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NFL Week 12 Recap--My Predictions
Randal Bruce vs ESPN
Randal finished the Week 12 at 11-5. That's back to back weeks of 11 or more wins. I needed that. It feels good. The leader at ESPN this week is Caplan at 11-5. Last week I beat everyone at ESPN. This week I have tied their top guy. I'm on a roll bay-bay!!! Overall, I'm 98-78. The ESPN overall leader is still Chris Mortenson at 111-65. 13 games behind the leader. Not too bad, but not that good either. It's a late push and it's been fun lately. I'm only ahead of their last place guy Eric Allen, who is 94-82. Not the worst and I'll take it. I'm 20 games over .500 and I'm really happy. Hopefully I can keep this momentum going. I consider it a huge victory since I picked my games before the season and they go week to week. My picks were locked in before the season with no changes. I'm hardcore.
You can see my picks below. There is a link that will lead you to my division by division breakdown and picks and the next link will lead you to ESPN's
- 2015 NFL Season Preview and Predictions--NFC North Division
A division by division breakdown of the 2015 NFL Season.
- NFL Picks and Predictions for Week 12 - National Football League - ESPN
Check out ESPN's expert picks and predictions for Week 12 NFL pro football games.
Happy Thanksgiving in Detroit as the Lions destroyed the Eagles
This is the Lions team that I thought would win 10 games and make the playoffs. They have come to play in recent weeks. The shake up in the organization has seemed to get the player's attention. They are going to be a nightmare for teams fighting for playoff spots. The Lions won't be an easy victory. Matthew Stafford showed management why they shouldn't give up on him. He was brilliant on this early Thanksgiving Day. Stafford passed for 337 yards and 5 TD's. His #1 WR Calvin Johnson caught 3 of them. The defense looked good as well holding the Eagles to just 227 yards of offense. They also had 6 sacks and a forced fumble. Eszekiel Ansah led the way with a monster day. Ansah had 3.5 sacks and 4 tackles. The Eagles are a mess. The Chip Kelly era may be over. Kelly is learning what Spurrier did. You need talent to make your system work. You can't just plug in anyone. Not a fair comparison because Kelly was successful were Spurrier was a huge failure. Chip Kelly's ego got the best of him.
Final Score: Lions 45-Eagles 14
I picked the Lions before the season because I thought they had more talent and were the better team.
The Panthers ruin Thanksgiving for Cowboys with a beating that ended Romo's season in the process
Before the season, I picked the Panthers to go 9-7 and win the NFC South division. I was wrong on the record and right on with the division. Not bad. Before the season, I picked the Cowboys to win the NFC East and go to the Super Bowl and lose. They still have a shot at this awful division, but there is no way they are going to the Super Bowl. Now that was all said with the belief that Tony Romo would be healthy. He is the most important player on this team. Now he's gone for the season and their season is over. Don't get me wrong, they were going to lose this game regardless. The Panthers are the better of the two teams. The Cowboys never had a plan B and it cost them. The Panthers have to be the scariest team in the NFL. I think the Patriots are too, but the Panthers have a legit defense and that's what stands out between the two.
Cam Newton has been amazing. His stats don't always tell the story, but his presence on that field is enough to lift that team up. He always seems to make the big play at the right moment for this team. He can do it all. I think he should get serious consideration for the MVP award. Tom Brady will win it because its a QB award driven by stats, but if you watch this team play, you'd see what Cam does on the field is more important than stats. This Panthers defense came to Dallas and ruined their Thanksgiving. They held Dallas to just 210 yards. They picked Romo off 3 times. MLB Luke Kuechly led the way with 2 and returned 1 for a TD. He also had 7 tackles in the game. The Panthers are looking like the team in the NFC headed for the Super Bowl.
Final Score: Panthers 33-Cowboys 14
I picked the Panthers before the season because the Cowboys haven't done well on Thanksgiving when they play quality opponents.
The Bears ruin Thanksgiving and Brett Favre day at Lambeau with a stunning upset of the Packers
Big win for the Bears. They have put themselves right in the mix for the Wild Card chase. They have already exceeded my expectations for this season. I don't like John Fox but I have to give him a ton of credit. They fought the odds to pull out this win. It's Thanksgiving day in Wisconsin behind enemy lines and they are retiring Brett Favre's jersey in the process. Huge win. That's got to feel good for the Bears and their fans. Almost as good as it felt to stop the Packers on that crucial 4th and goal. The Packers are falling at the worst possible time.
Final Score: Bears 17-Packers 13
I picked the Packers because they were the better team on paper and at home.
The Vikings beat the Falcons in Atlanta
The Vikings stake their claim on the NFC North with a 1 game lead after beating the Falcons. The Vikings MVP has to be Adrian Peterson. He is the spark for this team and his return this year has them heading into the post season. Peterson had another fantastic game. He rushed for 158 yards and 2 TD's. The Falcons back slide continues. I didn't believe in this coaching staff before this season. I had to give them credit for the hot early start, but their deficiencies are costing them down the stretch.
