There are a few lopsided matchups featuring road teams that will easily win in Week 12, which gives you a few gimmes when you're filling out your NFL picks sheet.
With just six games left on the 2013 schedule for most teams, the gap between good squads and poor ones grows wider with every passing week.
Here's a look at the entire schedule for Week 12 with predictions for every game, followed by a deeper examination of three contests where the road team will win handily.
|Week 12 NFL Picks|
|Date||Road Team||Home Team||Pick|
|NFL Week 12|
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
This game shouldn't be close.
If things work out on the field like they do on paper, New Orleans should be up by at least a couple of touchdowns before halftime.
Atlanta gives up the fourth-most points per game in the NFL (29.2) and New Orleans enters this contest with the league's second-highest scoring offense (28.8).
On the flip side, the Falcons are in the bottom half of the league in terms of scoring offense (No. 22, averaging 21.4 per game) while the Saints feature the league's No. 5-ranked scoring defense, allowing just 18.3 points per contest.
The first time these teams met came back in Week 1, before Atlanta's roster was decimated by injuries. The Saints came away victorious, winning 23-17.
Rest assured, this game won't be nearly as close.
Drew Brees will shred Atlanta's mediocre secondary and the Saints will shut down the depleted offense of the Falcons.
Projected Score: Saints win 41-21.
Carolina Panthers at Miami Dolphins
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson is week-to-week with a sprained MCL. He's the heart and soul of Carolina's defensive front and has 8.5 sacks this year to lead his team, but it's highly likely that he'll miss this game.
Even without him, the Panthers will get to second-year Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill early and often. Miami has allowed more sacks than any team in the league (41) this year and Carolina's defense has been swarming quarterbacks, racking up 31 sacks on the season.
The Dolphins have been playing well on defense over the past few weeks, but the Panthers have been taking down top opponents recently with precise offense.
Since throwing three interceptions against the Arizona Cardinals in a losing cause back in Week 5, Cam Newton has been on a tear, throwing 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions during the team's six-game winning streak.
Carolina's balanced offense will give the Dolphins fits and the Panthers will easily win their seventh game in a row.
Projected Score: Panthers win 27-13.
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins
From an outsider's perspective, Washington's locker room appears to be fractured—or close to it.
In an interview with LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes of 106.7 The Fan in D.C. (h/t Chris Lingebach of CBS DC), veteran receiver Santana Moss recently took exception to second-year quarterback Robert Griffin III's comments after the team lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 11 to move to 3-7 on the season:
As a leader, you understand that if you’re involved in the situation, whether you’re the receiver, the quarterback, the guys making the tackle, whoever. Regardless of the outcome, good or bad, you have to at some point, stand up and say me or I.
It's easy to see why Washington's players are frustrated. After winning the NFC East with a record of 10-6 last season, this team can't stop anyone and is struggling on offense.
Washington has lost three of four games entering this upcoming contest and it won't get any easier on Monday night when this team hosts the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers have lost two agonizingly close games in a row to a couple of the NFL's top teams. San Francisco's defense has played spectacularly well—especially against the pass—but its offense has totaled fewer than 200 yards in each of the past two contests.
Washington's abysmal defense is the cure Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense need to get back on track.
The Redskins allow 31.1 points per game, which is the third-worst mark in the NFL.
Frank Gore should have a monster game in Washington and Kaepernick will emerge from his recent slump with renewed vigor for the final stretch of games after having a field day against Washington's pitiful secondary.
Projected Score: 49ers win 35-17.
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