LOS ANGELES, November 28, 2013—Wednesday night brings the beginning of Hanukkah and Thursday brings Thanksgiving. This means only one thing. It is time for five straight days of football. This is the weekend where every single day from Thursday through Monday brings football. Since Friday and Saturday involves a bunch of college boys, those days will be left to people who talk about boys. Thanksgiving is about men eating turkey legs right off the bone and watching football.
In February the NFL showcases Super Bowl (48) SLVIII. Last week was Super Bowl 47 1/2 as Peyton Manning and the Broncos traveled to play Tom Brady and the Patriots. It was billed as a potential AFC Title Game, and lived up to expectations as New England overcame a 24-0 halftime deficit to win a game for the ages.
As big as that game was, this week’s matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks is even bigger. This is a potential NFC Title Game worthy of the label Super Bowl 47 3/4. Drew Brees brings one of the greatest offenses in NFL history against Richard Sherman and the Legion of Boom. The stakes for this game are higher. While both this matchup and last week’s Manning-Brady showdown could affect home field advantage throughout the playoffs, that home field matters more in the NFC.
New England and Denver both play outdoors in bitter cold weather in the winter months. Either team could go into the opposing team’s stadium and get a road win (although Manning himself has struggled in cold weather). New Orleans plays their home games indoors in the Superdome and Seattle’s outdoor stadium has the “feel” of their former indoor Kingdome stadium. Neither of these teams in the playoffs would be expected to get a road win against the other one.
This is why we watch football. Here is the NFL 2013 Week 13 Preview, with point spreads courtesy of “The Linemakers” and all times EST.
Thursday, November 28
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions—Both of these teams have a realistic shot to win the NFC North and then lose a wildcard playoff game. Despite the Lions having similar team colors to the state of Israel, coach Jim Schwartz is still not Jewish.
Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys—Kids today are too young to remember that for decades these teams were both perennial Super Bowl contenders. Now they are both underachievers, although Dallas can still win the NFC Least.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens—Normally these teams were battling for their division. Now they are both 5-6 and fighting for their very survival. Despite the records, the hatred and respect between these teams still makes this worth watching.
Sunday, December 1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers—Tampa began 0-8 and won three straight. Carolina began 1-3 but has since won seven straight. Tampa is not getting to 8-8.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns—League rules require that this game be played. League rules do not require that this game be discussed in any way.
New England Patriots at Houston Texans—The Patriots are coming off the greatest comeback win in team history. Now they face a Houston team who has lost nine straight games. Both teams are models of consistency, so make that ten straight losses.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts—The Colts are stumbling, but can still all but lock up the division with a win over a Tennessee team fighting for its playoff life.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings—The Bears can still win the NFC North, but Minnesota hung tough last week against Green Bay on the road. This game will come down to who wants it least.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets—These teams are both 5-6 and in the playoff hunt. Based on how they are playing, this could be the first game in NFL history where both teams lose.
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles—Arizona has quietly won four straight to get to 7-4 while Philadelphia at 6-5 is tied for the NFC Least lead. The winner of this game will have the inside track on losing a wildcard playoff game.
Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills—Neither of these teams is going to the playoffs. Outside of Georgia, Western New York, and Eastern Canada, nobody cares about this game.
St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers—The 49ers have the better team but the Rams under Jeff Fisher played the 49ers very tough twice last year. The Rams have a defense, and could make this another close one.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs—Both teams are 9-2 with losses last week. The Chiefs have lost two straight including to Denver two weeks ago. This game could be for the AFC West title and home field throughout the playoffs.
Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers—The 7-4 Bengals still have not earned respect while the perpetually underachieving 5-6 Chargers had a big win last week at Kansas City. These teams both have offenses that can put points on the board.
New York Giants at Washington Redskins is the Sunday night game. The 4-7 Giants take on the 3-8 Redskins in a game that breaks the tradition of quality matchups on Sunday Night Football.
Monday, December 2, 8:30p.m.
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks is the Monday night game. Sean Payton and Pete Carroll will provide a great chess match for fans who love strategic, smart football.
Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities.
Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.
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