Pittsburgh at Indianapolis
I don’t think there is much to say for this game. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers are getting healthier and healthier as the season goes on and we should only expect their team to get better. On the other hand, the colts without Andrew Luck will be miserable to watch. I believe without him they are arguably a worse team than the Cleveland Browns. Their offense has a running back 5 or 6 years past his prime, one good WR on the outside, and a terrible offensive line. Andrew Luck is the reason that this team is barely treading water. In addition, the defense is one of the worst in the league ranking 26th in points against, so when the offense keeps going 3 and out (this game) and the defense won’t get off the field, it will turn into an ugly day quickly. This will be a blowout from the beginning and expect a huge day from anyone wearing a Steelers jersey. It will be a tough thanksgiving for colts fans, and this game will make them even more thankful that they have Andrew Luck keeping them from the being the next Cleveland Browns. Steelers 31, Colts 10.
Minnesota at Detroit
I think Detroit will win this game in the end, but it will be another very tight Thanksgiving game that could easily go either way. Obviously, Minnesota is not as good of a team as we thought after the first 5 games of the season. Nevertheless, they still have an elite defense and Sam Bradford is no slouch as well. They are a good team, but their strength comes when they are at home and can get the crowd behind their defense. But they will be on the road this Thursday and I think that will be the factor in this game. Sam Bradford will struggle to move the ball on the Detroit defense making it so Matt Stafford will not have to score too many points to win the game. I trust Matt Stafford a lot more than I do Sam Bradford and since Detroit is at home, I see Matt Stafford leading Detroit to a game-winning drive with Matt Prater hitting a 50+ yard field goal to win the game. Detroit 20 Minnesota 17.
Washington at Dallas
This might be the game of the week. Dallas is on a roll recently, but have only beaten 1 team this year over .500 (They are 1-1 in those games). It will be a real test for the Cowboys at home, who will look to control time of possession and keep the red-hot Kirk Cousins off the field. I believe the below average Washington defense will struggle to contain Ezekiel Elliot. Kirk should be able to exploit an average Cowboy defense and keep the game close. However, I don’t believe enough in the Redskins, who are just barely an above average team to me. (I think Kirk is a good quarterback but too inconsistent to trust him and label him elite. Also, the defense just isn’t good enough to make up for not having an elite QB). In the end, I think this will be a very close game, but I like Dak and Ezekiel more than I like Cousins and trust the Cowboys’ defense more than I trust the Redskins’. Not to mention, the Cowboys get the advantage of being home on a short week. Cowboys 27-24.
Ryan is currently a student at the University of North Carolina. He grew up in the Bay Area and has had Raiders season tickets his entire life fostering his love for the NFL. He has founded his own sports website, thejrreport.com and works at the Sports Desk for the Daily Tar Heel. You can follow Ryan on twitter @rytime98 if you want to discuss anything sports.