It's Turkey Day and The Stack is here to preview today's NFL tripleheader. First off, Happy Thanksgiving to all. Enjoy the food, football and family...maybe even in that order. It is one of the best holidays of the year and thank goodness we have football to help entertain us so we don't have to talk to that crazy uncle. Now then, let's get right to it and preview today's NFL action in "the stack" for today, Thursday, November 28:
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions 12:30 PM ET FOX
Aaron Rodgers is out. That means Matt Flynn is starting at quarterback for the Packers. He played well last week for the Packers and the team and fans should thank him. He's kept Green Bay's season afloat for one more week. That may end today if they don't figure out a way to beat the Detroit Lions who are coming in on their own two game losing streak. The Lions appear to have lost their identity. If they don't find it soon, bye-bye division. The Lions secondary is bad (see Tiquan Underwood's 108 yard 2 touchdown performance last week), but Detroit's offense is better than the Packers and I think they will do enough to get a win and take the NFC North lead...for a few days at least.
Prediction: Lions 34 Packers 23
Oakland Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys 4:30 PM ET CBS
As America either regains consciousness from their after meal nap, or falls further into sleep, the Raiders and Cowboys will kickoff. Dallas got a big win last week. Tony Romo was clutch on that final drive, putting the Cowboys in position to kick the game-winning field goal. All of that will be forgotten if the Cowboys lose this week. They're going up against Matt McGloin for crying out loud. Nothing against McGloin, but he's not a quarterback that strikes fear in the hearts of many people at this stage of his career. The Raiders secondary has been pretty bad this year (see Nick Foles' seven touchdown performance as an example), so Dallas should be able to move the ball up and down the field pretty easily. Plus, it's a short week for the Raiders who are flying halfway across the country. The Cowboys must keep pace with the Philadelphia Eagles for first in the NFC East. They can put the pressure on Philadelphia by winning Thanksgiving Day.
Prediction: Cowboys 31 Raiders 19
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens 8:30 PM ET NBC
The AFC will indeed have a sixth playoff team this year. Unfortunately, the teams all vying for that final wildcard are each 5-6 and that includes both the Steelers and the Ravens. The Steelers have been playing much better football as of late and playing like well, the Steelers. Plenty of people seem to think that Big Ben's 7-2 record against Joe Flacco is the big reason to pick the Steelers tonight. Somehow, someway, I think the Ravens get the job done tonight. They're a better team at home and they will refuse to be swept by the Steelers this year. A low scoring affair like in their first matchup, but the Ravens will get the job done.
Prediction: Ravens 23 Steelers 17
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Enjoy the day with family, friends, food and of course football.
Coming up Friday: Rest of Week 13 NFL predictions and previews