Week 12 Preview: A Thanksgiving Feast
While the masses stuff their faces, some of the best athletes on the planet prepare for their respective games. There’s no doubt, the best game to play in would be the 12:30. This way one could still have thanksgiving dinner afterwards. I’m hungry after walking from my fridge to my couch; I cannot imagine the appetite you must work up after 20+ rush attempts. The over/under on plates of food for Arian Foster has got to be 3.5. Today’s appetizer of interleague squads meshes with the classic Skins v. Boys turkey course. After you think you’d had enough you expand that stomach lining with a gut-busting slice of Pats v. Jets pie. Andrew was right. Thanksgiving is the best holiday.
Appetizer: Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions (12:30 PM EST)
I can’t remember a time the Lions weren’t competing on Thanksgiving Day. Better yet, I can’t remember the last time they won on Thanksgiving Day (looked into it, 2003 over the Packers). Most people would say their odds don’t look great for getting off this losing streak. However, Houston proved they have some holes on defense, especially in the secondary, after getting gashed by Chad Henne (yes, Chad Henne) for 350+ yards and 4 TDs. If anyone can sling it, it’s the Lions. This seasons NFL-best pass offense gets a shot at redeeming last week’s disappointing offensive showing. Stafford knows he has to be better than he was, where he completed fewer than 50% of his passes and threw two picks. This game is really about which unit can bounce back the best: Houston’s defense or Detroit’s offense.
The Turkey and Stuffing: Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys (4:25 PM EST)
It might be Week 12, but this is the first meeting of these two teams. RG III shed any signs of rookie struggles last week (granted it was against the Eagles, who have already booked their off-season vacations). He threw just one incomplete pass, had 4 TD passes and rushed for a team-high 84 yards. This week’s defense should provide a tougher test, with Rob Ryan dialing up blitz schemes and coverage changes to confuse the rookie. Dallas, unlike the Lions, have won five of their last 6 Thanksgiving Day games. Additionally, they have never lost to Washington on Thanksgiving. Tomy Romo, or Mr. November, had 13 interceptions in his first seven weeks. Since then he’s thrown only 3. He’s also 8-1 in his last 9 November games. I may not be a statistician, but these numbers speak volumes. If you like watching offensive football, tune in to this one.
The Slice O’ Pie: New England Patriots @ New York Jets (8:20 PM EST)
After you wake up from your nap, the Jets will be kicking off with the Pats. This could be a tasty treat for Pats fans, but seems like it will taste like beet pie for Jets fans. The Patriots offense has been on a tear of late, scoring 45, 37, and 59 points in their last three games. The loss of Gronkowski should hinder this offense slightly, and they’ll be praying Aaron Hernandez can play. I expect Wes Welker to get about 5 or 6 more targets today, with Brandon Lloyd and Julian Edelman getting the rest. The last time these teams met, it went to overtime. Maybe, just maybe, the Jets can serve up some humble pie.
Happy Thanksgiving to all! Spogo will be up and rolling all day long!