We have come to the midway point of the 2012 NFL season. Already we have seen who were the dominate teams in the first half and who still needs some work. That being said, we look to see now teams trying to gear up for what would be an 8-game stretch that could determine whether they get into the postseason. Also this week we have the 6th annual NFL London game being played over in jolly Ol' England as well as the trade deadline for all teams. That being said, let's get on with the picks.
Sunday 1:00 p.m.
Washington Redskins @ Pittsburgh Steelers
As of right now, Robert Griffin III is the most prolific offensive rookie out there. He can keep defenses on their heels, whether it be throwing the ball (1,601 yards, 70.4% Completion Rate, 7TDs, 3INT) or by running the ball (64 carries for 468 yards and 6TDs). He also leading a Redskins offense that's 5th in scoring (28.7ppg), tied for 4th in total offensive (406.3), and 1st in rushing (177.7 ypg). That being all said, the Redskins are going up against a 'pass-happy' Steelers offense that's 6th overall (282.2 ypg) and the Redskins are dead last against the pass (328.4 ypg). Combined with a hostile environment along with a hostile Steelers defense, RGIII will have a big day but the rest of his team won't.
New England Patriots @ St. Louis Rams in London, England
This is the 6th game that will be played in London England and the 2nd time the Patriots have played there, winning 35-7 back on 10.25.09 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That being said, things can go either way at this point. The Patriots have of the the top offenses in the NFL, 1st in scoring (31.0ppg), total offense (436.1 ypg), 1st Downs (29.0 pg), and in the top 5 in passing and rushing. The Rams on the other hand are 27th in scoring (18.6 ppg) and total offense (315.1 ypg) and have very few offensive weapons. But switch it around on defense and the Rams outperform the Patriots in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense, and defiantly in passing defense. Also this is a Patriots defense who allowed Mark Sanchez last week to not only throw for a season high 328 yards but complete 68.3% of his passes, and this is the same Sanchez who could barely sniff over 50% completion coming into the game. Expect the Patriots to rely more on their offense moreso than before in this game but don't be surprised if it's closer than you think.
Sunday 4:25 p.m.
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
Since the New Dallas Cowboys Stadium opened up in 2009, the Giants have posted a 3-0 mark. Coming off a much needed 27-23 divisional victory over the Washington Redskins, the Giants are looking to avenge their 24-17 loss at the beginning of the season to the Cowboys. The Cowboys are without LB Sean Lee (who just recently went on IR with torn ligaments in his right toe) and possibly will not have RB DeMarco Murray (left foot sprain) for the game. Losing Murray could hurt the Cowboys' offense as he rushed for 131 yards against the Giants in Week 1. Though the Dallas secondary was able to shut down the Giants passing game, this was because WR Hakeem Nicks was yet to be at full strength. Now with Nicks close to 100% as well as the emergence of Domenik Hixon, Ramses Barden, and the ground and pound of Bradshaw-Brown, expect Big Blue to win their second divisional game.
Sunday 8:20 p.m.
New Orleans Saints @ Denver Broncos
If this game was on Monday Night, John Gruden would die a happy man. You have two of the top 10 quarterbacks going at it. Brees and Peyton Manning haven't faced each other since Super Bowl XLIV on 02.07.10 when the Saints beat the Manning-led Colts 31-17. Not to mention that Brees has played up at Mile High before during his career with the Chargers from 2001-2006. Though that will be the more dominating story line for this game, one aspect that gets overlooked is that the Saints are dead last in rushing the ball (76.2 ypg) as well as second-to-last in defending it (161.0 ypg). Denver will ride on RB Willis McGahee for the most part, which will then allow Peyton to easily pick apart on the 30th-ranked pass defense in the NFL (304.5 ypg). It'll be close shootout but in the end, the 'Sheriff' will get his man.
Monday 8:30 p.m.
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
This is another crucial divisional game that is being played this weekend. The 49ers are coming off their 13-6 sluggfest victory over the Seattle Seahawks and while the Cardinals lost to Buffalo in OT 19-16. While both offenses of each team are mediocre at best, their true strength is at defense. You got the number one overall defense in the 49ers (272.3 ypg) going up against the 7th overall defense in the Cardinals (312.1). Alex Smith needs to be careful as he's going against the 4th best passing defense (191.3 ypg) as well as a team that has intercepted quarterbacks 8 times already this season. But unfortunately for the Cardinals, they have given up the most sacks (35) and against a sack-hungry 49ers defense, it's not going to be pretty.
Best of the Rest:
Thursday Night 8:20 p.m.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings
It would be an interesting showdown if the Bucs were more balanced on both sides of the ball and have a coach who knows what to do in the Pro Level.
Sunday 1:00 p.m.
Seattle Seahawks @ Detroit Lions
Seattle is 1-3 on the road. Detroit is Detroit. Seattle has one of the top 5 defenses in the NFL. Detroit is Detroit. The only thing Detroit has more of are players who have been arrested.
Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles
2 things will happen: Atlanta wins because Eagles' offense is just a joke or the '72 Dolphins continue to do their stupid 'We're still the only undefeated team' celebration. I think the former is going to happen.
Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears
Ron Rivera is going to be looking for a job after this. If his former team doesn't do it to him, then his franchise QB will.
Pick: Da Bears
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
Not only is this a must-win divisional game between the two, there's also some bad blood. The Jets have already beaten the Dolphins earlier in the season but that was due to the fact Dolphins RB Reggie Bush got knocked out of the game with a knee injury. Though the Dolphins vowed revenge, don't expect them to take it. Though they lost 23-17 against the Texans and then 29-26 in OT to the Pats, the Jets played strong football and feel confident they can still hang around with the big dogs of the AFC. Expect this confidence to carry them in this one.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
Gotta give CJ2K props for having that breakout game last week against the Bills. Unfortunately since he sucked so much, many people probably kept him on the bench. He had his best performance and now he'll shrink back into medocrity once more.
San Diego Chargers @ Cleveland Browns
Remember last week when I said taking a dump was more interesting than watching the Jaguars and Raiders game? I take that comment back and apply it to this game instead.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Green Bay Packers
If you got Graham Harrell on your bench, you should start him as he'll be seeing action as early as the 3rd quarter.
Sunday 4:05 p.m.
Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs
Brady Quinn is getting his 2nd start in this one. Expect the same results as the last one.
Teams on Bye: Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans
Last Week's Record : 11-2
Season's Record: 58-46
- Ryan Fox
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