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Week 12: NFL Picks & Pans

After a pretty decent return to picking the correct team over 60% of the time, I'm on track to beat the best of what ESPN offers from their so-called "experts" who include Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson, Chris Mortenson, Cris Carter and Tom Jackson. Leading the ESPN group is Chris Mortenson at 105-54-1 for the season, while my 102-59-1 record is better than Ditka's, Johnson's and Carter's, and just one win behind Jackson's 103.

So, let's get right to it:

Tampa Bay over Detroit: I agree with some of the experts who say Detroit has a much better chance of going winless than the Titans do of going undefeated. I've tried to pick the Lions to upset their opponents a few weeks in a row, but now am totally giving up on them.

Tennessee over NY Jets:  Although I don't think the Titans will win out the rest of the season, they'll win this week. The Jets are playing real well, but are overrated due to the "Brett Favre-New York" factor. Favre will try too hard to be the hero and the Titans will capitalize on his mistakes.

Kansas City over Buffalo: The Chiefs are one of my two Upset Special Picks of the Week, as I think Tyler Thigpen is getting it together while the Bills are a mere shell of the ones who opened the season 4-0.

Chicago over St. Louis: Ditto for my feelings of the Lions here as well. The Rams are playing for jobs and not to win, while 'da Bears are still in the hunt as they wait for Philadelphia to get rid of McNabb so he can go there to be their savior (you heard it here first!).

New England over Miami: Picking the road team in the next two games, as Bill Belichick will just not lose twice to the same team in his division in the same season. Matt Cassel has found his rhythm and will a rich man next year when he tests free agency and finds it is a seller's market, while the Dolphins will just be able to sustain what has been a surprisingly successful season.

Minnesota over Jacksonville: The Jags have played well lately, but are average at home and should have trouble runnning against a real tough front seven of Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Vikings' AP will continue to find room to roam as he piles up yardage in their win.

Cleveland over Houston: The Browns should stay on the winning track for at least another week, giving their blindly loyal fans reason to hope they run the board and make the playoffs (uhh, no!). Houston still possesses one of the top pass games as long as Andre Johnson is on the field, no matter who is throwing to him.

Dallas over San Francisco: Tony Romo's return has sparked the Cowboys, who are determined to make a playoff run, while the 49ers' players are trying to secure jobs and impress current coach Mike Singletary.

Denver over Oakland: If the Broncos could pound the Raiders in Oakland, imagine what they can do at home in the thin air. Denver is trying to run away with the AFC West title and after this week, it may actually be over.

Seattle over Washington: Not too sure if this Upset Special Pick of the Week #2 is with my head or my heart, but I'm still going with the Seahawks to win. Matt Hasselbeck has had another week to get his stuff together and the Redskins offense hasn't been impressing anyone while their pass rush still hasn't shown up which should help Hasselbeck find his receivers.

NY Giants over Arizona: The Cardinals are now the sweethearts of the league but like the Ravens, will find out how tough the Giants really are, with or without Brandon Jacobs. While the Cardinals are great at home, the Giants are as comfortable on the road as they are at home, winning 13 of 14 on the road dating back to last season. Warner will have to limp for his life all day, while the Giants will wear down another opponent's defense with their two- or three-headed running attack.

Carolina over Atlanta: The Falcons have been pretty good at home, but a loss to the Broncos opened up a chink in their armor. Meanwhile, the Panthers are leading the NFC South and are not about to lose a key division game.

Indianapolis over San Diego: I'd love to see the Chargers help out my Ravens in the playoff hunt by defeating the Colts at home. However, with Peyton Manning hitting on all cylinders the past few games and the Bolts' defense against the pass sitting dead last in the league, I just can't see it happening. I wouldn't be surprised to see it being a high scoring affair, but just see the Colts doing the higher scoring.

Green Bay over NewOrleans (Monday Night Football): My heart tells me to try to go with the home team, as the city of New Orleans has been through so much and deserves better. However, Green Bay has played well on the road and the Saints defense just can't stop anyone.

(NOTE: As usual, I'll pick & pan the Ravens-Eagles game in tomorrow's post.)

Last Week:  9-5-1

Season Record:  102-59-1