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NFL Picks Week 12: California, Here We Come

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Thankfully, Week 11 gave us the most exciting Saints comeback this season. Let’s see what else we’ll be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

For the second year in a row, the New Orleans Saints face one of their oldest rivals in the Los Angeles Rams on Thanksgiving weekend. Now the Saints face the Rams one year later with much more on the line. At stake is a possible tiebreaker for a potential bye in the playoffs. Now although this is premature, as neither team has clinched anything at all, there remains the possibility that this game may loom large should these teams remain at their current trajectory.

The Saints are also trying to continue their now eight-game consecutive win streak. This remains vitally important as both Carolina and Atlanta remain within striking distance in the NFC South, with both teams up next for the Saints in order. It all starts here in Los Angeles against the Rams though. Not only will the Saints be at the LA Memorial Coliseum this Sunday, but so will yours truly, so the Saints need to win this game!

Let's take a look at this and all of the NFL action in Week 12.

Last week I went 10-4

I told you so: Chargers over Bills!

What do I know: Seahawks over Falcons?

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WEEK 12

Thursday, November 23rd - Thanksgiving Day

Early Game - First Course

Vikings(8-2) at Lions(6-4)

This is a very interesting game, and easily the second-best game of Week 12. Minnesota is arguably the best team in the NFC, but Detroit is completely unfazed by their superb defense. In fact, Detroit’s defense has been the better unit over the last three meetings, going 3-0 in those games, giving up no more than 16 points in those meetings. One of those meetings came a year ago today with the Lions winning 16-13, while the most recent came in October when the Lions won in Minnesota 14-7.

This game will be a great defensive struggle that will come down to the wire. Matthew Stafford will lead his offense down the field in the closing moments to steal a surprising win at home. It’ll be an exciting and tense kickoff to this week’s action. Detroit wins 17-14.

Pick: Lions

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Late Game - Main Course

Chargers(4-6) at Cowboys(5-5)

Without Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas’ season is spiraling out of control. The downward spiral will continue at home against the Chargers. Los Angeles wins 35-21.

Pick: Chargers

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Primetime Game - Dessert

Giants(2-8) at Redskins(4-6)

Washington had a win firmly in hand last Sunday, until it was ripped straight from their hands in the final minutes. This short week may just be what they need here, as they have less time to dwell on how they had their lunch money stolen from them. Washington wins 23-20.

Pick: Redskins

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Sunday, November 26th - Early Games

Bills(5-5) at Chiefs(6-4)

Kansas City is reeling from another unexpected loss but now they face a squad in Buffalo that appears to have lost all confidence. Kansas City wins 23-16.

Pick: Chiefs

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Titans(6-4) at Colts(3-7)

Tennessee has arguably been the most uneven team we’ve seen this season. You never really know what you’ll get with them, but they should be able to leave Indy with a victory. Tennessee wins 31-24.

Pick: Titans

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Browns(0-10) at Bengals(4-6)

Cincinnati’s passing game should be able to squeeze out enough points to get an easy win here, while their defense does all the heavy lifting, as always. Cincinnati wins 23-3.

Pick: Bengals

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Buccaneers(4-6) at Falcons(6-4)

Tampa is hopelessly outgunned in this one. They should just hide themselves along with the piles of rubble that was once the Georgia Dome and save themselves the embarrassment. Atlanta wins 41-24.

Pick: Falcons

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Dolphins(4-6) at Patriots(8-2)

Tom Brady is going to do Tom Brady things against Miami, as usual. New England wins 33-19.

Pick: Patriots

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Bears(3-7) at Eagles(9-1)

The NFL may consider implementing a “mercy rule” after this debacle. Philadelphia wins 42-13.

Pick: Eagles

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Panthers(7-3) at Jets(4-6)

The Jets’ homefield advantage may be the only thing keeping this game from getting more out of hand. Carolina wins 35-14.

Pick: Panthers

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Sunday, November 26th - Late Games

Seahawks(6-4) at 49ers(1-9)

San Francisco is just what Seattle needs in order to get over their loss on Monday Night. Seattle wins 25-17.

Pick: Seahawks

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Jaguars(7-3) at Cardinals(4-6)

Even Blake Bortles can’t screw up a game against this Arizona team whose season is lost in the desert. Jacksonville wins 24-17.

Pick: Jaguars

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Broncos(3-7) at Raiders(4-6)

Denver’s defense will carry them to victory over an Oakland team they’ve absolutely owned this calendar year. Denver wins 21-14.

Pick: Broncos

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Saints(8-2) at Rams(7-3) - Game of the Week

Outside of two games, Week 12 looks terrible on paper, but this game is easily the best of the entire slate. Two teams fighting for division titles and playoff seeding. Two teams featuring two of the top offenses in the NFL squaring off. Two teams with a rich and contentious history facing off with so much at stake. There’s going to be an awful lot of fireworks in this game, that’s for certain.

Last season, nearly a year ago to the day, the Saints ethered the Rams in the Superdome, relentlessly embarrassing then-Rams Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams in the most personal way possible. Although that coaching staff is gone, the Rams players that played in the Dome that Sunday certainly won't forget that dumptrucking put forth against them one year ago. The Saints need to be prepared for a highly-motivated Rams team, and they will be, considering how important this game is for the Black and Gold as well.

This game will be infuriating for those who have relished the Saints turning the corner on defense this season, but it will ultimately be an exhilarating win for the Saints, who will undoubtedly be cheered on by thousands of loud and loyal Saints fans who proudly comprise the SoCal legion of Who Dat Nation. This will be one to remember. Saints win 35-31.

Pick: Saints

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Sunday Night Football

Packers(5-5) at Steelers(8-2)

Talk about a Sunday Night letdown. Pittsburgh will easily stroll over Green Bay in the Steel City snow. Pittsburgh wins 29-19.

Pick: Steelers

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Monday, November 27th - Monday Night Football

Texans(4-6) at Ravens(5-5)

Baltimore has two things they need to do to win this game. They have to run the ball and stop the run, and that they’ll do. Baltimore wins 26-19.

Pick: Ravens

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That's how I see Week 12 going down. Hopefully the Saints will push their winning streak to nine, making this season we’re all grateful for even better. Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below!