NFL Week 12 picks, predictions: Colts vs. Buccaneers
The Indianapolis Colts (6-5) host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) in NFL Week 12 action. Two players you've heard a lot about in this matchup are Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Colts running back Jonathan Taylor.
A player you may not know well but could be critical: Tampa Bay nose tackle Vita Vea. He's considered one of the NFL's best in the middle of a defense, and he's expected to return from injury in this matchup.
Vea's presence makes the difference in several of these predictions. Of course, many of these folks predicted a Colts loss last weekend, too.
Particulars for this matchup:How to watch, stream, listen, odds, final injury report
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Bucs 30-24
These are two of the best run defenses in football, which matters a lot less to the Bucs' offense. Tom Brady orchestrates an offense ready to play around the opponent's strengths, while I'm not giving Carson Wentz that benefit of the doubt yet. This is the perfect week for the Bucs' secondary to finally be nearly back to whole if cornerback Carlton Davis returns. I'm not buying this "Jonathan Taylor is in the MVP conversation" noise yet, but I'd happily change that tune if he carries the Colts again on Sunday.
Bill Bender, Sporting News: Bucs 30-26
Tom Brady has a long history in big games at Indianapolis, but Peyton Manning isn't the one to worry about this week. Instead, it's Jonathan Taylor, who averages 157.7 yards rushing the last three weeks for the Colts. Tampa Bay does have the league's best run defense, and it will be tested. The Buccaneers pull away in the fourth quarter behind Brady, who is 5-4 at Indianapolis (including postseason). He leaves with one more victory against the old rivals.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Bucs 28-20
The Bucs looked much better on defense against the Giants, but this will be a challenge against Jonathan Taylor and the running game of the Colts. But I think with Vita Vea expected back, this game will come down to Carson Wentz for the Colts. The Bucs will respond. Tom Brady gets the best of it.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: Bucs 30-23
Tom Brady returns to a pace where he lost a Super Bowl, to face the team that started #DeflateGate. He’s surely gotten over that.
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times: Bucs 28-24
Could be the game of the week. The Colts’ Jonathan Taylor is coming off a five-touchdown game in which he ran the ball 32 times. Maybe he’s a little more tired versus a team getting Vita Vea back.
Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Colts 34-30
Do not take your eye off the Colts, whose only loss in the past six games was by three points to the Titans. They are averaging 33.5 points in that stretch and coming off a game in which they won in Buffalo by 26 points. Tampa Bay’s three losses are all on the road.
Wes O'Donnell, Bleacher Report: Bucs 28-24
I don't like anything about this game. The Bucs don't allow teams to run the football at all, and that's all the Colts want to do with league-leading rusher Jonathan Taylor. Something has to give, right? Taking the points on a short week with the home team is probably the safer play, but if the Bucs can corral JT they'll beat the Colts by way more than three points.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Bucs 28-24
Tom Brady should be comfortable moving the ball on the Colts' zone defense and should Vita Vea return for the Bucs as expected, they can at least slow down Jonathan Taylor a little with their stout run defense. Brady can turn the game script into negative in a hurry and make Carson Wentz throw often to match, which isn't ideal for Indianapolis.