NFL Week 12 Predictions (2020-21)

Carson Zorn, Sports Writer

This is an exciting week in the NFL season, because the fans get treated to three games on Thanksgiving Day (although now it’s two). Week 11 saw Bengals fans’ hopes and dreams crushed as their franchise QB Joe Burrow went down with a torn ACL and MCL, among other things. Hoping for a speedy recovery for Joe! That said, I now move on to my week 12 predictions.

 

Week 11 Takeaways:

-The NFC West title is going to come down to one game.

-The Steelers are a top two team in the NFL, and it shouldn’t be questioned.

-The Jaguars need to draft a QB.

-The Lions need to fire HC Matt Patricia.

-Panthers HC Matt Rhule is the real deal.

-The Patriots are in the beginning of a long rebuild.

-The Texans would be nothing without QB DeShaun Watson.

-Derrick Henry owns the Ravens.

-Defenses have officially figured out Lamar Jackson.

-The Eagles need to make some big changes to the coaching staff.

-While they are benefiting from an easy schedule, the Browns look like a playoff team.

-The Falcons can’t even beat a gadget-player at QB.

-Hold your horses, Taysom Hill isn’t “the future” for the Saints, but he didn’t look half bad.

-The Bengals need to clean house in terms of coaching. Hire Eric Bieniemy!!

-Alex Smith is the definitive comeback player of the year.

-The Jets should stick with Joe Flacco at QB.

-Justin Herbert is now the favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

-Tua is the only first-round rookie QB that is playing like a rookie.

-The Broncos defense bailed them out.

-Andy Dalton looks 100x better than he did before his injury.

-Dalvin Cook is the only RB that belongs in the MVP conversation.

-The Packers can’t beat a team with a good defense.

-The Colts are a playoff team.

-Patrick Mahomes is the leader in the MVP conversation, and it’s not even close.

-The Raiders look like the team no one will want to play in the playoffs.

-Sean McVay is a top five coach in the NFL.

-Tom Brady is too inconsistent for the Buccaneers to win the Super Bowl.

 

Record:

Last Week: 9-5

Total: 99-61-1

 

Week 12 Predictions:

 

Thanksgiving Day Football:

 

Texans vs Lions:

I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the show “Family Guy,” but I’m going to reference it now. There is an episode where one of the characters, Brian Griffin, gets stuck in a lion enclosure at the zoo. The lions look like they’re about to attack him, but then he says the line, “Hey, it’s Thanksgiving, shouldn’t you be in Detroit losing a football game right now?” That’s exactly how this Thanksgiving day of football is going to kick off, the Lions are going to lose this game. Neither of these teams are great by any means, but the Texans have consistently put up points in every game this year, and the Lions were just shut out by the Panthers. The Lions are lacking on defense, and the offense is suffering without WR Kenny Golladay. If Golladay plays, the Lions have a chance, but it’s not looking like he’s going to. So, I’ll take the Texans to win this one, and pretty easily.

Texans Win 31-20

 

Football Team vs Cowboys:

Both of these teams actually looked alright last week, although I don’t think Washington would’ve won if Burrow played all four quarters. When these two teams met previously, Cowboys QB Andy Dalton, couldn’t move the ball whatsoever, and then was knocked out of the game with a nasty concussion on a dirty hit. Washington then proceeded to blow the Cowboys out. I think it’ll be a different story this time. The Cowboys defense has actually looked better over the last couple of weeks, and Andy Dalton played pretty well last week, as well as RB Ezekiel Elliot. I think the Cowboys will win a close one and improve their chances to win the dreadful NFC East.

Cowboys Win 21-17

 

(Postponed to Sunday)Ravens vs Steelers:

The Ravens have a chance to deal the Steelers their first loss of the season on Thanksgiving night, but I think they’ll miss their opportunity. The Ravens running game is going to be extremely inefficient without Dobbins and Ingram, and it doesn’t help that the Steelers have the best defense in the league. As long as the Steelers do what they did the last time these two teams met (which was to force Ravens QB Lamar Jackson to throw and bait him into turnovers) they should have no problem improving to 11-0.

Steelers Win 23-18

 

Sunday 1:00 Games:

 

Chargers vs Bills:

This should be a fun game to watch, two offensive powerhouses with great QBs going at it. The Bills have had two whole weeks to dwell on their heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals, and will more likely than not come in angry and determined to win. The Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs connection has been extremely special this year and with the Chargers lack of elite playmakers in the secondary, it should continue this week. But, the Justin Hebert to Kennan Allen connection has been equally impressive, and should continue this week. It will all come down to coaching, and it has become abundantly clear that Chargers HC Anthony Lynn cannot close out a game, and for that reason, I will take the Bills to beat the Chargers in an offensive shootout.

