NFL Week 12: Scores, Results and Reaction to Thanksgiving's Biggest Story Lines
NFL Week 12 is under way on Turkey Day with the Patriots and Lions clashing in Detroit.
Shaun Hill helped Detroit take a 17-10 halftime lead, but momentum has shifted in the second half with Tom Brady leading an offensive explosion by New England.
Later this afternoon, all eyes shift to Cowboys Stadium when Dallas hosts New Orleans.
Expect big days by both Drew Brees and Jon Kitna, as there will be points aplenty.
Finally, the Jets and Bengals tangle tonight in the annual Thanksgiving night game everyone seems to forget about.
After two close wins, Rex Ryan's team could be in for a cakewalk win in Week 12.
While you enjoy your turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing, here's a closer look at the Thanksgiving Day story lines in the NFL.
Brad Smith scored two touchdowns in the second half to lift the Jets to a 26-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Trailing 7-3 at the half, New York took the opening kickoff and took the lead on the second play of the possession when Smith scored on a 53-yard reverse.
After the touchdown, Cincinnati managed to hang around thanks to the struggles of Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense.
After the Bengals cut the Jets' lead to seven early in the fourth quarter, Smith returned the ensuing kickoff for an 89-yard score.
Even with only one shoe on for the last 40 yards of his run, the Bengals had no chance to catch New York's most versatile weapon.
In addition to Smith's heroics, Rex Ryan's defense stepped up in the second half.
The Jets held the Bengals to 39 yards of offense while making life miserable for Carson Palmer.
Darrelle Revis got the better of Terrell Owens in their highly-anticipated match-up, holding the star wide receiver to three catches for 17 yards in the game.
As well as the defense played, special teams were the difference as the Jets moved to 9-2 on the season.
In case you didn't get a chance to digest enough turkey and stuffing today, here's an interesting stat to munch on.
Smith became only the fourth player in NFL history to score on a 50-yard run and a kick return in the same game.
Coming off another less than impressive win, the Jets have some extra time to prepare for the Week 13 showdown against New England.
Get ready for arguably the biggest game of the season next Monday night.
Meanwhile, Marvin Lewis' seat just keeps getting hotter.
Carson Palmer has had another game to forget, this time against the Jets on Thanksgiving night at the New Meadowlands.
Facing considerable pressure from the Jets, Palmer has wilted in the second half and missed on a number of throws.
He has also continued to force the ball to his covered receivers down the field.
Palmer's body language suggests that he has lost his confidence and grown tired of catering to his diva wide receivers.
At some point, Marvin Lewis should at least consider making a change under center.
Benching Carson would open the door for his younger brother Jordan to get a chance to show what he could do down the stretch.
In the end, quarterback play is only part of a larger issue.
Cincinnati's has looked out of sync all season long.
Coming off his best season, Cedric Benson has been banged up and remarkably inconsistent.
Meanwhile, rookies Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Greshman have struggled to adjust to the NFL game.
With only two wins on the season, it's safe to say the Bengals have been one of the most disappointing teams in the league.
And to think Chad Ochocinco was thinking Super Bowl in training camp.
NFL Week 12 picks includes two teams headed in the wrong direction meeting in Houston.
After catching one pass in his first two games, Randy Moss could break out against the Texans' secondary.
If only he had a quarterback.
Why Tennessee Could Win: Rusty Smith has average physical ability and almost no experience.
Normally, that would be enough to pick against Tennessee.
Since Houston's pass defense has made almost all opposing quarterbacks look like Dan Marino this season, let's not write the Titans off just yet.
Why Houston Could Win: Despite the struggles of the defense, Houston's offense has been good enough to stay in almost every game this season.
Tennessee won't be able to stop both Arian Foster and Andre Johnson Sunday.
Match-up to Watch: Andre Johnson vs. Cortland Finnegan
Finnegan will resort to any means necessary to contain star receivers, and figures to match-up with Johnson often Sunday.
Look for Johnson to have the upper-hand and haul in a couple scores.
Prediction: It seems like forever since Houston has won a game, but the Texans are only two games out in the AFC South.
Meanwhile, Tennessee has all sorts of problems and looks like a team destined to fail down the stretch.
Get ready for another priceless tantrum by Randy Moss.
Score: Houston 38, Tennessee 17
NFL Week 12 picks features two teams heading in opposite directions meeting in New York.
Without his top two receivers, Eli Manning will need plenty of help from the running game against Jacksonville.
Why the New York Giants Could Win: Tom Coughlin has made a statement heading into Week 12: he is tired of the Giants turning the ball over.
