Derrick Gunn makes his picks for Week 12 of the NFL season.
Bears at Eagles (Sunday 1 p.m. on FOX)
Their record says the Bears are a 3-7 team, but their play on the field shows they can be competitive. The Bears have lost their last three games by eight, seven and three points. Their three wins this season have been against Pittsburgh (in overtime), Baltimore and Carolina. They have an impressive run game that averages 131.8 yards, which is fifth-best in the league, featuring second-year back Jordan Howard, who is third in the league in rushing with 84.1 yards per game, and rookie Tarik Cohen. Both average over four yards per carry. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has shown promise, but he's still a rookie and prone to make mistakes. Chicago's offense averages just 17.4 points. Their defense is ranked 11th and can get after the quarterback with 29 sacks, tied for fourth-best in the league.
Unfortunately for the Bears, they are running into a red-hot Eagles squad that is firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. Carson Wentz and his crew are shredding defenses and the Birds’ defense is making Sundays miserable for opposing offenses.
I look for this to be an entertaining game for maybe the first 30 minutes, then I expect the Birds to send the Bears into hibernation.
Pick: Eagles 30, Bears 14
Tampa Bay at Atlanta (Sunday 1 p.m. on FOX)
Don't look now, but it looks like the Falcons are getting their mojo back. The defending NFC champs are coming off wins over Dallas and Seattle, but they're still looking up to New Orleans and Carolina in the NFC South. Running back Devonta Freeman is still in concussion protocol and will miss this game, but the Falcons still have more than enough firepower to handle a Bucs squad that's won two in a row, though Tampa Bay’s defense is ranked 29th.
Cleveland at Cincinnati (Sunday 1 p.m. on CBS)
The headline in this battle of Ohio isn't about which team will win this game, but which coach might lose his job first, Hue Jackson or Marvin Lewis. The Browns can't win a game and the Bengals are going nowhere but home at the conclusion of the regular season. Cleveland will lose its 11th straight.
Tennessee at Indianapolis (Sunday 1 p.m. on FOX)
The Titans have playoff aspirations, but they have a lot of work to do. The Colts can't run the ball and can't score. Tennessee should be able to run right through Indy.
Buffalo at Kansas City (Sunday 1 p.m. on CBS)
What in the world has happened to both of these teams? The Bills were 5-2 at one point and the Chiefs were dominating their division. Now Buffalo has lost three straight, can't figure out the QB situation and is fighting to stay above .500. The Chiefs have lost two in a row, but they are still on top of the AFC West. Andy Reid is not a happy man right now and his guys know it. The Chiefs will unleash their frustrations on the Bills.
Miami at New England (Sunday 1 p.m. on CBS)
Until further notice, the Pats are the best team in the AFC (what else is new). The Dolphins will be without quarterback Jay Cutler, who's still in concussion protocol. Tom Brady is in a zone, leading the league in passing (3,147 yards), with 22 touchdowns and just two interceptions. The Pats should put this one away by halftime.
Carolina at New York Jets (Sunday 1 p.m. on FOX)
The Panthers are hot, winners of three in a row. They have linebacker Luke Kuechly back on the field, and now Cam Newton gets his tight end back. Greg Olsen, who's been out since Week 2 with a broken foot, returns this week. The Jets have lost four of the last five but still have slim postseason hopes. You never know which Jets team will show up week-to-week, but the Panthers will be ready for them.
Seattle at San Francisco (Sunday 4:05 p.m. on FOX)
Last week, Pete Carroll made a bad coaching decision, and it cost the Seahawks a chance to beat Atlanta. Thanks to the Rams losing, Seattle is still within striking distance of the NFC West title. The lowly Niners won't be much of an obstacle this week.
Denver at Oakland (Sunday 4:25 p.m. on CBS)
The Broncos and Raiders have been two of the biggest disappointments of the year. The Broncos have QB issues and are now turning to rookie Paxton Lynch. The Raiders fired defensive coordinator Ken Morton Jr. with hopes of shaking up that lethargic unit. The Raiders' offense vs. the Broncos' defense will be interesting to watch. Oakland’s offense wins this matchup.
New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday 4:25 p.m. on CBS)
This is the marquee matchup of the week. The Rams are trying to regroup after their high-flying offense crashed in Minnesota. The Saints are looking to extend an eight-game winning streak. It’s the old man Drew Brees vs. the young gun Jared Goff. In big game situations like this, I like to rely on experience. Brees and the Saints win a shootout.
Jacksonville at Arizona (Sunday 4:25 p.m. on CBS)
I still can't get used to calling Jacksonville a division leader, but the times have changed. The Jags' defense is rock solid, first overall (276.6 yards allowed), first in pass defense (162.0) and first in points allowed (14.1). The Cards, just 2-2 at home this year, will lose their third straight overall.
Green Bay at Pittsburgh (Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on NBC)
The Packers got embarrassed last week at home vs. Baltimore, and Green Bay QB Brett Hundley appears to be lost. Now to add to the Packers’ woes, they venture into the Steelers’ den to face a team trying to keep pace with New England for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Packers don’t have a prayer in this one.
Houston at Baltimore (Monday 8:30 p.m. on ESPN)
Right now the Ravens are the sixth seed in the AFC. They haven’t played at home since late October. For a second straight week, the Ravens face a backup QB. They destroyed Hundley in Green Bay. This time Tom Savage is in trouble.