Qual­ity Thanks­giv­ing matchups

Vik­ings-Lions, Red­skins-Cow­boys, Steel­ers-Colts show­down of teams play­ing above .500 this sea­son

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Barry Wilner

The NFL is brag­ging about how for the first time since 1935, Thanks­giv­ing Day fea­tures three games with all six teams at .500 or bet­ter.

Con­sid­er­ing how me­diocre so many teams are this sea­son, Pro Picks isn’t sure how to take that stat.

Re­gard­less, there are two very sig­nif­i­cant di­vi­sional matchups today at the tra­di­tional hol­i­day sites, Dal­las and Detroit. And an im­por­tant in­ter-divi­sion con­test in In­di­anapo­lis.

The Colts (5-5) have won two in a row, but the most re­cent vic­tory was costly, par­tic­u­larly with the Sun­day-Thurs­day time­frame for their game with the Steel­ers. An­drew Luck en­tered the con­cus­sion pro­to­col on Mon­day.

The backup quar­ter­back for In­di­anapo­lis is Scott Tolzien. Not ex­actly in Luck’s class, you say?

“We’ve got a guy that comes to work ev­ery sin­gle day and pre­pares like a starter ever since he’s been in this build­ing,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano says of Tolzien, who’s in his fourth NFL sea­son, has thrown 91 passes (all with Green Bay when Aaron Rodgers was hurt) and has not taken a snap this year.

“He un­der­stands and knows this of­fense and if that’s the case, he’ll go out and play win­ning foot­ball.” Sorry, we don’t buy it. Yes, the Steel­ers (5-5), are no pow­er­house this sea­son, es­pe­cially on de­fense. But they’ve got more than enough against the Luck-less Colts.

BEST BET: STEEL­ERS, 33-13 Vik­ings (plus 2 1-2) at Lions

We have to pick an up­set, though we’re luke­warm on this one.


Red­skins (plus 7) at Cow­boys

Red­skins should have won first meet­ing. They will keep this close, but ...

COW­BOYS, 24-21 Charg­ers (plus 1) at Tex­ans

Tex­ans got raw deal in Mex­ico City, make up for it at home.

TEX­ANS, 23-20 Pack­ers (plus 3 1-2) Ea­gles, Mon­day night

No way we can pick this ver­sion of the Pack­ers.

EA­GLES, 30-22 Rams (plus 7) at Saints

No way we can pick Jared Goff’s Rams.

SAINTS, 26-10 Ti­tans (pick-em) at Bears

Line re­flects QB is­sues in Chicago — among many other is­sues.

TI­TANS, 21-12 Giants (mi­nus 7) at Browns

Time for the Browns to end that 0-fer? Think not.

GIANTS, 27-10 Sea­hawks (mi­nus 5 1-2) at Bucs

An in­trigu­ing game, de­spite the dis­par­ity in records.

SEA­HAWKS, 20-17 Pan­thers (plus 4) at Raiders

Pan­thers will play Raiders tough, but won’t get the win.

RAIDERS, 28-27 Chiefs (plus 3) at Bron­cos

Win­ner here is in great shape for play­off spot.

BRON­COS, 23-21 Pa­tri­ots (mi­nus 8) at Jets

Not get­ting burned by Pa­tri­ots as Best Bet again. Still ...

PA­TRI­OTS, 30-20


Colts quar­ter­back An­drew Luck is ques­tion­able for tonight’s matchup against the Steel­ers.

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