Steelers struggle again in Week 12 NFL game-by-game predictions

Wide receiver Diontae Johnson #18 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball against safety Khari Willis #37 of the Indianapolis Colts in the second quarter of their game at Heinz Field on December 27, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Wide receiver Diontae Johnson #18 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball against safety Khari Willis #37 of the Indianapolis Colts in the second quarter of their game at Heinz Field on December 27, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Steelers have to win this week to stay in contention as the rest of the NFL shakes out into playoff contention. 

The NFL enters one of its most iconic weeks as Thanksgiving will lead to three different games on Thursday. The Steelers will cap off the week with their Monday night battle against the Colts under the lights. It should be another fun week of competition around the NFL as playoff hopefuls strive to get closer to their goal.

Buffalo Bills (7-3) vs Detroit Lions (4-6), Thursday at 12:30 P.M. EST

Many Steelers fans will remember their blowout loss against the Bills a couple of weeks ago, and that kind of result could happen again in this contest. Buffalo is playing well even though they have dealt with their own adversity during game time. Detroit has played better over the last several weeks, but that probably will not be enough.

Prediction: Bills 34, Lions 23

Another week in Detroit for the Bills and they will continue their winning ways. The Lions are getting better, but their defense continues to be suspect this season. Expect the Bills to extend their lead early and often with their defense causing a few turnovers as well.

New York Giants (7-3) vs Dallas Cowboys (7-3), Thursday at 4:30 P.M. EST

The headliner on Turkey day will be this NFC East matchup between these two rivals. Both enter with the same record, but the Giants have seen some setbacks over the past couple of weeks. Expect the winner to have more success on the ground to emerge on top of their opponent.

Prediction: Giants 21, Cowboys 24

Steelers fandom might be cheering against the Cowboys in this one, but they should be able to get a narrow win. Saquon Barkley is a special talent, but the Dallas defense has done a great job defending the opposition’s rush attack. Dak Prescott is the better quarterback as well, so expect the different talent differentials to be the difference.

New England Patriots (6-4) vs Minnesota Vikings (8-2), Thursday at 8:20 P.M. EST

New England bores their opponents to sleep to give themselves the best chance at winning games. They are a frugal club that has been able to lean on that mantra to overcome some contests that ended in the winner’s column. Minnesota is coming off a bad loss last week which should motivate their efforts.

Prediction: Patriots 18, Vikings 22

Most people know about Kirk Cousins’s struggles in prime-time games, and that will likely continue here. The difference is that his team around him will create opportunities to overcome those issues and win the game. The Patriots have snuck a couple of victories this year, but they are playing a better team on Thursday.

Denver Broncos (3-7) vs Carolina Panthers (3-8), Sunday at 1 P.M. EST

Russel Wilson continues to ride his big contract into the graveyard that is the Broncos season. Things have not worked out for this club that was seen as playoff caliber entering the year. Carolina has been more competitive since their coaching change, but they have still found ways to lose most of those games.

Prediction: Broncos 20, Panthers 16

The Panthers have done a nice job at adjusting their defense to cause their opposition some issues. They held the ravens to a low score total last week and that could spell disaster for Denver’s offense. This is a toss-up right now but expect Wilson to do just enough to win the Broncos the game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5) vs Cleveland Browns (3-7), Sunday at 1 P.M. EST

Things seem to be rounding the corner for Tampa Bay as they look to have the correct path ahead of them. They are gunning for their division lead in the second half of their schedule after coming off a bye week. The Browns have their final week without Deshaun Watson in the lineup and that is favorable to the away club.

Prediction: Buccaneers 29, Browns 23

Tom Brady has his personal issues in the rear-view mirror and that should lead to better play from him down the stretch. Tampa Bay has the better roster when you look at the strengths and weaknesses of these two clubs. Jacoby Brissett will have a nice swan song as he loses his final start for Cleveland this year.

Baltimore Ravens (7-3) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7), Sunday at 1 P.M. EST

Baltimore must face the Steelers twice before the schedule is complete, but they might be having some issues. They struggled to gain points against one of the worst defenses in the NFL last week. It could just be an off week, but it was concerning that many should monitor going forward.

Prediction: Ravens 27, Jaguars 20

Jacksonville has shown growth since last year’s debacle played out. They will continue that trend with their current regime, but that will not lead to many victories this season. The Ravens should be able to handle the Jaguars without many issues as the home club will score a late touchdown to make this score closer than it was.

Houston Texans (1-8-1) vs Miami Dolphins (7-3), Sunday at 1 P.M. EST

Houston is in flames right now as they continue to sit in the middle of their first major rebuilding year. Lovie Smith will probably be gone after this season, but he will try his best to salvage what he can. The Dolphins are on the other end of the spectrum as they are a good football team that seems to have fun every week.

Prediction: Texans 21, Dolphins 35

A quarterback change could be happening with the Texans sometime soon, but that will not alter their outcomes no matter what. Expect Miami to handle their business without much concern on Sunday. Houston has almost zero bright spots on their roster, and they will be begging for the draft to come as soon as possible.

Chicago Bears (3-8) vs New York Jets (6-4), Sunday at 1 P.M. EST

We got the battle of the two disappointing young quarterbacks for both franchises. Zach Wilson will not be taking any sort of blame, and the Jets seem to be coming back down to earth after their divisional loss last week. Chicago’s offense has struggled throughout the year and will continue to have issues against this tough Jets defense.

