I also will not camp out in front of retail stores. I saw Target will sell Playstation 3's for $199 tomorrow night when the store opens at the 9PM. The sale includes two free games. While I sometimes think about returning to video games to play as Nordsjaelland in Fifa 13, the thought of standing outside of a Target on Thanksgiving night horribly depresses me. I will instead listen to Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels verbally fellate Tim Tebow.
Here are the picks:
Houston over Detroit
-Houston effortlessly scored two touchdowns in the final eight minutes of the Jacksonville game. The NFL Network re-aired it last night and completely removed the Jags' next possession after the Texans cut their lead to 27-34. Schaub led his team down the field where Garrett Graham was wide open to tie it. I don't know why Houston's defense went to shit against Chad Henne. Henne's a fine professional quarterback, but he lit them up. Stafford, Megatron, and the rest of the Detroit Lions should be able to gain 550+ yards then. If Chad Henne and Justin Blackmon became a deadly duo, Stafford and Johnson should connect for 300 yards and a TD. I think the Texans defense will correct their mistakes, though. I'd like to watch a terrific early afternoon game on Thanksgiving, but I'm also a realist, and early afternoon Thanksgiving games suck so much.
Washington over Dallas
-An anonymous NFC East executive told Peter King that he's pissed RG3 will be in the division for 15 years. Griffin III is a great talent and single-handedly destroyed the Andy Reid era in Philadelphia. The anonymous NFC East executive should be comforted in knowing RG3 demolished a terrible Eagles team, and that any other team that gives even half a damn about stopping RG3 will limit him to 13-17 or 14-16. I usually hate watching Dallas on Thanksgiving; however, I look forward to 500 shots of Jerry Jones sitting sadly in his suite as RG3 essentially raises the middle finger to Dallas for four quarters. I missed Dallas-Cleveland, and every other watchable game on Sunday in the early afternoon, but I don't think a three point win in overtime for Dallas should make any bettors/prognosticators confident in the 'Boys. Their victorious two week fun will be over, and they will lose by at least seven.
New England over New York Jets
-I didn't know Rob Gronkowski was hurt until Monday evening. I watched the Sixers-Cavs game instead of second half football on RedZone. Gronk got hurt playing special teams, which caused uproar on Monday because it is a long week and stories don't write themselves now do they. The Jets beat a bad Rams team, sparking debate about their chances to beat New England. The Jets won't; it's all idle chatter. They can't match the Patriots in a shoot-out. The real focus will be on Tim Tebow because sports media is declining by the day. Its primetime, on Thanksgiving night, and the Jets will be losing; so, Al Michaels will wonder if Rex Ryan will go with Tim Tebow, and I'll then turn the game off to watch a replay of a Mexican soccer League game, or something.
Minnesota over Chicago
-Jay Cutler isn't likely to play. Yahoo! Sports' Chicago Bears page has an interesting piece about the Bears offensive struggles against quality teams. Their performance against the 49ers is a bit unfair to use as an example, but their struggles should continue against a decent Vikings team. The Vikes can tie the Bears atop the Norris division with a win, but they haven't won much in Soldier Field lately. It seems as if the Bears always get screwed around this time. Whenever they're good, key players get hurt, or their quarterback is Jim Miller or Rex Grossman.
Cincinnati over Oakland
-The Raiders are incredible. They've given up 42, 55, and 38 points in their last three games. Michael Huff interfered with a Saints receiver on Sunday. During the replay, the CBS color analyst pointed out that Huff's been forced into corner duty because of depth issue at the position. I feel like the entire team deserves that kind of absurd explanation from the broadcast team. Mark Davis is disappointed by the team's regression. I never thought the team should've fired Hue Jackson, though I'm skeptical of whether he'd push the team to a playoff spot. Now, Carson Palmer returns to Cincy an embarrassed quarterback. He'll throw to Streiter, Heward-Bey, and company while Dalton throws to the best wide receiver in the AFC, A.J. Green. Oakland travels horribly. Anything less than the defense allowing 42 points will shock and awe me.
Cleveland over Pittsburgh
-Charlie Batch hasn't started a game in awhile, and the defense couldn't beat the Ravens (though it was close). I initially picked Pittsburgh because of their tradition of winning despite who's playing quarterback. The Browns, though, should win because of Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson. I'm overrating their effort on Sunday. I know I am. The Steelers defenders will concuss Weeden and Richardson and win that way, won't they?
Buffalo over Indianapolis
-C.J. Spiller thinks Harvard Fitzpatrick is the best quarterback he's ever played with. The Bills are a team America wants to love but is afraid to. Amazingly, Americans feel comfortable announcing their love for the Honey Boo-Boo show, which is a terrible program that won't end well for anyone one principally involved on screen; but they're not comfortable embracing the Bills. The Bills win, folk talk about the wild card and the great Buffalo offense. They lose, and everyone runs away like it's a skunk that just sprayed a predator. Buffalo will beat the feel-good team of the season, and Spiller's bro love for Harvard will produce a 200 yard from the line of scrimmage day for him.
