Thanksgiving “classics”

Published 10:57 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tennessee (10-1) at Detroit (0-11) – 12:30 p.m.

After Lion fans watched their winless team take a 17-0 lead last week against visiting Tampa Bay, then wind up losing 38-20, Detroit fans still bought the last 1,000 tickets on Tuesday and there will be a sellout for Detroit’s traditional Thanksgiving game. Other than the loyalty of downtrodden Lion fans, there’s no other reason for thanks.

The Titans are a power because of their running game, which didn’t get going on Sunday as the Jets ended Tennessee’s undefeated record in a rout. The Titans have reason for thanks because Detroit, among quite a few other categories, is last in the league at stopping the run.

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Line – Titans by 11

My pick – Titans 20-13

Seattle (2-9) at Dallas (7-4) – 4:15 p.m.

Tony Romo and the Cowboys stole a win out of Washington a couple weeks ago and looked like the explosive Cowboys most expected this season last week thanks to playing San Francisco. Seattle is another easy chance for the Cowboys to keep rolling and, despite their troubles, be in good shape for the playoffs.

This matchup looked to be a strong one for Thanksgiving evening at the start of the season, but Seattle has been hurt by injuries more than any team in the league this year. The Seahawks have eight players on injured reserve and 11 more on their injury list. That includes receivers Deion Branch, Koren Robinson, Ben Obomanu and Nate Burleson. All four of those guys would’ve been ahead of Seattle’s new leading receiver John Carlson, a rookie tight end out of Notre Dame. Adding to that, Charlie Frye and Seneca Wallace have started more games than Matt Hasselbeck.

Line – Cowboys by 13

My pick – Cowboys 34-14

Arizona (7-4) at Philadelphia (5-5-1) – 8:15 p.m.

While the Cardinals won’t consider themselves thankful to have to spend their Thanksgiving in the friendly city of Philadelphia, they could be feeling quite a bit better than Donovan McNabb if his struggles continue in front of his hometown fans.

In the last two weeks, even with overtime-gate aside, McNabb’s rating is 32.1 with five interceptions and two fumbles lost.

Arizona plays in the worst division in the NFL, so at 7-4, they’ve practically clinched the division title already. San Francisco at 3-8 is in second in the NFC West.

That said, Kurt Warner is still getting it done at age 37. He’s averaging 319 passing yards a game with a 69.7 completion percentage. Even with the division in the bag, the Cards need to keep going to get the No. 2 NFC seed. A playoff game in Arizona would be a bigger home-field advantage than normal.

Line – Eagles by 3

My pick – Arizona 28-24

Last week – 10-5

For the season – 104-69