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Week 12 NFL Picks: Give Thanks for Football

Aaron Rodgers knocked out of the games by the Lions (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

Thanksgiving Day Football

Miami @ Dallas

The Dolphins and Cowboys come into Thanksgiving Day on three game win streaks. The Dolphins thumped the reeling Bills and the Cowboys survived against the Redskins. What once looked like the snoozer of the three games actually turned into a pretty intriguing matchup. The key to the Dolphins’ success is the play of their defense. They’ve allowed 3, 9, and 8 points during their winning streak. The Cowboys on the other hand have to be considered the favorites to win the NFC East now. They could build a two-game lead on the Giants (with Miami and Arizona coming up, while the Giants have New Orleans and Green Bay) before their Sunday Night showdown on 12/11.

Key Matchups

San Francisco @ Baltimore

Brother versus brother, two of the three best teams in football, Thanksgiving night, what is better than this? This is going to be a hardnosed slugfest. The 49ers are running away with the NFC West title and the Ravens have regained control of the AFC North. The defense of the Ravens, minus their leader Ray Lewis, almost blew a huge lead to the Bengals last week. Why do the Ravens win this game? Simply because they need it more.

Upset Special

Green Bay @ Detroit

I’ve been calling this upset since the day the season began. The Lions are a team that feeds really well off emotions and Thanksgiving has always been their Super Bowl. The crowd will be going crazy, similar to their Monday Night game against the Bears. It’s also part of the reason why they play so well when they’re behind. They thrive off the chaos and the crowd. The Lions have the pieces in place to beat the Packers, strong defensive line to pressure Rodgers, good passing attack against a less than stellar secondary, and the belief that they actually can win.

The Rest of the Games

Arizona @ St. Louis

What in the world happened to the Rams? Nothing, they were never really good to begin with.

Carolina @ Indianapolis

The Panthers’ defense is horrible. Their offense is good. The Colts are horrible. Therefore, the good offense wins. See what I did there?

Houston @ Jacksonville

Matt Leinart makes his season debut playing in place of the injured Matt Schaub. Schaub is huge loss for a Texans team who have finally started to look like Super Bowl contenders. Some teams just can’t catch a break. They do get Andre Johnson back Sunday though.

Cleveland @ Cincinnati

A.J. Green might be back this week but regardless, the Bengals should have no problem bouncing back from two tough losses to the Steelers and Ravens.

Tampa Bay @ Tennessee

Jake Locker showed us something in his first time playing extended minutes. He kept a lot of plays alive with his feet and almost brought Tennessee all the back against Atlanta, some signs that Tennessee might have something in the near future.

Minnesota @ Atlanta

The Vikings most likely will be without Peterson, in other words, they simply cannot win.

Buffalo @ New York Jets

Fred Jackson is gone for the year, at least they’ll have an excuse not to pay him now. As for the Jets, their defense came up really small against the Broncos. How does a team that prides itself on defense allow a team that cannot throw the ball drive 95 yards on them with the game on the line? Rex Ryan needs to stop throwing Mark Sanchez under the bus and place some blame on his defense.

Chicago @ Oakland

Jay Cutler joined the club of key starting quarterbacks on the shelf for a long time. It’s a crushing blow for the Bears who, like the Texans, were playing some of their best football of the season. Meanwhile, Michael Bush is establishing his claim for a starting running back job somewhere in the NFL. He could have a very similar career path to Michael Turner, who played behind LDT before finally getting a chance with Atlanta, where he continues to excel.

Washington @ Seattle

I hated the move to bench Rex Grossman when it happened, and Sunday proved why I was right. They might not have won against the Cowboys, but they sure had chances. Could you imagine John Beck leading the Redskins to a victory over the Cowboys? I don’t think so.

New England @ Philadelphia

Before we praise Vince Young for his heroics against the Giants, let us stop to remember that the only reason the game was even close is because of Young’s ineptitude for three quarters. The game simply should not have been that close. The Eagles controlled the game for four quarters and needed a Jason Babin strip sack to prevent the game from going into overtime. Among the mistakes Young made, under-throwing a wide open DeSean Jackson that should have been a touchdown, and an interception in the end zone. The Eagles really ought to have blown the Giants out.

Denver @ San Diego

I don’t see any way Norv Turner survives this off-season. No one likes to lose but this losing might be a blessing in disguise for the Chargers. Meanwhile in the land of Tebow, the Broncos are just one game out of the AFC West. Tebow will get all the praise, and deservedly so, but Von Miller has emerged as a real star. Maybe people questioned Denver’s decision to draft an outside 3-4 pass rushing linebacker when they play a 4-3, but I like what the Broncos did. You always draft the best player available regardless of need or scheme. He’s shown himself to be a capable run stopper and moves down to DE on passing downs, where he does his best work (9.5 sacks).

Pittsburgh @ Kansas City

I feel sorry for whoever the Chiefs throw out there, Palko or newly acquired Kyle Orton.

New York Giants @ New Orleans

Horrible loss by the Giants against the Eagles. They were flat, listless, and uninspired. They could not run the ball nor throw the ball, but worst of all, their defense could not get off the field in the fourth quarter. The Eagles converted third down after third down, it was almost painful to watch at times, even for a non-Giant fan like myself. Are we seeing another Giants second half implosion?

My Record:

  • Last Week: 8-6
  • Upset Special: 4-7
  • Overall: 99-61

About A Lee

I'm as happy as the Mets, Knicks, Lions, and Devils allow me to be.

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