A Tough Thanksgiving

I haven’t gotten around to writing about the Cowboys blowout 28-6 loss at the hands of the Chargers on Thanksgiving.

Dak Prescott is in the midst of the worst stretch of his career. He threw back-breaking interceptions on Turkey Day and instead of leading the Cowboys back, he’s in the crosshairs of the media and fan base suddenly for the first time of his career. This of course is all coming on the heels of the blowout loss suffered to the Eagles. The Cowboys have failed to score a touchdown in three straight games for the first time in franchise history.

I didn’t get to really watch the game in detail; as I was battling two kids for most of the game. And that’s okay. It was nothing special. I was also battling a flu or something, so I didn’t eat a whole lot. It won’t go down as a memorable Thanksgiving. My family is getting smaller. Things are getting more lonely around the holidays.

Their season is on absolute life support. There’s no Zeke Elliott. It seems suddenly that Dak’s stardom has run short. They host the Redskins in Dallas on Thursday Night Football to try to put out this five alarm fire.

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Thanksgiving Game Predictions

From New Jersey, I present you with your Thanksgiving games pick post and more.

Houston Texans (-3) at Detroit Lions

Before I give reason for my pick, let’s check in with a blog we love visiting a lot this time of year to get a perspective on the Detroit Lions, The Lions in Winter.

There’s something magical about the Lions on Thanksgiving, doubly so when you’re there in person. Through thick and thin, and there’s been an awful lot of very thin, this game sells out. It’s an annual national celebration of blessings, and no matter how bleak things have been on- and off-field for the Lions, their fans turn out in force to spend all day reveling in the immutable fact that we are still here.

The Pilgrims themselves gathered ‘round with some corn and some eel and some venison and a few pints of homebrew and toasted their incredible luck at just being able to do so. It’s the same with the Lions and their fans: spit on the team, on the City of Detroit, the State of Michigan, on our way of life all you want. Dismiss us, deny us, wish us all to lose our jobs, whatever.

We are still here.

It goes on to be a tremendous post. The Lions are hanging by a thread. As much as I enjoyed them last year their season is on the brink, and the magic seems to be lost in 2012. They simply have not fared well on Thanksgiving Day for a very long time. I look for them to be competitive early but the Texans are going to show the world tomorrow why they’re the toast of the AFC right now, effectively ending any hopes the Lions have at snagging a Wildcard Playoff spot. It’s been a slow and painful death for the Lions this year, and Wayne Fontes isn’t around with his nine lives to stave off death right now.

I look for the Texans to get the win while you’re opening up your day with the first big servings tomorrow.

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-3)

Robert Griffin III has been awarded with NFC Offensive Player of the Week hardware for last week’s flawless performance. This is his first national television appearance. I think the opposite of what many are expecting; I expect a modest performance from the young start on Thanksgiving, but I think this is easily the game of the day. It’s basically a playoff game for both teams. The winner is still very much in things with momentum on their side and an eye on the Giants Sunday night contest with Green Bay. The loser probably knows this isn’t their year.

Dallas gets a late touchdown to win by four or five, and walks away with the win around the time I’m so full that I can feel it in my ribs.

New England Patriots at New York Jets (+7)

I think the pesky Jets–who surprised me last week with a win over the Rams–find a way to be competitive in this one. Rex Ryan teams seem to play the Patriots tough in nearly every match-up. While I think the Patriots win this game, I think the Jets get a backdoor cover late in the game and get you a push at worst or find a way to make it a close loss. It’s unbelievable the depths of which Mark Sanchez has fallen to.

Lions – Turkey Day Recap

[Game Book]

[ESPN NFL Nation – Rapid Reaction] [Pride of Detroit] [ESPN NFL Nation – Suh] [Lions Insider] [The Lions in Winter] [MLive.com] [Wall Street Journal] [NFL.com Highlights]

Maybe the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had ended without any football fulfillment. But that doesn’t matter. The experiences are all that matter. I kind of began to figure that the teams I wanted to win on Turkey Day wouldn’t get it done for me. And sure enough, my favorite player in the game of football tossed three picks and by the time I really got to settle in and watch the Lions, the game was basically over.

The greatest part of my day, without any shadow of a doubt; was waking up early to take a walk with my wife Stephanie and my dog Bentley yesterday morning early. We went down to the beach and our puppy just ran and played and had the time of his life. This is when I realized and said to myself that I am a lucky man. This is when I felt at peace and gave thanks to the Lord about the things I was thankful in life. It was just a really pleasant beginning to what ended up being a day that I’ll cherish for as long as I live.

After our relaxing walk on the beach with our pup, we headed over to my father in law’s residence and had a nice couple glasses of red wine and watched the kick off of my crown jewel Thanksgiving football game of the entire weekend.

I quickly had to go to the dining room for lunch and didn’t have the chance to see what seemed to appear like a pretty good first half from the Lions on my phone. Then a pick from Matthew Stafford came. Then a missed field goal. It was 7-0 at the half.

I went down to the den at my in-laws residence and kicked my feet up. My wife was not happy about it but I pretty much had her permission. Soon thereafter, Suh pulled his best Albert Haynesworth impression from his hat and was ejected. The Lions turned what would have been a 10-0 ballgame into a quick 14-0 game. It would grow to 24-0 until finally they cracked the scoreboard. My wife made me head over to her mother’s side of the family’s at that point down 24-8 and my belly was swelled with all the garbage I had eaten.

Basically, I didn’t get the chance to watch the game. But it was still a damn good build up. And I think the Lions can play with these guys, I really do. Green Bay clearly took away the deep ball, as Stafford checked down a frustrating amount of times and I didn’t see one attempt at a deep shot taken the entire game. He threw into the teeth of the 3-4 defense all day long underneath it instead of going overtop for the big play.

