NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 12

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Houston @ Detroit (+2½)

The Texan beat the Patriots, 27-20, led by a big day from DeShaun Watson, who passed for 344 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with a rushing score.

"I have to give credit to my offensive line," Watson said. "I wasn't sacked once. I also give credit to the Patriots defense for their strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, because they didn't even breathe on me.

"The Texans organization consulted me for my input on their choices for head coach and general manager. For head coach, my suggestion was Eric Bieniemy. For GM, my suggestion was 'anyone who will stay the hell out of Eric Bieniemy's way.'

"Now, if I get kicked in the nuts by a Lions defensive lineman, then I'd like the comparisons to Matt Schaub to end right there."

The Panthers blanked the visiting Lions, 20-0, dropping Detroit to 4-6, last in the NFC North.

"There was a big fat zero on the scoreboard," Matthew Stafford said, "when they displayed an image of Matt Patricia on it.

"Obviously, we have a lot of problem areas to work on, and not long to do. So we need to 'zero' in on making corrections.

"But never count out a Detroit Lions team on Thanksgiving. By the way, my favorite Thanksgiving dish is stuffing, particularly my wife Kelly's stuffing. She's just as skilled at putting her fist in a turkey as she is at putting her foot in her mouth."

Texans win, 28-21.

Washington @ Dallas (-2½)

The Cowboys snapped a four-game losing streak with a huge 31-28 win over the Vikings in Minnesota. And Dalton passed for 3 touchdowns, including the game-winner to Dalton Schultz with 1:37 left.

"Andy worked his butt off to get healthy," Mike McCarthy said. "He overcame a concussion and COVID-19. For a redhead, that was true 'Ginger ail.'

"You probably heard I imitated Gallagher and smashed watermelons to fire up my team against the Vikings. It was a big hit. People are calling it the fifth-best comedy routine in the NFC East.

"Nothing says Thanksgiving like football in Dallas, or Leon Lett in snow, of Jerry Jones wringing his hands. And this game should be a treat for viewers. How often do you get to see two below .500 teams play with massive playoff implications? Actually, pretty much every week in the NFC East."

Washington beat the Bengals 20-9 as Alex Smith picked up his first win since November of 2018.

"Alex is a lock to win Comeback Player of the Year," Ron Rivera said. "Probably a bigger favorite than Jay Gruden was to win 'Don't Comeback Coach of the Year' last year."

Ron Rivera breaks out a few trick plays, and Washington wins, 26-22.

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh (-3½)

The Steelers crushed the Jaguars 27-3 in Jacksonville. Pittsburgh picked off Jake Luton 4 times and sacked him twice.

"Luton completed only 16-of-37 passes," Tomlin said. "That's the epitome of inaccuracy. That, in turn, is an accurate representation of a Jaguars quarterback.

"We're 10-0. If we beat the Ravens, we can start talking about clinching scenarios. The Ravens can too, but their 'clinching' scenarios involve their sphincters tightening up in big games."

The Ravens lost 30-24 in overtime to the visiting Titans. Derrick Henry's 29-yard TD run won it for Tennessee and dropped Baltimore to 6-4.

"Is Derrick Henry our Kryptonite?" John Harbaugh said. "Or is our rush defense our Kryptonite? Whatever the case, our defense has been 'super friend-ly' to opposing running backs lately."

Steelers win, 27-19.

Las Vegas @ Atlanta (+3)

The Chiefs beat the Raiders 35-31 at Allegiant Stadium, as Kansas City avenged a Week 5 loss to Los Angeles. The loss dropped the Raiders to 6-4, three games behind K.C. in the AFC West.

"I'm not sure if the Chiefs took a victory lap around Allegiant Stadium," Derek Carr said. "Actually, they should have taken a tour of the inside of Allegiant. There they can see such historic sites as the Al Davis Memorial Torch, or the Ken Stabler Memorial Whiskey Bottle, or the Michael Crabtree Memorial Gold Chain."

The Falcons lost 27-9 to the Saints in the Superdome, as Atlanta failed to score a touchdown. Matt Ryan passed for just 232 yards, tossed 2 interceptions, and was sacked 8 times.

"Matt took a beating," Raheem Morris said. "And the blame falls on our offensive line. This probably means Matt's not buying them a Christmas gift this year. It's not that he's not generous; it's that he just doesn't have the time."

Raiders win, 30-22.

L.A. Chargers @ Buffalo (-5½)

Justin Herbert passed for 366 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Chargers beat the Jets, 34-28, keeping New York winless. Keenan Allen had 16 receptions for 145 yards and a touchdown.

"Let's face it," Anthony Lynn said. "We were supposed to beat the Jets. And if we'd played the Jets in all 10 games this year, we'd probably be 5-5.

