2012-13 NFL Foxtel ESPN Preview: Week 12
There’s plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving with a premier early game on Foxtel via ESPN and a great Sunday Night Football matchup to boot.
Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions
Time & Date: Friday, November 23rd from Ford Field, Detroit.
Coverage: LIVE 4:30am AEDT
The Detroit Lions (4-6) are reeling after a demoralising loss in Week 11 to divison rival Green Bay Packers while the Houston Texans (9-1) continued their march towards the playoffs beating the Jaguars in OT.
While Detroit is all but out of the playoff race in the loaded NFC North the Texans need to continue to fight to ensure they get the top AFC seed come January.
Don’t assume that Detroit won’t come to play. There’s nothing more fun — or scary! — to watch than an angry Lions team.
Watch out for: Texans QB Matt Schaub and veteran receiver Andre Johnson. If their connection stays hot leading into the playoffs the Texans can surely be considered one of the elite teams and a potential Super Bowl contender.
The other Lions defensive lineman, Nick Fairley — the first obviously being Ndamukong Suh — seems to be developing into a genuine monster. Look for him to battle with a quality Texans offensive line all day.
Final word and prediction: While it’s not outlandish to suggest that the competitive Lions could win this, the Texans’ offensive scheme will limit QB Mathew Stafford’s time with the ball. Texans should win 28-14.
Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants
Time & Date: Monday November 26th from Metlife Stadium, New Jersey.
Coverage: LIVE 12.15pm AEDT.
This is the Sunday Night Football game and without doubt the premier matchup of the week. The Green Bay Packers (7-3) are hot winning their last five games in a row, while the New York Giants (6-4) will be trying to claw out of their November slump having lost their last two.
Giants QB Eli Manning has played awful in recent weeks and will need to find his early season form if he is to keep up with the high-powered Packers offence.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers had a scare against the Detroit Lions in Week 11 but look ready for another strong playoff push.
Watch out for: Packers receiver Randall Cobb is enjoying a breakout season. While Jordy Nelson should be back up to full speed this week (after returning from injury to play in Week 11) and Greg Jennings figures to return in December, Cobb is clearly the apple of Aaron Rodgers’ eye moving forward. Expect him to touch the ball a lot against the Giants.
Final word and prediction: The Giants’ slump in November is well documented and not uncommon. Even if Eli returns to form the Packers are too hot right now. Expect a shootout with Green Bay winning 34-24.
Carolina Panthers @ Philadelphia Eagles
Time & Date: Tuesday November 27th from Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia.
Coverage: LIVE 12.30pm AEDT.
The Eagles (3-7) are coming off a 31-6 trashing at the hands of NFC East rivals Washington Redskins while the Panthers (2-8) also had a disappointing loss in Week 11 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Eagles’ woes continued in Week 11 with starting running back LeSean McCoy sidelined with a concussion, and his status remains unclear.
Both teams came into the season as contenders but now major changes seem all but inevitable at the end of the season. Their troubles have been largely — but not exclusively – at QB, with neither sophomore Cam Newton or the now-injured Michael Vick showing any of the promise they displayed in previous seasons.
Carolina has lost its last two games in a row, Philadelphia has lost its last six.
Watch out for: Robert Griffin III showed everybody what a mobile and strong-armed QB can do to the Philadelphia Eagles’ defence. Expect Cam Newton to put up some huge numbers.
Final Prediction: While Michael Vick has not been completely ruled out for the start it looks like rookie QB Nick Foles will get the nod yet again. Carolina should capitalise and come away with a 20-10 win.