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2014 NFL Season: Pokorny's Week 12 Picks

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 of the NFL sees the final week of the byes, and there are plenty of games that are very important to the Cleveland Browns' playoff chances besides their own. Feel free to share your general thoughts on this week's games in the comments section.

Week 12 Games Explanation Pick
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Winless Season? I haven't heard many people talk about the possibility of the Raiders going 0-16 this season, but at 0-10, they are well on their way. Three of their final six games are against the Chiefs (two) and the Broncos (one). With the Chiefs winning five games in a row, the Browns' playoff hopes would be improved if they lost, but I can't see it happening with as well as they are playing. Chiefs 24, Raiders 14

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Mallett Leading the Way: The Browns couldn't get pressure on Ryan Mallett to disrupt him in his debut, and I don't think the Texans will be able to either. Cincinnati's run defense is just as bad as Cleveland's defense, so Houston will be able to use a similar formula on offense. There are plays to be made in the passing game against the Texans' defense, but we've seen Andy Dalton come up short against J.J. Watt and the Texans before (the postseason). Texans 24, Bengals 20

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Brutal Stretch: Even though it's only a two-game stretch, facing the Cardinals and the Patriots in back-to-back weeks on the road, arguably the best teams in the NFC and the AFC, is pretty brutal for the division-leading Lions. The Lions allow the fewest points per game (15.3) and the Patriots score the second most points per game (32.3). This is still an offensive-oriented league and the Patriots are at home, so I'm going with them. Patriots 20, Lions 17

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Climbing to the Top: With the Lions facing the Patriots this week, the Packers have a golden opportunity to reclaim the top spot in the NFC North. The Vikings' defense is better than advertised and they have a relatively committed approach to their running game, so this one could be closer than one might anticipate. I'm not willing to bet against the red-hot Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' offense just yet. Packers 28, Vikings 17

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A Formula? After the Patriots ran for 200+ yards against the Colts last week, the Jaguars' formula should be handing the ball off early and often to Dernard Robinson. They'll need clutch passing, though, which I don't expect from rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. He can't deliver against anybody, let alone try to match Andrew Luck score-for-score once they fall behind. Colts 31, Jaguars 13

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Snowed In: The situation in Buffalo is both cool and extremely frightening at the same time. It'd be cool to witness that much snow first hand, but not so cool the damages, deaths, and soon-to-be-flooding that the city will be able to do nothing about. We're not quite sure when and where this game will be played, and the Bills' inability to practice will allow the Jets to catch them off guard. Jets 21, Bills 17

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Uphill Battle: Although the NFC wildcard race isn't nearly as crowded as the AFC wildcard race, it'll still be tough to get in for a team like the Bears. Even if the Bears win this week and the No. 6 seed loses, Chicago would still be two games behind heading into Week 13. The Bears will win an ugly game this week, but three of their next four games are against the Lions and the Cowboys. Do you see them winning all of those games? I don't. Bears 28, Buccaneers 21

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The Sanchize: I'll never pass an opportunity to refer to Mark Sanchez as The Sanchize. In last week's loss to the Packers, he looked like his old self, turning the ball over four times. The Eagles' offense is generally set up for him or any quarterback to put points on the board, though, and the Titans aren't a good enough team to stop or combat Philadelphia. Eagles 34, Titans 20

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Having the Edge: I was interested in seeing what the spread would be for this week's game, and it currently favors the Seahawks by seven. That's what the home-field advantage still does for them. The Cardinals will still have a two-game lead in the division with a tough loss, but I don't see Drew Stanton being able to lead enough successful drives this week. Seahawks 21, Cardinals 17

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Take Your Pick: Last week, I said I considered taking the Rams in an upset over the Broncos, but I couldn't pull the trigger. St. Louis has impressive wins this year, but just like in 2013, they can't seem to play consistent. They have not won back-to-back games in 2014, and although the Chargers didn't play too well against the Raiders last week, it was a big game they needed to get back on the winning side of things. Chargers 17, Rams 10

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Game of the Week: It's unthinkable to see the Broncos with just seven points last week in the Peyton Manning era, but it happened. Denver has to be careful: if they are upset again this week, they have to play in Arrowhead next week in a game that could put them two games behind the division lead. What a turn of events that would be. The Dolphins boast the second-ranked defense in the NFL, so this won't be a cakewalk. Broncos 24, Dolphins 17

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Don't be the Team...: ...that loses to a Robert Griffin III-led football team. He is already beyond the point of return in Washington this season, and I don't think he'll ever be able to come back from this. With him under center, the dysfunctional Redskins are playing like the worst team in football. The 49ers have had their own share of disarray, but they'll take advantage of the opposition week. 49ers 27, Redskins 10

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Thanks A Lot, NFL & NBC: This is why flex games exist, yet the NFL & NBC failed to exercise that option. The only game protected from a move this week was Miami vs. Denver. They probably didn't want the Patriots on Sunday Night Football two weeks in a row, and Seattle vs. Arizona is already a Sunday Night Football game in a few weeks. If they had their choice now, it should've been Cincinnati vs. Houston in prime time. Bummer. Cowboys 34, Giants 21

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Something Has to Click...Right? While we were all happy to see the Browns beat the Saints in Week 2, little did we know how unreliable they'd be when Cleveland needed them later in the season. The Saints play the Bengals, Ravens, and Steelers, all in a row. They already got crushed in New Orleans by the Bengals last week. This week, the Ravens are fresh off of a bye. Where is the Saints team that handled the Packers a few weeks ago? Hopefully we get them back on Monday Night. Saints 31, Ravens 21

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The Return: No, it's not LeBron James...it's Josh Frickin' Gordon. Our full game preview and prediction for the Browns vs. Falcons game will be posted this Saturday.

TBA
Bye Week

Pokorny's Week 11 NFL Picks Record: 6-8
Pokorny's Record w/ Browns Games: 4-6
Pokorny's 2014 NFL Picks Record: 92-68-1

Survivor Pick: I am on a four-game winning streak after the Chargers defeated the Raiders last week. The teams I've used are NE, CIN, SEA, and SD. This week, I'll go with the Colts over the Jaguars.