It's been a little crazy in my world this week and I wasn't even sure I was going to be able to post anything today. But I made a frantic phone call to my friend SJ and, as he always does, he came through for me and helped me write a great analysis of tomorrow's games....
Thanksgiving is upon us…which is strange since we already had a blizzard here in the Northeast a month ago. One of the great traditions of Thanksgiving…aside from the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special…is that we get football…which allows us to get away from our annoying relatives that we only see once a year. Just say that you have a lot of money bet on the game or that you have several players to watch on our fantasy team…they’ll have no idea what you are talking about and they will leave you in peace to enjoy the games!
Traditionally, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys play on Thanksgiving Day…Detroit started in 1934 and Dallas in 1966. Sometimes these games are terrible…Detroit was bad for a long time resulting in a blowout and when Dallas was really good, that game would be a blowout also. However, there have been some memorable moments…here in New York, we remember Lawrence Taylor returning an interception for a 97 yard touchdown in 1982. Then there was the Leon Lett game in 1993 when he stupidly slid in the snow to touch a blocked field goal which let the Dolphins beat the Cowboys 16-13. The 1998 game between the Steelers and the Lions led to a rule change regarding the overtime calling of heads or tails…when Jerome Bettis called the toss he said “Hea-tails”, but the referee heard “heads-tails” and the ref said he called heads first which was binding. Now…the team has to call the coin before it’s tossed. Toss that piece of trivia at your relatives if any of the games to go OT…they will think you are making it up.
So…history aside…let’s look at this week’s games, which are being lauded as maybe the best lineup ever.
First up, 12:30 start, right after the parade…Packers-Lions where we have the Pack undefeated and the Lions, who are faltering a bit since their hot start, capable of handing Green Bay their first loss. They gave up a lot of points this week to Cam Newton and Carolina, but outscored them in a slugfest. They won’t have that luxury against the stingy Packer defense this week so they will need to tighten up defensively and keep Aaron Rodgers from putting up Madden video game numbers. Raise your hand if Clay Matthews has better hair than you do.
4:15 brings us the Cowboys and Miami in big D. This game didn’t look like much a few weeks ago, but Miami has taken themselves out of the Suck for Luck campaign by winning 3 in a row. Dallas has the inside track on the NFC East division crown, but this still won’t be an easy game for them with the surging Dolphins and their renewed attack on both sides of the ball. Plus, they have the Leon Lett factor to deal with. Just for fun, bet your family that they show the replay of him slipping the first time Miami lines up for a field goal.
Last, but definitely not least at 8:20, 49’ers at Ravens. First one to 3 points wins. They will make too much about the first time brothers are coaching against each other in the NFL. Get past that and enjoy the game. San Fran could be playing for the #1 seed, depending on what happens in the early game with Green Bay, and both defenses are great at stopping the run, so get set for a grind it out defensive struggle. Frank Gore, if healthy, and Ray Rice are 2 of the best backs in the league, so whichever offensive line allows them to run better will probably win the game.
So there you have it, a quick and dirty analysis of the turkey day games to impress or bore your relatives…depending on how much tryptophan they have consumed…or, if you are Italian, how much lasagna. Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!!!