This is an early NFL lines column because I am out of town this weekend and because there are three thursday games for me to get horribly wrong. I will be giving you what these team are thankful for because that is what someone at ESPN probably should be doing right now.
Houston (-4) over Detroit
Houston is an offensive powerhouse who gets after the opposing quarterback. Detroit can’t stop a decent offence and can’t protect a quarterback. It’s like turkey meeting mashed potatoes and gravy on the football field. -4 is a steal I love that game at that price.
Houston Is Thankful For: JJ Watt taking over for Mario Williams as the main pass rusher
Detroit Is Thankful For: The health of Calvin Johnson despite the four or five times a game that Matthew Stafford throws him into a vicious hit.
Dallas (-3) over Washington
I really don’t have any rhyme of reason for this pick other than I don’t want to pick three road favourites in one day. Dallas is a better team but Washington has the ability to win on the road.
Dallas Is Thankful For: Mike Shannahan being Washington’s coach. In preparation they have horded the city’s supply of self tanning cream so that Shannahan loses his Umpa Lumpa powers.
Washington Is Thankful For: RG3, do I really have to say more?
New England (7.5) over New York Jets
Nobody loves this game more than new Patroit, Aqib Talib. He is going to be fed the ball all day long by Mark Sanchez. Sadly for New York fans, Mark Sanchez is their quarterback.
New England Is Thankful For: Well beyond Tom Brady’s general dreaminess, they have to be over the moon about Stevan Ridley becoming a franchise level running back.
New York is Thankful For: Tim Tebow for being the only backup quarterback that can take the brunt of the blame for their disappointing season without anyone really questioning the logic of that blame.
Baltimore (-1) over San Diego
The Ravens aren’t as good as people think they are but Norv Turner is worse than most people think he is. And Phillip Rivers is caught in his own personal twilight zone episode where he has to take the blame for Norv.
Baltimore is Thankful for: Terrell Suggs and his magic achilles tendon.
San Diego is Thankful For: The weather they are experiencing right now because the football is not going so well.
Tampa Bay (+2) over Atlanta
Now that Atlanta has lost they will probably lose a few more games this season and Tampa is blistering hot. Tampa is playing with home field, which this season hasn’t meant much in the NFL but Tampa is way above the mean in Raymond James Stadium.
Tampa is Thankful for: John Freeman hitting the gym and not the buffet.
Atlanta Is Thankful For: Matt Ryan continuing to develop into an elite QB.