NFL Picks Week 12: Breaking Down Every Thanksgiving Game

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2012

Nov 24, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys fans pose with turkey themed hats on their heads before the Thanksgiving day game against the Miami Dolphins at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Believe it or not, it's already Week 12 of the 2012 NFL regular season and the annual Thanksgiving Day games are upon us.

This tradition has become one of the best sporting events of the year, and what better way to spend Thanksgiving than by watching some of the best NFL action the fans will see all the season?

With so much on the line this holiday break, it’s time to break down and predict the winners of the Thanksgiving NFL games.

All betting lines via


Houston Texans at Detroit Lions

Over/Under: 50, Spread: Detroit (+3)

Starting Thanksgiving at noon, the first game NFL fans get to enjoy is the Houston Texans traveling to Ford Field to square off with the Detroit Lions. While this interconference battle doesn’t have a storied rivalry, there are plenty of interesting storylines coming into this matchup.

After being tested against the porous Jaguars, the Texans are looking to bounce back against a playoff-caliber team like the Lions. Houston’s vaunted defense was embarrassed in Week 11 and will be out for revenge against Detroit.

Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and the Lions’ No. 1 ranked pass offense will be looking to send a message of their own against a Texans secondary that Chad Henne torched for four touchdowns last week.

Add in the stellar play of Detroit’s front seven helping to shut down Arian Foster and the Houston rushing attack, and this could end up being the best game of the day.

Prediction: Detroit stuns Houston, 31-23.


Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys

Over/Under: 48, Spread: Dallas (-3)

In the NFC East divisional battle for Thursday, the Washington Redskins will travel to Dallas to square off with a Cowboys team desperate for a win.

Washington has a rookie quarterback in Robert Griffin III and was not expected to do very well this season. Dallas was the team heralded as a Super Bowl contender, yet they currently sit at 5-5 on the season.

With both teams playing too inconsistent, something has to give on Thanksgiving.

While this will be a great test for the Redskins and RGIII, this is a must-win for the Cowboys in their own building. With the home-field and the short-week advantage, Dallas and veteran QB Tony Romo will steal a win that’ll end up closer than anyone would have imagined.

Prediction: Dallas seals the win over Washington late, 27-24.



New England Patriots at New York Jets

Over/Under: 48, Spread: New York (+7)

While the rest of the games on the Thursday schedule will be tight battles, the New England Patriots are going to destroy the New York Jets in the Meadowlands. As the prime-time game of Thanksgiving, this loss will be the final blow that ends the Jets’ playoff hopes.

Even with the loss of star tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots still boast the fourth and fifth-best pass and run offenses respectively in the NFL. Add in a returning Aaron Hernandez and an emerging rushing attack, and the Jets' defense is in trouble.

New York can do its best to shut down Tom Brady and the New England offense, but unless the Jets' own 29th-ranked passing attack can step up and perform against the Patriots 30th-ranked pass defense, there is no hope for victory for Gang Green.

With hopes of a playoff run fading, New England will hand New York a tough divisional loss they will not recover from.

Prediction: New England destroys New York, 34-14.


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