Some have argued in recent years that the Lions should lose their Thanksgiving slot because of how poorly they have performed. Let’s take a look though; a Turkey is a slow moving dumb bird, kind of like Lions management. You can get fat off the many dishes that surround the Turkey, like Mashed Potatoes, Candied Yams, and Stuffing. Opponents fatten off the Lions every week. The Lions are the perfect Turkey day team.
Somehow the Cowboys are two Touchdown favorites for this game, despite scoring two Touchdowns combined in their last two games. The Cowboys should beat and will be the Raiders, but the offense is a in a slump and it will be a close game through out as the Raiders defense is not that bad, and without JaMarcus Russell making big mistakes, the Raiders may be able to look respectable for a change.
Both teams got off to fast starts with the Giants winning their first five and the Broncos winning their first six. However, four game losing streaks have dropped both from first place and have them scratching to stay in the playoff hunt. The Giants who ended their losing streak in OT last week after blowing a 14 point fourth quarter lead are only slightly better off as the Broncos are coming off an ugly home loss to the Chargers and are now fighting amongst themselves, not what you want to do on a short week.
The Falcons with two straight tough losses on the road are in danger of again suffering the dreaded Falcon curse as they have yet to post back-to-back winning seasons in their 44 years of existence. To get back on track they need a feel good win, and fortunately they are playing the right team as they come home to play the 1-9 Bucs, whom they should beat easily.
Last week the Dolphins scored a big Thursday Night win to get back to .500, not bad after starting the year 0-3. On the road in Buffalo they could get back into serious Wild Card contention with a win. Fortunately for them the weather has not dipped to arctic levels and it should not be a concern as the Bills are team that is just playing out the string with an interim coach and roster filled will soon to be ex-Bills.
Coming off a stunning loss to the Raiders, the Bengals no better then anyone not to take any team to lightly especially their rivals from Northern Ohio, whom they needed an almost full 15 minutes in overtime to beat earlier in the season. However, coming off a dreadful loss the Browns are ripe for the pickings and the Bengals will have no second thoughts of running up the score.
The Colts are 10-0 but somehow it seems they are not playing like an unbeaten team, as there are at least four games they should have lost but somehow have won thanks to the play of Peyton Manning. Eventually that run has to end as the Texans on the opposite side of the coin have lost two straight in which they easily could have won. With their season on the line the desperate Texans finally find a way to beat the Colts, who simply can’t continue to walk the tightrope without slipping up eventually.
The Jets are desperate for a win, losers of six of their last seven games; their defense that looked like the 85 Bears early in the season now just looks like a mediocre bunch for a mediocre team, while nobody is saying Mark Sanchize any more. The Panthers also at 4-6 are in much the same situation. Being home against the mistake prone Panthers gives the Jets the edge they need to at least stay alive one more week.
The Redskins have looked better over the last few weeks, with a win over the Broncos and a close 7-6 heartbreaking loss to the Cowboys. The Eagles are coming home after a strong road win against the Bears and need to exert their dominance over the week sisters of the NFC East if they are to be the winners of the toughest division in the NFL.
After starting 0-7, the Rams have showed signs of improvement despite losing their last two games after beating the Lions. They took the Saints to the final play and kept their game with the Cardinals close last week. All that work will pay off this week as the play a Seahawks team that is going in the opposite direction as they slip out of contention for the second year in a row.
The Chargers grabbed control of the AFC West last week with a dominant win over the Broncos, to keep control they must again exert their dominance over the Chiefs who last week stunned the Steelers. With the game in San Diego it is hard to imagine the Chargers suffer a let down as they seem to be just hitting their stride as the NFL gets set to hit the stretch run for the playoffs.
Down 30-10 against the Packers last week, the 49ers made a late push and made it close on the road last week. Saying what you will about them, they always seem to manage to keep it close, as they most weeks give a solid 60 minute effort. The Jaguars meanwhile are widely inconsistent and you don’t know what team will show up one week to the next. Traveling to San Francisco might be a tough task for them as the 49ers look to stay in the hunt.
There may be no bigger disappointment in the NFL this season, than the Chicago Bears who were expected to vie for the NFC North after trading for Jay Cutler. However, the Bears have been exposed all season as having a defense that is not nearly as good as expected and a running game that is nearly non existent. Against the Vikings who are in serious running for home field that is the recipe for disaster as they are on the wrong end of another blow out.
The Titans are creeping back into the playoff picture as they have become the first team to win four straight after starting 0-6. The Cardinals meanwhile come in with a question mark about Kurt Warner; with a three game lead in the NFC West, the Cards are likely to play it safe. Look for another strong game from Chris Johnson as he continues to charge towards a 2,000 yard season.
Without Troy Polamalu the Steelers are just 2-4, with the star Safety likely out again that could spell bad news as they face a Ravens team that desperately needs a win at home on Sunday Night. Making matters worse for the defending Champs is the health of QB Ben Roethlisberger who suffered a concussion in their OT loss to the Chiefs last week. With back up Charlie Batch also injured the Steelers may be forced to start Dennis Dixon, in game they would likely lose even if Big Ben starts.
At 10-0 the Saints host a team that knows what it’s like to be undefeated on Monday Night Football. Once you reach 10-0 it becomes both a blessing and a curse as the targets come out and are aimed right at you. A loss for the Saints won’t be the worst thing at this point and the Patriots with Tom Brady hooked up against Drew Brees in an old fashioned QB duel could be just the right team to do it.