The Loop NFL Picks: Week 12

Every Sunday, Kevin Cusick makes his predictions against the latest Las Vegas point spread, the way God intended …

Packers at Eagles (-7½):

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has signed on to his latest cause, calling for the NFL to switch to all grass fields. The former MVP is a huge fan of natural surfaces, as he likes watching the way the ball bounces off the grass before reaching his receivers. Pick: Eagles by 9

Saints at 49ers (-4½):

The 49ers had a huge partisan advantage Monday night when they routed Arizona in front of nearly 80,000 fans in Mexico City. It was a wonderful night for the Mexican fans as it gave them a rare three hours to enjoy something infinitely more entertaining than soccer. Pick: 49ers by 11

Bears at Jets (-4½):

Jets coach Robert Saleh named Mike White the starting QB, a stunning demotion for former first-round pick Zach Wilson. White no doubt got the nod because the Jets would like their quarterback to be an adult, for a change. Pick: Jets by 7

Chargers at Cardinals (+1½):

Arizona assistant coach Sean Kugler was fired this week over an incident in Mexico City where he was accused of groping a woman. The NFL has a strict zero tolerance policy for such assault allegations, unless they’re made against an NFL owner. Pick: Chargers by 7

Bengals at Titans (+1½):

Tennessee offensive coordinator Todd Downing was allowed to keep his job despite being arrested on a DUI charge. In a related note, the Titans would allow star runner Derrick Henry to keep his job if he actively took up cannibalism. Pick: Titans by 3

Rams at Chiefs (-14½):

Rams running back Darrell Henderson was surprisingly cut Tuesday, then tweeted out emojis indicating he was thrilled with his sudden free agency. That’s more bad news for his Los Angeles teammates who, at 3-7, have still not quite sobered up from the Super Bowl parade. Pick: Chiefs by 20

Broncos at Panthers (+2½):

Former starter Sam Darnold has been named Carolina’s third starting quarterback of the season. This reminds us of the old football adage that says, when you have three quarterbacks, you actually have zero quarterbacks. Pick: Broncos by 3

Texans at Dolphins (-12½):

Houston coach Lovie Smith declared this week that he was benching quarterback Davis Mills and inserting Kyle Allen into the starting lineup. NFL analysts were surprised by the announcement, as they assumed Smith had already been fired several weeks ago. Pick: Dolphins by 14

Buccaneers at Browns (+3½):

Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson is just one week away from being reactivated from his suspension. The former Houston standout is hoping that, if he plays his best, by the end of the year he can help the Browns win their fourth game of the season. Pick: Buccaneers by 7

Other games

Ravens at Jaguars (+4½): Pick: Ravens by 7

Falcons at Commanders (-4½): Pick: Commanders by 7

Raiders at Seahawks (-3½): Pick: Seahawks by 6

Steelers at Colts (-2½): Pick: Colts by 3

Record

Week 11: 9-5 straight up; 6-8 vs. spread

Season:: 98-65-1 straight up (.601); 80-84 vs. spread (.488)

You can hear Kevin Cusick on Wednesdays on Bob Sansevere’s “BS Show” podcast on iTunes. You can follow Kevin on Twitter — @theloopnow. He can be reached at kcusick@pioneerpress.com.

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