Jazz:Happy Thanksgiving! After you’re done counting your blessings and eating too much food you can settle in for some football. Personally, one of the things I’ll be thankful for is that I finally pitched a shutout last weekend, going 7-0. That brings my season record to a slightly more comfortable level of 47-29. There are only three games to pick today, but I’d love to hit 50 wins before the weekend if my luck can hold out just a bit longer.
Ed: Even though Jazz’ sweep gives him bragging rights, I didn’t do too badly last week, going 5-2 to bring my season record to 42-34. I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner for our extended Minnesota family, showing off our (nearly) complete sun room and the Solaire grill on the new deck. Today’s turkey will get the rotisserie treatment (in 37º weather!), and I’ll try to post a few photos on Twitter. I may not get a lot of opportunity to watch the games as a result, but maybe that’ll help boost my fortunes.
Jazz: The first game of the day has the Vikings visiting the Lions to fight it out for first place in their division (12:30, CBS) and it may be the only truly competitive one we’ll see. The Lions are somehow a favorite by a field goal, but this one looks like a tossup. The Vikings are coming off of a much needed win but the Lions have won two in a row themselves. Both teams are close in offensive yardage per game, but the Vikings are only giving up an average of 19 points per game where the Lions allow 25. I think that will be the difference, so I’ll go with the upset and take Minnesota to win 31-27. Next up we have the Redskins at the Cowboys (4:30, FOX) which doesn’t hold much mystery. Washington has a fairly impressive record of 6-3, but they’re playing the very surprising division leaders who are at 9-1. This is always a grudge match, but Dallas continues their winning ways today. Cowboys win it big, 37-17. And finally we have the game Ed will try to stay awake for when the Steelers visit the Colts (8:30, NBC). Both teams are coming off wins and have matching 5-5 records, but Pittsburgh is the heavy favorite to win by a touchdown. They’ve shown an amazing Jets-like a ability to sink to the level of their opponents at times this year, but I think the Steelers will still pull it out by a smaller margin and beat the Colts 23-16.
Ed: The Vikings barely got by at home against the Cards, and only managed it with a couple of 100-yard scoring plays that didn’t involve the offense. Minnesota is dead last in offense but third in defense, while Detroit is more toward the middle on both sides of the ball. The Lions are 4-1 at home, however, while the Vikes are 2-3 on the road. Lions should win 24-20. How can anyone pick against the Cowboys? They’ve won nine in a row and are playing at home. Even with the Redskins playing well this season, Dallas should win this one 31-24. In the night game, Andrew Luck will test out the sometimes porous Steeler defense (ranked 21st), but Indy’s is worse at 27th and gives up a TD more per game. The two offenses are closer to each other, but like Jazz, I think Pittsburgh wins by a touchdown and a two-point conversion. Steelers 28-20. Lay off the tryptophan if you want to watch this one to the end, though.