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Saturday November 22, 2008 11:44 am

NFC North Week 12 Predictions

Matt Forte

While everyone will be tuned into the New York Jets-Tennessee Titans game to see if Brett Favre & Company can knock off Tennessee, the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings will be slugging it out for top honors in the NFC North. Coming off an humiliating 37-3 trouncing to the Packers, the Bears will travel to the Gateway to the West to take on the woeful St. Louis Rams. Did someone say “massacre in the making”? You betcha. running back Matt Forte will decimate the Rams defense and Kyle Orton will shower the St. Louis secondary with an aerial bombardment. Bears by 14.

The Minnesota Vikings go on the road to play the Jacksonville Jaguars. Minnesota stayed close to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for most of the game in Week 11, but ended up losing a 19-13 heartbreaker. For their part, Jacksonville put in a respectable performance against the unbeaten Tennessee Titans for most of the first half. The second half was a different story. Titans QB Kerry Collins turned on the jets and smoked the Jags for 21 second half points en route to a 24-14 win. Tough one to pick. The Vikes need a win to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot and to keep breathing down the necks of the Bears and Packers. The Jags though are one of those teams that defy all logic. They find ways to beat the monsters of the NFL one week then turn around and lose to a cellar dweller. Which Jacksonville team will show up on the grid iron Sunday afternoon? Edge goes to Minnesota whose defense will shut off the Jags’ running game. Adrian Peterson will log some serious rushing yards. Vikings by 7.

Fresh off their win over the Vikings last week, Tampa Bay travels to Ford Field to take on the Detroit Lions. Like the Big Three car makers, Detroit is having more than their share of problems. No running game, no defense, no hot shot gun slinger at quarterback. Watching the Lions is like watching a Marx Brothers movie—it’s gonna be a fiasco from the word go. Tampa Bay by 17.

The Packers take on the New Orleans Saints in a Monday night contest in the Big Easy. Both squads are sporting 5-5 records. The Packers are right in the thick of the playoff hunt and a divisional crown. While New Orleans is at the bottom of the NFC South, a win coupled with an Atlanta Falcons loss to the Carolina Panthers, will put the Saints and Falcons in a virtual tie for third and give the Saints a realistic chance at a playoff berth. Green Bay has a 3-2 record at home and a 2-3 record on the road. Both teams need a win, but the Packers spotty road record gives a slight edge to New Orleans. Saints by 6.

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