Another Crazy Week: What We Learned in NFL Week 12

NFL Nov 28, 2021

Ten highlights and lowlights from NFL Week 12, along with some betting thoughts

The NFL has become almost impossible to predict from week to week.  One game, a top-ranked team plays like a Super Bowl contender.  The next game, they lose to the NFL's worst team.  Indeed, Tom Brady may be the only thing that remains consistent during this football season.  He's now the solid betting favourite to win the NFL's MVP award.

So, what did we learn about the NFL in week 12, which included three Thanksgiving Day games?  Well, the answer is – plenty, or nothing at all....depending on one's perspective.

Here is goes:

[Note this is being posted without knowing the outcome of the MNF Seattle at Washington game]

(1)  Which Los Angeles team is the bigger bust – the Rams or the Chargers?  

Answer:  It's tough to know.  A month ago, the Rams were near the top of the NFC race and were considered by some to be the favourites to earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.  Then, the Rams improved their roster with some high-profile trades  Next, the Rams turned into the Lambs went out and got hammered by Tennessee, spanked by San Francisco, and then on Sunday – pounded by Green Bay, despite many Packers' injuries.  Meanwhile, the Chargers who were once 4-1 and now 6-5 and will struggle to make the post-season.  November was a really bad month for LA football.

(2)  The Green Bay Packers continue to defy the odds and win.

Each week, we think this will be the game where the Packers get exposed. However, they just win.  Green Bay moved to 9-3 on the season with their demolition of the Rams, despite having several injuries to the offensive line, and QB Rodgers hobbled with turf toe.  The Packers are going to be tough to beat in January if they host playoff games.

(3)  Most interesting game of the week – Minnesota at San Francisco.

Usually, a game between two 5-5 teams doesn't merit consideration as the game of the week.  However, both the Vikings and 49ers have been playing well, and their matchup in San Francisco basically amounted to a late-Nov. playoff game.  The action swung back and forth for four quarters with the 49ers proving they're deserving of being taken seriously.  Minnesota, burdened with the Achilles Heel of a bad defense, will probably have to win 5 or their last 6 games to make the playoffs.

(4)  The Dallas Cowboys are terribly coached.  

Okay, we knew this already.  Nonetheless, Thursday's OT loss versus Las Vegas was an exclamation point on incompetence.  The Cowboys had lost 2 of 3 and looked to be in a great spot to rebound against the struggling Raiders.  Then, they went out an committed 17 penalties for nearly 180 yards.  Hard to believe this stat, but that's the most in team history for a franchise dating back all the way to 1960.

(5)  The Cincinnati Bengals are for real.  

Nobody could be sure about the long-suffering Bengals, who have enjoyed a very positive season even though they weren't expected to contend in the AFC North. After Sunday's 41-10 thrashing of Pittsburgh, good for the season sweep of the Steelers, it's time to take the Bengals seriously.  The Bengals are improving by the week and the rushing game make them a serious threat against just about any opponent.

(6)  Tampa Bay is the NFL's best team.  

Arizona may end up with the NFC's best record, but there's no doubt the Buccaneers would be favoured against any opponent right now they way they're playing.  Yes, even on the road.  Tampa Bay beat a very good Colts team and is virtually assured of winning the NFC South title.  As long as they're healthy, the Super Bowl champions are a formidable force to any challenger, even Green Bay.

(7)  The NFL's worst team is – Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, NY Jets (take your pick).

Normally, a winless team like the Lions would be considered the worst team in the league.  However, Detroit has played tough in plenty of games, including the home loss on Thursday to Chicago.  They also 7-4 against-the-spread.  My pick for the NFL's worst team is Jacksonville.  Losing to awful Atlanta on Sunday moves them to the bottom the deck.    

(8)  Patriots Dynasty Mach 2?  

Yeah, it's way too early to be asking.  Nevertheless, New England has suddenly turned into a force in the AFC.  The Patriots have won 6 straight.  They continue to improve both on offense and defense.  And, this team coached by arguably the best of all-time now has confidence that wasn't there back at the end of September.  New England's showdown next Monday night against rival Buffalo looks to be a possible game of the year.

(9)  Retirement plans on the horizon for Ben Roethlisberger?

Sunday's ass-kicking loss at Cincinnati probably ends the fruitful career of Big Ben.  The Steelers have gone 0-2-1 their last three and are now 5-7, facing a difficult schedule.  Roethlisberger's talents were slipping already and he doesn't have the supporting cast around him to make up for so many shortcomings.  The next few weeks watching Roethlisberger might be ugly for Steelers' fans.

(10)  POINTSPREADS.CA'S NFL TOP TEN  

  1. Tampa Bay
  2. Arizona
  3. Green Bay
  4. New England
  5. Buffalo
  6. Baltimore
  7. Kansas City
  8. San Francisco
  9. Dallas
  10. Las Vegas

Happy News--POINTSPREADS.CA NFL handicapping record – Let's end the weekly report on another positive note.  Here at the POINTSPREADS.CA site every Sunday, we post our picks prior to kickoff.  With Week 12 partially completed, we're now at 60 wins and 48 losses for the season, with two picks still undetermined.