NFL WEEK 12

Greg Cote’s Thursday NFL pick

 

gcote@MiamiHerald.com

SAINTS (8-2) at FALCONS (2-8)

Line: NO by 9.

Cote’s pick: NO 34-20.

TV: 8:25 p.m. Thursday, NFL Network (airing in South Florida).

NFL Week 12 launches with an episode of “What A Difference A Year Makes,” starring the Saints, who are sailing smoothly along after last season's Bountygate misery, and the Falcons, who are sinking in quicksand just a year after going 13-3. Drew Brees is 12-3 against Atlanta as a Saint, with 10 300-yard games, and should feast on a Falcons defense allowing 29.2 points per game. (He dropped 357 yards on his division rival in the season opener, won 23-17 by N'Awlins.) Across the way, Matt Ryan has nine interceptions during ATL's four-game losing streak. Falcons' only hope to keep it close is the pride to not be embarrassed at home and in front of a national audience. That incentive will make for a great effort; alas, it takes more than want-to against Mr. Brees.

Read more Greg Cote stories from the Miami Herald

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Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade signals a big three pointer in the fourth quarter in Game 1 of the Miami Heat's NBA Playoff matchup with the Charlotte Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on April 20, 2014.

    In My Opinion

    Greg Cote: Miami Heat needs Dwyane Wade of Game 1 to three-peat

    The Heat this season put together feature videos on every player that are shown on the home arena’s giant scoreboard screen during games. The one on Dwyane Wade happened to air Sunday during a timeout in the second half of the playoff victory over Charlotte that opened Miami’s postseason bid for a third consecutive NBA championship.

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Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, left, and center Chris Bosh watch from the bench during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, April 16, 2014 in Miami. The 76ers defeated the Heat 100-87.

    IN MY OPINION

    Greg Cote: Dynasty or dismantling for the Miami Heat?

    A Heat playoff run is the annual gift we slowly unwrap together, our two-month emotional thrill ride ever since LeBron James grandly announced he was “taking my talents to South Beach” that summer night in 2010. Well, buckle up again, South Florida. Prepare for exhilarating highs and work-productivity lows. Prepare for late nights walking drained from the downtown bayside arena. Prepare for hearts to soar or plunge on whether a basketball swishes through a nylon net or bonks off a painted rim.

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Charlotte Bobcats' Al Jefferson, left, drives past Miami Heat's Shane Battier, right, to dunk during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.

    In My Opinion

    Miami Heat sweep would challenge rosy outlook by Bobcats’ Al Jefferson

    I think that Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson, not a star in the NBA but a good player, must lead the league in seeing the bright side, in trying to find the best in a bad situation. This talent figures to come in particularly handy in the next week-plus as his hopeless underdogs try to avert being swept in four games by the two-time, defending-champion Heat.

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