Wednesday, November 26, 2014

NFL Weekly Predictions: Thanksgiving Games

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Chicago @ Detroit (-6)

The Lions were soundly thrashed 34-9 by Tom Brady and the Patriots last week, and Detroit fell out of a first-place tie in the NFC North. A win over the Bears would keep the Lions one game behind the Packers.

"We intended to go to Foxboro and prove that we belonged with New England amongst the NFL's elite," Jim Caldwell said. "When all was said and done, it was all just a 'Patriot Act.'

"It's Thanksgiving in Detroit. You can't help but to talk about tradition. In Detroit, 'tradition' is Ndamukong Suh assaulting an opponent with his foot. Ron Artest and Meta World Peace have dubbed Suh's violation of Matt Schaub the 'Malice in the Phallus.' Trust me, Jay Cutler's aware of Suh's history, and he's taking the necessary precautions. Bears fans agree that it can't be the first time Cutler's worn a 'Maxi pad.'"

The Bears are hanging by a thread in the NFC's playoff race even after last week's 21-13 win over Tampa. With a loss in Detroit, they can practically say goodbye to any chance of making the playoffs.

"I hear the words 'early goodbye,'" Marc Trestman said, "and I get nervous. I've got a feeling that if we don't make the playoffs, I'm a goner. I'll probably get a call to see general manager Phil Emery is his office, and, as they say, the 'Trest' is history.'

"But we're not eliminated from the playoff race until someone informs me that we've been mathematically eliminated. I'm taking action to combat that. I'm banning any and all mathematicians from all team activities."

Calvin Johnson's visit to Revis Island was one he'd like to forget. And he will, because he'll be on solid ground when the Bears come to Detroit. Johnson catches 2 touchdown passes, and says "Isle see you later" to the Bears secondary.

Detroit wins, 33-21.

Philadelphia @ Dallas (-3)

The Cowboys outgunned the Giants at MetLife Stadium 31-28 behind 4 touchdown passes from Tony Romo, two to Dez Bryant. Thanksgiving's showdown with the Eagles is for the outright lead in the NFC East.

"The anti-Cowboy establishment loves to count the Cowboys out," Jerry Jones said. "They did so when we were down 21-10 to start the third quarter against the Giants. I've been around a long time, and I can tell you this: it's not over until the fat lady sings, or the young lady settles out of court. The lesson: never count a Cowboy out, unless you're the referee in an Ed 'Too Tall' Jones boxing match."

The Eagles jumped on the Titans early, taking a 17-0 lead on their way to a 43-24 win. LeSean McCoy busted through the Tennessee defense for 130 yards and a touchdown.

"LeSean finally had a breakout game," Chip Kelly said. "He's not the only running back in Pennsylvania that was 'cut loose' last week. LeGarrette Blount is a great backup to have, but obviously, he's not a team player. He puts the 'sub' in 'insubordinate.'

"I like our chances in Dallas. Mark Sanchez is getting the job done at quarterback. Nick Foles has been cleared to practice, so he may be ready to play sometime in December. Who will be the starter when Foles is healthy enough to go? If you ask the Philly-green Santa Claus, he'll tell you it 'Ain't Nick.'"

Philadelphia wins, 34-30.

Seattle @ San Francisco (even)

The NFC West's hottest rivalry resumes on Thanksgiving, as the Seahawks and 49ers face off in the first of two matchups in three weeks. The Seahawks vanquished the Cardinals, 19-3, last week, cutting the Cards' division lead to two games.

"It was the Seahawks and the Cardinals," Pete Carroll said. "It wasn't 'Game of Thrones,' it was 'Game of Birds,' not to be confused with 'Game of Tweets,' which is a silly game Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson play. Please, somebody 'shutdown' their Twitter accounts.

"Are we good enough to repeat as Super Bowl champions? This transcript of Marshawn Lynch's answers in a recent interview should help answer that question: 'Maybe. Yeah. I don't know.' Interestingly enough, those are the same answers I gave to the NCAA back in 2010. On that note, let me just say I don't sanction Marshawn's behavior."

The 49ers edged the Redskins 17-13 at Levi's Stadium last week to improve to 7-4. The last time San Fran and Seattle met, the Seahawks sent the 49ers packing in the NFC Championship Game.

"Trust me," Jim Harbaugh said, "Michael Crabtree hasn't forgotten. Revenge is certainly on his mind. On Thanksgiving, he wants to be the player interviewed by Erin Andrews. That would certainly be one of the internet's most-viewed clips, right behind the hidden video of Erin preparing stuffing for her Thanksgiving turkey. History has shown that everyone loves seeing Erin 'dressing.'

"We'll find out who's willing to put it all on the line. Ronnie Lott once gave up half his pinkie to be able to play. It's that kind of toughness I want to see from my players. And judging by my tenuous relationship with my players, I think they'd be quite willing to 'give me the finger.'"

Seattle wins, 18-16.

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