22 November 2016

2016 NFL Predictions: Week 12

(Fox Sports via The Big Lead)
Thanksgiving: the one day where the NFL doesn't seem to suck on Thursdays. There is a tripleheader of action this Thursday and then after we wake up from food comas and survive Black Friday, even more NFL action as we continue to sort out the playoff picture.

Who will win this week? Here are my predictions.

Last Week: 11-3
2016: 96-65
Locks: 8-3

Thanksgiving - Thursday, November 24th
Vikings (6-4) vs. Lions (6-4) - CBS, 12:30
Minnesota Vikings (1966 - 2012)Detroit Lions (1970 - 2002)
A huge game in the Black & Division between the two teams tied for the division lead, these two have been going in different directions. Minnesota did get a big win against the Cardinals but that followed four losses in a row and their offense has questions, while Detroit has won six out of seven. You never know with a team coached by Jim Caldwell but the Lions are playing well, particularly at home, and I like them here.
Lions 17 Vikings 

Washington (6-3-1) vs. Cowboys (9-1) - Fox, 4:30
Washington Redskins (1965 - 1969)Dallas Cowboys (1960 - 1963)
Considering that we will be indoors and both teams are playing very well offensively, we could see a lot of points here. We all know how good the Cowboys have been this season, thanks in part to their star rookies offensively, but nobody should be sleeping on Washington as they have been playing really nice football of late. I don't think that their defense is good enough to pull the road upset but Kirk Cousins will keep them in it.
Cowboys 35 Washington 31

Steelers (5-5) vs. Colts (5-5) - NBC, 8:30
Pittsburgh Steelers (1969 - 2001)Indianapolis Colts (2002 - Pres)
This game may just keep folks awake since there could be some offense here as well because both teams here are good on that side of the field and bad on the other. The Colts have shown a little more life of late in winning three out of four while the Steelers were able to get off the schneid by beating the Browns (which isn't an accomplishment but hey). I have a little more confidence in the Steelers defensively than I do the Colts so I like them here.
Steelers 30 Colts 26

Sunday, November 27th
Titans (5-6) vs. Bears (2-8) - CBS, 1:00
Tennessee Titans (1999 - Pres)Chicago Bears (1963 - 1998)
Chicago was more competitive than I thought they would have been in the Meadowlands against the Giants but they are still very much a mess and now also hurt, most notable of the players out is Jay Cutler. The Titans didn't play all that well in a loss to the Colts in the Circle City but even on the road again, they should take out the Bears.
Titans 19 Bears 10

Jaguars (2-8) vs. Bills (5-5) - CBS, 1:00
Jacksonville Jaguars (2013 - Pres)Buffalo Bills (1974 - 2010)
LeSean McCoy's injury situation notwithstanding, the Bills should win this game going away. The Jaguars have absolutely nothing left to play for, they are flailing as we count down the days until the end of the Gus Bradley tenure. Meanwhile, Buffalo is still in the playoff mix after defeating the Bengals and they should not have any issues here.
Bills 20 Jaguars 9

Bengals (3-6-1) vs. Ravens (5-5) - CBS, 1:00
Cincinnati Bengals (2004 - Pres)Baltimore Ravens (1999 - Pres)
The Bengals have quietly been one of the more disappointing and underwhelming teams in the league this season and one of the key reasons why has been their defense which has taken a noticeable step backwards. And now they will be without A.J. Green and that's a killer. Baltimore has ridden their defense to hanging around in the postseason mix and that will continue to be the case here.
Ravens 16 Bengals 10

Cardinals (4-5-1) vs. Falcons (6-4) - Fox, 1:00
Arizona Cardinals (1994 - 2004)Atlanta Falcons (1990 - 2002)
Speaking of disappointing teams, the Cardinals certainly apply. Their defense has been good but their offense has been pretty hit-and-mix as quarterback Carson Palmer is clearly on the decline. Their performance in Minneapolis was disappointing and now they get to go to the Georgia Dome and take on a completely different style of team in the explosive Falcons. Unless they can get to Matt Ryan early and often, I think this'll be a tough one for Arizona to win.
Falcons 24 Cardinals 17

Giants (7-3) vs. Browns (0-11) - Fox, 1:00
New York Giants (2000 - Pres)Cleveland Browns (2015 - Pres)
They got a little bit of a scare from the Bears at home on Sunday but New York was able to crank out the win and now they will get to go to Cleveland and take on the league's worst team. Cleveland is obviously terrible and they are starting to run out of time to get that first win. I could see it happening this week if the Giants don't take them seriously but this guy still wouldn't bet on it.
Giants 23 Browns 10

