A Holiday Tradition Continues- Thanksgiving Day marks the beginning of Week 13 of the 2013 NFL Season. As in years past, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys continue their tradition of inviting football fans across the country and early evening with them. Add to it a new tradition from NBC Sports of a third game just in time for that extra helping of turkey and ones favorite pie, and it’s all good. Thanksgiving has always for me meant family and football because that’s much of what I grew up around. Even my mom would get into the act sometimes and actually be the one yelling the loudest at the television, all the while making the best turkey in all of NoCal. When I was nine years old in 1970 the Detroit Lions hosted the Oakland Raiders in the first ever game in which on-field microphone was used. The microphone was held by one man and looked like a large satellite dish. During the game the Raiders corner George Atkinson delivered what appeared to be a late hit on Lions wide receiver Charlie Sanders at the end of an incomplete pass right near where this live microphone was positioned. Sanders did not think much of the late hit and let Atkinson know what he thought about it in great R-Rated detail. Nothing like the sounds of live professional football being microphoned into millions of home across the country. Sanders would get the last laugh as he caught two touchdown passes from Lions QB Greg Landry in a 28-14 Lions win. Now the NFL has come a long way from that Thanksgiving Day and for years has been a main staple of an American tradition since most of us can remember.
Thanksgiving 2013- There are three games on tap and the Kingshark Line as usual is all over it. Week 12 was a tough week for the KSL as it survived a 7-7-1 week. Since Green Bay and Minnesota tied we just throw the game out since who could ever predict a tie besides maybe Nostradamus? I know some won’t like that but let me ask you did any of you have this game as a tie? Probably not. The KSL hits Week 13 at 118-60-1 and looks ahead to three games which all will have some playoff implication attached for five of the six teams playing. In the AFC, right now you have several teams vying for the number six seed in the upcoming playoffs with 5-6 records. Believe or not the Tennessee Titans actually are the current sixth seed. This will probably change hands several times before Week 17 is done. The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers are two of these 5-6 teams and they will be playing each other Thanksgiving Night for our viewing pleasure. The Raiders and Lions will also be playing, just not each other. The Lions will host the Packers in a critical NFC North match up while the Raiders will play the Cowboys in Dallas. Here is how the KSL sees these games:
Green Bay@Detroit (FOX)- The Lions enter this game with a 6-5 mark and are tied for the top spot in the NFC North with the 6-5 Chicago Bears. The Lions lost a shocker at home to the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-21 Sunday in a game where Matt Stafford threw three interceptions, two of which game in the red zone. The Packers managed a 26-26 tie with the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field Sunday in which journeyman Matt Flynn returned to Green Bay to relieve ineffective starter Scott Tolzien. With Aaron Rogers still out with a collarbone injury the Packers offense just does not have the effectiveness it normally enjoys. When Rogers was behind center the defense also benefited because the Packers could just outscore an opponent which hid some defensive flaws. The Lions are a team where the jury is still out simply because they have dropped two games in a row to teams that had a combine win total of five at the time they played them. That’s never a good thing. The Lions are at home and have already lost at Green Bay prior to Rogers injury. The Lions should realize that if they are going to take the NFC North it absolutely has to begin here. Stafford rebounds and out duels Flynn...just barely. Lions 27 Packers 24.
Oakland@Dallas (CBS)- The Cowboys at 6-5 have the lead in the NFC East and perhaps may just realize that if they can get on a run not only can they win the division but also capture the number three seed in the NFC. At least that’s what they believe deep in the Lone Star State. The Cowboys against the Giants on Sunday simply made the plays they had to make in a 24-21 win. The Raiders fell to the Tennessee Titans in the final ten seconds of their game in Oakland on Sunday. Matt McGloin has filled in for Terrelle Pryor and done a decent job. Tony Romo meanwhile has been hot and cold for the Cowboys which really isn’t news. When Romo is on his game however and can find Jason Witten and Dez Bryant amongst others Dallas can become explosive. The Cowboys are eyeing control of their division and the Raiders as good of a story as they are have been fading as of late. The Cowboys are just a little hungrier at this point. Cowboys 31 Raiders 21.
Pittsburgh@Baltimore (NBC)- This should be a good game if you like rivalries and low scoring games. The Ravens at 5-6 have had some tough luck all season but still appear to be the best amongst the many teams bidding for the final playoff spot in the AFC. The Steelers have won three in a row after dropping six of their first eight games. The Steelers offense has had their best two weeks of the season scoring 37 and 27 points in their last two contest. Between the two starting quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger is the more likely to light up the scoreboard. However Joe Flacco knows how to engineer drives that grind and can effectively eat up the clock as well as make a big play when it needs too. Between the two teams, the Ravens have the superior defense and know how to deal with pressure games. The Steelers won the first meeting in Pittsburgh in October by three points. The Ravens find a way to grind out this game and get even with their rivals. Ravens 20 Steelers 17.
Enjoy the games and have a great Thanksgiving.
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*Mandatory Disclaimer: The Kingshark Line is stickily for entertainment purposes only. I have the same exact information that anyone else has and do not claim to know any more or less than the next guy. This is not to promote or encourage gambling on football or any other sport. No point spreads are played here or implied in any way. Scores are for entertainment purposes only and are only based on team trends, team reports, etc. There is no inside information given here or implied. This is just for your information and entertainment. Enjoy the games.