With a 16 game schedule every Sunday (and Monday) for the next 6 weeks, this is where it all gets very enjoyable and even more interesting. I was a poor tipper yet against last week, only getting 9 correct. The ones I missed on were, Cleveland, Miami, Baltimore, Seattle & Philadelphia. Legooo!
Green Bay at Detroit: Well, the Thanksgiving festivities and games are upon us. As always, we kick things off with the annual Lions game. This year against the best team in Football. Green Bay go into Detroit as a still undefeated team, looking to notch win #11 on the season (out of 11 games, for those playing along at home). The Lions will put up a very tough test, being a nationally televised game and all, but I believe the Packers will get that 11th victory, unfortunately. Only just.
Prediction: Green Bay 31, Detroit 28
Miami at Dallas: Just like the Lions, the Cowboys also have their annual Thanksgiving game against a resurgent Dolphins team. The ‘Fins have won 3 in a row, and are looking red-hot, being led by QB Matt Moore (colour me shocked). The Cowboys are also on a bit of a roll, but almost got tripped up last week by the Redskins, only being saved by Gano’s constant inaccuracy. Miami’s a nice story, but I think their streak ends on Thanksgiving.
Prediction: Dallas 29, Miami 21
San Francisco at Baltimore: To round out the Thanksgiving games, we have the Harbowl, as San Francisco (coached by Jim Harbaugh) go to Baltimore to take on the Ravens (coached by John Harbaugh). Despite the coaching match-up, this game should be an old-school defensive game. Two fantastic defenses trying to beat the shit out of the other team. That always makes for good watching, and is also good to know that Goodell will be having a cry, knowing how lacking in offense it will be. This really is a tough game to call, but I’m a believer in the 49ers and ya just never know what the Ravens will produce. I’ll take the consistency.
Prediction: San Francisco 14, Baltimore 10
Minnesota at Atlanta: Minnesota came up short against the Raiders last week, while the Falcons got a 6 point win over the Titans, after holding off a nice comeback. The Vikings are a pretty poor team, even with Adrian Peterson. Since the Vikings are going down so early, AP has been a bit of a non-factor of late, which is never a good sign. Atlanta’s been up and down most of the year, but this seems like a pretty easy match-up for them.
Prediction: Atlanta 28, Minnesota 13
Cleveland at Cincinnati: Cleveland pulled off a 4 point victory over Jacksonville last week, while the Bengals fell just short to the Ravens by 7. Cincinnati have been pretty consistent throughout this season, and Cleveland have been consistently bad. I think it’s a comfortable Bengals win.
Cincinnati 21, Cleveland 6
Tampa Bay at Tennessee: This is a tough match-up to call. Both teams have been so inconsistent this season, ya just don’t know who’s going to show up to play or not. The Titans fell short to the Falcons, after putting up a good comeback effort, while the Buccaneers really took it to the Packers in the 2nd half (This gives me hope for the Lions!) before the Packers eventually pulled away. I’m going with Tampa Bay simply off what I saw last week, but it’s another 51/49 type game.
Tampa Bay 28, Tennessee 27
Carolina at Indianapolis: The Colts have a very mild chance in this game, but they might actually be playing for Luck at this point. The Panthers played very well last week before a 2nd half collapse, but the Lions aren’t the Colts. Carolina shouldn’t have much trouble here.
Prediction: Carolina 35, Indianapolis 21
Arizona at St. Louis: The 2nd match-up in 3 weeks, this will be an underrated game. Last time out, the Cardinals won it off, what I believe was, the best play of the season so far. A 99 yard punt return TD from the Rookie, Patrick Peterson. It was marvellous TV to watch, especially live. Jaw on floor type stuff. St. Louis are up the proverbial creek without the paddle, though, having placed yet another CB on IR (that’s 10 CB’s on IR on the season). Arizona’s not a great team, but they’re still better than St. Louis, who’ve I’ve been over-valuing the whole season.
