Organized Sports is a recurring sports column named for a seminal DC avant-hardcore song by the equally stupid and brilliant (to me, “equally stupid and brilliant” pretty much just means “brilliant”) band Void. Take from that what you will.
The annual day of feasting and family-hating is upon us, so it’s time to determine what each NFL team is thankful for. Last week I went 8-6, and therefore I’m thankful to be back at .500 on the year, with the legbreakers no longer on my trail. Check out the thanks and the picks after the jump.
(Note: All point spreads listed here are the lines at the time picks were made. Be sure to consult your very legitimate and legal sports book [cough] before making a bet of your own; lines move constantly due to the action on particular games. Also, gambling is illegal in many states. And watch out for those offshore betting sites, lest you end up like an online poker professional. Okay? Okay. Onward and upward.)
Last Week: 8-6
My Record So Far: 78-78-4
Thanksgiving Early Game (11/22 12:30PM ET)
Houston Texans (-3) at Detroit Lions
After last week’s remarkable performance, the Texans have been reminded that they should be thankful for Andre Johnson, who’s taken back the crown as the best wideout with the last name Johnson in the NFL from Detroit’s Calvin Johnson. The Lions don’t have much to be thankful for this year, but they can at least be thankful that Ndamukong Suh hasn’t been suspended (yet).
My Pick: Texans (-3)
Thanksgiving Afternoon Game (11/22 4:15PM ET)
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5)
The Redskins are obviously thankful the Rams were willing to trade the second overall pick, with which they drafted their franchise savior (maybe) and the most exciting player in the league (definitely) in Robert Griffin III: Season of the Witch. The Cowboys are just thankful that the Eagles are the bigger disappointment in the NFC East this year.
My Pick: Redskins (+3.5)
Thanksgiving Night Game (11/22 8:20PM ET)
New England Patriots (-6) at New York Jets
The Patriots are thankful for their pattycake schedule this year, allowing them to put up a record that’s far better than it should be, even with a home loss to the now-lowly Cardinals. The Jets are thankful they got to play the Rams last week.
My Pick: Patriots (-6)
Sunday Early Games (11/25 1PM ET)
Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals (-8)
The Oakland Raiders don’t have much to be thankful for, other than the fact that they share a division with the Kansas City Chiefs and their longtime rivals are the league’s laughing stock this year. The Bengals are thankful that they drafted AJ Green and he is both ridiculously talented and fun to watch, and has yet to prove himself an Ochocinco-like distraction or a Chris Henry-like troubled soul.
My Pick: Raiders (+8)
Pittsburgh Steelers (-1.5) at Cleveland Browns
Though they’ve been bitten by the injury bug, the Steelers still must be thankful that they have the league’s coolest coach, Mike “Unleash Hell” Tomlin. The Browns can be thankful that they’ve managed to ruin a lot of picks by bettors by keeping many games closer than what we all would have thought, and that they get to play Pittsburgh’s third-string QB, Charlie “So Old He Farts Dust” Batch.
My Pick: Browns (+1.5)
Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts (-3)
The Bills fans can be thankful yet another year is going by without the team moving to Toronto or Los Angeles. The Colts have to be thankful for Andrew Luck. I have to be pissed that the Rams did not get to draft number one in a year where the choice was between Luck and RGIII: Revenge of the Sith.
My Pick: Colts (-3)
Denver Broncos (-10) at Kansas City Chiefs
The Broncos are thankful for the continuing miraculous regeneration of Peyton Manning’s arm. The Chiefs are thankful that the season is more than halfway over.
My Pick: Broncos (-10)
Tennessee Titans (-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Titans can be thankful that Chris Johnson has resurrected himself from the depths of bustdom. The Jaguars can be thankful that they at least have a competent backup in Chad Henne.
My Pick: Titans (-3)
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
The Vikings must be thankful that Adrian Peterson heals at a rate rivaling that of Logan, also known as Wolverine, and is having a great season, possibly his best, just months after a massive knee injury. The Bears can be thankful that Jay Cutler should be back soon (who would have ever thought anyone would say that?).
My Pick: N/A (no line due to injuries)
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (PK)
The Falcons are definitely thankful that they’re the number one team in the NFC, even as they haven’t looked impressive doing it. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers must be thankful for Doug Martin, the Muscle Hamster, who may challenge Luck and RGIII: The Search for Spock for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
My Pick: Falcons
Seattle Seahawks (-3) at Miami Dolphins
Both the Seahawks and the Dolphins are thankful their rookie quarterbacks are exceeding expectations, but they’re not thankful that they’re in divisions with the 49ers and Patriots, respectively.
My Pick: Seahawks (-3)
Sunday Late Games (11/25 4:05PM ET)
Baltimore Ravens (-2) at San Diego Chargers
The Ravens are thankful that they’ve been able to win without Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb. The Chargers fans are thankful that this year’s terrible season may put an end to the Norv Turner era once and for all (though maybe it won’t).
My Pick: Ravens (-2)
San Francisco 49ers (-2) at New Orleans Saints (4:25 start)
The 49ers are thankful that their backup quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, has been able to come in and be at least as good, maybe better, than the injured Alex Smith. The Saints are thankful that they have Drew Brees, who’s been able to cover up for the fact that his team has a terrible defense in the past few games. Not this one, though.
My Pick: 49ers (-2)
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) (4:25 start)
As a Rams fan, I am thankful that the Rams have already achieved what, in comparison to last year, is a successful season, with our win total of three dwarfing last year’s two. The Cardinals should thank their lucky stars that Larry Fitzgerald, maybe the most talented wideout in the league, hasn’t forced his way out of a hapless organization that can’t find him even a mediocre quarterback.
My Pick: Rams (+2.5)
Sunday Night Game (11/25 8:20PM ET)
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (-2.5)
Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning.
My Pick: Packers (+2.5)
Monday Night Football (11/26 8:30PM ET)
Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
These teams basically have nothing to be thankful for, and neither do we for having this as our Monday Night game.
My Pick: Panthers (+2.5)
Hay every1 tell me what ur thankful 4 in the comments. ❤ u all!