Andy Dalton, Baker Mayfield, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, D'Andre Swift, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Jared Goff, Joe Flacco, Josh Allen, Las Vegas Raiders, Matt Nagy, Mike White, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, Thanksgiving Football, Tim Boyle
It’s Thanksgiving, and as ever I am grateful for Dan indulging my love of the NFL, producing the podcast, and generally being a great friend.
Dan and I kept our noses above fifty percent in week eleven as Dan maintained his two point lead overall.
We turn our eyes to three games with it being Thanksgiving so let’s take a look at who is facing the Lions and Cowboys and what the extra game will be in 2021.
|Gee:||Week 11: 8-7||Overall: 85–80|
|Dan:||Week 11: 8-7||Overall: 87–78|
Bears @ Lions (+3.5)
The Lions ran the Browns close last week but couldn’t get that elusive win despite a distinctly, if understandable, subpar performance from Baker Mayfield who is carrying multiple injuries. On Thanksgiving the Lions host a Bears team with problems of their own as sections of fans are calling for head coach Matt Nagy to be fired. For the second Thanksgiving in a row Andy Dalton will be getting a start, this time for the Bears as they search for their first win since week five. To get a measure of the game, the Lions have not won a game since week thirteen in 2020 and given the Lions are choosing between Jared Goff dealing with an oblique injury that hasn’t healed and Tim Boyle who managed just seventy-seven passing yards last week it’s hard to have much faith they will turn things round. I am looking forward to seeing D’Andre Swift run the ball for the Lions but the highest ranking by DVOA of any unit in this game is the Lions’ special teams at fourth, and of the defence/offence units the Bears’ defence is the only one ranked above twenty.
I don’t have strong lean in this game, but if I’m getting three and a half points at home on a short week I guess I have to take the Lions.
Gee’s Pick: Lions
Dan’s Pick: Lions
Raiders @ Cowboys (-7.5)
Both teams are coming into this game after a loss, but at least with the Cowboys there is hope if they get some of their receivers and offensive line healthy. The good news for the Cowboys is their defence is top five in the league and held the Chiefs in check so you feel they should do a job against a Raiders offence who has struggled in recent weeks. Let’s be honest, the Raiders are trending in the wrong direction after all that has happened to them and although they are not a terrible team, it is hard to see where their next win is coming. That said, I just have this feeling that this one might be tighter than expected given the injuries to the Cowboys’ offence and so I am cautiously picking a sneaky cover in this one.
Gee’s Pick: Raiders
Dan’s Pick: Cowboys
Bills @ Saints (+4.5)
The Saints keep getting injuries and whilst they have found ways to stay competitive, I am not sure I see it holding this week with the raft of offensive players they have out. The Bills have slipped back into second in the AFC East, but there are some arguments that they are not that far away with a few given bounces. It is understandable that after three straight years of improvement that Josh Allen’s accuracy has fallen back a little, but it is jarring to see their top ranked defence by DVOA sit next to an offensive ranking of eighteenth. This is the fifth best team in the league going against the ninth and this is what make me nervous. I respect both coaches and defences, and I think it likely the Bills win but by five points? I don’t like this line at all but given that the Saints lost to the Eagles by eleven last week and don’t look to be getting players back on offence I am going to reluctantly grab the Bills.
Gee’s Pick: Bills
Dan’s Pick: Bills
I can see why Dan picked the Titans last week, but long streaks always make me nervous even if it was a surprise that the Texans got the win, which saw Dan get eliminated again whilst I picked up a point going with the Patriots.
This week Dan is backing the Cowboys to beat the Raiders, which is one of the safter selections when I look at the numbers. I am really struggling for picks this week thanks to it being week twelve and how the matchups have fallen. I don’t feel super confident about it, but given the options I find myself taking the Eagles on the road against the Giants, which is placing a lot on the recent form of the Eagles but I have a bit of a cushion and I just hope picking a survivor is not this tough ever week going forward…
Week 12 Selection:
Bold Prediction of the Week
My bold prediction after really struggling was the Texans to beat the Jets, which Dan allowed but you could hear him being suitably unimpressed and this was before they lost Mike White and Joe Flacco to Covid. I still have not found something leaping out at me, but given the stiuation witht he Jets’ QBs I may yet update this on Sunday if inspiration strikes!