Tag Archives: Thanksgiving Day

NFL 2018: Week 12 Predictions (Condensed Version)

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The stage is set for Colt McCoy to keep Washington’s NFC East title hopes afloat.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Last Week: 4-9

Season: 85-74-2

Week 12 Picks

Bears over Lions – I’m worried about Chase Daniels starting for Chicago but maybe the Bears defense can limit what Detroit can do offensively.

Cowboys over Washington – Whenever it looks like things maybe looking up for Dallas, I usually expect them to completely fall on their face. But this isn’t the same defense Colt McCoy defeated three years ago. This is a huge spot for Dallas. If they are able to run the ball and control the clock, they can win this one and suddenly find themselves in the playoff picture.

Saints over Falcons – Atlanta stinks. They have too much talent to stink but they do. New Orleans probably will not win out going into the playoffs but I doubt that they drop this one.

Bills over Jaguars – Jacksonville is broken and QB Josh Allen will be looking to prove Jalen Ramsey wrong at home.

Browns over Bengals – Cincinnati’s defense is really bad right now. Look for Bayer Mayfield to have a big game on the road.

Patriots over Jets – New England hasn’t looked like themselves recently. Sunday would be a great time for them to get back on track against a weak opponent.

Eagles over Giants – I don’t trust either team. But a loss for Philly here would be the nail in the coffin for their season.

Buccaneers over 49ers – The offensive talent for Tampa needs to will their team to a victory.

Seahawks over Panthers – Carolina hasn’t been the same since getting beat down in Pittsburgh. Seattle is a tough team that could be in the playoff conversation real soon.

Ravens over Raiders – I’m not sure how long Baltimore’s offense can operate without a passing game but despite that, they’ll still be good enough to beat Oakland.

Chargers over Cardinals – The Chargers usually get hot at the end of the season and not collapse like they did last week. They better figure themselves out soon, as their schedule is about to get really tough.

Steelers over Broncos – Pittsburgh won ugly last week. This game could be similar.

Colts over Dolphins – Indy looks like they could go on a run. But Miami is getting Ryan Tannehill back Sunday. This one could be sneaky competitive.

Vikings over Packers – Minnesota has issues but on Sunday they literally only have to worry about one guy. They should have beaten Green Bay earlier this season. That should provide enough motivation, especially at home.

Texans over Titans – I’m not sure when Houston’s winning streak will end but Tennessee will not beat them without Marcus Mariota.

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NFL 2017: Week 12 Predictions!

Los Angeles Rams v Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota just keeps stacking wins.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Last Week: 8-6

Season: 96-64

Week 12

Vikings over Lions – Detroit usually puts out a great effort on Thanksgiving but Minnesota is playing as well as anyone right now.

Cowboys over Chargers – This is a must win for Dallas. Actually, the Cowboys must approach each game from here on out as a must win game. I could see them dropping this one at home in disappointing fashion after how they looked in the second half against Philadelphia and the Chargers are starting to gain some late season momentum. But the Cowboys are getting some guys back from injuries in this game and they will play desperate on offense. Dak Prescott needs a strong bounce back on Turkey day.

Washington over Giants – I like the effort Washington is showing each week. They’ve struggled through penalty of injuries this season but they seem to be in a lot of close games this season. New York has been over achieving lately but Washington should crush them.

Falcons over Buccaneers – Atlanta is 6-4 despite under achieving for most of the season. They need a strong finish if they hope to return to the post season.

Browns over Bengals – How about a Cleveland upset for a pre-Christmas miracle? Maybe this one will seal Marvin Lewis’ fate.

Colts over Titans – Another upset here. Marcus Mariota did not impress me last week in Pittsburgh. He made some big plays but those interceptions he threw were on some really bad throws. If the Indy defense can press the QB, they’ll be able to score the upset.

Chiefs over Bills – Kansas City has issues. Buffalo has more issues.

Patriots over Dolphins – New England is playing as well as anyone right now.

Panthers over Jets – Carolina needs to show focus on the road this week after playing its best game of the year last week.

Eagles over Bears – Philadelphia might win out.

Seahawks over 49ers – Seattle is in danger of falling out of playoff contention. A lost at San Francisco would probably end their season.

Raiders over Broncos – Both teams are going through a tough stretch right now. I’ll give the advantage to Oakland because they should be able to put up more points.

