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1. Give thanks for three games on Thursday.
Hey, you're not looking too good. You might have to take Thursday off to rest up and get better. Thanksgiving. This year: Houston at Detroit, Washington at Dallas and, in prime time, New England at the New York Jets.
Every team now has had its bye week. From here on out, it's six weeks of mayhem for all 32 clubs to conclude the regular season. You know how it usually goes the hottest teams in mid December stand the best chance of succeeding in the playoffs. No one will care how well, or poorly, you played up to now. As Green Bay well knows.
3. Speaking of the Packers .
With the NFC North title back within view, and third place Minnesota still hot on their heels, the Green Bay Packers must bring their A game to the Meadowlands on Sunday night. Plus, the Packers have a score to settle with the Giants after last year's playoff loss. Ought to be a good one.
4. The concussed adores.
Will any of last week's concussed quarterbacks Michael Vick of the Eagles, Jay Cutler of the Bears, or Alex Smith of the Niners return this week? Probably. Maybe. Not sure. Who knows.
5. One of the most meaningless MNFs ever.
The 2 8 Carolina Panthers visit the 3 7 Philadelphia Eagles. Start shopping for the munchies now. If the Panthers win, their chances of winning the NFC South improve to 0.000000001%. And if the Eagles win, they'll extend their win streak to one.
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Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman. On the Bucs' four game winning streak, Freeman has thrown 10 TDs vs. two picks. Sunday in Carolina he led his team to two late scores to send the game into OT, on long drives that featured not a single run only Freeman's passing. In the fourth and in OT he passed for 270 yards.
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Detroit Lions QB Matt Stafford's 16 interceptions last season were offset by first rate yardage and TD totals 5,038 and 41. This season, after 10 games he has 12 TDs and 10 picks. Worse, he and the Lions sputter too often, and his mechanics are messed up or something. He misses way too many easy passes now.
ON THE HOT SEAT
Ron Rivera, Carolina head coach
His 2 8 Panthers are crumbling again, after cacking up a late 11 point lead to Tampa Bay. The Panthers have lost five of six home games, and Cam Newton and the offence remain in disarray. Watch out, Ron.
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Is Von Miller the second coming of Lawrence Taylor? We won't go that far, but the smallish, super athletic Denver Broncos pass rushing linebacker is taking over games in his second year. He added three sacks (to now lead the league with 13) and two forced fumbles against San Diego.
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The New Orleans Saints. Yes, they're playing a lot better since their 0 4 start. But their defence still ranks 31st against the pass and 32nd against the run. Giants, Tampa Bay and at Dallas. He could not throw deep. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt yanked him when his underdog Cards were ahead. Similarly, the Jags coulda had a better year if they'd switched to Henne earlier. Henne is no great NFL QB, but he's better than Gabbert by a bunch. Who isn't?