NFL 2011 – Week 12 Picks, Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Thanksgiving! We, as NFL fans, have much to be thankful for this season. First off, simply that we have a season at all. If you have followed the ridiculousness of the NBA then you realize that anytime there is labor unrest there is a chance a season can be destroyed.

Secondly, we can be thankful that we’re headed for one of the better NFL playoff seasons in recent history. The league is better when the divide between dominate and doormats is wide, with very few “Plain Jane” type of teams. That is the case in 2011, where we don’t have as much parity as in prior seasons. That will leave us less drama in weeks 15, 16 and 17, but that will set us up for an awesome, memorable January.

And lastly, we can be thankful for the slate of Thanksgiving games this season. These are not the typical, “time to eat, everybody at the table” games. No, these are the “I am taking a plate and eating by the TV” games.

Specifically, this Thanksgiving features more division leaders (4), wins (42), current playoff teams (5) and consecutive wins heading into these Turkey day games (26) than any in the past. It should be a day of outstanding football, so sit back, gorge yourself and enjoy the NFL!

I finally had a decent week (10-3-1) in week 11 and look to continue the momentum for the remainder of the season in an attempt to win the “Super Wynner”.

Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

Green Bay (-6.0) @ Detroit – If you have Aaron Rodgers as your fantasy quarterback, this is the game you’ve been dreading since the beginning of the 2011 season. Not only because he is going back to the place where his brain was scrambled by the Ford Field turf, but also because of Ndamukong Suh. We all hear about players who have a “nasty streak” and “are completely different between the lines”. A lot of that is fancy descriptors for increased intensity. But, this Suh (Grudenism) is one of those guys that I believe really does change personalities on game day. I mean really, like he truly does suffer from multiple personality disorder. And his game-day personality is a like a savage beast who is tasked with injuring opposing players. So, I don’t care how many sweetheart meetings he has with the commish, you cannot control this guy on game-day.

Juana Wynner’s Thanksgiving Day Picks

Green Bay (-6.0) @ Detroit – Green Bay is an undefeated team right now. They have destroyed teams by a ton of points and even when the game was closer they have beaten them by at least 5. Aaron Rodgers is determined to take his team all the way to the Super bowl and I don’t think he’s going to settle for anything less. Pick: Green Bay -6.0

Miami @ Dallas (-7.0) – The Miami Dolphins are not good at all, whether on the road or at home. They have as much fight to win as the 99 Legacy White team does. They don’t care if they win they just wanna have fun! Pick: Dallas -7.0

Colin’s comment: The 99 Legacy White team is her sister’s soccer team.

San Francisco @ Baltimore (-3.5) – The week of Thanksgiving last year the 49ers won. The only thing that ruins that is the fact that they played the Cardinals (so of course they were going to win). The Ravens will probably be tired this week from playing Cincinnati last week. Pick: San Francisco +3.5

So, yeah, I am taking the Lions to upset the Packers – in addition to the above, here is my reasoning:

  • The Lions need this game way more than the Pack. The Lions are fighting for their playoff lives; having already lost to the Falcons really hurts them in tie-breakers and division games are a premium in their battle with the Bears. Plus the schedule over the last five games is brutal – including three games against division leaders, @New Orleans, @Green Bay and @Oakland.
  • I am not so sure the Pack care about 16-0, in fact, while I doubt they would rest players at 15-0, a la the Colts, I think they would prefer to lose a game that would give them the freedom to rest players at the end of the season. The flaw with this logic is that the 49ers might not lose again, which would force the Pack to continue winning or face the possibility of heading to SF for the NFC Championship. So, yeah, this is weak reason. Still, I think it’s enough that you won’t see the Atari 2600 computer basketball guy show up if they are down late. (There is a dated reference, but any of you that can remember playing that game, know that if you got up by 4 to 6 points the computer would be on your player like a labrador retriever on NY strip steak).
  • If ever any team matches up perfectly against the Packers, it’s the Lions. The Lions can’t run the ball or stop the run, but Packers are not particularly adept at running the ball, especially James Starks limited. And their defense is better at stopping the run.
  • Other than the Lions (a perennial Thanksgiving Day participant), the Packers have the most losses on Thanksgiving.
  • History – In 1962, the 10-0 Green Bay Packers traveled to Detroit for a Thanksgiving day game. They lost 26-14.

Pick: Detroit +6.0

Miami @ Dallas (-7.0) – Don’t get me wrong, I like this Dolphins team, in fact, I am on record as stating they’re were the best 1-7 in the history of the NFL, but now I think it’s getting over the top. Right? The Dolphins have officially entered “Winston Wolf” territory. Need Proof – this week a national radio personality asked the question, “Will the Dolphins finish with 9 straight wins and make the playoffs at 9-7?” Are you kidding me? Now if question was phrased, “Can the Dolphins. . .”, then of course the answer is “Yes”. Like “Can Colin call every winner for the remainder of the season?” Yes, he certainly can. But “Will he. . .?”, well, that is an emphatic “no effing way!”.

I really see this game as a blow-out, like 37-17 and while blowouts generally are boring, Cowboy blowouts can be very entertaining as Fox will give us numerous shots of Jerry Jones’ luxury box. And you just never know what you might see!

Pick: Dallas -7.0

San Francisco @ Baltimore (-3.5) – Tell me the following wouldn’t be the best way to end the awesome Thanksgiving day games – David Akers kicks a game winning field goal as time expires, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh overcome with exhilaration temporarily loses his mind as he approaches Ravens coach, and his brother, John Harbaugh. In his state of insanity, Jim pulls a “Jim Schwartz” hand-shake move with a twist, a devastating head-butt that wobbles, John. Oh, now it’s on and the brothers “drop gloves” at mid-field. Because they’re brothers no one knows what to do, so they allow the brothers to re-enact the fight scene from Step Brothers between Dale and Brennan until mama Harbaugh comes running out of the stands and plants Jim with a form tackle that would make Ray Lewis proud.

Megan Wynner’s Thanksgiving Day Picks

Green Bay (-6.0) @ Detroit – I think that the Detroit Lions will win because they have been playing on Thanksgiving for a long time.

Pick: Detroit +6.0

Miami @ Dallas (-7.0) – I think that the Miami Dolphins will win because I like Dolphins better than Cowboys.

Pick: Miami +7.0

San Francisco @ Baltimore (-3.5) – What kind of name is the 49ers? Like Baltimore Ravens is so much better! I think that the Ravens will be able to outplay the 49ers.

Pick: Baltimore -3.5


Ultimately who wins that fight? Let’s hope it is John. It might just be me, but between those two, I would make John the best-man at my wedding before I would grab a cup of coffee with Jim. Yeah, Jim seems like one of the biggest d-bag’s in professional sports (right behind A-Rod, you have to love an NFL column where you can work in the “A-Rod is a douche bag” comment. And how is “A-Rod is a douche bag” not trending on Twitter all the time!).

Remember for the above scenario to come to fruition the 49ers have to win the game, which means they also have to cover. Well, I guess another scenario that could see the “brothers Harbaugh” fighting at mid-field would be if the Ravens held a 51-7 lead with less than a minute to play and John has Joe Flacco fake a kneel down and throw a deep pass for a touchdown, then he goes for two! I will take my chances that won’t happen.

Pick: San Francisco +3.5

G-Dub’s Picks – Detroit +6.0, Dallas -7.0 and San Francisco +3.5


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