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Week 12 NFL predictions: Scores for every game

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Olsen is a must-own in fantasy (0:58)

Matthew Berry tells us how Greg Olsen should be picked up in fantasy leagues given how strong he can finish out the remainder of the 2017 season. (0:58)

NFL Nation reporters predict the outcomes and scores for every Week 12 game.


Buccaneers at Falcons

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs do get the Falcons coming off a Monday night trip out West, but their issues with consistency and giving up explosive plays both on the ground and in the air will be problematic, even if Devonta Freeman remains in the concussion protocol. Third down is also still an issue for the Bucs' defense, and the Falcons are converting on 44.4 percent of their third downs, sixth-best in the league. If Vernon Hargreaves remains out with a hamstring injury and Ryan Smith starts on the outside again, Matt Ryan could definitely try to exploit him. That's what happened against the Miami Dolphins last week, with Smith surrendering 186 passing yards and a touchdown. It's looking like a tough Sunday for the Bucs' defense. Falcons 31, Bucs 17 -- Jenna Laine

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have put together a couple of wins in a row against teams initially considered to be among the NFC's best in Dallas and Seattle. Both teams were shorthanded, which made things much easier. But good teams take advantage of such situations and exploit weaknesses. Such should be the case again this week as the Falcons take on a Buccaneers team playing without Jameis Winston (shoulder). Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is capable, but he won't extend plays in the same manner as Winston. What the Falcons have to do is continue to score points; they've averaged 30.5 the past two games. Matt Ryan should be able to move the ball down the field against a Buccaneers team that gives up 274.5 passing yards per game, second-to-last in the league. Although the Buccaneers have won two in row in Atlanta, the Falcons have momentum as the NFC's sixth seed and need to take advantage of playing three in a row inside the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Falcons 35, Buccaneers 21 -- Vaughn McClure


Browns at Bengals

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Cleveland Browns

The inconsistencies of youth and lack of talent leave the Browns grasping for a win. The Bengals are on the cusp of the playoffs and can't afford a loss to a winless team. Bengals 20, Browns 14 -- Pat McManamon

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have plenty of their own struggles, but nowhere near the level of the Browns' struggles. The Browns have taken several games down to the wire, and they could make a game out of this one, but the Bengals' talent will win out in the end. Bengals 21, Browns 10 -- Katherine Terrell


Titans at Colts

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Tennessee Titans

The Titans say they'll play angry this week after being embarrassed by the Steelers on national TV on Nov. 16. Tennessee has lost nine consecutive games against Indianapolis and has never won at Lucas Oil Stadium. But this is a different Colts team, and the Titans should be able to right some of their problems Sunday. Titans 31, Colts 20 -- Cameron Wolfe

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are a better team than the one that lost to the Titans on Oct. 16, even though their 1-3 record since then doesn't show it. The biggest difference has been on defense. The Colts are allowing only 293.3 yards per game, and teams are converting just 34 percent of their third downs in the past three games. The Titans haven't beaten the Colts in Indianapolis since Dec. 30, 2007. That streak -- as long as QB Jacoby Brissett clears the concussion protocol -- will reach 10 straight on Sunday. Colts 27, Titans 23 -- Mike Wells


Bills at Chiefs

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Buffalo Bills

The Chiefs have been sliding, but the Bills' three-game losing streak has featured some eye-opening statistics that won't inspire much confidence in Buffalo. Since Week 9, the Bills rank 27th in yards gained per game (299.3) and 29th in yards allowed (414.0). The Bills have also allowed 135 points over the past three games, tied for the fourth-most in a three-game span since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. If there was a game for Alex Smith and the slumping Chiefs offense to bounce back, this is it. Buffalo is reeling. Chiefs 34, Bills 20 -- Mike Rodak

Kansas City Chiefs

Buffalo's move back to Tyrod Taylor at quarterback on Sunday isn't good news for the Chiefs, who undoubtedly would rather have faced Nathan Peterman. But the Chiefs have quietly played better defense in recent games, particularly against the pass. Opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of 64.5 over the past three games. The Bills are 30th in passing yards, so the Chiefs should have enough to overcome Buffalo no matter the QB. Chiefs 20, Bills 17 -- Adam Teicher


Dolphins at Patriots

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Miami Dolphins

This one could and should get ugly. The Dolphins were swept by the Patriots last year and haven't won in Gillette Stadium since 2008. Miami's defense is allowing 35.5 points per game during its current four-game losing streak. The Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady should have no problem putting up points. Patriots 30, Dolphins 17 -- James Walker

