As the NFL players celebrate Thanksgiving this week, there are a handful of teams still fighting for their playoff existence. Find out which ones will win with the free NFL predictions for Week 12, along with five can’t miss games for any fan.
New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints
In what some of the NFL experts are calling a preview of the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots will be trying to ruin the perfect record of the New Orleans Saints in this Monday night game.
The game will feature two of the top three scoring offensives in the NFL; the Patriots average 29 points per game while the Saints average 36.9 points per game. There is no reason to expect either of these teams to score less than 21 points in this contest.
While the Saints have looked a little more vulnerable as of late, the team has done everything when it comes to winning a game. The key to this game will be the Saints defense and their ability to make a big play. Though it will end up being a close scoring game, the Saints will have it in hand by the start of the fourth quarter.
Prediction – New Orleans 28 New England 24
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
The Indianapolis Colts are looking to continue their undefeated streak when they face the Houston Texans, fresh off a Monday night appearance. The Colts enter this game with one of the top defenses in the league, especially when it comes to points allowed, 15.7 per game. The Texans potent offense, which averages 23.9 points per game, is led by quarterback Matt Schaub.
One of the important match-ups in this game will be the front seven of the Colts defense versus the running attack of the Texans. The Texans have struggled this year, averaging only 90.8 per game, and will need for Steve Slaton to find consistency. The Texans will put a tough fight at home but come away with a narrow loss to the Colts.
Prediction – Indianapolis 21 Houston 17
New York Giants at Denver Broncos
The New York Giants turned things around last week by finally winning a game while the Denver Broncos have continued the slide back into the depths of the AFC West. A berth in the NFL playoffs is on the line when these two teams take the field as the closing game on Thursday night.
The Giants, who won their last game on the arm of Eli Manning, will need to find a way to jump start their running game that has been awful this season. While the Broncos defense gave up 203 yards on the ground last week to the Chargers. The Giants back will find their groove again and continue on their winning ways.
Prediction – New York 24 Denver 10
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Francisco 49ers
The Jacksonville Jaguars find themselves in the middle of a NFL playoff race, winning when they need to, even at home when there is no one to watch. The San Francisco 49ers are reeling after a hot start to the season and will need to find a way to right the ship for a slim shot at the wild card.
While this game may lack luster, you need to watch it because of two of the most talented players in the game. The Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew has rushed for 926 yards and scored 13 touchdowns so far in his first full season as the starter. On the defensive side, the 49ers will counter with linebacker Patrick Willis who is an absolute beast on the field. In 42 games, he has recorded 314 solo tackles with 7.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 5 forced fumbles.
Prediction – Jacksonville 28 San Francisco 20
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens can not afford another miscue this week if they want to find their way in the 2009 NFL playoffs. The Steelers gave one away to the Chiefs while the Ravens lost a close one to the undefeated Colts.
The Baltimore Ravens offense has been struggling as of late and will need to find their rhythm back if they are going to penetrate one of the best defensive units in the league. The offensive line of the Steelers will need to do a better job of protecting Ben Roethlisberger if they want to defend their Super Bowl title. The Ravens defense will prove to be too much for the defending champions.
Prediction – Baltimore 17 Pittsburgh 14
The Rest of the NFL Schedule for Week 12
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
While the Detroit Lions found their offense last week, it was even more disturbing what the Cleveland Browns offense was able to do. The visiting Green Bay Packers should have little trouble dispatching the Lions on Thanksgiving Day as they set the table for an afternoon of football.
Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys
Both teams are coming off a win and will be looking to continue their streak on a shortened week. The Oakland Raiders defense has been playing solid as of late and will help the Boys in black pull off an upset over the Dallas Cowboys in front of the Jerrytron.
TampaBay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons come into this home game on a two game losing streak and in danger of being knocked out of the NFL playoff race while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been unable to find a way to win on the road. Look for the Falcons to earn the win as Matt Ryan’s performance continues to improve.
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams
Both the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams have already started to look forward to next year. The only problem is that the Seahawks forgot there are some games left in the 2009 NFL season. The Rams have played tough and should continue to do so as they win their second game of the year at home.
Carolina Panthers at New York Jets
The Carolina Panthers had the perfect chance to jump back into the playoff race but lost to the Dolphins last Thursday while the New York Jets have continued to sink as they place too much on the arm on rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez. Both teams are going to run and run the ball and in the end turnovers will be the key as the Panthers win and move one game closer to .500.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
The Miami Dolphins are 5-2 since Chad Henne has taken over as quarterback and will need running back Ricky Williams to continue to shoulder the load. The Buffalo Bills offense looked different last week, especially since Terrell Owens actually had the ball thrown his way. Though the Dolphins are prone to give up the big play, their running game will be enough to win their sixth game of the year.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals choked one away last week against the Raiders, will now need to rebound against the Cleveland Browns, who actually had an offense last week. The Bengals defense will prove to be a tougher match this week and be the difference maker as they win their eight game of the year.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
Give the Washington Redskins credit, despite the lack of any offense punch, their defense has still shown up to play. The Philadelphia Eagles need a win this week to continue their lead in the NFC East This division rival game will be low scoring but the Eagles will find away to score enough points to win.
Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans
At the beginning of the 2009 NFL season, this looked like one of those must see games. Despite the resurgence in the Tennessee Titans, the game means too much to the Arizona Cardinals who can put the nail the coffin of the NFC West for another division title this year. While Vince Young has been helpful in guiding the Titans offense, the Cardinals defense will do what is needed to earn a narrow victory on the road.
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
The Kansas City Chiefs have shown they are no push over this NFL season and the San Diego Chargers are one of the hottest teams in the league. While the Chiefs offense was solid against the Steelers, the Chargers defense has been on an absolute tear. The Chargers will win this game by a touchdown and continue to extend their lead in the AFC West.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
The Chicago Bears are fighting for their playoff lives while the Minnesota Vikings are hanging with the Saints for home field advantage through the playoffs. The Bears Jay Cutler will have a rough day against the Vikings defensive front seven and end up being the reason the Vikings earn their tenth win of the NFL season.
Year to Date 83 – 38