Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Wow, where has the season gone? It only seems like yesterday that the season got under way. But this week is a special week in the NFL.
Thanksgiving has always offered the traditional teams that play every year at home. This year, the Detroit Lions (7-3) take on the division rival and leader the Green Bay Packers, who are 10-0. The game is at 1 p.m. Thursday. The next game, which will start at 4:15-4:30 p.m., is between the Dallas Cowboys at the surging Miami Dolphins. The final game is at 8:20 p.m., and it’s a battle between the Harbaugh brothers: As Jim takes on John, the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in Baltimore.
Games of the Week
My first game of the week is the Philadelphia Eagles taking on the New York Giants on Sunday night. The Eagles were without two star players, quarterback Michael Vick and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. But that didn’t stop the Eagles, as they won 17-10.
The Eagles filled Vick’s void with former Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young. (Need I remind you that Young’s first pass as an Eagle was an interception?) So how did he fair this time? Not so well. Young went 23 of 36 for 258 yards and 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. It wasn’t too bad for a backup, but he was a starter for a while. Young’s rating resembled that of a backup. It was 69.0. Ouch.
Well, the Giants take a 6-4 record and a division tie with the 6-4 Dallas Cowboys into battle with the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football. The 4-6 Eagles will faceNew England.
My second game of the week was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Green Bay Packers. Even though the Packers won, I’m a Bucs fan all the way, and the Bucs still played good football. They certainly improved from the beating that the Texans gave them last week. Oh, yeah – they also hurt Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, ending his season early, so the Tennessee Titans should thank the Bucs since they are in contentionfor the AFC South title should thank the Bucs.
The Bucs kept the Packers below all of their season averages this game. And they also got a rarity from Aaron Rodgers when he threw just his fourth pick of the entire season. As a Buccaneers fan, I have to say that they couldn’t have lost any better way. They actually improved the way they moved the ball down the field, and something finally clicked between Josh Freeman and his receivers, because they actually caught the ball and then had yards after the catch.
Well, the week is going to be a good one. We already get three games during the week, and on America’s holiday. So now you just have to sit back, eat your turkey while sitting on the couch watching these exciting games. I know that last week I went 11-3, which puts me at 91-57 on the year. That is a winning percentage of 0.626. So now I will offer you my winning picks in orange.
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions (The Lions are 11-6-1 against the Packers on Turkey Day.)
Miami Dolphins @ Dallas Cowboys (The Cowboys are 25-14-1 on Turkey Day.)
San Francisco 49ers @ Baltimore Ravens
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings @ Atlanta Falcons
Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams
Carolina Panthers @ Indianapolis Colts
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Tennessee Titans
Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders
Washington Redskins @ Seattle Seahawks
Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers
New England Patriots @ Philadelphia Eagles
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs
New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints
Also, the annual Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is this weekend. It will be a good game. Both teams have fallen off what they did a lot of last year, which was scoring. So look for it to be a high-scoring game this year. My prediction? Ohio State 45 and Michigan 41.