Have you recovered from your post-Thanksgiving coma?
Because Brett Hundley certainly did. Despite posting a stat line that would’ve looked impressive next to Aaron Rodgers name (17/26 245 yards 3 touchdowns 0 interceptions), Antonio Brown made an amazing sideline toe drag catch that put the Steelers in field goal range. If Hundley can play like he did Sunday Night the next two weeks against Tampa Bay and Cleveland (two teams the Packers should easily beat), the Packers could easily be 7-6 in Week 15 when Rodgers is scheduled to return.
From there, the Packers would have to run the table to even have a shot at making a wildcard spot, and even that isn’t guaranteed, since the wildcard race is crowded with Carolina, Atlanta, Seattle, Detroit, and Washington all in strong contention for those coveted wildcard spots. The road will not be easy for any of those teams, but it never is in the NFL.
Thanksgiving featured three interesting matchups for three separate reasons: Minnesota solidified their hold of the North, Los Angeles established themselves as a serious threat in the AFC West (and Dak continues to be revealed as not the game changing talent he is without Zeke), and a rough night in Washington may now be Eli Manning’s last game… at least in New York.
The Eagles thrashed the Bears, as they should, and will likely be the first team to clinch their division with a win this weekend.
The #FlexNOLA matchup didn’t disappoint, with Goff and the Rams taking over a game that appears a lot closer than it was until the very end. He showed good movement skills after a disappointing loss to Minnesota the previous week. Both of these teams will be in the playoffs, possibly facing each other again.
The Chiefs continue to fall apart. This team can’t seem to be able to adjust to defenses that have caught up with their scheme. So much talent on that offense, but not much to show for it in the last few weeks.
It’s finally the Jimmy Garoppolo era in San Francisco! He came in relief, after starter CJ Beathard left the game with an ankle injury, and threw his touchdown pass in the red and gold. It’ll be interesting to see how his first start goes without the greatest coach/mind the NFL has ever seen on his sideline.
First, my prediction record, I went 12-4 last week, adding to my 95-64 record so far, I’m now 107-68 on the year through Week 12. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.
As for statistical predictions:
- Julio Jones shattered my now modest looking prediction of a 100 yard 2 touchdown day, going for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns on 12 catches. Wow.
- Trubisky did throw for less than 200 yards and had 2 interceptions to top it off (Game stats: 17/33 147 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions)
…and that’s all for this week.
Now onto Week 13 predictions!
Thursday Night Football, Nov. 30:
Washington Redskins (5-6) at Dallas Cowboys (5-6)
One of the oldest rivalries in the NFL. Although their records are the same, these teams feel like they’re going in completely different directions. Since their Halloween weekend meeting, the Cowboys only have one win, against the faltering Chiefs. The Redskins only have two wins, with close losses to the Vikings and Saints, both playoff caliber teams. The struggles for Cousins against playoff caliber teams continue, but this Cowboys team sans Zeke is not playoff caliber.
Statistical Prediction: Kirk Cousins throws for double the amount of yards Dak Prescott does.
Score Prediction: Washington wins, 27-17
Sunday Dec. 3, 1 pm E Slot:
Minnesota Vikings (9-2) at Atlanta Falcons (7-4)
A NFC playoff preview match? Potentially. Falcons will likely be a wildcard team, behind both the Saints and Panthers by a game, and they play the Saints twice in Weeks 14 and 16, with a home matchup against Carolina to wrap up the regular season for them. Minnesota is clicking on all cylinders, with their Super Bowl caliber defense remaining steadfast throughout this entire run. But how will it matchup against Julio Jones?
Statistical Prediction: Adam Thielen has more receiving yards than Julio Jones
Score Prediction: Minnesota wins, 24-17
Houston Texans (4-7) at Tennessee Titans (7-4)
Statistical Prediction: Marcus Mariota throws for 200+ yards and 0 interceptions
Score Prediction: Tennessee wins, 24-20
Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) at New York Jets (4-7)
Statistical Prediction: Kareem Hunt is held under 100 offensive yards… again.
