TODAY’S NFL GAMES
NEW ENGLAND (8-2) AT DETROIT (2-8)
When: 9:30 a.m., Ch. 7
Line: New England by 61/2.
Synopsis: The Pats average nearly 29 points a game, tops in the NFL, and face the No. 19 defense. However, QB Tom Brady is nursing a foot injury. Meanwhile, New England’s defense has been lackluster (an average of 29.3 points/game allowed in last 3 outings), and the unit ranks 30th overall. But Detroit appears too banged up to take full advantage.
Bottom line: Lions have lost eight of their last nine on Thanksgiving, including the last six by an average score of 35-12.
The pick: Patriots, 33-20
NEW ORLEANS (7-3) AT DALLAS (3-7)
When: 1:15 p.m., Ch. 13
Line: New Orleans by 4.
Synopsis: Dallas finally has come alive under coach Jason Garrett, going 2-0 and producing 33, then 35 points, and 38-year-old Lincoln High grad Jon Kitna has been a force filling in for injured QB Tony Romo. Kitna has six TD passes in his last two outings and 10 in his five games. But New Orleans’ defense is ranked No. 2 vs. the pass and No. 4 overall. Add to that the Drew Brees-led attack has produced 34 points in each of its last two contests as the Saints now rank 5th in total offense. They face a suspect defense, ranked 22nd overall.
Bottom line: RB Reggie Bush was on the verge of returning last Sunday from a broken leg but was held out a little longer. He might play today, which would further fuel the Saints’ arsenal.
THE PICK: Saints, 30-23.
CINCINNATI (2-8) AT NEW YORK JETS (8-2)
When: 5:20 p.m., NFL Network
Line: Jets by 9.
Synopsis: The bungling Bengals couldn’t even hold a 21-point lead at home last week vs. lowly Buffalo, losing their 7th in a row, and now must go on the road — on short rest — to face one of the NFL’s hottest teams. The Jets blew a late lead but roared back Sunday to beat the Texans and are 8-2. However N.Y.’s pass defense ranks just 16th. It’s the run defense that is the power, rated No. 5.
Bottom line: N.Y. could be caught looking ahead to a showdown at New England in its next outing, and Cincy has the NFL’s No. 8 passing attack, which could keep this one close. However, Bengals QB Carson Palmer has a foot injury and might not be able to go, meaning that Jordan Palmer (Carson’s brother who has thrown 10 NFL passes), could be pressed into action.
THE PICK: Jets, 24-20.
McClatchy news services