AFC North Week 12 Predictions

AFC North Week 12 Predictions
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After two straight Super Bowl appearances, the 5-5 Seahawks are desperately chasing a playoff spot
Welcome to the AFC North predictions page!
Each week, our AFC North feature writers will list their picks for that week and be forced to explain why they voted as they did. Keep in mind that these picks are for entertainment purposes only, and in no way should be used to influence gambling or illegal activity, unless you’re smart enough to recognize that we know more than you because we publish things.
Week 12 AFC North games:
St. Louis Rams (4-6) @ Cincinnati Bengals (8-2), Sunday 1pm FOX
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) @ Seattle Seahawks (5-5), Sunday 4:25pm NBC
Baltimore Ravens (3-7) @ Cleveland Browns (2-8), Monday 8:30pm, ESPN
Steelers/Seahawks gets the obvious AFC North game of the week honors. There is a snoozer in Cincinnati, and a draft buster in Cleveland.
Last week the writers had some shuffling at the top as two went 2-0 and one went 0-2. The group went 5-3 as a whole.
On to the games:
Jack Crawford (record 18-16):
Rams 16, Bengals 31
There’s just too much of an offensive talent discrepancy here, culminating in the Bengals scoring points and the Rams barely attempting to do so. The Bengals are looking to right things at home, and will rely heavily on play-action to offset the Rams’ pass rush, which is the only area in which the Rams can claim superiority.
Steelers 17, Seahawks 28
The Steelers have historically struggled with mobile quarterbacks, and they’ll be facing one of the best in Russell Wilson, whose dual threat capabilities will be the difference against the Steelers’ secondary. The Seahawks have enough defensively to limit the Steelers’ vaunted offense and limit all-world wideout Antonio Brown to a pedestrian day.
Ravens 13, Browns 24
The Browns and quarterback Josh McCown will complete the season sweep of the Ravens on the strength of McCown’s arm and experience, and the fact that the Ravens’ defense will offer little resistance. Offensively, the Ravens will struggle with veteran quarterback Matt Schaub, whose last meaningful on-field appearances were in 2012.
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Paul Johansson (record 20-14):
Rams 13, Bengals 27
Even with the Bengals recent struggles, the Rams don’t have the fire power to stay with Cincinnati, no matter how challenged Andy Dalton’s offense is this week.
Steelers 24, Seahawks 27
Seattle has been erratic this year but the Seahawks tend to play well down the stretch, especially against good competition. They would also like to play this one for Seattle’s “twelve men” who showed up in Detroit for Super Bowl XL.
Ravens 17, Browns 20
The Ravens have two things going against them in this one. Manziel was demoted, and Schaub was promoted. This adds up to Cleveland’s first sweep of the Ravens since 2007, and 3rd ever.
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Michael Thompson (record 20-14):
Rams 13, Bengals 20
Part of me really expects the Bengals to drop their third straight game, but I suppose I will go with the logical pick here and the fact that the Rams have virtually no offense and the Bengals did respond with some resilience against a very good Cardinals team in Arizona when they went down by 14 in the third quarter.
Steelers 21, Seahawks 24
Seahawks manage to overcome the Steelers at home to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive. Roethlisberger will not be picking apart the Browns’ pathetic secondary this week with the simple ‘go long’ game plan, as he was when he subbed in for the injured Landry Jones. Steelers defense is weak enough to give the Seahawks enough scoring chances to pull this one out.
Ravens 28, Browns 10
Backup quarterbacks have made millions of dollars by coming into games against the Browns and lighting them up before receding to form. I expect no less from veteran Matt Schaub, who will be eager to prove he is still the guy who led the Texans to the playoffs and not the turnover machine he later became.
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Wernike Korsakoff (record 14-20):

Rams 17, Bengals 24
The Bengals’ recent struggles should be limited against an offensively inept St. Louis offense. Look for the game to be closer than the score suggests, with a late Rams turnover leading to the decisive points for the Bengals.
Steelers 24, Seahawks 27
The Seahawks have struggled with consistency this season, but should be able to outlast the Steelers at home. A healthy Ben Roethlisberger could make for a long day for the Seattle defense, but a few big plays given up by the Steelers’ defense give Seattle the edge.
Ravens 17, Browns 24
The Ravens will look to rookie RB Javorious “Buck” Allen to carry the load behind backup QB Matt Schaub, who failed to even look adequate in the preseason. Cleveland’s run defense has been porous this season, but with Josh McCown returning at QB for the Browns, their offense will move the ball and put up enough points to beat the Ravens.
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“League Sources” (3-4):
Hibernating for the winter

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