Thanksgiving means three things: spending time with family, eating and watching (or playing) football. The only problem with the latter is that it is always the same two teams. One would think that the NFL would try to mix things up every holiday by showcasing some other teams. But yet every year the Lions and Cowboys always seem to get the recognition. They have an advantage by having extra time to prepare for the following week's game. Sure, they also have a short week prior to that, but any team playing the Lions generally doesn't need that much preparation. It is about time that the NFL starts to give fans more competitive teams to watch, as the Lions are generally lousy and the Cowboys, up until this year, have been pretty lousy for years. Enough bemoaning the league schedule makers, on to the picks for the Thanksgiving games.
Atlanta 3 DETROIT
The Falcons really could use a win here after Sunday's loss, and the Lions seem to be sinking quickly. The Falcons are still in the driver's seat for the playoffs, and I don't see the Lions getting in their way. Lions looked to have a decent season but as usual they start to fall apart halfway through the season. Let's see how Micheal Vick plays when most of the nation will be watching. He should play well enough to put the Lions away.
Poore's Pick: Falcons 27-16
Denver 2 DALLAS
Tough to see how the Broncos are favored here, but that might motivate the Cowboys a bit. A win here and the Cowboys will rise to the elite of the NFC. The Broncos are already there in the AFC. Short week for both teams, but I think the Cowboys need the win more with the Giants breathing down their necks. I still have trouble trusting Jake Plummer but to his credit he has played well this year. So has Drew Bledsoe. Being in Dallas, I will take Drew and the Cowboys over Jake and the Broncos.
Poore's Pick: Cowboys 21-17
KANSAS CITY 3 New England
The Patriots were once again lucky to survive at home last week against a poor team, and the Chiefs didn't look fantastic against the Texans. Chiefs always tough at home though, and Pats have struggled this year against any team with a decent record. I think this week will be the same. Pats are more banged up then ever, and Trent Green should be able to throw against their porous secondary. Take the Chiefs.
Poore's Pick: Chiefs 33-23
Carolina 4 BUFFALO
The Panthers re coming off of a mildly shocking loss last week, but fortunately for
them the Falcons lost too. The Bills got blown out against the Chargers, and they might get blown out again this week too. Buffalo has struggled all year, and the Panthers are still a pretty good shot to be the top seed in the NFC for the playoffs. Even though the game is in Orchard Park it could be over early. I like the Panthers here.
Poore's Pick: Panthers 30-17
TAMPA 3 Chicago
I guess it can be determined that "Da Bears" are in fact for real after beating Carolina last week. Their offense is still too shaky for my tastes however. The Bucs got back in the playoff chase with last week's win, but I think they will struggle here. The Bears defense is in fact for real, and they are just on a roll right now. I like the Bears here in my Upset of the Week. Let's see if I can get two in a row.
Poore's Pick: Bears 17-16
San Diego 3 WASHINGTON
Still tough to see how the Chargers have lost as many games as they have after another impressive win last week. I was never impressed with the Redskins, and they are slowly going down the drain after a strong start. Tough to pick them here even at home. Chargers seem to stumble a bit, but they need to keep pace with the Broncos. Take San Diego here.
Poore's Pick: Chargers 24-20
MINNESOTA 4 Cleveland
The Vikings have come a long way after their vacation cruise, and have actually been playing pretty well lately. The Brownies are still very tough to figure out. They blow out Miami last week, but are likely to lay an egg here. They can't seem to put two good games together. The Vikings are the pick here, though a playoff spot for them is still very unlikely.
Poore's Pick: Vikings 29-20
TENNESSEE 8 San Francisco
I can't understand why the Titans are favored by eight points here, even if the opponent is the 49ers. They have no right being favored by this many points at all. Tough to see them covering the points, even at home. The Titans have played tough all year, and to a point so have the Niners. Still, I think San Francisco will keep it close. I like them here.
Poore's Pick: Titans 24-21
St. Louis 3 HOUSTON
The Texans are an absolute mess right now, from the corporate office down to the field. There are reports that the ownership doesn't care too much about the fortunes of the team, and that's too bad. The Rams probably lost Marc Bulger for the season, but their season was probably already lost anyway. A playoff spot for them is very unlikely at this point, and the loss of Bulger isn't going to help. But they shouldn't have too many problems with Houston, who can't seem to do anything right.
Poore's Pick: Rams 34-17
Jacksonville 3 1/2 ARIZONA
Jags playing pretty well right now, and the Cardinals, well, are the Cardinals. They won last week, but that has been a rare occurence this year. It won't happen this week. I still am no big fan of Jacksonville, but they have been playing pretty well and they shouldn't have too many issues with the Cardinals here.
Poore's Pick: Jaguars 28-14
OAKLAND 7 Miami
It is hard to tell which teams are going to show up. Dolphins were awful last week, and the Raiders continued their Jekyll and Hyde play with winning their game. I want to take the Raiders here but I have a feeling the Dolphins are going to cover. I can't see the Dolphins playing awful two weeks in a row, and the Raiders have been pretty inconsistent. Take Miami here and the points.
Poore's Pick: Raiders 24-21
SEATTLE 4 1/2 New York Giants
This is a very tough game to call. I have trouble trusting Seattle, but this year they seem to be playing a little more consistent. Giants have played pretty well most of the year. This is a huge game for both teams, as the Giants are tied for first in their division, and the Seahawks are fighting for home field. I like Seattle here. Tough to say why, I guess just the home field.
Poore's Pick: Seahawks 30-24
PHILADELPHIA 4 1/2 Green Bay
The Eagles are really going to struggle the rest of the year now that Donovan
McNabb is out for the rest of the year. The Packers are done for the year. They have been terrible. Hard to pick the Eagles this week, but Green Bay is so bad I have no choice. Take Philadelphia at home.
Poore's Pick: Eagles 21-14
New Orleans 1 1/2 NEW YORK JETS
Another game with two lousy teams, but I think the wrong team is favored. The Jets ownership has said that Herm Edwards will be back next year, and he should be. He is a very good coach with too many injuries. The Saints, to their credit, haven't lied down to anyone lately. I just like the Jets here though because they are at home and they desperately need a win, even if just for pride.
Poore's Pick: Jets 26-23
INDIANAPOLIS 5 Pittsburgh
The Colts continue to roll, beating the Bengals last week. The Steelers should have Ben Roethlisberger back, and that will help because Tommy Maddox has been awful. I can't see the Steelers stopping the Colts, and I am not sure if any team can right now. This should be a good game but the Colts have been virtually unstoppable at home. They will continue to win this week.
Poore's Pick: Colts 35-24
Record for Week 11: 6-10 ( 9-7 without spread )
Record Through Week 11: 76-81-3
Upset Special Record: 1-10
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