Ahmad Bradshaw became the fall-guy, losing his starting running back job to Brandon Jacobs against the Jaguars.
Ironically, Bradshaw could be the key to Coughlin's chances of ending the two-game skid Sunday.
Why Jacksonville Could Win: David Garrard has the Jaguars thinking playoffs thanks to a balanced offense.
The Jags head into the Meadowlands with nothing to lose and the chance to made big plays down the field.
Match-up to Watch: Maurice Jones-Drew vs. New York's run defense
Marcedes Lewis, Mike Sims-Walker and Mike Thomas have shouldered much of the offensive load for the Jaguars this season.
Despite their production, Maurice Jones-Drew remains the key to Jacksonville's offense.
Look for the Jags' to slow down the lethal Giants' pass-rush by running the ball.
Prediction: New York gets an inspired performance by the defense to get back to its winning ways.
Score: New York Giants 28, Jacksonville 13
NFL Week 12 picks features the Eagles and Bears battling in what could be a possible playoff preview in Chicago.
For all the hype Vick has brought to Philadelphia, Julius Peppers has his team sitting atop the NFC North.
Why Chicago Could Win: Containing Vick is never easy, but Chicago's steady defense has a chance to have some success in Week 12.
The Bears almost never give up big plays against the pass, forcing teams to beat them by throwing short against the cover-two scheme.
On the offensive side of the ball, Jay Cutler has been much better in recent weeks with Mike Martz eliminating the five and seven-step drops.
Why Philadelphia Could Win: Vick's improvisational skills can catch any defense out of position, creating big plays at a moment's notice.
The Eagles have gotten strong play from the secondary, especially Asante Samuels.
With seven interceptions on the season, Samuels is sure to take chances against the turnover prone Cutler.
Match-up to Watch: Michael Vick vs. Julius Peppers
Vick is the most dangerous weapon in football, while Peppers is the most dangerous player on the defensive side of the ball.
Peppers always seems to produce in big games, so he should play some inspired football against the Eagles.
If only he put his mind to it every week.
Prediction: Of all the games on the schedule, this one might be the toughest to pick.
Aside from Peppers, Chicago doesn't have the lethal pass-rush needed to bother Vick.
But Lovie Smith's the secondary is one of the league's best, and that could end up being the difference.
Chicago wins on a late field goal.
Score: Chicago 23, Philadelphia 21
The Black Eyed Peas will perform at the Bridgestone Halftime Show during the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in February.
The NFL officially made the announcement before the start of the third quarter of Thursday's game between the Cowboys and Saints.
Since Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction, the NFL has made an effort to dial things down a notch.
That meant going back to the generations passed.
In recent years, the league has turned back the clock and featured aging rockers including the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and Paul McCartney.
The Black Eyed Peas are set to release their new album entitled "The Beginning" Tuesday.
After the group initially focused strictly on hip-hop, the addition of Fergie catapulted them into fame and fortune and up the popular music charts worldwide.
No matter what you think of their music, it's about time the NFL caters to its younger audience once again.
At least Justin Bieber won't be showing off his rapping skills in Dallas.
Terrell Owens and Darrelle Revis are doing battle as the Jets and Bengals clash in New Jersey Thursday night.
Owens has made a minimal impact in the first half, but Carson Palmer has killed Cincinnati's offense by throwing a pair of interceptions.
Palmer found rookie Jordan Shipley for a touchdown with 43 seconds remaining in the first half to give the Bengals a 7-3 lead.
It's safe to say the nightcap has featured some ugly possessions by both teams.
Speaking of ugly, Palmer has continued to make the bad decisions that have plagued him this season.
He had a desperation heave picked off by Jim Leonard in the first quarter, then threw into triple coverage in the end zone and was intercepted by Antonio Cromartie.
Revis has been matched up against Owens almost exclusively during the first half, while Cromartie has been checking Ochocinco.
Palmer has connected with Owens twice for nine yards and hooked up with Ochocinco four times for 41 yards.
Surprisingly, New York's offense has been limited despite facing a Bengals' secondary ravaged by injuries.
Mark Sanchez has thrown for just 76 yards in the first half as New York has struggled on third downs.
It should be interesting to see what kind of message Rex Ryan sends his team at halftime.
NFL Week 12 picks features a clash of two AFC playoff hopefuls in Indianapolis.
After holding out, Vincent Jackson is back in the mix and could be in for a huge performance against the Colts.
Why San Diego Could Win: Much like Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers has had a great season despite having a shortage of weapons due to injuries.
