NFL Week 12 Picks: Predicting Sunday's Marquee Matchups

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 07:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots and Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos greet each other at midfield following the game on October 7, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

After an exciting matchup on Thursday Night Football between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, the focus has shifted to Sunday’s slate of marquee Week 12 matchups and which teams are picked to win.

Here are the predictions for all of the remaining Week 12 games and full breakdowns of the most important battles on the schedule.

 

Week 12 NFL Predictions
Time (ET)Away Home Predicted Winner
1 p.m.Pittsburgh Steelers Cleveland BrownsSteelers
1 p.m.Tampa Bay Buccaneers Detroit LionsLions
1 p.m.Minnesota Vikings Green Bay PackersPackers
1 p.m.San Diego Chargers Kansas City ChiefsKansas City
1 p.m.Chicago Bears St. Louis RamsBears
1 p.m.Carolina PanthersMiami Dolphins Panthers
1 p.m.New York Jets Baltimore RavensJets
1 p.m.Jacksonville Jaguars Houston TexansTexans
4:05 p.m.Tennessee Titans Oakland RaidersTitans
4:05 p.m.Indianapolis Colts Arizona CardinalsColts
4:25 p.m.Dallas Cowboys New York GiantsCowboys
8:30 p.m.Denver BroncosNew England Patriots Broncos
8:30 p,m. (Mon.)San Francisco 49ersWashington Redskins 49ers
Schedule information via NFL.com

 

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots

The Denver Broncos will square off with the New England Patriots Sunday night in the biggest matchup of the weekend, and it will be the road team led by Peyton Manning that steals the close victory.

Manning and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady have met each other 13 times over their careers, and that familiarity will result in this game staying close on the scoreboard through all four quarters. The battle of the QBs may be a push, but the rest of the Broncos’ lineup is just flat-out more talented than New England’s.

Tale of the Tape
Player Completion % Yards Touchdowns Int. QBR Rating
Peyton Manning 69.9 3572 34 6 82.8 118.3
Tom Brady 58.7 2552 14 7 57.9 83.6
Stats via NFL.com

Denver’s rushing attack hasn’t been great, but it hasn’t needed to be with the league’s top-ranked air assault. Led by Manning’s unbelievable stats, the Broncos are No. 1 in the NFL with an average of 455.5 yards of total offense per game.

As seen when the Kansas City Chiefs and their stout defense struggled to stop the offensive onslaught last week, the Broncos are just too strong for most teams. With New England boasting the 28th-ranked pass defense, the Patriots will lose in heart-breaking fashion against their high-powered opponent Sunday night.

Predicted Final Score: Denver 30, New England 24

 

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17:   Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs carries the ball against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs and the Broncos are fighting for the divisional crown in the AFC West, but the franchise must be ready to bounce back from its first loss of the season as the San Diego Chargers look to play spoiler.

Kansas City performed admirably against Denver last week. Despite taking the loss, the defense held the dangerous Broncos offense to just 27 points. Philip Rivers and the Chargers' offensive assault is not as talented as Manning’s group, and the Chiefs will be able to stifle their opposition’s pass-first game plan with a unique mixture of pass-rushing off the edge and excellent coverage in the secondary.

Jamaal Charles' Tale of the Tape
Rush AttemptsYardsTouchdownsReceptionsYardsTouchdownsFumbles
18680364938323
Stats via NFL.com

Add in the effective attack of Jamaal Charles in both the rushing and air strategy, and the fundamental strengths of the team will result in yet another big victory over a divisional foe.

Kansas City will be looking to find the remedy for the issues that arose last week in order to ensure a better performance against Denver next time. San Diego is a stepping stone for the more talented Chiefs this Sunday.

Predicted Final Score: Kansas City 30, San Diego 20

 

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

The NFC East has been terrible in 2013, but that doesn’t mean Sunday’s battle between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys won’t be one of the best games fans witness all week.

New York lost their first six games of the season and was considered one of the worst teams in the league. After winning their last four and sitting just one game behind Dallas in the standings, there is a chance that the Giants could win the NFC East outright and make the postseason.

Big Blue will have to go through Dallas, though.

NFC East Standings
TeamRecordWin %DivisionConference
Philadelphia Eagles6-5.5453-25-2
Dallas Cowboys5-5.5003-05-2
New York Giants4-6.4001-23-4
Washington Redskins3-7.3000-31-6
Standings via NFL.com

While the Cowboys haven’t found the consistency needed to run away with the division, the raw talent on the team will be too much for New York to hold off Sunday. Led by Tony Romo and the dynamic passing attack, Dallas will have the Giants on the ropes.

If the Cowboys can hold Andre Brown and the New York running game to a minimum Sunday, the Giants will be forced to lean on the gunslinging ways of Eli Manning, and that hasn’t turned out well thus far in 2013.

Predicted Final Score: Dallas 24, New York 20