Prediction: Bears 19, Jets 23

Defense has been a sore spot for the Bears over the last handful of weeks and that should allow the Jets to play their run-first style offense. Wilson is no God, but he can help your team win games behind a solid rushing effort. Justin Fields is in question for this matchup with his injury and it will not help against a tough defense.

Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) vs Tennessee Titans (7-3), Sunday at 1 P.M. EST

Here is one of the best games of the week as we could be witnessing an AFC playoff preview. Both clubs are believing in each other as they enter this contest. The Bengals are coming off a huge road win over the Steelers that saw their offense play at a high level. Tennessee presents a unique challenge for Cincinnati as they have a great ability to run the football.

Prediction: Bengals 30, Titans 27

Derrick Henry should be able to make a difference in this game, but the Titans defense has not been good enough. Expect Joe Burrow to torch their secondary with ease, just like he did to the Steelers this past Sunday. Tennessee is a good team, and they will give the Bengals all they got.

Atlanta Falcons (5-6) vs Washington Commanders (6-5), Sunday at 1 P.M. EST

Watch out for the Washington Commanders as the team has found a spark behind Taylor Heinicke as their starting quarterback. Atlanta thrives through their run game, but this will be a tough challenge with the imposing run defense that the Commanders have. The battle in the trenches will be a tough fight.

Prediction: Falcons 20, Commanders 26

Overtime anyone? That might be a stretch to some, but this should be a close game as Heinicke will have an off day eventually. An off day at the office does not mean that he will lose that game, but a couple of turnovers will keep Atlanta in this one. A touchdown during the sudden death portion of overtime will be the difference.

LA Chargers (5-5) vs Arizona Cardinals (4-7), Sunday at 4:05 P.M. EST

The outcome of this game could be different if Kyler Murray was able to suit up for Arizona. That does not seem likely as the club will need to turn toward Colt McCoy again for this contest. The Chargers are still hampered by their wide array of injuries that have held them back from contention thus far.

Prediction: Chargers 32, Cardinals 20

It was an ugly performance for the Cardinals on Monday night, and things will not be easier for them on a short week. The Chargers have the better quarterback by a mile and that is going to make a huge difference in this one. LA is the better roster, and they will be desperate to stay in the playoff hunt.

Las Vegas Raiders (3-7) vs Seattle Seahawks (6-4), Sunday at 4:05 P.M. EST

Las Vegas is both a poorly managed and poorly coached football team. They are behind the eight ball as the season continues to clamp the reality of desperation into this club. Seattle has been the biggest surprise of the year and they will be a tough challenge for the Raiders to overcome on Sunday.

Prediction: Raiders 23, Seattle 28

The Raiders won last weekend, but they were barely able to pry a win from the downtrodden Denver Broncos. The Seahawks are coming off a bye week to face one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Expect Seattle to run the ball effectively and for Geno Smith to key in off of that.

LA Rams (3-7) vs Kansas City Chiefs (8-2), Sunday at 4:25 P.M. EST

On the surface, this matchup seems like it could have been a Super Bowl preview before the schedule started to unfold. Now, the Rams are going to potentially be without their star quarterback and receiver for this one. Mason Rudolph could have been an interesting backup that LA could have traded for from the Steelers before the deadline, just saying.

Prediction: Rams 17, Chiefs 41

Things could get ugly as the Rams have been hungover from last year’s Super Bowl run for most of the season. Even when they have been healthy, this team has not performed to their expected standard. Kansas City is firing on all cylinders and should be able to take care of business at home.

New Orleans Saints (4-7) vs San Francisco 49ers (6-4), Sunday at 4:25 P.M. EST

San Francisco seems to have turned things around as they are putting two and two together. They just blew out a bad Cardinals team and should be able to accomplish that effort against New Orleans. The 49ers are a strong roster that will be able to make a push for the playoffs while the Saints continue to fall off.

Prediction: Saints 14, 49ers 33

It should not be too much of a battle in this contest as the 49ers are the better team. The Saints match up terribly against San Francisco in every phase of the game. Expect the 49ers to control the line of scrimmage all day and that is going to lead to a dominant effort by them.

Green Bay Packers (4-7) vs Philadelphia Eagles (9-1), Sunday at 8:20 P.M. EST

Something seems to be different with the Eagles over the last several weeks. They have not been as dominant as they once were and seem to be struggling against some lesser opponents. This would be quite the upset if the Packers could pull it off, but a lot of things would need to go their way.

Prediction: Packers 24, Eagles 22

This is a tough matchup for Green Bay, but they have overcome the odds many times before. Do not count out Aaron Rodgers during the regular season, and he is going to battle each week. Philadelphia could destroy the Packers, but the home club has been slipping in their performance lately.

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-7) vs Indianapolis Colts (4-6-1), Monday at 8:15 P.M. EST

We reach another toss-up of two teams that are desperately trying to be better than what they are. The Steelers just lost their season last week against Cincinnati and the Colts are too inconsistent to have a shot at the playoffs. It should be another close game for Pittsburgh, so hopefully, they will be able to finish on the winning side this time.

Prediction: Steelers 16, Colts 23

Jonathan Taylor is back playing at a high level and that should send shivers down the Steelers spines. That is going to take away many opportunities for the Pittsburgh offense, which has already seen many issues. Matt Ryan is a shell of himself but expect him to play a safe game and ride the coattails of Taylor to a win.

Trending. Kenny Pickett showed signs of a franchise QB in Steelers loss vs Bengals. light

The Steelers have a tough matchup to overcome as they take on the Colts this week. The rest of the NFL has some interesting games that could end up in a few upsets.