Sunday's list of walking wounded could include Antonio Gates and Patrick Crayton, who are both huge question marks.
That puts even more pressure on Rivers to hook up with Jackson.
Based on the word coming out of San Diego, Jackson is in great shape and should make an immediate impact.
Why Indianapolis Could Win: After falling behind by two scores, Manning helped the Colts rally against the Patriots and put them in position to either tie the game or take the lead.
Despite coming up short last week, Indianapolis is still in a good position in the AFC South race.
Look for Manning to throw for over 300 yards without too much trouble.
Match-up to Watch: Philip Rivers vs. Peyton Manning
The similarities between the two quarterbacks this year have been striking.
Rivers has better numbers and is the early favorite for MVP, but Manning has been consistent all year long.
Look for both players to shine Sunday in a shootout.
Prediction: This game will come down to who has the ball last.
Look for Manning to throw a late touchdown to lift the Colts.
Score: Indianapolis 38, San Diego 34
NFL Week 12 picks features two veteran quarterbacks who have fallen from grace this season meeting in Washington.
Why Minnesota Could Win: The burden has been lifted from Brett Favre and the Vikings, but now it's time to stop making excuses and start playing winning football.
Leslie Frazier takes over for Brad Childress and hopes to bring a more relaxed attitude to the table.
Washington's defense gives up plenty of big plays and will be without LaRon Landry in Week 12.
Look for Brett Favre to try to force the ball downfield.
Why Washington Could Win: Clinton Portis is done for the season, leaving Ryan Torain as the primary ball-carrier in the Redskins backfield.
Minnesota's front-four matches up well with the Redskins, but the secondary could struggle against McNabb.
Unless the Vikings' pass-rush finally wakes up, McNabb could have all day to make plays.
Match-up to Watch: Adrian Peterson vs. Redskins' run defense
The Redskins' 3-4 defense has been better than expected against the run this season, while Peterson has struggled to get enough carries to make a real impact.
With Frazier taking over, it will be interesting to see just how many rushing attempts Peterson gets Sunday.
Prediction: Turnovers will be the difference in Landover Sunday.
Look for the Redskins to take advantage of Favre's continued carelessness and come away with a win.
Score: Washington 26, Minnesota 20
Drew Brees threw for 359 yards and found Lance Moore for a 12-yard touchdown with two minutes remaining to lift the Saints to a 30-27 win over the Cowboys Thursday in Dallas.
What looked like an easy win for the Saints early turned into a nail-biter in the third quarter.
Trailing 20-6 at the break, Dallas made things interesting after Miles Austin scored on a 60-yard reverse in the opening drive of the third quarter.
The Saints responded with a long drive, but stalled inside the red zone when Reggie Bush dropped what appeared to be an easy catch and potential touchdown.
The troubles were only just beginning for Bush.
Playing in his first game since breaking his leg in Week 2, Bush fumbled a punt in the third quarter to set up another Cowboys' touchdown.
Sean Payton kept him on the sideline for the remainder of the game.
After Dallas took a 27-23 lead on Tashard Choice's touchdown with under six minutes to play, Brees responded with a brilliant drive.
He threw a perfect ball to Robert Meechum for a 55-yard gain to set up the touchdown to Moore.
In the end, the Cowboys' inability to cover the Saints' receivers proved to be the difference in the game.
After one of the better Thanksgiving Day games in recent years, it might be time for that tryptophan to kick in for the nightcap in New York.
The Jets and Bengals are just moments away from kickoff in the New Meadowlands.
Can you feel the excitement?
Carson Palmer and Damien Woody are both active and expected to play Thursday night when the Bengals and Jets meet in New Jersey.
Palmer took the field about two hours ago and warmed up, going through drills without any noticeable limp.
After spending the beginning of this week in a walking boot, Palmer returned to practice Wednesday.
He will need to engineer plenty of points with the Bengals' ailing on the defense side of the ball.
Roy Williams, Johnathan Joesph, Brandon Ghee and Rico Murray are all inactive, leaving Cincinnati's secondary in tatters.
Look for Mark Sanchez to throw for over 300 yards tonight without much difficulty.
Sanchez is expected to have the services of Pro Bowl tackle Damien Woody, who suffered a knee injury in Week 11.
New York might be inclined to come out running the ball tonight before opening things up.
LaDainian Tomlinson has come back to earth after a strong start to the season, while Shonn Greene has never really gotten going.
A fumble in last week's game nearly cost the Jets and could cost Greene playing time Thanksgiving night.
