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  • Kenneth Cotterill

Top 5 Games To Watch - Week 12

Season Record (33-22)

Another tough week of NFL action, as some of the elite teams in the NFL did not show up. The Buccaneers struggled, mostly due to the play of Tom Brady, and the Rams came out flying and picked up a huge win. Then you had Baltimore falling to the Titans in overtime with Lamar Jackson throwing for just 186 yards. Lastly, you had Aaron Rodgers fall to Phillip Rivers in overtime in Indianapolis, another shocker. We are now getting into the final third of the year where the playoff picture starts to get a lot clearer. All of the matchups to watch this week have major playoff implications, so let's dive in and look at who you should be watching. And to all of you reading this article, Happy American Thanksgiving and sorry the Pittsburgh and Baltimore game got moved.

5. Arizona Cardinals (6-4) vs. New England Patriots (4-6)

New England welcomes Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals to Foxborough on Sunday afternoon. The Patriots have lost three of their last five but managed to beat the Ravens just two weeks ago. Kyler Murray has played like an MVP candidate all year long and could be in for a nice day against the Pats.

Bill Belichek, I am sure, will have a plan for how to slow down Kyler, but I think that is the max that you can do. He is going to get his numbers and a lot of his yards will be going to Christian Kirk and Deandre Hopkins. The Patriots will need Cam Newton to throw the ball well, especially to Jakobi Meyers. I like the Cardinals to cover, but the Patriots will keep it close. I cannot see these teams only combing for 49 points either, so take the over on the point line.

Arizona 31 - New England 27

4. Chicago Bears (5-5) vs. Green Bay Packers (7-3)

Division rivals Chicago and Green Bay face off at Lambeau field for their first matchup of the season. Both of these teams are coming in to this one struggling a bit. Chicago started the year 5-1 but have lost four straight due to their offensive struggles. Nick Foles has just ten touchdowns to eight interceptions this year, so his play has been subpar at best. Packers dropped their last game against a good, but beatable, opponent despite Aaron Rodgers playing at an MVP-type pace with 29 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

I am picking this game based on the quarterback position alone. Chicago's defense is solid, but Aaron Rodgers has proven he can tear it up against almost any defensive scheme thrown his way. Green Bay also has a solid defense and I like them to create multiple turnovers in this game. The Packers are nine-point favorites and I honestly believe they cover that spread. The 45 point total will also be crossed, so take the Packers, the spread and the over.

Green Bay 31 - Chicago 20

3. Tennessee Titans (7-3) vs. Indianapolis Colts (6-3)

The Colts blew out the Titans just two weeks ago, mostly due to Indy's special teams play. When it is two teams in the same division I often find it hard to see the season series being swept. Derrick Henry played well in that game, totaling 103 yards, but Ryan Tannehill threw for just 147 yards. Phillip Rivers also did not turn the ball over, which is surprising.

The Titans are going to even up the season series and take the division lead. I find it tough to have faith in Rivers to not throw an interception once again, so I think Tannehill will outplay him in the rematch. Take the Titans as one-point underdogs and also take the over on the 48.5 point total. Both teams are scoring over 20 and I think the Titans go 28 points plus to hit the over.

Tennessee 30 - Indianapolis 24

2. Baltimore Ravens (6-4) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0) vs.

This game was supposed to happen on Thanksgiving Day but got moved to Sunday. The Steelers won the first matchup on November 1st mostly due to winning the turnover battle. Pittsburgh forced Lamar to turn the ball over twice, one of which led to a touchdown. The Rat Birds, as Paul would call them, will be looking for revenge and to keep their playoff hopes alive.

While I would love to take the Ravens, I just do not trust Jackson against that Steelers defense. Pittsburgh is also at home in this game and I think they have the Raven's number. The point spread is not up yet, but if it is 50 points or higher, take the under. These defenses are too good to get torched, especially in a rivalry game such as this one.

Pittsburgh 27 - Baltimore 21

1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4)

This was my game of the entire NFL season when I first saw the schedule come out. Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady have already had battles in both the regular season and playoffs and this is just the next chapter in that rivalry. Kansas City has been on cruise control since that Raiders loss, but this will be their toughest test thus far. Tom Brady did not look like himself against the Rams, but he has done that a couple of times this year.

Every time Tom Brady has had a rough week, he bounced back focused and played well. I think that trend continues this week against the Chiefs defense. However, I think even if Tom plays well, the Chiefs are just the better football team. They are better coached and have a more free-flowing offense than the Bucs. Chiefs are -3.5, so while I think they win, this game will be within a field goal. The offenses will get their production, so take the point total over as well.

Kansas City 35 - Tampa Bay 34

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