Spend a nice Thanksgiving afternoon with Mark Sanchez. And bring wine.
(Image c/o Keith Allison)
As Marcello mentioned on Twitter, Randy Jobst and I will be bringing our Sons of the Spectrum content over here to Pattison Avenue, creating a very diverse site full of great hockey analysis and bad NFL picks. I want to thank everyone here for giving me the opportunity to write again and if I finish under .500, you can fire my ass and I won’t put up a fight. I gave out picks on the Sons of the Spectrum site until Week 5 and then sporadically on Twitter in the last few weeks, but I’ve gone through a ton of old posts and tweets and I’ve tallied up a 49-47-4 record so far. And since I’d shoot for the moon if I was lying (like 63-35-2 and along with a nickname like ‘The Line Whisperer’), you can trust me on the accuracy. Or just search my tweets.
But this is Thanksgiving and that means tolerating relatives while trying to enjoy football, so let’s kick off the holiday by celebrating America’s oldest enterprise – gambling! I’ll be picking every NFL game for the rest of the year and there’s no better time to start up again than the one holiday where excessive eating and drinking is encouraged. Except for Memorial Day. And Fourth of July. And Labor Day. Honestly, when do we just admit that we need a day off to booze every couple months here in America? Not that I’m complaining. Anyway, let’s get to the NFL Thanksgiving lineup, which for some reason involves two NFC East teams and Jay Cutler on the road. As always, point spreads are from vegasinsider.com.
12:30 – EAGLES AT LIONS (-2.5)
Eagles games this year remind me of going out the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. Every year (or week in this instance), you convince yourself it’s going to be great and you’ll see all your old friends and that cute brunette you meet will definitely laugh at your pirate joke. But that’s not what happens, is it? Nope, instead you spend 25 minutes waiting for a beer while your friends are stuck in a different corner of the bar and the cute brunette you said hello to has already left with a guy in an Ed Hardy shirt. That may have gotten oddly specific, but you can see the level of disappointment Eagles’ fans are feeling. The team is 4-6 despite preseason playoff run talk and coach Chip Kelly’s seat is suddenly hotter than a Center City cab in August. But regardless of past letdowns, I think it’s important to look at this game dispassionately. The Lions cannot run ball. They make Andy Reid’s non-Westbrook teams look balanced. Ameer Abdullah is a fumble machine and Theo Riddick in only effective catching passes out of the backfield. The Eagles’ defense has the talent to shut down a one-dimensional offense and despite two straight wins, Matthew Stafford has thrown 7 INTs in his last 5 games. Mark Sanchez was horrible last week against Tampa Bay, but this team is much worse than the Bucs and he should be able to move the ball. This game opened at Eagles -1, but I’m betting on Chip one last time.
PICK: EAGLES +2.5
4:30 – PANTHERS AT COWBOYS (-1)
Here’s a quick way to get the Pattison Ave readership on my side, I’m taking the Dallas Cowboys to upset an undefeated team. But listen, the Cowboys winning right now is a good thing. They already have seven losses and don’t own tiebreakers against either the Giants or Eagles. They can’t win the division, but they’re probably the best team in the East with Tony Romo back. Darren McFadden has become a reliable back for the Cowboys and Dez Bryant is healthy and making ridiculous catches. But the Cowboys won’t win seven in a row and they’re set up perfectly to win juuust enough to push themselves out of a top ten pick. Carolina is a better squad on paper, but at home on Thanksgiving with Romo back, I’m taking the Cowboys in completely meaningless win. Hopefully Greg Hardy trips on an extension cord coming out of the tunnel.
PICK: Cowboys -1
8:30 – BEARS AT PACKERS (-8.5)
The Packers finally had their “enough is enough” game last weekend, busting out for 30 points against a suddenly solid Minnesota team (required note: Eagles drafted Marcus Smith over Teddy Bridgewater). Getting Eddie Lacy going was so important for Green Bay; Aaron Rodgers obviously misses Jordy Nelson and they just don’t have the offensive line to be so pass-happy without their best receiver. A revived running game should help the Packers beat this Bears team, especially with Alshon Jeffrey and Matt Forte coming off injuries. And I know I made fun of Cutler in the introduction, but he’s been really good recently. Sneaky fantasy option if you’re desperate, especially since the Bears should be trailing most of the game. But let’s take the Pack as they start their annual playoff push.
PICK: PACKERS -8.5
I’ll be back Friday to pick the rest of the NFL Week 12 games, but send me your fantasy football questions on Twitter in the meantime, I’ll be answering your lineup dilemmas all through the fantasy playoff season. So go ahead and do that.