I swear, football on Thanksgiving just hits different. You are surrounded by friends and family, while also enjoying the disappointment that is the Dallas Cowboys. What more could you honestly ask for? I’m the type of person who is truly indifferent when it comes to always seeing the Lions and Cowboys. On one hand, you have the tradition that is embedded in each franchise. Fan bases who get together every year on this special day to celebrate and watch their favorite squad battle it out. But on the other hand, a lot of other fans want that same experience. Those players probably wish they could spend that holiday with their loved ones.
Nonetheless, football on Thanksgiving is a pleasure that we took for granted in the past, but we should all be thankful for a little extra this year. This year has taught us that life can change at any moment. A lot of people around the world have had to face a sad reality of having their loved ones taken from them at an instant. So as we celebrate this holiday, let’s all give a little extra thanks. Let’s show a little more appreciation for seeing our loved ones. And let’s enjoy this gift, during this holiday season, of Thanksgiving Football!
Houston Texans 3-7 (-2.5) @ Detroit Lions 4-6
Deshaun Watson. That’s all that needs to be said about this Texans team. It felt like a lot of people forgot how truly great he was because of all the losses this team has accrued. Since week two, he has only had a QB rating lower than 109 once. Mind you, that game featured 35 MPH winds. He hasn’t thrown an interception in five games. I feel for him at times because the talent is unreal, but sadly he isn’t surrounded by the best talent. David Johnson is looking like he will miss more time and Duke Johnson did absolutely nothing. 10 carries for 15 yards? The defense can’t stop anyone. Last in rushing yards allowed, bottom ten in passing yards and points allowed. Cam Newton threw for 365 just last week against this team. Cam – who hasn’t looked like a competent thrower in years almost went for 400. Detroit has shown that they can give up sacks in bunches. If this pass rush can get there, they have a chance.
How? How did the Panthers just body the Lions like that? The longest drive they could muster was 42 yards that led to a missed field goal. The defense forced two interceptions and that let to a total of 13 plays for 34 yards and two punts. Stafford was sacked five times and could never get comfortable. This will probably be the worst game this team plays al year so maybe we should look at this with a little more hope, but still. Kenny G will probably miss this game. His presence on the outside is so clearly missed. Marvin Jones is a solid number two but can’t be a focal point at this part of his career. Thank god Hockensen has taken strides to be better this year. This AP experiment just isn’t working, and they need swifter backs. His ability to make guys miss in the open field, catch the ball, and overall explosiveness is missing. The defense is giving up 397 total yards a game. Like bruh, is Matt Patricia fired after this year? He is supposed to be the defensive minded “genius” yet it looks like Stafford is carrying this team to wins. When he isn’t clicking, no one can pick him up.
Sadly both teams are 2-3 in their last five ATS. Houston the on the year is 2-7. That does scare me a little bit. The public is also showing a heavy lean of 65% of the bets to Houston. I do believe that this Houston team is better than their record. They play in a competitive division, and games against Pit,Bal,KC and GB aren’t easy. Give me the Texans to cover the -2.5.
The Washington Football Team 3-7 @ Dallas Cowboys 3-7 (-3)
I want to say on record that I want The Washington Football Team to make the playoffs. The offense has some actual firepower that’s worth watching. I can’t speak enough about how truly great Terry McLaurin is this early in his career. He has great separation, his routes are always so clean, high points the ball well and has the game breaking speed. Antonio Gibson has scored in each of the last four games. He ate this same Cowboys team up a couple weeks ago for 128 and 1 TD. You can tell how much more comfortable of a runner he is as well. If only they would utilize him more in the passing game to truly unlock his potential. The defense in Washington is legit. Don’t think so? Well, they’re the best in passing yards allowed. How does fifth in sacks sound? Or having a better points against average than the Buccaneers? I know that because they play in the NFC East we don’t take them seriously. But these guys are giving it their all each game. They have a magical story at quarterback going out there and giving his all. How do you not rally around that? As a team I think the ball is really starting to roll for them.