Score Prediction: Kansas City wins, 17-14
Denver Broncos (3-8) at Miami Dolphins (4-7)
Statistical Prediction: Both quarterbacks combine for 500+ passing yards and 3+ touchdowns
Score Prediction: Denver wins, 28-24
Indianapolis Colts (3-8) at Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4)
Statistical Prediction: Sacksonville has 3+ team sacks
Score Prediction: Jacksonville wins, 21-10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) at Green Bay Packers (5-6)
Statistical Prediction: Brett Hundley throws 250+ yards and 2+ touchdowns
Score Prediction: Green Bay wins, 28-23
Detroit Lions (6-5) at Baltimore Ravens (6-5)
Statistical Prediction: Matt Stafford has another fourth quarter comeback drive to win the game with a touchdown pass to Marvin Jones Jr.
Score Prediction: Detroit wins, 24-21
New England Patriots (9-2) at Buffalo Bills (6-5)
Statistical Prediction: Tyrod Taylor has more scrimmage yards than Tom Brady
Score Prediction: Buffalo wins, 30-27
San Francisco 49ers (1-10) at Chicago Bears (3-8)
Statistical Prediction: Jimmy G throws for 250+ yards and 2+ touchdowns in his first start for the 9ers
Score Prediction: San Francisco wins, 27-20
Sunday Dec. 3, 4 pm E Slot:
Carolina Panthers (8-3) at New Orleans Saints (8-3)
This game may end up deciding who takes the division and gets a home game in the wildcard and who has to go on the road, or possibly… doesn’t make the playoffs at all? How crazy would it be if an 11-5 team didn’t make the playoffs, the first time since the Broncos managed that impressive/heartbreaking feat in 1985? Regardless, the Panthers (and Cam) need to play like they did against the Dolphins (or the end of that Jets game) and not like they did for the first 3ish quarters against the Jets if they want any chance of winning this game. The Rams just beat the previously unstoppable rushing attack of the Saints, and the Panthers have the 3rd best rushing defense in the league.
Statistical Prediction: Both teams will have an 100 yard rusher and a 100 yard receiver.
Score Prediction: Carolina wins, 31-27
Cleveland Browns (0-11) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-6)
Statistical Prediction: Deshone Kizer throws for 200+ yards 1+ touchdowns and 0 interceptions
Score Prediction: Los Angeles wins, 23-13
New York Giants (2-9) at Oakland Raiders (5-6)
Statistical Prediction: Eli Manning replaces Geno Smith midgame, ruining his streak for no reason and generally displeasing everyone around the league and world.
Score Prediction: Oakland wins, 21-10
Los Angeles Rams (8-3) at Arizona Cardinals (5-6)
Statistical Prediction: Jared Goff throws for 300+ yards and 2+ touchdowns
Score Prediction: Los Angeles wins, 20-10
Sunday Night Football, Dec. 3:
Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) at Seattle Seahawks (7-4)
I wish the Legion of Boom was still in tact or at 100% because that would make this matchup so much more interesting. Russell Wilson is single-handedly keeping this offense alive, but will that be enough against a really staunch Eagles defense? Meanwhile, I expect the Philly offense to continue to roll through defenses as they seemingly have all season, and become the first team to clinch their division.
Statistical Prediction: Carson Wentz throws for 300+ yards, 3+ touchdowns, and 0 interceptions
Score Prediction: Philadelphia wins, 30-24
Monday Night Football, Dec. 4:
Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)
This is gunna be a grudge match, as always. Expect some ejections. Should be low scoring because these teams do not like each other. This goes beyond simple rivalry.
Statistical Prediction: Antonio Brown has 100+ receiving yards for a third game in a row.
Score Prediction: Pittsburgh wins, 19-16