Pick 6 week 12

kirk-cousins

After a weekend full of feisty and festive action, it’s time we give thanks. A time to be thankful for certain teams the chain of events that have shaped a season many didn’t expect. For instance, the Cowboys should be thankful to have drafted Dak Prescott when they did. The 4th round pick from Mississippi State looks more like a four or five year veteran than a rookie the way he handles the pressure of the big stage especially for America’s team. Yeah we are done talking about Romo leading the Cowboys. The Raiders should be extremely grateful for hiring Jack Del Rio this off season because he has helped revived one of the most revered franchises in NFL history. This young Raiders team have really turned heads. Don’t get me wrong, the talent was there, but few expected this team to turn the corner this quickly. You bet your last dime that Seattle is very thankful to have Russell Wilson as their quarterback. He seriously must be the new age Bionic Man with some of the injuries he has faced this season alone. Most normal men would have sat out a few games, but not Wilson. It could be time for the fans in Washington to be grateful and thankful for Dan Synder drafting Kirk Cousins. His infamous quotes of “You like that!” and “How you like me now?” will forever go down as probably the best sound bites in Redskins history. I’m sure Kirk will be more thankful to the Redskins once he is paid for what he has done since he was named the starter in the Nation’s Capital. All this and more leads me into this week’s Extra Point.

This extra point points out possibly why it’s time for Washington to pay the product from Michigan State. Check this stat out. Since becoming the Redskins starter which is 26 games, Cousins stats look a little like this: 637-927 (68.7%), 7,257 yards, 46 TDs, 18 INTs with a QB rating of 100.4. Impressive numbers that could warrant a big time contract. Don’t kid yourself if you’re a Redskins fan. The jury is still out on Cousins because he still has moments where he makes the wrong reads under pressure. The offensive line has done a great job especially with the injuries Washington has suffered through the season. It makes you wonder how effective could Cousins be in a different system. The Redskins have plenty of playmakers and a plethora of guys who know how to get in the end zone with Crowder, Reed, Jackson, and Garcon streaking downfield and torturing opposing defenses week in and week out. The true question that would push Cousins into elite status is when he is able to consistently lead his team when the game is on the line. A close source of mine even put this out there. If Cousins can find a way to get the Skins past the Cowboys, it’s time for Synder to pay the man. Is Cousins worth of Andrew Luck type money? Probably not, but sometimes your play just makes it easier for everyone to notice and eventually show you the money. That’s all I’m saying in this week’s Extra Point.

Yes it’s a time to be thankful, but it’s also a time to have some laughs too. You know what time it is! It’s Mr. T’s Fools of the Week. If you’re not ready, it’s time to get ready. Let’s start at number three, Cleveland has had a lot to be thankful for this season starting back in June with the Cavs winning their first NBA championship and the Indians making it back to the World Series. However, the Browns continue to still be the Browns. We go inside the 3rd quarter with the Browns looking to do something positive on offense. Rookie Cody Kessler drops back and fires under pressure from the Steelers defense and floats a wobbling passing to Corey Coleman who makes an unbelievable one handed grab with two defenders suffocating him. The rookie from Baylor schooled fellow rook Artie Burns and safety Mike Mitchell on left them both asking “How did he catch that?” I don’t know how he snatched that catch, but I do know that both of you will grab number three on this week’s Fools of the Week. We head up to the top of the nation to Minnesota for the struggling Vikings and the disappointing Cardinals dueling it out in the NFC. Special shout out to Dennis Green who coached both teams, but this is about who looked fool and we head inside the 2nd quarter with Arizona in the red zone. Carson Palmer could still be having the occasional nightmare of James Harrison intercepting his pass in the Super Bowl for a pick six. He might have a new nightmare now after Sunday afternoon. Palmer was looking for speedster John Brown on the outside, but Brown played Palmer by cutting his route and the pass intended for Brown dropped into the waiting hands of Xavier Rhodes who pulls his best James Harrison impersonation with the exception he got down the field a lot faster than the old veteran finding pay dirt for the Vikes. Usually all roads lead to happiness, but this Rhodes led to a Minnesota house call and Carson Palmer securing number two on this week’s Fools of the Week. Even though Palmer looked silly on his play, he would be outdone not by a player, but an owner. Let’s go back to the Nation’s Capital for Redskins and Packers with the Skins looking to win their 6th game in 8 games, NBC cuts to Washington owner Dan Snyder I’m guessing trying to dance to Jump Around. I’m not the best dancer in the world but the purpose of the song Jump Around is to possibly I don’t know; JUMP AROUND. Synder instead tried to hype up the crowd and bob his head as the song buzzed around the stadium. I don’t need to say anymore. Dan Synder you without a doubt deserve the number one spot on this week’s Fools of the Week.

