Thanksgiving is here again, and its time for Turkey, Stuffing and Mashed Potatoes, and the rest of the trimmings. Thanksgiving is for NFL fans of 31 other teams to give thanks that they don’t root for the Lions. The Lions have won just one playoff game since 1957 and have played just two home playoff games in that period. Meaning the early Thanksgiving game is the only chance America sees games in Detroit. The Lions coming off a loss to the Redskins will see their skid continue as the Bears get back to .500.
The Dallas Cowboys have been taking a lot of heat after their ugly loss in the rain at Foxboro on Sunday, most of it centering on Coach Jason Garrett. The Cowboys have yet to beat a team with a winning record, but the Buffalo Bills are a bit of a paper tiger themselves, with only one win against a team that is over .500, and that team is just 6-5. This one seems like a defensive struggle, but the Cowboys have more weapons on offense and will win the game.
The Atlanta Falcons stunned the New Orleans Saints three weeks ago in the Superdome. The Falcons were playing well but took a step backward, losing last week at home to the Buccaneers. It is hard to see them beating the Saints twice. The Saints last week beat both the Panthers and refs to improve to 9-2. Atlanta has been especially bad at home, while Drew Brees has always shined in primetime.
The Baltimore Ravens are the hottest team in the NFL, winning seven straight games, while scoring 30 or more points in their last five games, with 40 or more in their previous three games. The San Francisco 49ers defense is too good to be torn apart like that, but I expect the Ravens to win a close one as Lamar Jackson continues to make a strong case for NFL MVP.
The Washington Redskins stunned even themselves as they beat the Lions at home. However, that win was more due to Detroit’s ineptitude. The Carolina Panthers nearly stunned the Saints in the Superdome last week and played well as Kyle Allen seemed to get back on track. Look for Carolina to keep their faint playoff hopes alive, as the Redskins return to the regularly scheduled program as being one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Such is the life of the New York Jets; just when they look like things are going well, they suffer that significant letdown loss. Last week they stomped all over the Raiders at home and were looking good with three straight wins. The Cincinnati Bengals, meanwhile, sit at 0-11 and are going back to Andy Dalton at quarterback. Dalton will do just enough to torture Jets fans as the Bengals finally get their first win of the season, reminding the Jets just who they are.
The Indianapolis Colts have always seemed to have the Tennessee Titans’ number, especially at home. The Colts have been the little team that could all season, but face a must-win as both teams sit at 6-5. The Titans have played better with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback but have yet to get that big season-defining win. Look for the Colts defense to slow the Titans offense, while their running game can run through the Tennessee defense.
This is for the championship of Florida, as both teams come in at 4-7 and playing for little else. The Jacksonville Jaguars have been ripped apart in the last few games as their defense has been terrible, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a big win over the Falcons. The Buccaneers should be able to go through the Jags defense while Nick Foes is unable to play catchup.
After losses to the Patriots and Seahawks, the Philadelphia Eagles at 5-6 desperately need a get-well game. The Miami Dolphins are the perfect team to get well against. Their secondary is also banged up, which should help get Carson Wentz on track. Look for the Eagles to put up some big numbers and at least stay in the playoff hunt, as the Dolphins are back in full tanking mode.
The Green Bay Packers suffered a humiliating loss against the 49ers on Sunday Night Football, as Aaron Rodgers was under assault all game. The New York Giants defense is not able to get pressure on anyone. Look for Rodgers to get the ball up and down the field, as they Cheeseheads feast in the Meadowlands, against the Giants Swiss Cheese Defense.
This one may get ugly. Two weeks ago, the Cleveland Browns bashed the Pittsburgh Steelers in more ways than one, as Myles Garrett made headlines by beating Mason Rudolph over the head with his own helmet. The Steelers are now home and looking for payback. This one could turn into a grudge mass of epic proportions, as Delvin Hodgers getting the start will take his team up and down the field for a big home win.
There is no doubt that the Los Angeles Rams are in a Super Bowl as they are 6-5 coming off a beatdown by Baltimore. The Arizona Cardinals are 3-7-1 but have played better than their record indicates. The Cardinals have played hard and been competitive in most games; this time, it pays off as they win outright.
It has been a lost season for both of these teams, as neither of them has a realistic chance at making the playoffs. Both teams have been plagued by agonizing close losses as they have struggled in the fourth quarter. The Denver Broncos have lost four games on the final play, while Phillip Rivers has struggled all season for the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers can make a run but will need to win their last six games to have even a slim shot. That knowledge should inspire them to win this tossup game in Denver.
The Oakland Raiders got punched in the face by the Jets last week, losing 34-3. That is the history of the Raiders who struggle going east. They are going two time zones over again this week but get some help with a 4:25 start. The Chiefs are coming off a bye, which was a much-needed rest bit. This game could decide the AFC West, especially if Kansas City wins. Look for a big game from Patrick Mahomes as the Chiefs take a stranglehold of their division.
At the last report, the New England Patriots had a flu epidemic, with eight players unable to practice. When things like this happen to New England, they kick ass extra hard. The Houston Texans always seem to crumble at the site of the flying Elvis, and this game won’t be any different. Look for a big defensive effort and a breakout game for Tom Brady.
The Minnesota Vikings and Kirk Cousins always can beat up on the mediocre and crummy teams of the NFL. However, but a strong team on the field and the fold like the extra table needed to handle the Thanksgiving feast. The last I looked the Seahawks were among the best teams in the NFL; this is bad news. Cousins has also never played well on Monday Night. Look for Russell Wilson to have another big night as the Seahawks keep the pressure on the 49ers in the NFC West.