NFC East Showdown - Mike Vick vs Miles Austin
The Philadelphia Eagles (8-4) head onto the turf of Cowboy's Stadium tied with the NY Giants for the lead of the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys have won three out of four games under interim head coach, Jason Garrett, and know that a victory over Philadelphia will restore a bit of their lost expectations for the season.
The Philadelphia Eagles are considered -3 1/2 point road favorites by online sportsbooks. WagerWeb has tonight's Sunday Night Football Total posted at 50 1/2 points.
The turf surface at Cowboys Stadium is well suited for Mike Vick to work his magic. Vick has 15 passing TDs and only 2 interceptions in 2010, earning a passer rating of 105.7. Vick averages 6.3 yards per rushing attempt and scored 6 rushing TDs through week 13.
LeSean McCoy, the Eagle's second year running back out of Pittsburgh, puts enormous pressure on opposing defenses every time he touches the ball. McCoy is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and 8 yards per reception. McCoy has reached the endzone a total of nine times, with 7 rushing TDs and 2 receiving TDs.
Philadelphia wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson have combined for almost 1600 receiving yards and 13 TDs.
The Eagles rank first in the league in total offensive yards gained and second in the NFL in points scored, averaging 28.7 per game.
The Dallas defense will be tested, perhaps more so than in any other game this year. The Cowboys rank 15th against the run and 28th against the pass. But possibly more troubling is that the Boys allow 28 points per game to be scored against them, earning a rank of 31st in the NFL.
Star, rookie receiver Dez Bryant is out for the season, recovering from surgery for a fractured ankle. However, QB Jon Kitna will still look to link up with wide receiver Miles Austin and tight end Jason Witten, who leads all NFL tight ends with 65 receptions. Austin and Witten have combined for over 1500 yards and 9 TDs.
Philadelphia is 4-1 SU (straight up) in its last 5 games and 4-2 SU in its last 6 away games.
Dallas is 4-9 SU in its last 13 games and 1-5 in its last 6 games at home.
Thanksgiving offers three choices for NFL sports betting online
Thanksgiving. A moment for all of us to take a step back from the break-neck pace of modern life and enjoy. Enjoy our good fortune, whether that be health, wealth or wisdom. So while we're stuffing our faces with carved turkey, oyster dressing, mashed potatoes, and pecan pie, the fine folks at the NFL has given us another holiday treat....three games....more than ample opportunity to get comfortable in your favorite recliner and settle in for a NFL marathon.
New England Patriots vs Detroit Lions
The Lions playing on Thanksgiving day is as much a tradition as families arguing at the dinner table. At 12:30 PM they host the New England Patriots who look to feast on generous servings of touchdowns, field goals, sacks and interceptions.
Tom Brady and the 8-2 Patriots will look to exploit the 2-8 Lion's defense both on the ground and through the air. Detroit's rush defense ranks 26th in the NFL, allowing over 130 yards per game. A healthy dose of BenJarvis Green-Ellis, who averages 4.3 yards per carry with 7 TDs, should be enough to open up the passing game for Brady and the New England receivers. Brady has thrown for 19 TDs, 2362 yards and only 4 INTs, owning a QB rating of 100.6.
On offense, Detroit possesses a fairly potent air attack of their own. Unfortunately, that will most likely not be on display against the Patriots since the former Georgia Bulldogs' quarterback, Matthew Stafford, is not available due to a shoulder injury. Filling in for Stafford will be 9th year veteran, Shaun Hill, who has passed for 12 TDs and 9 INTs in 2010.
Tom Brady did not practice and is listed as questionable for the game, however, look for a steady serving of tight-end Gronkowski and running back Green-Ellis, and the Pats easily cover as -6 1/2 point favorites.
New Orleans Saints vs Dallas Cowboys
The New Orleans Saints are the defending Super Bowl Champions and are a respectable, if not dominating 7-3, good for 2nd place in the NFC South. The Dallas Cowboys have lost Tony Romo to a broken collar bone, fired their head coach and are in last place of the NFC East at 3-7. They are also winners of two consecutive games under interim head coach Jason Garrett and their 38 year old backup quarterback, Jon Kitna.
Over his last three starts, Kitna amassed an average passer rating of 106, by throwing 7 TDs, 3 INTs and averaging 9 yards per pass. Repeating that success may prove difficult against the Saints who possess the 2nd best pass defense in the NFL.
