The Sherms NFL Week 12 Forecast

Will the Lions be the team to ground the soaring Packers?Â

 

by Ryan “The Sherms” Sherman

 

Happy Thanksgiving Hornballs!  Sorry I missed you in Week 11, let’s get right to it for Week 12…

My season (Weeks 6-10) stats are as follows:

Win/Loss Record Entering Week 12:    38-29

Record With Point Spread Entering Week 12:      33-28-3

 

Packers (10-0) at Lions (7-3)  ♣♣♣♣

For as long as I can remember, the Lions’ 12:30pm Thanksgiving game has been a “reluctant watch.”  The Lions are usually 2-8 or 3-7 at this point in the season and the generic story line is “can the Lions rise to the occasion and surprise everyone at home on Thanksgiving.”  A few times they have, but nevertheless this first game of the day has traditionally been the string beans that you take a few bites of prior to getting into the turkey, yams, cranberries and rest of the Thanksgiving feast (read: the Cowboys game and, in more recent years, the NFL Network night game).

This year is different.  This year the Lions are a serious contender for a playoff spot at 7-3.  To the Lions misfortune they are in the Packers’ Division and, thus will only be competing for a Wildcard spot.  That said, they will have the opportunity to hand the 10-0 Packers their first loss and give the city of Detroit a Thanksgiving day treat.

The best chance the Lions have — save for poisoning Aaron Rodgers’ pregame turkey omelet – will be to get to Sir Aaron and hit him in the mouth early and often.  This may draw a couple of 15-yard late hit penalties, but so be it.  If Rodgers is frazzled the Lions have a shot.  If not the Packers will score 35+ points and win this game easily.

Prediction:  Packers 31 – Lions 20 

 

Dolphins (3-7) at Cowboys (6-4))  ♣♣♣

It’s all my fault.  After the Dolphins lost to the Jets to drop to 0-5, I actively supported the Suck for Luck movement and rooted for the Dolphins to lose to the Broncos and Giants (and celebrated when they did so). If they had won those winnable games (and in the case of the Broncos game, a game they needed divine intervention an epic collapse to lose), and proceeded to win the next three games (which they did) against the Chiefs, ‘Skins and Bills, the Phins’d be 5-5, then I’d be talking about how they’d beat the inconsistent Cowboys today and move within a half game of the final wildcard spot.

Instead, I get what I deserve. A 3-7 team that will probably beat the Cowboys today, end the season 4-2 (and, thus, finish 7-9) and have neither: (a)  a shot at Luck (or Matt Barkley), or (b)  a shot at the playoffs.

This is Fan Karma punishing me, and the rest of the Suck for Luck Schmucks, for rooting against the Dolphins.  This is what I/we deserve.

Oh yeah, Tony Romo sucks.

Prediction:  Dolphins 24- Cowboys 20

The Dolphins often embarrass the Cowboys on Thanksgiving

 

 

49ers (9-1) at Ravens (7-3) ♣♣♣♣

Got to hand it to the NFL for giving us the Harbaugh Bowl on Thanksgiving night.  Both teams are excellent and have a real shot at making the Super Bowl.  They also both have superb running games and defenses.  That said, I give the edge to Ravens as they are at home and Joe Flacco — while not spectacular -– is still a better QB than Alex Smith.

Look for Ray Rice and Frank Gore to both rack up 125+ all-purpose yards in this nail-bitter.

Prediction:  Ravens 23 – 49ers 20

 

 

Vikings (2-8) at Falcons (6-4) ♣♣

With AP hindered by a foot injury, I don’t see the Vikings having much of a shot in this game.  Look for Roddy White, Tony G and Michael Turner to each put up over 75 yards and score at least one TD in a Falcons run-away victory.

Prediction:  Falcons 30 – Vikings 13

 

Browns (4-6) at Bengals (6-4) ♣♣

Ah, the Ohio Bowl.   The Browns are the worst 4-6 team I’ve seen in a long time, and the Bengals neeed a win to keep reasonable playoff hopes alive.  Advantage: Bengals.

Look for Andy Dalton to throw for 2 TDs and Cedric Benson to run for 2 more in an easy Bengals win.

Prediction:  Bengals 31 – Browns 16

 

Panthers (2-8) at Colts (0-10) ♣

I think I picked the Panthers to win, or at least cover, every week.  This is probably my Cam Newton bias; he’s on one of my Fantasy Football teams (Pocket Rockets, #KeeperLeague) and I love watching him play.  Unfortunately Cam doesn’t line up on Defense and the Panthers D isn’t really inclined to stop the other team from scoring TDs.

Enter the Indianapolis Colts.  This team couldn’t score if they were stuck in an elevator with a flock of ladies from Indiana’s Bunny Ranch.  Panthers win this game easily, and the Colts move closer to locking up the #1 pick and Andrew Luck.

Prediction:  Panthers 30 – Colts 13

 

Texans (7-3) at Jaguars (3-7) ♣♣

This game has “Upset of the Week” written all over it.  Look for Matt Leinart to lay an egg (and throw at least 2 INTs) in his first start since the Texans’ lost Matt Schaub for the season.

MJD (a member of both of my FF teams: Pocket Rockets and ADD II), will touch the ball 25+ times and rack up 125+ total yards in victory.

