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Sunday Morning Bloody Mary: Around The League For Week 12

Sure, we're going to be focused on the match-up in Washington, D.C. between the Vikings and the Washington Redskins, but there are plenty of other fine match-ups going on this afternoon as well. If time permits within the Game Thread (which will be up here shortly), we'll be updating the early scores throughout the game. Today is a little on the unusual side, as the games are pretty evenly divided between the early games and the late games, with six games kicking off at noon Central time, and five more kicking off at later times.

The NFC North has one other game of interest in both the early set and the late set, starting at noon with the Packers traveling to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. The Falcons, and specifically their quarterback Matt Ryan, have been fairly invincible at home, with Ryan sporting a record of 18-1 at the Georgia Dome as a starting quarterback. Also, contrary from what they've seen the last couple of weeks, the Packers will be facing a team that will actually be putting an effort forward, which is something they're not quite used to. This one will probably go a long way towards determining home field advantage in the NFC, and with as good as the Falcons have been at home this year, I think they're going to pull this one out.

The rest of the early slate looks like this:

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills
Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Giants

The late slate showcases another interesting match-up at Soldier Field, as the resurgent Michael Vick leads the Eagles into Chicago to take on the Bears. The Giants showed last week that, yes, Vick isn't completely invincible, and can even be contained a little bit by a solid front four on defense. Luckily for the Bears, they've been getting very solid play out of their defensive line this season, as we saw first-hand a couple of weeks ago. Another key to keep in mind is that the Eagles' offense, with Vick and receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, is largely based around speed. . .and the Bears have been known to let the grass at Soldier Field get a little bit on the long side to try to negate such advantages for their opponents. This one is probably going to be a smashmouth, tough guy town (™ Mike Tice) sort of game. . .and, in such a scenario, I can see the Bears coming out on top.

The rest of the late games look like this:

Miami Dolphins at Oakland Raiders
Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Baltimore Ravens (another one I'm looking forward to)
St. Louis Rams at Denver Broncos

Looks like a good afternoon to crash in front of the Red Zone channel with some hot chocolate. . .splashed with some Absolut Vanilla, if you should so choose. (Don't knock it until you've tried it. . .it's pretty good.)

The Sunday night game promises to be a pretty good one, as the San Diego Chargers travel east to Lucas Oil Stadium to battle with the Indianapolis Colts. The Monday night game features the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers. Both of those teams go into that one with the same 3-7 record as the Vikings currently have. . .the difference being that, because they play in the NFC West, there's a very good chance that the winner of that one will find themselves just one game out of a playoff spot in the NFC (pending the result of the Kansas City/Seattle game this afternoon).

So, there you have it. . .a quick look around the NFL for Week 12. Hopefully we'll get the most important result of them all, that being a Minnesota victory over Washington to celebrate. And, as always. . .