Archive for Thursday, November 24, 2005

Finally, a game with bite

Denver-Dallas no turkey for a change

November 24, 2005


Denver and Dallas might spoil a lot of Thanksgiving dinners. Their game today in Dallas is one of those uncommon holiday games that has serious ramifications in the standings.

The betting line indicates the interest. The Cowboys opened as 1-point favorites, and now it has flip-flopped - the Broncos are favored by 1.

This game is between division leaders: Dallas is tied with the New York Giants for the NFC East lead, and Denver leads the AFC West by two games over San Diego and Kansas City.

The NFC East is relevant here. The Broncos' only loss since opening day was on the road to the Giants in a game they led by 13 points in the fourth quarter and seemed to be controlling. Then they surrendered two late TDs, the last with five seconds left.

The Cowboys seem to have games like that whenever they get on national television.

In the second week, they led Washington, 13-0, late in the fourth quarter in a Monday night game. So ABC flashed a graphic that Bill Parcells-coached teams were 77-0 when they led by 13 in the final quarter and ...

Washington scored two late TDs to win.

Ten days ago in Philadelphia, the reverse happened. The Cowboys trailed the Eagles, 20-7, late, a graphic about the Eagles went up, and Dallas scored twice within 15 seconds to win, the second TD coming on Roy Williams' 46-yard interception return.

All this means is that folks should stay tuned (between bites) even if someone seems in control.

A tough game to figure, but Denver was in Dallas for Thanksgiving in 2001 and won 26-24. So ...


Atlanta (minus 3) at Detroit

It's hard to get two contenders for this fixture because Detroit is always involved.

The Falcons have lost two straight at home. So they win on the road.

FALCONS, 27-20

Pittsburgh (plus 71â2) at Indianapolis (Monday)

Ben Roethlisberger, who will almost surely play, is far better than Tommy Maddox, but the Colts' unbeaten run ends in Jacksonville on Dec. 11, not here.

COLTS, 23-17

New York Giants (plus 41â2) at Seattle

The other half of the NFC East picture. Take the over, which is 47 - the Giants are third in the league with 281 points, the Seahawks fourth with 272.

So ...

GIANTS 28-27

New England (plus 31â2) at Kansas City

The Patriots win again for Belichick's dad.


Chicago (plus 3) at Tampa Bay

The Bears proved themselves last week. Due to lose?

BUCS, 16-12

Baltimore (plus 9) at Cincinnati

The best thing that happened to the Bengals was the Ravens' win last week.

BENGALS, 20-10

San Diego (minus 3) at Washington

Norv Turner got back at "Dan the Fan" last week. Schottenheimer does it now.


Carolina (minus 4) at Buffalo

The Panthers lost in the cold last week. Again?


Cleveland (plus 41â2) at Minnesota

The Vikings are reversing their traditional win-early, lose-late pattern.

VIKINGS, 19-11

Jacksonville (minus 41â2) at Arizona

The Jaguars nearly got burned by Tennessee and Houston.


JAGUARS, 20-17

Green Bay (plus 4) at Philadelphia

Finally, a win.

EAGLES, 24-16

St. Louis (plus 4) at Houston

Will the Texans run the table in the Leinart-Bush sweepstakes?

RAMS, 24-17

New Orleans (off) at New York Jets

The Saints lost their "home" game at Giants Stadium 27-10. Revenge.

SAINTS, 27-10

Miami (plus 7) at Oakland

Raiders schedule getting easier. Too late.


San Francisco (plus 71â2) at Tennessee

The 49ers stay in the Leinart-Bush race.

TITANS, 28-16

LAST WEEK: 6-10 (spread) 10-6 (straight up)

SEASON: 66-92-2 (spread) 103-57 (straight up)


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