Somehow 11 weeks of the 2021 NFL season have already come and gone. Week 12 will kick off with a slate of three games on Thanksgiving with the Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints all scheduled for Turkey Day. Unfortunately, some bottom feeders, the New York Jets and Houston Texans play each other on Sunday and two talented teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals both have a bye this week. But here are some NFL Week 12 survivor picks.
Top Picks for NFL Week 12 Survivor League
Dallas Cowboys Versus Las Vegas Raiders
Both the Cowboys and Raiders would love the opportunity to have a do-over for November. After being a combined 11-3 throughout September and October, these teams have gone 1-5 in November, with the only win being the Cowboys victory over the Atlanta Falcons at home. The Raiders have the same number of wins this month as the Lions, a team that has not won a game all season. Both teams are coming off losses in Week 11.
But the Raiders are allowing 132.1 rush yards per game (29th in the league). So if Kellen Moore can find it in himself to utilize Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard, or Mike McCarthy realizes he is the head coach and that means he can tell Moore the Cowboys must run the ball more frequently, Dallas should be able to run all over the Raiders. Not only should Dallas be able to put up impressive rushing stats against Las Vegas but running the ball more will open it up for Dak Prescott who could then have a good day even without Amari Cooper (COVID) and possibly CeeDee Lamb (concussion).
The Cowboys are ranked third in scoring and eighth in points allowed. The Raiders are ranked 18th in scoring and 25th in points allowed. Dallas has had their struggles and they no longer look like the same team they were in September and October, but they are better than Las Vegas. Plus, the Raiders are having to travel on a short week.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
After getting off to a 2-5 start, the Philadelphia Eagles have won three of their last four games; only the Los Angeles Chargers defeated them during that stretch and it was a three-point contest. The New York Giants are 3-7 and they are coming off a really disappointing performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.
The Eagles seemed to have figured out how to correctly use Jalen Hurts’ talents and it is paying dividends. It is very possible he ends up being the Eagles quarterback of the future. Daniel Jones, on the other hand, does not seem to be the answer in New York.
The Eagles are second in the league in rush yards per game (153.4) and the Giants are 22nd in the NFL in rush yards allowed per game (119.7). The Eagles offense is eighth in the league in points per game (and they are averaging 35 points per game over the last two weeks) and the Giants defense is 24th in scoring. The Giants offense is 25th in scoring and the team just fired offensive coordinator Jason Garrett on Tuesday. Freddie Kitchens will take over as the offensive coordinator in New York. Time will tell if Kitchens can turn around the Giants offense, but it will be a tall order for him to turn it around in just one week.
Sure, the Giants might still be holding onto some resentment because the Eagles essentially laid down against the Washington Football Team in Week 17 last season, causing the Giants to miss the playoffs. But the Giants need to get over that because they should have won more games throughout the season and Doug Pederson is no longer the head coach of the Eagles. And angry or not, the Giants do not have the talent to defeat the Eagles. Philly is simply better on both sides of the ball.
If neither the Eagles nor the Cowboys are available, take the Baltimore Ravens at home over the Cleveland Browns, as long as Lamar Jackson is back under center. Jackson missed the Ravens Week 11 game with an illness (non-COVID related). If he recovers and practices this week, the Ravens should win this game. The Browns are banged up, including Baker Mayfield, and have not played up to people’s expectations this season. In the last two weeks, they were crushed 45-7 by the New England Patriots and barely escaped with a three-point win against the winless Lions.