To our American neighbours to the south, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving and a lot of turkey and other food you may not normally eat on a regular basis. It might keep your tummies uncomfortable until Christmas but it’s the price you pay for good food for the most part. Except for green bean casserole. That stuff is shit.
Thanksgiving in the NFL means some American Turkey day football games. Three games on Thursday and at least two of them are pretty high stakes. Here’s the whole week 13 schedule:
|12:30||Chicago at Detroit||CBS/City|
|4:30||Philadelphia at Dallas||FOX/City|
|8:30||Seattle at San Francisco||NBC/SNP/SNW/SNO/SNE|
|1:00||Washington at Indianapolis|
|1:00||Tennessee at Houston|
|1:00||Cleveland at Buffalo||CBS (Golden Horseshoe, GTA, Eastern Ontario (except Ottawa & Cornwall))/CTV (Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener)/CKPR (Thunder Bay)|
|1:00||San Diego at Baltimore||CBS (BC, Alberta, Northern Ontario, Western Ontario, Midwestern Ontario, Ottawa, Cornwall, Quebec, Eastern Canada)/CTV (Vancouver, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg)/CITL (Lloydminster)|
|1:00||NY Giants at Jacksonville||FOX (Northern Ontario, Belleville, Cornwall, Quebec)/TSN2|
|1:00||Cincinnati at Tampa Bay|
|1:00||Oakland at St. Louis|
|1:00||New Orleans at Pittsburgh||FOX (Western Ontario, Midwestern Ontario, Ottawa, Eastern Canada)/CTV (Montreal, Atlantic, Northern Ontario)|
|1:00||Carolina at Minnesota||FOX (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario)|
|4:05||Arizona at Atlanta||FOX (BC, Alberta, Golden Horseshoe, GTA, Peterborough, Kingston)/TSN2|
|4:25||New England at Green Bay||CBS/CTV (Toronto, Kitchener, Ottawa, Northern Ontario, Montreal, Vancouver, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg)/CTV2 (Atlantic)/CKPR (Thunder Bay)/CITL (Lloydminster)|
|8:30||Denver at Kansas City||NBC/TSN2|
|8:30||Miami at NY Jets||TSN1/TSN3/TSN4/TSN5|
Great games on Thursday followed by what might be the game of the year…and a bunch of filler. Seriously. The 1:00 games look pretty crappy really. Then we get Patriots-Packers later on in the afternoon which should be a treat to watch. Denver-KC should be good then the Monday nighter which I could probably avoid.
This week will be the last week before the playoff push. Not a single team can clinch a playoff spot until next week. Has this ever been the case before this far into the season? (After further research, the last time this happened was only four years ago. Before that, it had been at least a decade. So yeah, parity!) Looking at the playoff race, this is how I feel it will end up:
AFC Wild Card
Byes: New England (1), Denver (2)
Cleveland (6) at Indianapolis (3)
Kansas City (5) at Cincinnati (4)
NFC Wild Card
Byes: Green Bay (1), Arizona (2)
Detroit (6) at Philadelphia (3)
Seattle (5) at New Orleans (4)
First off, it could end up being VERY ironic that the second-ever team to make the playoffs with a below-.500 record might be New Orleans and that they would be home to Seattle, the exact reversal of the first time this happened. I think Seattle will end up being a shoo-in for the wild card but won’t catch Zona. Detroit and Dallas will fight to the final week and you could put either team in the 6 spot. San Fran I can see falling off. There are no other NFC teams probably with a chance.
In the AFC, however, parity rules. There are still 12 teams with legitimate playoff aspirations and will through this weekend. You are going to have some very good teams (San Diego, Baltimore) or some much-improved teams (Buffalo, Houston) that will miss the playoffs but may still be at over above .500. My guess is 10 wins is the minimum to make it and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the #6 seed at 11 wins. I still think Cleveland will make it although they will have to beat at least one of Indy, Cincinnati, or Baltimore to get there (if not two or all three); however, if they fall to Buffalo on Sunday I think their chances are slim considering their schedule.
Enjoy the football today (as much as you can)!