26 November 2015

2015 NFL Predictions: Week 12

Ah yes, it would not be Thanksgiving without football. We have got ourselves another tripleheader on this year's Turkey Day, an all-NFC slate at that. And as we are about to enter December, the NFL season is only heating up. Here are my picks for this week in the NFL.

Last Week: 9-5
2015: 95-84
Locks: 9-2

Based on time constraints thanks to travelling, I will just be posting my Thanksgiving picks for now. Check back in later this week for the remainder of my picks.

Thanksgiving - Thursday, November 26th
Eagles (4-6) vs. Lions (3-7) - Fox, 12:30
Philadelphia Eagles (1948 - 1968)Detroit Lions (1961 - 1969)
I have no idea where this two game winning streak has come from for the Lions but while the offense continues to be inconsistent, their defense improbably has looked very good. Now they get to host a sinking Eagles team who have lost two in a row at home, including getting blown out of the water by the Buccaneers. Something is amiss for this team right now and I don't think it matters who starts at quarterback for them. Detroit gets their third win in a row.
Lions 17 Eagles 12

Panthers (10-0) vs. Cowboys (3-7) - CBS, 4:30
Carolina Panthers (1995 - 1995)Dallas Cowboys (1960 - 1963)
The Cowboys are a pretty popular upset pick, even opening as the favorite. I can't think of there ever being a team with three wins being favored over an undefeated team at this point in the season but here we are. Count me in as one picking the Cowboys here. A big key for them was Tony Romo returning and looking relatively good in an important road win over Miami. Carolina is a good team but certainly not invincible and I think a strong Romo performance will power Dallas here.
Cowboys 23 Panthers 21

Bears (4-6) vs. Packers (7-3) - NBC, 8:30
Chicago Bears (1962 - 1972)Green Bay Packers (1980 - Pres)
You know that this is going to be an emotional game for the Packers as the iconic Brett Favre will return to Lambeau Field to have his number retired, only the sixth in franchise history. What may be more important for the Packers is that they got their confidence back after a nice victory over the Vikings on Sunday which returned them to first place. Chicago came back to Earth a little bit by losing to the Broncos on Sunday so look for Green Bay to get the win.
Packers 31 Bears 22

Sunday, November 29th
Raiders (4-6) vs. Titans (2-8) - CBS, 1:00
 Oakland Raiders (1995 - Pres)Tennessee Titans (1999 - Pres)
So maybe the Raiders haven't turned a corner after all? They have now dropped two in a row after losing to the almighty Lions on Sunday and have lot a little bit of ground in the barnburner that is the AFC wild card race. If they can't beat a trash Tennessee team, albeit in their second road contest in a row, then we might as well stick a fork in them. Derek Carr will rebound here.
Raiders 20 Titans 13

Bills (5-5) vs. Chiefs (5-5) - CBS, 1:00
 Buffalo Bills (1974 - Pres)Kansas City Chiefs (1972 - Pres)
Just when we thought they were dead in the water, the Chiefs have risen like the phoenix with four victories in a row and at the moment, they are in the playoffs. Don't forget, they are also doing this without Jamaal Charles, the lifeblood of the Kansas City offense. Their defense has looked really good in these victories and I don't see that changing against an inconsistent squad like the Bills.
Chiefs 28 Bills 12

Buccaneers (5-5) vs. Colts (5-5) - Fox, 1:00
 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1997 - 2013)Indianapolis Colts (1984 - 2001)
The Colts have been super streaky this season. They lost their first two games, won their next three, lost the ensuing three and now return home after winning in Atlanta with a two-game winning streak. However, I still don't have a whole lot of confidence in their defense and their offense could struggle against a Buccaneers defense that continues to look very good. Not only that, Jameis Winston has started to really show some promise. Tampa Bay is a club that is starting to grow and I like them here.
Buccanneers 27 Colts 21

Giants (5-5) vs. Washington (4-6) - Fox, 1:00
New York Giants (2000 - Pres)Washington Redskins (1965 - 1969) 
There appears to be a pattern with Washington this season in terms of their wins and losses. With the exception of their opening week loss to Miami, Washington has won all of their home games and have lost all of their road games. Kirk Cousins has been very erratic (big shocker there) but he seems to have a comfort level at home. But I do like the Giants here on the road. New York came very close to upsetting the Patriots at home before the bye and their defense is starting to come around a little despite being undermanned.
Giants 28 Washington 27

Saints (4-6) vs. Texans (5-5) - Fox, 1:00
New Orleans Saints (1967 - 1999)Houston Texans (2006 - Pres) 
Even with no quarterback, the Texans have won three in a row and currently sit in a tie for first place in a miserable AFC South. Their season has rebounded some largely thanks to strong performances from their defense as they have only given up an average of ten points a game during this winning streak. The Saints would love to have half of that defense but even as defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has finally been fired, I think the Houston defense will keep the Saints offense in check just enough.
Texans 17 Saints 15

