Week 12 picks are here and I went 9-5 last week. On the season, I currently stand at 86-74. It is also Thanksgiving weekend so that means that there will be 3 games on Thanksgiving Day starting with the Vikings taking on Detroit, the Chargers are heading to Dallas, and the Giants will be traveling to D.C. to take on the Redskins. The Patriots, Steelers, Eagles, Saints, and Vikings will be looking to continue their hot win streaks while other teams like the Cowboys, Chiefs, and Seahawks will be looking to bounce back. Let’s get into it!
Lions 20, Vikings 17; 12:30pm FOX
The first game on Thanksgiving Day is a matchup between two NFC North rivals looking to take first place. Now many of you may be wondering why I think a team as hot as the Minnesota Vikings will be losing to the Detroit Lions and I’ll tell ya. First, the Lions already beat them in the first matchup, second, the Lions are at home, and finally, the Lions have won their last 3 games against the Vikings. We all know that this will be a very close game especially with Matt Stafford and Case Keenum at the helms.
Cowboys 26, Chargers 20; 4:30pm CBS
This is the second game on Thanksgiving and will surely be a great game to watch. This will be the Cowboys’ third game without Zeke but Tyron Smith could be playing this time around as he recovers from back and groin issues. The run game against the Eagles did pretty well without Zeke and the run game will be key in this game for the Cowboys. The Cowboys are a desperate team right now and will surely bounce back even though the Chargers put up a 50 burger against the Bills a week ago. For the Chargers, Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa will be pressuring Dak all day but I don’t think it’ll be enough to come away with a victory.
Redskins 24, Giants 20; 8:30pm NBC
The final game on Thanksgiving Day and perhaps the least inspiring game of the rest. The Giants are coming off an upset win over the Kansas City Chiefs while the Redskins are coming off a heartbreaking loss which saw them blow a 15 lead in the 4th quarter. The Redskins will be looking to take their frustration out on the Giants and come away with a victory. I think the Redskins will have a 2 TD lead and then nearly blow it again… but then hold on in the final minutes. This game could be a lot close than people think it will be.
Eagles 31, Bears 16; 1:00pm FOX
After only scoring 7 points in the first half against Dallas, the Eagles offense steamrolled over the Cowboys in the 2nd half. At the same time the Eagles defense shutout the Cowboys and forced 2 turnovers in the 2nd half alone. This defense will certainly give Mitch Trubisky plenty of fits on Sunday. The Bears meanwhile, are coming off a loss to the Lions making it their 3rd straight loss. Don’t expect the Bears to pull off an upset in Philly against the best team in the NFL.
Bengals 27, Browns 16; 1:00pm CBS
This game could be very lopsided quickly. The Browns are coming off a game in which they turned the ball over 5 times against a ferocious Jaguars defense. Also, the last time these two teams played was back in Week 4 and the Bengals crushed the Browns in a 31-7 victory in Cleveland. Of course things change over the course of the season but the Browns are simply a bad team. Maybe they’ll keep it close in some parts of the game, but they simply won’t win this game. It’s looking less and less likely like the Browns will be winning a game this season.
Falcons 24, Bucs 17; 1:00pm FOX
The Falcons are coming off a big win against Seattle in CenturyLink Field in which they lit up the Legion of Boom for 34 points. Though they won’t put up as many points against the Bucs, I still think they’ll win this game because of the defense. The Bucs on the other hand, will put up a good fight with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center again but it won’t be enough to come away with a win. The Bucs defense will most likely be the unit that lets them down in this game and Matt Ryan could have another big game against them.
Chiefs 24, Bills 21; 1:00pm CBS
The Chiefs are coming off their worst and most embarrassing loss as a team and they’ll be looking to get back into their groove against an unsettled Bills team that saw their rookie quarterback throw 5 interceptions in the first half alone… ultimately leading to his benching. Since the Chiefs are at home in this matchup it only looks to favor them. The only way the Chiefs could lose is if their defense allows LeSean McCoy to run all over them and for their performance to be as dysfunctional as the one we saw against the Giants.
