(No movie quote of the day since there will be two posts today)
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here are the matchups for week 12:
Week 11 record: 9-5 (64.2 percent)
2016 record: 91-68-2 (57.1 percent)
All-time record: 243-173-2 (58.4 percent)
Minnesota Vikings (6-4) at Detroit Lions (6-4)
Line: DET -1
I know that Minnesota won a game last week and ended its four-game losing streak. However, I can’t pick against Detroit right now. Matt Stafford and the Lions are playing very well. The Vikings’ offensive line is horrible and I don’t think they’ll be able to handle Detroit’s pass rush.
Prediction: Lions 24, Vikings 19
Washington Redskins (6-3-1) at Dallas Cowboys (9-1)
Line: DAL -7
I really want to pick Washington to win this game. The Redskins are playing at a high level offensively – thanks to Kirk Cousins. However, I don’t think Washington has the defense to slow down Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Since the game is in Dallas, I expect the crowd to be rowdy and the Cowboys’ defense to get some stops.
Prediction: Cowboys 26, Redskins 21
Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5) at Indianapolis Colts (5-5)
Lucas Oil Stadium
Line: PIT -9
Since Andrew Luck won’t play in this game due to injury, I’m not sure I can see the Colts winning. Scott Tolzien isn’t a horrible backup, but I trust Ben Roethlisberger more. I think the Steelers’ defense forces Tolzien to make some mistakes and Pittsburgh gets the win.
Prediction: Steelers 31, Colts 20
Tennessee Titans (5-6) at Chicago Bears (2-8)
Line: TEN -4.5
Jay Cutler is done for the year and I get the feeling Chicago is in “tank” mode and starting to gear up for next season. Tennessee had a tough loss last week, but the Titans are the better team than the Bears right now. Chicago has had too many injuries defensively, and I think Marcus Mariota plays well on the road and leads Tennessee to a win.
Prediction: Titans 27, Bears 19
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8) at Buffalo Bills (5-5)
New Era Field
Buffalo, N. Y.
Line: BUF -7.5
Jacksonville has been one of the biggest disappointments this season. The Jaguars are awful right now and I can’t bring myself to pick them. Buffalo got back on the right track last week after a win in Cincinnati, and the Bills are back in the playoff hunt. With this game in Buffalo, I think Rex Ryan will have the Bills ready.
Prediction: Bills 27, Jaguars 20
Cincinnati Bengals (3-6-1) at Baltimore Ravens (5-5)
M&T Bank Stadium
Line: BAL -4
Cincinnati’s offense has already struggled this season and they just lost Gio Bernard and A. J. Green for the season. I expect the Bengals’ woes to continue because Baltimore has a very good defense, and the Ravens are in the hunt for a division title. I think John Harbaugh has his team prepared and Andy Dalton will struggle to score points on the road.
Prediction: Ravens 22, Bengals 17
Arizona Cardinals (4-5-1) at Atlanta Falcons (6-4)
Line: ATL -5
Arizona has been one of the biggest mysteries this season. The Cardinals have been fairly healthy, but they just can’t seem to piece it together this season – some of that is due to Carson Palmer’s play at quarterback. The Georgia Dome can be a tough place to play and Matt Ryan has played like a MVP candidate this season. He should make enough plays to win Sunday.
Prediction: Falcons 27, Cardinals 24
New York Giants (7-3) at Cleveland Browns (0-11)
Line: NYG -7
I’m not sure Cleveland has what it takes to win this game. The Giants are playing very well right now and they have the capability to score a bunch of points. The Browns have the third-worst scoring offense in the league and I just don’t think they have the horses to outscore the Giants.
Prediction: Giants 30, Browns 20
Los Angeles Rams (4-6) at New Orleans Saints (4-6)
Line: NO -7
I’d really like to see Los Angeles turn Jared Goff loose because the Rams are handcuffing him too much. I think their best chance to win is to have Goff take the reigns of the offense and have him develop on his own. However, I don’t see that happening and the Rams’ method won’t work against New Orleans. Even though the Saints’ defense is garbage, Goff won’t be able to outscore Drew Brees with the Rams smothering him like they are.
Prediction: Saints 31, Rams 19
San Francisco 49ers (1-9) at Miami Dolphins (6-4)
Hard Rock Stadium
Line: MIA -7.5
There’s no better way to say it – Miami is en fuego right now. Adam Gase has the Dolphins rolling and Ryan Tannehill is playing the best football of his career this season. This is a long road trip for for San Francisco and West Coast teams don’t fare well on the East Coast for early kickoffs. I have to go with the surging Dolphins.
Prediction: Dolphins 34, 49ers 24
San Diego Chargers (4-6) at Houston Texans (6-4)
Line: SD -1.5
The spread is in San Diego’s favor but I’m going to pick Houston to win this game. My main reason for that is that the Texans have played well at home since Bill O’Brien became head coach in 2014 – losing just six times in 21 home games. I feel like Houston has the better defense and Philip Rivers won’t be able to score enough points to win.
Prediction: Texans 23, Chargers 20
Seattle Seahawks (7-2-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5)
Raymond James stadium
Line: SEA -6
Keep an eye on this game. Tampa Bay had the most under-the-radar win last week by knocking off Kansas City on the road. After winning that game, I feel like the Buccaneers could win this game. However, Seattle’s defense is one of the NFL’s best and Russell Wilson is playing at a high level. I feel like the Seahawks will find a way to win this game, but Tampa Bay will keep it within the spread.
Prediction: Seahawks 28, Buccaneers 24
Carolina Panthers (4-6) at Oakland Raiders (8-2)
Line: OAK -3
I think this is going to be a tough game for Carolina to win. The Raiders have a very good pass rush and the Panthers’ offensive line is below average. I think it’s going to be difficult for Cam Newton to find the end zone. Also, Carolina’s secondary is very bad and the Raiders have great players on the perimeter. I expect Derek Carr to pick the Panthers’ defense apart, especially if Luke Kuechly can’t play.
Prediction: Raiders 31, Panthers 24
New England Patriots (8-2) at New York Jets (3-7)
East Rutherford, N. J.
Line: NE -7.5
I know this is a huge rivalry, but I think this game has the potential to get ugly. Ryan Fitzpatrick is back to being the Jets’ starting quarterback, and he’s been terrible this season. On the other side, Tom Brady is having a great season and New England’s defense is pretty good. I won’t be shocked if the Jets have some tricks up their sleeve and win this game, but I can’t pull the trigger and call an upset.
Prediction: Patriots 23, Jets 17
Green Bay Packers (4-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)
Lincoln Financial Field
Line: PHI -4
Green Bay is a sinking ship and I can’t bring myself to pick the Packers. Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s offense isn’t the problem anymore – it’s Green Bay’s defense. The Packers’ defense has given up 153 points in their last four games (38.25 points per game). I expect Carson Wentz and Philadelphia’s offense to score several times against Green Bay, and it’ll be difficult for Rodgers to keep up.
Prediction: Eagles 34, Packers 28
Game of the week:
Kansas City Chiefs (7-3) at Denver Broncos (7-3)
Sports Authority Field
Line: DEN -3
I keep thinking Denver’s decline is on the horizon but I keep getting proven wrong. I still think it’s going to happen eventually, but I’m not sure it’ll come this weekend. I don’t think Kansas City has a good enough offense to go into Denver and score enough points to win against one of the NFL’s toughest defenses. Denver is a very tough place to play, and I expect the Broncos’ pass rush to be too much for Kansas City’s offensive line.
Prediction: Broncos 20, Chiefs 17
Thanks for reading
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