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Week 12 NFL Picks: Back in the driver's seat baby!

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Well last week was a huge dud. Who would have seen half of those upsets coming? Certainly not me. However, thanks to Bronco Mike, I ended up picking the biggest upset of the NFL season correctly.

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I know what you all are saying. You're saying "Pete, sure you went 11-2 a couple weeks ago, and 9-4 a week ago, but seriously, you went 5-9 last week. Why should we trust you?" And do you know what?

You have a point.

However, I have something nobody else has; Bronco Mike preventing me from making the biggest of big mistakes. Yes ladies and gentlemen, Mike prevented me from picking Kansas City at the very top and instead, he guaranteed me that Oakland would win. Whew, thank you Mike! Even though nobody would have seen that coming. You must have been "Shining" like the kid in "The Shining" movie.

  • Last Week: 5-9
  • Season: 100-60-1

Here are my picks this week, tell us yours in the comments!

Kansas City (7-3) vs Oakland Raiders (0-10)
Ok, for real, I thought Mike was only trying to cheer me up after the Broncos lost to the Rams by saying that Oakland would win. I honestly didn't believe him, but I talked it over with my wife and we agreed that I gotta give Mike the benefit of the doubt and pick Oakland. If I was wrong, I could blame mike, and if I was right, oh boy would that be epic! Regardless of how dirty it feels to actively want the Raiders to win a game, I had to go with Mike and my wife: Prediction: Who knows, all I know is that Oakland will win

Cleveland Browns (6-4) vs Atlanta Falcons (4-6)
Atlanta is coming off a huge divisional win on the road last week while Cleveland is coming off an embarrassing loss to the Houston Texans at home. Had this been last week, I could say that the Browns would win going away, but they showed chinks in their armor. The real question is: Does Atlanta have the weapons to take advantage? Well, one of those weapons can surely be home field advantage. But will that be enough? Prediction: Browns 20, Falcons 24

Tennessee Titans (2-8) vs Philadelphia Eagles (7-3)
Make no mistake about it, the Eagles will be looking to get that bad taste out of their mouths. On paper, the Titans should be an easy whipping boy for them, but Sanchez didn't exactly instill confidence in me after his shaky showing in Green Bay. However, the Titans aren't exactly world beaters who can take advantage of weaknesses. Prediction: Titans 10, Eagles 27

Detroit Lions (7-3) vs New England Patriots (8-2)
Lets call this like it really is, the best defense against the best offense. I believe I saw this narrative before somewhere in February, didn't I? The real difference is that that Patriots have a head coach who actually gameplans instead of just sends his troops out in their base looks. Prediction: Lions 27, Patriots 45

Green Bay Packers (7-3) vs Minnesota Vikings (4-6)
The Packers are scary good right now. Their defense is awesome now that they have Clay Matthews roaming around in multiple positions, and Aaron Rodgers is basically a younger, stronger, and more mobile Peyton Manning (i.e. he's pretty much the perfect quarterback). Look for the Pack to win going away. Prediction: Packers 38, Vikings 17

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) vs Indianapolis Colts (6-4)
Andrew Luck won't allow the Colts to lose two games in a row. Luckily for him, the Jaguars are all too willing to give him what he wants. Prediction: Jaguars 10, Colts 31

Cincinnati Bengals (6-3-1) vs Houston Texans (5-5)
Both teams are coming off of improbable and equally impressive victories last week. The Bengals are still a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde team, so I find it extremely difficult to trust them week in and week out. Then again, the Texans are...who knows who they are anymore. They are a good team that plays ok, but they have a very green quarterback. Luckily, that QB trained under Tom Brady, so they should be competitive. Even with all that said, I trust the Bengals more for some strange reason. Prediction: Bengals 27, Texans 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) vs Chicago Bears (4-6)
Last week was finally the week that Chicago fans have been waiting for. The team pulled it all together despite Jay Cutler throwing a pair of interceptions. On the flip side, the Bucs had their most decisive victory of the entire season. Then again, it came against that train wreck known as RG3 and the Washington Redskins. I wouldn't expect lightening to strike a third time for the Bucs. Not this week anyways. Prediction: Bucs 12, Bears 31

Arizona Cardinals (9-1) vs Seattle Seahawks (6-4)
Ok, so here's the deal. I'm going to go ahead and pick the Seahawks just like last week in hopes that they'll fall flat on their stupid faces again. Unlike last week though, I don't expect it to happen. Regardless, I'm taking the Seahawks at home over their division rival. The NFL will have to wait another week for their first 10 win team. Prediction: Cardinals 17, Seahawks 34