Titans 23, Colts 20; 1:00pm FOX
This game is a tough one to call especially if you consider the fact that the Titans have lost 4 our of 5 times to the Colts in the last 3 seasons with their only win coming against them this year. However, don’t be surprised if the Titans lose this game especially after Mariota’s worst performance of his career against the Steelers last week. The Colts though, are coming off a bye and Jacoby Brissett may not be playing after suffering a concussion the game before their bye week. It will be on the offense to carry the team to a victory seeing as the Colts defense has been plagued with injuries this year.
Patriots 27, Dolphins 19; 1:00pm CBS
The Patriots are virtually impossible to stop and are as hot as any other team at the moment. The Patriots are coming off a game in which they harassed the Raiders in Mexico City while the Miami Dolphins are coming off a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in which their defense allowed the Bucs offense to put up 30 points. This game ir really a no-brainer because one team has one of the best quarterbacks of all time playing and the other has a quarterback that throws check downs to his receivers. Give me the Patriots in Gillette Stadium.
Panthers 24, Jets 23; 1:00pm FOX
This game could be closer than you all may think. Josh McCown has actually been playing some decent football this season and is making his receivers look like superstars. Cam Newton and Panthers meanwhile will be traveling to MetLife on a 3 game win streak and off a bye along with the Jets. Maybe the score will be lower than I predict since the defenses could be dominating in this game. I say the Panthers squeeze out a close one but don’t be surprised if the Jets pull off an upset over the Panthers.
Seahawks 24, 49ers 22; 4:05pm FOX
The Seahawks are coming off a devastating loss to the Falcons and the abscene of Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor was felt. They also keep sustaining injuries on the defensive side of the ball. So why am I picking the Seahawks you may ask? I think the 49ers will simply play poorly against the Seahawks defense. Beathard will be starting again but he won’t be lighting up the Legion of Boom like Matt Ryan did. Plus, Russell Wilson is still a clutch quarterback and I suspect that this game will be close until the last drive when Wilson pulls off some of that Houdini-like magic.
Rams 31, Saints 27; 4:25pm CBS
This is definitely the game of the week and perhaps the biggest tilt of the season for these two teams. With a win here, the Saints will have won theirs 9th straight game while the Rams drop their 2nd straight game. However, if the Rams win, they’ll snap the Saints win streak and will see themselves back in the win column. This game could be a shoutout since these offense are potent in every aspect of the game. This game is perhaps the most even matchup on paper and will be a game that comes down to the wire. I say the Rams squeeze out a win in L.A. to hand the Saints their 3rd loss of the season.
Raiders 23, Broncos 20; 4:25 CBS
This is a tough game to call but not for good reason. The question here is which team will play worse? My guess is the Broncos since they’ll be starting Paxton Lynch who has yet to prove what he can do while the Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr is more than capable of carrying the team on his back. Something has to give with one of these two teams. Since the Raiders are at home, I’ll take the them over Denver.
Cardinals 20, Jaguars 17; 4:25pm CBS
I really want to give this game to the Jaguars, but something tells me that Blake Bortles will play poorly. This would be a big upset win for the Cardinals who are coming off a game in which the defense gave up 31 points to Tom Savage. I’m simply going by my gut feeling in this game. The Jaguars will lean on their run game as usual but I don’t think it’ll enough to pull out a win. Maybe Adrian Peterson will run all over the Jags defense. Who knows?
Steelers 28, Packers 19; 8:30pm NBC
Sunday Night Football from Heinz Field could get out of hand very quickly. The Steelers won their 5 straight game a week ago against the Titans and are a red hot team at the moment. Brett Hundley of the Packers meanwhile, is coming off the worst performance of his career throwing 3 interceptions and lost a fumble. The Steelers defense is underrated and is one of the best defensive units in the league. Hundley will have to pull off something magical in order to pull off an upset win.
Ravens 24, Texans 16; 8:30pm ESPN
Monday Night Football for Joe Flacco and the Ravens who are coming off a dominant defensive performance against the Packers shutting them out. Their defense will look to have a repeat performance against the Houston Texans. The Texans are coming off a great win over the Arizona Cardinals but I don’t see them winning their 2nd straight game unless Joe Flacco plays very poorly. Give me the Ravens in this game.