Welcome to Week 12 of the NFL. There are some HUGE games in the NFC today; Packers-Giants, 49ers-Saints, Falcons-Bucs. Lots of potential to see some fantasy fireworks. So, surround yourself with a smorgasbord of snacks, a dozen cold ones and tell the family you’re going into hibernations.. Week 12 is a must see!
Let’s take a look at a couple now.
(9-1) Atlanta Falcons at (6-4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
First, let me say that I am in love with the Tampa offence right now, so if this post if tilted towards the Bucs, you know why.
Josh Freeman seems unstoppable right now. Despite a slow start in Carolina last week, Freeman turned on the heat on to lead his team back in the 4thquarter, and eventually winning in OT. Freeman is as hot as any QB in the league, and should be a must start in any format.
The Bucs compliment their QB with the best rookie RB in the game, and one of the hottest overall, Doug Martin. He has a streak of 6 weeks eclipsing the 100 total yards mark, and 7 touchdowns. If you were able to trade for Martin, in a buy low situation around week 5 or 6, congratulations, you are the winner of the Trade Rape award.
Don’t let the 9-1 record fool you, Atlanta is a good team, but has its weaknesses and can be beat. I see Atlanta more as a 6-4 team at the moment. With narrowly escaping with victories against Carolina, Oakland and Arizona, the Falcons are very lucky they aren’t head to head with the Saints for the division lead.
Atlanta is coming off a lack luster performance in Arizona, including 5, count ‘em, 5 interceptions from Matt Ryan. The Cards do have a good defence, but Matt Ryan needs to be better if he wants to keep the Falcons ahead of the surging Saints in the NFC South.
Julio Jones is questionable for today’s game, which is causing all sorts of headaches for owners. Julio has been dy-no-mite on the road this season, so losing him would be a key loss. However, with the Bucs pass defence sitting last in the league, don’t expect Ryan to hold back on throwing. Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez are two of the best in the league in their positions. Looks for them to have MONSTER games.
Picking a winner is tough for this one. The hot Bucs, at home, or the never say die Falcons. I’m picking the Bucs.
(7-2-1) San Francisco 49ers at (5-5) New Orleans Saints
A rematch of the NFC Divisional game last year, the Saints look for redemption in the late afternoon game.
New Orleans has been on a roll lately, winning 5 of their last 6, averaging 29.5 points per game in that stretch. Drew Brees finally appears to be on the same page as his receivers, and in true Sean Payton fashion, he continues to distribute the ball to any, and every, receiver on the field, hitting 9 different people last week.
Marques Colston leads the team in receiving yards, but Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham aren’t far behind with 638 and 562 respectively.
San Franciso is coming off a dominant win against the Chicago Bears on Monday night. Both the offence and defence we clicking in the 32-7 win. But the big story for San Fran will be who will start at QB. Colin Kaepernick had a solid game on Monday. His numbers were good, he made smart decisions, managed the ball well and in the end, earned the respect of his team mates. It is rumoured that Alex Smith will be medically cleared from a concussion he sufferance two weeks ago, so it will be interesting to see who Harbaugh names as the starter.
Either way, it’s the defence, for the 49ers, that need to step up in this one. Rarely do teams match those kinds of performance. Look for a small let down for the 49ers, and for the Saints to avenge their playoff loss of last season. Saints win.
Disagree? Post a comment below.