The Houston Texans are coming off their best game of the season. The Detroit Lions did not even bother to show up in Carolina on Sunday as they were shutout. Thanksgiving is for three things, family, food, and remembering that the Detroit Lions exist. It also is a demarkation for Detroit as their last show relevance. The Texans are better than their 3-7 record suggests; the Lions are worse than their 4-6 mark.
This is not an ordinary matchup of 3-7 teams. It is a matchup of 3-7 teams battling for first place. Yes, the NFC East is that bad. Watching NFC East games could cause the Thanksgiving meal to come back up, so be careful. Washington won the first meeting with Andy Dalton, nearly getting decapitated. Look for the Dallas Cowboys and Dalton to get revenge by stuffing the ball down their throat and carving up the Football Team, and discarding the carcass in an ally.
The Las Vegas Raiders fought hard but lost to the Chiefs last week. The Atlanta Falcons meanwhile failed to take flight against the Saints. The Falcons had been playing better under Raheem Morris, but Matt Ryan found himself under pressure all game. The Raiders have the tolls to keep Ryan on the run.
Even in their win over the Jets, the Los Angeles Chargers showed some shakiness, as they nearly blew a big lead. Blowing leads have been a habit for the Chargers, as Justin Herbert continues to play well but lose. The Buffalo Bills have had a week to recover from the Hail Murray, and recover they will. The Chargers usually do not travel well. Look for Buffalo to shuffle off with an easy win.
At 3-7, the New York Giants are in the thick of the race for the NFC East. At 2-7-1, the Cincinnati Bengals are dead, without Joe Burrow they are buried. If the Giants expect to win the division they must win games like this. They will get the win, but Cincinnati should keep it close.
This game could decide the AFC South. If the Indianapolis Colts win this game, they will have a two-game lead, having swept the season series. The Colts are playing well, rallying to beat the Packers in overtime last week. The Tennessee Titans rebounded from their loss to the Colts by beating the Ravens in overtime last week. The Colts defense shut down Aaron Rodgers in the second half last week, the same way they shut down the Titans. Expect more of the same this week.
The Jacksonville Jaguars announced they are starting Mike Glennon this week. Raise your hand if you knew Glennon was still in the NFL. I don’t see many hands. The Cleveland Browns are legitimate playoff contenders at 7-3. This one could be ugly.
Instinct tells me that the Minnesota Vikings will win this game. My instincts have been off on the Vikings all season. So I am going the opposite. I will take the Carolina Panthers to win outright as Teddy Bridgewater will play and shine in his return to the Twin Cities.
Last week the New England Patriots took a big step backward with their loss to the Texans. They could have gotten back to .500 with a win, but now enter Thanksgiving week with their playoff hopes on life support. The Arizona Cardinals come in and do not provide a path to get back on track as the Patriots defense will have trouble stopping Kyler Murray.
The Miami Dolphins experienced a letdown last as Tua Tagovailoa was under assault the entire game as Miami’s five-game winning streak ended in Denver. The New York Jets nearly rallied to beat the Chargers but remained winless at 0-10. Earlier in the season, the Dolphins blanked the Jets in Miami. With the Jets in full tank mode, expect the Dolphins to bounce back and get the win.
This game has moved from Thanksgiving to Sunday, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are none too pleased. The move was due to the Baltimore Ravens being ravaged with COVID-19. This includes their top running backs J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram Jr. The Ravens are struggling as Lamar Jackson has had a disappointing season. Jackson has also struggled against the Steelers. All this equals an easy win for Pittsburgh.
The Denver Broncos upset the Dolphins last week by getting Tua Tagovailoa under pressure. Expect them to do the same to Taysom Hill. The New Orleans Saints were able to beat the Falcons, with Hill making his first start for Drew Brees. The Broncos defense has been strong against running quarterbacks all season; expect another win this week.
The Los Angeles Rams stand atop the competitive NFC West coming off a solid Monday Night win in Tampa. Their defense has been strong as of late, shutting down both Russel Wilson and Tom Brady in the last two games. The San Francisco 49ers are in the midst of a lost season, with injuries decimating the team since the start of the season. The Rams won’t provide any relief.
If last week is any indication, Father Time may be closing in on Tom Brady. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback looked old as he had two interceptions and was off-target all night against the Rams on Monday. The time is now for Patrick Mahomes. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback is poised to make another run at the MVP. In a battle of today’s best against the GOAT, expect to see Mahomes get another win as the Chiefs sink the Buccaneers in Tampa.
The Chicago Bears offense is the worst in the NFL over the last six weeks. The Bears have lost four straight games since starting 4-1. Do not expect them to get on track on Sunday night as they continue to due three and outs to work off the Thanksgiving weight gain. The Green Bay Packers coming off a loss in Indianapolis, are in full control of the NFC North. Look for the Packers to win easily.
The Philadelphia Eagles are a mess. Carson Wentz has played terrible football and has been a turnover machine. Wentz seems to have a crisis of confidence and is lucky that he is not facing a stadium full of angry fans. The Seattle Seahawks always tend to play close games in primetime. Look for the Eagles to play well, but fall short as Russell Wilson makes the big play at the end of the game.