New England Patriots

After an exhilarating 10-day, three-leg road trip to Denver, Colorado Springs and Mexico City in which they steamrolled the Broncos and Raiders, one concern for the Patriots would be the possibility of a letdown. Here's one thing on the line for the Patriots: With a win, they will improve to 9-2 and guarantee a winning record for the 17th consecutive season, to break a tie with San Francisco (1983-98) and Dallas (1970-1985) for the most consecutive winning seasons since the 1970 merger. While Miami's pass rush potentially could create some problems, the Patriots' offensive line has improved markedly in recent weeks, and the Patriots now rank 12th in sacks allowed per pass play. Patriots 31, Dolphins 17 -- Mike Reiss


Panthers at Jets

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Carolina Panthers

Quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers' offense started to find their groove two games before their bye, and they're facing a defense ranked 21st in the league. Carolina's defense, ranked second in the NFL, faces a Jets offense that struggled and put up only 10 points in their last game, a 15-10 loss to struggling Tampa Bay. The Panthers will shut down the running game, forcing Josh McCown to beat them, and that isn't likely to happen. Panthers 27, Jets 13 -- David Newton

New York Jets

Unless the Jets signed a new offense during the bye week, this looms as a bad matchup. The Panthers rank among the league leaders in most of the major defensive categories and will cause problems for the Jets’ inconsistent line. The Jets have allowed 204 rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks (tie-29th), hardly ideal when you're facing Cam Newton. The Jets also come up short when analyzing common opponents. Carolina's last three wins came against teams responsible for the Jets' last three losses (Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Miami). Panthers 27, Jets 17 -- Rich Cimini


Bears at Eagles

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Chicago Bears

Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz dismantled the Bears' defense last year as a wide-eyed rookie. It's scary to think what Wentz -- now a legitimate league MVP candidate -- could do for an encore. The Bears are just playing out the string under embattled head coach John Fox. Eagles 27, Bears 14 -- Jeff Dickerson

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are coming off a big road win over the Cowboys and have back-to-back West Coast games at the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams looming. This has all the makings of a trap game. To this point, coach Doug Pederson has been able to successfully guard his team against letdowns. "This is the National Football League, and you're seeing it every week: If you don't come ready to play, you'll get your tail beat. And this is no different this week." The Eagles seem to be wired the right way and will take advantage of a home game against a lesser opponent before playing three straight on the road. Eagles 30, Bears 10 -- Tim McManus


Saints at Rams

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New Orleans Saints

The Saints have to lose sometime, right? This might be the formula that snaps their eight-game win streak: traveling across the country to face a Rams offense that has been every bit as surprising as New Orleans' breakout defense this year. And that defense is really banged up right now, with DE Alex Okafor out for the season with a torn Achilles and CB Marshon Lattimore, LB A.J. Klein and S Kenny Vaccaro all questionable. I don't expect the Rams to cool off New Orleans' dynamic RB duo of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram (who rank first and second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage since Week 7). But L.A. has a pretty good runner/receiver of its own in Todd Gurley, who ranks first in the NFL in yards from scrimmage since Week 1. Rams 24, Saints 23 -- Mike Triplett

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are coming off a tough loss on the road against the Vikings, and now they'll face an equally daunting task against a Saints team that is very balanced. New Orleans features a stout running game and a strong defense. The Saints have some guys banged up, but so do the Rams, who could be without two of their most important cornerbacks, Kayvon Webster and Nickell Robey-Coleman, and they'll definitely be without their most productive receiver, Robert Woods. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are a nightmare matchup for a Rams team that is giving up the fifth-most rushing yards per game, and the L.A. offense could have a hard time keeping up on its first Sunday without Woods. Saints 28, Rams 24 -- Alden Gonzalez


Seahawks at 49ers

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Seattle Seahawks

The 49ers are catching the Seahawks in a potentially vulnerable state, with injuries piling up in their secondary and elsewhere. Also working against the Seahawks is they're playing on the road on a short week against a team coming off its bye. Those factors should only keep the game closer than it otherwise would be. The Seahawks may not be as dominant as they were with all the star power they're missing, but they still have a significant enough talent edge over San Francisco that it's hard to imagine them losing this game -- especially with their margin for error in the NFC playoff race already reduced. One aspect of this matchup that stands out: San Francisco's 31st-ranked run defense will be a welcomed sight for a Seattle offense that has struggled to find any consistency on the ground while cycling through tailbacks. The Seahawks have won eight consecutive games vs. the 49ers, starting with the NFC Championship Game following the 2013 season. That streak will continue Sunday. Seahawks 24, 49ers 18 -- Brady Henderson