Rams (4-6) vs. Saints (4-6) - Fox, 1:00
Los Angeles Rams (2016 - Pres)New Orleans Saints (2000 - Pres)
Jared Goff didn't show you a whole lot in his NFL debit and none of us really expected him to be throwing the ball all over the yard and going crazy. Their loss to the Dolphins was painful as it came so late in the game after we thought the game was in hand but their mess of an offense now has to go on the road in the Superdome and take on a Saints team that is never an easy out at home.
Saints 31 Rams 22

49ers (1-9) vs. Dolphins (6-4) - Fox, 1:00
San Francisco 49ers (2009 - Pres)Miami Dolphins (2013 - Pres)
Miami was able to pull victory from the grasp of defeat against the Rams in the Coliseum with two late touchdowns at the conclusion of what was an ugly football game. Wins are wins and the Dolphins are getting them at the moment. You have to give Colin Kaepernick a little bit of credit because San Francisco has shown more life with him, albeit with no wins. Factor in that this is an early game and that is why the Dolphins are my Lock of the Week.
Dolphins 21 49ers 9

Chargers (4-6) vs. Texans (6-4) - CBS, 1:00
San Diego Chargers (2007 - Pres)Houston Texans (2002 - Pres)
The Texans have played in a lot of close games this season which is a testament to their quality defense, and it is also the testament to their miserable offense. They had their chances to take out the Raiders on Monday night in Mexico City but they couldn't get it done and then lost. San Diego has their flaws but offense is not one of them and I think a strong performance from both Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon will help them grab a key road win.
Chargers 26 Texans 24

Seahawks (7-2-1) vs. Buccaneers (5-5) - Fox, 4:05
Seattle Seahawks (2012 - Pres)Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014 - Pres)
It wasn't the prettiest game ever but the Buccaneers pulled a pretty nice upset on the road in Kansas City on Sunday. They now return home having won two in a row but they also have to host a Seattle team that is playing some pretty good football at the moment. Tampa Bay has a shot to pull the upset and I think can keep it close but I don't think they can win it in the end.
Seahawks 20 Buccaneers 17

Panthers (4-6) vs. Raiders (8-2) - CBS, 4:25
Carolina Panthers (2012 - Pres)Oakland Raiders (1995 - Pres)
Oakland got themselves a big win at a neutral site in Estadio Azteca on Monday evening. They have now won four games in a row and they look to be shaping up well for the playoffs. They will get to host Carolina this Sunday and while any Cam Newton-led team will be in the mix, I don't think their defense will be able to keep Derek Carr and the Raider offense at bay.
Raiders 33 Panthers 27

Patriots (8-2) vs. Jets (3-7) - CBS, 4:25
New England Patriots (1993 - 1999)New York Jets (1967 - 1977)
It looks like Todd Bowles is going back to Ryan Fitzpatrick under center in what is certainly an odd decision but regardless of whether Fitzpatrick or Bryce Petty starts under center, it will take a whale of an effort to upset the Patriots. New England didn't pull away from San Francisco until late in their contest in Santa Clara but this team is still too good and the Jets are still too bad to the point that I would be surprised by an upset.
Patriots 28 Jets 13

Chiefs (7-3) vs. Broncos (7-3) - NBC, 8:30
Kansas City Chiefs (1974 - Pres)Denver Broncos (1975 - 1996)
The AFC West race is getting hot and heavy with three teams within a game of the division lead right now and based on both of these teams are built, this may be a low scorer. That would seem to favor the Broncos and I also think that they are more solid offensively than their opponents are here. I don't want to put too much in their upset loss to the Buccaneers but Kansas City may be a little too much of smokes-and-mirrors right now.
Broncos 21 Chiefs 20

Monday, November 28th
Packers (4-6) vs. Eagles (5-5) - ESPN, 8:30
Green Bay Packers (1968 - 1979)Philadelphia Eagles (1987 - 1995)
It is really going south quickly for the Packers as they have lost four games in a row and now they go on the road for a second straight week. Their secondary is a fiasco at the moment and helped Kirk Cousins look like Sammy Baugh on Sunday night. Philadelphia isn't playing so hot at the moment either and Carson Wentz has had his rookie moments but until I see some reason to believe in the Packers turning things around, I'll take the Eagles.
Eagles 28 Packers 27


  1. Happy Thanksgiving Ben
    Since you've picked Miami as your LOTW I'll go for Buffalo over the Jags. As much as I would prefer the Jags to win Bortles just doesn't come across as having developed into a decent QB. Then again I have lost 4 of my LOTW already this season so who knows...

  2. You left off your pick of a score for the Vikings