Thanksgiving & Week 12 Predictions

Phil Kennett

What better way after spending a long, hard day at work than to come home and be treated to 3 back-to-back NFL games this Thursday. As the NFL playoff picture starts to heat up, we are treated to 16 games this weekday with no more byes in sight for the regular season.

This week sees a number of playoff chasing teams go up against teams that have struggled this season for various reasons. These playoff pursuing teams will be hoping for no slip-ups as we head down the home straight and I will give my picks and thoughts for each game.

Let’s start with the Thanksgiving games

Vikings @ Lions;

This is one of the games of the week for me where both teams will be giving it their all to get a grip on top spot in the NFC North. The Vikings were impressive in their victory against the Rams last week whilst the Lions scrapped past the Bears. However, the Lions did defeat the Vikings earlier this season and I am picking the Lions to complete the double over their divisional rivals in front of a raucous home crowd.

PICK: Lions


Chargers @ Cowboys;

The Cowboys looked poor last week against the Eagles and are now on a 2 game losing streak. The Chargers however come off the back of an impressive win against the Bills. I am backing Dak Prescott to return to form at home and beat the Chargers comfortably, however he will need to get the best out of Bryant and Witten whom have looked anonymous lately.

PICK: Cowboys [editor note: Dahn is not happy with this pick]

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Giants @ Redskins;

The Redskins will be gutted that they let slip their commanding lead against the Saints in week 11.  That being said, I am backing the Redskins to pick up the victory here. The Giants pulled off a surprising win at home against the Chiefs but am picking the Redskins to record the win in a low scoring game.

PICK: Redskins


Browns @ Bengals;

The Bengals have been disappointing this season but did record a win in Denver last time out, ending a 42 year wait! Although disappointing, the Bengals will have too much for a Browns side whose injuries are starting to pile up. The Browns have looked improved on defence of late and although the Bengals have struggled to get a ground game going, I am picking AJ Green to have a productive afternoon moving the Bengals to 5-6.

PICK: Bengals


Panthers @ Jets;

This game is going to be a lot closer than people think. The Jets have won 3 games at home this season and kept both the Patriots and Falcons to under 26 points and feel this game will be very similar. The Panthers have looked imposing of late with Cam Newton regaining some form and am picking the Panthers to come away with the win in a close, 1 score game.

PICK: Panthers


Titans @ Colts;

This is one of the hardest games to pick this week. The Titans lost convincingly last time out against the Steelers but did play well in the first 3 quarters. Similarly, the Colts went toe-to-toe with the Steelers last time around before having a bye last week. In a close game, potentially settled in OT, I am going for a Colts victory with Brissett having another solid game for the Colts.

PICK: Colts


Buccaneers @ Falcons;

The Bucks come into this game having won their last 2 with Fitzpatrick looking solid for the Bucks since Jameis Winston’s injury. However, the Falcons last 2 weeks have resulted in 2 road victories against the Cowboys and Seahawks and can only see one winner in this game.

PICK: Falcons

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Dolphins @ Patriots;

Possibly the biggest mismatch of this week sees the Dolphins travel to Foxborough. There will be no upset here no matter who plays at QB for the Dolphins. Easy Patriots win.

PICK: Patriots


Bears @ Eagles;

The Eagles looked particularly dominant in the 2nd half against the Cowboys last week to move them to 9-1. I have been particularly impressed with the chemistry between Wentz and Jeffery all season and the fact the Offensive Line has given Wentz the time to make these big throws downfield. The Bears lost a close game against the Lions last week but the Eagles will win this comfortably in front of their home fans.

PICK: Eagles


Bills @ Chiefs;

A tricky game to pick with both teams looking poor in recent weeks. The Chiefs were 5-0 in the first five weeks of the season but have looked increasingly poor since their defeat to the Steelers with Hunt’s rushing yards drying up. That being said, I can see the Chiefs securing a much needed victory against a Bills team that have recalled Tyrod Taylor.

PICK: Chiefs


Seahawks @ 49ers;

Another tricky to game to pick on paper. We are still yet to see Jimmy Garoppolo suit up as the starting QB for the 49ers and may not this week according to John Lynch’s recent comments. Due to the number of injuries to key players on defence for the Seahawks and the fact that the 49ers are coming off a bye week, I am picking the 49ers to claim the surprise result of the weekend and defeat the Seahawks.

PICK: 49ers


Broncos @ Raiders;

The AFC West is wide open after the Chiefs recent demise and this is a must win for both teams.  Once again, both teams were poor last time out but Derek Carr is undoubtedly a better QB than Brock Osweiler and this will show over the 4 quarters. I am picking the Raiders to move to 5-6 and eliminate any Broncos playoff hopes.

PICK: Raiders


Saints @ Rams;

This is the game of the week for me. The Rams failed to get their offense running on Sunday against the Vikings and feel they will find it difficult again against an improved Saints defence. The Saints continued their winning streak with a late comeback against the Redskins. The Saints running game is the most exciting running game in the NFL and am predicting both Kamara and Ingram to have big games to propel the Saints to a road win. The defeat will leave the Rams fighting with the Seahawks to gain that playoff spot in the NFC West.

PICK: Saints

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Jaguars @ Cardinals;

The Jaguars have looked more commanding when playing on the road this season and can see their defence taking centre stage again against a mediocre Cardinals team.

PICK: Jaguars


Packers @ Steelers

The Steelers have a much better record when playing at Heinz Field and after their convincing victory over the Titans last Thursday, can only see one winner here. The Packers have looked increasingly poor on offense since Aaron Rodgers injury and can see them struggling again against an exciting Steelers defence.

PICK: Steelers


Texans @ Ravens;

Similar to the Colts / Titans game, I can see this being a low scoring, defence dominated game. Both teams’ defences look significantly better than their offenses and can see the Ravens winning a tight game after their recent shutout of the Packers.

PICK: Ravens

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