Final Score: Vikings 20-Falcons 10
I picked the Vikings because I believed they had a better coaching staff.
The Bengals make easy work of the Rams
The Bengals get back on track by easily beating the Rams. Andy Dalton spread the ball around and tossed 3 TD's. The Rams are headed for another losing season and this should be the end of Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. How many more excuses can you come up with for this guy. I didn't believe he was the right guy at the beginning of the season and I still don't. The team has talent and they play well against the NFC West but you have to beat teams outside of your division and they don't. Fisher has been there long enough and the Rams don't have anything to show for it.
Final Score: Bengals 31-Rams 7
I picked the Bengals because I believe they are the better team with a better coaching staff.
The Raiders get a late TD to move past the Titans on the road
Can't say enough about the job Jack Del Rio is doing in his 1st year as Raiders coach. He has them at 5-6 and in the Wild Card hunt. I think Derek Carr has star potential and the Raiders have a great building block for their future with the 2nd year QB. Carr was huge in this game. He passed for 330 yards and 3 TDs. He tossed one of those late to give the Raiders the lead. He's playing well and delivering in the clutch. He's got a natural weapon in WR Amari Cooper. Cooper had 7 catches for 115 yards. WR Seth Roberts stepped up in this game. Roberts had 6 catches for 113 yards and 2 TD's. Plus, he caught the go ahead TD. The defense played well. They held the Titans to 249 yards of offense and picked Mariota off twice. Khalil Mack also sacked Mariota twice in the game. Tennessee can't get this year over fast enough and are headed for another high draft choice and a new coach.
Final Score: Raiders 24-Titans 21
Before the season I thought this game was a toss up, so I went with the Titans because they were at home.
The Colts don't need Luck (You may hear this a lot) to beat the Buccaneers at home
The 40 year old man strikes again. The Colts just seem to win with Matt Hasselback at QB. He was really good in this game. He passed for 315 yards and 2 TD's. His 2 TD's were caught by the Colts top WR T.Y. Hilton. The Colts are in a dog fight for this division until Luck is healthy. Hasselback is keeping them in the mix and tied for the lead. This was a tough loss for the Bucs on the road. It really hurt their Wild Card chances. They are still in the mix with a rookie QB and that is impressive.
Final Score: Colts 25-Buccaneers 12
I picked the Colts before the season because I thought they would handle the Bucs easily with a rookie QB.
The Chiefs win their 5th in a row by beating the Bills at home
What a turnaround for the Chiefs. At one point they were 1-5 after a 5 game losing streak. Now they are 6-5 after a 5 game winning streak. You have to tip your hat to Andy Reid for keeping this team together. They are fighting their way into the playoffs. They are definitely a team you don't want to play down this 5 game stretch. Alex Smith continues to be an efficent game manager. He tossed 2 TD's in this win. Spencer Ware provided the rushing attack with 114 yards and a TD. Jeremy Maclin is the receiving option this team sorely needed. He led the team with 9 catches for 160 yards and a TD. Back to back losses has put a damper on the Bills playoff hopes. They aren't out of it, but they are hanging on by a thread.
Final Score: Chiefs 30-Bills 22
I picked the Chiefs before the season because I thought they had more talent and were better coached.
The Jets handle the Dolphins at the Meadowlands
Big win for the Jets. They are 6-5 and are right in the mix for that last Wild Card spot. I think Todd Bowles has done an exceptional job in his 1st year as Jets coach. Bowles got a big game from his QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick tossed 4 TD's in this huge win over the Dolphins. 2 of those were to his #1 WR Brandon Marshall. Marshall finished the day with 9 catches for 131 yards. The Dolphins are heading for a last place finish in the AFC East and its time to start looking for their next coach.
Final Score: Jets 38-Dolphins 20
I picked the Jets because they were at home.
The Redskins protect and early lead and beat the Giants to grab 1st place in the NFC East
The Redskins have been really good at home this season. They are 5-1 at home and 0-6 on the road. They have a familiar pattern. If Kirk Cousins doesn't turnover the ball they win. They are 5-0 when he has 0 turnovers and 0-6 when he has at least 1. Sunday he had none. He was solid game manager against the Giants, completing 20-29 passes for 302 yards and a score. He also ran one in on a QB sneak. The key for this game was the defense. They picked off Eli Manning 3 times. They got key stops when they needed to. The Redskins jumped to a 20-0 lead and held off a late Giants push. For the Giants this was a missed opportunity to run away with an awful division. The Redskins and Giants are tied for 1st place, but it's the Redskins that have the upper hand with the tiebreaker.
Final Score: Redskins 20-Giants 14
I picked the Giants because of late they have owned the Redskins.
