Thanksgiving week has arrived which means Turkey and football. It doesn’t get more American than that. This year’s games are some of the best games we have ever been treated to on Thanksgiving. Two huge divisional matchups with first place at stake in one of them.
Last week had some great games. The biggest stories in the NFL from week 11 included: The Cowboys winning their ninth straight game, The Buccaneers ending the Chiefs five game win streak, The Vikings ending their four game losing streak, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers continue to falter and the Raiders winning on Monday Night Football in Mexico.
This week is definitely headlined by the Thanksgiving day games but the rest of the week should be fun as well. There are no byes this week, and only two teams have yet to have their bye. It was a good week last week for Hagan’s Haus picks and I will try and keep that momentum rolling. Here are Hagan’s Haus week 12 NFL picks.
Last Week: 10-4
Minnesota (6-4) 24 @ Detroit (6-4) 20: In terms of division title races this is the most important game in week 12. The Vikings finally ended their four game losing streak but it took a 100 yard interception return by Xavier Rhodes and a 104 yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson. The Lions were in a dogfight with the Jaguars who are a bad road team. I am still not sold on the Lions this season and they stole one earlier in the season from the Vikings. Minnesota will get revenge in an exciting opening Thanksgiving Day game.
Washington (6-3-1) 24 @ Dallas (9-1) 27: Many people expect the Cowboys to lose this game. They won’t. The Redskins are a decent team but, the Cowboys are better. In this Thanksgiving Day game it is all about the big boys up front for the Cowboys. They deserve a nickname soon so if some of you think of one, let me know and we can find something to call these studs. They will open up big holes for Zeke to feast on Washington. Cowboys fans will have even more to be thankful for after the final seconds tick off.
Pittsburgh (5-5) 41 @ Indianapolis (5-5) 17: This was going to be an intriguing match-up but Andrew Luck is officially out and Scott Tolzien will make his first start since 2013. The Colts are bad pretty much all over without Luck. Meaning, they have no shot. The Steelers need this win to keep their playoff hopes high. Steelers will get the job done.
Tennessee (5-6) 20 @ Chicago (2-8) 17: Jay Cutler might be out of this game which would actually be good news for the Bears. The Titans are still young and it shows in games they are suppose to win. Marcus Mariota is still having a great year and so is the should be comeback player of the year, DeMarco Murray. Titans will play great defense and get a road win in the windy city.
Jacksonville (2-8) 24 @ Buffalo (5-5) 34: Buffalo gets a home game against a Jaguars team that flat out stinks on the road. The Bills are trying to fight for a wildcard spot that almost looks guaranteed to go to the AFC West division. If the Bills lose this game they won’t make the playoffs. Rex Ryan will have his guys ready for a game in which a lot of players might lack focus.
Cincinnati (3-6-1) 24 @ Baltimore (5-5) 20: This is a trap game for the Ravens. I am still not sold on them and it is because of their offense. They are tied for seventh worst in the NFL in scoring averaging only 19.9 points per game. That won’t be enough to win this game and the Bengals play spoiler to one of their division rivals.
Arizona (4-5-1) 27 @ Atlanta (6-4) 24: Atlanta will continue to falter. Arizona suffered a tough lost last week in Minnesota and will be looking to right the ship. The Cardinals rank 10th in points given up and the Falcons have the number one scoring offense in the NFL. It will be a battle of wills and the Cardinals will come out on top.
New York (G) (7-3) 31 @ Cleveland (0-11) 13: The Browns are extremely close to a winless season. A match-up against the Giants will push the Browns closer. The Giants look like a team that will be a threat in the playoffs. Their offense will be too much for the Browns and the Giants defense will shut down any chance of a Browns explosion.
Los Angeles (4-6) 16 @ New Orleans (4-6) 27: This is a game where one team is all defense and the other is all offense. Defense wins championships but offense wins games and the Ram’s offense will not be able to keep pace with the Saints offense.
San Fransisco (1-9) 21 @ Miami (6-4) 34: With a five game winning streak the Dolphins have the longest win streak in the AFC and look somewhat formidable. The Dolphins are winning behind a strong running game averaging 118.1 yards per game. Ryan Tannehill is playing well during the five game winning streak throwing for six touchdowns to just one interception. There isn’t anything good to say about the 49ers. Their losing streak will go to 10 after they lose in Miami.
San Diego (4-6) 31 @ Houston (6-4) 37: This could actually be an entertaining game. The Chargers aren’t going to make the playoffs but they have been a competitive team this season. The Texans continue to play in tight ball games and they win at home and lose on the road for the most part. Expect this to be a high scoring game that the Texans end up pulling out.
Seattle (7-2-1) 31 @ Tampa Bay (5-5) 24: The Seahawks are just doing what they do best, winning regular season games and getting ready for the playoffs. The Bucs just came off a huge upset win on the road in Kansas City. Winston has been playing well as of late but now he gets to go against the number one scoring defense in the NFL. Russell Wilson is getting hot at the right time and he will help his team add another W to the win column.
Carolina (4-6) 27 @ Oakland (8-2) 26: There aren’t many teams in the NFL playing as good as the Raiders. They have yet to show their youth and sit in first place in their division. Cam and the Panthers have struggled throughout the season. There is going to be a point in which the Raiders lose a game they shouldn’t. This is the week it happens.
New England (8-2) 30 @ New York (J) (3-7) 10: Does there have to be a reason to pick the Patriots in this game? The Jets are awful and Ryan Fitzpatrick is worse. These teams are heading in completely opposite directions and the only way this game is close is if the Jets play a perfect game. The Jets will play like this is their Super Bowl and it won’t be enough to slow down Tom Brady and the Patriots 27.1 points per game. Patriots win easily to take over the first seed in the AFC as the Raiders fall to the Panthers.
Kansas City (7-3) 10 @ Denver (7-3) 17: Two 7-3 teams in the same division on Sunday Night Football? Sign me up. Denver has had Kansas City’s number over the past few season as the Broncos have gone 7-1 against the Chiefs in their past eight match-ups. Kansas City will beat the Broncos this season, but it will be in Arrowhead. The Broncos will defend home field behind a spectacular defensive performance.
Green Bay (4-6) 24 @ Philadelphia (5-5) 28: What is wrong with the Green Bay Packers? The answer is their awful defense, which ranks 27th in points given up, 18th in total yards given up, and 23rd in total yards giving up. Their rush defense does rank sixth but people don’t run on Green Bay because their pass defense is so bad. For weeks I’ve been saying the Packers will turn it around, but I am starting to believe they won’t. After they lose this game they will fall to 4-7 and the Packers will be on their way to missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008 when they went 6-10.