With Turkey Day upon us tomorrow, I have to get a jump start on my picks for the week. Last week I went 10-6, not bad, to take my record for the season up to 97-61. For now I will give just my picks for the three Thanksgiving games, then do the rest come Friday as normal.
Miami at Detroit – It’s the return of Joey Harrington to Detroit, where you know he would like nothing better than to come in and beat his former team. Harrington was 18-40 in Detroit, and took a lashing from fans as the QB. Now with the Dolphins, they are doing almost a repeat of last season, starting out slow with and coming on near the end of the year. At 4-6, the Dolphins have won three straight, including a shocking win in Chicago. Last week at home they beat the Vikings 24-10 with solid D and basically mistake free ball from Harrington, who was 26-for-42 for 254 yards with a TD and one INT. The 2-8 Lions are a mess, and now will be without leading rusher Kevin Jones, who is out with an ankle sprain. The Lions allow 125 yards a game on the ground, so look for a steady diet of Ronnie Brown and an inspired effort from Harrington. Miami 24 Detroit 13
Tampa Bay at Dallas – A total trap game for the Cowboys, who are still riding high after last Sundays win over the Colts. At 3-7, Tampa Bay has yet to win on the road, and despite a home win vs the struggling Redskins last week are still one of the bottom feeders in the NFC. Tony Romo and the Cowboys seem to have it all together right now, and they realize that at 6-4 and tied with the Giants for the top spot in the NFC East that they cannot afford a letdown here. Plus they know a win here and they will have 10 days to get set for the rematch against the Giants at the Meadowlands on December 3rd. Look for Dallas to use its playmakers in Owens, Glenn, Jones, and Barber to eventually overcome the Bucs. Dallas 27 Tampa Bay 14
Denver at Kansas City – The first ever Thanksgiving night game will feature an interesting AFC West battle between the Broncos and Chiefs. The Chiefs got Trent Green back last week, and while he was just 9-for-16 for 102 yards, he will look to be more in form this week against a Broncos defense that is reeling. Denver’s defense began the year allowing just 7.3 points per game in their first 6 games (5-1), but since have allowed 102 points, 25.5 per game, in their last four, going 2-2. The Chiefs lost in Denver in week two in Damon Huard’s first start, losing a heartbreaker 9-6, but are a better team than then, and I think that the emotion of a Thanksgiving game at home along with Larry Johnson pounding the Broncos defense will be enough to overcome the Broncos. Kansas City 24 Denver 21