NFL Week 12 Picks: Underdogs That Will Win Straight Up on Sunday

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 18:  Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drops back to pass against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 18, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Just because some NFL teams have had success early in the season does not make them immune to upsets late in the year.

There are a number of high-profile games featuring rematches of last year's postseason games or potential previews of the playoffs this year. Either way, it should be an exciting day of football.

This is the type of week that creates a major shakeup in the standings and the power rankings after these underdogs pull of wins.

Note: All lines courtesy of Vegas Insider.



Green Bay Packers (+3) over New York Giants

Many were concerned with the Packers after a 2-3 start. No one is questioning this team anymore.

Five straight wins has Green Bay tied for first place in the NFC North with the Chicago Bears. This team now looks more like the group that won 15 games last season.

Meanwhile, the Giants have lost two in a row and are looking bad in all aspects of the game. Eli Manning has not thrown a touchdown pass in three games but has four interceptions in that time.

It would be possible to overcome this quarterback slump if the defense did not also allow six passing touchdowns in the two losses.

Aaron Rodgers currently leads the NFL with a 107.3 passer rating. He should be able to spread the field to his deep receiving corps and lead his team to an easy victory.



Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1) over Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons are currently 9-1 and have the best record in the NFC. However, this team cannot feel confident after the last two games.

After a narrow loss to the New Orleans Saints on the road, the Falcons had to overcome five Matt Ryan interceptions to defeat the Arizona Cardinals at home. The defense also struggled in the win, allowing LeRod Stephens-Howling to rush for 127 yards. 

This makes it tough to imagine what Doug Martin will be able to do on Sunday. The rookie running back has now topped 100 yards from scrimmage in six straight games.

Overall, the Buccaneers have won four in a row behind an offense averaging almost 35 points per game in that stretch.

Tampa Bay is red hot and will cause some serious problems for the division-leading Falcons.



San Diego Chargers (+1) over Baltimore Ravens

Although the Ravens are coming off their biggest game of the season last week, the road win against the Pittsburgh Steelers could only hurt this team's chances.

Over the past couple of years, Baltimore has gotten in a habit of let-down games after big wins. 

Last season, the Ravens lost to the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks after defeating the Steelers. After beating the Houston Texans, the team lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Even after defeating the New England Patriots this season, the team seemed to sleepwalk through its game against the Cleveland Browns and struggled to win.

Still, there are some serious problems with the seemingly solid team. The defense is in the bottom-third against both the run and the pass, and Ray Rice is not getting much use with only 16.4 carries per game.

Meanwhile, the Chargers have been competitive in the last two weeks and might have found a new go-to guy in receiver Danario Alexander. If Philip Rivers can hold onto the football, the Chargers should be able to win at home.