Saints over Rams – New Orleans’ improved defense should be in full display against a Rams team is starting to struggle to put up points.

Jaguars over Cardinals – Trap game for Jacksonville as they are on the road against a bad Arizona squad.

Steelers over Packers – If Aaron Rodgers was healthy, this would probably be a scoring fest. It might still be but for only one side.

Ravens over Texans – This game will be the opposite of Packers/Steelers. Points will be at a premium. Eventually, the Baltimore defense will make the plays to wrap this one up for the home team on Monday night.

 

Fantasy Football Picks of the Week

QB: Matt Ryan (Falcons) – Matt Ryan and the Atlanta passing attack will face the second worst pass defense in the league in Tampa Bay.

RB: Mark Ingram (Saints) – Ingram has been on a tear lately. He’ll impress this week against a weak Rams run defense.

WR: T.Y. Hilton (Colts) – The Colts could be able to upset the Titans if they attack them through the air. Hilton will be a key part of their game plan on Sunday.

TE: Zach Ertz (Eagles) – The Eagles should be able to find big plays down field against the Bears secondary.

DEF: New England – I didn’t expect the Patriots defense to look so good last week against the Raiders. They should be able to look strong again at home against Miami.

NFL 2016: Week 12 Predictions!

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions

The Lions will be looking to take the lead in the NFC North on Thanksgiving.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Last Week: 10-4

Season: 97-62-2

Big Five Games of the Week

Minnesota @ Detroit – The Vikings were able to end their losing streak last week at home. Now they are sitting at 6-4 and tied at the top of the NFC North with the Detroit Lions. This Thanksgiving Day matchup will have serious playoff implications in terms of the NFC North title. The Lions are coming off a win at home to Jacksonville but it was none too impressive. I think it was important for Minnesota to get back to winning last week as they were in danger of completely falling out of the playoff race. Minnesota still has issues offensively currently but if their defense can play like it did last week, they have a chance at the end of each game. Detroit has made a habit out of winning close games this year and they’ll probably have to do the same on Thursday. The matchup of the game will be the Minnesota defense against the Detroit offense. It will be strength vs strength when it comes to Matthew Stafford and the Lions passing game against Minnesota’s secondary. I think this game will turn on Minnesota’s inability to get anything consistent going on offense. Detroit’s defense hasn’t been great this season but they have the talent up front to get after Sam Bradford, create pressure and cause mistakes. Because of the Vikings defense, this game will go down to the wire but I like the home team. Prediction: Lions 26 – Vikings 23

Washington @ Dallas – Washington is riding high going into Thursday’s game against rival Dallas. Washington is wining ball games with their passing attack and their active defense. Kirk Cousins is playing well right now and we are seeing how talented of a receiving core that Washington has. Washington’s defense isnt great as an unit but they have a talented group that can rush the passer and make plays in the open field. If Washington is riding high currently, then what does that make Dallas? The Cowboys have won nine straight and are showing no signs of slowing down. This winning streak for Dallas starting at Washington and many of the things they were able to do in that game could carry over into this matchup. I think Dallas will be able to run the ball on Washington’s front seven. I think Washington’s secondary will not be able to account for all of the talent Dak Prescott has to go to. Prescott will have to beware of Josh Norman on passing downs as he seems to always be in the right positions to make plays for his defense. The lack of a pass rush from Dallas does worry me because with time, Cousins should be able to have his way with the Cowboys secondary. But I think the Cousins hype is probably a little too high going into this game. Cousins played big in a primetime game so everyone is ready to crown him but no one is talking about how bad Green Bay’s secondary is. I think Cousins will play well on Thursday but it will not be a repeat of what we saw last Sunday night. Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys offensive line will set the tone of the game and I don’t see Washington slowing them down. I think Dallas will go on to win their tenth straight game. Prediction: Cowboys 34 – Washington 27

Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis – I was ready to write off the Colts earlier in the year but they continue to do well especially against AFC South foes. I could see them beating a desperate Pittsburgh team on Thursday night at home but certainly not without Andrew Luck. Luck will probably miss this game due to a concussion and that might be the window that the Steelers will need to score the road victory. The Steelers were able to stop their losing streak last week at Cleveland but that’s certainly nothing to write home about. The Colts are fighting for a playoff spot just like the Steelers so I expect this one to be well fought. I like the Steelers with Andrew Luck out of the question but lets not write off the Steelers defense ability to lose to QB’s like Scott Tolzien. Pittsburgh’s defense has been such a letdown in big moments this season so it wouldn’t surprise me if Tolzien actually plays well. The Colts still have weapons on that side of the ball without Luck. Frank Gore is playing well recently and you can say the same for the Colts receiving core led by T.Y. Hilton. Indy’s defense is underrated but I think they will have their handful with what Pittsburgh brings to the table. For the Steelers to win this game on Thursday, they will have to overwhelm the Colts with a steady diet of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. If Ben Roethlisberger can stay on his feet and play mistake free football, I don’t see why not the Pittsburgh offense can be successful. This will be another close one but I’m taking the Steelers over the home team without its best player. Prediction: Steelers 35 – Colts 27

Kansas City @ Denver – Losing to Tampa Bay at home is bad look for the Chiefs. I’m a fan of what the Chiefs have on their team. They have a tough defense, they get after the QB, they are tough to run against, they have playmakers in the secondary, and they play ball control offense that is effective. That being said, in a tight AFC West race, they cant afford to have slip ups like they did this past week. Now, they will go on to face Denver at home, which will be a tough chore. Denver’s defense will prove to be as tough as Kansas City’s. I think the difference will be Denver’s ability to execute on offense. Denver is tough at home and maybe Kansas City has some things to figure out in their own camp after a tough home loss. I like Denver in this one. Prediction: Broncos 22 – Chiefs 18

Green Bay @ Philadelphia – If the Packers are not done now, this Monday night will be their funeral. Green Bay can’t stop anyone on offense. But that’s not really news. The news is that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense isn’t able to make up for the defense by scoring enough points at the end of the game. Going into Philadelphia this week will prove to be a perfect storm for the Eagles. The Eagles play well at home this season and Green Bay’s recent struggles serve well to their strengths. I think the Eagles defense will give Rodgers a tough time and rookie Carson Wentz will be able to look as good as he has in months facing the Packers and their toothless defense. I’m not sure if it will be a blowout but I’m expecting Philadelphia to get a big win at home on Monday night. Prediction: Eagles 33 – Packers 24

The Rest of Week 12

Falcons over Cardinals – Atlanta will be charged up coming off the bye week. Arizona can’t get it done on the road this season.

Bills over Jaguars – Buffalo has done a great job recently at competing til the end and closing out games in the 4th quarter. They will have to do the same this week against a Jaguars team that is hungry to end their losing streak.

Titans over Bears – Tennessee has to get over their slow starts. Chicago has so many injuries right now. Tennessee must take advantage.

Giants over Browns – Cleveland will not get their first win this week.

Dolphins over 49ers – This will be the best-looking matchup of the week and maybe the year. Miami will be wearing the throwbacks from the ‘70’s, which will look great paired up with San Fran’s road uniforms.

Saints over Rams – LA cant score no matter who’s at QB. Drew Brees will find tough sledding against the Rams defense but he’ll do enough to get New Orleans the victory.

Ravens over Bengals – I think Cincinnati is done. The injuries to A.J. Green and Giovanni Bernard will seriously hurt this offense. Baltimore is a confident bunch despite falling last week at Dallas.

Texans over Chargers – I watched the Monday night game last week and thought, “Maybe Houston isn’t as bad as everyone thinks.” The Texans were hurt big time by the officials in that game and they’ll be ready to get back on track this week at home.

Seahawks over Buccaneers – Trap game for Seattle here. Tampa is coming off a big road win but Seattle is playing some of its best football right now. Fun fact: Both Tampa and Seattle entered the NFL in the same year.

Raiders over Panthers – I wasn’t that impressed with Oakland last week but Carolina will find life even tougher without defensive leader Luke Kuechly.

Patriots over Jets – I think the Jets will score more with Ryan Fitzpatrick back in the lineup but they wont beat Brady and the Pats.

Week 12 Fantasy Football Picks

QB: Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) – Ben has had his recent injury problems but he has also had some of his biggest games statistically against the Colts defense.

RB: Jay Ajayi (Dolphins) – Against the 49ers defense, the J-Train should be rolling this week.

WR: DeAndre Hopkins (Texans) – San Diego allows the third most yards in the air this season. I think Hopkins will catch plenty of balls down field on Sunday.

TE: Jimmy Graham (Seahawks) – Every week, it seems like Graham is making a big play for Russell Wilson.

