NFL Office Pool Picks Week 12
Last week was a pretty good one when it comes to our NFL office pool picks. It seemed like things made a lot of sense going into the week. And, much more often than not, they turned out as we expected them to. It was a welcome feeling after too many rough weeks this season. We're going for wins on the week now, because they overall title is well out of reach of anyone who has been following this advice. It has just been one of those years. Here's how we see the week's action playing out straight up:
Indianapolis at Houston: Houston could have been looking to all but wrap up the division in this game. But they lost last week, and the Colts won, and suddenly the squads are tied and this is a much different game. I like the Colts a little better, and I trust them a little more, but I'm not sure that that is enough to overcome the location of this Week 12 NFL game . This is a total coin toss. Take the Texans.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta: This current two-game winning streak by the Falcons is one of the oddest things in this odd NFL season. Just bizarre. But we will pick that it stretches to three games. The Bucs do some things well, but they make too many mistakes, lack depth, and just aren't consistent. Take the Falcons.
Denver at Buffalo: Denver is really bad right now. They can't close. They look confused an unprepared too often. And they prove each week how tough the transition from top assistant to head coach can be for even the most effective coaches. They have all sorts of issues. And they are against a Buffalo team that just keeps getting it done. Take the Bills.
New York Giants at Chicago: This should have been a total and utter mismatch. Last year it totally would have been. But the Bears have forgotten how to play, and now they have even more issues at quarterback. Or maybe they have found the solution they were looking for all along in Trubisky's injury. Either way, this is just a lousy game. Take the Bears at home, but don't feel great about it.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati: The Bengals have their eyes clearly on the 0-16 prize. And they are definitely capable of doing it. Horrible QB play. No depth. Poor coaching. A lack of effort. Mountains of uncertainty on the horizon. Incompetent management. The whole formula is there. The Steelers have plenty of issues of their own, but not nearly enough to make them anything other than the very confident pick here. Take the Steelers.
Miami at Cleveland: Cleveland is a long way from good. Their coaching is a mess. I don't trust their offense, and they have the distraction of the Myles Garrett suspension and all that has followed it to deal with. And Miami has turned a bit of a page. But the Browns are still the better team, and they are at home and playing in weather that definitely suits them more than their foe. Take the Browns.
Carolina at New Orleans: The Saints bounced back from their really lousy performance against the Falcons two weeks ago to play quite well last week in a win. They looked more like their old self. The Panthers, meanwhile, are dealing with too many issues, and they have caught up with them. Take the Saints.
Oakland at New York Jets: The Jets are a month removed from playing a real NFL team. Oakland may or may not be a real team - my jury is still out on that front - but they are clearly the much better team here. Take the Raiders.
Seattle at Philadelphia: There are some teams every year that you don't like for reasons you can't put a finger on, and despite their ongoing success. Seattle is one of those teams for me this year. They are 8-2 and have won three in a row, but I still don't trust them. But I still like them more than this Philadelphia team. I'll start writing off this team for real when the playoffs start, but for now I'll take the Seahawks.
Detroit at Washington: Detroit is a mess and is likely going to face a QB change. But they look like the Patriots next to Washington. The Redskins got a win against Miami, but they are a long way from good. In fact, they are awful. Take the Lions.
Jacksonville at Tennessee: These are two teams that are very tough to predict. They are all over the place. Tennessee is at home and probably a little better, so they get the nod here. But it's not a comfortable situation. Take the Titans.
Dallas at New England: New England is by far the better team here. They are in a much better place mentally. And physically. And the coaching gap here is a million miles wide. Take the Patriots. Very comfortably.
Green Bay at San Francisco: This is the game of the week, and one of the games of the year. You just have to pick who you like in spots like this and go with it. Personally, I like the Niners better. They score more. They give up fewer points. And I trust their coaching much more. Take the Niners.
Baltimore at L.A. Rams: This should have been a game in which picking the winner was fairly easy. That would have been what we expected coming into the season. And that's what it is. It is the pick that has changed, though. The Rams were supposed to build on their Super Bowl trip last year. But they really haven't. They have taken such a giant step backward that it is a miracle they haven't torn a groin. The Ravens, meanwhile, are well ahead of schedule. They lead the league in scoring. They play decent enough defense. They travel well. And they are clearly the better team. Take the Ravens.