Vikings (7-3) vs. Falcons (6-4) - Fox, 1:00
Minnesota Vikings (1966 - 2012)Atlanta Falcons (2003 - Pres) 
The Vikings did not very good in a home contest against the Packers, ultimately losing and falling from first place in the NFC North. Meanwhile, it feels so long ago that the Falcons were undefeated but since then they have lost four of five and have not looked good in almost two months. And with Devonta Freeman probably not fully healthy, this Atlanta team is really in trouble.
Vikings 19 Falcons 10

Rams (4-6) vs, Bengals (8-2) - Fox, 1:00
St. Louis Rams (2000 - Pres)Cincinnati Bengals (1970 - 1980) 
The Rams had their chances to knock off a terrible Ravens team on the road this past week and while they were able to get to overtime, a Case Keenum fumble after he was left in the game despite what proved to be a concussion sank them. It won't matter who starts for them against a strong Cincinnati club that returns to their favored 1 pm start. Even though they burned me the last time I picked them, the Bengals are my Lock of the Week
Bengals 30 Rams 14

Chargers (2-8) vs. Jaguars (4-6) - CBS, 1:00
San Diego Chargers (2007 - Pres)Jacksonville Jaguars (2013 - Pres) 
San Diego, amid a ton of injuries to their roster, have completely fallen apart as they have lost six in a row and now are coming off a home beatdown to the surging Chiefs. Now they have to go cross country and play in an early game against a sneaky Jaguars team. It hasn't been that pretty but the Jaguars are hanging around in the AFC South and wild card races by winning two in a row and they should win this week. 
Jaguars 28 Chargers 23

Dolphins (4-6) vs. Jets (5-5) - CBS, 1:00
 Miami Dolphins (2013 - Pres)New York Jets (1998 - Pres)
The Jets are starting to look like the Jets once again as they have followed up a really nice start with losses in four out of five games. The defense has taken some steps in the wrong direction and Ryan Fitzpatrick has looked more shaky at quarterback. Regarding the other team, the Dolphins have been a little all over the place and save for that crazy last-second win against the Eagles, they really have not been looking that good for the past month. The Jets need the win and I think they'll actually get it down. 
Jets 17 Dolphins 14

Cardinals (8-2) vs. 49ers (3-7) - Fox, 4:05
Arizona Cardinals (2005 - Pres)San Francisco 49ers (2009 - Pres) 
Blaine Gabbert actually did not not that terrible this past Sunday in Seattle but he wasn't able to engineer a great amount of offense and the 49ers only put up 13 points on the board en rotue to another loss. As we all know, this team isn't very good and Arizona is certainly the superior team on both sides of the ball. Arizona should win this one going away. 
Cardinals 26 49ers 12

Steelers (6-4) vs. Seahawks (5-5) - CBS, 4:25
 Pittsburgh Steelers (1969 - 2001)Seattle Seahawks (2012 - Pres)
Are the days of the Legion of Boom over? I am not so sure about it because statistically, the Seahawks are one of the better defenses in the league. However, any defense could look good against the 49ers twice and the Cowboys without Tony Romo. You have seen guys like Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton torch them recently and frankly, the homefield advantage is there like it was. I think Ben Roethlisberger has a big game and gets a big win. 
Steelers 31 Seahawks 28

Patriots (10-0) vs. Broncos (8-2) - NBC, 8:30
 New England Patriots (1993 - 1999)Denver Broncos (1997 - Pres)
At this point, it is harder to find a healthy Patriots receiver than to find one on the mend after Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson got hurt on Monday night. They join the already injured Julian Edelman and some others that are hurt, although Amendola may be able to go on Sunday alongside Brandon Lafell and Chris Harper. Therefore, the Broncos seem like a hot pick thanks to their defense. Maybe I'm stubborn and I'm likely crazy but I am not ready to jump off the New England bandwagon just yet. 
Patriots 30 Broncos 27

Monday, November 30th
Ravens (3-7) vs. Browns (2-8) - ESPN, 8:30
 Baltimore Ravens (1996 - 1998)Cleveland Browns (2003 - 2014)
Well this game got a hell of a lot less interesting with Baltimore losing Joe Flacco for the season and Cleveland benching Johnny Manziel. In other words, get excited for the Matt Schaub-Josh McCown showdown! The Ravens are very much hurting beyond Joe Flacco, having also lost Justin Forsett for the season as well, and while the Browns aren't very good, I think they have got enough to get a home victory.
Browns 13 Ravens 9


  1. WAIT it's 2016 already man that went so fast ;)

  2. Panthers don't get NO respect! !

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Ben
    My LOTW is Arizona to stuff the 49ers. And it's true...The Panthers deserve much more respect than they have been getting. Hopefully yesterday's demolition of Dallas will give them some streetcred.