NFL Office Pool Picks Week 12
It feels a little bit like the NFL peaked on Monday night with that ridiculously good Monday night showdown between the Rams and the Chiefs. It was everything football should be, and now it feels kind of wrong that we have to start over with other games. Nothing can be that good, and this week is just not that compelling in comparison. But then, nothing could be. Here's how I see this week set up for office pool players looking for straight up picks:
Chicago at Detroit: It's kind of garbage that the Bears have to play the early game on Thursday after playing on Sunday night. But they are the better, more motivated team by a wide margin here. And after winning a hard-fought game to take a lead in the division, the last thing they want to do is give it back. Take the Bears.
Washington at Dallas: Dallas has suddenly become a solid favorite to win the division after the Alex Smith injury. But I'm not buying it. The Redskins have a game in hand. And while Colt McCoy is not exactly Tom Brady, he has at least been with the team, and it's not like Dak Prescott is Brett Favre. Take the Redskins.
Atlanta at New Orleans: New Orleans is redefining offensive efficiency, showing us that it's not just about the Rams and Chiefs this year. They are ruthless and relentless. And the Falcons are running a Steve Sarkisian offense. This is such a mismatch it's unfair. Take the Saints.
Jacksonville at Buffalo: Jacksonville came into the season with high hopes, expecting that they would build on a very good year last year. And instead the season has just been an escalating series of gut punches. It's hard to shake those off - especially now that the season is completely lost. Buffalo is a mess, too, but at least they get Josh Allen back from injury - and they should feel some relief after a rough stretch of quarterbacking. Take the Bills.
Cleveland at Cincinnati: The Browns showed some spark playing for Gregg Williams last week. And their players should be motivated to beat Hue Jackson, who is now an assistant in Cincinnati. And Marvin Lewis, who defines incompetence, still coaches the Bengals. It all adds up to a spot for a gamble - take the Browns.
New England at New York Jets: New England hates to lose division games. They are massively more talented. And they are the only team starting their No. 1 quarterback. This one really shouldn't be close. Take the Patriots.
New York Giants at Philadelphia: Eli Manning has been decent two games in a row. But there is a big gap between decent and good, and there is no reason to believe that we are at the start of a strong trend. The Eagles have been a mess, but they are at home and are more talented, so I will trust them to get up for this divisional tilt. Take the Eagles.
San Francisco at Tampa Bay: This is a not a good game. At all. But it is a close one. Both have big questions at QB and lots of reasons to be short on motivation. Coin toss. Take the Bucs. I guess.
Seattle at Carolina: The Panthers have lost two in a row and keep finding ways to disappoint, but I can't give up on them. They are better than they have been playing, and at some point surely they will show it. The Seahawks are just a team, and they do nothing to excite me. Take the Panthers.
Oakland at Baltimore: The Ravens looked pretty good led by Lamar Jackson last week. I'm a believer. And I don't believe in a single thing about these Raiders. Not one. Take the Ravens.
Arizona at L.A. Chargers: The Cardinals just found a way to lose to the Raiders, which is a big blow to an already fragile team. And while the Chargers are also coming off a very unfortunate loss - to the Broncos in their case - they are a dramatically more talented team and will be able to channel their anger and frustration. This should be a blowout. Take the Chargers.
Pittsburgh at Denver: I'll admit that I have been mostly skeptical of the Steelers. But they keep finding ways to win, and that's all that ultimately matters. Denver won a big one last week, but I don't trust them to be able to carry any momentum. Take the Steelers.
Miami at Indianapolis: The Colts have figured out some things. One big thing, really - they are letting a healthy Andrew Luck have the time to make big plays. And it's working. Nothing is working in Miami. Take the Colts.
Green Bay at Minnesota: Green Bay is disappointing and likely heading to a much-needed coaching change. The Vikings have been disappointing and are heading towards a long offseason of staring into the mirror. Coin toss game, but we'll take the home team mostly due to geography. Take the Vikings.
Tennessee at Houston: After the epic Monday nighter last week, there are not enough words to describe the inevitable disappointment this game promises. Tennessee had a very impressive win two games back. And a stunningly bad loss last time. Odd team. Meanwhile, the Texans, despite seemingly having lots of areas of concern, have seemingly forgotten how to lose. Go with the hot team. Take the Texans.
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