Sports Opinion & Analysis

Plymouth Rock

In Media, NFL on November 21, 2012 at 11:16 am

By Chris Carosi

Week 11 of the NFL is in the books and Week 12 rapidly approaches, just as your in-laws and uncouth uncles/cousins/family friends make their way to your cozy household carrying thick casserole trays and lazily prepared desserts. It’s Thanksgiving, which the NFL has adopted as its own holiday to both positive and negative effect.

The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys own Thanksgiving football, which reveals a lingering echo of the old NFL before the merger. The way it’s supposed to work is–and it’s altogether easy to see–either Dallas or Detroit hosts an AFC team and the other hosts an NFC team, guaranteeing coverage for both networks. This is a result of the NFL TV deals with each conference: if a game is inter-conference,  the visiting team’s conference gets the network coverage. So, if the visiting team is an AFC team, the game is broadcast on the AFC affiliate (in today’s case, CBS). If the visiting team is an NFC team, the game is broadcast on the NFC affiliate (Fox). This is totally fine, provided the games are actually good, and it makes total sense seeing that both Dallas and Detroit are in the Central time zone, making it perfect for prime coverage on either coast (cha-ching!)

“Tails.” “Burlap is the call. Burlap it is!”

But two is not enough for the NFL. Belying all of that amazing ratings and money, the NFL has it’s own network: the money-snake that eats itself. Starting a few years back, the NFL Network broadcasts a third game in the evening, snatching up the rest of the East Coast prime-time ratings and a bit of the West… because they can. That is actually a good motto for this league: “Because We Can”. Let’s preview the games.

Houston (9-1) at Detroit (4-6) 12:30PM ET

Houston had to scramble a week after their HUGE win against Chicago and defeat Jacksonville in overtime. They will no doubt come out firing against Detroit, who simply doesn’t have the discipline nor the experience to hang tough in their own division, and their pride is hurt. This is a strange game for both teams, with the Lions having a great potential to win based on their spirit and nothing else. Matthew Stafford will raise his arms in disbelief at a no-call of pass interference on Calvin Johnson a lot, who he will throw to every play in double coverage. Houston has been given 3 points, and they will win by more than a touchdown.

Houston by 9

He can manage.

Washington (4-6) at Dallas (5-5) 4:15PM ET

Dallas is in the driver’s seat in the NFC East and that is so poor considering how horrible they are. This game is all about RG3 on the national stage, where he will dazzle and amaze us until he is leveled by a safety because he has no desire to protect his body or keep his team afloat. In a bizarre turn, the Cowboys have been given 3.5 points in this game. I would take that bet.

Dallas by 2

“Sorry, guys.”

New England (7-3) at New York Jets (4-6) 8:20PM ET

The Patriots’ deconstruction of the Indianapolis Colts last week was both an indication of their overrated dominance of the mediocre teams in their conference and the Colts’ lack of experience in important games in their conference. The Jets come into this game with absolutely zero upside and the blood completely sucked out of them by their leeching, tiring, heavily over-dramatic media coverage and the near-constant parade of pointless Tebow and/or Sanchez articles. I will not watch one second of this game.

New England by 34

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

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