N.F.L. Week 12 Predictions: Our Picks for Each Game
Taylor Heinicke has won four of his five starts for the Commanders this season, and Coach Ron Rivera officially named him the starter for the rest of the season. After upsetting the Eagles in Week 10, Heinicke and the Commanders became betting darlings: This week they attracted 66 percent of the bets and 76 percent of the early money. But even at 6-5, Washington is at the bottom of the N.F.C. East and will have to claw its way through the rest of the schedule if they’re going to make the postseason.
For their part, the Falcons are a half-game behind the Buccaneers in the N.F.C. South and need to win the division to make it to the postseason. Neither of these offenses has been particularly impressive. The Commanders have averaged 4.5 yards per play and 165 passing yards per game over their last three games; the Falcons are relying heavily on running back Cordarrelle Patterson with tight end Kyle Pitts out with a medial collateral ligament injury. These teams match up well, so the points on the spread are valuable. Pick: Falcons +4.5
The Jets had 2 yards of offense — an average of 2.7 inches per play — in the second half of a bad loss to the Patriots last week in Foxborough, Mass. A lot of the blame fell on the second-year quarterback Zach Wilson, who was benched in favor of Mike White on Wednesday.
Despite their record and not being able to generate any pressure on opposing quarterbacks, the Bears have a far better outlook than the Jets. Justin Fields has been impressive keeping games close against playoff contenders, though he hurt his left shoulder and was listed as day to day. He’s a difference-maker and the backup Trevor Siemian is not. If Fields is out, the Jets’ defense will make quick work of chopping through the Bears’ terrible offensive line. Pick: Jets -4.5
The Eagles’ defensive line has wobbled against the run, a problem the team hoped to plug by acquiring the services of the veteran tackles Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh ahead of Week 11. They’ll get tested against the Packers and Aaron Jones, a top-10 back who has 778 total yards and averages 5.4 yards per carry. Every week is a “must-win game” for the Packers, who need to go on a significant run to have a shot at a wild-card berth. Pick: Eagles -7