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Turkey Day Trifecta

Mill Woods

Posted on November 21, 2018 14:38

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Thanksgiving Day has never had three more exciting football games. The Bears and Lions clash in a key NFC North showdown, the Redskins and Cowboys may decide the NFC East six weeks early, and the Saints are verging on wrapping up the NFC South in their rematch against the Falcons.

Third place - that's where the Lions are languishing in the tough NFC North. Detroit is badly in need of a win to get back into the playoff picture. But can the Lions stop the Bears' stout running game often enough to give their offense a chance to score? Can the Lions control that wicked Bear pass rush? It makes for high drama in the first Thanksgiving day showdown.

The afternoon contest is the day's most important. I project that the winner will end up with the NFC East title and the loser will end up out of the playoffs! The Cowboys are on a winning streak, as their offense increases its productivity. The Redskins will have to get it done with backup QB Colt McCoy. They have an excellent running attack, so I expect that McCoy will not be called on to carry the offense. 

Thursday night, the Falcons will get one last chance against their division rival Saints. The Saints can virtually wrap up the NFC South title with a win and keep pace with the Rams in the race for the top seed.  I expect an exciting show by two of the NFL's top offenses.

Don't forget Sunday. For diehard NFL fans, only a day's rest is needed before we'll be hungry for more football, even if we're tired of turkey. Fortunately the menu is appealing:

1. the Seahawks badly need a win against the Panthers,

2. the Dolphins also need a boost, but face the suddenly-hot Colts, and

3. the Titans strive to get back in the AFC South race Monday night versus the Texans.

Where we'll be after Week 17 is anybody's guess, but it's fun to take a crack it, so these are the W-L records I estimate for 12 contending teams:  
 
Chiefs                  14-2
Steelers               13-2-1
Patriots                12-4
Texans                 11-5
Chargers              10-6
Bengals                 9-7

Saints                  14-2
Rams                   13-3
Bears                   11-5
Cowboys               8-8           
Vikings                10-5-1
Panthers             10-6

Remember: the NFL is very balanced, and only one of eight division titles is close to being locked up. Playoff seeding is also not set in concrete.  And teams like the Lions, Dolphins, Seahawks, Redskins and Ravens are far from out of it. There may be more meaningful games in December than usual, and that's how I like it.

Last week, I went 8-5 with my picks.  Here are the Week 12 games and my picks:

1. Bears at Lions                Lions
2. Redskins at Cowboys    Cowboys
3. Falcons at Saints           Saints
4. Browns at Bengals         Bengals
5. 49ers at Buccaneers      Bucs
6. Jaguars at Bills              Jaguars
7. Raiders at Ravens         Ravens
8. Seahawks at Panthers   Panthers
9. Patriots at Jets               Patriots
10. Giants at Eagles           Eagles
11. Cardinals at Chargers  Chargers
12. Dolphins at Colts          Colts
13. Steelers at Broncos      Steelers
14. Packers at Vikings        Vikings
15. Titans at Texans           Texans

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Mill Woods

Posted on November 21, 2018 14:38

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