NFL Week 12 open thread

posted at 11:01 am on November 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The Pittsburgh Steelers go on the road today without their top two quarterbacks, both of whom now have rib injuries.  Big Ben Roethlisberger (a new daddy, BTW) also has a shoulder injury and is expected to be out for two more weeks, when he may be ready for the home game against the Chargers — which I’ll attend in person.  Byron Leftwich is out, too, the result of cracked ribs suffered early in the narrow loss to Baltimore last week.  Instead, Pittsburgh will start Charlie Batch against the Cleveland Browns, with newly-signed Brian Hoyer backing up Batch.  Expect a lot of running from Pittsburgh today against the 24th-ranked run defense, although Batch has a new target in the recently-returned Plaxico Burress, too.  Even this version of the Steelers should be able to handle the 2-8 Browns, and Pittsburgh really needs the win after the heartbreaker against the Ravens.  Steelers 24-10 over Cleveland.

Combining last Sunday’s results to those on Thanksgiving, I went 6-3 to move my season record to 50-19.  Can I keep the momentum?  Let’s find out:

  • Vikings at Bears (Fox, 1 pm ET) – Da Bears got beat up pretty good the last two weeks, especially without Jay Cutler in the lineup.  Minnesota isn’t a very good road team.  However, Cutler’s only had limited practice this week, and I think this could be an upset in the making.  I’ll take the Vikes 27-19 over Da Bears.
  • Packers at Giants (NBC, 8:20) – This might be the game of the week.  Both teams desperately need a win; the Pack needs Chicago to lose, and the Giants need to stay ahead of Washington and Dallas.  The Packers have played better ball than the Giants of late, however, although New York just got a badly-needed bye.  I’ll pick the Pack to win this one, perhaps in OT, 38-35 in a shootout.
  • Ravens at Chargers (CBS, 4:05) – Well, I know how I’d like to see this game come out, and the Chargers do have a shot at a win.  Baltimore was hardly impressive against a beaten-up Steelers squad last week, and they’re not a great road team anyway.  I’ll root for the Chargers, but they’re worse at home than the Ravens are on the road.  Baltimore 23, San Diego 17.
  • Falcons at Buccaneers (Fox, 1 ET) – The Falcons need to keep winning in order to lock in home-field advantage in the playoffs, but they won’t keep winning if they play like they did last week.  Tampa Bay is surprisingly improved, and tough at home.  I’ll pick the Bucs to pick a couple of Matt Ryan passes and score an upset at home, 31-27.
  • Panthers at Eagles (ESPN Monday Night Football, 8:30) – This will probably be a good matchup for two teams not going anywhere, and interesting mainly for the subtext of what it means for the future for Philadelphia.  Andy Reid has lost six straight games for the first time as Philly head coach, and he’s widely rumored to be on the way out of the Eagles franchise.  Michael Vick will be out again, so Reid will play Nick Foles, who may be the future of the franchise.  But there’s a lot more wrong with the Eagles than Vick, and Foles won’t have LeSean Jackson to help him out.  Expect Cam Newton to take advantage of Philly’s defense and the Panthers to win one on the road, 31-20.

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Go Irish beat Bama !

celtic warrior on November 25, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Here’s hoping the Cleveland Browns’ defensive line puts the hurt on Ben Roethlisberger Byron Leftwich Charlie Batch today.

Hot Gas on November 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM

…the Detoit Lions can’t lose today!
Boy the Irish were good last night!

KOOLAID2 on November 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Go Steelers!!! …and f those that wish injuries on others.

CW on November 25, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Looking forward to a great Saints-49er game!

cane_loader on November 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Go Browns! This is our best shot to beat some Steelers.

wildcat72 on November 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Pappys Pigskin Picks of the Week.

Purple Horn Heads from Lakeland against the grimy Rahm Emmanuel gangstas of ChiTown. Norsemen for the win.

Cheeseheads against the Bloomberg Babes of NYC. Unless Eli is asleep it’s not going to be pretty. Gigantics eat cheese, spit it out, grind it into the Sandy soaked streets.

Edgar Allen Poe birds against the defunded Power plant from Northern Mexico? Poe birds for the win.

Piratey Pirates from the Bay against the the Peachbirds? Peachies sink Pirate ship.