I know with the holidays we should learn to be thankful and grateful, but sometimes you need to just tell some people to just stop playin. Thus without further ado, it’s once again time for this week’s Stop playin awards. I feel like this week’s Stop playin awards goes to… the Indianapolis Colts. You seriously keep playin the casual fan or even your diehard fans. One week, it seems like you finally figured things out while the next week, you play like a Pop Warner team. The offensive line is a horrible assembly of guys who just can’t consistently hold blocks and the biggest reason why Andrew Luck can’t succeed with this group. Even T.Y. Hilton has been an enigma on offense this season even with Luck behind center. Maybe we should change his name to SEE WHY because I see why you aren’t regarded as an elite receiver. Although the Colts are wishy washy, this team still has a chance to win the AFC South. All I ask is if the team that played last Sunday is going to be what to expect the rest of the season, at least try to say consistent. At least give me a reason to pay attention to a team where the casual fan doesn’t know who plays on the team over than Andrew Luck. Is that too hard to ask? I just want to know. This is the reason why the Colts are rewarded with this week’s Stop playin awards.

After another disappoint set of circumstances, a week that looked promising ended in despair. Last week, I finished at 3-4 which tilted the overall season record to 33-40-1. I need some dubs in the worst way. I look to pull my inner Doug Williams and come through in the clutch as the season winds down. It’s time to get the mojo on point. Let’s get to picking. It’s time to serve the picks for Week 12.

Minnesota vs Detroit
The Vikings showed the world that they still could turn into a force to be reckoned with. A gut check win in an emotional home win against the Cardinals as both teams honored former head coach Dennis Green may have been what the doctor ordered for a team that probably need a shrink following a 5-0 start to the season. Detroit came into the season as the dark horse in the NFC North with conventional wisdom believing that the Packers and Vikings would duel for the division crown. Key injuries for the Packers in the backfield have opened the door for the Lions to potentially crash the party. Matt Stafford really doesn’t get the praise he deserves especially when you lose a future Hall of Fame receiver like Calvin Johnson to retirement. The Vikings could use a good stretch of wins to gain some traction with the end of the season approaching quickly. All of Detroit’s games this season have been decided by 7 points or less, but this team doesn’t truly impress me. Another sticking point, Detroit barely beat Jacksonville and retribution will be on the minds of the Vikings especially when Golden Tate played out the entire secondary as Detroit won in Minnesota in Week 9. Vikings sandwich the Lions and serve up some humble pie in the process to Golden Tate.
Vikings 24 Lions 19

Washington vs Dallas
This is a case of two hot teams making a push for the post season. This possibly the best Dallas team that I can remember in my young life. They can do it all. They have rushed for 100 yards in every game this season. Is this even a surprise? This team has mountains on their offensive line. Literally these men are mountains and have been nearly impenetrable. Ezekiel Elliot is primed to win the rushing title in his inaugural NFL season and honestly could have a better rookie season than Eric Dickerson back in 1983. This is how good this kid is from Ohio State. Kirk Cousins is still screaming “How you like me now?” and with good reason. He continues to stir buzz around the Nation’s Capital because it could be time to secure the Michigan State product for more than a one year lease. Cousins has been phenomenal in his time as the starter for the Skins with an impressive QB rating of 100.4 in 26 starts. I’m intrigued to see what happens when you have a trash talking battle between Josh Norman and Dez Bryant. Washington has had trouble stopping the run all season and all signs point toward a dominating performance by Zeke and a friendly contribution from former Skins Alfred Morris. Cowboys drive the win streak to double digits and down the Skins in the Big D.
Cowboys 28 Skins 21

Pittsburgh vs Indianapolis
The Steelers were clicking earlier this season. You have Big Ben go down for a few weeks after meniscus surgery and Pittsburgh watched their lead in the AFC North evaporate faster than your family tearing into the pumpkin pie. The Steelers still have plenty of work to do a season after losing defensive guru Dick LeBeau to Tennessee. The key this week is stopping the passing attack of the Colts. The news from Indy is Andrew Luck will not suit up as he has been placed in concussion protocol after taking a shot against the Titans this past Sunday. The Colts just don’t have a clear identity which is the clear reason why the team remains in limbo couple that with a defense that has more issues than your two aunts fighting over whose greens are the best. Frank Gore couldn’t even make this game interesting especially when you have a fluky Scott Tolzien starting his first game since 2013. Easy win for the Steelers as we head down the stretch.
Steelers 27 Colts 14