Seattle over Miami
-Bud Selig signed off on the Marlins' mega-deal this week; though he admitted he wasn't pleased with it, which is an absolutely useless statement to make after the fact. Why bother? Loria just screwed the city of Miami, and Selig sits back all "but what I can do?" The business side of sports will inevitably make me stop watching the actual sports games. Jeff Marek, on a past episode of Marek vs. Wyshnyski, challenged what qualifies as success in sports now. The Pirates haven't finished above .500 in 20 years, but they make money. Are they successful or a failure? Relegation needs to be instituted in American sports, specifically for the Marlins and Pirates and any other horrible franchise in the other leagues. Relegated teams lose nearly $100 million from dropping to the second tier league, and who knows how many other dollars are lost. Miami citizens should never attend another Marlins game. Don't buy merchandise. Don't buy anything.
Tampa Bay over Atlanta
-At least Florida's other baseball team doesn't treat its fanbase like shit. B.J. Upton's going to leave, though; however, he should've been traded during the season. It's risky picking the Buccaneers to continue their winning ways, but I don't think Atlanta will be 10-1 on Monday. The Bucs' season changed when Doug Martin emerged as an amazing franchise running back. Freeman's been better with a legitimate running game. For two seasons, he basically had Rad Tad from the Little Giants at running back; but now he's got the Ice Box. The passing game's opened up. Mike Williams is even in fantasy starting lineups now. Schiano still looks like he's going to go all Adam on anyone (from Buffy's fourth season) but I like watching the Bucs.
Tennessee over Jacksonville
-Blaine Gabbert is on injured reserve. Chad Henne is The King of Jacksonville. This game may be a defensive battle or an offensive show-stopper. Locker and Henne may throw for a combined 700 yards, and Chris Johnson will rush for 165 yards. The Titans are in the playoff mix because any team within two wins of .500 qualifies for a network's PLAYOFF PICTURE graphic. I'm waiting for the first "You gotta watch out for these Tennessee Titans; they do some things." It's the typical nonsense I expect from a NFL analyst: the use of a team's full name, and an observation that doesn't include an actual observation. The Jaguars played with heart and in their white uniforms and I felt like an amazing prognosticator for those two things happening.
San Diego over Baltimore
-The quotes from the Chargers are basically "Why are you asking me this question?" and "Rabble Rabble." Week 12's going to be nonsense. The Ravens will be tired from their prime-time Sunday night game and cross country travel and lose to the humiliating Chargers. Rivers didn't want to hear any questions about the playoffs. Sports writers will ask the starting QB of a winless team about the playoffs. I assume Rivers finished his response by affirming his desire to just focus on the next game and getting better.
New Orleans over San Francisco
-Jim Harbaugh might mix and match Kapernick and Smith, like the Cardinals did with Rattay and Warner. I wonder why more coaches don't mix and match QBs. I'm sure there's a good reason why barely any coaches do it. I theorize coaches hate to rock the boat, so any gimmicky stuff won't last beyond eight weeks. I read an article by Paul Domowitch that included Mike Mayock's opinion about Chip Kelly's offense translating to the NFL, citing the Bills' offense as an example as to why Kelly could succeed in the NFL without previous NFL experience. I don't know how long the Bills' spread offense philosophy will last. It'd be focused on more if the Bills had a decent defense. Anyway, NO/SF was great in the playoffs, and I hope this game's half as entertaining.
Arizona over St. Louis
-Ryan Lindley, eh? What happened to Max Hall? Arizona would've won with a healthy Kolb or Skelton. Their defense intercepted Matt Ryan five times. Arizona hasn't won a game in over a month. The Rams looked good early in the season; now, they do not look good at all. The NFC West got buzz in the opening weeks of the season, like best division in the NFL buzz. This game will shatter whatever good-will NFL fans had towards the whole of the division.
Green Bay over New York Giants
-The Giants were acting like a bunch of sad sack teenagers before their bye week. Sad sack teenage boys
never changed, because they couldn't let go of their sad sack identity. The Giants will lose this game and then reel off three wins in a row, clinch a playoff spot, and win another Super Bowl. Mike McCarthy criticized his play-calling in the Detroit game and said the team won in spite of him.
Philadelphia over Carolina
-ESPN deserves this game. I watched the Eagles, as I always do, and missed the other watchable games. I even tweeted my frustration about it. The focus of the coverage shifted to the presumable future coaching search and countless articles about the team quitting. The Eagles look hopeless. The talent's been overrated. Speculation's begun about an ugly scene developing at the Linc if the team plays terribly again. Tickets are as low as $25 on StubHub. Luckily, the Panthers are coming to town. Carolina makes as many mistakes as the Eagles. I truly think this will be the worst game of the entire NFL season.
Last Week: 11-3
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK