Thanksgiving weekend has come to a close, leaving us all with a few exta pounds to lose, a few too many containers in the refrigerator, and a few too many points left on the field in a few too many games.
I learned that Black Friday is a day to stay away from Walmart, Best Buy and Toys R’ Us. While you might score a deal on an LCD flat screen, you also could get trampled. You’d think folks would leave their guns at home while shopping for their kids.
Just when you think that you have seen everything, you get surprised. (Sort of like what happened in the NFL this crazy week.) Everything was moving along just fine on Thursday with the Lions getting throttled by the Titans, Dallas closing the door on Seattle, and McNabb getting back on the horse. You heard it from me first in last week’s column. I was a Thursday genius.
While I was busy breaking my arm patting myself on the back, I missed the boat on Sunday because I was caught up in trends. Since Thursday was too good to me, I am going to stick with breaking down this Thursday’s matchup between the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders.
I’d rather be known as a Thursday genius than a Sunday loser anyway. If this goes bad, there are always poems or Haikus.
LaDanian Tomlinson owns the Raiders. I’m sure Al Davis thinks he still does, but even he’ll agree that Tomlinson is a thorn in his side. He has had some of his biggest days against the silver and black. It’s no surprise that he is an excellent play at home this week.
Phillip Rivers has struggled as of late, and I expect that to continue. The Raiders, while being the most dysfunctional team in football, has a very good pass defense. I would put Rivers on the shelf if you have another option. He should be somewhere around the 200 yard mark with 1 TD and 2 INT.
Expect the wild card to be Antonio Gates or Malcolm Floyd. One of these two will draw the weak link on defense. Both are very capable of putting up respectable numbers with Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson drawing most of the attention.
The Raiders will try to run the ball mostly and will have success doing it. Justin Fargas will carry the bulk of the load with Darren McFadden spelling him. Fargas is a good start against the Chargers this week. Expect 90 yards and a TD.
JaMarcus Russell will continue his struggle this week, and I expect that he will have pedestrian numbers. I hope you weren’t counting on him in your lineup this week anyway.
I do like Zach Miller, who is the leading receiver this year for the Raiders. Expect to see him close to 60 yards. An inexperienced quarterback’s best friend is a big tight end.
Overall I expect that the two field goal kickers, Sebastian Janikowski and Nate Kaeding, will see plenty of action. I think Kaeding has a chance to put up double digits 3 FG and 3 PATs. I have the Polish Party boy at 2 FG and 2 PAT.
As always, feel free to send your comments, questions, or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.