NFL Week 12 Preview: A Reason To Be Thankful8 min read
I would like to start off with two very honest statements. Number one – I chickened out last week as there were so many games that could have gone either way. Number two – A lot of what I thought would happen, well it simply didn’t happen. And to that end this Thanksgiving I am thankful that I sat last week out. That is right to all those celebrating Happy Thanksgiving.
But turkey day in America also brings us a jam packed Thursday schedule with key implications.
I am also thankful for that game we had on Monday night. The Chiefs and Rams gave us a potential Superbowl preview and if they can play it out like that again then end the season now and let them duel again. An absolute classic.
Whilst there are some teams who have virtually wrapped up their play off places there are some division still with plenty of twists ans turns ahead. I look ahead to the
Redskins @ Cowboys
The NFC East is the strangest division in the NFL. It homes the current Superbowl champions, but they are having a terrible season so far. The New York Giants have one of the worst records in the NFL. With this in mind the division is being lead by the Redskins with a 6-4 record, this means that the entire division is in with a chance to win it as there are a number of divisional games left which will swing the balance. They all start on Thanksgiving with the traditional Cowboys home game. They host the Redskins their fierce rivals who owner Jerry Jones likes beating the most. The winner will take control of the division.
The Cowboys have been unpredictable top say the least but they seem to have found a similar mojo to the 2016 season when they ran away with the division. Ezekiel Elliott was restricted in the first game between the two but in these last two weeks he has looked as good as MVP candidate Todd Gurley and second behind only Gurley in rushing yards this season.
The Redskins have been impressive but with injuries racking up, including losing star Quarteback Alex Smith, I think that their season will go downhill from here. The defense has lost a number of star payers and it seems these two teams are meeting just at the worst time for Washington. The Cowboys rise and Redskins demise come to a head and think that the Redkisns will leave Dallas with a loss.
Cowboys to win by 1-6 points
Amari Cooper to score a touchdown
Bears @ Lions
Now this looks easy when you remember how Khalil Mack and co manhandled Matt Stafford only a few weeks ago. But Detroit have won five straight at home against the Bears.
This is a key run of games in the NFC North where it is all divisional games. The bears have started their run with two victories, including the key one against the Vikings last week. They have the lead in the division and can put pressure on Minnesota who face Green Bay at the weekend. They have been playing excellent football which has been built on a stout defense. The addition of Khalil Mack in the off season has made them playoff contenders.
Whilst I don’t see them troubling the NFC powerhouses New Orleans or Los Angeles they may be able to cause an upset with a home game. If they are to think about hosting a playoff game they will need to win this game against Detroit. but this has been the proverbial banana skin for them of late. They are aided by Kerryon Johnson being absent as well as the recent loss of Golden Tate to the Eagles from the Lions.
Matt Stafford and co can still cause an upset as they have proved this season when the beat the Patrios and Packers when they had home field advantage. it seems that this is something they need to perform and they will have it again on Thanksgiving. I can see another upset here especially as there are doubts about whether Mitch Trubisky will be fit for the Bears.
Kenny Golladay to score a touchdown
Tarik Cohen to score a touchdown
Lions to win
Falcons @ Saints
This should have been a contest that would help to seal the division. The last time they met it was settled in overtime. A lot has changed in the time since though.
Whilst the game between the Chiefs and the Rams was heralded, I still see them as inferior to the Saints. A win tonight and New Orleans will have the same record as the Rams, but crucially the one loss the Rams have had is against the Saints. Whilst the Rams have an easy run in things get ramped up for New Orleans. They face the Falcons on Thanksgiving which may seem an easy game given the recent losses Atlanta have experienced but when it comes to divisional match ups this can be ignored.
Whilst the Falcons have struggled, mainly due to the injury ravaged defense, they have got some things going on offense. Mainly Julio Jones is becoming a dominant Wide Receiver again. I can see him getting in the end zone once again tonight. But it is that injury ravaged defense that will be the difference.
New Orleans have scored 45 or more points in the last three games, in fact their last two games were won with an aggregate score of 99-21. They are rolling at the moment and seem to be getting better every game. With Drew Brees in search of a first MVP crown too it will be hard for Atlanta to stop them.
New Orleans touchdown first scoring play
Julio Jones to score a touchdown
Drew Brees to have over 3.5 passing touchdowns