The Chargers get a rare road win over the Jaguars
The Chargers show signs of life by finally winning a game. Phillip Rivers seemed to come out of hiding and played well. He passed for 300 yards and 4 TD's. That's the only silver lining with this team. They have been a huge disappointment, but maybe they can use this win to gain momentum for next season. The Jaguars blew a major opportunity to keep pace with The Colts and Texans in the AFC South. This was a huge loss and only strengthens my belief that the Jaguars should move on from Gus Bradley.
Final Score: Chargers 31-Jaguars 25
I picked the Chargers because before the season I thought they were a far superior team.
The Texans shut down the Saints for their 4th straight win
The Saints have to be another huge disappointment this season. The only thing is we should have seen this coming. They were a disappointment last season as well. The Texans were a disappointment early, but have come on strong of late. It's impressive because it seems like they have a different QB each week. Their QB situation will come back to haunt them, but right now they are making due. We should have seen this coming because they did the same last year. It caught up to them and they didn't make the playoffs. They are hoping to change that part. They are tied for 1st place in the AFC South. It's a solid coaching job again for Bill O'Brien. Their defense shut down the Saints offense. They were led by their Superman J.J. Watt, who had 2 sacks.
Final Score: Texans 24-Saints 6
I picked the Saints because they have Drew Brees at QB and I had no idea who was going to be the QB in Houston at the time. I didn't like their chances
The Cardinals get a big road divisional win over the 49ers
This was an ugly game. I thought this would be a let down game for the Cardinals. For a while it was until Carson Palmer scrambled for what looked like the slowest TD run of the season. The Cardinals look to have this division wrapped up. They are just finding ways to win. The 49ers are getting what they deserve. They had a really good coach and they ran him off because of a power struggle with the owner and GM. They thought they were smarter than everyone. Everyone else was right.
Final Score: Cardinals 19-49ers 13
I picked the 49ers because I thought this would be a let down game for the Cardinals.
The Seahawks win a crazy shoot out with the Steelers
This was a thrilling shoot out. There was very little defense played in this game. Which is shocking for 2 teams known for playing good defense. Well, not shocking for the Steelers, their defense has been awful all year. The real surprise is that the Seahawks offense came alive, but that's more due to the Steelers awful defense. Russell Wilson stepped out of his game manager shoes and had a big game. He passed for 345 yards and 5 TD's. Doug Baldwin stole the show. He had 6 catches for 145 yards and 3 TD's, including a spectacular catch and run 80 yard game clinching TD. Big Ben tried to keep the Steelers in the game throwing for 456 yards. His #1 WR Markus Wheaton tried to show off as well. Wheaton had 9 catches for 201 yards and a TD. This was a huge win for the Seahawks. This keeps them in good shape for the playoffs, though I don't think they'll be that much of a threat. They'll have to go on the road and they aren't that strong away from Seattle. This was a big loss for the Steelers because the AFC is super competitive and they can't afford any losses.
Final Score: Seahawks 39-Steelers 30
I picked the Seahawks because they were at home.
The Broncos beat the Patriots in a thrilling OT show down in prime time
I picked the Broncos to win this game and they did. I just thought Peyton Manning would be their QB. I don't change my picks that I made before the season. So I was sweating this one out when The Broncos were down 14-0 early. Brock Osweiler may not be as flashy as Manning, but he may be a better fit for Gary Kubiak's offense. Kubiak wants more balance and Peyton wants to continue to throw more. I think the running game could help Manning if he was willing to accept the system. I just think it's going to be hard to get Osweiler out of the lineup if they keep winning. They are 2-0 with him under center and that game winning 48 yard run by C.J. Anderson was an audible by Osweiler. Which is an impressive call to make by a QB who has only started 2 games. Which makes beating the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots even more impressive. Tom Brady tried to will this team to a win with his 3 TD passes. The Patriots are hurting at receiver. Before the game their top 2 WR's Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola were out. They lost their top weapon TE Rob Gronkowski in this game. If it's for the season the Patriots are screwed.
Final Score: Patriots 30-Broncos 24
I picked the Broncos because they were at home and at the time I thought they would have Peyton Manning.
The Ravens beat the Browns on a thrilling last second play
Who would have imagined a game between two terrible teams would be thrilling. The Ravens are playing without QB Joe Flacco, who was lost for the season last week. The Ravens are having a disappointing season, but they are still fighting. They have won 2 in a row. I don't think they have a shot at the Wild Card but they can make a strong run and build momentum for next season. They win this game with a blocked field goal that was returned 64 yards for a TD by Will Hill III. This just has to eat at the Browns. They are a terrible organization from top to bottom. It starts with their horrible ownership. Their management and coaching isn't much better. Unless there are a lot of changes, the Browns will be drafting high for years to come. Which for Browns fans is just more of the same.
Final Score: Ravens 33-Browns 27
I picked the Ravens because they own the Browns.