This is Thanksgiving week and there are several things we should be thankful for as NFL fans: we no longer have to see JaMarcus Russell starting, soon we will be hearing from Mercury Morris about how no team will ever be as good as the ’72 Dolphins, and we are not Browns fans. Home teams in CAPS.
PACKERS (-10.5) over Lions
It’s a shame that we have to watch the Lions on Thanksgiving, but we shouldn’t take away the only thing that is decent to their fans. This could have been a decent game if Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson weren’t hurt. This will be another bag-over-the-head game for Lions fans.
Raiders (+13.5) over COWBOYS
The Cowboys are favored by nearly as many points as they have scored over the past two years combined. Doesn’t make much sense. The Raiders have an improving defense starting with Nnamdi Asomugha, Richard Seymour, and Tommy Kelly. They also have a solid running trio of Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas, and Michael Bush. I don’t like them enough to win, but enough to keep it within two TDs.
BRONCOS (+6.5) over Giants
Both teams are in must win mode around this time. The Broncos have lost four straight after a 6-0 start and the Giants have lost four of five after starting 5-0. But, there is no way that I can give nearly a touch down to the Giants when the Broncos are feeling underappreciated at home.
Buccaneers (-11.5) over FALCONS
At first you’ll probably want to go with the Falcons at home, but that is a ton of points to give. Michael Turner is still out and Matt Ryan is in the midst of a sophomore slump. Rookie Josh Freeman is hitting his stride and the Bucs are slowly getting better. I’ll take the point here.
Dolphins (-3.5) over BILLS
The Dolphins don’t seem to be affected by the loss of Ronnie Brown and are still running strong. One question I have is why aren’t they putting their faith in second rounder Pat White to run the Wild Cat. But all questions aside, they are definitely more than 3.5 points better than the worthless Bills. This is the Lock of the Week.
BENGALS (-13.5) over Browns
Last week was a trap game for the Bengals. After beating the Ravens and Steelers, Cincy had to go across country to face a team they didn’t respect, and they lost. The Browns are no match to the Bengals, who want to prove to the world that beating the Ravens and Steelers was no easy task and they are for real.
Seahawks (-2.5) over RAMS
Marc Bulger and Julius Jones are out for this game, but Bulger is more important to his team’s success. Justin Forsett has filled in well, if not better then Jones while Kyle Boller is not a good replacement for Bulger, not that Bulger is good though. Steven Jackson, and I’ll say it again, has the only half way decent scoring potential. I think the ‘Hawks have nothing to sweat here.
Panthers (+3.5) over JETS
This will feature a matchup of the two most inconsistent quarterbacks in the league: Jake Delhomme and Mark Sanchez. Sanchez is on the way down with six picks in two games while Delhomme has only thrown one pick in the last four. The Jets are bad, okay. So is the Sanchize. What has he actually done? Two good games versus Miami and Houston? C’mon Son!
EAGLES (-9.5) over Redskins
Redskin fans can’t go through much more pain then they did last week, shutting out their arch-rivals until the last three minutes when Tony Romo leads a go ahead drive. Add on losing Ladell Betts for the year, and DC was probably pretty cranky on Monday. So with Clinton Portis still out, the ‘Skins will be handing the rock off to Rock Cartwright. Sounds like a boxer, doesn’t it?
Colts (-3.5) over TEXANS
How can the undefeated Colts be only favored over the Texans by 3+? Houston has been so inconsistent this season, when you think they are for real, the flop, and when you think they are awful, they show up. Missing Owen Daniels hurts, but facing Peyton Manning hurts even more.
CHARGERS (-13.5) over Chiefs
Who woulda guessed that the Chiefs would beat the Steelers last week? Not me. But that sure doesn’t make them contenders.
49ERS (-3.5) over Jaguars
This really isn’t an appealing game at all, but someone has to watch it, and I feel sorry for them. But hey, who isn’t excited for Mike Sims-Walker vs. Michael Crabtree? Any takers? No?
Cardinals (+.5) over TITANS
People everywhere are claiming that they never lost faith in Vince Young, and I won’t say that. I do like what he has done, but does this make him a franchise cornerstone? Isn’t Chris Johnson just opening the field for him, finally? Does a game average of 192 ypg really appeal to you when he played against Jacksonville, Houston, Buffalo, and San Fran? I’ll take the Cards here who have been great this year on the road.
VIKINGS (-10.5) over Bears
The Bears are in a bad spot with Jay Cutler and Matt Forte not looking like the Jay Cutler and Matt Forte of last year and no first- or second-round draft picks. Brett Favre is a shoe-in for MVP now with a 17 TDs to only 2 interceptions. He has made Sidney Rice into a Pro Bowler and teams can’t drop back to stop him because they have All Day Adrian Peterson.
RAVENS (-2.5) over Steelers
I hate to pick against the Steelers, especially when I can take points with them, but they are a totally different team with Polamalu out. 3-4 teams need a great safety like Ed Reed, Bob Sanders, Rodney Harrison, or Troy Polamalu to succeed, and Tyrone Carter is not the answer. Neither team has been impressive at all this year, but I’ll take the Ravans at home.
Patriots (+3.5) over SAINTS
The Game of the Week is on Monday Night, as it should be. Two high powered teams with not so good of defenses in the Super Dome. When it comes to big games, I’ll take the Hoodie, despite the Indy game, over Sean Payton. I’ll take Brady over Brees. I’ll take Moss and Welker over Colston and Devery Henderson. And I’ll take the points over giving the points. You get the picture.
Last Week: 9-7
Lock of the Week: 5-5