Sep. 29, 2016
Peter and Will's Head to Head NFL Pick Em Week 12
Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions
Peter's Pick: Lions
Peter's Analysis: Could the schedule makers have had any idea how much intrigue this game would have three months into the season? The Vikings have cooled off after looking like the hottest team in the league to start the year and the Lions are just heating up. Matthew Stafford has been clutch and Minnesota's defensive has stumbled. Even if they start out slow Detroit should be able to make this a great finish for a team looking to make the playoffs for the first time in what feels like forever.
Will's Pick: Lions
Will's Analysis: Well, the Vikings finally snapped their skid and stayed in the fight for the NFC North title. However, that doesn't mean they're ready to go and wallop the Lions at all. They still have some question marks on offense, and the Lions have the home advantage, not to mention the insanely clutch Matthew Stafford, who already stuck it to the Vikings once. I think it'll be another exciting game, but I do also think it's the Lions' year to win the North.
Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys
Peter's Pick: Redskins
Peter's Analysis: If the question was, "Which team is better?" The answer would very easily be Dallas. The Cowboys haven't been beaten since week 1 and this team seems to just keep getting better. This Redskins team, however, seems to go as Kirk Cousins goes and right now I think he may be as confident as ever. I expect him to lead Washington to a great victory on the road.
Will's Pick: Redskins
Will's Analysis: This outcome may seem unlikely as everyone is caught up in the Cowboys' 9-game win streak, but it's worth mentioning that the Redskins have a very nice thing going as well; they are 6-1-1 since their 0-2 start. Kirk Cousins has been quietly been playing some of the better football around lately. And they've found a new starting RB in Rob Kelley, who can run through everybody. Also, when the Cowboys do lose, they tend to do so more often at home, oddly enough. I'm giving this one to the Redskins.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts
Peter's Pick: Steelers
Peter's Analysis: Without Andrew Luck suiting up against them at quarterback, this should be a walk in the park for the Steelers as they look to fight their way back to the top of what is beginning to look like one of the softest divisions in the AFC.
Will's Pick: Steelers
Will's Analysis: This looked to be a good game as well amongst a delicious Thanksgiving football platter... until it was announced Andrew Luck is set to be out and Scott Tolzien in. Which gives the Steelers two straight easy matchups, having just played the Browns. I don't know if the Colts offense will be able to do much of anything without Luck... or the retired Matt Hasselback, for that matter.
Los Angeles Rams @ New Orleans Saints
Peter's Pick: Saints
Peter's Analysis: Neither of these teams has been great this year. The Rams have had a very strong defense and the Saints have been lighting up the sky per usual. It's seems like it could be an unstoppable force versus immovable object scenario. In this case I think Drew Brees will just be too much for the Rams Defense and this one should be over fairly early for the Saints at home.
Will's Pick: Saints
Will's Analysis: Jury's still out on Jared Goff, but his team is being pretty darn conservative. As for Drew Brees, he does have a tendency to play better at home, and though the Rams defense has played decent lately, the Saints offense is still pretty good... particularly when they are playing at home, it seems.
Tennessee Titans @ Chicago Bears
Peter's Pick: Titans
Peter's Analysis: The Bears are a mess right now and are just hoping to finish out the season strong. The Titans have found an identity as a hard-nosed team that is difficult to beat but they are currently sputtering. This game should help the Titans get back on track as they make a strong push to win their division.
Will's Pick: Titans
Will's Analysis: Coming off a loss to your divisional rival the Colts and in need of a win? Here's a game against the Bears who just lost Jay Cutler for the season and will likely be playing Matt Barkley on Sunday. And Alshon Jeffrey's still suspended and Zach Miller is out for the season. This could be a colossal blowout.
Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons
Peter's Pick: Falcons
Peter's Analysis: This will be a great game for the Falcons to prove that they are for real this season. In spite of their record the Cardinals can be tough and can surprise you at any time. Matt Ryan needs to get this offense flying early and keep it going to take pressure off of a solid defense who seems to struggle in pressure situations.
Will's Pick: Falcons
Will's Analysis: The Cardinals are another team that is slipping. They barely beat the 49ers and then lost to a Vikings team that had been on a four-game skid. Their defense is no longer that good, which is bad for them since they're playing against one of the best NFL offenses in Atlanta. The Falcons should take care of business here and stay ahead in the NFC South with little issue.
New York Giants @ Cleveland Browns
Peter's Pick: Giants
Peter's Analysis: You know the Browns are going to be playing with added urgency as the year starts winding down and they do their best to get at least one win. Even against the Giants who struggled for the first half with the Bears last week, I just don't see it happening.
Will's Pick: Giants
Will's Analysis: Somehow it seems as if the Browns are actually getting worse. After scoring 28 in a loss to the Jets, they've only scored 26 in the last three games combined. Meanwhile, the Giants defense has improved quite a bit over the course of the season and the offense has been doing enough to win ball games. The Browns now have eleven down, five to go before possibly joining the Lions amongst the 0-16 club.
San Diego Chargers @ Houston Texans
Peter's Pick: Texans
Peter's Analysis: The Chargers could have been a great story this year if they just possessed a bit more of the killer instinct needed to close out games and show dominance. The Texans are a slow and steady team who's not going to blow you away but will always bring a decent fight. This one should be a well fought battle that ends up with Houston pulling out the victory at home.
