NFL Picks Week 12: 4 Bold Predictions for the Week Ahead
With Week 11 of the NFL season in the books, we turn our sights towards one of the best weeks of the football season.
We have three games this Thursday, as everyone sits down to enjoy their Thanksgiving meals. Turkey day football is one of the best traditions in sports and always makes spending a full day with your relatives a little bit easier.
There are some great headlines and games coming up this week.
Will the Packers stay undefeated? How will the Bears play without Jay Cutler? What will another week of Tebowmania bring?
All should make for an incredibly exciting week of football.
Here are four bold predictions for Week 12.
Miami Dolphins Will Beat the Dallas Cowboys
The Miami Dolphins are on a three game winning streak heading in to their Thanksgiving matchup with the Dallas Cowboys.
That winning streak could easily be five games as their previous two losses were to the the Giants and Broncos who they only lost to by three points each. Something has clicked in Miami.
I don't know what has gotten in to Reggie Bush, but he suddenly looks like the back that everyone expected him to be when he was drafted second overall in the 2006 draft. In the past four games, Bush has 274 rushing yards, 105 receiving yards and four total touchdowns.
He still isn't an elite running back, but he is turning in to a dangerous weapon for the Dolphins.
Granted, Dallas has been playing some great football as well. Tony Romo put together a great game in an overtime victory over the Washington Redskins.
However, the Cowboys have proven to be one of the most inconsistent teams in the league. Just when you think they are putting it all together, they surprise you with a dud performance.
I believe Miami will sneak up on the Cowboys this Thanksgiving and steal a victory.
Jacksonville Jaguars Will Beat the Houston Texans
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a young team with the potential to get back to playoff form in the future.
However, right now they are undoubtedly in the bottom half of the NFL. Their clearest weakness is the quarterback position. They started off the year by cutting longtime starter David Garrard.
Their answer was Luke McCown. That experiment didn't last long and they finally turned to rookie Blaine Gabbert, who many thought should have been the starter in the first place.
Gabbert has had his share of growing pains, but has shown some flashes of quality play.
This game is more about Houston's quarterback than it is Jacksonville's.
The Texans lost quarterback Matt Schaub to what some are reporting as a season ending injury. Regardless of the long term length, the Texans won't have Schaub for Sunday's game against the Jaguars.
Matt Leinart will be taking over as the starter for Houston. While the Texans have a great team around him, we have seen this season just how important a quarterback can be for a team.
Look at Indianapolis or Washington. A lack of a quality quarterback can cripple a team.
I see the Texans being demoralized a bit by the loss of their starting quarterback and it will be the perfect time for Jacksonville to capitalize.
Denver Broncos Will Beat the San Diego Chargers
I believe that the Tebow magic will continue this weekend in San Diego.
Against all odds and under a constant shower of criticism, Tim Tebow is 4-1 as Denver's starting quarterback this year. It isn't pretty and it isn't conventional, but Tebow simply is winning football games.
Tim Tebow is breathing a new sense of life in to this Broncos team that is now just one win behind the Oakland Raiders for first place in the AFC West. Four weeks ago this team was 1-5 and in the hunt for first place in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
Now this team has a realistic chance of making the playoffs.
They take on the San Diego Chargers who are in the midst of a crisis. Philip Rivers has looked completely different from the All-Pro people are used to seeing and there are reports now that Norv Turner could be out the door next year if he doesn't have a miracle turnaround.
The Chargers are coming into this game as the favorites, but these teams are clearly headed in two very different directions.
I see the moral continuing to drop in San Diego and another week of us trying to figure out how Tim Tebow continues to defy the odds.
Detroit Lions Will Beat the Green Bay Packers
This is as about as bold as it can get.
I believe that the Detroit Lions will hand the Green Bay Packers their first loss of the season on Thanksgiving.
The Packers offense has been dominant this year, slicing up just about every defense that has been put in front of them. The Lions passing defense comes into this game ranked fifth in the league. They surely will have the kind of talent necessary to slow Green Bay's passing game.
The Lions themselves have a high-powered passing game. Matt Stafford to Calvin Johnson is one of the best one-two punches in the league. The Packers, whose passing defense ranks second to last in the NFL, will have a tough time slowing down the receiver known as "Megatron."
This will be the Lions and Packers first meeting this season. We have seen both of these teams put up some huge point totals over the course of the year and I expect Thursday's game to be no different.
Expect both of these teams to put up a ton of points in a high-powered shootout that could come down to one big stop or turnover.
It is hard to imagine anyone beating the Packers with the way they have looked for most of the season. However, they have shown some flaws and I believe the Lions are the best team they've faced all year.
It will be a close game, but I see the Lions coming out on top and the Packers bid at perfection ending on Thanksgiving.