NFL Week 12 Picks

Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week 12 games (excluding the Thanksgiving slate). 

Last week: 6-7

Cardinals at PatriotsCardinals

Raiders at Falcons: Raiders

Chargers at BillsBills

Giants at BengalsBengals

Titans at ColtsTitans

Panthers at VikingsVikings

Dolphins at JetsDolphins

Browns at JaguarsBrowns

Saints at BroncosSaints

49ers at RamsRams

Chiefs at BuccaneersChiefs

Bears at PackersPackers

Seahawks at EaglesSeahawks 

Ravens at SteelersSteelers

 

NFL Week 11 Picks

Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week 11 slate (excluding Thursday Night Football). 

Patriots at TexansPatriots

Eagles at BrownsBrowns

Falcons at SaintsSaints

Bengals at WashingtonBengals 

Lions at PanthersLions

Steelers at JaguarsSteelers

Titans at RavensTitans

Dolphins at BroncosDolphins 

Jets at ChargersChargers

Packers at ColtsPackers

Cowboys at VikingsVikings

Chiefs at RaidersChiefs

Rams at BuccaneersBuccaneers 

 

NFL Week 9 Picks

Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week 9 slate (excluding Thursday Night Football).

Last week: 6-7

Patriots at Jets: Patriots

Broncos at Falcons: Falcons

Seahawks at Bills: Seahawks

Bears at Titans: Titans

Ravens at Colts: Ravens

Panthers at Chiefs: Chiefs

Lions at Vikings: Lions

Giants at Washington: Giants

Texans at Jaguars: Texans

Raiders at Chargers: Raiders

Steelers at Cowboys: Steelers

Dolphins at Cardinals: Cardinals

Saints at Buccaneers: Buccaneers

NFL Week 8 Picks

Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week 8 slate (excluding Thursday Night Football).

Last week: 10-3

Patriots at Bills: Bills

Vikings at Packers: Packers

Titans at Bengals: Titans

Jets at Chiefs: Chiefs

Colts at Lions: Colts

Steelers at Ravens: Steelers

Rams at Dolphins: Rams

Raiders at Browns: Browns

Chargers at Broncos: Chargers

Saints at Bears: Bears

49ers at Seahawks: 49ers

Cowboys at Eagles: Eagles

Buccaneers at Giants: Buccaneers

NFL Week 7 Picks

Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week 7 slate (excluding Thursday Night Football)

Last week: 11-3

49ers at Patriots: Patriots

Panthers at Saints: Saints

Bills at Jets: Bills

Browns at Bengals: Browns

Cowboys at Washington: Cowboys

Packers at Texans: Packers

Lions at Falcons: Lions

Steelers at Titans: Steelers

Buccaneers at Raiders: Buccaneers

Chiefs at Broncos: Chiefs

Jaguars at Chargers: Chargers

Seahawks at Cardinals: Seahawks

Bears at Rams: Rams

NFL Week 5 Picks

Due to the delay for the Patriots-Broncos game, here are my picks for the NFL’s Week 5 games (excluding Thursday Night Football).

Last week: 9-4

Jaguars at Texans: Texans

Bengals at Ravens: Ravens

Panthers at Falcons: Falcons

Raiders at Chiefs: Chiefs

Cardinals at Jets: Cardinals

Eagles at Steelers: Steelers

Rams at Washington: Rams

Dolphins at 49ers: 49ers

Giants at Cowboys: Cowboys

Colts at Browns: Browns

Vikings at Seahawks: Seahawks

Chargers at Saints: Chargers

Bills at Titans: Bills

2019-20 NFL Playoff Predictions

Here are my complete playoff predictions, from the Wild Card Weekend to Super Bowl LIV.

(Note that AFC predictions are in red, while NFC predictions are in blue)

Wild Card Weekend

#6 Tennessee Titans at #3 New England Patriots

Prediction: Patriots

Kyle Van Noy, Daniel Jones
(Elise Amendola/AP)

 

#5 Buffalo Bills at #4 Houston Texans

Prediction: Texans

deshaun watson playoffs 19
(Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle)

#6 Minnesota Vikings at #3 New Orleans Saints

Prediction: Vikings

stefon diggs playoffs 19.jpg
(Jack Rodgers / Pioneer Press)

#5 Seattle Seahawks at #4 Philadelphia Eagles

Prediction: Seahawks

russell wilson p19.jpg
(Alika Jenner/AFP)

Divisional Round

#4 Houston Texans at #1 Baltimore Ravens

Prediction: Ravens

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

#3 New England Patriots at #2 Kansas City Chiefs

Prediction: Patriots

jules v browns w819
(Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

#6 Minnesota Vikings at #1 San Francisco 49ers

Prediction: 49ers

emmanue, sanders pl19.jpg
(Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

#5 Seattle Seahawks at #2 Green Bay Packers

Prediction: Packers

aaron rodgers pl19.jpg
(Photo via ESPN)

Conference Championships

#3 New England Patriots at #1 Baltimore Ravens

Prediction: Patriots

tb vs ravens w9p19
(Photo via Getty Images)

#2 Green Bay Packers at #1 San Francisco 49ers

Prediction: 49ers

nick bosa pl19.jpeg
(Tony Avelar/AP)

Super Bowl LIV

#3 New England Patriots vs #1 San Francisco 49ers

Prediction: Patriots

tb pl19.jpg
(Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

NFL Week 17 Picks

Last week: 11-5

Dolphins at Patriots: Patriots

Packers at Lions: Packers

Jets at Bills: Bills

Bears at Vikings: Vikings

Chargers at Chiefs: Chiefs

Browns at Bengals: Browns

Saints at Panthers: Saints

Falcons at Buccaneers: Falcons

Colts at Jaguars: Colts

Eagles at Giants: Eagles

Cardinals at Rams: Rams

Steelers at Ravens: Ravens

Titans at Texans: Titans

Raiders at Broncos: Raiders

Redskins at Cowboys: Cowboys

49ers at Seahawks: 49ers

NFL Week 16 Picks

Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week 16 slate of games.

