Nov. 26, 2016
"The Stack" 11-24-16
Happy Thanksgiving! The Stack is back on this holiday Thursday with a preview of the trio of NFL games we will all watch today. I am thankful to be able to do this and would one day love to see this blossom into a full-time gig, but right now I am thankful that there are people who read this every day, so thank you! Let’s get right to the Turkey Day NFL preview in “the stack” for today, Thursday, November 24th:
Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions 12:30 PM ET CBS
This is a critical game for both teams, but more so the Vikings. Both teams are 6-4 and the Vikings already lost to the Lions in Minneapolis a few weeks ago. A loss would put them back essentially two games in the division. It isn’t going to be easy. It doesn’t sound like wide receiver Stefon Diggs is going to play. Cornerback Terrence Newman won’t play. Likewise with reserve cornerback and punt return specialist Marcus Sherels. That means everyone else is going to have to step up. I think they can do it, but I won’t hold my breath on it. The Lions have trailed in every game in the fourth quarter this season. At some point that streak is going to end and that may be today. The Vikings have be ready to play and be the desperate team. I have been planning to pick them all this week, but as kickoff approaches, I am leaning towards the Lions.
Prediction: Lions 23 Vikings 20
Washington @ Dallas Cowboys 4:30 PM ET FOX
What a great game this is going to be. The Cowboys haven’t lost since week one while Washington has really started to get it going here since their tie in London against Cincinnati. Their offense has been especially impressive with Kirk Cousins being extremely accurate and R. Kelly turning into a very effective running back. They’ll have plenty of chances to make big plays against a Cowboys defense that has been much better this year than just about everyone expected, but still can be had. The trick for Washington is going to be to slow down Ezekiel Elliott and contain Dak Prescott. Easier said than done. Remember last year when Josh Norman (then with the Panthers) shut down Dez Bryant? Expect that to happen again today only this time the Cowboys will find a way to win. At some point they will lose again, but I can’t get myself to do it at home on Thanksgiving.
Prediction: Cowboys 30 Washington 27
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts 8:30 PM ET NBC
Both teams need a win so they can be in first place (if you’re the Steelers) or only a half-game back (if you’re the Colts) in their respective divisions. Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is going to have another monster game and the Steelers will win this one pretty easily since Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is not playing. Scott Tolzien? Not happening Colts fans.
Prediction: Steelers 31 Colts 16
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Enjoy the day of football, food and family which may not necessarily be the order you put that in. Have a safe and healthy one.
Coming up Friday: Quick Turkey Day football recap plus week 12 NFL preview and predictions
Listen to this week's "The Sports Block" podcast here.