Including the bye weeks, every NFL team is at least halfway finished with the 2012 season. For many, the relative success or failure has already been determined. The Houston Texans know they're gearing up for a run at the Super Bowl. The Jacksonville Jaguars, on the other hand, are already paying close attention to those guys playing on Saturdays who might be good fits for them next year.
We'll allow Steven to continue picking into the playoffs regardless of the outcome of the regular season, but if the regular season were a qualifying event, let's just say he can empathize with the Jags. He went 8-6 last week (70-62 on the season), which isn't bad, but needing to make up ground, it wasn't enough. I was white hot with my picks last week (save for my native state of Ohio where I went 0-3 on NFL and election predictions. My 11-3 week moves my record to 85-47. I'm identifying with the Texans. Only an epic collapse can keep me from the title. Here's what we see this week:
Indianapolis at Jacksonville- Steven: Colts – "On a roll and should have enough motivation because of the first meeting this season to pull out a short week win on the road." Chuck: Colts- "The Colts are banged up, so this will be closer than need be, but it will send the Colts into New England next week with an equal 6-3 record."
Oakland at Baltimore- Steven: Ravens – "Throwing 60 times didn't work against Tampa Bay for Oakland, and it definitely won't work against Baltimore." Chuck: Ravens- "Ed Reed will probably greet Carson Palmer getting off the plane. He misses not seeing Palmer twice a year like he used to."
Denver at Carolina- Steven: Broncos – "A neat old school vs new school quarterback battle. I see Denver continuing a playoff push." Chuck: Panthers- "I'm sold on Peyton's comeback, but not on the Broncos. The Bengals let them off the mat last week. The Panthers got a boost winning at Washington after several close, but no cigar games."
NY Giants at Cincinnati- Steven: Giants – "Cincinnati's defense will need the game of its life, and soon as the team is getting close to must win games." Chuck: Giants- "The Bengals haven't won a "back against the wall" game in some time. After this game, they're backs will be through the wall."
Tennessee at Miami- Steven: Dolphins – "I get Chicago's defense is good, but last week's performance by Tennessee was as big an embarrassment as ever seen in the NFL." Chuck: Dolphins- "The Titans get Jake Locker back, but sadly for them their defense will be playing again this week."
Detroit at Minnesota- Steven: Lions – "Should be a barn burner of a game, but Detroit is finding its offense finally with the help of rookie Ryan Broyles emerging." Chuck: Vikings- "I agree with Steven. This will be a whale of a game. I'm giving the Vikes a slight edge at home."
Buffalo at New England- Steven: Patriots – "Do Tom Brady and Bill Belichick respond well to white flags in the first quarter?" Chuck: Patriots- "On paper, this is all New England, but if the Pats get caught looking ahead to their huge matchup with the Colts next week…Yeah, I said it. Sounds good, doesn't it."
Atlanta at New Orleans- Steven: Saints – "Much like Houston earlier this season, Atlanta's defense won't be ready the first time it faces an elite offense Corks pop in Miami again." Chuck: Saints- "Drew Brees has the Saints' offense clicking again. It'll be a shootout, but the Saints pull it out at home."
San Diego at Tampa Bay- Steven: Buccaneers – "Anyone saying Doug Martin has zero chance to win rookie of the year must be touting the company line." Chuck: Buccaneers- "A matchup of maybe the league's best young coach in Greg Schiano against maybe the league's worst old coach in Norv Turner."
NY Jets at Seattle- Steven: Seahawks – "Every game is becoming a toss up of the good or bad version of Seattle showing up, so I'll go with good this week." Chuck: Seahawks- "Can't go against the Seahawks at home, not against Team Dysfunction."
Dallas at Philadelphia- Steven: Eagles – "No more crazy picks on Dallas, just lose and get out of the picture already." Chuck: Cowboys- "So Steven makes a crazy pick of the Eagles? Their offensive line is horrendously bad. As disjointed as Dallas' offense has been, their defense can still play. Nick Foles may see action, not because Andy Reid pulled Michael Vick, but because Vick might end up in the hospital before halftime."
St. Louis at San Francisco- Steven: 49ers – "San Francisco has gone back under the radar, right where they like it, I'm sure." Chuck: Niners- "The Rams are still looking for an elusive road win. San Francisco is the wrong place to search."
Houston at Chicago- Steven: Texans – "So what good offenses has Chicago faced lately? Turnoverless day leads to a road win for Houston." Chuck: Texans- "Steven makes a good point. The Texans are kryptonite to the Bears' defense. They can run all day and are very secure with the football."
Kansas City at Pittsburgh- Steven: Steelers – "Kansas City is currently the top reasoning for a new league formation and relegation to be introduced into American sports." Chuck: Steelers- "With matchups like this one, ESPN wishes they could enact the flex schedule this time of year."Tags: Football, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Colts, NFL