FOXBORO MA - NOVEMBER 21: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots celebrates after he intercepted a pass by Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts on November 21 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Colts 31-28. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

NFL Picks Week 12: Predicting The Thanksgiving Day Games

NFL Picks for Week 12 include this week's Thanksgiving slate of games.

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NFL Picks Week 12: Cincinnati Bengals Vs. New York Jets

Are the New York Jets lucky or are they good? That's kind of a silly question -- we all know they're good -- but they're also playing like a very lucky team these days. The Jets last three victories have been nail biters but, in all three, they've come out on top. The Jets sit at 8-2, the NFL's best record, yet are still in a dogfight with the New England Patriots for the AFC East crown.

Meanwhile the Cincinnati Bengals are moving in the opposite direction as they sit at a disappointing 2-8. What's so frustrating about Cincinnati is that they have the talent with guys like Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco but they can't seem to string together any wins.

The Jets still do the same things really well -- run the ball and stop the run. They're top five in the NFL in both those categories and not many teams can move them away from that. Mark Sanchez's development has added another dimension to their offense so they're really a dangerous unit this year.

The Bengals are in the midst of a miserable season and I'm predicting they lose again this week. With games coming up against the Saints and Steelers as well, the Bengals know they don't have any hope left this season. It could be a rocky end for Cincinnati in 2010. The Jets are 8-9 point favorites depending on where you look and they should hit that mark.

Check out Cincy Jungle and Gang Green Nation for more on the game.


NFL Picks Week 12: New Orleans Saints Vs. Dallas Cowboys

At the beginning of the season, you would have likely pointed to this game as one of the best of the year. The New Orleans Saints are coming off the Super Bowl victory and the Dallas Cowboys were a popular preseason Super Bowl pick. Unfortunately for Dallas, that's not the way things worked out.

The Cowboys are 3-7 on the season, missing their starting quarterback and have somehow come out with one of the worst (at least statistically) defenses in the league. There is some hope, though, as they've won two in a row under interim coach Jason Garrett. The Cowboys could make this game interesting even if it has no bearing on the playoff picture for them.

The Saints offense is what gets the headlines but their defense has been solid in all of their victories to this point. They've given up more than 19 points just in a victory just one time and their defense is currently ranked fourth in the NFL. The Saints are a dangerous team when their defense is playing well because their offense's potential is actually higher.

NFL odds say the Saints are four point favorites. I think New Orleans will win but Dallas will keep it closer than that. I'll pick New Orleans by a field goal.

Check out Canal Street Chronicles and Blogging The Boys for more on the game.


NFL Picks Week 12: New England Patriots Vs. Detroit Lions

The New England Patriots will travel to Detroit to play the Lions in the annual Thanksgiving game this Thursday. The Patriots currently boast the NFL's best record at 8-2 and they're expected to take care of business against the Lions. Detroit enters the game at a disappointing 2-8 but they've also been competitive in plenty of those losses.

The Patriots, simply, now how to put the ball in the end zone. Their passing attack is ranked 16th in the NFL, as is their rushing attack, but they're also No. 1 in points scored. They do a lot of things right and they can beat you a number of ways. They've survived the loss of Randy Moss and have a pair of tight ends that are dangerous in the passing game.

The Lions pass the ball more than anyone in the NFL which is a curious stat considering their starting quarterback has missed most of the season. Their running backs are banged up which means it will be difficult for the 15th ranked offense to put up some points.

The Patriots are clearly the better team and NFL odds agree as they're seven point favorites. In a game that's nationally televised, I expect the Patriots to easily surpass that line. Take the Patriots.

Check out Pats Pulpit and Pride of Detroit for more on the game.

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