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NFL WEEK 12: Thanksgiving Throwdown

It’s Thanksgiving Time

It’s Turkey Time

Tom’s a Bird

Mums the Word

 

                                                                           - Cliff’s Wet Adventure, The Cosby Show

 

It’s that time of year again.  It’s the only time when you can’t get in trouble for sitting, at home, watching football, eating good food and taking a nap afterwards.  It’s Thanksgiving. It’s when you’re thankful for family and friends, good food, a good life and mostly, good football. 

 

There are a few things I’m thankful for and I thought I would share them with you on this day of thanks:

 

1)      I’m thankful for my health and well-being.

 

2)      I’m thankful that the Pats are undefeated and hopefully they will stay undefeated and stick it to the 1972 Dolphins’ undefeated reign.  Put an asterisk next to that.

 

3)      I thankful that the Dolphins are defeated and I hope they stay defeated so that they can see how dumb it was that they didn’t pick up Brady Quinn in the draft when they knew they needed a QB. Yet, you let RB Ricky Williams come back to practice on Monday.  Can you say your season is “going up in smoke?”

 

4)      I’m thankful that the Browns and the Lions are the “feel good” stories of the NFL so far this year.  None of us saw this coming this year.  Keep up the good work.

 

5)      I’m thankful that Brett Farve and Vinny Testaverde are still playing.  It’s always good to see the elderly stay active.

 

6)      Lastly, I’m thankful for All Hip-Hop for giving me this opportunity to write for you guys each week and I’m thankful for you guy for reading this each week.

 

So on that note, we’ve got 6 more weeks left in the regular season, let’s go out with a bang and have some fun.  Here are my Thanksgiving Day Picks.

 

 

12:30 pm, Fox

 

Green Bay Packers (9-1) vs. Detroit Lions (6-4)

Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI

 

The Lions were ticked off that they lost to the Giants last Sunday.  Lions QB Jon Kitna felt that they, the Lions, were the better team and that they handed the Giants the win.   Last I checked; letting Michael Strahan sack you three times, all by his lonesome isn’t really helping your argument.  The Packers are 10th in the league in total defense and they are tied for 3rd in defensive sack in the league with the Cowboys, the Seahawks and…the Lions.  Coincidence, I think not.

 

Both the Lions and the Packers need to shut down each other’s passing attack.  The Packers have the #1 ranked passing offense in the league while the Lions are ranked 9th.  So if it comes down to the passing game getting shut down, then the only other option is to run the ball.  

 

The Lions are ranked 29th in the league in rushing while the Packers are ranked last in the league.  But, if you look at the two RBs for each team, Kevin Jones for the Lions and Ryan Grant for the Packers, you would have to put your money on Jones, correct?  Well guess again. The Packers are ranked 7th in the league against the run while the Lions are ranked 8th.  The statistical numbers between the two teams are similar so after figuring all of that out, there has to be a tiebreaker. 

 

The tiebreaker is at the QB position.  Farve is the #1 passing QB in the league while Kitna is the 8th ranked QB in the league.  Although this is an important game for both teams, Farve and the Packers will come out with a little more hunger because they know they need to win this game for their big match-up against the Cowboys in Week 13.  With that in mind, the Packers will this game

 

My Pick: Packers

 

 

4:15 pm, CBS

 

NY Jets (2-8) vs. Dallas Cowboys (9-1)

Location: Texas Stadium, Irving, TX

 

Heart.  The Tin Man wanted one.  The Dolphins need one. And the Jets showed a bunch of it last Sunday.  Just when you thought the Jets were ready to mail in their season, they surprised us all by beating the Steelers in O.T.  That says a lot for a team whose season had high expectations for the playoffs only to be found in the basement of the AFC East.  Granted, they have been out of playoff contention since Week 9, it looks as though the Jets are not going to go down without a fight.     

 

The Jets are close to, if not in, the basement of every NFL statistical category.  There’s no need to run down their numbers.  For the Jets to win they have to play with the same intensity they played with last Sunday.  They have to go after Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, Jason Witten, and the rest of the team at 110% speed.  Shut down the Cowboys’ WRs at the line of scrimmage and not let their (Jets) WRs be intimidated by the Cowboys Secondary. 

 

Also, they have to establish their run game.  Jets RB Thomas Jones, is slowly showing flashes of fitting into the Jets’ scheme and it will be a matter of time before he’s fully comfortable.  With time, Jones will be the same RB he was when he was with the Bears.  For now, he should run the way he did last Sunday and try to finish this season on a strong note.  This Thursday’s game would be a great time for him to morph into last Sunday’s performance a wear down the Cowboy’s D-line. 

 

As mentioned in previous post, the Cowboys’ defense is getting better and better each week.  The Cowboys are ranked 7th in defense and 2nd in offense in the NFL.  The Cowboys have too many weapons on both sides of the ball for the Jets to focus on, so it looks as though the Cowboys have this game on lock.  Then again, we thought the same about Steelers last weekend and look at how that turned out.

 

My Pick: Cowboys

 

 

8:15 pm, NFL Network

 

Indianapolis Colts (8-2) vs. Atlanta Falcons (3-7)

Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

 

The Mighty Cots are looking beat up and this is the wrong time of the season to be beat up.  It was just 3 weeks ago when the Colts were the 2nd best team in the league, but after losing to the Pats and the Chargers, the Colts are now the 4th best team in the league.  Despite two straight losses, the Colts are ranked 3rd in offense and defense in the league.  So there is hope that the Colts can move up in the rankings and get back to 2nd for a Week 1 playoff bye.

 

The Falcons have been having problems all year long and will continue to have problems until the end of the season.  Their offense is ranked 27th in the league.  Surprisingly, their defense is ranked 16th in the league.  You would figure their defense would be ranked lower but it’s the offensive side of the ball that needs help. 

 

The Falcons are ranked 20th in running the ball and 23rd in throwing the ball.  The reason their offense is so bad is because there is no leadership.  With the head coach, Bobby Petrino, playing the “quarterback shuffle” between Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich, there is no real leadership on the offense. Honestly, Petrino shouldn’t have benched Harrington for Leftwich.  Harrington was the hot hand for the Falcons in their two wins before Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers.  That was not a good look.

 

With the Colts as banged up as they are, the Falcons need to attack every weak area the Colts have on offense and defense.  Without WR Marvin Harrison, Peyton Manning now uses the “receiver by committee” technique. The only mainstay Manning has on offense right now is WR Reggie Wayne.  Although he’s a good WR, with Harrison out, the Colts offense is running at 85%.  As a team in the middle of a playoff push, all hands need to be on deck.  With the Falcons struggling and the football prowess of Manning, the Colts will get back on track with a win Thursday night.

 

My Pick: Colts

 On behalf of All Hip-Hop, have a Safe and Happy Holiday and enjoy the games

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