Here’s what I’m thankful for as a football fan this year (with a side of what not to expect in week twelve).
Green Bay (-8) at Detroit
I’m thankful that I don’t have to play a division rival on a short week with a backup quarterback. Packers by 10.
Oakland (+13.5) at Dallas
I’m thankful for the fact that I don’t have to put real money on either of these teams. For fun, let’s say Dallas wins, Oakland covers.
NY Giants (-6) at Denver
I’m thankful that the one potentially entertaining game on the Thanksgiving schedule is taking place in prime time. I like Denver to win it straight up, partly because I figure the Broncos’ skid can’t go on forever and partly because I have trouble believing a banged-up and inconsistent team can succeed after traveling most of the way across the country to play in Denver’s thin atmosphere on short rest.
Tampa Bay (+11.5) at Atlanta
I’m thankful that I don’t root for a team that’s $30 million under the salary cap and thinks its biggest problem is that its been running the wrong defense for 11 weeks. Falcons by 17.
Miami (-3) at Buffalo
I’m thankful that I’m not part of a cash-strapped organization in hopelessly small market wasting my time on pie in the sky head coach searches. Dolphins by a field goal.
Washington (+10) at Philadelphia
I’m thankful for not having to so much as pretend to be interested in figuring out whom Dan Snyder will waste his millions on next. Eagles win, Native Americans cover.
Seattle (-2.5) at St. Louis
I’m thankful that the NFC West is part of the NFC. And, you know, west. I’m also thankful that I’m not pinning any kind of hopes on Kyle Boller. Seahawks by four.
Carolina (+3) at NY Jets
I’m thankful for teams that know the Super Bowl is played in February, not September, and that are coached by people who don’t feel “disrespected” when opponents play to win. The Jets should be thankful to be catching a weak opponent, because it’s the only way these days that they end up winning. I’m gonna say by six.
Cleveland (-14) at Cincinnati
I’m thankful that I’m not a Cleveland Browns fan. Really, I feel for Browns fans. I do. They’re good folks (the ones I’ve met). And there but for the grace of the football gods, and all that. But wow. Just … wow. It never gets good, does it? Cincinnati by 17.
Indianapolis (-3) at Houston
I’m thankful for having figured out that while the Colts are surely going to drop a game at some point this season, it serves my purposes not one bit to keep trying to guess when it will come. Colts by two (or possibly not — but you didn’t hear that from me.)
Kansas City (+13.5) at San Diego
I’m thankful for the notion that the Chargers may land the four seed in the playoffs and a divisional round trip to Indianapolis. That’s always a fun matchup (though usually not for Indy.) Chargers by 10.
Jacksonville (+3) at San Francisco
I’m thankful that I don’t have to stress about whether my team can slow down Dave Garrard, though I do suspect the Niners will figure something out. San Francisco by four.
Arizona (+1) at Tennessee
I’m thankful that the Titans have found a way to bounce back from an awful start to become an entertaining team. Seriously, I am. Way too much packing it in after six weeks in the NFL this season, if you ask me. I still think the Cardinals win this game, mind you, but I credit (and thank) the Titans for continuing to fight.
Pittsburgh (+1) at Baltimore
I’m thankful for feeling relatively confident that years from now, when Ben Roethlisberger is complaining about not having been protected back when he was too stupid to take care of himself, I’ll probably be too old to get worked up about it. Ravens by three no matter who starts under center for Pittsburgh.
New England (+3) at New Orleans
I’m thankful for knowing that the Patriots defense is better than it gets credit for being, and that the Saints defense is a good bit worse than it’s perceived to be. This game comes down to turnovers. Two of them, both of which lead to points. New England, 41-27.