Happy early Turkey Day, dear reader.
As you prepare to enjoy plates full of food and screens full of football, know this…
Stotty is on fire.
If one thing is allowing me to stay sane throughout the NFL season (because God knows the Eagles aren’t) it’s the fact that I’ve been holding my own in the picks department. Last week, only the Boo Birds and Rams didn’t come through for me. The 12-2 mark last week bumped the overall up to 97-63–that puts me ahead of three “experts” on ESPN.
Before I allow my ego to swell up too large, let’s look at Week 12 which has some difficult games.
All of those come on Sunday, though. Turkey Day games are slightly more clear cut. Let’s go through them, shall we?
Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions — 12:30, CBS
Matt Schaub and Co. are coming off one of the most back and forth games of the season (a 43-37 OT win), against a team that they should have handled easily (Jacksonville). Schaub threw for 527 yards–273 of those to Andre Johnson–and 5 TDs. If anything, it showed that they are able to grind through tough games–they were down 14 in the 4th quarter–battle back, and still pull out the win. With all of their offensive weapons it’s hard to ever really count them out of a game which will be huge going into the post season.
Detroit, which hasn’t won on Thanksgiving in nine years, has a pretty high-octane offense of their own. Albeit, one that doesn’t always perform up to expectations (as an Eagles fan, I feel their pain). Their 4-6 record could easily be better with five of those losses being by eight points or less. That includes last week’s 24-20 loss to the Packers.
Detroit will be motivated to end that horrid Turkey Day losing streak, but it’s the Texans who should be more fired up coming into this game. A win gives them their second playoff berth in as many seasons. Texans win 26-24
Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys — 4:15, Fox
Robert Griffin III’s homecoming couldn’t come on a better day. I’m sure the reaction will be mixed, a chorus of cheers as he romps out on the field, followed by a few choruses more of boos once they realize he’s just another Redskin playing in one of the oldest rivalries in the game.
The media in Washington is playing this one up to be a game with “epic amounts of importance,” which I’ll sort of give them. If the Redskins win, it moves them a little bit closer to .500, put them in a tie with Dallas for second in the division, and leave them two losses behind the Giants. It’ll be a tall task for either of these teams to wrestle that top spot away from New York, but given the state of the NFC East this season (if you haven’t been following too closely, just look back to how the NFC West was two seasons ago… in short, it’s pretty bad) it’s not too far fetched to think that something crazy could happen.
In all honesty, it wouldn’t shock me if this game ended in a tie. Neither team every really looks like they want to win games. They constantly find ways to lose in dramatic fashion. Both sides have injuries and major weak spots.
So who wins?
It’ll be the best watch of the day, by far, and should come down to the last possession. RGIII will hold his own in his first taste of this brutal rivalry, but I can’t see myself picking against Tony Romo’s 14-0 record in the month of November. Cowboys win 23-17
New England Patriots @ New York Jets — 8:20, NBC
A few years ago, this might have been the game of the day. Even better than the old school NFC East showdown above. But now, with the direction this season has these teams heading, it’s sure to be more of a laugher. The Jets did manage to pull out a win on the road in St. Louis last week, but they weren’t all that impressive–just over 160 passing yards, and 120 rushing yards. A win’s a win, I guess.
But that kind of performance isn’t going to cut it against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Even with Rob Gronkowski out (thanks to some dimwitted decision-making by Bill Belichick) the Pats have enough weapons to pick apart the Jets’ defense. Their ability to score at will has always been unmatched in the NFL.
No need to waste any more words on this one. Pats win 38-16