NFL picks Week 12: Falcons-Vikings and every other game

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January 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) against the Denver Broncos in the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals (-11.5) at San Francisco 49ers

Arizona (8-2) are the best team in the NFC right now in my opinion; San Francisco (3-7) is the worst. It doesn’t matter where this game is played, there is only one winner. The Cardinals have balance. They can run the football, throw the football and play some great defense.

Pick: Arizona 38, San Francisco 14

Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks (-4)

It’s always tough to pick against Seattle (5-5) at home, but they have struggled against good teams this year. Their wins have come over San Francisco (twice), Detroit, Dallas without Tony Romo and Chicago with Jimmy Clausen at quarterback. They have lost twice at home to good teams in Carolina and Arizona, and Pittsburgh (6-4) have the tools to do the same. They can run the ball, throw it deep, and have enough to slow down the Seahawks offense.

Pick: Pittsburgh 27, Seattle 21

New England Patriots (-3) at Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning will miss this game, but maybe that benefits the Broncos (8-2). What makes this interesting is whether Tom Brady and the Patriots (10-0) are able to pick apart the league’s best defense without a number of key players. Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis are out, and it’s possible Danny Amendola will be out too. If Brock Osweiler can do enough offensively, the Broncos can win. I’m not so sure he does.

Pick: New England 24, Denver 20

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (-2.5)

Wow, what a game this is set to be. Or not. It’s probably easier to look at the players not injured for Baltimore (3-7). They will be without Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett, Steve Smith and Terrell Suggs. Sigh. Cleveland (2-8) may start Johnny Manziel, they may not. It doesn’t really matter. Two teams with nothing to play for will wrap up Thanksgiving weekend under the lights.

Pick: Cleveland 18, Baltimore 12

Last week: 8-6
Season: 96-63