Prediction: Arizona 17, St. Louis 10
Buffalo at New York: Well, it was good while it lasted, but the Bills have been blasted the past two weeks, killing any hope of taking the AFC East away from the Patriots. They head to Metlife stadium after a 35-8 crushing at the hands of Miami. Yes, Miami. Surely the Bills will have to show their past form at one point again this season? If so, they’ve got an uphill battle, after they just lose their best player in Fred Jackson for the season. I was going to give them the tip before hearing that, but it’s an almost impossible task now. Jets should take this one. Maybe even in a shutout.
Prediction: New York 21, Buffalo 0
Houston at Jacksonville: Jacksonville were pretty valiant in this contest earlier this season, and with the Texans having lost their best QB for the season, it’ll be the much maligned Matt Leinart getting the start, after they missed out on Kyle Orton. Jacksonville really only have 1 plan, and that’s to let MJD run as much as possible, for as much damage as possible. If the Texans can contain him enough to make the Jaguars a primary passing team, then I think they’ll take the victory. But it won’t be as easy as it may seem.
Prediction: Houston 27, Jacksonville 20
Chicago at Oakland: Hmmm…This is an interesting game to weigh up. The Raiders have gotten back what they lost when Jason Campbell went down with a nice resurgent Carson Palmer (I still think they should’ve tried for Matt Flynn, but I digress). But the Bears have lost Jay Cutler indefinitely to a broken thumb, and have to weight their playoff hopes (good news for the Lions) on Caleb Hanie. I’ll be honest, I think Hanie’s a better QB than people give him credit for. Not some kind of freak who’ll rip the Raiders to shreds, but he can make nice throws, with an odd interceptions and maybe a couple TD’s. The reason this is so tough to weigh up, is because neither team has an offense which can rip apart the opponents D. The Bears are a stout run D, while the Raiders are tough to throw on. I think the Bears can win this, but I’ve stupidly doubted Oakland before. This could be another one of those.
Prediction: Chicago 34, Oakland 26
Washington at Seattle: The ‘Skins were unlucky last week, simply because of their woeful kicker. Seattle’s favoured in this game, which honestly baffles me. The Redskins D will be able to stop them, it’s the offense scoring which is the main worry. But still, the Seahawks are a bad team, regardless of their result last week.
Prediction: Washington 21, Seattle 10
New England at Philadelphia: Ah, one of those inter-division games (East vs other East). The Eagles have been the most inconsistent team this whole season, while the Patriots can’t really stop any offenses. I think this game will be pretty overrated like most of them and the Patriots will get a pretty comfortable win.
Prediction: New England 37, Philadelphia 21
Denver at San Diego: I don’t know about you, but this Denver team can definitely beat bad Run D teams. So it’s lucky they’re playing the Chargers, who allow 124.3 yards per game. I’m not entirely sure what to make of San Diego, they just haven’t done anything of note so far. Maybe they can turn on their usual late-season heroics, but those were when Rivers was playing as a top-5 QB, not a bottom-5 QB. So unless the Chargers have found some miracle cure for his interceptitis, I think the Broncos can notch another win.
Prediction: Denver 16, San Diego 9
And then there were two…
Pittsburgh at Kansas City: Will the Kyle Orton era (probably 6 games) start for the Chiefs when they host the Steelers? Only time will tell, but let’s be honest. It probably won’t make any difference to the final result. The Chiefs started floundering again, while the Steelers have been looking good, and are coming off a nice bye before heading into the final stretch. I don’t think the Chiefs have much shot in this game, Orton or otherwise.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 24, Kansas City 10
New York at New Orleans: We wrap up this weekends festivities with a Monday night game in Louisiana. The Giants head to the Superdome to face the high-flying Saints, who are coming off the bye. The Giants do have a shot in this game, but that’s only if they stop Drew Brees. Giants rookie CB Prince Amukamara had a nice showing in his first game, making 5 total tackles and getting an interception for his troubles. The Giants D is pretty banged up, though, so they’ll probably have a bit of trouble with Brees. I reckon the Saints will take it, but it should be an interesting contest.
Prediction: New Orleans 33, New York 21
Well, another tips article down. Have a great Thanksgiving and weekend, everyone. Go Lions!