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NFL Week 12 Can Frank Gore Catch Barry Saunders

The Elimination Game Begins

Week Twelve has arrived and surprisingly at this late stage, only the hapless Cincinnati Bengals are officially eliminated from the race for the Super Bowl. Thus 31 teams will enter the weekend with their dreams still alive. So with practically the whole league still just about in it, who’s life support will be turned off this week? Well only three teams can be officially eliminated with a loss, these being Tampa Washington & the NY Giants (the NFC East is not having a vintage season!)

Tampa has a tricky road game at a suddenly revitalised Atlanta who have won their last two games on the road against good teams and although they have probably left it too late to make the postseason they could still make some waves in the NFC South title race. Fortunately for the Buccs even losing this one is unlikely to completely end their season as there is a permutation that poys an 8-8 team in the wild cards.

The Giants also have to go on the road and they will be underdogs against the Bears, who are not as bad as their 4-6 record would indicate given four of those losses were in one-score games. They similarly could lose and still stay in it, but they would need Dallas to lose too. Given the Cowboys have to travel to the Patriots there is a good chance we still mention them next week.

The team most likely to join the Bengals is Washington who’s only hopes rest with sneaking the NFC East with a losing record (yes it has happened before). They travel to Detroit and their main ray of hope comes from the fact that Matt Stafford will be missing at QB for the third consecutive game. The Lions have lost their last three, but all by one score and should be too strong in this one. Overall we think the Skins will be the only one to go this week leaving 30 hopefuls going into week 13, which should be unlucky for some.

Game Of The Week

A couple of contenders here, but for most the big one will be the Packers taking on the 49ers in a game which might end up deciding who gets home-field advantage in the NFC.   The 49ers will be without Dee Ford and this will hurt their pass rush – not a good thing when Aaron Rodgers is coming to town.  The other big games are the Cowboys at the Patriots and the Monday night game which sees the Ravens travel to the Rams. The results of these three will have ramifications in both conferences.

Watch Out For:

Oakland who have been quietly putting together a string of nice results. They have won their last three and the toughest part of their schedule looks to be behind them. If as we expect they take care of the Jets this week they could find themselves firmly ensconced in the Wild Card places, and they would have the Chiefs looking nervously over their shoulders.

Also, the Buffalo game will be of interest for the statheads out there as Frank Gore only needs 46 yards rushing to move into third all-time in rushing ahead of Bary Sanders.  That record could go on Sunday. Mind you he will have to play at least another season (or two) if he is going to catch Walter Peyton in second.

Weeks Predictions

Anyway here is week twelves remaining fixtures together with our predictions – Houston has already played beating the Colts 20-17 to move clear at the top of the AFC South.

Sunday Night 

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta -3.5

Atlanta 27 Tampa 17

Denver @ Buffalo -4

Buffalo 17 – Denver 10

NY Giants @ Chicago Bears -6

Chicago 24 NY Giants 17

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati +6.5

Pittsburgh 20 Cincinnati 17

Miami @ Cleveland -10.5

Cleveland 21 Miami 17

Carolina @ New Orleans -10

New Orleans 31 Carolina 20

Oakland @ NY Jets +3

Oakland 24 NY Jets 12

Seattle @ Philadelphia -1

Seattle 21 Philadelphia 18

Detroit @ Washington +3.5

Detroit 20 Washington 14

Jacksonville @ Tennessee -3.5

Tenessee 24 Jacksonville 21

Dallas @ New England -6

New England 27 Dallas 20

Green Bay @ San Francisco -3.5

Green Bay 31 San Francisco 28

Monday Night

Baltimore @ LA Rams +3

La Rams 28 Baltimore 26

Bye Week
Kansas City Minnesota Arizona LA Chargers

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