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by rseguin3

NFL Week 12 Picks: Pigskin and Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! If you’re like me, Thanksgiving is about eating more than you ever should, spending time, and most importantly, watching football. As playoff races really heat up, Week 12 should be an excellent week of football. Here’s how I think this week’s games play out:

Eagles @ Lions – Thursday 12:30 PM ET

The Thanksgiving slate gets started with the Eagles visiting the Lions. Philadelphia comes into this game losers of two in a row, including a blowout loss at the hands of the Buccaneers last week. Detroit, on the other hand, comes in on a two game winning streak. Both teams have been messy this year and even though I think the Eagles have the edge in terms of talent, I think the short week and playing at home will help the Lions. I like Detroit, but this is a true coin flip.

Lions 22 – Eagles 18

Panthers @ Cowboys – Thursday 4:30 PM ET

As you’re either sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner or settling in for your Thanksgiving nap, the Cowboys and Panthers will be kicking off in Dallas. The Cowboys are definitely thankful for the return of Tony Romo. Even though he looked a little rusty in their Week 11 win against the Dolphins, Romo was far more competent than Brandon Weeden or Matt Cassel. The Cowboys will need all of that rust to be gone if they want to beat the Panthers on Thanksgiving. Carolina rolled to a 10-0 record this season with a dominant performance against the Redskins. I think the Panthers are just too good and this will not be their first slip-up this season. I like them to win behind strong performances from Cam Newton and their defense. 

Panthers 30 – Cowboys 20

Bears @ Packers – Thursday 8:30 PM ET

In the final game on Thursday, the Bears will head to Green Bay to take on the Packers. Week 11 reminded everyone to just relax when it comes to the Packers. Green Bay finally looked like themselves again and Aaron Rodgers played well enough to lead the Packers to victory. The win pulled Green Bay even with Minnesota in the NFC North race. The Bears currently sit 3rd in that division and had the chance to keep pace on Sunday, but ultimately lost a tough game to the Broncos. Despite the Bears decent play as of late and the return of Matt Forte, I don’t think they will be able to beat the Packers on a short week. I like Green Bay to cap off Thanksgiving with a win.

Packers 27 – Lions 16

Bills @ Chiefs – Sunday 1:00 PM ET

Moving on to the Sunday games, the Bills will visit the Chiefs in a matchup with major Wild Card implications. After starting the season 1-5, Kansas City is making a strong push toward the playoffs. The Chiefs enter this game winners of four in a row. One team that the Chiefs are competing with for a Wild Card spot is their Week 12 opponent, the Bills. Buffalo lost a tough game in New England on Monday night and will be playing their third straight road game when they head to Kansas City. I like the way Kansas City’s defense has played all year and I think they will again lead the Chiefs to victory. 

Chiefs 23 – Bills 17

Rams @ Bengals – Sunday 1:00 PM ET

It looks as if the collapse of the Bengals may be starting. After Cincinnati’s first 8-0 start in team history, two straight losses have the Bengals looking over their shoulder at the Steelers, who are only two games back in the AFC North. Cincy’s opponent this week, the Rams, have been a mess as of late. The QB change to Case Keenum did not do much, as he only threw for 136 yards and one touchdown. I think this will be an opportunity for the Bengals to turn things around. I see the Rams’ woes continuing and the Bengals moving to 9-2.

Bengals 24 – Rams 13

Saints @ Texans – Sunday 1:00 PM ET

When the dust settled on Week 7 of the NFL season, the Texans were 2-5 and had just been blown out by the Dolphins. It looked as if there was no chance for them in 2015, but as things happen in the NFL, there was a twist right around the corner. Three straight wins later, the Texans are tied with the Colts for the AFC South lead. The Texans will try to keep pace in the division this week as they host the Saints. In their bye week, New Orleans fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. The NFL’s worst defense may get a slight boost from the change, but the Saints have been a mess all season. I think they can win this game, but I need them to prove it to me first. I’ll take the Texans, but I won’t be shocked if New Orleans comes out on top. 

Texans 27 – Saints 24

Buccaneers @ Colts – Sunday 1:00 PM ET

This week’s game between the Colts and Buccaneers will feature the current oldest starting QB in the NFL and the current youngest starting QB in the NFL. Week 11 showed us a few things from Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck and Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston of these players. First, Winston’s performance against the Eagles showed us exactly why he was taken first overall in the 2015 draft. Winston tossed five touchdowns as the Bucs routed Philadelphia. Second, Hasselbeck showed that age is just a number, as he won his third game for the Colts this year. In fact, Matt Hasselbeck is 3-0 as a starting QB this year, while regular starter Andrew Luck is only 2-5. I’m in no way saying that Hasselbeck is better than Luck, but he has been able to keep the Colts afloat in the AFC South. I think Colts will improve to 4-0 under their veteran QB this week, moving their record to 6-5 overall.

