NFL 2020: Week 12

It’s Thanksgiving week in the NFL, so we get 3 games on Thursday. Enjoy some bad football (Texans/Lions and Washington/Dallas), some good football (Ravens/Steelers) and turkey.

The 25 semi-finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame were released this week. Here it is. I’d be shocked if Peyton Manning didn’t make it on the first ballot. I’d be less shocked if Charles Woodson and Calvin Johnson aren’t first ballot, but they certainly deserve it based on talent and production. Although, to be honest, I’ve all but given up on the HoF.

In other NFL news, Covid is still a thing (just ask the Ravens), Bengals lose their rookie QB, and the playoff race starts to really heat up. Here’s your games:

Thursday, Nov. 26

11:30 CST

Houston Texans vs. Detroit Lions (+2.5, 51)

3:30 CST

Washington Football Team vs. Dallas Cowboys (-2.5, 46.5)

7:20 CST

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (-4, 45)

Sunday, Nov. 29


Arizona Cardinals vs. New England Patriots (+2.5, 49.5)
Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings (-4.5, 49)
Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5, 48.5)
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Buffalo Bills (-5.5, 54)
Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets (+6.5, 44.5)
New York Giants vs. Cincinnati Bengals (+5.5, 42)
Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts (-3.5, 50.5)
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Atlanta Falcons (+3, 55.5)


New Orleans Saints vs. Denver Broncos (+5.5, 44)
San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams (-6.5, 46.5)
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3, 53)


Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers (-7.5, 45.5)

Monday, Nov. 30

Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles (+5, 51)

The usual Thanksgiving teams (Dallas and Detroit) are hot garbage, but they’re playing other teams that are hot garbage, so maybe the games will be interesting. I’m actually a bit surprised at the lines for the games. I figure the Texans to win easily, WFC’s defense to show up, and the Ravens to fold again. I’d take a piece of all those games. As to watching, the Ravens/Steelers has the potential to be an awesome game, but it depends if Lamar Jackson can get his passing mojo back. It should be a great game, especially given how much these teams hate each other. And just a quick shout out to Mike Tomlin, one of the most underrated coaches in the history of the NFL. You can have your fancy new offensive prodigies like McVay, Kingsbury, and even LaFleur. Give me Tomlin anyday and twice on Sundays.

There’s three games I’d like to see on early Sunday. The Chargers/Buffalo could be fascinating. I’m gobsmacked by how good Justin Herbert has looked, rookie QB’s aren’t supposed to be that good that fast. And I’m still on the Josh Allen sure can feast on bad teams train, so I’m hoping for a good defensive showing by the Chargers. Second, the Colts impressed the heck out of me this year, especially the resilience they showed beating the Packers last week. I love me a strong O line and defense, and that’s the Colts. The Titans had been floundering recently, but their win last week against the Ravens was impressive too. I’m excited for this matchup, especially because of the division championship repurcussions. Finally, I don’t quite get the Raiders hype. I’m distinctly anti-Gruden, but he has the offense running well (and the defense mediocre), but I like the Falcons to upset them this game.

Chiefs/Bucs could be the marquee game of the afternoon, but it depends on which Tom Brady decides to show up. The Bucs defense is pretty darn good and can keep the team in the game, but this game could easily become a blowout too. Should be interesting to see.

Sunday Night is mandatory watching. The Bears usually play the Packers tough, and that may be true this week as they are coming off the bye. It should be an interesting game.

Finally, what the hell is up with Carson Wentz? He’s now the QB I thought he was coming out of college. And that’s not good. But the Seahawks defense is horrid, so maybe the game will be interesting. But I doubt it.

So, let’s hear what you think. What games are you looking forward to? Who should be in the HoF? Which sides are the best at Thanksgiving (stuffing is the correct answer). Let’s hear from you.

Looking at the HOF list, Boselli, Harrison, and Barber are the other names that jump out to me.

Well, thanks to the Ravens continuing to have positive Covid tests, their game against the Steelers, set previously for Thanksgiving night, has been moved to Sunday (time TBD). No Thanksgiving night game. God forbid I may have to talk to my family.

As an aside, a quick little fuck you to Tom Brady for being a sore loser (just like his buddy, Trump) and running away after last Sunday’s game instead of shaking hands (or fist bumping or even just waving) with the opposing team. Just a little reminder that he’s kinda a douchebag.

I assume shifting the time of the other two games is out. In a year with very few fans, it could be done. But I assume there’s some pop star Christmas specials that would interfere with it

Yeah, the other two games have been at 11:30 and 3:30 (CT) for as long as I can remember. The Thanksgiving night game is a relatively new phenomena, I believe.

Per Schefter they’re staying put:

They’ve been between horrid and okay, mostly horrid. But with Carlos Dunlap they have a pass rush now (they sacked Kyler Murray 3 times last game, earlier this year they never even hit him). Since Philly has no OL that’s a problem. And Seattle is getting their #1 CB back so their secondary might not be quite as horrible as it has been the past handful of games.

One thing that has saved the Seahawks defense this year is the ability to feast on turnovers and Wentz leads the league in “turnover-worthy” plays which will be another issue for the Eagles.

We’ll see on Monday but I see the game as a confidence-booster for Seattle’s struggling D.

Exactly so. The evening game was only added in 2006, and has never featured either of the traditional Thanksgiving host teams (the Lions and their Cowboys) – their games have always been in the early or late afternoon time slots.

Markus Paul, the Cowboys’ strength and conditioning coordinator, who fell ill yesterday morning while at the team’s facilities, has passed away at age 54. Paul had been a strength/conditioning coach for several different NFL teams over the past two decades; he had previously been a defensive back for the Bears and Buccaneers in the late '80s and early '90s.

Is it just me or are the ads really really preachy for the Lions/Texans game? Maybe it’s because I’m watching on Yahoo. I know there’s not the usual Black Friday sales.

While I didn’t expect HOU-DET to be a good game but this is a special level of incompetence.

Troy can’t stop calling them the Redskins, or at least starting to.

Mike McCarthy tried to out-riverboat Ron Rivera with that fake punt.

Buck did it once as well. After a lifetime of calling them one name, changing can’t be easy.

Lamar Jackson positive for Covid. Not sure if Ravens/Steelers is going to be in jeopardy

Unless they move it to Tuesday, that Ravens/Steelers game isn’t being played this week.

Well the two games today were pretty much hot garbage.

Dallas just does not look like a good team under McCarthy, and I say that as someone who like his hiring. But they don’t play smart or with a lot of passion. I’m not normally an advocate of one-and-done coaching, but McCarthy’s a borderline candidate.

I think he’s actually not a bad coach; it’s more of a fit and timing issue. McCarthy’s personality is not a good fit in the Cowboys’ organization, where Jerry Jones’ personality and individual star players can make boundaries unclear. It might also be better for him to take a year or two as, say, Belichick’s assistant in New England and see the game from a different vantage point.

But I heard from every Dallas fan that Jason Garrett was the problem. Perhaps that wasn’t the case?