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WEEK 12: ELITE TEAM PICKS OF THE WEEK


November 27, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving NFL fans! Today is probably the best day of the year to be a football fan. Thanksgiving without football is like apple pie without ice cream! It is a fun, and consistent tradition of my family and I am very excited to sit down to some classic smash mouth football today.

Minnesota Vikings (6-4) at Detroit Lions (6-4)

The first matchup of turkey day is between the two NFC North teams vying for the lead of the division. Both these teams were able to squeak by last week with close victories, as Detroit needed a lot of luck to beat Jacksonville and Minnesota needed all 60 minutes of regulation to get by the Cardinals. This game should be pretty tight, but I think Detroit should be able to send their fans home happy.

Detroit Lions 27 Minnesota Vikings 21

Washington Redskins (6-3-1) at Dallas Cowboys (9-1)

The Redskins easily dispatched the Packers last Sunday night at home behind dominant performances by Kirk Cousins and running back Robert Kelley. They shouldn’t have it as easy this week as they head to the Big D to face the NFL’s best team. I think Prescott and Co. take this one handily, and become the first team to reach double digit wins.

Dallas Cowboys 30 Washington Redskins 13

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5) at Indianapolis Colts (5-5)

Pittsburgh didn’t require much to leave Cleveland with a win, but did see an encouragingly great performance from Le’Veon Bell, who rushed for 146 yards and scored. The Colts were able to get to 5-5 as well, and will likely make this one a game. However, I think the Steelers are the better team, and will be the only road squad to get a W on Thanksgiving.

Pittsburgh Steelers 21 Indianapolis Colts 20 (OT)

Tennessee Titans (5-6) at Chicago Bears (2-8)

After shocking the Green Bay Packers a week before, the Titans could not put forth a repeat performance, as DeMarco Murray and Co. was held to just 70 yards rushing. The Bears also lost, despite a solid defensive performance by Chicago. This game should go to the better team, which is Tennessee.

Tennessee Titans 26 Chicago Bears 20

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8) at Buffalo Bills (5-5)

The Jaguars have not looked good ever since a few solid outings in the first few weeks of the season. The Bills were able to scrape by last week 16-12 against the Bengals. They struggled to get their offense going, and will likely not be able to pull off the W if they struggle again this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars 13 Buffalo Bills 9

Cincinnati Bengals (3-6-1) at Baltimore Ravens (5-5)

The Bengals have been one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL so far this season. They also just lost star receiver A.J. Green, so that does not help their dire situation. The Ravens lost to Dallas last week, as they were not able to control Prescott and Elliot. The Ravens should be able to dispatch Cincy though.

Baltimore Ravens 20 Cincinnati Bengals 17

Arizona Cardinals (4-5-1) at Atlanta Falcons (6-4)

The Cardinals continued their slump-like season with another loss versus Minnesota. They got some bad luck, of course, but they had many chances to seal the deal. The Falcons were on bye last week and will benefit from home field advantage as well as that rest.

Atlanta Falcons 24 Arizona Cardinals 20

New York Giants (7-3) at Cleveland Browns (0-11)

The Giants have been squeezing by many of their past multiple games with tight wins, and last week was no difference. They used the rushing of Rashad Jennings and a great defensive showing to send Chicago home not happy. They should be able to have a padded win against the Browns.

New York Giants 30 Cleveland Browns 20

Los Angeles Rams (4-6) at New Orleans Saints (4-6)

The Rams lost their snore of a game versus Miami last week, as they struggled to get any sort of offense going. The Saints lost in a legitimate nail biter against the Panthers, as Brees put up another Madden stat-worthy performances. The Saints should outscore the underwhelming Rams at home.

New Orleans Saints 27 Los Angeles Rams 13

San Francisco 49ers (1-9) at Miami Dolphins (6-4)

The 49ers cannot seem to catch a break, as they lost another game, this time at the hands of the ruthless New England Patriots. The Dolphins, on the other hand, took care of business against the Rams. In this game, I say Jay Ajayi sprints through yet another impressive game, all the way to victory.

Miami Dolphins 21 San Francisco 49ers 20

San Diego Chargers (4-6) at Houston Texans (6-4)

The Chargers were on bye last week, allowing for a week of rest before a major game against the Texans. Houston lost in a Monday night thriller in Oakland, as Lamar Miller put up a quality rushing performance. This one seems like an upset to me, and San Diego takes the W.

San Diego Chargers 28 Houston Texans 23

Seattle Seahawks (7-2-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5)

Seattle kept chugging along with another win last week behind 272 yards passing and a solid rushing performance by Russell Wilson and Co. Tampa won in a shocker on the road last week in Kansas City, as Jameis Winston went off. This game should be close early, but the Seahawks close out late.

Seattle Seahawks 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16

Carolina Panthers (4-6) at Oakland Raiders (8-2)

This game is between the disappointing Panthers and the surprisingly great Oakland Raiders. If you flipped these two team’s records, no one would bat an eye. But these two teams are headed in different directions. The young and aggressive squad wins.

Oakland Raiders 31 Carolina Panthers 24

New England Patriots (8-2) at New York Jets (3-7)

I think the Patriots might be relying too much on offensive explosions, as their defense seems to be stepping off the gas a little bit recently. However, in this game, there shouldn’t be a huge need for defense, as the Pats roll easily.

New England Patriots 37 New York Jets 17

Kansas City Chiefs (7-3) at Denver Broncos (7-3)

The Chiefs lost a shocker last week against the Bucs, and hope to put up a better outing this week against the Broncos. The Broncos benefit from the bye they had last week, as well as home field advantage. I think those two facts will be the difference maker in this big game.

Denver Broncos 25 Kansas City Chiefs 20

Green Bay Packers (4-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)

This Monday night game will be a decider for these two teams. The Eagles need to find their offensive identity, especially after last week’s game ended with zero touchdowns for the squad. The Pack is at a crossroads, as well, and this game should indicate if they can still fight for their division.

Green Bay Packers 23 Philadelphia Eagles 20