Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Week 12 Thanksgiving Picks and Wrap Up


Packers vs. Lions
Detroit is coming off an outburst against Carolina.  Trailing big against the Panthers, they went on to assault them, putting up 49 points.  The Lions had been lackadaisical since week 6, compiling a 1-3 record since then.  They started slow here, and then straightened things out.  I am hoping this turns it around for the Lions and expect them to show up on Thanksgiving against the Packers.  This is the biggest game in years in Detroit and the place will be electric.  I don't expect it to rattle Rodgers a great amount, but I do expect the Lions to get a few big plays from their D (big 3rd down stops, etc.)  The Packers are not sure if Starks will play.  Starks is a good back and may put up decent yards if he plays, but I think the Lions defense will be able to consistently play the pass and try to contain Rodgers.  Rodgers is the best QB in the league right now, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him put up another monster day, but I think the Lions and Stafford will be able to hang with him.  Detroit showed last week that they can still put up huge numbers, even without Calvin Johnson catching 2 TDs.  He still had a good day, 5 catches for 89 yards, but not the 2 TD game he was accounting for every game in the beginning of the season.  As long as he can go out on the field with his ankle injury, then I give Detroit a chance here.  If he is on the field, he will draw double coverage, opening things up for Stafford to find other targets.  I like the Lions to keep it close and perhaps take down the undefeated Packers.
(+7) Loss

UPDATE: Packers dominate in win, Suh ejected, Lions lose 27-15

A few factors went into the Lions losing this one. 
1.  Kevin Smith left the game with a high ankle sprain after dominating the first drive of the game. 
2.  Suh was ejected.  The game really ended when he lost his temper.  The guy can have a huge impact but unfortunately for the Lions today, he lost his cool and lost the game.  A 4th and goal became a 1st and goal and an easy TD for Green Bay.
3. The interceptions by Stafford certainly did not help at all, as the Packers scored 2 TD's off of them. 
The Packers went on to dominate, only giving up a couple 4th quarter scores to the dangerous Detroit offense.  Solid performance by Rodgers once again, and the Packers are one step closer to perfection.

Dolphins vs. Cowboys

Cowboys will be without Miles Austin, but Robinson has been filling in nicely.  Dallas at home on Thanksgiving against a streaking Miami team equals a more interesting matchup than it was a few weeks ago.  I still feel confident taking the Cowboys by a TD.  I think Miami will put up a fight, but DeMarco Murray is running as good as the best backs in football right now and I do not think Miami will be able to stop him and control Dez and Robinson at the same time.  Oh, and don't forget the current tear that Romo is on.  They are clicking all around, and can see the NFC East title within their grasps.  This game might be close, but Dallas will win, and I believe they will win by at least a TD.
Cowboys (-7) Loss

UPDATE: Cowboys kick last second field goal to win 20-19


     Dallas wins in a wild one, even though Miami came out fighting in this game and almost pulled it off. Murray, another good game, rushing for 87 yards and catching 4 passes for 41 yards. Romo started the game shaky with two picks in the first quarter, but settled things down and kept the game close.  Robinson put up the best numbers, with 7 catches for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns.  He is becoming Romo's favorite target as of late.  As for Miami, their three game win streak ends but they played real well.  Moore threw for 288 yards and a TD to Marshall, who finished with 5 catches for 103 yards.  Reggie Bush continues to put up good numbers.  With these three clicking, they might be able to pull off a few more wins this season.  But today, the Cowboys had the last drive and therefore, won this game.

49ers vs. Baltimore
49ers have been on a roll all season.  Baltimore seems to always pull out the win as of late, but they are going up against a defense that has not given up a rushing touchdown all season.  Gore is all banged up, but even so, he had a good week last week (88 yards on 24 carries.)  Their running game looks good Gore should have a large workload and they have Kendall Hunter to provide support should he not be able to make it through the game.  Alex Smith has not made mistakes this year and if he can continue this trend, then this will be a close game until the end.  The NFC as a whole has been praised when compared to the AFC this year, but the question is...are the teams in the AFC less superior or are they beating up on each other resulting in more mediocre records?  I think this game is a good gauge on top AFC and NFC teams and where each team stands in their Super Bowl quests.  I see the 49ers battling the Ravens on national television and proving that they are for real.
49ers (+3)

 UPDATE: Ravens win defensive battle, 16-6    

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the games!
Check back here to get a wrap up of all of today's games, and later this week look for the rest of my picks!

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