By Doug Halberstadt
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. For millions of Americans, that means a traditional dinner of turkey and stuffing, followed by pumpkin pie and an afternoon of football. Three games are on the menu for fans to gorge themselves on.
New England will get more than their fair share of turkey on and off the field when they travel to Detroit to face the Lions. This game features one of the best teams in the league versus one of the worst. That should translate into a huge case of indigestion for the Lions and all of their fans.
The second helping of football features the Saints at the Cowboys. Dallas is 2-0 under their new head coach Jason Garrett. Even though they have shown some signs of improvement, I don’t think they’ll have enough gas in their tanks or in their tummies to upset the Saints.
When it’s time for leftover turkey sandwiches, you can feast your eyes upon the Bengals and the Jets in New York. This is another match-up of the haves versus the have-nots. The Bengals will be thankful when this one is over. The Jets will improve to 9-2.
Sunday’s games include the Jaguars at the New Meadowlands Stadium to take on the Giants. Despite New York losing their last two games and dropping to the same record as Jacksonville (6-4), I think the Giants are the better team and will take advantage of being at home and come away with the win. Pittsburgh will easily beat the Bills in Buffalo.
Tennessee will likely be without the services of their starting quarterback, Vince Young, when they travel to Houston. Young has lost his starting quarterback position for the Titans. And Titans’ coach Jeff Fisher said Sunday, Nov. 21, that’s true no matter the severity of the thumb injury he sustained in a 19-16 overtime loss to the Washington Redskins. Rookie Rusty Smith will serve as his replacement. That should assure a win for the home-team Texans.
Possibly the best game of the week has the Green Bay Packers (7-3) visiting the Atlanta Falcons (8-2). I’m taking the Falcons. Cleveland is at home against the Panthers. Cleveland will win. The Vikings go to Washington, D.C., to meet the Redskins. Unless the Brett Favre of 10 years ago shows up, the Redskins will win. Seattle hosts the Kansas City Chiefs. Seattle is 3-1 at home, and the Chiefs are 1-4 on the road. That tells me to take the Seahawks.
Oakland will face the Dolphins at home. Both teams are 5-5. Oakland is 4-1 at home, and Miami is 4-1 on the road. That tells me to flip a coin. I’ll go with heads and Oakland.
The Bears are at home to face the red-hot Michael Vick and his Eagles. My brain says take Philadelphia, my heart won’t let me. The Bears need this win to prove they are for real. I think the defense will have to play their best game of the season to win this game. I think they can do it. I’m listening to my heart and taking “Da Bears.”
Denver will take advantage of the altitude at Invesco Field and defeat the Rams. The Ravens and Tampa Bay will do battle in Baltimore. Both teams are 7-3. I like the Ravens at home. Indianapolis is at home against San Diego in the Sunday night game. Peyton Manning let last week’s game slip away from him with a last-minute interception. He won’t make those kinds of mistakes two weeks in a row. The Colts will win.
Week No. 12 of the season will come to a close on Monday night when Arizona faces San Francisco in Phoenix. Both teams are 3-7 and at the bottom of the NFC West. The Cardinals are 2-2 at home, and the 49ers have yet to win on the road this year. I’m going with the Cardinals.
Last week, I was 12-3 heading into the Monday night game. I took San Diego.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Nov. 24-30, 2010 issue