This is the best week of football of the year. Why you ask? Well we have a full day of football, food and beer. What’s better than that? There are no teams on bye so EVERYBODY is playing this week. Lets start it off.
Thanksgiving Day games
Vikings (-3) at Lions- This will be the 78th game that the Lions will play on Thanksgiving. For some reason, they play their division rivals well on Thanksgiving. They’re usually up and down when it comes to this time of year, but Thanksgiving is their bread and butter. They’re riding a three game winning streak (although against Browns, Packers and Bears) and starting to get a running game going. The Vikings have an exceptional defense with a mediocre offense. The offense finds ways to get it done, though. Still, taking the Lions 24-23 (Matt Prater for the win!)
Chargers (-1) at Cowboys- Normally, this would be an easy game to pick. This year is not normal. The Cowboys are struggling offensively since Zeke went out. They also can’t protect Dak without Smith. Chargers are a better team than what their record holds. Out of their six losses, four of them were within three points. They dismantled the Bills last week, but it should be closer since Cowboys aren’t starting a Nathan Peterman. Chargers 19-17.
Giants at Redskins (-7.5)- Last week was a fluke. There’s no doubt in my mind. If that game wasn’t in New York, there’s no way they beat the Chiefs. You know when they say “It’ll happen 9/10 times”, that was the 1/10 time. Redskins are banged up on their offense, but still continue to make plays. Perine will have a big game along with Cousins. Redskins 27-13.
Sunday Noon games
Buccaneers at Falcons (-9.5)- Last week, the Falcons got their revenge at Seattle. It was a high scoring game ending at 34-31 on a missed field goal to tie. I picked the Falcons because that type of game for some reason. They also lose this type of game. Last year, they split the series with the away team winning both games. If Winston was playing, I would take Buccaneers. That’s not the case, though. Fitzpatrick is back, again, running the offense. Falcons 31-20.
Browns at Bengals (-8)- One of these weeks, the Browns will get their first win. They’ve actually played better than their 0-10 record. I thought they’d have their first win by now. Bengals went to Denver and beat them last week. I think this game will be another close one, but I don’t see Browns getting their first win this week. Bengals 16-13.
Titans (-3) at Colts- I’m hoping that Mariota has short term memory loss. Last week was a brutal beat down that they took from the Steelers. He didn’t have time to throw the ball and looked hesitant to run. In other words, he didn’t look completely healthy. Granted, that game was in Pittsburgh on the national stage. Ben has thrived as of late in those circumstances. I think the Titans got the monkey off their back by beating them earlier this season. Titans 20-17.
Bills at Chiefs (-10)- Bills abandoned their project of starting Nathan Peterman over Tyrod Taylor. They announced that Taylor will start this game. I don’t think it matters this week, but it will matter as we move onto the last quarter of the season. Bills have only one win on the road this season. I think that continues. Chiefs 24-13.
Dolphins at Patriots (-16)- I’ve said it all year “The Dolphins are a mess”. Not sure who’s starting for them this week. As of right now, Matt Moore is the starter, but Gase said Cutler will start if he can play. I don’t think it matters a ton because this will be Patriots all day long. 28-14.
Panthers (-4.5) at Jets- I think this is the hardest game to pick this week. Which Cam Newton shows up? Is Greg Olsen going to be a factor? I could make an argument of why the Jets will win this game, but I do see the Panthers squeaking this one out on the road. Panthers 21-17.
Bears at Eagles (-13.5)- I legitimately thought the Bears were going to win last week. But then I remembered that John Fox was the coach. I see a lot of Carson Wentz to Alshon Jeffrey in this game. Eagles 24-10.
Seahawks (-6.5) at 49ers- If Kyle Shanahan was smart, then he would play Jimmy Garoppolo. I think they’re playing it tight to their chest so the Seahawks can’t game plan for Jimmy. He gives them the best chance to win week in and week out. If that happens, I see 49ers coming out with the W. I have to go with what’s given to be, though. That’s that CJ Beathard is playing. Seahawks 26-16.
Broncos at Raiders (-5)- Before the year started, this would be a marquee matchup given last year. Now that we’re week 12 of the 2017 season, this may be the worst game of the weekend. I feel it’s more of a pick em game because they’re so bad. Taking Raiders 20-16 only because they’re at home.
Saints at Rams (-2.5)- This should be the Sunday night game. This is probably the best game of the weekend. Rams are looking to bounce back after their loss to the Vikings while the Saints are looking to continue their winning streak. At some point, the Saints have to lose. It’s on the road at an outside stadium where Drew Brees has been known to suck. Rams are probably one of the better defenses they’ve seen this year especially their front seven. Rams 27-26.
Jaguars (-4.5) at Cardinals- Simple answer: Jaguars 24-14. Why? The Cardinals have no offense and the Jaguars have one of the best defenses.
Sunday Night game
Packers at Steelers (-14)- I’m not even giving Mike McCarthy the satisfaction of writing about how bad this team is this year. Steelers 38-10.
Texans at Ravens (-7)- Joe Flacco may be the best defensive quarterback in all of football. They should’ve destroyed the Packers by 100 last week. Texans lost another player for the year in D’ Onta Foreman. They still have Tom Savage as their quarterback. Ravens 22-13.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!