DEF: Buffalo – Rob Ryan’s unit did a great job at the end of last week’s game in Cincinnati. I like the Bills defense this week against a Jaguars offense that seems to not be able to get it together.

NFL 2014: Week 13 Predictions!

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If the Dallas pass rush can’t get to Eagles QB Mark Sanchez, he could have a Thanksgiving to remember.

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 12-3

Season: 111-64-1

Big Five Games of the Week

Chicago @ Detroit – The Lions have a real chance at winning consecutive Thanksgiving Day games for the first time in a long time. But both teams enter this matchup in an offensive rut. Detroit has lost two straight games where they could not find the end zone. Chicago has dealt with offensive issues the entire season, which is why they are 5-6 entering this game. Unlike Detroit, Chicago also has mayor defensive issues due to injuries and just an overall lack of effort. Despite losing two straight, I believe that the Lions defense can have a bounce back performance on Thursday. The Lions front four should be able to affect Jay Cutler and the Bears offense at the line of scrimmage. Chicago will have a chance in this game but only if the offense can find major success. The Bears defense will be out-manned on Thursday as they will continue to struggle against the run and WR Calvin Johnson should be able to make an difference in the game lining up opposite of Chicago’s inexperienced secondary. Detroit needs this game to try to keep pace with Green Bay in the NFC North. I think they will be able to wrap this one up at home. Prediction: Lions 31 – Bears 22

Philadelphia @ Dallas – This game wont determined the NFC East winner but it could go along way in deciding the division. The Eagles and the Cowboys have been impressive this season but they do have their weaknesses. For the Eagles, they still have a great collection of skill players on offense. The bad news is that starting QB Nick Foles is still out via injury and backup QB Mark Sanchez might not be as sharp. The good news for Sanchez and the Eagles offense is that the Cowboys defense cannot amount any type of a pass rush this season. Philadelphia has had a lot of mid season changes to the offensive line but I don’t think that will matter against the Dallas front four. With no pressure, Sanchez and his weapons will be able to get behind the defense and cause some serious damage. On defense, the Eagles will need to focus on stopping the run. Philadelphia’s strength of defense is the pass rush but Dallas will be able to almost take that factor out of the game with their running attack. The Dallas offensive line is still playing outstanding football so Philly might already have their hands full with trying to pressure Tony Romo. I’ll admit that safety Malcolm Jenkins has been better than I expected this season for the Eagles but that secondary has mostly been bad and WR Dez Bryant should be able to have his way with them. Despite of what the Dallas offense can do, I think this game will be about the Dallas defense and their lack of defensive stops. This should be a close exciting contest that will leave a perfect build up leading to the rematch in Philly in about 2 weeks. Prediction: Eagles 29 – Cowboys 27

Seattle @ San Francisco – The Seahawks and 49ers round off a great rivalry, Thanksgiving Day triple-header in the NFL on Thursday. Both teams have had issues this season but both are still in position to make a push towards the post season. Seattle is almost the same team from last season but the lack of talent is starting to become an issue. Seattle still has a power running game led by RB Marshawn Lynch and QB Russell Wilson is still the unquestioned leader of the offense. On defense, the “Legion of Boom” is still a feared secondary but unlike last season, Seattle’s front seven has had problems this season with creating pressure and stopping the run. This serves well for the 49ers offense. QB Colin Kaepernick has had his struggles this season but he will be able to use the running game to set the tone in this matchup. The 49ers defense is slowly starting to regain health and the form that we are more accustomed to seeing them in. The return of OLB Aldon Smith has already started to make a difference for the defense and the emergence of rookie ILB Chris Borland has help the 49ers with defending the run. Seattle will have their hands full in this divisional matchup especially because they still are known for their woes on the road. This should be a low scoring affair that might come down to field goals in the 4th quarter. Prediction: 49ers 23 – Seahawks 20

