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Week 12 NFL Picks: Things to be Thankful For

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Happy Thanksgiving, Browns fans! I had my best week of picking games last week since Week 4, as I went 11-3 to improve my season record to 94-65. This week, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, the theme for all of the games will include me listing something that I or the team(s) involved are thankful for.

Also, use this as your NFL Open Thread for Thursday's games.

Week 12 Games Explanation Pick
vs. Headline: The Texans are thankful to have a quarterback who they know is capable of having a quarterback like Matt Schaub. They have such a good team, so they rarely call upon Schaub to be the sole savior, but that's what he did last week in a 5-touchdown, 500+ yard performance to improve the Texans at 9-1. Texans 28, Lions 17
vs. Headline: I am thankful for the fact that I finally get to sit back and watch Robert Griffin III play for an entire game. It will still sting a little bit that the Browns couldn't get this guy, but he can make the NFC East really interesting if he pulls off a win. Redskins 23, Cowboys 20
vs. Headline: The Patriots are thankful for the fact that they have so much depth on offense; even when a guy like Rob Gronkowski goes down, it looks like Aaron Hernandez and Julian Edelman will be there to pick up the slack. Three road wins on Thanksgiving Day? Yep. Patriots 31, Jets 24
vs. Headline: I am thankful to have drafted Peyton Manning in the ninth round of my money league, because he has played like his old self and has kept my fantasy team in contention (unlike my second-round pick, Jamaal Charles). Before Charles can even get going, it'll be 21-0 Broncos. Broncos 38, Chiefs 10
vs. Headline: Related to fantasy football, I am also thankful that no one drafted C.J. Spiller, and that I was able to grab him off waivers after Week 1 due to my team's waiver priority. The Colts' hot streak finally came to an end last week, and I think they will begin to scuffle a little bit here despite having a favorable schedule. Bills 24, Colts 21
vs. Headline: The Bengals have to be thankful that they drafted A.J. Green, who could very well be the best receiver in football in his second season. Cincinnati has been on a tear the past two weeks. I think they'll suffer a scare against the Raiders, but rally late to secure the win. Bengals 23, Raiders 17
vs. Headline: I'm thankful that Pete Carroll ventured back into the NFL, because he has made the Seahawks a fun team to watch. Marshawn Lynch epitomizes the energy of his head coach and the Seattle fan base. Even though they are on the road, Miami has really started to tank. Seahawks 24, Dolphins 10
vs. Headline: The Buccaneers have to be thankful for getting Greg Schiano as their new head coach, because he's helped revive a Buccaneers team that I thought was dead last season. The Buccaneers have won four games in a row, and Atlanta has started to show some vulnerability. I think Tampa Bay pulls off the upset here. Buccaneers 28, Falcons 24
vs. Headline: The Bears should be thankful that one game doesn't define a season, because things looked ugly under Jason Campbell last week, and even the defense looked hopeless against San Francisco. This is a huge division game, but it looks like Cutler will be back to save the day. Bears 17, Vikings 13
vs. Headline: I'm thankful that the Browns aren't in the same situation as either of these teams, particularly the Jaguars. Regarding the Titans, they are a tough team to read. Remember, two weeks ago, they killed the Dolphins 37-3. Then they had a bye. Depending on how things unfold this week, Tennessee could be a "WTF" team that ends up a game out of a wildcard spot in the AFC. Titans 34, Jaguars 17
vs. Headline: I'm honestly not thankful for much about this game. While I don't think firing a coach like Pat Shurmur midseason can do much help, the Chargers probably should end the Norv Turner already. San Diego still has an outside chance for a wildcard spot, and a leadership change could change the constant collapses that Turner's teams have. The Ravens will continue to coast to an unfathomable 9-2 record. Ravens 20, Chargers 14
vs. Headline: I'm thankful not to be a Cardinals fan. After a 4-0 start, their team has lost six games in a row, all because the front office failed to improve the quarterback position. Boy, one of these rookie quarterbacks from the 2012 class would've been great, eh? I do think Arizona finally snaps their losing streak this week, due to their defense. Cardinals 17, Rams 10
vs. Headline: I am thankful that most of the country, including myself, gets to watch this game. The Saints and the 49ers had an epic encounter in the playoffs last season, and while there is no way they can repeat the excitement of that game, it should still be a fun game to watch. The Saints are going to continue their resurgence in a shootout. Saints 31, 49ers 27
vs. Headline: The Giants should be thankful that Eli Manning is their quarterback. Although Manning is in a big-time slump, there is no doubt that he can put things together and come through in the clutch. The Packers, likewise, are happy to have Aaron Rodgers as their leader. I have no idea who will come out on top in this game, so I'll go with a rare Sunday Night overtime prediction that ends with the Packers winning the flip and scoring a touchdown first. Packers 26, Giants 20 (OT)
vs. Headline: This is the type of late-season prime time game that can't be flexed out, but most certainly would get flexed out if it were a Sunder Nighter vs. the Monday Nighter. I honestly have no investment in this game -- no fantasy players and no passion for either team. I'll still watch because I always do. The Panthers can't close games, and the Eagles have no confidence right now. I'll go with the home team. Eagles 20, Panthers 17
vs. Headline: I'm thankful that the Browns are going to kick the Steelers ass this Sunday, giving them even more of a crutch in their attempts to make the postseason. I'll have more on Sunday, but here's my early reveal: Browns win.

Survivor Pick:
I am 7-4 in survivor, riding a four-game winning streak after the Saints beat the Raiders last week. The teams I've used are GB, HOU, PIT, and NO. This week, I'll go with the Broncos over the Chiefs.