"With Joe Burrow's injury, Justin is the clear front-runner for Rookie of the Year. He makes our offense click. With Justin at QB, we're a threat to score from anywhere on the field, and score quickly. He's the 'White Lightning Bolt,' a nickname which is sure not to be marketable whatsoever."

The Bills had a Week 11 bye and lead the Dolphins by a game in the AFC East.

"We're ready for the stretch run," Sean McDermott said. "And with extra time to prepare, we've uncovered the scheme to slow down Justin Herbert. We found it on Hunter Henry's laptop."

Bills win, 27-23.

NY Giants @ Cincinnati (+4)

The Bengals lost 20-9 to the Redskins, a loss compounded by a season-ending knee injury to Joe Burrow.

"We're devastated," Zac Taylor said. "But this just means other players will have to step up. Like our backup quarterback. It's the 'Brandon Allen Show' now. And that show is sure to draw 'low ratings.'"

The Giants had a Week 11 bye and are 3-7 in the NFC East, tied with the Cowboys and Redskins for second, a half-game behind the Eagles.

"The race for the NFC East crown is on," Daniel Jones said. "There are four teams within a half-game of each other, and all either three of four games under .500. That's parity, and parody.

"I can assure you, we're gonna battle to the end to make the playoffs. If you're a member of this team and are not willing to fight, he'll get rid of you. If you're a coach and you're willing to fight, he'll also get rid of you."

Giants win, 27-16.

Tennessee @ Indianapolis (-3½)

The Colts beat the visiting Packers, 34-31, as a key turnover in overtime led to the Indy victory.

"That game was like Marvin Harrison's car wash," Phillip Rivers said. "Because it was a shootout.

"I suffered a toe injury that is really causing me discomfort. You think I'm not going to play? Heck, if I need to amputate in order to play, I'll do it, myself if I have to. Toes are like children; if you lose one, you still have nine. At least I do."

The Titans beat the Ravens 30-24 in overtime, winning on Derrick Henry's 29-yard TD run.

"They don't call Derrick 'King' for nothing," Mike Vrabel said. "Especially against the Ravens, because he's not only their ruler, but the yardstick by which they're measured. And when Derrick plays the Ravens, it takes at least 100 yardsticks to do so."

Titans win, 27-26.

Carolina @ Minnesota (-4)

The Panthers shut out the Lions 20-0 at Bank Of America Stadium. Carolina's defense dominated, while backup quarterback P.J. Walker passed for 258 yards and a TD.

"P.J. played in the XFL before joining us," Matt Rhule said. "I wasn't sure if he was ready for the NFL, so I 'wrestled' with the idea of signing him.

"But kudos to our defense for a dominating performance. To hold a Matt Patricia-coached teamed scoreless is unprecedented, except when it comes to All Pro voting."

The visiting Cowboys upset the Vikings, 31-28, putting a damper on Minnesota's potential playoff hopes.

"Our defense let us down," Mike Zimmer said. "And it's certainly not the first time. I trust my defense even less than I do a Blair Walsh chip shot.

"On the bright side, it's possible we'll look back to this game at the end of the season and say, 'We lost to a playoff team.' We could also be saying, 'We lost to a 6-10 team."

Vikings win, 30-23.

Arizona @ New England (+2)

The Cardinals lost 28-21 to the Seahawks on Thursday night. The loss dropped the Cards out of a tie for first in the NFC West.

"I took a sack that ended the game," Kyler Murray said. "That's when 'Hail Murray' becomes 'Hell Murray.'

"It's crucial for our defense to control Cam Newton. If Newton chooses to run, they've got to make sure they hit him. In other words, we have to 'put a hat on him.'"

The Patriots lost 27-20 to the Texans in Houston. New England's defense struggled, giving up 344 yards passing and 2 TDs to DeShaun Watson.

"We got no pressure on Watson," Bill Belichick said. "Our pass rush is basically non-existent. To be blunt, it's a 'sack of sh#t.'"

Patriots win, 24-21.

Miami @ NY Jets (+6½)

Miami's five-game winning streak abruptly ended in a 20-13 loss to the Broncos in Denver. Tua Tagovailoa was benched in the fourth quarter after struggling for much of the game.

"The starting job is still Tua's," Brian Flores said. "Now, Tua's not in the dog house, but he's definitely on a shorter leash. And for my final dog reference, hopefully Ryan Fitzpatrick won't be tasked with cleaning up Tua's mess on Sunday."

The Jets fell to 0-11 with a 34-28 loss to the Chargers at SoFi Stadium.

"If we can't beat a 2-7 team," Adam Gase said, "then I'm not sure we can beat anyone. I'm not gonna say we're 'tanking,' but forward progress has been stopped."

Miami wins, 27-17.

Cleveland @ Jacksonville (+6)

The Jaguars lost 27-3 to the Steelers in Jacksonville. Pittsburgh forced 4 Jake Luton turnovers and held the Jags to 206 total yards.

