Thanksgiving weekend, so a bunch of games on Thursday (my TV will be DELIGHTED about games from 5.30 GMT) and pretty much that time when it all starts to get really serious.
Some housekeeping - More appalling officiating, this time showing Mexico how bad it can be (why would you whistle the ‘out of bounds’ one dead? And the consecutive bad spots? And that’s without going into the highly inconsistent PI penalties/non-calls, as ever). The lasers were pretty annoying, I wonder how much effect they actually have. Pricks. Loved the atmosphere though, especially the football style crowd on kickoffs (equivalent of goal kicks I guess). There was one pass in particular where I wondered if the high altitude fooled the WR, he looked like he expected to catch the ball around chest level but then it smashed into his facemask. Would have thought it’d be similar to Mile High in Denver, but it’s over 2000 ft higher, so maybe.
Arians out of hospital, expected to coach Cards this weekend. Hmmm. Jay Cutler double dips into the Bears’ 2016 ‘cannot play’ list, leaving Matt Barkley and David Fales to pucker up, and Jerrell Freeman (possibly their best player this year, certainly most consistently good) is suspended for 4 games. What a season (think they’ll probably piss off one of the Pother NFC North teams with a win though). A whole boatload of other injuries, but I think the only major one to affect a playoff-esque team is Luck’s concussion? Possibly the Philly RBs.
Thursday games - Minnesota at Detroit looks like it’ll be fantastic for half the game (the unstoppable force of President Cooter’s offence vs the immovable (ish) object of Zimmer’s defence), and then, well, less good on the other side of the ball. I have no idea what kind of result or score range this will be, so I’m looking forward to it muchly! Winner of this game probably takes the NFC North, especially if it’s Detroit after that incredible OT win in Minnesota a few weeks back.
Washington at Dallas - you’d think this will be a pretty high scoring game and also a reasonably comfortable Dallas win (I would anyway) - Gruden’s O looks pretty great at the moment, and the defence is pretty punchy, but I can’t see them stopping the Dallas train. The upcoming Vikings and Eagles, maybe, but not Washington. I can se Cousins getting 2-3 picks in this game as they try to play catch up in the 4th
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis - big shame that Luck’s out, both for his health and this game, which looked like it could be a good un. Would have picked the Steelers beforehand, can’t see any hope for the Colts without Luck. Blowout a-coming.