I was going to try to bang out my full set of predictions today, and buck the trend of spitting out just the Thanksgiving picks...but then life happened. Work got busy, and I've got dinner guests...so looks like I'll have to just spit out my Turkey day picks and then come back around with my full slate tomorrow.
The Chimp did pretty well last week, at least on the early games...but man he got whooped on the later games. Ah well, in life there are few certainties...death, taxes, horse manure tastes like crap, and chimps do better than me at making NFL picks. So I'll keep the Chimp around for another week, and see if he can earn his keep, my wife won't be all that happy, as he makes a terrible mess...but he keeps her happy by doing a great Dubya impersonation.
Anyway, onto the picks...
Miami at Detroit
Under Wanny, the Dolphins always fell apart at the end of the season. Their record in December was terrible, it never failed, they would fall like a rock out of contention...or stumble into the playoffs only to have their brains beat in. I think Saban is reversing this trend completely. His plan is to open poorly every year, and then finish strong. That way causing excitement for the next season and driving high season ticket revenue. It's a much better plan than Wanny's, so at least in the business world, Saban is a far superior coach.
Meanwhile, the Lions showed some signs of life by beating the Falcons, but that is looking more and more like a loss by the Falcons, then a win by the Lions. But leave it to the Lions, they are making their yearly case that Matt Millen be fired. It's a worthy goal they are working towards, and I admire their focus.
The Chimp has been throwing up ever since he heard Wanny's name...what can I say, he's not a fan. He's grabbing a copy of Ace Ventura, so I'm going to take that as a endorsement of the Dolphins. Miami rolls, and we see many, many "Fire Millen" signs around Ford Field.
Tampa Bay at Dallas
Gradkowski. Romo. Wow, what an epic QB battle. And, yes, fair enough, years from now, we could be looking back at this as the first battle between 2 great QBs. But let's just say, I'm not going to put any money on that. On one side we have a late round rookie that has looked at times Magical, but most of the time overmatched. And on the other side we have a guy that was backing up Drew Bledsoe. And yes, I know Tom Brady was as well...but Brady was doing that during Bledsoe's "prime", this is old can't get it done anymore Drew...and yet it still took nearly half the season for Romo to take over...something tells me it's a matter of time before we find some tragic flaw with this guy...like maybe he can't use verbs or something. It's there, I know it...
But then again, I "knew" the White Sox would repeat this year.
Since the Romo switch though, the Boys have been playing a lot better...I'll give them that. But will this be a let down game? After a big win over the Colts, does the air go out of the sails and they mess up an easy one. This is the first decade in Cowboys history that they have a losing record on Thanksgiving...being 2-4 so far...
The Chimp dons a Tom Landry-esque hat...and proudly marches around the room. I'm guessing that's a nod to the Cowboys tradition, and a vote for the Boys. Be weary of the upset Boys fans, make sure you don't fill up too much on the turkey so you're not lethargic in the stands...but the Boys should win, and Bledsoe will sink farther into obscurity.
Denver at Kansas City
Ah, the big game. The NFL Network's time to shine. How exciting. Too bad I won't be able to see it...at least not without leaving home, which won't happen. So I'll be visiting with friends, and eating another piece of pie...possibly watching some terrible movie...speaking of which stay away from 16 Blocks, far far away...instead of watching the best game of the day. Awesome.
For those that do get to watch, please keep tabs on the following things for me...
- Enjoy the team of Gumbel and Collinsworth...never been a huge fan of Gumbel, but he's solid. Collinsworth though is one of the best in the business, so he should blow the other color guys out of the water.
- See how often the NFL Network makes a plug about how the Cable companies should have their channel as part of the basic package. It should be often, although it will be masked as "You could be enjoying this kind of broadcasting more often if..." or something along those lines.
- See if they make a spectacle of the game, ala ESPN, or if they actually focus on the game itself...what a novel idea? I'm hoping that the NFL Network of all places will focus on the game, and sell it...instead of pimping shows and deals with various ESPN/ABC/Disney affiliates.
- Watch and see how Plummer plays. Whether the criticisim is completely accurate or not, there's a lot being heaped on him...and it might be more than he can handle. He might try to press more than he already is to make up for the Chargers game...and that will get him into trouble.
A short week like this favors 3 things...the simpler offense, the team not coming of a devastating loss, and the home team. All 3 of those things fall in KC's favor. And please note, the "simpler offense" is not a slight on either team. It's just that KC has a pretty straight forward system, have LJ carry till he pukes, play action pass when need be. Whereas Denver is juggling several backs, and likes to try to do several different things in the passing game to take advantage of Plummer's "skills"...which I'm confused about, since I can't find them.
Turning to the Chimp, I see that he's licking some BBQ sauce off his fingers, and is sucking a rib bone clean...so it's the Chiefs. Should be a great game, too bad I can't see it.
Have a happy Thanksgiving all, remember, don't eat too much turkey, there will be plenty of leftovers. Save room for the Pie, and have several helpings...cause that's what will go first. Trust me, I'm from a big family, the pie will be gone by 7pm, the turkey will be there for weeks.
You'll find the post-Thanksgiving games here, in Part 2.