a division title. So much for the theory that you can't win with Blake Bortles. Arizona is one of those teams that knows how screwed up they are but lacks the will to do anything about it anymore. Take the Jaguars.
Green Bay at Pittsburgh: Brett Hundley. That is the only relevant handicapping factor here. Take the Steelers.
Houston at Baltimore: If the playoffs started today the Ravens would be a wild-card team. That's not a compliment to them but instead a sad statement on the state of the league right now. They are not good, but they are the better team here right now given Houston's QB status. Take the Ravens.
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