Thanksgiving games add to stuffing

Thanksgiving is one of the big American holidays and it also showcases NFL football.

For 2012, a triple-header is slated for Thursday, 22 November. At 12.30pm, the 9-1 Houston Texans battle the 4-6 Detroit Lions on CBS. At 4.15pm, the 4-6 Washington Redskins face the 5-5 Dallas Cowboys on Fox and at 8.20pm, the 7-3 New England Patriots face the 4-6 New York Jets on NBC.

The Texans can shut down any team with a pass rush steadied by J.J. Watts while running back Arian Foster and quarterback Matt Schaub can rack up yards and points in a hurry. The Lions have the offensive talent to give any team fits. Matthew Stafford is a good passer and Calvin Johnson is one of the league’s best wide receivers.

In spite of last week’s results, which saw Houston barely beat Jacksonville, the Texans are the heavy favourites. Expect the defence to be sharp and limit the Detroit attack en route to a 10-point victory. The Cowboys are a staple of the yearly Thanksgiving offerings and as usual, the side is in the playoff mix. Dallas are staying relevant as hurler Tony Romo squeezes production out of Miles Austin and Jason Witten. Washington meanwhile has been inconsistent in spite of Robert Griffin III having an incredible rookie campaign.

Dallas has not been that impressive at home and have not proven to be a consistent threat. It’s a hard call to make but the Redskins, in spite of their mistakes, should win by a field goal.

The nightcap features a bitter rivalry between the Jets and Patriots. While New York has found ways to stifle Tom Brady’s crew in the playoffs, Mark Sanchez and company have struggled in the regular season. Expect that trend to continue as New England pulls through by about 14 points.

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