Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy your friends, your family, football and the lousy Thanksgiving food you all think is so great. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Bears at Lions
The Lions are 2-3 against winning teams and 5-1 against the rest. Likewise, the Bears beat bad teams and lose to good teams. Chicago is 1-5 against winning teams and 4-1 when matched up with a lesser opponent. I’m going with the status quo. The Lions will win another game against a sub .500 team. The Bears will lose to a winning team. Sometimes things are just that simple. (Probably not, but whatever.) LIONS If I were Charles Barkley; Lions -7
Eagles at Cowboys
While I never once wanted Mark Sanchez to replace Nick Foles, I never thought I’d actually miss Nick Foles. I officially miss Nick Foles. Sanchez’s play has forced Chip Kelly to neuter his sophisticated offense into an advanced West Coast system. The majority of Sanchez’s attempts are within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. When he does take a shot downfield, it’s rarely close. Even worse, Sanchez is a mortal lock for at least three to four horrendous decisions each game, often leading to turnovers. Despite his struggles, I expect Sanchez and the Philadelphia offense to get what it wants Sunday. Dallas’ defense was badly overrated earlier in the year and has been exposed of late. Unfortunately, the Eagles success against the Cowboys defense won’t decide this one.
Whether the Eagles leave Dallas still in 1st place of the NFC East will ultimately come down to the Eagles pass rush. If the pass rush can pressure Tony Romo and thus protect the Eagles weak secondary, the Eagles will have a shot at stealing a win. If Romo has endless time in the pocket, the Eagles won’t stand a chance. While Romo isn’t Aaron Rodgers, he’s more than capable of shredding a sub par secondary. Elite talents like Dez Bryant have given Bradley Fletcher fits, and that’s putting it nicely. Furthermore, the rest of that poor Philadelphia secondary will have its hands full with Jason Witten and Terrance Williams. So, unless Eric Allen and Brian Dawkins are on the field Sunday, it’ll be up to Trent Cole, Connor Barwin and company to protect Philadelphia’s greatest weakness. I think they’re up to the challenge. EAGLES If I were Charles Barkley; Eagles +3
(Note: It’s possible the Eagles are a mediocre football team beating up on bad teams. Look at their schedule and you’ll see for yourself. Wins against winning teams: 1. Losses against winning teams: 3. That’s scary. Half glass full: those four games against winning teams were all on the road. However you look at it, this much is certain: The Eagles need to beat good teams at some point if they want to advance in the postseason. They better start now.)
Seahawks at 49ers
Thanksgiving is a time to be around those you love and appreciate, to show those people how grateful you are to have them in your life. What better way for the NFL to celebrate such a holiday than by having two teams that absolutely hate each other knock each other around for three hours? If you want to watch pushing, shoving and endless amounts yapping, visit your nearest Target after Thanksgiving dinner. If you prefer your pushing, shoving and yapping to be done by elite athletes, sit on the couch and enjoy the NFL’s best rivalry.
The 49ers are having a weird season, to say the least. Though their home/away record is nearly the same, San Francisco has played significant better on the road than in the confines of their brand new stadium. Furthermore, Colin Kaepernick and the offense have scored more than 17 points only once in the past five weeks. They can’t run the football like they have in the past. They hardly score points. Even Kaepernick has been shockingly ineffective for most of the season. I’m taking the safe bet and riding the resurgent Seahawks. SEAHAWKS If I were Charles Barkley; Seahawks +0.5