New Orleans plays a mean defense, forcing turnovers at every opportunity and limiting teams to 17 points per game, 4th best in the league. Strong safety Roman Harper, a 5th year player out of Alabama, has 5 forced fumbles and 1 interception. Middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma, the former Miami Hurricanes standout, has 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 interception for the defending champs.
On offense, the Saints are without their normal fire-power. Jeremy Shockey, Pro-Bowl tight end and former teammate of Vilma at Miami when the Hurricanes won the national title in 2001, is questionable for Thursday's game with a rib injury suffered during a TD catch. Former Heisman trophy winner Reggie Bush is also listed as questionable, still recovering from an injured fibula. Not available to play on Thanksgiving day are running backs Ladell Betts and Pierre Thomas.
The Cowboy's defense must take advantage of New Orleans' injuries. The Saints have the 3rd best passing attack in the NFL, while Dallas brings up the rear across the board on defense, ranking 21st against the pass and 22nd against the run. Dallas may also end up choking on the proverbial wishbone, comprised of celebratory, spiked footballs in the end-zone. The Cowboys allow on average 27.1 points per game, 28th in the league.
Online sportsbooks have the Saints listed as -3 1/2 point favorites. Can Dallas avoid a stampede and round up a third consecutive victory?
Cincinnati Bengals vs New York Jets
I just love it when a plan comes together. Can you guess which team is thinking that? Here's a hint. It's not a black and orange clawless cat, meowing its way beyond mediocrity to another season of bitter disappointment and fan alienation.
The Bengals are 2-8, rank 20th in points scored and 23rd in rushing yards per game. QB Carson Palmer, the former USC Trojan star, has raked in 2,625 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. However, he has also given away 13 interceptions and been sacked 17 times. Things won't get any easier against the cardiac kids.
The Jets come through in the clutch. And while they rank middle of the pack against the pass, 16th in the league, opponents have little hope of establishing a running game against New York's 5th ranked rush defense. Putting points on the board is no easy feat either. The Jets allow under 18 points per game, good for rank of 5th best in the league.
On offense the Jets are a bone-crunching rushing machine, averaging 146 yards per game. LaDainian Tomlinson has 5 TDs and averages 4.5 yards per carry. His career breathing second life since moving to the east coast from San Diego, Tomlinson shares the backfield with Shonn Greene, the 2nd year running back out of Iowa who is averaging 4.1 yards per carry.
The Bengals will have their paws full trying to stop the run, a goal they have not achieved so far this season. Cincinnati allows 118 yards per game, 23rd in the NFL. The Jet's last three games have been nail biters, and Tomlinson has failed to score a rushing TD in each. If the Bengals defense can somehow limit the run, they can focus on the small task of stopping Mark Sanchez, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller. /sarcasm.
The Jets are 8-2, tied with New England at the top of the AFC East, and listed as -9 point favorites for Thursday's NFL sports betting. They host a Cincinnati Bengals team on Thanksgiving day that will more than likely be the prey rather than the predator.
Jason Garrett makes his debut as Cowboy's head coach, dropping the Giants in New Meadowlands Stadium, 33-20, behind QB Jon Kitna's 3 TD passes.
Dallas has something to cheer about. For at least one week. The Cowboys stunned New York, who were -12 1/2 point favorites at home. The 52 Total combined points made winners for bettors who took the Over at 46 points.
In addition to his three touchdowns, Kitna picked up 327 passing yards and threw one interception. Receivers Dez Bryant and Miles Austin each scored TDs, as well as third year running back, Felix Jones, scoring on a 71 yard pass play. The Giants, who possessed the #1 defense in the NFL, gave up a total of 427 yards.
The Giants, on the other hand, made too many mistakes to compete in Sunday's game. New York was penalized eight times for 69 yards and committed three turnovers, including 1 fumble and 2 interceptions.
The Giants faced Dallas without two of their starters, receiver Steve Smith and OT David Diehl. After blasting Seattle in Week 9, 41-7, the Giants fell flat, although receiver Mario Manningham did pick up 91 yards on 10 receptions and running backs Bradshaw and Jacobs combined for 90 yards.
Dallas (2-7) @ Detroit (2-7)
NY Giants (6-3) @ Philadelphia (5-3) - against Washington Redskins Nov. 15