It was an off-week for us at Bears 101 in Week 12, only picking seven games correctly. Our overall record now stands at 101-60-1 on the year.
Bears fans won't complain, but where did the performance from the New York Giants come from? Didn't they know we were still in November? They were obliterated in their past few games, but I guess the Giants hold true to what they do. Win big games.
Whenever they have their backs up against the wall and nobody believes in them, they seem to always come away with a victory. It's those games where they come in as favorites that you have to look out for with them. Either way, they gave us a loss in pick'em, but they gave the Bears a spot in first place in the NFC North, so those reading this should all be happy with that.
Looking ahead to this week, we have a full slate of games. Bye weeks ended last week, but there were three games on Thursday thanks to Thanksgiving. This week, everyone plays Sunday — and one game Monday, so there's a lot to go over.
Let's get into it.
The Atlanta Falcons beat the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, all but locking up the NFC South. If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose this week, they will in fact clinch the division title.
We do believe that will happen as Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos go against the league's worst pass defense. That's a recipe for victory for Denver, and an NFC South title for Atlanta.
We'll tally off the "dud" games for you, just to get them out of the way. In a surprise, we'll take the Kansas City Chiefs over the Panthers, the Buffalo Bills over the Jags, the Houston Texans to beat the Titans, the Cleveland Browns to take down the Raiders, the Cincinnati Bengals to beat the Chargers, the Arizona Cardinals to beat the Jets and the Dallas Cowboys to beat the Eagles.
The week features plenty of divisional matchups, which are always interesting because of the rivalries associated with each game.
We'll start in the AFC North. The Baltimore Ravens take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the Steelers will be without Ben Roethlisberger. It's unfortunate as this game should decide their playoff faith. No Big Ben = Huge Problems for Pittsburgh, as the team turned the ball over seven times last week without him.
Monday night features an NFC East battle between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. Robert Griffin III should dazzle once again, but it won't be enough to overcome Eli Manning and the G-Men. Hakeem Nicks received 60 percent of passing targets last week, and if he and Manning can get in sync, the Giants' offense can be scary through the air against a rather weak pass defense.
The NFC West and AFC East both have divisional games that should boast a clear winner. Though, the last time the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams matched up, the game ended in a tie. It won't this time, though, as Colin Kaepernick will continue his hot streak as a starter. In the AFC East, Tom Brady will throw the New England Patriots past the Dolphins.
Now, for the NFC North, the Green Bay Packers face the Vikings. This one should be lopsided as Green Bay will look to respond after being embarrassed last week in New York. Staying in the NFC North, we like the Chicago Bears at home over the Seahawks, as Seattle can't win unless they're in Seattle, and we like Andrew Luck to lead the Indianapolis Colts over the Lions, who seem to lose close week after week.
Those are our picks for Week 13.
**Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Chicago, Chicago Bears, Colin Kaepernick, Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, NFL, Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III
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