Carolina PussyCamCats against the bluest city in North America. Never, never will pick the Teaterbirds from PA again. Cam for da win.

Is it time for Faith Hills’ leggy leg legs to show up yet?

PappyD61 on November 25, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Ed, you are wishfully thinking that the Steelers hole filled offensive line can stop the resurgent browns defense. If you are lucky Batch might survive the game. 24-10 brownies.

stephana on November 25, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Looking forward to a great Saints-49er game!

cane_loader on November 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Yep as the Steelers will have their third string QB and their most dynamic Defensive player out.

CW on November 25, 2012 at 11:17 AM

…the Detoit Lions can’t lose today!
Boy the Irish were good LUCKY last night!

KOOLAID2 on November 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM

FIFY…

I am sure the Letters to the Editor of the LA Times will run 9-1 to fire Lane Kiffin…

Very winnable game by USC…

Good luck against Alabama… you’re gonna need it… Lou Sabin won’t run a game that poorly in the Red Zone…

Khun Joe on November 25, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Ed, you are wishfully thinking that the Steelers hole filled offensive line can stop the resurgent browns defense. If you are lucky Batch might survive the game. 24-10 brownies.

stephana on November 25, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Yup, especially with Phil Taylor back last week from a torn pectoral to clog up the running lanes and get nice push up the middle.

Also, Joe Haden is back this week, too, so maybe there will be a few coverage sacks as well.

Hot Gas on November 25, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Ed-

Come clean……… That’s not a prediction…….that’s just pure antagonism.

Mr. Hewitt does not approve.

FlaMurph on November 25, 2012 at 11:23 AM

When is San Diego going to get rid of Nervous Norvus Turner? The dude is a walking jinx.

Del Dolemonte on November 25, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Like Chicago(Pk), Green Bay(+3), San Diego(+1), Tampa Bay(+1), Carolina(+2 1/2). Going with the dogs this week …

TouchdownBuddha on November 25, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Eagles vs Panthers? Maybe it will be so cold that both teams freeze to death on the field and put their fans out of their misery.

We can always hope.

Kempermanx on November 25, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I never trust Cam Cameron calling plays on the road and a game against a bad Chargers team shouldn’t even be a question as to what should happen. Not when you have Cam Cameron calling his high school offense on the road.

My Ravens should win but I’m not so sure. Hopefully they can eke out some points and we’ll get the “it comes down to execution, NOT my idiotic playcalling” speech from Cam and/or Harbaugh.

ManWithNoName on November 25, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Boy the Irish were good LUCKY last night!

KOOLAID2 on November 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM

.
FIFY…

I am sure the Letters to the Editor of the LA Times will run 9-1 to fire Lane Kiffin…

Very winnable game by USC…

Good luck against Alabama… you’re gonna need it… Lou Sabin won’t run a game that poorly in the Red Zone…

Khun Joe on November 25, 2012 at 11:19 AM

.
I thought both teams played well, except USC in the Red Zone.

I couldn’t understand the rationale for those running-straight-at-the-line plays, at all.

You wouldn’t necessarily know from the score, but it was a slam-bangin’ defensive struggle. My kind of game.

listens2glenn on November 25, 2012 at 11:38 AM

OT conspiracy sidetrack: And now the break-in to go with the coverup.

faraway on November 25, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Go Irish beat Bama !

I would support the Irish… if they didn’t have a rapist playing Linebacker..

ninjapirate on November 25, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Baltimore was hardly impressive against a beaten-up Steelers squad last week, and they’re not a great road team anyway.

Well, it’s not like the Ravens are the picture of good health themselves:
- no Ray Lewis;
- no Lardarius Webb (major loss);
- no Jimmy Smith;
- no Dennis Pita;
- hurt Haloti Ngata;
- hurt Ed Reed (basically playing with one arm right now);
- 70% (at most) Terrell Suggs;

And that’s just from memory. We also lost the corner we signed just last week after the first quarter of the game against the Steelers.

So … cry me a river. The injury bug is killing both teams right now.

