NFL Week 12: Overcoming The Odds – 3 Games to Watch

Richard Graves

Richard Graves

Presenter, Writer and Broadcaster

NFL Week 12: Overcoming The Odds - 3 Games to Watch

Fly Eagles Fly! Can the Colts Ground & Pound the Champs? Lighting it up in Lambeau With the Rams Against the Packers!

 

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants (Eagles -3.5)

The Philadelphia Eagles are enjoying a resurgence, winning 3 of their last 4 games and they have a relatively easy looking schedule through to the end of the season. Prompting some observers to tip them for a post season push! History against the Giants also appears to be on Philly’s side with the Eagles winning 8 of the last 9 meetings. The smallest margin of victory has been by 3 points BUT the Giants did win the last time they played each other in November last year.

Confidence should be high in Philadelphia – they head into this game on the back of impressive wins over Denver and New Orleans. In contrast, Monday night’s defeat to Tampa Bay resulted in the Giants firing offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett.

Don’t look now but the Eagles possess the 8th ranked scoring offense in the NFL – averaging 27 points per game. The Giants average fewer than 19 points per game. At the start of the season it was Giants’ QB Daniel Jones catching the eye with his scrambling plays. More recently the Eagles have utilised Jalen Hurts to great effect on the ground and it’s resulted in wins. That’s a problem for the Giants and their bottom 10 ranked run defense.

Frankly, the Giants look in disarray right now, while the Eagles, buoyed, by another Dallas loss on Thanksgiving and a favourable looking run in, are in the kind of form which should mean they take care of their NFC East rivals.

Eagles -3.5

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Indianapolis Colts (Buccaneers -3)

The Buccaneers needed a win after 2 straight losses and they got it, Monday night against the hapless New York Giants. This weekend, they face an altogether tougher looking proposition.

The Indianapolis Colts have been the NFL’s form team of late and the manner in which they ran the ball and took care of business in Buffalo last weekend was nothing short of impressive! Running back, Jonathan Taylor, scoring a total of 5 touchdowns in the game and pounding the Bills into submission as he racked up 185 yards on the ground. The Colts are now just two games back from the AFC South leading Titans on 6-5. Let’s not forget the Bills have the number 1 ranked defense in football. Well, having overcome that, they now face the Super Bowl champions and their number 1 ranked run defense. That could mean a greater emphasis on the passing game for Indianpolis and QB Carson Wentz.

To his credit, he’s shown a steady improvement this season but the Buccaneers are a different proposition. Wide receiver Antonio Brown may return this weekend for the Buccaneers. Rob Gronkowski is healthy again and of course, when Tom Brady is at QB, good things tend to happen – especially at this end of the season!

The key to this game is the run. If the Buccaneers are able to bottle up Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis have got problems. As improved as Wentz is, he’s still prone to making so head scratching plays and they cost you games when the Super Bowl champions are in town. This should be an entertaining match up but expect the Bucs to come out on top.

Buccaneers -3

 

LA Rams @Green Bay Packers (Total Points +47)

This is a big game in its own right but in the context of the season, this is a big game for the LA Rams. Coming off a bye week and two straight losses, thanks in part, to some awful throws by QB Matthew Stafford.

How important is that bye week? We’re about to find out. High profile trade acquisition Von Miller, will be healthy and have had time to adjust to his new teammates. As will free agency acquisition, Odell Beckham. The concern is that Stafford feels pressure to get the ball to him – and we saw that in the opening drive interception he threw against the San Francisco 49ers. Has the addition of such high profile talent midway through the season disrupted the chemistry in the team?

If it has, you don’t want to be playing the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field on a freezing cold Sunday in November – especially if you’re based in California! The Packers are also coming off a loss to the Vikings last weekend and although Aaron Rodgers is dealing with a broken toe, he’s had a full week working with the team after missing time with Covid and they’ll have a point to prove. Similarly, you have to believe that the Rams have used their bye week to iron out some offensive issues.

The Rams are still averaging 27 points per game and although the Packers are only scoring an average of 22.5 points per game, this is the type of high profile matchup where the stars come out to play. The total points line is set at 47 an when you consider the big play talent on the field, I expect these two teams to comfortably cover that.

Total Points +47

 

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