NFL Week 12 Predictions: Underperformers Set to Get Their Seasons on Track

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 18:  Quarterback Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles signals from the line of scrimmage against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on November 18, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles have been a disaster this season.

The 3-7 Eagles are facing the 2-8 Panthers in what is one of the top must-see games. You could argue which of the two have had the worst season. It's definitely up for grabs.

Philadelphia's fortunes could look much different after this week, though.

You just keep waiting for the Eagles to finally win again, with the team having lost their six games. Confidence is extremely low, but a win on Monday night could do wonders for team morale.

Andy Reid is coaching for his job at this point, so he can't afford anymore slip-ups. With so much on the line for each game, there's added importance for Philadelphia.

A win Monday night could remind players and fans alike exactly what the Eagles are made of and why they carried so much hype.

But they're not the only team with high stakes this weekend.

Here are three other teams that are going to kick-start their seasons.

Cleveland Browns

You can never say that the Cleveland Browns are unpredictable. Since returning to the league in 1999, the team has only had two winning seasons, making the playoffs in 2002. Each year Browns fans can count on crippling disappointment.

The first 10 games of this season are no different. Cleveland is 2-8, effectively out of the playoff picture.

This isn't a team that has deserved only two wins. They're not a good team, but they're not a terrible team either. Aside from the Giants in Week 5, the Browns have played all of their opponents very tough.

Pittsburgh comes to Cleveland this weekend in a game that's very winnable for the Browns. The Steelers are forced to start 37-year-old Charlie Batch. Byron Leftwich was woeful against the Ravens. Steelers fans must be petrified at the thought that Batch was even lower in the depth chart.

A winning record and a playoff berth isn't in the cards for Cleveland, but a win against the Steelers would help them to build some momentum the rest of the way. A strong finish could get fans excited about next year's prospects, especially under new owner Jimmy Haslam.

New Orleans Saints

You always had the feeling that there was a sleeping giant calling the Superdome home this season. To the chagrin of much the NFL, that giant has awoken.

After starting 0-4, the Saints have kicked things into high gear. They've won their last three in a row and five of their last six. A win Sunday will put them over .500 for the first time this season.

If New Orleans beats San Francisco, the team won't look back the rest of the way.

This is the first game of a tough four-game stretch. After this week, the Saints are looking at games against the Falcons, Giants and Buccaneers. Beating the 7-2-1 49ers will give New Orleans the confidence that they can be the best team in the league again.

San Diego Chargers

The Chargers have reached the point in their season when they get on a hot streak and look like one of the best teams in the league.

At 4-6, it's doubtful they can win the AFC West, but a wild-card spot is up in the air. They can't afford to lose much more the rest of the way and expect to have a chance in the playoffs.

San Diego is like New Orleans in that a win this week would give the team the confidence and belief again that they are playoff-caliber.

The Baltimore Ravens are good, but not great, against the pass this year. Despite his inconsistencies, Philip Rivers has the opportunity to put up some pretty good numbers.

An 8-2 Ravens team would be a great win for the Chargers to get the hopes of postseason football sparked again.