For week 12 we have a special Thanksgiving picks edition for you. That means all three Turkey Day games carved, dressed, and stuffed with libertarian picking goodness. Along for this week’s gobble gobble is contender Biking Mike.
GAME 1: Pats -7 @ Lions
Phil: The Lions haven’t won on Thanksgiving since 2002. Is there any reason to believe they can win against the Pats? Well, the Lions pass defense versus Brady may not be as big a mismatch as you think. The Pats have only the 16th best passing offense in the NFL, while Detroit is above average on D at 13th in the league. When the Pats run the ball, however, lookout. Danny Head of Wood never ceases to amaze, and BeeJGee is a decent runner. This duo should slice up the 26th ranked Lions rush D. But wait, the Pats pass defense is horrible (31st in the league) while the oft trailing, thus passing, Lions rank 6th when throwing the rock. The Lions have a chance in this game. They won’t get their first win since ’02, but they’ll make it close with a late TD. Pats 24 Lions 21
Biking Mike: In the fourth Thanksgiving Day meeting between the Patriots and the Lions since Bellicheck took over the squad, look for the Pats to go up early and then coast using BenJarvis GreenEllis to run out the clock. The bedraggled Lions just aren’t the same without Mathew Stafford starting at quarterback. Final score will be 28 – 10 with the Patriots beating the spread and the Lions will continue to look like the sour-puss.
GAME 2: Saints -3.5 @ Cowboys
Phil: Biking Mike is taking the upset in this one, but I’m not down shifting the mountain bike as the ‘Boys have quite a hill to climb. The squad has found new life under its new coach, but there is nothing new about the Saints professionalism. Brees and Co. will be ready for this game as they start the 2010 playoff run. At least Cowboys fans can take solace in the fact that they have a sweet video screen and warm weather for the holiday. Saints 27 Cowboys 17
Biking Mike: The Superbowl Champs are coming to Dallas after three wins in a row for a Thanksgiving Day battle that is my pick for upset of the week. The Saints, in the NFC South which has, surprisingly, become the most competitive division in the NFL, will be coming ready for the fight. However, the Cowboys are resurgent in the absence of former coach and “yes man” Wade – whatever you say Jerry- Phillips. The Dallas defense will show up in force and they just won’t let Drew Brees settle in to the game. John Kitna is going to light it up with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant coming up with clutch catches in a battle that the Cowboys win, 35 – 24.
GAME 3: Cincy @ Jets -9
Phil: There has only been one Thanksgiving Day game decided by less than 9 points since 2004 (when the Broncos beat the Cowboys 24-21 in overtime in 2005). That tells me that on Thanksgiving, one team has already eaten their meal, made turkey-stuffing-cranberry sauce sandwiches from the leftovers, and loosened their belts to watch the game. The other team remains hungry, waiting to eat their turducken, or Fox robot chicken award — whatever. This is the classic stuffed team versus the hungry team game. And even though Rex Ryan looks like he’s never (or I guess always) hungry, I think the Jets will be starving while the Bengals will be ready to go back for seconds. Jets 31 Bengals 3
Biking Mike: The Bengals will find yet another way to lose as they go to New York for a Thanksgiving Day battle. The terrible two-some of Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco has not resulted in a winning formula. The 2-8 Bengals will lose again with the final score being Jets 35- Bengals 31.
STANDINGS: Phil 18-12-3 CONTENDERS: 15-15-3