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Some real turkeys on Thanksgiving dot the daytime TV schedule

Steve Brownlee

How sad is Thanksgiving football this year? The best team playing during the traditional daytime slots on Turkey Day will be the Detroit Lions.

Yes, those Lions with a 4-6 record.

Thankfully, about a decade ago the NFL added a nighttime game to the lineup to give us the only real good game for those who aren’t diehard fans of the Lions or Dallas Cowboys.

The amazingly still-undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers host the suddenly-lackluster Baltimore Ravens after sunset.

By the way, the other three combatants during the day are all 3-7 — Dallas, the Washington Whatchamacallits (remember that candy bar?) and the Houston Texans, the latter Detroit’s opponent.

By the way, I think that will be my new nickname for the “Football Team” in D.C., and after doing some research on that candy bar, shouldn’t be confused with its cousin, the Thingamajig candy bar.

Now onto the games, which this week didn’t have to be altered from the original schedule because of the coronavirus juggling:

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Thursday, 12:30 p.m.

Houston at Detroit — Looking beyond the records, I see a somewhat ominous sign for the Lions — while they and Houston have both scored 227 points in 10 games this season, Detroit has allowed 287 while the Texans have only allowed 272.

That’s close enough, along with the one-game difference in their records, that you’ve got to look at momentum — or really, “reverse” momentum — plus the short week at home. Therefore, taking a deep breath, Lions 27-22.

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Thursday, 4:30 p.m.

Washington at Dallas — This is for all the marbles. Well, it would seem marbles are an apt symbol of what they’re playing for in the NFC East, where pundits are speculating whether any team will get to six wins (a 6-10 record, or in Philly’s case a 6-9-1 mark). Egad. I don’t know if reverse momentum works with teams this bad. Cowboys, 33-30.

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Thursday, 8:20 p.m.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh — Though Pittsburgh has won every week, this game should be getting their attention as these have been the top two teams in the AFC North for at least, what, the last decade? Steelers, 26-24.

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Sunday, 1 p.m.

Las Vegas at Atlanta — I think Jon Gruden’s finally got the Raiders in its proper mindset of not having a huge letdown following their close loss to Kansas City on Sunday night. And the Falcons are the kind of “loose” team Vegas should take advantage of. Raiders, 31-24.

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Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo — While this may only be the third- or fourth-longest road trip in the NFL, it should seem like the Honolulu Hula-Hoops are playing the Reykjavik Walruses up on the Arctic Circle in Iceland when a Los Angeles team has to go to upstate New York after Thanksgiving. Brrrrr. Bills, 27-19.

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New York Giants at Cincinnati — It’s at the point with Joe Burrow out for the season for the Bengals that I’d even pick the Jets to beat Cincy, let alone this higher-quality New York squad. Giants, 33-21.

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Tennessee at Indianapolis — Each team should feel fortunate to win on Sunday. But I liked Indy’s look in its win better. Colts, 23-17.

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Cleveland at Jacksonville — Remember, the 1-9 Jaguars once were 1-0. That was a lo-o-o-ng time ago. Browns, 34-16.

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Carolina at Minnesota — Here’s the classic reverse momentum case. The Panthers should be fat and happy after a nice Thanksgiving and their shutout of the Lions, while the Vikings slammed the brakes on their momentum by losing to Dallas. Dallas? Vikings, 26-20.

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Arizona at New England — Kyler Murray will show the small but quick quarterback is at least as good as the hulking QB body of Cam Newton. Cardinals, 24-20.

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Miami at New York Jets — Even though it’s not Buffalo, and I’m not ESPN’s Chris Berman, no one can circle the wagons like the Miami Dolphins. Actually, that sounds like a good plot for a Spongebob Squarepants cartoon episode. Dolphins, 28-19.

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Sunday, 4 p.m.

New Orleans at Denver — As good as the Broncos’ defense looked against Miami, that was only one time. And anyway, New Orleans’ was at least as good against Atlanta. Saints, 28-17.

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San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams — The 49ers had last week off to heal, while the Rams are playing on a short week. That’s good, but is it enough for oft-injured San Fran? Rams, 33-24.

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Kansas City at Tampa Bay — Is this an unenviable task, or what, for the Buccaneers? Losing in a crushing defeat and coming back on a short week to face the most prolific offense in the NFL. Oops. Chiefs, 40-31.

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Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Chicago at Green Bay — Maybe the Packers should get the Turkey Day early daytime slot; this certainly would be worthy of that preferred spot. Then again, this might be the preferred time to play this week. Even though the Packers have played worse at home, I think the Bears get their attention. Packers, 28-25.

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Monday, 8:15 p.m.

Seattle at Philadelphia — A quick scan at the standings might make you think this is a good game — one team has a half-game lead in its division and the other is tied for first. Only problem is the Eagles are the leaders in the NFC Least with their stupendous 3-6-1 record. By the way, Seattle has a much more respectable 7-3 mark. Seahawks, 35-27.

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Last week — 6-8 (ouch!), 43 percent. Season — 100-60-1, 63 percent.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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