It’s Thanksgiving in the NFL! And, to celebrate, Sky Sports’ Paul Merson is in the NFL Predictions hot seat for Week 12, taking on Wycombe Wanderers striker Adebayo Akinfenwa and Richard Graves.
Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have already flown the flag for Sky Sports Football in Week One of the season, claiming a stunning upset win over former NFL coach Rob Ryan, so can Merse fare any better?
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Each week, Sky Sports’ NFL experts will take on representatives from the wider Sky Sports family and a guest from NFL UK.
This week, Sky Sports News reporter Richard Graves is flying the flag for table-toppers Team NFL, with Merse and Akinfenwa looking to play catch up for Sky Sports and NFL UK, respectively.
Read on below to to see their picks for Week 12…
Week 12 Predictions
Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions
Thanksgiving Thursday, live on Sky Sports NFL, 5.30pm
MERSON PICKS: Texans
“I quite like Houston. I just think they have been bang out of luck – at the start of the season they played Kansas City, Baltimore, Pittsburgh in their first three games so, straight away, they were behind the eight ball and they never really recovered.
“But I liked the look of them last week in the win over New England, while Detroit lost to Carolina and did not put up any points on the board! I’m going for Houston, maybe the start of a little run at the end of the season.”
GRAVES PICK: Texans
“I am going to agree with Merse. The Lions are banged up and suffered that humiliating loss last weekend”
AKINFENWA PICK: Texans
Washington Football Team @ Dallas Cowboys
Thanksgiving Thursday, live on Sky Sports NFL, 9.30pm
MERSON PICKS: Cowboys
“I thought the Cowboys beating the Vikings the shock of last weekend, as I thought the Vikings were on a roll and the Dallas defence is shocking. But I am going with them to win again here, back to back.”
GRAVES PICK: Cowboys
“The shocking thing is, whoever wins this game will go to the top of the NFC East rankings with four wins!
“Dallas had a team meeting last weekend, and head coach Mike McCarthy brought out several watermelons, all with the goals for the rest of the season on them – he takes out a sledgehammer – and one by one he started smashing them. It got the whole locker room going and they went on to win in Minnesota.
“I like that energy! I am taking the Cowboys as well.”
AKINFENWA PICK: Cowboys
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
Sunday, live on Sky Sports NFL, 6pm
MERSON PICKS: Titans
“A great result for the Colts last Sunday, especially having been 14 points down against Green Bay – I thought it was goodnight – I did not see them coming back.
“But Tennessee have been outstanding lately, so I am going with the Titans.”
GRAVES PICK: Colts
“A huge AFC South clash! A couple of weeks ago the Titans lost to the Colts, they need this but I think that Colts defence is underrated.
“At home, knowing that with a win they sweep the Titans and will have a big advantage in that division, I am going to back the Colts to do that.”
AKINFENWA PICK: Colts
Kansas City Chiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday, live on Sky Sports NFL, 9.25pm
MERSON PICKS: Chiefs
“What a game! The old master [Tom Brady] against the new master [Patrick Mahomes].
“I have been disappointed with Tampa the last couple of weeks, they have been pretty inconsistent. They got well beaten by the Saints and, personally, I do not think they have still recovered from that.
“And I just do not see how you stop Kansas City – you have got to put 30-odd points up on the board to beat them – and, if they are going to go gung-ho these two teams, I think there is only one winner, the Chiefs.”
GRAVES PICK: Chiefs
“I was all on the Buccaneers bandwagon at the start of the season, but too many times they have slipped up when you would not expect. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have only had one defeat in the last calendar year – I think this is a statement game for them.”
AKINFENWA PICK: Chiefs
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
Sunday Night Football, live on Sky Sports NFL, Monday, 1.20am
MERSON PICKS: Packers
“The rivalry in this one is massive! I think the Packers bounce back in this one, as the Bears have hit a brick wall.”
GRAVES PICK: Packers
“The Bears have fallen off a cliff and now they have the Packers. With the Saints winning last weekend, the Packers need a win this week with that NFC No 1 seed in mind.”
AKINFENWA PICK: Packers
Seattle Seahawks @ Philadelphia Eagles
Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports NFL, Tuesday, 1.15am
MERSON PICKS: Seahawks
“I am not his biggest fan, Carson Wentz, at all. I do not see any other result than Seattle winning this game. This is a good Seahawks team I think they have got every chance to go all the way.”
GRAVES PICK: Seahawks
“There is only one winner in this. I think Seattle do a number in Philadelphia.”
AKINFENWA PICK: Seahawks
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