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NFL WEEK 12: Thanksgiving Picks

A Battle for the NFC East; Watson vs. Stafford to Open the Slate of Thanksgiving Games.

Dallas Cowboys by Adam Simmons is licensed under CC BY NC ND 2.0

NFL WEEK 12: Thanksgiving Picks

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

When I was a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday. I loved the fall weather growing up in Upstate New York, the culture of Halloween, eating a bunch of candy and pizza with family and friends, watching Halloween movies, and dressing up and being different characters for trick-or-treating and Halloween parties. I think it was the actor in me that really enjoyed being all those different characters.

But as I grew older and really started celebrating Halloween a lot less, Thanksgiving became my new favorite holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas too, but Thanksgiving is my kind of holiday. Eating a lot of delicious food, having some good drinks, spending time with family, and just relaxing and being lazy, really.

Then of course there’s the football.

We have two games this Thanksgiving. We were originally supposed to have three, but COVID-19 has hit the Baltimore Ravens HARD. As a result, the Ravens vs. Steelers game, which was originally Thanksgiving night at 8:25 p.m., will now be scheduled for 1:15 p.m. this Sunday. The Ravens have several players who have tested positive, and they have also disciplined their strength and conditioning coach for violation of COVID-19 protocols.

So then there were two…two games will be played on Thanksgiving. I have a feeling one of them will be close, and the other will be a blowout. Let’s find out which one’s which!

Week 11 Picks: 9-5

Season Picks Record: 101-46 (WE’VE HIT 100 PEOPLE! DING DING DING!)

Texans at Lions (12:30 p.m.)

We just witnessed the Detroit Lions get shut out by a former XFL quarterback and the Carolina Panthers.

Hey PJ Walker, not bad!


Well, that can’t be good going into a game against Deshaun Watson, who has been on fire lately and is very much NOT a former XFL quarterback who is making his NFL debut. Since Week 4, Watson has completed 70.9% of his passes, is throwing 298.5 yards per game with 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions, and has a quarterback rating of 114.1.

The Lions’ game last week against Carolina was a must-win game for them, and they blanked. Head coach Matt Patricia is now 13-28-1 with the Lions, and I’m pretty sure once the season ends, he’s out the door. Patricia has got to be on the hot seat; a seat that’s hotter than my oven is going to be on Thanksgiving.

This Will Be A Blowout

Let’s face it…Houston is much better than their record shows, Watson is amazing, and Detroit’s defense stinks. Only the Jets, Jaguars, and Cowboys have a worse overall defense this season; and that’s not the kind of company you want to keep.

I feel bad…because I actually don’t mind the Lions. I like Matthew Stafford…I like Kenny Golladay…I like TJ Hockenson…I like their front office – I think they do a good job in the draft room; especially drafting offense. But, I think this game could get ugly. Watson is a big play quarterback with big play receivers in Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller V, and they’re going up against a Detroit defense that loves giving up big plays. Give me Houston in a blowout. Texans win 35-17.

Washington at Cowboys (4:30 p.m.)

This is the close game of the day. Both of these teams are 3-7 and somehow still have a legitimate chance to win the NFC East division. I really like Washington’s defense a lot and, believe it or not, they are actually tied for 3rd in the NFL in sacks (32). Chase Young, Ryan Kerrigan, and Montez Sweat are a ferocious trifecta up front. Washington has the #1 pass defense in the NFL, and they do such a good job getting after the quarterback. However, they do allow teams to rush for over 120 yards per game, which isn’t all that great.

But the big issue I have with Washington is that they don’t take care of the ball on offense. This explains why they have a -6 turnover differential, despite having a very respectable defense. Only the Broncos, Cowboys, and Eagles have more giveaways this season than Washington.

Something Happened On The Way To Jerry World

Something happened to the Dallas Cowboys before their home game against the Pittsburgh Defense. Leading up to that game in Week 9, their defense was HORRIBLE. But when they played Pittsburgh, they came to life, and they even almost upset the undefeated Steelers. They held a team that is averaging 30 points per game to 24 points. They went on a bye week, and then they faced the Vikings last week. This was a must-win game for Minnesota, but they just fell flat on their face. It was a close, high-scoring game, but even still, I could see that Dallas’ defense was looking better once again.

The Battle for the NFC East

I think this game is going to be a good one, believe it or not. I think it will be a tough battle between two teams who are clawing for the top spot in the division. The last time these two teams played, Washington dominated the Cowboys 25-3. But I think it will be a different story this time. Since then, Dallas’ defense has been better, and Andy Dalton is looking more comfortable and playing better as well.

This will also be an emotional game for Dallas. This week, the Cowboys lost their strength and conditioning coach, Markus Paul, who was rushed to the hospital after experiencing a medical emergency at the Cowboys’ facility. Paul, 54, passed away. Dallas will want this win for Paul, and I think they will get it. Give me Dallas in a close one. Cowboys win 20-17.

Enjoy the games, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Matt lives in Newnan, Georgia but was born and raised in Upstate New York. He is a fan of the New York Yankees, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Boston Celtics. At the collegiate level, he is a Notre Dame and Syracuse fan (yeah he can root for both, and what?!) He must, however, find a soccer team to root for. So him out there. All suggestions are welcome. You can catch Matt on the Turf mostly covering NFL, NBA, MLB, College Football and Basketball, and Horse Racing (that is not a typo, he practically grew up on a racetrack). It's nothing's strictly sports.

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