There's a lot of great things about Thanksgiving Day. It's a celebration of harvest, so we get to eat a lot of food. There's that long lasting, ever loving 4 day weekend for most blue collar workers. We get to spend time with family and friends and have a bunch of good laughs. But to me the best thing about Turkey Day is the football.
For as long as I can remember the Lions and Cowboys have hosted the Thanksgiving Day games giving us an extra reason to look forward to this wonderful holiday. For the past few years the NFL has given us even more by adding a night game to the schedule giving us 3 games and 9 hours of nationally televised football action. I think I speak for all football fans when I say we are very thankful for that. Now let's break down and predict the games of gobble.
Texans vs Lions: Most people, including myself have the Houston Texans as #1 team in the NFL power rankings. They are well balanced and finally have post season experience. Every great team has a hiccup every now and again like Houston did against Jacksonville this past Sunday. But as most great teams do, they found a way to pull out the victory. The Lions held tough against the division favorite Packers at home but Aaron Rodgers and company were just too much for the Lions much maligned defense.
This match up is sure to see a lot of scoring with two prolific offenses in a weather free stadium. It wouldn't shock me one bit if Detroit pulls this one out since Houston has looked vulnerable on defense at times. The match up to keep your eye on is the Lions D line vs the Texans O line. If the Lions can penetrate and break up Houston's blocking scheme then they may have success. On the other hand if the Texans are getting off the ball quickly than Suh and Fairly won't have a chance to stop Arian Foster. And seriously, find me a defender on Detroit that can stop Andre Johnson who is back to his 09' All Pro form.
The Lions have their own wide receiving stud in Calvin Johnson who simply can't be covered one on one. Outside of Megatron, maybe Brandon Pettigrew and Mikel LeShoure scare you a little bit. But the Texans certainly have the edge in this game on both sides of the ball. Wade Phillips is a defensive wizard despite getting lit up by Chad Henne last Sunday. He'll find a way to take Johnson out of the game, at least moderately and hold the Lions to under 25 points...which is good because the Texans should be able to rack up 30 or so. Fantasy owners will love watching this game. Texans 34 - Lions 24
Redskins vs Cowboys: Ooh this should be a good one. RGIII is a blast to watch and his rookie running mate Alfred Morris is the real deal. The Skins can score some points but they allow them a little more being 26th in overall defense. It may be a different story if Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker didn't go down for the season but it is what it is.
Keep your eye on Cowboys line backer Bruce Carter who has filled Sean Lee's shoes beautifully since he went on IR. He's one of the faster line backers in the league and will be able to cause problems when RGIII tries to run the ball to the outside. Brandon Carr and rookie Morris Claiborne have played great in that often tested Cowboys secondary and will make life difficult for the rookie QB. Dallas will attempt to establish a running game early but will most likely give up on it before half time. Nevertheless, I like Romo's November record and the fact that he's finally taken a leadership stance for his team. He should have a nice day and the Cowboys should control this game. Although the final score may not indicate that because of the Cowboys inability to close out games sufficiently. Cowboys 37 - Redskins 28
Patriots vs Jets: This is always an exciting match up although sometimes the hype doesn't meet the bite. A few years ago in one of the most anticipated Monday Night games I could remember, the Patriots beat the life out of the Jets 45 - 3 as the game was over before it even started. But just last month the heavily favored Patriots struggled big time against Gang Green in a game they squeaked out in overtime. New England has had their own issues closing out games this season and have lost a couple times as a result of that.
If the Jets want to win this game then they will have to hope that Shonne Greene can go off and possibly get a contribution from Joe McKnight. Oh and heaven forbid they actually figure out a way to get Tim Tebow involved in the offense. You can't trust Mark Sanchez, which isn't fully his fault when he can barely name his own wide receivers. He gets a bad rap and that's not totally fair. But truth be told, I'd rather him not be the starting QB for my team. I think the Jets defense can keep this game close and force a few Brady turnovers. But can they stop Stevan Ridley who has given the Patriots a running game for the first time since Corey Dillon? If they can't then New England will have a field day. But I believe the Jets will be ready to roll and give the Patriots a tough game. Patriots 24 - Jets 20