Colts 18 – Buccaneers 14

Chargers @ Jaguars – Sunday 1:00 PM ET

San Diego’s troubles continued in Week 11. The Bolts lost their 6th straight game, with this one being the worst of loss of the six. The Chargers’ Week 12 opponent, the Jaguars, won their second game in a row in last week, which keeps them firmly entrenched in the AFC South race. I still don’t trust Jacksonville and I think that the Chargers can get things straight this week. I like San Diego to come out with the win.

Chargers 26 – Jacksonville 23 

Dolphins @ Jets – Sunday 1:00 PM ET

Each time it looks like the Dolphins have turned a corner, they lay an egg that reminds you it’s over for them in 2015. After beating the Eagles and putting their name back in the Wild Card race, the Dolphins lost at home to the Cowboys in Week 11. The Jets also failed to capitalize in the Wild Card race last week, losing to the Texans. Both the Jets and Dolphins have looked good at times this year and both have looked really bad at times. Unfortunately for Miami, one of the best games New York played all year was Week 3 in London. This rematch doesn’t bode well for the Dolphins. I think the Jets win this one easily. 

Jets 30 – Dolphins 13

Vikings @ Falcons – Sunday 1:00 PM ET

After several strong games, the Vikings took sole possession of the NFC North. That lead was short-lived, as they were not able to get past the Packers last week. Minnesota is still in prime position for a playoff spot, but one of their closest competitors is their Week 12 opponent. The Falcons blew a lead against the Colts last week and have now stumbled to a 6-4 record after a 5-0 start to the 2015 season. I think the Vikings are the better team in this game and I think they will end up getting another leg up in the NFC Wild Card race.

Vikings 20 – Falcons 16

Giants @ Redskins – Sunday 1:00 PM ET

In arguably the biggest game of the week, the Redskins will host the Giants in a battle for 1st place in the NFC East. The Giants had a bye week to recover from their heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Patriots. The Redskins didn’t have the same chance to recover from being blown out by Carolina. I think both of these teams are evenly matched, but in the end, I’ll take Eli Manning over Kirk Cousins. I like the Giants to extend their lead in the NFC East.

Giants 29 – Redskins 24

Raiders @ Titans – Sunday 1:00 PM ET

The past few weeks have certainly silenced the Derek Carr for MVP crowd. After getting out to a 4-3 record, Oakland has struggled in their last three games. Now sitting at 4-6, there is a chance for the playoffs, but that window is closing rapidly. A win this week in Tennessee is a must for the Raiders. The Titans are the only team in the AFC South that can’t be considered in contention for the playoffs. I think they can keep the game with the Raiders competitive, but I don’t think they will win this game.

Raiders 26 – Titans 16

Cardinals @ 49ers – Sunday 4:05 PM ET

The Cardinals are well on their way to winning the NFC West and the 49ers are a joke. The last time these two teams met, Arizona won 47-7. I don’t see this game have too much of a different outcome. I like Arizona and I like the big.

Cardinals 38 – 49ers 9

Steelers @ Seahawks – Sunday 4:25 PM ET

The Seahawks kept their playoff hopes alive last week with a win over the hapless 49ers. Their opponent in Week 12, is also trying to fight for a playoff berth. Pittsburgh comes into this game off a bye week with a 1 game lead in the AFC Wild Card picture. Albeit different conferences, this game has huge playoff implications. I know that Seattle isn’t exactly an intimidating place to play this season, but I still have a very difficult time picking against them at home. I think the Seahawks win, but this game is going to be a good one.

Seahawks 31 – Steelers 29

Patriots @ Broncos – Sunday 8:30 PM ET

Brock Osweiler has the chance to make people in Denver forget that Peyton Manning exists. While Manning nurses his foot injury, the Broncos will turn again to Osweiler to lead the charge against the undefeated Patriots. New England keeps finding ways to win, despite not looking their best the past two weeks. I think this will be the first blemish on the record for the Patriots. I like Osweiler to manage the game enough to win behind a strong defensive performance by the Broncos.

Broncos 23 – Patriots 20

Ravens @ Browns – Monday 8:30 PM ET

Thanksgiving weekend could not end with a worse matchup. A Ravens team now without Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett will visit Cleveland. The Browns this week benched Johnny Manziel for partying. Both teams are well out of the playoff picture and if it weren’t for gambling or fantasy, I doubt anyone would watch this game. I guess I like the Browns, but I almost want to make this a 0-0 tie.

Browns 12 – Ravens 9

Week 11 Record: 9 - 5