"Jake may have been in over his head," Doug Marrone said. "But at least he's brought some clarity to our quarterback situation. In other words, I long for the days of our previous quarterback. Now you tell me — do I mean Gardner Minshew, or Blake Bortles?

"Pittsburgh's defense is an incredible unit. They remind me of the one we had in 2017, featuring Jalen Ramsey, his mouth, and 10 other guys."

The Browns held off the Eagles 22-17 in Cleveland.

"It wasn't pretty," Kevin Stefanski said, "but we're now in second place in the AFC North. We call that 'sloppy seconds.' Also known as 'sloppy seconds': anytime Freddie Kitchens is your second choice for anything."

Browns win, 27-17.

New Orleans @ Denver (-5½)

The Saints beat the Falcons, 27-9, as Taysom Hill started at quarterback in place of the injured Drew Brees. Hill passed for 233 yards and rushed for 2 touchdowns.

"The Falcons had no idea how to defend Taysom," Sean Payton said. "They call Taysom the 'Swiss Army Knife.' And with his newfound exposure, I would be surprised if he signs a shoe deal, which touts him as the 'K-Swiss Army Knife.'"

The Broncos beat the Dolphins 20-13 at home to improve their record to 4-6. Melvin Gordon rushed for 2 scores, and the Broncos defense sacked Tua Tagovailoa 6 times.

"Melvin has 6 touchdowns this year," Vic Fangio said. "That's only one less than Drew Lock. More impressively, Melvin has 11 fewer interceptions than Drew."

Saints win, 27-19.

San Francisco @ L.A. Rams (-7)

Jared Goff outgunned Tom Brady and the Bucs as the Rams rolled to a 27-24 win in Tampa. Goff passed for 376 yards and 3 touchdowns, and L.A. remained in a tie with the Seahawks in the NFC West.

"Brady may be the 'GOAT,'" Goff said, "but at least for one game, this Ram was much more 'hornier' than he."

Rams win, 23-21.

Kansas City @ Tampa Bay (+3)

The Chiefs beat the Raiders 35-31 on Monday night in Las Vegas. Pat Mahome's 22-yard TD pass to Travis Kelce with 28 seconds left was the game-winner.

"You've seen the State Farm commercial in which I slather ketchup on a steak," Mahomes said. "And I just told everyone I put ketchup on Thanksgiving turkey. I've laid the groundwork for a boom in ketchup sales, as well as a 'ESPN College GameDay' sign that says, 'Patrick Mahomes Puts Condiments on His Meat.'"

Tom Brady struggled in the Bucs' 27-24 home loss to the Rams. Brady passed for only 216 yards and threw 2 interceptions.

"I was certainly not at my best," Brady said. "I can't really explain it, but I just wasn't feeling it. Leonard Fournette also wasn't feeling it? By 'it,' I mean his hands. Leonard couldn't catch COVID. He has hands of stone and butter.

"On the bright side, Antonio Brown is becoming more comfortable in our offense every week. I think I should get a lot of the credit for that. I want him to feel at home. So, I've done extra work with him, plus I've asked him to call me 'Your Honor.'

"In a shocking twist, though, A.B. wants out of Tampa, and back into Pittsburgh."

Bucs win, 31-30.

Chicago @ Green Bay (-7½)

The Bears had a Week 11 bye, and despite a four-game losing streak, are in second place in the NFC North.

"Nick Foles has a hip pointer," Matt Nagy said. "I wish that meant he had a cool hunting dog. But it doesn't."

The Packers lost 34-31 at Indianapolis in overtime. Marquez Valdes-Scantling's fumble in overtime led to Indy's game-winning field goal.

"To those people who sent MVS death threats," Aaron Rodgers said, "you should 'KYS.'"

Packers win, 30-17.

Seattle @ Philadelphia (+5)

The Seahawks beat the Cardinals, 28-21, and are now alone in first place of the NFC West.

"We ran the ball pretty well," Pete Carroll said. "That helps take some of the pressure off of Russell Wilson. Compliments to Carlos Hyde for being a big contributor. With Carlos, the offense is 'Hyde;' without him, it's 'Jekyll.'"

The Eagles lost 22-17 to the Browns in Cleveland as Carson Wentz continued to struggle. Wentz threw 2 interceptions, one of which was returned by the Browns for a score.

"I'm not going to bench Carson," Doug Pederson said. "He's playing well enough to put us in first place in the division. Of course, we're only a half-game up on the other three teams in the division, and they're crap. So, Carson's playing 'like crap.'

"On an unrelated note, I hired myself a driver to get me around town. His name is 'Tony Meatballs,' and I've charged him with 'Doug Trafficking.'"

Seattle wins, 29-27.

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