Bills Win 35-31

 

Titans vs Colts:

This one is almost impossible to predict. The Colts have beaten the Titans in a lot of their matchups over the years, and did so about two weeks ago on Thursday night. So the logical pick would be the Colts, but I just don’t know. Both teams are coming off statement wins in Overtime against great teams, and looked really impressive. I just think there’s almost no way that the Titans get swept by the Colts this year, and RB Derrick Henry has really started to pick up some steam as of late, which makes him a nightmare for defenses to face. So, with great hesitation, I’m going to take the Titans to win on the back of Derrick Henry and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Titans Win 23-20

 

Panthers vs Vikings:

There’s a good chance both QB Teddy Bridgewater and RB Christian McCaffrey return for the Panthers this week, and if they do, I really like the Panthers’ chances to win. Even without CMC I think they have a good chance to win, so I guess it all hinges on Teddy Bridgewater’s status. The Vikings have looked alright over the last couple of weeks, but they are not a great team by any definition of the word. The Panthers defense played shutdown last week, and if they can repeat that performance there’s almost no way they don’t win. So, as long as Bridgewater plays, I’ll take the Panthers to win this game.

Panthers Win 28-20

 

Browns vs Jaguars:

The Browns easy schedule continues against the second worst team in the NFL this week. There’s not too much analysis that needs to be done to pick a winner for this game. The Browns are the far better team, and will win the game with relative ease.

Browns Win 31-14

 

Giants vs Bengals:

If Joe Burrow was playing, this would actually be a pretty fun game to watch. But, unfortunately the ineptitude of his O-Line and the Bengals front office/coaching staff has prevented him from doing so (Yes, I’m a Bengals fan. Yes, I’m mad. Yes, there will be an article coming out about this). The Giants actually have a shot at the NFC East title this year, and facing a Bengals squad that looked absolutely defeated without Burrow last week will help them get there. This game shouldn’t be close, and the Giants should walk away with a win.

Giants Win 27-13

 

Cardinals vs Patriots:

Another game this week that could be pretty fun to watch. The Patriots are lacking talent on both sides of the ball, but the Cardinals are not. QB Kyler Murray is playing at a MVP level with WR DeAndre Hopkins at his disposal, and will continue to do so, even against this above average Patriots defense. The Patriots will put up a good fight, but at the end of the day, I think we’ll see the Cardinals walk away with a win.

Cardinals Win 27-20

 

Dolphins vs Jets:

Dolphins fans, I know you’re disappointed about how Tua played last week, but I have some good news for you: there’s no better place for Tua to get his mojo back then against the Jets. The Dolphins should have no problem turning the Jets into an 0-11 team, and gaining momentum as they try to make a playoff push.

Dolphins Win 23-10

 

Raiders vs Falcons:

This game should have a lot of offense and minimal defense. Expect both QBs to pass for over 300 yards, and both RBs (Josh Jacobs and Todd Gurley) to rush for over 100. But, the Raiders are actually a really good team, whereas the Falcons…not so much. So, I expect the Raiders to win this shootout.

Raiders Win 34-27

 

Sunday 4:00 Games:

 

Saints vs Broncos:

The Saints have looked really good the last couple of weeks, even with Taysom Hill at QB for last week. While Hill being the starting QB over Winston still gives me some unease about predicting a Saints win, they probably will beat the Broncos. The Saints are a more complete team on both sides of the ball, and will be able to stop the Broncos offense frequently enough for them to win the game.

Saints Win 24-16

 

49ers vs Rams:

The Rams have looked fantastic as of late, and the 49ers are decimated by injuries. If this turns out to be a close game, the Rams need to do some serious re-evaluation. Rams QB Jared Goff hasn’t been playing amazing, but he only needs to be “good” for the Rams to win this game, and I think he can manage that.

Rams Win 29-17

 

Chiefs vs Buccaneers:

I’m not usually the one to bet on Tom Brady losing two straight games, but I’m going to do it now. The Buccaneers looked completely out of sync on Monday night, and the Chiefs are the best team in the NFL. While I do think Tom Brady will bounce back and actually have a really good game, I don’t see him out dueling Mahomes down the stretch.

Chiefs Win 34-31

 

Sunday Night Game:

 

Bears vs Packers:

The Bears have been proven to be a bad team this year, whether it was under Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles. The Packers have had some hiccups, but not too many people consider the Packers a bad team. The Packers have been better than the Bears for a couple years now, and that hasn’t changed this year. I say the Packers will win at home against their rival.

Packers Win 24-14

 

Monday Night Football:

 

Seahawks vs Eagles:

It’s the battle of the birds on Monday night, and there’s almost no question as to which team will come out on top. The Seahawks are better than the Eagles in every sense of the word, and will easily win on Monday night.

Seahawks Win 33-24

 

Well, those are my week 12 predictions. Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day and as always, enjoy some football this weekend.