Thursday, November 28, 2013

Week 13 Predictions (Thanksgiving Day)

On Thanksgiving Day, you eat an abundance of food, spend time with your family, listen to this strange stories from your weird Uncle Joe, and give thanks for all that you have; however, one of the greatest traditions of Thanksgiving is the football being played throughout the day. This year, the games  are not quite as good as in years past, but they are still worth watching in a day filled with food and laughter. The NFL Report wishes all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Packers @ Lions: This game would be ten times more interesting if Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was in the starting lineup, but it seems as though Matt Flynn will be the starting quarterback for Green Bay for the first time since December 31, 2011. Last Sunday, Flynn replaced an injured Scott Tolzien, where Flynn overcame a 16 point deficit, eventually tying the game and sending it into overtime. In the end Green Bay tied the game, but Matt Flynn's comeback was a good sign for Packers fans. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions have lost back to back games, where their most recent loss came against the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The passing game is clearly the strength of this team, where the connection between Stafford and Calvin Johnson is by far the best in the NFL. Already tempers are flaring between these two teams, where Green Bay Packers lineman Josh Sitton accused Detroit's defense of taking "cheap shots all the time." These division rivals clearly do not like one another, so we can expect a decent amount of drama on Thanksgiving. A minor side note: Tomorrow marks the two year anniversary for Ndamukong Suh's infamous stomp against the Packers in 2011.
Prediction: Lions over Packers 31-17

Raiders @ Cowboys: This game between the Cowboys and the Raiders appears to be somewhat of a mismatch, where the 4-7 Raiders are taking on the NFC-East leading Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys are coming off of an emotional victory over their division rivals, the New York Giants. Even though many accuse Tony Romo of choking in the clutch, he was able to drive down the field, setting up a game winning field goal as time expired by kicker Dan Bailey. Dallas' defense this season has been atrocious, ranking 30th overall in passing yards allowed and 31st in the league in rushing yards allowed. The Oakland Raiders are 1-3 in their last four games, one of which was a loss against the New York Giants. With quarterback Terrelle Pryor still injured, the Raiders will have Matt McGloin start on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys. The Cowboys are the clear favorites in this matchup; if Dallas ends up losing tomorrow, they are completely undeserving of a spot in the playoffs.
Prediction: Cowboys over Raiders 28-14

Steelers @ Ravens: The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens were the best of rivals throughout the start of the 21st century. But the rivalry is no longer the same, where both teams are aging, and several key players have either left or retired. Both Baltimore and Pittsburgh are 5-6 in 2013, so a win on Thanksgiving will keep the playoff hopes alive. Ray Rice, who served as the core of Baltimore's offense during their Super Bowl run, has rushed for just 470 yards with 4 touchdowns in 2013, averaging 2.9 yards per carry. Even quarterback Joe Flacco is having a down season, which is worrisome considering the Ravens signed him to a six year deal worth $120.6 million. After starting the season with a 0-4 record, the Pittsburgh Steelers have truly turned their game around, as their record stands at 5-2 in the past 7 games. I only wish this game took place 5 years ago on Thanksgiving Day, back when both teams were fierce competitors in the AFC North. In 2013, however, these two aging teams will do battle so they can remain in playoff contention.
Prediction: Steelers over Ravens 30-27 (OT)

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