Here are Week 12’s NFL staff pick results. Tough week for the entire City of Champions staff.
Weiss – 6-7 (102-58-1)
Shetler – 5-8 (101-59-1)
Gajtka – 6-7 (100-60-1)
Harding – 7-6 (93-67-1)
Week 13’s NFL staff picks:
Jacksonville at Buffalo
Chad Henne has played just 7 quarters of football but is 33 of 59 for 615 yards 6 TDs and 1 INT. With more solid play like that he will likely earn the starting role for next season. The improved pass game will need to spark MJD going forward as the Jags run game has been lacking. This could be a big week for the run game as the Bills have one of the worst run defenses in the league. CJ Spiller now has 6 straight games over 100 yards rushing, longest streak by a Bills RB since Thurman Thomas in ’92.
Jaguars: Weiss, Harding
Bills: Shetler, Gajtka
Seattle at Chicago
The Bears picked up a much needed win when Jay Cutler returned to the line-up last week against the Vikings. Chicago’s win didn’t come cheap. They lost several starters to injury including Matt Forte (questionable) and Charles Tillman (probable). The Seahawks have been troubled on the road, but have won both regular season contests at Soldier Field in the last two years. The Seahawks are expecting Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman to play despite their suspensions due to performance-enhancing drugs. Adrian Peterson ran for over 100 yards on the Bears last week so expect to see a lot of Lynch early on.
Bears: Weiss, Shetler, Gajtka
Indianapolis at Detroit
An important game for Andrew Luck’s rookie season will come down to his team’s ability to run the ball. The Colts offensive line is one of Indy’s areas they need to improve at. The Lions are strongest at the defensive front and will look to expose those weaknesses. The Lions are likely out of the playoff race, but can put a damper on the Colts chase with a win. The Lions have back to back losses to quality opponents and are likely hungry for a win.
Lions: Harding, Shetler, Gajtka
Minnesota at Green Bay
A big game for the NFC North standings as the Bears maintain a one game lead in the division. The Packers were walloped last week by the Giants 38-10 in a loss without Clay Matthews. Matthews is still questionable and is a big concern for Green Bay’s defense. They gave up 147 rushing yards to NY and Adrian Peterson is coming to town this week. The Packers may also be without CJ Wilson as he is listed as doubtful. Minnesota needs a win to keep in the playoff chase as they are tied with Tampa Bay and Seattle for the final wildcard spot. The Vikings lost to both of those teams earlier in the season.
Packers: Harding, Weiss, Shetler, Gajtka
Houston at Tennessee
There is hope for Jake Locker in the NFL, but this will be a tough week for him as Houston’s defense is one of the top in the league. The Titans will likely focus on trying to double team JJ Watt, but Wade Phillips will dial up something to confuse the young QB. Houston narrowly escaped last week on Thanksgiving day against the Lions and may get Ben Tate back in their line-up. With Tate back in the mix their 1-2 punch with Foster and Tate is one of the best running games in the league. Chris Johnson has officially returned to full Pro-Bowl status. He will likely eclipse the 1,000 yard mark on the season with his 4.9 ypc average.
Texans: Weiss, Harding, Shetler
Carolina at Kansas City
Cam Newton managed to pull off the upset over the Eagles last Monday night, but now has to beat the teams he should beat when they travel to Kansas City. Newton threw for 306 yards and 2 TDs while rushing for 52 and 2 TDs. The Chiefs are now 0-6 at Arrowhead on the season after the 17-9 loss to Denver. Arrowhead is known as one of the tougher places to play, but its only tough for the Chiefs this season. Jamaal Charles ran for 107 yards last week, but Brady Quinn only threw for 126 yards and 1 INT in the loss.
Panthers: Weiss, Harding, Gajtka
San Francisco at St. Louis
These two teams met just three weeks ago and played to a 24 all tie. The Rams are still trying to find their identity late in the season as inconsistent play has plagued them. They were on a five game winless streak before beating the Cardinals 31-17 last week while forcing four turnovers. Colin Kaepernick earned another start with his 16 of 25 1 TD and 1 rushing TD in the win over the Saints last week. I’m still not sold that Harbaugh just doesn’t have the stones to tell Smith he’s number 2 now. Former QB, now coach and he’s been in that position.