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers haven't defeated the Seahawks since Dec. 8, 2013, but the Niners nearly got over the hump in the first meeting this season and now seem to be looking at their best chance to beat Seattle in the past nine meetings. San Francisco is coming back from its bye and getting healthy, while the Seahawks are traveling on a short turnaround after playing on Monday Night Football and are missing key defensive players such as Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril. The Seahawks still have a pronounced advantage at quarterback in Russell Wilson. Is that enough to overcome the other advantages the Niners have? It has been in the past. This one should be close. Seahawks 17, 49ers 16 -- Nick Wagoner


Jaguars at Cardinals

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Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars have to like the matchup against Blaine Gabbert, their 2011 first-round pick. During his three seasons with the Jaguars, Gabbert showed time and time again that he panicked under pressure, and the Jaguars' defense is the best in the league this season at creating pressure. The Jaguars are first in sacks (40), pressure rate (the percentage of dropbacks on which the QB is sacked, under duress or hit) and passing defense (162.0 yards per game). They're also third in interceptions (13). The Jaguars will rattle Gabbert, and that will result in turnovers and big plays, which will give Jacksonville its fifth consecutive victory. Jaguars 24, Cardinals 10 -- Mike DiRocco

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals have struggled this season against good defenses. The Jaguars are the best in the NFL in sacks, yards allowed, touchdowns allowed, opposing quarterback completion percentage and passing yards allowed per attempt. That doesn't bode well for Arizona, which has struggled to run the ball against tough front sevens. However, the Jaguars are ranked 26th in rushing yards per play, which may allow Adrian Peterson to break free for another big game. But Jacksonville has the No. 1 pass defense in the league, and with Arizona having allowed 28 sacks this year, the Cardinals could be in for a long day. Jaguars 35, Cardinals 17 -- Josh Weinfuss


Broncos at Raiders

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Denver Broncos

There's no question the Broncos' offense and the Raiders' defense have struggled mightily this season, which is why both teams fired coordinators this week (OC Mike McCoy for Broncos, DC Ken Norton Jr. for Raiders). Denver will also start second-year quarterback Paxton Lynch in place of Brock Osweiler. The Broncos' best chance to win will come down to how successful they can run the ball. All three of Denver’s wins have come in games in which it has run the ball more than it has passed it. Raiders 23, Broncos 20 -- Jeff Legwold

Oakland Raiders

The last time the Broncos won a game was Oct. 1, against the Raiders, who lost Derek Carr to a broken bone in his back that day. Carr has since returned, but there are changes afoot. This week, the Broncos replaced offensive coordinator Mike McCoy with Bill Musgrave, who was Oakland's OC last season, and the Raiders fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and replaced him with John Pagano, who was the Chargers' DC last season. "It's like the Raiders against the Chargers last year," laughed Raiders LT Donald Penn. With both teams looking for a spark, the Broncos are starting Paxton Lynch at QB, and with the Raiders playing in Oakland for the first time since Oct. 19, the home team should have the advantage. That depends on the defense responding to Pagano and the offense continuing to run the ball with Marshawn Lynch, who gouged the Patriots for 6.1 yards per carry last week. Those are big ifs, with the Broncos having the No. 4-ranked rush defense in giving up 85.5 ground yards per game, and yet ... Raiders 17, Broncos 16 -- Paul Gutierrez


Packers at Steelers

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Green Bay Packers

Coming off a shutout loss to the Ravens, the Packers face the second-ranked scoring defense in the NFL. If they couldn't score against the Ravens, how in the world are they going to function against the stingy Steelers? Brett Hundley should play better than he did last week, but that's not saying much. A solid running game would seem like the formula to beat the Steelers, and it might be the Packers' only hope. Steelers 37, Packers 13 -- Rob Demovsky

Pittsburgh Steelers

What was once a marquee matchup has lost luster because of Aaron Rodgers' absence. The Steelers are often game to let teams with lesser records hang around, but they are 8-0 when scoring at least 19 points, which matches up well against the Packers' average of 13.4 points per game over their last five outings. The Steelers' defense, with 34 sacks on the year, should be able to apply pressure on a Green Bay offense that has given up 36 sacks. Ben Roethlisberger is 19-3 with 49 touchdowns in prime-time games at Heinz Field. The offense appears to be finding its groove. Steelers 27, Packers 17 -- Jeremy Fowler


