Week 12 Pick’ Ems

As Week 12 approaches, it’s impossible to write a pick’em column without acknowledging the two most prominent matches of the week–the Thanksgiving Day games. As is always the case, both the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys will host. Both teams haven’t played particularly well this season, but they have long histories of competitive, last-minute games on Thanksgiving.

Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) at Detroit Lions (3-7)

Detroit struggled early in the season, beginning 0-5 before winning three of their last five against the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders. In a relatively unexciting Week 12 win, quarterback Matt Stafford threw for neither a touchdown nor an interception, the Lions rushed for only 109 yards on 31 rushes and Detroit was able to hold off the Raiders 18-13. While there isn’t much positive or negative commotion in Detroit, the interesting stories this week are coming from Philadelphia.

As we always see with Philadelphia sports teams, Philly fans have very little patience for failure. Following the Eagles’ 45-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12, it appears as if Philadelphia has lost their patience for Head Coach Chip Kelly. In his two and a half years with the Eagles, Kelly has posted a 24-17 record but has failed to bring the excitement he brought in college to the fans of Philadelphia. Though he led the team to a 10-6 record last season, Kelly made the executive decision to swap quarterback Nick Foles with St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford. That move seems to have backfired in Kelly’s face. Philadelphia is currently 4-6 and an additional loss this week would put them in an even more difficult position to win the NFC East. Statistics aside, it’s going to be very difficult for the Philadelphia locker room to avoid all the speculation regarding Kelly.

Eagles 20 Lions 26

Carolina Panthers (10-0) at Dallas Cowboys (3-7)

Playing in Dallas on Thanksgiving makes for arguably one of the most challenging games of the year for any team. That statement will be put to the test this week as the undefeated Panthers head into Dallas to face a recovered Tony Romo at quarterback.

After losing seven games in a row,  Romo started in Week 12 and led the Cowboys to a 24-14 win against the Miami Dolphins. Romo didn’t play particularly well but did throw for 227 yards on 18 of 28 pass attempts with two touchdowns and two interceptions. After losing an early 14-0 lead, the Dolphins tied the game late in the third quarter at 14 points each. With the help of Dallas’ defense and two early fourth quarter drives by Romo, the Cowboys scored a touchdown on the first play of the quarter and later scored a field goal, clinching the 24-14 win.

The Carolina Panthers have just about destroyed nearly every opponent they’ve faced this season. Quarterback Cam Newton is having an MVP-worthy season, having thrown for 20 touchdowns and rushing for six more. Helping Newton is Carolina’s monstrous defense lead with linebacker Luke Kuechly, safety Kurt Coleman and cornerback Josh Norman. The three have combined for nine interceptions and over 160 total tackles thus far. Winning in Dallas is always tough, especially on Thanksgiving. Expect a low scoring, hectic game, in which turnovers will determine the winner. Though Dallas has the home field advantage, I think the Panthers will edge out the win.

Panthers 17 Cowboys 13

Last Weeks Record: 2-1

Season Record: 24-17