49ers: Weiss, Harding, Shetler, Gajtka
New England at Miami
The Patriots can clinch the AFC East with a win at Miami this Sunday. New England showed their dominance again by the 49-19 shellacking they handed the Jets on Thanksgiving. Much of the team’s success is because of their league best plus-24 turnover margin. Its almost hard to lose games when your team doesn’t turn the ball over and has that many takeaways. The Dolphins shocked the Seahawks last week with a 24-21 victory. Ryan Tannehill led a 4th quarter comeback and has shown real growth this season.
Patriots: Weiss, Harding, Shetler
Arizona at New York Jets
Remember that brief moment when the Cardinals had the league talking about them when they were 4-0? Well, now the league is talking about them because they have lost 7 in a row. Ryan Lindley was 31 of 52 for 312 yards and 4 INTs last week in his NFL debut for the Cardinals. The Jets are also 4-7, but the funny part is Rex Ryan thinks they can still make the playoffs. The worst part? He’s not that far off. The Jets don’t play a team with a current winning record for the remainder of the season. 9-7 will likely get you in this year. Mark Sanchez will need to improve his game quickly if Ryan plans on being right.
Jets: Weiss, Harding, Shetler, Gajtka
Tampa Bay at Denver
Knowshon Moreno filled in for Willis McGahee and didn’t miss a beat in doing so. The back-up ran for 85 yards on 20 carries in the 17-9 win over Kansas City. The Broncos can clinch the AFC West this week with a win at home. The Bucs on the other hand are fighting for a playoff spot. Rookie running back Doug Martin will need another explosive day to keep the ball out of Manning’s hands. Martin has 1050 yards on the season and 9 TDs. He could a rookie of the year candidate, but there is some tough competition this season.
Broncos: Weiss, Harding, Shetler
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Baltimore took the first game of the series two weeks ago in Pittsburgh. The Steelers will be without Ben Roethlisberger in this match-up as well. Last week third string QB Charlie Batch stepped in as Byron Leftwich is out with a rib injury as well. Batch showed lots of rust and the team turned the ball over 8 times. Troy Polamalu has practiced this week and may play. While Joe Flacco is struggling away from home, he has been solid at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore has won 16 straight at home, last team to win in Baltimore was Pittsburgh on Dec. 5, 2010 13-10.
Ravens: Weiss, Harding, Shetler, Gajtka
Cleveland at Oakland
These two teams are on their way to another non-winning season. This will be Oakland’s 10th consecutive season and Cleveland’s 5th. Things continue to look worse for the Raiders whose defense surrendered 169 points over the last four games. Things aren’t looking up for the unit either as they suspended Rolando McClain for 2 games for being detrimental to the team. The Browns are coming off a big win over Pittsburgh and need to keep feeding Trent Richardson the ball. Brandon Weeden may play this week after suffering a concussion late in last week’s contest.
Raiders: Weiss, Harding, Shetler
Cincinnati at San Diego
The Chargers have lost 6 out of their last 7 games for a disappointing 4-7 record. Atari Bigby, Donald Butler and Darrell Stuckey are all likely out for San Diego’s defense this week. Eric Weddle also suffered a concussion, but is expected to play this week. AJ Green and Andy Dalton will look to have big games again that depleted secondary. The more impressive part about the Bengals has been their surging run game. Cincinnati is 7-0 when rushing for over 130 yards.
Bengals: Weiss, Harding, Shetler, Gajtka
Philadelphia at Dallas
If you thought the Cowboys were in bad shape you should look at the Eagles. They have injuries all over the field on both sides of the ball. Even with LeSean McCoy out of the game Bryce Brown ran for 178 yards and 2 TDs for the Eagles and they still lost. Nick Foles will likely get the nod again while Mike Vick is on the bench with a concussion. Andy Reid may not make it to the end of the season at this pace. The Cowboys have their own injuries to deal with as now Bruce Carter, who was replacing Sean Lee, is now out with a dislocated elbow.
Cowboys: Weiss, Harding, Shetler, Gajtka
New York Giants at Washington
Another primetime NFC East match-up with big playoff implications. The Giants hold a two game lead over the Cowboys and the Redskins. Washington will need big performances from RGIII and their defense to close the gap this week. Eli Manning played to his potential against the Packers last week in a 38-10 win. The Giants defense almost lost the game against the Redskins last time, but Manning pulled out a long connection to Victor Cruz for the win. Holding Aaron Rodgers to 10 points is one thing, but shutting down a two dimensional quarterback is another animal.
Redskins: Harding, Gajtka
Giants: Weiss, Shetler