Nonetheless, I’m picking the Chargers over the Ravens. As much as I want the Ravens to win, Rivers should pick their wounded secondary apart today. He’s not who he used to be, but he doesn’t have to be. Not today.

nukemhill on November 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Even Jesus cant beat the SEC

faraway on November 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Ed, you are wishfully thinking that the Steelers hole filled offensive line can stop the resurgent browns defense. If you are lucky Batch might survive the game. 24-10 brownies.

stephana on November 25, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Who besides Gilbert is out?

-

I do get a kick out of the Browns fans . What a hoot. You guys will be lucky to sniff the SB in the next 25 years.

CW on November 25, 2012 at 11:44 AM

nukemhill on November 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Overall though the injury situation is not even close when you consider WHO was out.

CW on November 25, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Let’s go Vikings!

gophergirl on November 25, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I’m jacked & pumped for some football but sad that we likely won’t see any more entertaining as hell Butt6 bumble plays with the Jests off this Sunday

philw1776 on November 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM

PappyD61 on November 25, 2012 at 11:14 AM

LMAO!

Tim_CA on November 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Overall though the injury situation is not even close when you consider WHO was out.

CW on November 25, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Sorry, but I disagree. Between an enormously ineffective d-line (Ngata can’t get any pressure up the middle, and Suggs is nothing off the edge right now), and a seriously porous secondary, the Ravens defense is in horrible shape. The Steelers O should have picked them apart. Even without Big Ben.

It was a push, as far as I can tell. Critical players are missing from both teams. Which was reflected in the score.

nukemhill on November 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Trivia Question:
What do all of these players have in common?
(well, except maybe Tony Gonzalez)

Lorenzo Alexander

Washington Redskins

Linebacker

Tyson Alualu

Jacksonville Jaguars

Defensive Tackle

Bryan Anger

Jacksonville Jaguars

Punter

Nnamdi Asomugha

Philadelphia Eagles

Cornerback

Jahvid Best

Detroit Lions

Running Back

Desmond Bishop

Green Bay Packers

Linebacker

D.J. Campbell

Carolina Panthers

Safety

Andre Carter

Oakland Raiders

Defensive End

Chris Conte

Chicago Bears

Safety

Brian De La Puente

New Orleans Saints

Center

Thomas DeCoud

Atlanta Falcons

Safety

Justin Forsett

Houston Texans

Running Back

Scott Fujita

Cleveland Browns

Linebacker

Matt Giordano

Oakland Raiders

Safety

Tony Gonzalez

Atlanta Falcons

Tight End

Nick Harris

Detroit Lions

Punter

Lavelle Hawkins

Tennessee Titans

Wide Receiver

DeSean Jackson

Philadelphia Eagles

Wide Receiver

Marvin Jones

Cincinnati Bengals

Wide Receiver

Cameron Jordan

New Orleans Saints

Defensive End

Mychal Kendricks

Philadelphia Eagles

Linebacker

L.P. LaDouceur

Dallas Cowboys

Long Snapper

Marshawn Lynch

Seattle Seahawks

Running Back

Alex Mack

Cleveland Browns

Center

Brandon Mebane

Seattle Seahawks

Defensive Tackle

Cameron Morrah

Seattle Seahawks

Tight End

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers

Quarterback

Mitchell Schwartz

Cleveland Browns

Offensive Tackle

Craig Stevens

Tennessee Titans

Tight End

Nick Sundberg

Washington Redskins

Long Snapper

Will Ta’ufo’ou

Jacksonville Jaguars

Fullback

Shane Vereen

New England Patriots

Running Back

MichaelGabriel on November 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Actually, Andre Carter and a couple of others might not tecnically qualify for this list (I’d have to check, too lazy).

MichaelGabriel on November 25, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Answer to trivia question:
Their college coach is looking for a new job.
Any of your favorite NFL teams looking for an Offensive Coordinator?

MichaelGabriel on November 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Well the Vikings are getting their butts kicked. Oh well.

gophergirl on November 25, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I’ll take the Vikes 27-19 over Da Bears.

