Grocery store run…check! Food prep…check! All food…check! With so much is going on this holiday season, I feel like something is missing. Ah, one of the reasons you the TNP Nation check into the site week in and week out.
Considering the season that is now in place, everyone who has made it this far has reason to give thanks, even if things aren’t quite going as expected. Take the Chicago Bears for example. They are 30th in the league in total offense. Looking at the recent acquisition of Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz, “Da Bears” came into the 2010 season with greater expectations. Yes the taskmaster is in place to take this unit to greater levels, but the on-field personnel can stand for some tweaking of its own. Jay Cutler has almost as many interceptions (10) as he does touchdowns (12). The offensive line provides lanes to the backfield like a bowling alley.
In the midst of all this, the Bears have reason to give thanks. How? They have the third best defense in the National Football League. There is some guy named Devin Hester who is able to give his offense solid field positioning when the ball is punted to him. Finally, they are fighting tooth and nail with the Green Bay Packers for first place in the NFC North, with a 7-3 record.
I too have reason to give thanks, even though I posted a record last week that’s nothing to brag on (9-7). It could be worse! With that said, it can only get better for me. Here we go:
Patriots over Lions- Detroit’s competitive nature this season is set apart from that of seasons past. New England on the other hand, is riding too high and is able to get everybody involved offensively, when it comes to securing wins.
Jets over Bengals- With all the face time that Chad Ochocinco is getting with the TOcho Show, commercials and his recently announced engagement to some Basketball Housewife (Forgive my ignorance), am I wrong for wondering if his head is into football this season?
Packers over Falcons- I know it’s tradition to look to offensive players as MVP candidates, but can we give serious consideration to Cheesehead linebacker Clay Matthews? In nine games played, he has 36 tackles, 11.5 sacks, a forced fumble, an interception and a touchdown. Look for him to continue his campaign against Atlanta.
Steelers over Bills– I picked the boys from Steel Town to take the fall to Oakland last week. How did that turn out for me? I won’t dare pick against them in consecutive weeks, looking at how they’re playing.
Browns over Panthers- Both teams are going through their respective growing pains. The productive play of Peyton Hillis and stellar outputs of Colt McCoy should allow for Cleveland to be the better of the two this week.
Texans over Titans– Houston’s on a four game skid. It’s gotta stop somewhere. The Jeff Fisher/Vince Young falling out could not have come at a better time for the Texans.
Jaguars over Giants– Is anyone scared of Big Blue anymore? Jacksonville is surprisingly first in the AFC South. If the Jags can score a win over the elder Manning brother, who is more consistent, why can’t they do the same against Eli?
Redskins over Vikings– When Minnesota decided to part ways with Brad Childress, I thought to myself “culture change = wins”. And then interim coach Leslie Frazier announced Brett Favre will remain the starting quarterback. Washington’s defense creates turnovers. Can the offense compliment the defense’s work? That remains to be seen!
Raiders over Dolphins– Given that both teams are having to go through their changes at the quarterback position, struggling in the passing game and have solid pass defenses, Oakland should get the edge in this one on the strength of its rushing offense.
Chiefs over Seahawks– The 12th Man is a big deal in Seattle, but I doubt the fan base will be of much assistance to a Seattle team facing a Kansas City defense and rushing game that is tops in the league.
Ravens over Buccaneers– Maybe it’s me, but the Baltimore pass defense, which at one point was trying to find its way, is just about back in full circle. Its leaders Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, although aging, still have the wherewithal needed to make plays in the clutch. Josh Freeman is in for a lesson, courtesy of two Wiley ol’ veterans.
Bears over Eagles– Chicago knows how to attack the backfield. It can very well give Michael Vick fits and stifle one LeSean McCoy.
Rams over Broncos– Sam Bradford continues his campaign for 2010 Rookie of the Year, while Denver still goes through the motions of figuring things out.
Chargers over Colts– Peyton Manning isn’t the only quarterback in this game that knows how to get unfamiliar names involved in games. San Diego is now in its favorite part of the season and momentum is on an upward climb.
As you go forward in celebrating this holiday, always be mindful of the many blessings you have, even though things are not quite the way you want them. Things can definitely be worst. Me, I’m thankful for your continued support of the Take No Prisoners Sports Blog, and the editor that asked me to team up with him on this venture. Enjoy this special day…eat, love, laugh and give thanks. Let’s do it again next week.
By Antoine Hoffman