This N’ That With Tony Mack: NFL Picks: Week 12

By Tony McClean
Updated: November 24, 2004

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — The last Sunday in November and the races in the NFL are starting to heat up. We’ve also got some great match ups to look forward to this weekend. Among those are the Ravens traveling to Foxboro to meet the defending champs, the Vikings hosting the Jaguars, and on Monday night, the Rams visit Brett Favre and the Packers.

Unfortunately, we also have the other end of the spectrum with Miami visiting San Francisco (yecch!!), the league’s two one-win teams.

FACTOID OF THE WEEK With a win Sunday against the Giants at the Meadowlands, Philly can clinch its fourth division title in a row, and become only the third team since the 16-game schedule began in 1978 to win a division title by its 11th game (1985 Chicago Bears and 1997 San Francisco 49ers).

SUNDAY RAVENS at PATRIOTS They’ve won three of the last four Super Bowls and are clearly still in the hunt for the post season. New England has kept pace since their loss at Pittsburgh while the Ravens, who handed the Black and Gold its only loss, have won five of their last 6, including three straight. But Baltimore will be without RB Jamal Lewis Sunday. With Corey Dillon starting to make a difference on the Pats’ offense, that could be the determining factor Sunday.

Pick: Patriots.

JAGUARS at VIKINGS A Super Bowl preview? Perhaps. But for now, it’s just a very interesting AFC-NFC battle at the Metrodome. Byron Leftwich should return under center for Jacksonville after David Garrard held his own during No. 7’s absence. The Vikes ended a three-game skid with a big win against the boys from Motown last week. Minny has been playing without Randy Moss and he’ll be out again Sunday. I’ll lean toward the team with the better defense.

Pick: Jaguars.

EAGLES at GIANTS We mentioned earlier what can happen for Philly with a win Sunday. Big Blue’s playoff express is slowly grinding to a slow halt after another tough loss last week. Lil’ Brother Eli had his moments last weekend, but his greenness was shown against an underrated Atlanta defense. The Eagles opened up a Grade A can of whupass on the Giants back on Opening Day. Much has changed since that game, but the outcome should stay the same.

Pick: Eagles.

MONDAY RAMS at PACKERS The schizophrenic Rams roll into Lambeau Field to take on the Packers in a decent Monday night match up. Despite losing Ahman Green for most of the game, the Cheeseheads got a last gasp road win at Houston. Meanwhile, the Rams left their offense at home and got ambushed by Drew Bledsoe and the Bills. This has all the makings of a shootout. I’ll go with Favre over Bulger.

Pick: Packers.

OTHER GAMES Titans over Texans: Not without a fight from Houston.

Bucs over Panthers: Tampa’s closing kick could put them back in the playoff hunt.

Bengals over Browns: Both teams are building for 2005.

Chargers over Chiefs: The price for Drew Brees keeps going higher and higher…..

Steelers over Redskins: The Deadskins are just getting in the way of the Pittsburgh Bus.

Falcons over Saints: No. 7 beats up on his cousin again, just because he can.

Cardinals over Jets: Just a hunch that Denny Green will outfox Reverend Herm.

49ers over Dolphins: Yeah, but who really cares beside the bettors.

Bills over Seahawks: I think Buffalo may have something to surprise the Birds with.

Broncos over Raiders: Insert your own Black Hole joke here.