St. Louis Rams (4-6) vs San Diego Chargers (6-4)
St. Louis thoroughly whipped the once dominant Denver Broncos last week much to everyone's dismay. The Chargers are already playing pretty decent football and they are at home. I simply don't think the Rams stand much of a chance this week. I can't see them knocking off two playoff contending teams in back to back weeks. Prediction: Rams 12, Chargers 31

Washington Redskins (3-7) vs San Francisco 49ers (6-4)
Oh what a difference two years makes, right folks? Two years ago, it would be young up and coming "franchise" quarterbacks Robert Griffin the third vs Colin Kaepernick. Fast forward two years, and it's simply a busted first round pick and an underachieving young and mobile quarterback. This game will be a laugher with the 49ers completely obliterating the Redskins. Prediction: Redskins 3, 49ers 34

Miami Dolphins (6-4) vs Denver Broncos (7-3)
Here we go folks, the game that everyone is waiting for. Will the Broncos bounce back and look like the dominant team they should be? Or will the 1-2 over the last three weeks team rear its ugly head again? Boy, I wish I knew. I really do. I know that the Broncos are undefeated at home this year, but I also know that if the Rams could dominate the Broncos, that the Dolphins are more than capable of doing the same if not more. However, I'm not sure that the Broncos are capable of losing back to back games (and this will be a theme next week against KC), so I'm leaning towards the Broncos winning. My only hesitation is the coaching staff. Will Fox and Gase and Del Rio actually put together a gameplan that is unique to the Dolphins (like the premiere coaches in the NFL do), or will they keep with their stubborn ideology of rolling out the same basic gameplan yet again? And before anyone jumps on me for saying that this coaching staff never changes things up, just know that the coaches and players have already said that they run basically the same things week in and week out because they trust that their 22 players are better than their opponents 22. The problem with that philosophy is that the Broncos have run the same handful of basic plays for the last 3 years. Things haven't changed at all, so it isn't too difficult to prepare for us and to schematically shut us down. It then falls to the players to execute. Can the Dolphins execute, that is the real question, and the answer will unfold at 4:25 MT. Prediction: Dolphins 23, Broncos 24

Dallas Cowboys (7-3) vs New York Giants (3-7) SNF
The Giants are going in the wrong directions, and the Cowboys are coming off a bye week. I could write all day about Eli vs Tony, but why bother? This is a divisional game in New York. It's gonna be cold and miserable, but the Cowboys simply have too much talent. If this were any other year, I'd pick the Giants because I don't trust Romo. However, this year the Cowboys have remembered that they have a running game (you hear that John Fox?), so even with the nasty weather, the Cowboys will have their way with the Giants and score points. That's what having a great running game gets you. It gets you points! Prediction: Cowboys 27, Giants 17

New York Jets (2-8) vs Buffalo Bills (5-5) MNF early
My goodness, where do I start with this one? For starters, the game has been moved to Detroit on Monday Night because of the ridiculous blizzard that engulfed Buffalo. If that wasn't bad enough, the Bills have a legitimate quarterback crisis. Add to that a Jets team that refuses to quit because they love their fiery coach, and this really does shape up to be a "pick em" game. Fear not, for I won't predict a tie. Prediction: Jets 10, Bills 17

Baltimore Ravens (6-4) vs New Orleans Saints (4-6) MNF regular time
The Saints are really starting to annoy me. They are so talented, yet find such ingenious ways to lose games that even the Raiders are beginning to take notice. The Ravens should lose, they really should, but every team in the NFC South seems unwilling to win games and take control of the division. Because of that little fact, I'm actually going to take the Saints only because it'll keep their division close as Atlanta and Carolina still refuse to put the division to bed. Prediction: Ravens 27, Saints 34

And now for my rankings of confidence.

What's a confidence ranking? It's ranking teams in order of most confident pick to least confident pick. For example, I have the Packers at the very top. This means that I'm the most confident in the Packers winning than any other team that plays this week. I also have Oakland at the very bottom. That means I picked Oakland to win, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if they lost because Mike can't always be right. (Go bold but only get one point for it? That's like kissing your sister! - .Ed./Monty)

I encourage you all to create a competition in the comments section and check back in on Monday or Tuesday to see who scored the most points. You get the corresponding points next to each winner you predicted. For example, if the Saints win, I'll get 2 points for that game because I predicted they'd win. If Washington beats San Francisco, I won't get any points for that game. Tally up the points at the end of the week to brag about being smarter than everyone else.

15 Green Bay
14 Indianapolis
13 San Francisco
12 Denver
11 Seattle
10 Philadelphia
9 San Diego
8 New England
7 Cincinnati
6 Atlanta
5 Buffalo
4 Chicago
3 Dallas
2 New Orleans
1 Oakland (I just threw up a little in my mouth)