With kickoff still about 30 minutes away, sit back and enjoy your Thanskgiving dinner while watching the exciting finish of the Saints-Cowboys game.
NFL Week 12 picks features the improving Browns facing the wounded Panthers.
Although the Brian St. Pierre story was fun while it lasted, it appears the former stay at home dad literally threw his arm out last week while making a long throw to David Gettis.
You just can't make this stuff up.
Get ready for Jimmy Clausen to get another chance.
Why the Browns Could Win: What is it with Cleveland's quarterbacks and high ankle sprains?
Rookie Colt McCoy became the third Browns' quarterback to suffer the injury, which is expected to sideline him for at least four games.
That means Jake Delhomme will get a chance to face the team that made him very, very rich.
Assuming all goes according to plan, Delhomme's biggest contribution will be handing the ball to Peyton Hillis Sunday.
Why the Panthers Could Win: Aside from Steve Smith, there is almost nothing to get excited about in Carolina's offense.
One possible exception is young running back Mike Goodson, who has been impressive in the last two games.
If Goodson can find space in the running game, Carolina could pull off the win.
Match-up to Watch: Jake Delhomme vs. Jimmy Clausen
It won't be visually stunning, but it will be important. Clausen has more weapons than Delhomme, but he is coming off a concussion and could be very rusty.
Facing his former team could provide Delhomme with some added motivation.
That could actually be a bad thing...
Prediction: Thankfully, this battle of the bad won't be televised in most parts of the country.
Expect Cleveland to prevail in a low-scoring game.
Score: Cleveland 16, Carolina 7
Reggie Bush has made his anticipated return to the gridiron against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving day.
Maybe he should have stayed away for another week.
Bush has played sparingly, but done much more bad than good when he has been on the field.
Things got off to a rocky start.
In his first play from scrimmage since Week 2, Bush was targeted by Drew Brees on a swing pass coming out of the backfield.
The football struck a confused Bush in the helmet before falling to the turf.
Bush also failed to catch what looked like a sure touchdown from Brees in the third quarter.
But his biggest mistake came on a punt return.
Running to his right, Bush slowed down before having the ball knocked out of his arms by Justin Holley.
Dallas recovered the fumble to set up a touchdown run by Marion Barber.
Since his fumble, Bush has remained on the sidelines.
The Saints are clinging to a 23-20 lead early in the fourth quarter with the Cowboys threatening.
NFL Picks Week 12 features a clash of two teams in the Northeast coming off impressive wins.
Why Buffalo Could Win: The Bills have become one of the better offensive teams in football thanks to one of the strangest dynamic duos in recent memory.
Journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick connected with Steve Johnson for three touchdowns to help Buffalo rally from a 28-7 deficit to beat Cincinnati in Week 12.
With cornerbacks Bryant McFadden and Ike Taylor representing the weakest link on an otherwise dominant Steelers D, the duo could be in for a big day Sunday.
Why Pittsburgh Could Win: Ben Roethlisberger has a dynamic weapon in speedster Mike Wallace, who should get the chance to make several big plays against the Bills.
Pittsburgh's offense hasn't gotten many big plays from the running game, but that could change Sunday.
Buffalo have up over 100 yards rushing to Cedric Benson last week, and Rashard Mendenhall's bruising style should lead to considerable success.
Prediction: The Bills will start strong and possibly lead at the half.
In the end, Pittsburgh's defense will get to Fitzpatrick and force a couple key turnovers.
Look for the Steelers to win in a very competitive game.
Score: Pittsburgh 24, Buffalo 20
Thanksgiving Day football always seems so appealing until the games actually get underway.
After New England used a huge second half to beat Detroit, New Orleans has used a huge first half to bury the Dallas Cowboys.
The Saints sprang to a 17-0 lead and currently lead the Cowboys 20-6 at the break.
Drew Brees went after Dallas' secondary right away, hooking up with Devery Henderson on a 57-yard reception early in the first quarter.
The pass-play set up a short touchdown run by Chris Ivory, who added another touchdown run later in the first quarter.
Texas native Garrett Hartley kicked two long field goals for the Saints in the first half.
Meanwhile, Dallas sleepwalked through the first quarter before showing up.
Felix Jones made a couple big plays to help get the offense moving, but rookie sensation Dez Bryant failed to catch a pass in the first half.
David Buehler kicked a career-long 53-yard field goal at the end of the first half for the Cowboys, who will get the ball to open the third quarter.
For the sake of keeping things interesting, it would be nice to see Dallas get a score early in the third quarter.