You were saying? ;-)

JimLennon on November 25, 2012 at 3:39 PM

You were saying? ;-)

JimLennon on November 25, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Da Bears kicked our butts from kickoff. That was embarrassing.

gophergirl on November 25, 2012 at 4:11 PM

If the New Orleans Saints had any kind of a defense, they could easily have an 8-2 record. In their first four games of the season the Saints lost by a combined 20 points, and the last two by a combined 4 points. (in the four losses, the Saints averaged 27.5 PPG and gave up 32.5 PPG in the same stretch). Little has changed for the Saints—they are ranked dead last (#32) in the NFL in total team defense, while ranking #8 in total offense with a 28.7 average.

Conversely, the San Francisco Forty Niners rank #2 in total team defense in the NFL, (just behind the Steelers). They are ranked #1 in total points allowed (134) and #1 in average points per game allowed, (13.4). On offense the 49ers are ranked #13 in total team offense, (far better than their #26 ranking in 2011, despite their narrow loss in the NFC Championship game). The 49ers are also 3-1 on the road this year.

On paper, (statistically), the 49ers should prevail over the Saints. If they play anywhere close to the level they played against the Bears, it’s a no-brainer. If they play the way they played against the Rams two weeks ago, they’ll get eaten alive.

Rovin on November 25, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Oh, I forgot……Go Niners!!!!!!!

Rovin on November 25, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Congrats Browns…you had net 7 takeaways and won by 6 points. Your future is bright.

CW on November 25, 2012 at 4:22 PM

ROOOOOOOOONEEEEEYs LOOOOOOOOSE and I love it.
NOW START PAYING YOUR TAXES AND STADIUM IMPROVEMENTS.

nimrod on November 25, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Rovin on November 25, 2012 at 4:15 PM

I saw those Talking Heads on NFL Network talking about the Saints’ poor D just the other night-they all seemed to agree that even though their D does still suck, they have greatly improved their takeway numbers on D. In fact, going into today’s game they have a total of 14 takeways, while SF has 15.

As for as giveways, Drew Brees has 9 INTs. That doesn’t help either.

Del Dolemonte on November 25, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Congrats Browns…you had net 7 takeaways and won by 6 points. Your future is bright.

CW on November 25, 2012 at 4:22 PM

No one ever said the Cleveland offense was any good.

Besides, the offense is young (most players have less than two years of experience).

Hot Gas on November 25, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Wow. The Niners/Saints game is really good so far. 14/14 at the half…

Ugly on November 25, 2012 at 5:51 PM

True, or just funny fiction?? A 7 year-old boy caused quite a commotion in a Philadelphia courtroom when he challenged the judge and refused to allow any of his relatives to be awarded custody of him. His parents were stripped of custody because they beat him, but apparently so did his grandparents, aunts & uncles. In frustration the judge allowed the boy to suggest who should have custody of him. After two recesses and conferences with child welfare officials, the judge allowed the boy’s request and so temporary custody was awarded to the Philadelphia Eagles, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone….

J_Crater on November 25, 2012 at 5:59 PM

J_Crater on November 25, 2012 at 5:59 PM

HA!!

Ugly on November 25, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Wow. The Niners/Saints game is really good so far. 14/14 at the half…

Ugly on November 25, 2012 at 5:51 PM

They have a longtime rivalry going back many years; remember that the Saints (and Falcons) were actually in the NFC West with the Niners, which was a geographical joke and a half.

Del Dolemonte on November 25, 2012 at 6:41 PM

They have a longtime rivalry going back many years; remember that the Saints (and Falcons) were actually in the NFC West with the Niners, which was a geographical joke and a half.

Del Dolemonte on November 25, 2012 at 6:41 PM

I didn’t know that. I really didn’t care for football that much (other than the Superbowl) until 2007 or so, when my son was in the marching band, and we’d go to the high school games. Then my daughter was also in the marching band.

I got hooked.

At 48, I’m still pretty ignorant about the rules and the game itself… but man I love it.

Ugly on November 25, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Niners have it now…

Ugly on November 25, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Man, what’s up with Bunkley?

Ugly on November 25, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Del Dolemonte on November 25, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Two take-aways/giveaways apiece. Niner defense in the second half was the difference.

Rovin on November 25, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Eight turnovers. Ooooof.

#LoveTheBrownies #GoRavens

BKeyser on November 25, 2012 at 9:01 PM

How well did Kaepernick do in his second start?

I see no reason why he won’t start again next week.

Rovin on November 25, 2012 at 10:23 PM