Prediction:  Jaguars 24 – Texans 21

 

Bills (5-5) at Jets (5-5) ♣♣

The Bills fell as quickly as they rose, from 4-1 to 5-5.  Making matters worse, Fred Jackson – who was second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,376 yards – has been put on IR and is out for the remainder of the season after fracturing his right fibula in the Bills’ brutal 35-8 Week 11 loss to the Dolphins.

On the other side of the coin, the Jets’ are on the brink of falling out of serious playoff contention with another loss.  Moreover, Jets’ starting QB Mark Sanchez is feeling the heat after too many suspect performances, so much so that Mark Brunell took some reps with the first team in practice.

Look for Sanchez to bounce back with a 250 yards, 2 TD, performance and for the Jets to unfortunately win a close one.

Prediction:  Jets 21 – Bills 17

I hope the Bills didn't pay a lot for those Thanksgiving flights to Revis Island

 

 

Cardinals (3-7) at Rams (2-8) ♣

I have to give this game the “Snoozer of the Week” tag.   That said, I think the Rams are slightly better.  Look for Steven Jackson and Brandon Lloyd to both go for 100+ yards and for the Rams to win by a TD.

Prediction:  Rams 24 – Cardinals 17

 

 

Buccaneers (4-6) at Titans (5-5) ♣♣

I thought at the beginning of the season that entering Week 12 one of these teams would have a shot at making the playoffs.  I was right, albeit with the wrong team.

The Titans will keep their surprising playoff shot alive and beat the disappointing Buccaneers in a close one.

Prediction:  Titans 20 – Buccaneers 17

 

Bears (7-3) at Raiders (6-4) ♣♣♣

I am looking forward to this match-up of two traditional NFL powers.  Two teams that – if the season ended today – would make the playoffs.  Two teams that lost their starting QBs and hope to survive with backups.

Aside from relying on backup QB Carson Palmer, the Raiders will miss starting RB Darren McFadden. RB Michael Bush is very solid, and could certainly start for a handful of teams around the league, but he’s still a downgrade from McFadden (better said, having just Bush rather than the McFadden/Bush 1-2 punch is a downgrade).

Conversely, even though the Bears will need to rely on backup QB Calib Hanie for the rest of 2011, they have the fortune of lining up factor-back Matt Forte in their backfield to carry the load.  I see Forte as the difference on Sunday, racking up 125+ all-purpose yards and leading the Bears to victory.

Prediction:  Bears 23 – Raiders 21

Can Forte lead the Cutler-less Bears past the Rayduhs?

Redskins (3-7) at Seahawks (4-6)  ♣

Hopefully the RedZone Channel does not devote more than 5 minutes to this game on Sunday.

The Redskins are on a 7-game losing streak and may not win another game all season.   The Seahawks aren’t very good, but usually play decently at home.

Look for the Seahawks to win this game by two TDs.

Prediction:  Seahawks 27 -  Redskins 13

 

Broncos (5-5) at Chargers (4-6) ♣♣♣

Tim Tebow and the Broncos have surprised everyone by winning their last 3 games, and 4 of their last 5.  They’re now only one game off the division lead in the AFC West, and could be tied by Sunday night with a win at San Diego.

The Chargers are also surprising, starting off 4-1 before losing 5 straight.  They’re now at the brink of Total Collapse, and a loss to Denver will eliminate all reasonable hopes of making the playoffs.  Philip Rivers is the embodiment of disappointment this season, which for some reason makes me smile. The Chargers D has also been abnormally bad giving up an average of 30 points in their last 5 losses.

Look for the Broncos O to control the ball on the ground and eat up clock, and for the Broncos D to force three turnovers.  Broncos playoff run continues, Chargers season over.

Prediction:  Broncos 24 – Chargers 23

 

Patriots (7-3) at Eagles (4-6) ♣♣♣♣

The Patriots are firing on all cylinders, and that will spell trouble for the “Dream Team,” who need a victory to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.  Moreover, Michael Vick didn’t practice Wednesday which means that there’s a good chance Vince Young will be under center for the Eagles.

Regardless of whether Vick or Young start for the Eagles, Philly will be able to put up 20-24 points against the Patriots D.  Only problem for Andy Reid’s squad is is that Tom Brady and his O put up 30+ points in their sleep.

If the Eagles get an early lead and get to Brady early (like the Giants did a couple weeks ago) they’ll have a decent chance to upset the Patriots.

That said, I don’t see that happening…though I do seeing the game being close.

Prediction:  Patriots 27 – Eagles 24

"You're a lucky guy Andy. Â I'm stuck with goofy Brady. These Mass-holes would never let me have two black QBs."

 

Steelers (7-3) at Chiefs (4-6) ♣♣

The Steelers will control the ball with Mendenhall, and Big Ben will connect with Mike Wallace for a 50+ yard TD.

On the other side of the ball the Chiefs will struggle with QB Tyler Palko vastly overmatched by the tough Steelers D.

Prediction:  Steelers 27 – Chiefs 13

 

Giants (6-4) at Saints (7-3) ♣♣♣♣

Giants starting RB Ahmad Bradshaw will likely miss this game, which will hinder the Giants’ ability to consistently move the ball on the ground.  That said, Eli Manning should have some success against the Saints D. Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks should rack up 250 yards and two TDs between them.

On the other side of the ball, the Saints simply have too many targets for Drew Brees. Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles, Devery Henderson, Lance Moore and Robert Meachem…need I say more?   (Ok, Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram aren’t bad, either).  The Giants D is solid, but the Saints will still put up 27 points, which will be enough to win by 3.

Prediction:  Saints 27 – Giants 24