NFL picks Week 12: Packers-Eagles and every other game

Nov 20, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) runs on the field during pre game warm ups prior to the Packers
Nov 20, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) runs on the field during pre game warm ups prior to the Packers /

It’s now-or-never time for the Green Bay Packers. Do they get the win on the road to the Philadelphia Eagles?

The Packers will enter Monday’s game three games behind either the Lions or Vikings, who meet at Ford Field on Thanksgiving Day. Lose in Philadelphia and the season is over.

Last week, I went a strong 11-2 in my weekly NFL picks column. Let’s see if I get as lucky this time around. Picking against the Packers is becoming a good route to success.

With three games taking place on Thanksgiving Day, we’re in for a great weekend of football.

Green Bay (4-6) at Philadelphia (5-5)

Until the Green Bay defense shows signs of life, it’s tough to trust them home or away. After suffering five defeats in six weeks, there’s little indication the Packers are ready to bounce back.

This is the week the playoff dreams end.

Pick: Philadelphia

Minnesota (6-4) at Detroit (6-4) – Thursday

Detroit won the previous meeting of these two, but it took a late rally followed by an overtime touchdown. I expect Minnesota to even up the series in a Thanksgiving thriller.

Pick: Minnesota

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PODCAST: Recapping Washington, previewing Eagles

Washington (6-3-1) at Dallas (9-1) – Thursday

Dallas has racked up nine straight wins and looks to be the best team in the NFL. Will they go all the way to win the Super Bowl? Time will tell, but they win again at home.

Pick: Dallas

Pittsburgh (5-5) at Indianapolis (5-5) – Thursday

Unless Andrew Luck pulls a Davante Adams, he won’t suit up Thursday. Adams played on Thursday Night Football four days after suffering a concussion, but it’s unlikely Luck does the same. That means former Packer Scott Tolzien steps in, and he’s not beating the Steelers.

Pick: Pittsburgh

Los Angeles (4-6) at New Orleans (4-6)

How Los Angeles has four wins is beyond me. New Orleans is tough at home. Expect Drew Brees and company to roll past the Rams.

Pick: New Orleans

Tennessee (5-6) at Chicago (2-8)

Decimated by injury, Chicago will struggle to win another game. Jay Cutler sits out again, opening the door for Matt Barkley. And he’s got no chance.

Pick: Tennessee

Arizona (4-5-1) at Atlanta (6-4)

Arizona, like January’s NFC Championship Game opponents Carolina, are falling well short of preseason expectations. Atlanta has exceeded theirs, and gets back on track at home following a timely bye.

Pick: Atlanta

NY Giants (7-3) at Cleveland (0-11)

Is it time? Will the Browns finally put a win on the board in the 2016 season? No.

Pick: New York

San Diego (4-6) at Houston (6-4)

Houston is winning on defense, not offense, despite their encouraging performance at Oakland last week. San Diego might be the best 4-6 team in the league, and they take it on the road

Pick: San Diego

Jacksonville (2-8) at Buffalo (5-5)

So much for the preseason hype in Jacksonville. Gus Bradley’s days are numbered, while the rejuvenated Bills keep rolling.

Pick: Buffalo

Cincinnati (3-6-1) at Baltimore (5-5)

Like the Packers, the Bengals have massively underachieved due to a loss of personnel both on the field and off it. Cincinnati needs to restock in the offseason, and they lose a close one to Baltimore sans A.J. Green.

Pick: Baltimore

San Francisco (1-9) at Miami (6-4)

Incredibly, Miami is in the hunt for a playoff berth. San Francisco, well, they are already dreaming of the draft.

Pick: Miami

Seattle (7-2-1) at Tampa Bay (5-5)

Tampa remains in the NFC South race, just a game behind Atlanta. A win would be huge for the playoff-vying Bucs, but they meet a red-hot Seahawks team, who stretch their winning run to four.

Pick: Seattle

New England (8-2) at NY Jets (3-7)

Tom Brady‘s absence from practice Wednesday is worth monitoring, as is the status of Rob Gronkowski. Still, the Pats have proven they can win without both this season, and the Jets are no threat.

Pick: New England

Carolina (4-6) at Oakland (8-2)

Oh how things can change in a year. Twelve months ago the Panthers were on course for a 15-1 season and Super Bowl appearance, yet here they are on the verge of elimination from playoff conention. The Raiders—who finished 7-9 last season—already have more victories and are heading towards the playoffs.

Pick: Oakland

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Kansas City (7-3) at Denver (7-3)

Kansas City suffered just its first defeat of the year, a surprising loss at home to Tampa Bay. They are talented enough to take down Denver at either venue, but I’m giving the home team the edge.

Pick: Denver