Week 12 of red hot NFL action is now about to get revved up and the Thanksgiving Day games only add a bit of flavor to the festivities. The annual tradition of eating turkey and watching football is alive and well in my house, and this week will be no exception. I am in a particularly good mood after having went 12-3 going into the Monday Night Game for week 11, and feel ready to make some outstanding picks this week to accentuate my turkey feast.
I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day of NFL football and great food, and hope you will follow my advice on these NFL week 12 predictions. I am red hot lately, so why not take advantage?
Here are my NFL week 12 picks including the three Thanksgiving Day football games.
THU, NOV 25
New England at Detroit
The Patriots and the Lions are the first Thanksgiving NFL football teams on the docket and it is fitting really. Every Thanksgiving Day has to have a game with the Lions, and usually it includes a loss for the hapless Lions. Well, the Lions are far from hapless now, but the Patriots are simply too much for them. Though the Lions are likely to put up more of a fight than you might expect, they will still lose to Tom Brady and the mighty Patriots.
Winner – New England Patriots
New Orleans at Dallas
In what is likely to be the most competitive NFL Thanksgiving Day game, the red hot New Orleans Saints will take on an equally hot Dallas Cowboy team that has turned things around since Jason Garrett took over the reins. It seems that the Cowboys are doing everything better since Wade Phillips got fired, and that is likely more a reflection of the players than it is the former coach. NFL football players should be willing to play hard no matter who is calling the shots, but I digress. The Saints seem to finally be finding their stride in the last few weeks and that could spell bad news for the Cowboys. In spite of this, I think the Cowboys will finally give the home crowd something to cheer about with a Thanksgiving Day win.
Winner — Dallas Cowboys
Cincinnati at NY Jets
In the final Thanksgiving day football clash, the New York Jets take on a Cincinnati Bengals squad that has redefined collapse in the fourth quarter. The Bengals were absolutely thrashing the lowly Buffalo Bills in week 11 when suddenly they simply fell apart. Conversely, the New York Jets have found a way to win in the fourth quarter consistently all season long. You do the math.
Winner — New York Jets
SUN, NOV 28
Green Bay at Atlanta
In what could very easily turn out to be a preview of the NFL football playoffs, the Green Bay Packers travel to Atlanta to take on the consistent Falcons. While the Packers have been much less consistent than the Falcons, they do support a very explosive offense. Atlanta is very tough at home and the Packers will have their work cut out for them. I do think that the Green Bay Packers will have enough pull out a very important road win.
Winner — Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh at Buffalo
Buffalo has proven to me that they are no longer a cakewalk against anyone. Certainly Pittsburgh should not have any major troubles against Buffalo, but they’re not going to be able to mail it in either. The Bills have just enough offense to give Pittsburgh a run for their money, so the Steelers had better come prepared to score some points.
Winner — Pittsburgh Steelers
Carolina at Cleveland
Carolina is in the middle of one of the worst seasons since their inception and it does not appear to be getting any better. This once proud franchise is now facing a very long rest of the season with absolutely no direction. Coach John Fox made perhaps the most boneheaded move in NFL history in starting Brian St. Pierre over rookie Tony Pike in a week 11 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Panthers likely would have lost the game either way, but at least Fox and the owner Jerry Richardson would have some idea if Pike could produce in gametime situations. Now they travel to Cleveland to face the Browns and only Fox himself knows who will be starting. Given this uncertainty, and a much improved Cleveland Browns football team, there can be only one decision as to who will win.
Winner — Cleveland Browns
Jacksonville at NY Giants
Jacksonville finally won a game last week in which I picked them to win, and I couldn’t be happier about it. The Jaguars tried to make it harder than it had to be, but they did pull out the win. This is a bad week to play the New York Giants however. The Giants just got handed a tough loss against Philadelphia, and they will be looking to take it out on somebody. Enter Jacksonville.
Winner — New York Giants
Minnesota at Washington
Minnesota finally decided to make a change at head coach and fired Brad Childress this week and promoted defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to interim head coach. Leslie Frazier is a very hard-nosed coach that will almost certainly motivate the Vikings in much the same way that Jason Garrett has over in Dallas. I expect that this will send the Vikings to an unexpected victory over the Redskins in week 12.
Winner — Minnesota Vikings
Tennessee at Houston
The Texans have been on a slide but the Titans have been freefalling from the inside. Titans quarterback Vince Young has been placed on IR for the season and the Titans are just not nearly as scary without him. Kerry Collins does a good enough job but Vince Young gave them something more in general. This game is truly a toss up and I am on the fence. I give the edge to Houston if only because they are explosive and at home.
Winner – Houston Texans
Kansas City at Seattle
The Chiefs are a team that can be very good when they are on and very bad when they are not. They are a whole lot scarier when they are at home so going on the road to the tough home of the Seahawks is no gimme. I think the Hawks will have a good game and upset the Chiefs this week.
Winner – Seattle Seahawks
Miami at Oakland
The Dolphins laid one hell of a rotten egg against Chicago and there is no reason to think that will get much better against a tough Raider squad. Not when they are playing at home. The Raiders win a big one.
Winner – Oakland Raiders
St. Louis at Denver
The Rams have got to get it in gear if they hope to battle Seattle for the top of the NFC West. This week is a pivotal game in their season. Not only are they not at home, facing a potentially tough team and having to travel across the country, but they are also coming off a loss. The Rams must win this game even though the profile says that they should lose. I think they get a huge win for Sam Bradford and the Rams franchise.
Winner – St. Louis Rams
Philadelphia at Chicago
Philly is on quite the roll lately. Mike Vick is playing like gangbusters (no pun intended) and the city is on cloud nine. The Bears are doing okay for themselves too. If the Eagles can go into Chicago and beat the Bears in November, then I think they might just be for real. Unfortunately, I think the Bears will win instead due to a vicious defense.
Winner – Chicago Bears
Tampa Bay at Baltimore
So the Tampa Bay Bucs are trying to get respect. Head coach Raheem Morris is claiming they are the best team in the NFC. Josh Freeman is being touted as the next great quarterback to hit the NFL. All of these things may be true, but it is going to take a win like this one at Baltimore to prove it. Are they up to the task? Not yet, Bucs fans. Not yet.
Winner – Baltimore Ravens
San Diego at Indianapolis
The Chargers are starting to do their annual mad dash for the playoffs, and Peyton Manning and the Colts are smarting after a last second loss to the Patriots. The Chargers are getting Manning at the worst possible time. Rarely does Manning and the Colts lose two straight and they prove it against the Chargers.
Winner – Indianapolis Colts
MON, NOV 29
San Francisco at Arizona
The Niners are playing much better football than they were at the start of the season and the Cardinals are simply unpredictable. This is impossible to figure out with any sense of true logic. Still, the Cardinals are at home and have a decent enough defense to give the Niners fits. I give the edge to Arizona.
Winner – Arizona Cardinals
Score – Arizona 24 San Francisco 17
Week 11 Record – 13 – 3 (Assuming Monday night win for San Diego)
Season Record to Date – 96 – 64