Here are my games to watch for Week 12 of the NFL season:
Showdown for 1st place in the AFC South. Both teams 6-4. Both average 141 yds a game rushing. Both have mobile QB's Deshaun Watson and Jacoby Brissett. Colts WR T.Y. Hilton who's missed the last 4 games is questionable for this matchup. He has owned the Texans in Houston in his career. In 4 games there he's averaged 179 receiving yards. That's not good for a porous Texans pass defense. Houston could be without WR Will Fuller V because of a hamstring injury. Two evenly matched squads. Tough one to call, but I'll give the Texans the edge at home.
PANTHERS at SAINTS - Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS
Carolina is falling apart losing 3 of their last 4 and it's not sitting well with team owner David Tepper who was quoted Monday saying "he won't accept long term mediocrity." QB Kyle Allen who was the talk of town is on the brink of being run out of town. He's thrown 9 ints in the last 4 games. Panthers right now have a dark cloud hovering over them, and it should get a whole lot darker when they travel to NFC South foe New Orleans. Drew Brees throws it up and WR Michael Thomas hauls it in. Thomas has 94 catches in 10 games. Panthers have Christian McCaffrey, but the Saints have to much overall talent to lose this one. Saints march to their 9th win.
COWBOYS at PATRIOTS - Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on FOX
This is a game where Dallas could send a message loud and clear to the rest of the league that they are capable of shining on the big stage. Cowboys have won 3 of their last 4 and have averaged over 33 ppg in their last 4 outings. The defending champion Patriots have the best record in the AFC, but their offense has been missing that explosiveness. Their last two games they've scored just 20, and 17 points. While the boys can rack up the points they must figure out a solid patriots defense that leads the league in forcing turnovers and doesn't make many mistakes. New England is 4-0 at home. Call it a hunch but i think Dallas is facing the pats at the right time and will shock the world by pulling off the road upset.
PACKERS AT 49ERS - Sunday at 8:20 p.m. on NBC
The outcome of this game could go a long ways in terms of deciding the number one overall seed in the NFC. The well rested Packers are coming off a bye. Aaron Rodgers and company appear to be finally getting in sinc with first year head coach Matt LeFleurs offense. This could be a running backs showcase. Packers rb's have 20 tds (most in the NFL). Niners rb's have 15 td's (tied for 3rd most). The big question is how will the packers Swiss cheese defense plug the holes to slow down a lethal niners ground attack? Are the rugged niners starting to show signs of wear and tear. After suffering their lone loss to Seattle, they had to rally late to get by Arizona. Packers last trip west a few weeks ago was a disaster. They remember. They'll be prepared to play better this time. But it won't be good enough. San fran's physicality will exhaust the pack attack.
RAVENS at RAMS - Monday at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN
Baltimore has been rolling and it doesn't appear they're about to slow down anytime soon. They've won 6 straight they're longest win streak since a 7 game run in 2000 the year they won the Super Bowl. Lamar Jackson is giving defenses nightmares with his running ability and passing accuracy. Ravens lead the league in rushing averaging 203.8 yds per outing. As for the Rams its hard to figure out last year's Super Bowl runner up. But an abundance of injuries have played a huge part in their lack of consistency, infrequent explosive plays, and 3rd place standing in the NFC West. Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and Aaron Donald must find a way to rally the troops or their season could be doomed. Head coach Sean McVay said WR Bradin Cooks who missed the last 2 games due to a concussion should be back for this one. Rams will give it everything they have but they won't have a solution for action JacKson and the Ravens.