New England @ Green Bay – I don’t think this is a Super Bowl preview but this game features two of the best teams and QBs in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were going through a pretty impressive stretch of games recently that saw them put up a lot of points. Last week in Minnesota, Green Bay had to grit out a tough victory. Though it was impressive to see them win ugly for once, I think that game did show that it is possible to slow down that offense. New England doesn’t have a top defensive unit statistically but they are a tough group that might be getting healthier this week. New England has been getting strong play from their secondary and from the run defense. OLB Chandler Jones might be ready to return from injury this week and if he does, New England will have a legit pass rusher to help them get after Rodgers. Green Bay’s defense has had their good moments this year but they still have exploitable weaknesses. They struggle to stop the run and the pass rush has been a disappointment this year. I think New England will be able to control the line of scrimmage in this game. Tom Brady will be able to dial up the correct plays in the run game and in the pass game. Rookie safety HaHa Clinton-Dix will have his hands full contending with New England’s TE’s, Rob Gronkowski and Tim Wright. I still thank Rodgers and the Packers offense will be able to keep this game competitive. It will help that they’ll have that great home field advantage but I don’t see New England being phased. Brady has been in a zone recently. Prediction: Patriots 33 – Packers 28

Denver @ Kansas City – I’m not ready to write off the Chiefs after they were embarrassed and some what robbed of a victory last week in Oakland. I actually think that they matchup well against Denver and they’ll have a legit shot at an upset at home this week. Denver was able to overcome a slow start at home last week and still get the victory over a defensively tough Miami team. Judging from the last two games, it seems like Denver is starting to lose some of that steam they had earlier in the season. Kansas City matchups up well against them on both sides of the ball and that great home field advantage on Sunday night will create a hostile environment for Peyton Manning. Kansas City has the front seven on defense that can pressure the QB and stuff the run. The Chiefs secondary will greatly miss safety Eric Berry but considering the situation with him, maybe that unit will be able to play inspired football that night. Denver still will be tough to stop on offense but if Kansas City can create enough stops, that might be able to be the difference in the ballgame. Denver’s defense has started to show weakness against the run and the pass. RB Jamaal Charles is basically the Chiefs offense so Denver will have to especially key on him. QB Alex Smith is not playing his best right now but maybe he can seem more comfortable playing at home. Despite the defense and the home field advantage, I’m picking this game based on the fact that I don’t trust Alex Smith to be able to score enough points in this game in order to outscore Peyton Manning. Prediction: Broncos 35 – Chiefs 27

The Rest of Week 13

Bills over Browns – Returning to Ralph Wilson Stadium this week will create a crazy scene and a great advantage for the Bills. Cleveland has proven this year before that they cant handle their own success.

Colts over Redskins – So much for the Luck-RG3 matchup. Let the Colt McCoy era in Washington begin!

Rams over Raiders – Oakland deserves to lose forever for the stunt they pulled off last week vs. the Chiefs.

Panthers over Vikings – The NFC South is still awful but Carolina is healthy coming off the bye.

Steelers over Saints – Things in New Orleans wouldn’t be as bad if Drew Brees was still playing like Drew Brees. Something is just off about him this season. Pittsburgh has been great at home recently and that defense will be really healthy coming off the bye week.

Bengals over Buccaneers – Don’t look now but Cincinnati is starting to play really well. I’m excited for the backfield tandem of Jeremy Hill and the now healthy Giovanni Bernard.

Giants over Jaguars – I think that a loss here would all but seal Tom Coughlin’s fate in New York.

Ravens over Chargers – It’s been hard for me to get a read on Baltimore this season. San Diego will be desperate for a win this week as they are starting to become forgotten in the crowded AFC.

Texans over Titans – The QB change shouldn’t matter here. Tennessee is a bad football team.

Cardinals over Falcons – It is not time to panic in Arizona but a loss here against Atlanta might cause some concern.

Dolphins over Jets – Rex Ryan is starting Geno Smith at QB this week. So, that alone should tell you that the Jets Head Coach has checked out mentality.

Fantasy Football Players of the Week

QB: Tony Romo (Cowboys) – Romo’s track record on Thanksgiving has been well documented. Plus, Philly’s secondary isn’t good.

RB: Fred Jackson (Bills) – Here’s a name that you haven’t heard in awhile. Cleveland struggles against the run and Jackson will be extra motivated this week after already starting a war of words with the Browns defense.

WR: Calvin Johnson (Lions) – Johnson should have a big Turkey day against the Chicago secondary.

TE: Larry Donnell (Giants) – With the extra attention on Odell Beckham Jr., Eli Manning might be able to exploit the middle of the Jaguars defense with Larry Donnell.

DEF: Miami – I have no reason to believe that Geno Smith will have a big day offensively on Monday night. Miami’s defense should be able to feast.