Can the red rocket save this team? The talent on this offense is real. Dak had this team chugging along at a top five pace. Then Andy looked horrible in prime time(expected), then goes down with an injury. The other experiments at QB didn’t work and now Dalton comes in and beats a decent Minnesota team. We saw Cooper and Lamb be successful for the first time in weeks. Elliot rushed for 100 yards for the first time all year. He even scored a TD for the first time in six weeks, yes it was receiving but that even more encouraging. My favorite stat was the fact that the Cowboys only gave up one sack. Moving All-Pro guard Zack Martin to tackle paid off and maybe this is something worth monitoring in the coming weeks. Sadly, the defense is still suspect as ever. They did force two early fumbles that led to ten points, but nothing really inspires me about them. Teams can just double Lawrence and the pass rush is nonexistent. They won’t have any easier of a time this week.
I know that we have a pretty great game at night but this might be my favorite game. For two reasons, one is my new found appreciation for Washington. Alex Smith has elevated this offense to something that’s competitive each week. The defense has great young talent. The coaching staff has a history of winning. And two, I love to watch the Cowboys lose. Not a lot of other teams chap my ass quite like Dallas. I want Washington to roll them over, in Dallas. This isn’t a prime time game, but everyone will be watching Dalton. So with all eyes on him, he will fold. Washington +3
Baltimore Ravens 6-4 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 10-0 (-4.5)
Postponed to Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 8pm
What Baltimore team is this really? I would venture to say that it’s really an untested and underwhelming team. Six wins is great right now, and puts them in the playoff hunt, but only two were against teams that currently have a winning record. It’s also not hard to find information that tells you that Lamar Jackson isn’t good at passing the ball. He had his absolute best chance last week against a Titans team that gives up 300 yard passers each week. Yet he couldn’t get 190? On each field goal they had yesterday, it came down to Lamar failing to convert a 3rd and 6 and two failed 3rd and 9’s. The touchdown to Mark Andrew’s was nice and thankfully he had his guy beat for 6 yards otherwise with that hang time it probably wouldn’t of been incomplete. I’m not here to doubt his athleticism because it’s off the chart. His mobility is a real thing that makes him an extremely dangerous option at QB. But I have zero faith that he can lead a comeback drive if need be. This team is built to get an early lead and just run the clock out. But any good opposing offense should worry Baltimore fans. Steelers, Titans and Chiefs are all playoff caliber teams. Those are three losses against Baltimore. All top ten offenses. So I guess we should just ask ourselves, will it be a shootout?
The Pittsburgh fan in me kind of wants it to be. Seeing this offense click each and every week is exciting. Mapletron is showing that his measurables are legit. His can use his 6’4, 238 pound frame to muscle first downs, high point the ball and stretch for the TD on the the jet sweep. His 4.4 speed is real and it was shown by how quickly he got separation on that touchdown catch last week. Diontae Johnson is proving that he is also in fact, legit. 12 catches for 111 yards. And he could of been used more but there is just more targets to go around. He always seemed open. That catch along the sideline that was down at the one, good lord. And Juju who has shown in the past that he has greatness in him. Even the past couple weeks he was getting tough catches and crucial first downs. The yardage breakdown goes:
- Chase Claypool- 589
- Diontae Johnson- 537
- Juju Smith Schuster- 535
This is arguably the most talented receiver room in the league. And no one is older than 24. You can’t say enough about how well these guys are playing. This team can’t really run the ball right now, so why not just air it out and go balls to wall. The talent is clearly there.
Oh how the tables have turned. Just a few weeks ago an undefeated Steelers team was projected to lose to the Ravens as they came in as an underdog at +3. Now with a home field advantage and the Ravens missing key running backs to Covid, the Steelers come in at -4.5. A very respectable line if you ask me. Baltimore had the best of Pittsburgh when these two teams played on Thanksgiving in 2013. Pittsburgh is also had a bad record on Thanksgiving , 2-6. But I can be kind of like a, what have your done for me lately kind of guy. Baltimore has shown me that they are is 1-4 ATS while Pittsburgh comes in at 4-1. That one loss was a -14 favorite so this close spread gives me even more of a lean. I can’t go away from the Lers here. Go Pittsburgh -4.5.