Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Line: Ravens -4 | Total: 46
After throwing four interceptions last week and having missed his Week 11 start with an illness, Lamar Jackson remarked that he was “getting back in the lab.” That should concern the Steelers (5-5-1), whose defense remains exploitable in the continued absence of T.J. Watt (Covd-19). Pittsburgh’s offense has been unbalanced in the last two weeks, rushing for just 55 yards and 52 yards, and asking Ben Roethlisberger, their 39-year-old quarterback, to make up the slack.
2021 N.F.L. Season News and Analysis
Baltimore’s defense could rush freely against Roethlisberger and any improvement to the Ravens’ (8-3) passing game should spotlight the age and skill gaps between the two quarterbacks. Pick: Ravens -4
Denver Broncos at Kansas City, 8:20 p.m., NBC
Line: Kansas City -10 | Total: 47
The result of this game will either separate Kansas City (7-4) as the leader of the division or further complicate the competitive A.F.C. West.
The Broncos (6-5) have rushed for over 140 yards in two of their last three games, and could test the newly “revived” Kansas City defense, which was one of the league’s worst earlier in the season. Denver’s defense is also on the upswing, creating at least one turnover in each of its last four games. Kansas City is the better team, but Denver could pounce on a Patrick Mahomes interception (he’s tied for third-most in the league with 11) to keep the score within the spread. Pick: Denver +10
Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m., Fox
Line: Bengals -3.5 | Total: 50.5
Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon should win a lot of his fantasy football owners’ games this week. The Chargers (6-5) are still the worst defense in the league against the run, allowing over 140 rushing yards in seven (!) games, and Mixon should be able to keep up the pace that’s made him third in the league in rushing yards (924) and touchdowns (11).
A typically prolific performance from the Bengals’ (7-4) quarterback and receiver combo of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase may not be necessary. Justin Herbert can only do so much to keep Los Angeles competitive, and even a herculean effort won’t help the Chargers keep the score within the spread. Pick: Bengals -3.5
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