Carolina vs Oakland
The defending NFC champs are on the cusp of not reaching the playoffs. This Carolina team really lacks a true identity on defense which is baffling because the motto is “Keep pounding” but this team has been pounded in a lot games this season. There have been so many guys banged up on the defensive line to hinder any true rhythm for the defense. The well-oiled machine on offense has stalled out significantly compared to last season. Cam only has 11 touchdowns through 11 weeks. A porous defense along with a disappointing offense equals a team struggling for wins which is exactly where Carolina is right now. Oakland couldn’t have asked for anything more this season. First year head coach Jack Del Rio has pushed all the right buttons and this team has overachieved in leaps and bounds what many expected heading into this season. Derek Carr has made incredible strides to be an elite quarterback. I believe the Texans could be regretting not drafting this kid a few years back. Carr is driving this offense so smoothly due to the protection of his offensive line. The Oakland defense is improving and look for Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin to spy on Newton and create a black hole through the hearts of Carolina fans. Raiders romp the pride of the Panthers.
Raiders 28 Panthers 20

Kansas City vs Denver
The Chiefs were shocked at home by the young Buccaneers. Kansas City has never truly had an explosive offense, but you can’t let Tampa come into your house and escape with a rare road win. The Chiefs have to shake off a rare home loss with a trip to their AFC West rival Broncos. Denver should be extremely fresh following the bye week and need to maintain momentum heading into the stretch run. A battle of dominating defenses will be the highlight of Sunday Night Football, but the game within the game between Marcus Peters and possibly Demaryius Thomas will draw my attention. KC is a solid defensive unit, but the secondary does have a weakness in allowing big plays down the field. Denver should look to take advantage on third down with the Chiefs allowing opposing offenses to convert on 47% of third downs. Alex Smith loves to pass underneath, but he seems to love throwing to Tyreek Hill when it’s time to throw the deep bomb. How will the Kansas City receivers fare with the man coverage of the Broncos secondary? This game will go down to the wire thanks to the play of the defense, but the leg of Matt Prater will be the difference maker. Denver makes things more interesting as the AFC West race continues to heat up.
Broncos 23 Chiefs 20

Green Bay vs Philadelphia
The Packers are inexplicably horrible. Yes injuries have played a big part of the breakdown of one of the most dominant NFC teams since the new decade. I’m not sure if the problem is more of scheme or communication, but when you give up 138 points during the last month, you gotta think it has more to do with effort more than anything else. All of Green Bay’s problems aren’t all on A-Rod. He doesn’t play defense and the Packers offense was effective against a Washington defense that truly is less than stellar. Another trip out East awaits as the Eagles are looking to make a run into the playoff picture. It’s now or never because there are so many teams looking to secure a spot. The Eagles need wins and some help if the playoffs are going to come calling. Carson Wentz came out playing like a bad mother shut your mouth, but has slid into a bit of a rookie wall. Since week 7, Wentz has thrown six of his seven interceptions on the season. Does Green Bay have enough pride to end this slide? Can the defense answer the bell? Can Carson Wentz putting on a performance like Mariota and Cousins? If the Eagles D can get off the field on the money down, all signs point toward Philly. However, the Eagles offense isn’t like the Redskins offense. I just don’t believe the problems on defense can be fixed in one week, fly Eagles fly as the struggles continue for the Pack.
Eagles 27 Packers 23

Red alert! Red alert! It’s time for the Go Big or Go Home Pick of the Week.
Arizona vs Atlanta
The Cardinals have been underwhelming all season to the point where Coach Arians just spent a couple of days in the hospital. This team needs to wake up and execute when it matters, but you need to take a look at the offensive line because Carson Palmer has been under distress A LOT. Palmer has already been sacked 30 times this season and thus has caused him to throw 10 interceptions. Carson Palmer is his best when he has time to dissect the opposing secondary. Arizona needs to sure up the protection on the offensive line in order to make a late season push into the playoffs, but Patrick Peterson is going to have his hands full against Julio Jones. The last time these teams got together, Peterson was torched by Jones for 189 yards on 10 receptions. How will the Cardinals look to defend the problem child for every corner in the league? Good luck Patrick Peterson. The Falcons allow a lot of big plays which fares well for the Cardinals high flying offensive attack. John Brown and Michael Floyd need to show up and show off. I think the running attack of David Johnson could give Arizona the edge. If Arizona runs the rock with Johnson and finds a way to push the ball downfield while getting stops against the league’s most prolific offense, the Cards have a shot. Atlanta has a subpar offensive line along with a below average secondary which equals an upset win on the road for Arizona. The birds from the desert take down the dirty birds from down south.
Cardinals 30 Atlanta 24

There is the gravy on top of the turkey with this week’s picks. For any comments, feel free to leave them at www.hsrn.com. Also download the HSRN app which gives you all the action from college basketball and the closing of the college football season because nobody does it better than we do at Your Voice of Choice. Be thankful for what you have because you just never know who has it worst. Enjoy your time with your loved ones and try not to gain five more pounds. Have a safe and satisfying Thanksgiving weekend!!