Remember when some folks thought the Titans were the best team in the league and the Packers were the best team in the NFC?

Please. That was so seven mornings ago.

The Titans, who lost to Houston, and Packers, who lost to the Vikings, became the seventh and eighth teams this year to lose to teams that had at least four fewer wins. That hasn't happened eight times in 11 weeks since the 1974 season.

A week ago, this NFL guesstimator wanted so badly to pick the Titans to lose as 10 ½-point favorites that he wrote, "It feels like Tennessee should lose because its won a league-high six straight, including the last five against 2020 playoff teams. It's due! But a glance at who they're playing changes all that."

No, you dimwit, it doesn't. This is the NFL. Things change quickly week to week.

And certainly year to year.

The Cardinals (9-2), Patriots (7-4) and Cowboys (7-4) lead their divisions after missing the playoffs last year. At least two teams have won their divisions a year after missing the playoffs in 17 of the last 18 seasons.

Week 12 is stocked with a number of good matchups. Nine games feature two teams with records of .500 or better. Five of them feature two teams with winning records.

Seven home teams went into Week 12 as underdogs. This guesstimator likes three of the five home underdogs among Sunday's games, including the Upset Special — Indy over the Bucs.

He also had every intention of picking the Vikings to keep rolling in the right direction at San Francisco. But the defensive front is just too depleted to stick with that stance.

UPDATED ODDS: Spreads, money lines, over/under

Here's a look at this weekend's games:

Vikings (+3) at 49ers
It should be a one-score game. Duh. The Vikings and Kirk Cousins are rolling offensively with a newfound confidence and sense of urgency. But the depleted defensive line is a major concern with four starters out against a physical 49ers team on the road. Both teams have won two straight while upsetting division rivals to get back into the playoff hunt at 5-5. The Vikings are 4-0 against the spread in their last four road games, but they're missing too many pieces defensively to stop San Francisco's momentum. 49ers 27, Vikings 23

Jets (+2½) at Texans
Break up the Texans! Tyrod Taylor plays well enough to give Houston an actual winning streak. Texans 16, Jets 13

Eagles (-3½) at Giants
The Eagles are due to lose and the Giants probably will get a one-game boost of energy with Freddie Kitchens replacing fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Giants 19, Eagles 17

Panthers (-2) at Dolphins
The Dolphins have won three straight while not yielding more than 17 points. Yes, the Dolphins. Dolphins 23, Panthers 20

Titans (+7) at Patriots
Mike Vrabel is 2-0 against his old coach Bill Belichick. Of course, having Derrick Henry healthy and running over Bill's defenders might have had something to do with that. Belichick's top-ranked scoring defense will get the job done. Patriots 28, Titans 20

Steelers (+3½) at Bengals
Never count the Steelers out. Even when their defense is so beat up it's unrecognizable. Steelers 33, Bengals 30

Falcons (-2) at Jaguars
Atlanta needs a layup to halt a two-game losing streak and stay in the playoff hunt at 5-6. Bingo! They got one. Falcons 30, Jaguars 19

Chargers (-2½) at Broncos
Flip a coin on Vic Fangio's final Broncos team. Beat Dallas 30-16 on the road. Lose to Philly 30-13 at home. Just go with the better team in this one. Chargers 34, Broncos 28

Rams (-1) at Packers
Sorry, Vikings fans. The Packers aren't going to stay down. But they better not leave this game up to Mason "2-for-his-last-6" Crosby. Packers 33, Rams 31

Browns (+3½) at Ravens
Getting Lamar Jackson back is good for Baltimore. Facing Baker Mayfield right now isn't too shabby either. Ravens 31, Browns 26

Seahawks at Washington (pick 'em)
What's the next rung down in Seattle's tumble? Falling to 3-8 as Taylor Heinecke outplays Russell Wilson on Monday night. Washington 19, Seahawks 12


Buccaneers (-3) at Colts
Jonathan Taylor and the Colts are sneaky good, although the Bills found out the blunt-force way with a 41-15 sledgehammer between the eyes last Sunday. The Bucs just ended a two-game losing streak and righted themselves defensively. But a trip to Indy, which is 6-2 since its 0-3 start, presents a much tougher test than a home game against the bumbling Giants. Colts 32, Buccaneers 30

Last week's Upset Special: Seahawks (+2½) 28, Cardinals 27. Actual score: Cardinals 23, Seahawks 13. Record: 6-4.


Last week's record straight up/against the spread: 9-6/7-8.

Season record straight up/against the spread: 104-60-1/76-89.

Vikings picks straight up/against the spread: 7-3/4-6.