NFL Blake’s Picks Thanksgiving Edition

Bears @ Lions

What a game to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday. Andy Dalton vs. Tim Boyle. Whoever scheduled this has a twisted sense of humor. Both teams have a number of injuries to their starting squad. The Bears will be without Justin Fields, Allen Robinson, and Akiem Hicks, with Eddie Jackson being a game-time decision. The Lions will be missing Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Trey Flowers and AJ Parker, with Jared Goff, Jermar Jefferson, and Michael Brockers listed as questionable. With so many starting players out on a short week, and both teams fielding two of the worst offenses this year, expect the first game of the day to be an ugly slog. The Bears defense has really been the weak point these last few games for Chicago, giving up 4th quarter leads against San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. There are reports that the players are fed up with Nagy and that he has lost the locker room, and when that happens, those losses start to magnify. The players aren’t buying him anymore, the respect Nagy had is all but gone. This is the perfect storm for Detroit. The Bears organization has been in complete disarray all week. They are unfocused and unprepared, more so than usual. The Lions get their first win this season.

Edit: Jared Goff expected to start today.

Lions 16 Bears 13

Raiders @ Cowboys

The Raiders haven’t been the same since their loss to the Giants in week 9. Derek Carr went from being an MVP candidate to playing like a below average QB. This seems to be a yearly thing for him. This should be a game that he should win, but he will probably lose. It’s worth noting that Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller, both projected to be in the top 5 of their respective positions, have also been underperforming this year. The season is most likely over for Vegas. They had a shot at being the number one seed, but after losing 5 of their last 7 games and after all of the drama and distractions they’ve been subjected to, it seems that their ceiling is 8 wins. The Cowboys, however, have a shot at the number one seed in their conference and they are fielding one of the most improved defenses from last year, led by Trevon Diggs and rookie Micah Parsons. The defense will have to step up again today with Amari Cooper missing his second straight game due to COVID-19 and CeeDee Lamb possibly being out with a concussion. Dallas has hit a few speed bumps this year, losing to bad teams, but that seems to be a theme for great teams this year. Dallas wins at home and improves to 8-3.

Cowboys 31 Raiders 20

Bills @ Saints

Can anyone trust the Bills? They lost to the Jags. OK, that seems to be happening to every contender, but then to get blown out by the Colts? The Colts are an OK team but why did Buffalo look so unprepared? Is Josh Allen still good? There are so many questions on this team right now and that’s the last thing this team needs in the middle of a playoff push. In the midst of their slump, they’ve slipped out of 1st place in their division, allowing the Patriots to regain the position they held for 2 decades. If the Bills want to be viewed as legit contenders, they need to regain 1st place in the division, and that starts with beating New Orleans today. The Saints won’t just roll over though. They are also fighting for a playoff spot. New Orleans will be without Alvin Kamara. Mark Ingram is banged up but should be able to play. Trevor Siemian won’t be able to match Josh Allen. If the Saints fall behind and are forced to throw the ball, its game over. Establish the run early and you can control the game. But I have to pick the better QB. I hope I don’t regret it.

Bills 31 Saints 23

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Enjoy the games and enjoy the food!

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