Texans at Ravens

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Houston Texans

Tom Savage played the best game of his NFL career Sunday against the Cardinals, but will face a much tougher defense on Monday night. The Ravens have held opposing quarterbacks to an average of 185 passing yards per game, second-lowest in the league. This is a big game in the standings, but the Texans will fall short and fall behind in the race for an AFC wild-card spot. Ravens 23, Texans 16 -- Sarah Barshop

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have shut out the last two fill-in quarterbacks they have faced (Matt Moore and Brett Hundley) and now get Houston's Tom Savage on Monday Night Football. Can Baltimore ring up another shutout? Since Savage returned as the starter, the Texans have averaged 15 offensive points per game, 29th in the NFL. Baltimore is allowing 17.1 points per game, third-best in the league. This mismatch will help the Ravens win their 10th consecutive home prime-time game and keep them in the thick of the AFC playoff race. Ravens 27, Texans 13 -- Jamison Hensley


THURSDAY'S GAMES

Vikings at Lions

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Minnesota Vikings

It's no secret the Vikings have struggled to score against the Lions during Mike Zimmer's tenure. Minnesota has control of the NFC North with six consecutive wins and has not lost a game since it faced Detroit in Week 4. The biggest challenge for Case Keenum and his playmakers will be picking up big chunks of yardage against the Lions' secondary. The Lions are allowing nearly 154 yards rushing on average since losing Haloti Ngata in Week 5, so it'd make sense for Minnesota to rely on Latavius Murray for another big outing after scoring three touchdowns in his past two games. This is a critical division showdown as it relates to the tiebreaker between the teams. Detroit is knocking on the door (have you seen the Lions' second-half schedule?!). This is Minnesota's chance to take full control of the NFC North for the rest of the season. The Vikings won't go 0-4 in this most recent stretch against the Lions, especially coming off a 17-point win over a 7-2 Rams team. Vikings 20, Lions 17 -- Courtney Cronin

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions have won four consecutive games on Thanksgiving -- and three straight games against Minnesota, including a 13-7 victory in Week 4. But the Vikings' offense has improved in total yardage every week since that loss, and the Vikings haven't lost, either. Minnesota has also rushed for 100 yards or better in five of the past six games -- and the Lions have allowed 200 yards rushing in back-to-back games. That doesn't bode well for Detroit and its hopes of winning a critical NFC North game. Vikings 21, Lions 14 -- Michael Rothstein


Chargers at Cowboys

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Los Angeles Chargers

With Ezekiel Elliott out due to a suspension and linebacker Sean Lee likely out because of hamstring injury, the Chargers have a puncher's chance in this one. However, the Chargers have to travel on a short week and face a desperate team in Dallas looking to stay in the playoff hunt. Also, with starting tackles Russell Okung and Joe Barksdale both nursing injuries, the Chargers could have trouble containing the Cowboys’ talented edge rusher, DeMarcus Lawrence, who's tied for the league lead in sacks with 11.5. Cowboys 27, Chargers 24 -- Eric Williams

Dallas Cowboys

About 90 hours after walking off the field after the worst game of his career (three interceptions, one fumble returned for a touchdown), Dak Prescott will be back at AT&T Stadium with the season likely on the line. With back-to-back losses, the Cowboys' playoff chances are down to 6.5 percent, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index. But there is hope. They don't play a team with a winning record until Week 16. Prescott still won't have Ezekiel Elliott, but he will have Tyron Smith. That should help his play-action work. In two games without Smith, he has completed 44 percent of his passes and been intercepted once. In eight games with Smith, he completed 62 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and no picks. Cowboys 27, Chargers 23 -- Todd Archer


Giants at Redskins

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New York Giants

Points are hard to come by for these Giants, especially down three starting offensive linemen and their top three receivers from the start of the season. They're 30th in the NFL, averaging 16.2 points per game. Washington averages almost 24 points per game at home. It's hard to imagine the Giants scoring enough points to win this game. Redskins 23, Giants 20 -- Jordan Raanan

Washington Redskins

As banged up as Washington is, the Giants are in bad shape, too. Though Jordan Reed won't play (again), the Redskins do have plenty of talent in the passing game to help quarterback Kirk Cousins. With at least two starting linemen out, and possibly three, Cousins will have to make quick decisions, so that could mean a lot of work for slot receiver Jamison Crowder and tight end Vernon Davis. Keep in mind that Cousins ranks sixth in passer rating when under pressure. And a key number to watch: New York ranks 24th in allowing 4.38 yards per carry, so the Redskins will look to run Samaje Perine, who is coming off a 117-yard game. Redskins 21, Giants 20 -- John Keim