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Sam Farmer's NFL Week 12 picks

The Times' reporter examines this weekend's matchups on a game-by-game basis.

November 25, 2011|By Sam Farmer
  • Quarterback Philip Rivers, handing off to running back Ryan Mathews, and the Chargers face a tough Week 12 opponent in the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Quarterback Philip Rivers, handing off to running back Ryan Mathews, and… (Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated…)

The Times' NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week's matchups. Lines according to Glantz-Culver (O/U = over/under). Last week's record 10-4 (.714); season 105-55 (.656). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 12-1-1 (.923); season 76-73-11 (.510).

Houston (7-3)

at Jacksonville (3-7)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Texans 13, Jaguars 7

TV: None. DirecTV: 704.

Line: Texans by 3. O/U: 37.

It's a changing of the Matts — Leinart for Schaub — as Houston continues its march toward its first playoff appearance. The Jaguars have a pretty good defense but can't score.

Buffalo (5-5)

at N.Y. Jets (5-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Jets 27, Bills 21

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Jets by 9. O/U: 42.

Three weeks ago, the Jets won by 16 in Buffalo. As long as they don't lose focus — and it's do-or-die now — the Jets should be able to hold serve on their home field.

Cleveland (4-6)

at Cincinnati (6-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bengals 28, Browns 7

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Bengals by 7. O/U: 37.

The Bengals are coming off consecutive division losses and desperate to get back on track. The Browns are averaging 14.5 points, but they haven't scored that many in the last five games.

Minnesota (2-8)

at Atlanta (6-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Falcons 27, Vikings 10

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Falcons by 9. O/U: 44.

This game would be tough enough for the Vikings with a healthy Adrian Peterson. As it is, it's a tall order to knock off the hungry Falcons, scrapping to keep playoff hopes alive.

Arizona (3-7)

at St. Louis (2-8)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Rams 18, Cardinals 14

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Off the board. O/U: Off.

When these teams met a few weeks ago, the Rams looked like the better team but lost in overtime on a 99-yard punt return. St. Louis has a good shot of winning the rematch at home.

Carolina (2-8)

at Inidanapolis (0-10)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Panthers 31, Colts 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Panthers by 3. O/U: 45.

The Panthers blew a 17-point first-half lead last Sunday at Detroit. At their current rate, it takes the Colts three weeks to score a combined 17 points — 0-16 here we come.

Tampa Bay (4-6)

at Tennessee (5-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Buccaneers 23, Titans 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Titans by 3. O/U: 43.

Tampa Bay has lost four in a row and has seen a promising start go down the tubes. Uncertainty at quarterback for the Titans could give the Buccaneers the break they need.

Chicago (7-3)

at Oakland (6-4)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Raiders 23, Bears 16

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Raiders by 4. O/U: 41.

With no Jay Cutler — and an inexperienced replacement in Caleb Hanie — the Bears will be hard-pressed to pick up a road win against a Raiders team that's getting better by the week.

Washington (3-7)

at Seattle (4-6)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Seahawks 20, Redskins 15

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Seahawks by 3. O/U: 37.

The Redskins make things interesting some weeks, but they haven't won in almost two months. Seattle has a chance for its first three-game winning streak since 2007.

New England (7-3)

at Philadelphia (4-6)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Eagles 28, Patriots 27

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Off the board. O/U: Off.

Even with their injuries, the Eagles have a lot of playmakers and can exploit matchups against the Patriots, who have given up more yards than anyone else — 404.2 yards a game.

Devner (5-5)

at San Diego (4-6)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Chargers 23, Broncos 20

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Chargers by 6. O/U: 42.

Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow will get most of the attention, but the Chargers really have to look out for that pass rush against a bad line. San Diego holds on, but barely.

Pittsburgh (7-3)

at Kansas City (4-6)

Sunday, 5:15 p.m.

Steelers 38, Chiefs 17

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Steelers by 10. O/U: 40.

The Steelers are rested, and the Chiefs aren't. Pittsburgh has all the firepower it needs to take the crowd out of this and make Arrowhead Stadium feel like a neutral field.

N.Y. Giants (6-4)

at New Orleans (7-3)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Saints 35, Giants 34


Line: Saints by 7. O/U: 50.

We know both these teams can pass, but it's going to be the ability to effectively run the ball that decides this one, and the Saints have a big advantage there.

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