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NFL picks and predictions for Week 12

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The top games in the NFL this week include the Carolina Panthers vs. Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos, and Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles. Let's get straight to the Week 12 action. Feel free to weigh in on some of the games in the comments section.

Week 12 Games Explanation Pick
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Note: These first three picks was posted in our thread on Thursday. I am listing them here for record-keeping purposes.

Thanksgiving Day 1: The Detroit Lions just beat the Minnesota Vikings earlier this month by a score of 22-16. The Lions are winners of five of their last six games, while the Vikings just snapped their four-game losing streak last week with a win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Vikings got the job done with touchdowns on defense and special teams -- those are big factors to winning, but they won’t come every week and I still haven’t seen enough from their offense. Lions 24, Vikings 17

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Thanksgiving Day 2: This is a great Thanksgiving Day game that could suddenly turn the tides of the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys have been riding high all year with a nine-game winning streak under QB Dak Prescott. Dallas’ winning streak began against the Washington Redskins in Week 2. The Redskins are rolling again after Sunday Night’s blowout win over the Green Bay Packers. We should see a lot of offense in this one, but I’ll continue going with the Cowboys as they rely on their offensive line and rushing attack. Cowboys 31, Redskins 27

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Thursday Night Football: Unfortunately, the night game of Thanksgiving Day is set to end with a bit more of a dud because Colts QB Andrew Luck has been ruled out with a concussion. The Colts have to turn to Scott Tolzien to run the ship. He started a couple of games for the Packers in 2013, but things didn’t go too well for him. The Pittsburgh Steelers, on an overall level, have not played too well as of late. Their win over Cleveland should give them a confidence boost on this short week, and they’ll be able to win the battle of the quarterback position with ease. Steelers 35, Colts 10

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Not So Scary: Things aren't looking so good for either of these teams in the NFC now, but particularly the Cardinals. They are going to find it tough to get in with their current record, and a road game against the Atlanta Falcons won't ease matters. Atlanta's faced their share of issues too, but will be well-rested off the bye and playing their first game in November this month. Falcons 31, Cardinals 21

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Seizing the Opportunity: The Ravens remain the worst 5-5 team in the NFL, but will get another break when they face a Bengals team that just lost A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard, their two best weapons on an offense that was already scuffling. Ravens 23, Bengals 13

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Tough Sledding: The Bills aren't going to win the AFC East, which means only a wildcard spot will get them in the playoffs. Considering how good the AFC West is, three teams from that division could have 11 or more wins. Buffalo has no margin for error, and Rex Ryan should be hammering that message home to his club. Bills 28, Jaguars 14

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Not Ready to Elevate: The Saints are coming off two tough losses to the Broncos and Panthers, while the Rams are coming off of a shell-shocked loss in which they dominated 90% of the game and blew it at the end. Jeff Fisher's teams are pretty unpredictable, but I want to say that Jared Goff won't be ready to match a scoringfest that Drew Brees is accustom to. Saints 27, Rams 17

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Close to the Vest: The Giants are 7-3, but their biggest margin of victory this season is seven points (done once). Their games typically go down-to-the-wire, and they only beat the Bengals by one point a couple of weeks ago. On the surface, the Giants’ run game issues should continue to limit the number of points they can put up. However, the Browns’ constant lack of continuity on offense and lack of defensive playmakers still won’t push them over the edge over a team that is in the playoff hunt. Giants 23, Browns 20

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Far, But Not Forgotten: The Chargers' record is 4-6, but they're still a threatening team on offense and are coming off the bye. The Texans are clinging to their AFC South lead at 6-4, but before long, you'd have to think the Titans will catch them, right? Houston's chances will take a hit, as San Diego's role this season will unfortunately just be as a spoiler team to someone in their division down the stretch. Chargers 30, Texans 20

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Upset of the...I Can't: For selfish reasons, I want the 49ers to win, which would make this the upset of the week. I can't bring myself to do it, though. The Dolphins' rushing attack has been the reason for their five-game winning streak, and the 49ers boast the worst rush defense in the NFL. Dolphins 27, 49ers 13

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Taking Care of Business: The Titans, despite falling last week to the Colts, are playing very competitive football, and Marcus Mariota could be the talk of the NFL if he gets his club to the postseason. They should have an easy victory this week against a Bears club that'll be forced to have Matt Barkley make his first start at quarterback. Titans 35, Bears 10

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Hanging In There: Don't look now, but the Buccaneers are 5-5 with Doug Martin having come back at the right time. They're running in to a Seahawks team that is clicking on offense right now, but this one has the smell of a down-to-the-wire game...I just can't pull the trigger on calling the upset. Seahawks 28, Buccaneers 24

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Game of the Week: How is this for a stretch -- the Raiders are in the midst of a four-game home stretch, with a bye week having been thrown in between. Not bad for a team that is currently 8-2 and looking to add some padding in a tough division. It'll be tough to do against a Panthers team that is still really tough, but unfortunately can't piece everything together...something is just off with them in 2016. Raiders 23, Panthers 21

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Brady or No Brady? I don't think Tom Brady will miss this one, but even if he does, the Jets are a relative walk in the park this year. Ryan Fitzpatrick will be back in to start for the Jets, and he sometimes has a fantastic game, but I won't bank on that being this week. Patriots 31, Jets 21

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Sunday Night Football: This is a great Sunday Night Football matchup on paper, even with the Chiefs having lost last week to the Buccaneers. Denver is coming off of the bye, which should give them some time to sort some of their offensive issues out. Kansas City will be right with them, but the slight edge goes to Denver at home. Broncos 31, Chiefs 27

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Monday Night Football: I didn't think this was possible, but the Packers are giving up an average of 38.25 points during their four-game losing streak. Heck, their defense has looked worse than the Browns' defense! What I've said in the past though is that bad defenses can sometimes be bailed out by a good offense in a shootout, and although Aaron Rodgers' efficiency has been mediocre, he'll shine in prime time and put a dent in Philly's playoff hopes as the Giants and Cowboys both rise. Packers 34, Eagles 23

Bye Week:

Survivor: Last week, I picked the Patriots over the 49ers, giving me a three-game winning streak. I've used NO, ARI, and NE. This week, I'll take the Titans over the Bears.

Week 11 Picks Record: 9-5
2016 NFL Picks Record: 87-72-2
Browns Picks Record: 7-4