Atlanta Falcons Week 12 picks: Predicting each NFC South game

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Nov 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) is sacked by Green Bay Packers defensive end Datone Jones (95) during the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Packers defeated the Vikings 30-15. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Knight

Minnesota Vikings (7-3) at Atlanta Falcons (6-4)

The Falcons appear to be in free fall after dropping three in a row. This week they get to face the surging Vikings, who have rebounded after a slow start to the season. This may be the toughest test yet for Atlanta, and with how they’ve been playing recently I don’t expect them to win. Still, it’s at home, and the Falcons were clearly improved off the bye. Atlanta steals a game against the Vikings here and renews all of our hopes.

Pick: Atlanta 24, Minnesota 23

Carolina Panthers (10-0) at Dallas Cowboys (3-7)

Who is going to be the team that knocks off the Panthers? It could be Dallas, who are suddenly looking dangerous with the returns of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Carolina is still a very good team, and they should be favored, but they aren’t good enough to go 16-0. At some point they’re going to lose. Good luck guessing that team, though (hopefully the Falcons).

Pick: Carolina 27, Dallas 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5) at Indianapolis Colts (5-5)

The Bucs have clawed their way back to .500, as have the Colts. Neither team is particularly impressive. Tampa has shown off some quality offense with Doug Martin and Jameis Winston. Indy has been a whole lot of average, but that has been enough to win against the AFC South. The Bucs are the more talented team at this point, but can they take advantage?

Pick: Tampa Bay 28, Indianapolis 23

New Orleans Saints (4-6) at Houston Texans (5-5)

New Orleans has turned back into a pumpkin after a streak of impressive offensive performances. Turns out depending on your offense to score 40+ points a week isn’t a great strategy. Meanwhile, Houston has recovered from their early season struggles and suddenly looks scary on defense once again. Particularly at home, the Texans have a chance to put the nail in the coffin that is the Saints’ season.

Pick: Houston 27, New Orleans 24

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Season: 19-16

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