Gerry Dulac's NFL Forecast: Week 12

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Last week: 10-5 (.667)

Season record: 102-60 (.630)


New Orleans Saints (8-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-8), 8:25 p.m.

The Skinny: When this game was scheduled, the NFL Network thought they would have a first-place showdown in the NFC South on their hands. But the Falcons, who have lost four in a row and seven of their past eight, have disrupted that thinking. The Saints, though, have upheld their end of the bargain.

Prediction: Saints, 30-20


Steelers (4-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-6), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Browns have taken a path different than the Steelers to 4-6. They have lost four of their past five games and haven’t scored more than 20 points in any of those games. The Steelers struggle to score points in Cleveland, amassing just 43 in four of the past five games there.

Prediction: Steelers, 19-12

New York Jets (5-5) at Baltimore Ravens (4-6), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Like the Browns, the Ravens suffer from the same offensive affliction. They, too, have lost four of their past five and haven’t managed more than 20 points in any of those games. The Jets could have their streak win-one, lose-one disrupted here.

Prediction: Ravens, 17-16

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) at Detroit Lions (6-4), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Buccaneers have had a surprising turnaround the past three games, scoring 87 points and winning two in a row. Can it continue against the Lions, who are still smarting from that second-half shutdown against the Steelers?

Prediction: Lions, 34-27

Minnesota Vikings (2-8) at Green Bay Packers (5-5), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Packers are just trying to tread water and lean on their run game until Aaron Rodgers can return, and the task might be a little easier at home. His replacement, Scott Tolzien, passed for 339 yards last week against the Giants.

Prediction: Packers, 24-20

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) at Houston Texans (2-8), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Texans have done more than just lose eight in a row after a 2-0 start. They are in danger, if they lose to the Jaguars, of officially becoming the worst team in the NFL. That alone should be enough motivation to end their streak.

Prediction: Texans, 22-18

San Diego Chargers (4-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-1), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The hard-luck Chargers have lost six games by an average of 5.6 points. Their past three losses have been by a total of 18 points. Until they allowed 27 to the Broncos, the Chiefs hadn’t allowed more than 17 points in any game this season.

Prediction: Chiefs, 26-17

Carolina Panthers (7-3) at Miami Dolphins (5-5), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: After being accused of not beating any team with a winning record, the Panthers have posted back-to-back comeback victories against the 49ers and Patriots to run their winning streak to six games. They are averaging 29.7 points in their past seven games.

Prediction: Panthers, 29-20

Chicago Bears (6-4) at St. Louis Rams (4-6), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: True story: Woman was walking down a street in New York when she removed her blouse, causing a 10-car chain-reaction accident. Headline in the tabloid the next day: Bares 2, Rams 10. This should have the same result.

Prediction: Rams, 28-16

Indianapolis Colts (7-3) at Arizona Cardinals (6-4), 4:05 p.m.

The Skinny: Andrew Luck gets to face his mentor, Bruce Arians, who took over the Colts when Chuck Pagano was ill last season and ended up being named NFL coach of the year. This is the first time a coach of the year has faced his former team one year later.

Prediction: Colts, 27-21

 Tennessee Titans (4-6) at Oakland Raiders (4-6), 4:05 p.m.

The Skinny: Former Penn State walk-on Matt McGloin became the first undrafted rookie quarterback to throw at least three touchdowns without an interception in a game since 1967 when the Raiders won in Houston last week. The Titans play every game close.

Prediction: Raiders, 24-23

Dallas Cowboys (5-5) at New York Giants (4-6), 4:25 p.m.

The Skinny: After their 0-6 start, the Giants have a chance to move within a game of first place in the NFC East with a victory. The Cowboys won the first meeting this season with interception and fumble returns for touchdowns. They will need more of that today.

Prediction: Giants, 33-28

Denver Broncos (9-1) at New England Patriots (7-3), 8:30 p.m.

The Skinny: Peyton Manning had an emotional return to Indianapolis and a big showdown with the unbeaten Chiefs. Now comes a marquee matchup with Tom Brady. Manning has more passing yards (3,572) after 10 games than any quarterback in history. But Brady is 9-4 in 13 meetings with Manning, including 2-1 postseason.

Prediction: Patriots, 30-27


San Francisco 49ers (6-4) at Washington Redskins (3-7), 8:40 p.m.

The Skinny: The 49ers and quarterback Colin Kaepernick have been struggling, scoring just 39 points in losses to the Seahawks, Colts, Panthers and Saints. The Redskins were 3-6 last season and won seven in a row to make the postseason. Not this time.

Prediction: 49ers, 24-13

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