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Home / frontnfl / 2023 NFL Game Picks: Week 12 (Thanksgiving)
Kym Fortino/San Francisco 49ers

2023 NFL Game Picks: Week 12 (Thanksgiving)


Last week: 9-5

Season: 101-64

 

GB (4-6) @ DET (8-2)

Thursday, November 23 | 12:30 PM ET | FOX

 

The Packers are very much alive in the NFC wild card race after a win over the Chargers last week, and while the opponent helped, Jordan Love played closer to how he did in the first two weeks by putting up his first career 300-yard game (along with two scores) in a balanced overall showing. Green Bay won’t have Aaron Jones (knee) on a short week, but their quartet of young wideouts stepped up in various ways against Los Angeles—including a game-winning touchdown by Romeo Doubs where he again proved himself as one of the NFL’s best contested-catch winners in scoring territory. Detroit is weaker through the air than on the ground, so look for Doubs, Christian Watson, Jayden Reed, and Dontayvion Wicks to all do damage again as the Lions try to figure things out on the backend over the next several weeks. On the other side of the ball, Jared Goff is looking to extend his winning streak versus Green Bay to five games, and Dan Campbell’s squad should be powered by the high-powered attack to finally get a win on Thanksgiving after close losses to Chicago and Buffalo in the first two tries.

 

Winner: Detroit Lions

 

WAS (4-7) @ DAL (7-3)

Thursday, November 23 | 4:30 PM ET | CBS

 

Ron Rivera stated last week that he found a franchise quarterback in Sam Howell, but that declaration was far too premature in my opinion, and the second-year passer really struggled in the loss to the Giants with three interceptions. The drastic drop in efficiency for both Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson is reason to be concerned about Howell and Eric Bieniemy remaining for 2024 (which it seems the majority of fans want to be the case), but a continued spiral should lead to a full house cleaning by new ownership, and the final six games won’t be easy. Dallas has no questions about their quarterback with Dak Prescott averaging 308.6 passing yards per game with a 14:2 touchdown-interception ratio since the blowout loss to San Francisco, and DaRon Bland—with an NFL-record-tying four pick-sixes with seven games to go—has helped overcome the loss of Trevon Diggs (knee) that I mistakenly thought knocked the Cowboys off the list of Super Bowl contenders. This week could get ugly with Dallas seeking redemption for a 41-16 blowout loss in the last Thanksgiving matchup versus Washington (2020), not to mention a loss to Howell in the 2022 season finale.

 

Winner: Dallas Cowboys

 

SF (7-3) @ SEA (6-4)

Thursday, November 23 | 8:20 PM ET | NBC

 

Seattle losing star running back Kenneth Walker III (oblique) last week and falling again to the Rams has them limping into a huge NFC West showdown this week, but the home crowd—which should be crazy—is a definite advantage, and the defense is at least marginally improved compared to last year when the 49ers won all three meetings (including in the playoffs, 41-23). To make up for Walker’s absence this week, Zach Charbonnet will be put into the lead role, and keep an eye on fellow rookie Kenny McIntosh in the passing game; but mostly, the Seahawks need to find a way to have DK Metcalf be featured all game, and San Francisco can be attacked considering their struggles in coverage this year. Still, the play of Brock Purdy, Christian McCaffrey, and George Kittle might be too much to handle for a defense that is still coming together, so Seattle likely needs to get at least one takeaway to tilt momentum in their favor and have “The 12s” become even more of a factor.

 

Winner: San Francisco 49ers