Thanksgiving week is here. A holiday were you gather with friends and family to over eat, drink, and watch football from noon to midnight. A day where cracking a beer after your morning shower is not frowned upon. At least I don’t think so. So kick back, relax, and drunkenly argue Trumps presidency and football with those nearest and dearest to you.
Biggest Takeaway: The Extra Point
A new NFL record was set in week 11 with 12 extra points missed or blocked. The guilty team/kickers were Bengals/Nugent, Giants/Gould, Vikings/Forbath, Lions/Prater, Bears/Barth, Jaguars/Myers, Browns/Parkey, Patriots/Gostkowski, Seahawks/Hauschka, and Redskins/Hopkins. That’s alum from 3 ACC, 2 Big10, 2 AAC, 1 SEC, 1 Pac12, and 1 other guy who played in the Pioneer Football League as a Red Fox, who were unable to convert the 33 yard attempt. I’m all in favor of this new rule. Makes the used to be boring free point, to a play that could change the outcome of the game. Now head coaches are more likely to go for the 2 point conversion. And if you’re a Steelers fan, you probably won’t see your team kick an extra point again. I applaud the NFL for this rule change.
Best Week 11 Win: Miami Dolphins
Yes Miami, yes! They have absolutely gone from being the laughing stock of the league, and bashed in my early articles, to being praised. The 6-4 Dolphins are on a five game winning streak. That’s not a typo. They are on a five game winning streak and very competitive for the playoffs heading into Thanksgiving. The game started with the attention on #1 draft Jared Goff making his first NFL start. The game ended with the attention on former #8 pick, Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins offense was dead in the water until just under seven minutes to play. Tannehill led the Dolphins to two scoring drives on their last two possessions. He capped this comeback with a touchdown with :36 seconds left in the game. Both offensives struggled and it may not have been exhilarating to watch from quarter one, but all that matters is the win. The Dolphins are in the thick of it in the AFC.
Worst Week 11 Loss: Arizona Cardinals
Besides David Johnson, the Cardinals continue to struggle offensively. The run game has been stellar all season. The passing attack has not. There’s not a lot of blocking for Palmer, I don’t think Palmer is good period, and Larry Fitzgerald is starting to get up in age. They did play one of the league’s best defenses, but Arizona is slowly starting to fall farther and farther behind Seattle. This offense is very one dimensional. It will not be able to keep up with a lot of the high powered air attacks that are in the NFC. Arizona has a great, young defense – expect some personal changes to occur on the offensive side of the ball. Including taking a look at a successor to Palmer. I don’t expect this team to go on a late season run and I now expect to see both teams who faced off in last year’s NFC Championship game to be watching the postseason from the couch.
Week 12 Predictions, a Thanksgiving Special:
Can’t Miss Win: Steelers over Colts
This game is a matchup between the non-Thanksgiving regulars, which are the Cowboys and Lions. The Colts are coming off a big divisional win while the Steelers bounced back against the “always dangerous” Cleveland Browns. As of week 12 and the records could read differently at the end of the year, the Colts haven’t beaten a team with a winning record. The Packers, Titans x2, Bears, and Chargers are all sub .500 teams.
The Steelers have under achieved thus far however. A preseason popular pick to make the Super Bowl have found themselves at a stagnant 5-5 record. Lucky for Pittsburgh, that’s good enough to be in a tie for first place if we don’t take the tiebreakers into consideration. At the end of the day, the Steelers have so much offensive fire power. This team will have no problem lighting up a bad Colts defense. I like the Steelers on the road to cap off the final Thanksgiving game with a win.
Intriguing Matchup: Washington at Dallas
This is going to be a great game to watch. Washington vs. Dallas is one of the best rivalries in the NFL. It’s even better because both teams would make the playoffs if the season ended today. The Redskins are 6-1-1 in their last 8 games. The Cowboys have been perfect since week one rattling off 9 straight wins. Both teams have been playing exceptional football. Depending when your family feasts on Thanksgiving, this game should be kicking off around the time you start eating. Just make sure you don’t nap during the second half.
Dak and Zeke do not seem to be shaken when it comes to prime time games. How will they fair in their first of, I’m assuming many, Thanksgiving showdowns. Kirk Cousins is coming off a masterful performance last Sunday night against the woeful Packers. Cousins threw for 375 yards and 3 scores in an almost perfect performance. The question here is, can Kerrigan and the Washington front seven beat the Cowboys offensive line? I don’t think so. Too much talent on the offensive side of the ball for Dallas who is also playing at home. Great game and 10th straight win for Jerry’s boys.
Biggest Upset: Vikings over Lions
The first time these two teams played this season was in Minnesota during the first Sunday in November. I picked the Lions to upset the Vikings, which happened in OT. For each team’s last November game, I like the Vikings for redemption. The Lions have bounced back from a slow start and are in first place in the NFC North. But the Vikings will play with a chip on their shoulder.
There’s no way the Minnesota defense forgot that Golden Tate flip into the end zone to beat the Vikings earlier this month. Minnesota hasn’t played on Thanksgiving since 2000. But they are an impressive 5-1 in their 6 Thanksgiving games. The Lions obviously play every year. Their record is 36-38-2 and they have won the past 3 times they’ve played on Turkey Day. Still, I like the Vikings to improve their Thanksgiving record to 6-1 and find themselves alone atop the NFC North. Purple People Eaters by 6.
Now, let’s enjoy looking forward, and hope we were right when we take a look back. Enjoy week 12 and Thanksgiving everyone.
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