I had my chance, but I blew it.
After cutting the MDS lead from eight games to six, it’s back to eight after he swept our Week 11 head-to-head disagreements.
This week, we disagree on four games. If I get swept, it’s over. If I pull off the sweep, it gets interesting.
I was 10-4 last week, and MDS went 12-2. For the year, he’s now 107-55. I’m at 99-63.
MDS’s take: The winner of this game will be the favorite to win the AFC South, and I think the Texans will bounce back from last week’s ugly loss to the Ravens and turn in a big performance.
MDS’s pick: Texans 30, Colts 20.
Florio’s pick: Colts 27, Texans 24.
MDS’s take: Traveling across the country for an early game won’t be easy for the Seahawks, but I see Russell Wilson having a big game as Seattle earns an important win in the NFC playoff race.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 27, Eagles 21.
Florio’s take: Backs-Against-The-Wall Eagles are the best Eagles.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 27, Seahawks 24.
Lions at Washington
MDS’s take: The Lions’ defense has been a mess this season and is only getting worse, but a visit to Washington to face Dwayne Haskins should cure that.
MDS’s pick: Lions 21, Washington 13.
Florio’s take: It’s fitting that the team with ownership that traces back to Henry Ford is playing the NFL’s current version of the Edsel.
Florio’s pick: Lions 20, Washington 13.
Raiders at Jets
MDS’s take: The Raiders still have some work to do in their rebuilding effort, but they’re further along than most were expecting in Year 2 for Jon Gruden, and they’ll get another win on Sunday to remain in playoff contention.
MDS’s pick: Raiders 20, Jets 17.
Florio’s pick: Jets 20, Raiders 17.
Panthers at Saints
MDS’s take: The Saints shouldn’t have much trouble shutting down a struggling Panthers offense.
MDS’s pick: Saints 17, Panthers 7.
Florio’s take: Each of the three quarterbacks on New Orleans’ roster is better than either of the options available to Carolina.
Florio’s pick: Saints 31, Panthers 20.
Dolphins at Browns
MDS’s take: It’s probably too little, too late for the Browns to get to the playoffs, but they shouldn’t have much trouble earning their third straight victory on Sunday.
MDS’s pick: Browns 28, Dolphins 14.
Florio’s take: The surge continues for a Cleveland team that can still make it to January.
Florio’s pick: Browns 30, Dolphins 13.
MDS’s take: The Steelers are staying in playoff contention and the Bengals are staying in the lead for the first overall pick in the draft.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 20, Bengals 17.
Florio’s take: The Steelers aren’t the Steelers that we’re used to, but the Bengals have given new meaning to bungling.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 24, Bengals 16.
Giants at Bears
MDS’s take: Matt Nagy’s offense has been a mess this season, but I think facing the Giants should be just the thing to get them back on track.
MDS’s pick: Bears 27, Giants 17.
Florio’s take: A team that has no business being in the playoff race somehow stays on the fringes of it.
Florio’s pick: Bears 27, Giants 17.
Broncos at Bills
MDS’s take: I like the way Brandon Allen, the Broncos’ young quarterback, is playing, and I’m tempted to pick the Broncos to pull the upset. But after their collapse against the Vikings last week, I’m not sure I can trust the Broncos to play well on the road for four quarters.
MDS’s pick: Bills 20, Broncos 17.
Florio’s take: Josh Allen > Brandon Allen.
Florio’s pick: Bills 13, Broncos 10.
Buccaneers at Falcons
MDS’s take: The Falcons are turning things around — probably too late to make a difference this season, but possibly not too late to save coach Dan Quinn’s job. I think they’ll win another one on Sunday.
MDS’s pick: Falcons 24, Buccaneers 20.
Florio’s take: Dirk Koetter gets his revenge. (How dare they fire a guy who deserved it.)
Florio’s pick: Falcons 30, Buccaneers 20.
Jaguars at Titans
MDS’s take: The Jaguars laid an egg in Nick Foles‘ return on Sunday, and they’re in for another rough game on Sunday against a Titans team that is still in playoff contention.
MDS’s pick: Titans 28, Jaguars 17.
Florio’s take: As the Colts and Texans jockey for the AFC South lead, the Titans continue to lurk.
Florio’s pick: Titans 23, Jaguars 21.
Cowboys at Patriots
MDS’s take: Dak Prescott is playing outstanding football right now, but the Patriots’ pass defense will give him fits.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 20, Cowboys 13.
Florio’s take: Bill Belichick > Kellen Moore.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 20, Cowboys 17.
Packers at 49ers
MDS’s take: San Francisco has been a little shaky in recent weeks, but I see the 49ers’ defense shutting down Aaron Rodgers and earning a big win.
MDS’s pick: 49ers 28, Packers 10.
Florio’s take: The 49ers are banged up, the Packers are rested, and Aaron Rodgers will surely be reminding his teammates of what happened the last time they played in California. (I’m reserving the right to change this pick during Football Night in America, based on the 49ers’ actives and inactives.)
Florio’s pick: Packers 27, 49ers 23.
Ravens at Rams
MDS’s take: Are the Rams still contenders? This is the game when they can make a statement, but I just don’t think they’re playing well enough right now to beat a team like the Ravens.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 27, Rams 17.
Florio’s take: Here’s something that would have been inconceivable a year ago — the Ravens’ offense is significantly better than the Rams’ offense.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 30, Rams 23.