Will's Pick: Chargers
Will's Analysis: If the Chargers want to keep their hopes alive, they'll probably have to win out (and it's still possible even that won't be enough). They'll need to take advantage of Osweiler's inconsistency. And as we've seen this season with the Chargers, it's never a matter of whether they can, it's a matter of whether they will. And I think they will defeat the Texans; Rivers is not going to go down without a fight.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Buffalo Bills
Peter's Pick: Bills
Peter's Analysis: The Bills have had one of the best run games in the league over the last couple of years and that could prove challenging for the Jaguars young defense. Blake Bortles and his young receivers have struggled this season and Rex Ryan's defense probably won't be of much assistance in their attempt to turn that around.
Will's Pick: Bills
Will's Analysis: I really don't know how the Bills can win any football games when your current receiving core consists of a rusty Percy Harvin, Marquise Goodwin and Justin Hunter (with Robert Woods repeatedly getting injured). But now Sammy Watkins could be coming back, and that would help greatly to go with a good running game and defense. And they're playing against a Jaguars team that is basically shutting down for the season at this point.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
Peter's Pick: Ravens
Peter's Analysis: As if they haven't struggled enough this season, the Bengals injury list just keeps getting longer and their chances of finishing the season strong keep getting smaller. The Ravens haven't been great by any means but they are solid and this should be an much needed home victory for them.
Will's Pick: Ravens
Will's Analysis: The Ravens are playing pretty decent football again, and now they're playing against a Bengals team that will be without A.J. Green, leaving their starting receivers as Brandon LaFell and rookie Tyler Boyd. And Giovani Bernard is gone for the season too. The Bengals are another team that is falling apart, and the Ravens will likely take advantage.
San Francisco 49ers @ Miami Dolphins
Peter's Pick: Dolphins
Peter's Analysis: The Dolphins should have no trouble extending their win streak to 6 games now that they have found balance with a solid run finally game. With quarterback Ryan Tannehill finding a solution for his passing woes, this should be an easy win at home for Miami against a struggling 49ers team.
Will's Pick: Dolphins
Will's Analysis: Could the Dolphins be a wildcard contender after starting 1-4? They didn't play well against the Rams until the fourth quarter, so it's difficult to say at this point. However, a game against the 49ers will help you in your playoff quest anytime. Even when Kaepernick is playing well, his defense is not. I am confused to how this team managed to shut out the Rams in Week 1, especially considering they were playing with the worse of the two main QBs on their roster at the time.
Seattle Seahawks @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Peter's Pick: Seahawks
Peter's Analysis: It would be fun to think that the Buccaneers could pull off a second upset here in order to completely turn around their season. However, I just don't see that happening against a Seahawks team who looks a bit sluggish at times but has also showed that they can still play with the best teams in the league.
Will's Pick: Seahawks
Will's Analysis: The Buccaneers have looked pretty good during their last two wins, but I don't trust them against a Seahawks team that appears to have hit their stride again. The lack of stability in the running game doesn't seem to be hurting them right now; especially not when they pull out trick plays like Doug Baldwin throwing to Russell Wilson. The Hawks should take this one in the end.
New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Peter's Pick: Patriots
Peter's Analysis: The Patriots have struggled a bit lately and this is definitely a great opportunity for them to attempt to turn it around before the home stretch begins. The Jets have too many questions to answer before they can even begin to figure out how to right their ship. The best they can hope for in this one, is to escape with as little damage as possible.
Will's Pick: Patriots
Will's Analysis: I guess anything's possible here, because no matter how bad the Jets actually are, they almost always seem to give the Patriots a run for their money, particularly when they're playing at home. But with the Jets' offense depleted as it is (I mean, it's basically just Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte out there), I just can't see them getting past the Patriots, whose offense has been rolling almost all year.
Carolina Panthers vs Oakland Raiders
Peter's Pick: Raiders
Peter's Analysis: With the Panthers taking some strides toward salvaging their season, this is actually a team that could jump out of nowhere to bight the Raiders in the backside. However, the Silver and Black are pretty solid this year and too focused on their future for me to see this as being anything but another solid victory for them.
Will's Pick: Raiders
Will's Analysis: The Raiders look to be the best team in the AFC right now. And the Panthers? Well, they've gone 3-1 in their last four, but you can still tell something's off. And you can't really afford to be “off” against the Raiders. The Panthers will likely keep things interesting, but ultimately the Raiders should come away with another win here.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos
Peter's Pick: Broncos
Peter's Analysis: The Broncos come across to me as a team that is hungry to win and that the only way you are going to beat them is by prying open their jaws and pulling the game from their clenched teeth. The Chiefs are a good if not great team this season but I just don't see them having the resolve to wrestle one away from the Broncos in Denver.
Will's Pick: Broncos
Will's Analysis: Could that shocking loss to the Bucs be a sign of things to come for the Chiefs? It's too early to say, but it doesn't help them that they're facing the Broncos at Mile High next. Apparently Trevor Siemian has still had shoulder pain since the injury in Week 4, but the bye might've helped him to take care of that, which ought to allow him to play better. And if Maclin's out again? That would practically seal it right there.
Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles
Peter's Pick: Eagles
Peter's Analysis: Aaron Rodgers is saying the Packers can finish the season 6-0 and still make the playoffs. What he should be focused on is playing a good Eagles team in Philadelphia on Moday Night.
Will's Pick: Eagles
Will's Analysis: Well, it's official. This Packers team has truly fallen apart to pieces. The offense is doing what they can, but this defense is currently the worst in the league by far after giving up two 40-burgers in a row. I'm not sure the Eagles will do the same, since they have much more instability at the WR position, but they are undefeated at home and the RBs will likely end up running all over the place, whether it's Mathews, Smallwood or Sproles.