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NFL picks 2019, Week 12: The best slate all year has our experts excited, but nervous

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Week 12 is just the fourth time ever that there will be three primetime matchups between teams with winning records.

San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

There were a lot of mismatches in Week 11 and — at least, on paper — it looked like an easy week to predict. That came to fruition. Three of our experts got 13 of the 14 games right, and another two went 12 of 14.

Week 12 probably won’t be that simple. It has all the makings of a rough weekend for our panel.

The Sunday slate is full of matchups between teams with similar records. It’s also a week with three primetime duels between teams with winning records. That’s rare.

Our experts are mostly siding with the Texans, 49ers, Ravens, and Patriots in those four games. All of those picks are pretty tough to make, though — especially the Sunday Night Football showdown between the 49ers and Packers. San Francisco is 9-1, but lost two weeks ago to the Seahawks and needed a last-minute comeback to beat the Cardinals. Green Bay is 8-2 and coming off a bye. The Packers didn’t fare well last time they played in California, however.

That’s quite the minefield of games to navigate, and there’s a good chance Week 12 ends up being a grenade that blows up in our faces like Week 10 did. We really don’t want that to happen again.

The gauntlet of primetime games this week includes one of the divisional clashes that really have our panel split.

The AFC South is one topsy-turvy division

Indianapolis and Houston currently sit tied atop the AFC South, but will break that tie when they meet on Thursday night.

The Texans just got stomped by the Ravens, 41-7, and couldn’t do anything to stop Lamar Jackson. The Colts bounced back from a loss to the Dolphins (without Jacoby Brissett) and cruised through the Jaguars a week later (with Brissett).

A small majority of our group thinks the Texans will shake off their loss and split the season series with the Colts. In Week 7, Indianapolis came out on top, with Brissett throwing four touchdowns and no interceptions.

The other AFC South game of the week is between the slumping Jaguars and the surging Titans. The return of Nick Foles didn’t go as planned for Jacksonville; the veteran struggled to do much of anything against the Colts after a first-quarter touchdown pass.

The Titans are headed in the other direction, winning three of four games before their Week 11 bye. Ryan Tannehill took over at quarterback and even led Tennessee to an upset win against the Chiefs. Unsurprisingly, most — but not all — of the panel is taking the Titans to stay in the division race by avenging their Week 3 loss to the Jaguars.

Meet the Good Dog of Week 12: Princess

Meet Princess. She’s 11 years old and is the most timid poodle mix you’ll probably ever encounter.

Princess the poodle mix is a very good dog

Princess spends most of her day trying to make friends with the feral cats in her backyard, often with mixed results. When she’s inside the house, she’s usually trying to convince whoever is home to stop what they’re doing so they can nap with her. When she’s an extra good dog, she loves to eat a Flying Dutchman from In-N-Out as a reward.

Princess’ human, Hector Diaz, showed her photos of team logos with the hopes that she would like one more than the other. And because Hector wanted her to make the right picks, he may have swayed her decision-making with a not-so-subtle inflection of his voice. Sometimes it worked. Other times, she picked the Panthers over the Saints. She does like hanging out with cats, after all.

Week 12 picks

The guest picker of Week 12 is Tim Lynch, the manager at our Broncos blog, Mile High Report. Here are all our picks for the week with the caveat that they can still change by Friday, in case injury news changes our mind:

Week 12 picks

Games James Brady Christian D'Andrea Sarah Hardy Morgan Moriarty Geoff Schwartz Adam Stites Stephen White Tim Lynch Princess the Good Dog Fooch
Games James Brady Christian D'Andrea Sarah Hardy Morgan Moriarty Geoff Schwartz Adam Stites Stephen White Tim Lynch Princess the Good Dog Fooch
IND vs. HOU IND HOU HOU HOU HOU IND HOU IND HOU HOU
TB vs. ATL ATL TB ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL TB
DEN vs. BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF DEN BUF BUF
NYG vs. CHI CHI CHI CHI NYG CHI NYG CHI CHI NYG CHI
PIT vs. CIN PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT CIN PIT PIT
MIA vs. CLE MIA CLE CLE CLE CLE CLE CLE CLE CLE CLE
CAR vs. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO CAR NO
OAK vs. NYJ OAK OAK OAK OAK NYJ OAK OAK NYJ OAK OAK
SEA vs. PHI SEA SEA SEA SEA PHI PHI SEA SEA SEA SEA
DET vs. WAS DET DET DET DET DET DET DET DET DET DET
JAX vs. TEN JAX TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN JAX TEN TEN JAX
DAL vs. NE NE NE NE NE NE NE DAL NE NE NE
GB vs. SF SF SF SF GB SF SF GB GB GB SF
BAL vs. LAR BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL
Season record 104-58 110-52 95-67 105-57 94-68 89-73 94-68 102-60 86-76 94-68