Kicking off his Week 12 picks, Vinnie reveals his strongest inclination toward teams that share Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears (+3.5): The Bears defense has been allowing less than 300 yards per game and only 14.6 points per game. Even so, setting out to limit the damage LeSean McCoy, Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin routinely inflict on opponents will be a daunting task. Matt Forte will be tough for the Eagles defense to completely shut down, but expect Jay Cutler to make enough mistakes that Philly covers.
Gimme the Eagles minus the points.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills (+6.5): This pick isn’t based on any assumptions around Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Wallace, or Rashard Mendenhall having a bad game. Nay, more of a hunch in favor of Fred Jackson probably struggling against the Steelers run defense, but Ryan Fitzpatrick connecting on enough throws with Steve Johnson and/or Lee Evans to pick up the slack and keep this one interesting. Might there be a handful of lead changes, even?
Gimme the Bills plus the points.
San Diego Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts (-3): The Chargers have won four of their last five against Indy. Their bye week couldn’t have come at a better time, in that players who’d missed significant time either returned to the lineup last week or are scheduled to do so against the Colts. This team is more dangerous right now than it has looked at any point earlier in the season. Vinnie is convinced the Colts will join many a defense before it, which have tried & failed at keeping Philip Rivers from tossing multiple touchdowns while keeping big Mike Tolbert out of the endzone.
Gimme the Chargers plus the points.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Seattle Seahawks (+1): After hitting a two-game skid, the Chiefs got back into serious contention for the AFC West division by crushing Arizona. Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones were in top form, combining for over 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Matt Cassel threw touchdown passes to Dwayne Bowe, which has been the norm. You cannot underestimate how much better Seattle executes at home, but seriously – that defense offers little more resistance than the Arizona’s of the NFL.
Gimme the Chiefs minus the point.
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals (+1): Speaking of the Cardinals, Vinnie likes ’em in Week 12. Underdog by a point despite hosting this division game against the schizophrenic 49ers, and they aren’t out of the playoff picture by any stretch. The NFC West is horrible, folks. Up for grabs among all four teams. Vinnie likes Larry Fitzgerald to headline a gritty, low-scoring but winning performance out of his Cardinals on primetime television.
Gimme the Cardinals plus the point.