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- Week 12 Predictions: Thanksgiving Version

Chris Pokorny November 22, 2007
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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I always love Thanksgiving, because not only do I get to have the best possible feast of the year, I get to watch a couple of football games along with it. Although this also marks the first game of the season (Colts vs. Falcons) that most of the country will not be able to see, the original two games -- Detroit and Dallas -- playing on Thanksgiving should be in for some action-packed games. Stay tuned to PFCritics on Friday, where I will pick the rest of the games of the week. Today, I'm only taking a look at the Thanksgiving specials...



Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions. I can't quite remember what the name of FOX's turkey trophy award is called, but it has a re-vamped, cheaper look this season and will be awareded to one lucky player. By now, it's probably been repeated a dozen times across the world of football: finally the Lions have something to play for on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the Packers have been so good this year that even if the Lions did take them down, the chances of them winning the division would be very slim. With similar, run-n-gun passing attacks, why is it that the Packers have a four-game advantage on the Lions? The running game.

I still believe the Packers would survive better without a ground game than the Lions would, but that's beside the point. In their past two games, the Lions have barely even been able to net zero yards on the ground, while the Packers have found rhythm in Ryan Grant. The Lions aren't getting blown out without the run, as was shown by their 13-10 loss to the Giants this past Sunday, but things should come to a point where Mike Martz basically throws the running game out of the window. Jon Kitna has an arsenal of weapons to throw to, and giving those guys as many opportunities as possible to make a play will give the Lions' offense the best chance of scoring. The Packers' cornerbacks play very physical at the line, meaning three- and four-receiver sets would create better opportunities for the offense. The Packers also have a solid pass rush though, and Kitna hasn't been well protected this season. It sounds like my "throw the ball often" philosophy isn't too wise after pointing that out, but it is; it's just that the Packers are the better team. Thanksgiving may bring the Lions the edge at home, but I can't pass up on Brett Favre here. Packers 27, Lions 24


New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys. The Jets defeated the Steelers just in time, because now we'll at least have the belief that this could be a competitive game. Unlike the Lions, the Jets should stick to running the football on the ground, because what they did against the Steelers with Thomas Jones was exactly what the Jets' offense was supposed to be about this season. Ben Roethlisberger didn't have a great day throwing the ball though, and Tony Romo should have a lot more success against the Jets' still porous secondary. Terrell Owens (and Randy Moss) are in the hottest stretches of their careers, an it doesn't appear as if anyone, especially the Jets, will be able to stop him. Cowboys 38, Jets 14


Indianapolis Colts vs. Atlanta Falcons. The Colts came away with a win last week after being able to place the game on the shoulders of the defense, rather than the offense. Until the Colts get healthy again, that's a philosophy they are willing to take because their record is technically still the second best in the AFC. The Falcons saw disaster last week in their decision to start quarterback Byron Leftwich, and that has forced Joey Harrington back into the mix. That will be far from having much of an advantage. The Colts' offense should see a little more production from the running game today, as well as some increased plays going towards the direction of Dallas Clark. Overall, Thanksgiving will end with the three powerhouses taking care of business. Colts 24, Falcons 10


Predictions Record to Date: 101-59 (Would've preferred to reach the century mark last week.)
Last Week: 11-5 (I think I'm taking too many upsets.)
Survivor Streak: Won 2 (Min over Atl, Den over Oak, Car over Atl, [NYJ over Buf], Ari over StL, Cle over Mia, Cin over NYJ, NYG over Mia, [SD over Min], Sea over SF, and Ind over KC.)

I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your turkey, mashed potatoes, and all of the other goodies you'll savor as you watch Brett Favre, Tony Romo, and, in some cases, Peyton Manning provide a day's worth of excitement.

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