Happy turkey day y'all, hope all our American friends are all having a great day wherever you are. For me it means I can watch lots of football on a thursday as well as a Sunday, and eat turkey sandwiches, but I can give thanks for that.
And for the first time in years, today actually has three hum-dingers (so pleased I'm not working until 3 tomorrow) worth staying up for.
First the NFC north divisional clash between the Packers and the Lions. And for the first time ever, THE LIONS DON'T STINK! this will hopefully be really exciting, the pack showed they were human last week by nearly slipping up against the Bucs, while the Lions nearly reminded us of their dark past, but pulled back a heroic victory to claim they are legit. I do think the Pack will have too much for the Lions, but they are certainly going to give everything tonight, and it will probably be really high scoring as a result! (Pack by 7)
Then the two form teams, Miami visit Dallas. Miami are pretty much out of contention for playoffs unless they win every single game, (and even then, probably not) but seem to be playing for general pride and un-suck-for-luckiness. Dallas saw themselves suddenly in control of their division, and a win here would put them a game ahead of NYG (until monday at least) so it should be an interesting one. Dallas probably have more weapons at their disposal with the emergance of DeMarco Murray and Laurent Robinson, but Miami have been defending very well in the past 3, so this should be a much tighter one. I'm gonna go with homefield advantage though, Dallas by 3.
and then, the real feast, San Francisco @ Baltimore, Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh. Inspired scheduling by the NFL, really was, turning a family holiday into a (luckily) very important game of football. Whoever loses will at least find some comfort in that it was inter-divisional, but that really will only be a minimal comfort. Two of the best teams in the NFL right now, a potential Superbowl match-up, and of course the brothers at the middle of it, this one has it all. The Niners have been extremely impressive, and Baltimore are really going to have to step it up if they're going to get away with this one. However, this is the first real challenge we've had outside of Pittsburgh (and we ALL know what happened there) coupled with the fact that we're at home, and Joe "cool" (no, not that one Niners fans) has only lost 1 game at home in his career is still highly remarkable. I'm a bit shaky to go too much into the prediction business as I don't want to jinx anything, but this will obviously be very tight, and for heart sakes I'm gonna go Baltimore by 3. It easily could go either way though and thats why it will be a fascinating watch.
And as if you hadn't had your fill, this weekend has some crackers too:
Clear highlight of the early games, the Bills travel to the Jets after their humping in Buffalo only a couple weeks ago. These are two teams whose seasons are hanging in the balance, with no-one being able to afford to win. Buffalo however are in complete free fall, and have much more to worry about than the slightly embarrassed, post-Tebowed Jets, who after a long week will be looking to rectify ALOT of wrongs. Jets by 7.
in the later games we are spoilt for choice:
the two surprise teams post-Jay Cutler/Baldwin Chicago travel to Oakland who have found a lot of legit form with Carlson Palmer (but for how long, who knows?) Tough one to call, Bears certainly had the better team on paper before Cutler was injured, but the Raiders have been overacheiving all season and presumably it has to end somewhere. Both teams could really do with the win, so it will be a contest, it just depends on nerves and whether Caleb Hanie works out. Bears by 4-5
Then there is also New England at Philly. Philly are a maddeningly frustrating team to watch, but it was pretty hilarious to see Vince Young roll in and be like "sit down kid, this is how its done". There is a lot of intrigue here. It will either be a total blow-out for New England or perhaps another stolen base for Philly, it just depends which team shows up. For now though I'm going with consistency: New England by 7.
And then there is also Tebow at San Diego. Incredibly, despite San Diego's collapse, they are still only two games behind Oakland, and one behind Denver. So a win here gets them right back into it and a tie-breaker. However, if Tebow does what he does AGAIN, that surely will be it for San Diego. The Chargers were pretty decent against the Bears and missed an opportunity to win the game, whereas Tebow has mostly been running around poorer teams. I hope to god (thats the joke) San Diego can pull this one out. Bolts by 6.
SNL is Pittsburgh travelling to Kansas, in their second primetime game is as many weeks against far superior opposition. Can't really see it being any different from their drubbing at New England on monday either. Steelers by +7
MNF sees a beauty (and, for those paying attention, a Treme reference) as the Giants travel to the superdome, New Orleans. This one should be a lot of fun, and depending on how my essay for Tuesday goes, I could well be staying up for this one too. Scoring everywhere, could go either way, gonna stick my neck out with the Saints though, by like 5.
and the others:
Atlanta beat Minnie by +7
Cincy beat Cleveland by 7.
Carolina beat Indy by +7
Houston beat Jax by 7. (It would be more if Schaub was fit)
Arizona beat St. Louis by 3-4.
Tennessee beat Tampa by 3-4.
Seattle beat Washington by 5. (Yeah calling it, Seattle are on form, unlike those silly Skins)
Phew, that was a load. What are y'all looking forward to, fantasy issues and the like, anyone here celebrating thanksgiving in any way?