It was agonizing to watch, what little I did see. Aaron Rodgers again did his thing. It seemed a pedestrian game for the greatest there is; but he had his 2 TD, no turnover, 300+ yard game. 

I had some of the best turkey that I’ve ever eaten in my life (in my opinion, anything deep fried does not count). The rest of the Thanksgiving fixins are on the plate as well. I also had a great salad bar, some crab stuffed fish of some type, and vodka penne. Later on (our second meal of the day) at my wife’s mother’s house I could not eat at all. I had only a few bites of marshmallow covered sweet potatoes and that was all.

My second Thanksgiving away from home in New Jersey was a terrific Thanksgiving that would have been made perfect with a Lions win (and a Dallas loss to cover my bet). But all in all I really enjoyed my day and cherish the things in my life that I should. I’m off my soap box, and I apologize for turning a football blog into a journal momentarily.

Thanksgiving Early Game Open Thread

It’s Thanksgiving. Went for a walk on the Jersey shore beach with my dog Bentley and now we’ve got the Macy’s Parade on. In a little bit I’ll head down to my father in-laws where hopefully I don’t get in too much trouble trying to see my Lions get after the undefeated Packers.

Pics of my first plate, and maybe second to come later on. Eat til’ you’re sick! Happy Festivus everyone!

See you tomorrow in the Land of Turducken

Thanksgiving to me was always about great food, good football, my family, and relaxing in the comfort of my parents home that was heated by a woodburning stove. It’s also about the start of the Christmas season. It’s about John Madden (and Pat Summerall for that matter). Big performances by Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Eddie George, Marcus Allen, and a handful of others.

It envokes so many memories of my childhood. It’s my favorite time of year. The football games in the front yard. The battles on Sega Genesis madden. The night before Thanksgiving trips to the bar with buddies. The Macy’s day parade with my sister.

The token Christmas movie they throw on every night. My dad’s oyster dressing that I’m running out of years to try.

It just means so much, man. The memories are rich and my life has been good. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. Go Lions.

Goodnight everyone. Happy Festivus.

More Turkey Day Reads and such

Five things to watch for in Packers/Lions. Cannot wait.

-I’m going to try to visit the NFL on CBS on Black Friday in New York City. One might ask why I would look up the address and then try and trek to W. 57th street on such a day. I have watched CBS Sports, The NFL Today pregame show and now NFL on CBS my entire life. It’s a minor bucket-list thing to see where it all ‘goes down’.

KSK’s Thanksgiving picks. Hopefully they play the greatest sports highlight of all time tomorrow in a post, for traditions sake.

-Troy Aikman loves Matthew Stafford’s gloves.

-Calvin Johnson thinks the Lions match up real well with the Packers.

-Oh my God, I’ve found it. What a great Detroit Lions blog. The Lions in Winter.

Two must-read posts before tomorrow:

-NFL Films looks back at a few Thanksgiving history lessons:

TIME gives you four ways to look smart about football on Thanksgiving.

-Picks from the Wall Street Journal.

-Nice watch guide from ESPN Page 2.

-I listened to Bill Simmons’ podcast yesterday on the drive out to New Jersey. It was pretty solid! Here are his Thanksgiving Day picks.

-I’m going to my all time favorite restaurant tonight over in Robbinsville, New Jersey. De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies. Holy shit is this stuff infecting good.

Thanksgiving is almost here

I’m in New Jersey at my wife’s for the second straight Thanksgiving.

It’s times like right now that I’m really happy I started a little football blog several years back. The next four days really are a celebration of food, good fortune, family, friends, and football. All things we’re thankful for.

On the drive out here I pretty much had it locked on ESPN radio the entire time. The topics of domination were Urban Meyer being picked up by the Ohio State Buckeyes as their next head coach. The Columbus Dispatch confirmed–and I got a call from my dad. Really nice news on that front. In other news, we heard a lot of Jets and Mark Sanchez talk along with Tim Tebow.

For me, the biggest story in sports right now are tomorrow’s three beauty football games while you’re gorging yourself with food. The crown jewel of those games tomorrow is the 10-0 Green Bay Packers taking on the 7-3 Detroit Lions. I’ve made no secret this season that I am loving Detroit with their signature talent of Suh, Megatron and Stafford along with a lot of other really nice complimentary players. How about the game Matthew Stafford had last week?

I have had this game circled all year on my schedule. I felt that the Lions have the nastiness on defense to slow down the Packers video game passing attack and the Lions can score to keep up with anyone. The Packers don’t scare me right now on defense. I’ll stop short of making any type of prediction, but I’ll just say that I have a feeling about this one. I have had a feeling all year about it. I think you maybe see the game of the year tomorrow after turning off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and you tune into a classic. Remember, the Lions have been here before.

Pro Football Talk feels we’ll see a hell of a game as well. 

After the best game of the day, you’ve got a Leon Lett redux:

So many memories about those times. I was down at my late granddad’s house. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I don’t think this game will be that close–but with the way Miami has been playing you have to think they at least do enough to give us a good half. I don’t mind this game being on during the true dinner hour because I am used to missing a lot of the Cowboys Thanksgiving game over the years.

Then to close out the night you’ve got the Harbaugh Bowl. My good friend Nick (huge Niners fan) is going to be actually attending this one. He said he thought about making a sign that says ‘I hope J. Harbaugh wins!’. I hope he doesn’t quit his day job to become a comedian.

Such a great slate to kick off the holidays–with big time college games coming Friday (LSU/Arkansas being the biggest) and then rivalry Saturday and of course a full Sunday slate.

I’ll be checking in as often as possible to record and comment on observations.