There hasn't been a close game on Thanksgiving since I was nine. In fact, there's been better games in my backyard. The last good Thanksgiving game I remember was a 19-16 Lions overtime victory over the Steelers. And the only reason the Lions won was because the referee said Jerome Bettis called "heads" on the coin toss, when all of America knew he called "tails." The Lions have lost six straight on Thanksgiving. They've been outscored 213-74 in that span. And they're 2-8 this decade. New England, on the other hand, is playing better than arguably anyone in the NFL. Their young defense is finally coming together and Tom Brady continues to make their young receivers look like Pro-Bowlers. Is this game the easiest game of all time to pick? It just might be. For this reason, I'm starting the Patriots defense and Wes Welker over Terrell Owens on my fantasy team.
New Orleans at Dallas
Dallas has won five of their last six on Turkey Day. They've won two in a row under their new head coach. Dez Bryant is a man-child. Earlier in the week, I was contemplating picking this as an upset. But this is the one chance I might get to see Dallas lose on Thanksgiving. That's so rare these days. I need this win New Orleans. I need it!
Cincinnati at NY Jets
10 months ago the Jets played Cincinnati twice in two weeks. The Jets outscored them 61-14 in those two games. Since then, the Jets have gotten better and the Bengals have gotten worse. Just ask TO:
It's fitting that the NFL Network would schedule this as the night game. After all, so far we've seen the Broncos beat the Giants 26-6, the Eagles beat the Cardinals 48-20, and the Colts beat the Falcons 31-13 in this annual match-up. Why wouldn't we get to see the Jets beat the Bengals 41-6? That's television at it's best.
Green Bay at Atlanta
This game will tell us a lot about the race for supremacy in the NFC. It's really hard to pick against Aaron Rodgers.
Pittsburgh at Buffalo
Watch out Steelers. The Bills are the hottest team in football right now (Sorry Dave). Be happy Gus Johnson isn't calling this one Pittsburgh.
Carolina at Cleveland
Great match-up for Survivor Pick leagues. I bet none of you have used Cleveland, and I bet all of you consistently pick whoever is playing the Panthers each week.
(Ps. Steve Smith (Carolina) was dropped in my fantasy league this week. And no one picked him up. He was a second to third round pick in most leagues. He's not even hurt. That's how bad Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen are. That bad).
Jacksonville at NY Giants
Derek Hagan, Duke Calhoun, Michael Clayton (yeah, the bust from the Buccaneers). These guys represent 3/4 of the Giants receiving core. Oh and Brandon Jacobs, our 265 lb. running back that tries to run outside and can't convert on 3rd and 1 is the new starter. It's great to be a Giants fan right now.
On a side note, Tom Coughlin and the Giants should be saying this about the Eagles this week:
Minnesota at Washington
I still think Tavaris Jackson should be starting this game. But now that the most hated man in the locker room (Childress) is gone, I think the Vikings rally for their new coach and win a game.
Tennessee at Houston
Since leaving the Patriots, teams with Randy Moss are 1-5 this year. Oh and the Patriots are 5-1. Bill Bellichick, the genius, strikes again.
Last week we learned that Vince Young throws interceptions and temper-tantrums. Jeff Fisher assuaged that problem, taking away his privilege to throw interceptions and attend team meetings. Young is now out for the season, and likely out forever in Tennessee.
If you want to learn how to blow games in the most heartbreaking way possible, call 1-800-I-Wanna-B-A-Texan.
But if Houston wants to be 8-8, and I know they do. They need to win this game, and they will.
Kansas City at Seattle
Your classic AFC/NFC West match-up. The ratings on this one must be through the roof.
Miami at Oakland *Gus Johnson alert
I really couldn't decide on this game. But last night, I met a girl that taught me the Dolphins' fight song and a weird fin thing they do. I'm gonna take that as a sign they're winning this game. Maybe they'll try running the ball over putting it all in the hands of their third string quarterback? Maybe?
St. Louis at Denver
Denver looked like a high school football team on Monday night.
Again, your classic AFC/NFC West match-up. The ratings on this one must be through the roof.
Philadelphia at Chicago Upset Special*
I think BachTalk just had a heart attack. The Giants exposed the blueprint for beating Mike Vick, but they were too stupid to fully execute it. The Bears are the one defense, athletically, that I find most similar to the Giants. I think they finish what the Giants started.
The head of PETA was elated the Giants had Mike Vick on the ropes last week. Then on 4th and 1, Lesean McCoy led Mike Vick to victory, keeping #7's MVP hopes alive. Here's how the head of PETA reacted on McCoy's 50 yard scamper:
Tampa Bay at Baltimore
Baltimore is flying under the radar right now. They're near the top of the power rankings each week, but no one is really talking about them. That's exactly where I'd want my team to be.
San Diego at Indianapolis *Upset Special
This is going against everything I believe in when it comes to making picks. The Chargers are on the road coming off a Monday night game. And Peyton Manning is playing on prime time television. But this is the time of year the Chargers go on a ridiculous perfect run to end the regular season. Yes, Norv Turner will lead them to lose to a lesser foe in the playoffs. But they will look damn good from here on out in the regular season.
San Francisco at Arizona
The biggest question in this one: How will John Gruden find something good to say about either of these teams? He finds a way to make every team seem like the toast of the NFL each Monday night. But there's literally nothing good to say about these teams right now.
Last Week: 12-4 (season best)