Last week: 8-7

Bills at Patriots: Patriots

Texans at Buccaneers: Texans

Rams at 49ers: 49ers

Steelers at Jets: Steelers

Saints at Titans: Saints

Panthers at Colts: Colts

Bengals at Dolphins: Dolphins

Ravens at Browns: Ravens

Jaguars at Falcons: Falcons

Giants at Redskins: Redskins

Lions at Broncos: Broncos

Raiders at Chargers: Raiders

Cardinals at Seahawks: Seahawks

Cowboys at Eagles: Cowboys

Chiefs at Bears: Chiefs

Packers at Vikings: Vikings

The Pats’ Mighty D drowns out the Cowboys!

TEAM

1

2

3

4

T

DAL 0 6 0 3 9

NE

7 3 0 3 13

Yet again, the Patriots’ defense and special teams led New England to victory, as they prevailed 13-9 over the Dallas Cowboys (6-5) during a wet and cold afternoon in Foxborough.

This victory improves the Patriots to 10-1 on the season and keeps them atop the AFC through 12 weeks.

Here are some takeaways from yesterday’s game.

1. A defensive masterpiece

Bill Belichick’s defense came to play yesterday, as they absolutely stifled the NFL’s top offense and kept them out of the end zone. Dak Prescott entered this game with 3 straight 400 yard performances, but was held to 212 yards, without any touchdowns. The weather obviously had an impact on Prescott, as he was seen changing his gloves on several occasions, but the Patriots were able to take away his top weapon in Amari Cooper. Stephon Gilmore continued his campaign for Defensive Player of the Year by blanking Cooper, who was targeted only twice. Cooper’s first target resulted in a Gilmore interception that set up the Patriots’ second score.

Other than a 59-yard catch and run by Randall Cobb, the Patriots were able to limit big plays and mostly held Dallas’ secondary receivers in check. Due to the inclement weather, most analysts expected the Cowboys to utilize Ezekiel Elliot early and often, which was evident, as he averaged 4.1 yards per carry during a 86-yard performance. The Patriots will need to shore up their run defense, as rushing the ball will likely be a point of emphasis for opposing offenses.

gilly v cowboys w1219.jpg
(Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe)

2. The offense was efficient, if not explosive

In the eyes of many “experts”, yesterday’s game adds to the narrative that Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense are no longer elite. Of course, these people won’t mention that Brady outplayed an MVP candidate in inclement weather, and did so without two of his top targets in Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett. The offensive line was fortified by the return of Isaiah Wynn, who shook off a rough start (which included a strip sack of Brady), en route to a group performance that was a far cry from the debacle in Philadelphia.

For the first time in several weeks, the team eclipsed 100 rushing yards, as Sony Michel accumulated 85 yards off of 20 carries. With the absence of Sanu and Dorsett, the Patriots got a major contribution from Jakobi Meyers, who had 4 receptions for 74 yards. Julian Edelman was his usual self, with 8 receptions for 93 yards, including a huge catch on 3rd & 20 that helped extend a drive in the second half. N’Keal Harry had his first professional touchdown on a fade route in the red zone, with his athleticism on full display. At the same time, Harry still has room to improve, as evidenced by a couple of dropped passes.

The Patriots’ offense still has a long way to go, as they cannot continue to depend on their defense and special teams to win them games as the season progresses. If Brady continues to build chemistry with Meyers and Harry, the Patriots should be able to have a solid 5 receiver rotation that helps take pressure off of Julian Edelman. In addition, Michel’s performance is something to build upon, as having a balanced attack will open up the field through play action.

jules harry w1219.jpg
(Nancy Lane/Boston Herald)

 

3. Special teams was game changing once again

Throughout this season, the Patriots’ special teams unit has been able to make momentum shifting plays, and yesterday was no different. Perennial All-Pro Matthew Slater added to his stellar season with a blocked punt in the first quarter that led to Harry’s touchdown. Jake Bailey wasn’t as effective punting the ball, as he did shank some punts, but he was able to pin the Cowboys on his last attempt.

As I mentioned earlier, special teams shouldn’t have to elevate the Patriots on a weekly basis, but it is definitely appreciated by Bill Belichick and the coaching staff when it does happen.

slater block v cowboys.jpg
(Elise Amendola/AP)

Statistical Leaders:

Patriots

  • Passing: Tom Brady – 17/37 for 190 yards, and 1 touchdown
  • Rushing: Sony Michel – 20 carries for 85 yards
  • Receiving; Julian Edelman – 8 receptions for 93 yards
  • Defensive: Jamie Collins – 10 total tackles

Cowboys

  • Passing: Dak Prescott – 19/33 for 212 yards, and 1 interception
  • Rushing: Ezekiel Elliot – 21 carries for 86 yards
  • Receiving: Randall Cobb – 4 receptions for 86 yards
  • Defensive: Jaylon Smith – 8 total tackles

 

What’s next?: The Patriots head down to Houston to take on Deshaun Watson and the Texans (7-4) on Sunday Night Football.