NFL: Week 12 Quick Strikes


In the NFL, it’s 11 weeks down, six weeks to go before the finish line is reached. With a half of a dozen games to play, can the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots remain unbeaten to the end?

For the Baltimore Ravens, their season took a disastrous turn last weekend while teams that have not fared well in past years continue to open eyes in 2015. Officiating has been awful at times this season, but all-in-all, it’s been an entertaining, intriguing, surprising, and controversial 2015.

32 thoughts about the NFL following heading into the newest week of the season.

Arizona Cardinals: The Cards gave Steelers fans and Mike Tomlin an early Christmas gift by handing the Cincinnati Bengals their second straight defeat pushing Pittsburgh to just two games behind first place with six to play including a game in Cincy. Arizona is rolling towards the division title and Pittsburgh can return the favor in Seattle next Sunday.

Atlanta Falcons: The season and playoffs hopes are slipping away with another loss last weekend. To Atlanta come the Vikings who wanted to badly to beat Green Bay but are still tied for the division lead. Both teams really need this win.

Baltimore Ravens: How much worse can it get for the Ravens. Sure they won, but they lost Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett for the season who now join Terrell Suggs on the sidelines. The battle for last place takes place on Monday night when Cleveland hosts the beat up Ravens.

Buffalo Bills: Monday Night Football…unbeaten Patriots…a chance for a major upset…it simply didn’t happen. In the preseason, the Bills were slated to be a top team. That has not happened either.

More from Pittsburgh Steelers

Carolina Panthers: One might think that the Washington Redskins would have thrown a scare at the Panthers, but instead they got wasted. Four of their final six games are on the road so an undefeated season may not happen. Those road games are in Dallas, New Orleans, New York (Giants), and Atlanta. The two home games are the Falcons and the last game against the Bucs.

Chicago Bears: The Bears ALMOST best a Peyton Manning-less Denver team. Still competing but not dominating or winning like they used to, the Bears will play on Turkey day in Green Bay. The Pack righted the ship a bit in Minnesota so the Bears will have their hands full.

Cincinnati Bengals: Does the two-game losing streak bare a weakness with the Bengals? With the Rams coming to town, this game is much like the Texans. A game they should not lose. But we Steelers fans sure hope they do.

Cleveland Browns: They can provide a total embarrassment in Baltimore by beating the team from the city that stole their original team and send them to the basement of the AFC North. With that said, does Johnny “Party Animal” Manziel start the game following another night out caught on video?

Dallas Cowboys: A Thanksgiving day game doesn’t get any better than the matchup between Dallas and Carolina in Texas. The undefeated Panthers versus the Tony Romo-led ‘Boys. There is so much buzz about Dallas making the post-season with Romo back in the saddle so this game provides a perfect opportunity for the Cowboys to prove they are playoff ready. Oh yes, Greg Hardy will be facing his former team. Interesting.

Denver Broncos: Has the Brock Osweiler era begun? Can anyone remember a starting quarterback that stood 6’8″? I recall the bust named JaMarcus Russell. A monster quarterback with no talent but loads of money. This could be the beginning of the end for Peyton Manning who while battling his current injuries has gone public to say he’ll be playing in 2016 if not Denver, then somewhere else. OK. A true test comes this weekend with the New England Patriots who invade Mile High.

Detroit Lions: A season that was in turmoil seems to have turned a bit to the positive side with two straight wins. Thanksgiving day it’s the hapless Eagles who were demolished by Tampa.

Green Bay Packers: Just when you think the Pack has slipped, they come up with a very well played game. It won’t be as tough this Thursday with the Bears coming to town.

Houston Texans: It appears that the Texans might be the team to beat in the AFC South.

Indianapolis Colts: At 5-5, the Colts must fight off Houston and watch out for the Jaguars.

Jacksonville Jaguars: There is excitement in Jacksonville. No longer the league’s worst team, this squad is actually within striking distance of first place in their division.

Kansas City Chiefs: Many experts have the Chiefs and Steelers winning wild card spots. The Chiefs definitely have a favorable schedule with Buffalo, Oakland, San Diego, Baltimore, and a finale with Cleveland ahead.

Miami Dolphins: Thought to challenge this year, the ‘Phins are now in last at 4-6. This weekend the Jets could send them further south in the division.

Minnesota Vikings: With a chance to prove they are for real, the Vikings fell down in Green Bay. They still look good for a wild card.

New England Patriots: Did anyone think Buffalo was going to stop the streak? Can they put together another undefeated season? Games against Denver on the road, the Eagles at home, Houston on the road, Tennessee at home, and the last game in New York against the Jets will determine that.

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Buccaneers vs. Packers prediction, odds, spread, injuries, trends for NFL Week 15 /

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  • New Orleans Saints: A lost season for New Orleans that is looking like they will finish in last place. They play the hot Texans in Texas Sunday.

    New York Giants: The Eagles and Redskins are making it easy for the 5-5 Giants to take the division crown.

    New York Jets: This is definitely a team looking for its identity.

    Oakland Raiders: Oakland is fading fast with three losses in their last four games. It’s must win time in Tennessee on Sunday.

    Philadelphia Eagles: Outside of the Baltimore Ravens, the Eagles may be the biggest surprise loser in 2015.

    Pittsburgh Steelers: A few weeks ago a division title seemed out of reach. Now it’s within grasp if the right things happen. It begins by winning in noisy Seattle.

    San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers loves confrontation. Even with his own players. This team is a mess and the threat of moving to another city just won’t go away. A game with Jacksonville used to be a given win. Not this year and not this Sunday.

    San Francisco 49ers: Another team in disarray.

    Seattle Seahawks: No matter how the ‘Hawks are doing, it’s always difficult to play against their 12th man. Pittsburgh will have to bring their A+ game to win.

    St. Louis Rams: The Nick Foles experiment did not work out so well with Case Keenum throwing for jus 136 yards in the loss to Baltimore. Todd Gurley seemed headed for Rookie of the Year contention but his jets have cooled way down the last few games. The Rams head to Cincinnati this weekend hoping to add to the Bengals’ loss column but don’t count on that.

    Next: Steelers: Week 10 Grades Vs. Browns

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Carolina Panthers own the biggest surprise team of the year award, but Tampa is running a close second. How about the blowout of Philadelphia? Awesome.

    Tennessee Titans: The Titans sit in what is probably the league’s worst division this season. The Colts in first place at 5-5? Houston 5-5…Jacksonville 4-6, but Tennessee is stuck at the bottom to stay with a record of 2-8.

    Washington Redskins: Absolutely CRUSHED by the unbeaten Panthers. Still, they have a shot at first with a crucial game against the Giants this weekend.