Friday, November 23, 2012
Friday Forecast: Week 12 predictions
By Jamison Hensley
It was a good week for this AFC North prognosticator. It was actually a perfect one, if you want to be exact. This week could be trickier. The Ravens go cross-country. The Steelers are on their third starting quarterback in as many games. And the Bengals have a reunion with former franchise quarterback Carson Palmer. Let's see how this will all unfold:
Steelers 20, Browns 10: The focus all week is on Charlie Batch starting at quarterback at the age of 37. But here's a more significant number: Since Dick LeBeau returned as defensive coordinator in 2004, the Steelers are 14-1 against rookie quarterbacks. If you need a reminder, just watch what the Steelers did to Robert Griffin III earlier this season. It's going to be a tough day for Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, who has thrown nine of his 12 interceptions this season at home.
Bengals 28, Raiders 24: Oakland is 0-3 this season when playing in the Eastern time zone, allowing an average of 37.6 points per game. The Raiders will give up their share of points again, but Palmer will put together one of his best games of the season in his return to Paul Brown Stadium. It won't be enough to beat the Bengals. It will just put a scare in his old team.
Ravens 23, Chargers 16: The Ravens are traveling cross-country in between games against the Steelers. Sounds like a classic trap game, right? You would think that way if you hadn't seen Philip Rivers play this season. As long as the Ravens' banged-up secondary doesn't allow passes over the top of it, Baltimore is good enough on defense to limit the Chargers to field goals and notch another win on the road.
Week 11 record: 3-0. Season record: 20-10 (.667).
Ravens 13, Steelers 10 (my prediction: Ravens 20, Steelers 17)
Bengals 28, Chiefs 6 (my prediction: Bengals 24, Chiefs 14)
Cowboys 23, Browns 20, OT (my prediction: Cowboys 31, Browns 20)