NFL Picks, Thanksgiving Day Edition

In recent posts, I have used advice for the Thanksgiving holiday and the meal itself as introduction paragraphs. Now that the big day is here, I would like to stress that while the food is good and abundant, and the football games are entertaining, family is the real meaning of the holiday, and focus should be spent on them and not third-and-ten’s or contents of the stuffing. And now to completely contradict myself, I am giving you a special Thanksgiving day picks article! This article will only cover the three games of the day, and the rest of the games will be picked on the usual Saturday or Sunday. Because it is a holiday, I will even write a couple sentences detailing my thought process on each game!

Detroit over Green Bay

Sorry Packers fans, but you are undergoing a newer version of something I call the “Peyton Manning Effect”: when your superstar quarterback goes down, your team is one of the worst in the league. Green Bay may not be a “worst” team without him, but they aren’t good. Even against Detroit’s subpar secondary, Matt Flynn won’t muster the offensive production Green Bay is used to. Wait, you think Green Bay’s ground game can win them the game? I’m pretty sure Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley will have two Thanksgiving dinners: the traditional meal and the Green Bay’s fledgling ground game. It won’t be a blowout – Green Bay’s defense can keep Matthew Stafford and whatever ground game Detroit decides to bring in check at times, but eventually Megatron Calvin Johnson and Detroit will open up a lead that Matt Flynn can’t counter. Prediction: 20-13 Detroit

A disclaimer: I have not done actual game score predictions in over a year, and I don’t put much thought into them, so do not hold me accountable for the score as much as you do for the correct pick.

Dallas over Oakland

I don’t often believe in Dallas, but against a team like Oakland, and at home, I see them as the better team. Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor are not the answer, and with the limited (and injured) weapons Oakland has to aid their QB, prospects are not high. Dallas may be missing one of their top corners in Morris Claiborne, but Oakland is also missing its top receiver, Denarius Moore. Dallas should utilize its passing game to rip apart Oakland’s patchwork secondary, and Demarco Murray should even break off a long run at some point. This game just screams bad team being overmatched by an average team. Prediction: 31-10 Dallas

Pittsburgh over Baltimore

This game came down to one word: momentum. On paper the teams match up evenly. Both will pass the ball well against poor secondaries (regardless of what the stats may say), and struggle to get their ineffective run games moving. Historically though, when the teams meet in games with playoff implications, Baltimore folds to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is also known for getting on a role, and then not getting off it en route to a 10-game winning streak. It will be close, it will be suspenseful, and it will likely be tough enough to take all the good cheer and fortune you wished the world throughout the day and take the proverbial dump on it. Either team has a fair chance to win this war, though. Prediction: 27-24 Pittsburgh on a 41-yard field goal as time expires

Thank you everyone for reading, and on behalf of everyone at The Sentry, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and enjoy the football, food, and most importantly, the family.

God Bless!

– Dan