Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Week 12 Thanksgiving Discussion Thread

This thread is for discussion of action on the field before, during, and after the three Thanksgiving games of the 2006 NFL season: Miami at Detroit, Tampa Bay at Dallas, and Denver at Kansas City. You can talk about who you think will win or lose before the games start and last-minute news on Thursday morning. Then during the games, discuss strange plays, great performances, and stupid announcers (of which there are plenty).

A separate thread will go up Friday morning for discussion of Sunday games, and then a third thread Sunday night for discussion during the Sunday and Monday night games.

Please ask your fantasy football start/bench and waiver wire questions in the discussion thread for Scramble for the Ball.

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by Kavin (not verified) :: Tue, 11/21/2006 - 4:28am

So... did anybody watch the Grey Cup :)

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 11/21/2006 - 11:54am

I think the important question is "to brine or not to brine?" I say brining is key, and "stuffing" should be made on the side. Also, no marshmallow on the yams, and if you're gonna have green bean casserole, don't make it with frozen beans and canned mushroom soup.

by andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 11/22/2006 - 3:19pm

Dennis Green is gone? when did that happen? (I don't get my news regularly over here). To tie this into the Detroit Lions, they apparently want Mooch.

Meanwhile, I finally found a pub in Madrid that shows NFL games. Bad news is I am slated to be on a tour of Asturias tomorrow...

I'll be back in the US for Monday night, so...

by Karl Jalkanen (not verified) :: Wed, 11/22/2006 - 4:49pm

Bret Bielema appears to want to win at all costs: no ethics as he recruits MSU recruit who had verbally committed before Coach Smith was fired.

Barry Alvarez did not do his job in requiring that Bret take a class in ethics before naming him head coach. Hopefully Barry will require Bret to take an ethics course (and hopefully Bret can pass it!!??) before next season.

Otherwise the college football program in Madision, Wisconsin may become an out of control program like many others, when the head coaches lead like Bret does. Maybe poaching other teams recruits (and hunting out of season) is ok in Wisconsin, but it it is not in Michigan and many other states. But the gentlemen's game of college football, has become a win at all cost exercise.

The University of Wisconsin has also joined OSU and many other Big 10, Big 12 and Pac 10 conferences in trying to break a valid contract with Coach O'Brien and not pay him. The courts have already ruled in this case, but they appear to not know how to write contracts at these universities which are also consistent with the NCAA rules and regulations. Now they are trying to get their contract overturned. One would have thought that the universities of these conferences would have had faculty at their law schools who could read the NCAA rules and regulations, understand them and not write a contract which would limit their abilities to comply with NCAA rules and discipline employees who violate them. This is the lamest excuse to break a contract which you have signed off (and the Board of Trustees) in the existence of contract law. It makes these universities be the laughing stock in the USA and the whole world!! They made the contract with Coach O'Brien which they had no intent in honouring, so they have also defrauded Coach O'Brien and the tax payers of the great State of Ohio. The person or persons who drew up the contract, who oked it, and signed off on it should be fired. There is no other ethically and morally acceptable solution.

I would think that the administration and athletic directors and Board of Trustees of these second rank universities (I use to think they were first rate, but with their class action case against Coach O'Brien who helped a Non-eligible recruit from war-torn Serbia get home, I think they have stooped to the level of being idiots). Shame on all of the administrators, AD and Board of Trustees of these respectless universities. What kind of example are you trying to set for college athletes? You are not only not trustworthy, but you are not worthy of respect and have dishonoured the whole American university system in the eyes of many Americans and the world. Please resign your positions, and step down and no longer disgrace yourselves, your families and friends and the universities's from which you are being paid to bring honour and respect, quite the opposite of which you are currently doing. Please also cease with the case against Coach O'Brien. Otherwise the Federal government should not only take away the tax exempt status of the NCAA, but also all universities who participate in such a case of wanton misjustice in the firing of Coach O'Brien. He had a valid contract signed off by the Board of Trustee of the Ohio State University. The contracts of OSU where thought to be worth more than toilet paper, but it appears the admisitrators, ADs and Board of Trusteee of all universities and executive officiers of the conferences who have signed off on and support the case against Coach O'Brien, think that his contract was not worth more than toilet paper. Any employee with any of these universities should think twice about their continued employment with such dishonourable institutions.

Something to think about when getting a resume/CV from graduates from these universities. Who have the role models been for the students who attend such institutions. I think many students at these universities should also think twice about their continued enrollment at such dishonourable and disrespectable institutions.

by Marko (not verified) :: Wed, 11/22/2006 - 5:18pm

Um, what does that have to do with the NFL in general or the Thanksgiving games in particular? Actually, what does that have to do with anything?

by Shane S. (not verified) :: Wed, 11/22/2006 - 6:32pm

I have to agree with Marko, Karl...this is the open Thanksgiving NFL game thread, not the 'open season on the Big-10' thread.

by Budman (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 9:15am

Does KC going from +1 to -2 1/2 possibly have anything to do with rumors circulating, care of ESPN so called "reporters", about Plummer on a very short leash and us possibly getting our first looks at Cutler? That is the only reason I can think of for that large a move in two days.

by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 10:46am

Enjoy. I always miss these games because I'm on the road, headed to relatives in Baltimore.

by Adam Gretz (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 1:57pm

I always love watching the Lions game on Thanksgiving because they always wear those uniforms with nothing on them, and because it's futility in action.

Todays game is even more glorious as they welcome back old friend Joey Harrington and - perhaps even better - we get to see Mike Williams actually activated for a real NFL game. Is he still behind the former safety and the 3rd string QB on the depth chart?

And they say this game has lost it's appeal? Feh! This game has more storylines than A day in the life of Terrell Owens!

Plus, it's always funny watching my aunt try to control her house while everyone is watching the Lions game.

Good times.

by Adam Gretz (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 1:59pm

And what makes it even better is one of my cousins is a Lions fan, so he's always swearing at the TV while I sit there and ask "Who does Matt Millen have pictures of? And what are they doing in them?"

by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 2:29pm

As always, IRC will be open in channel #FO on server bendenweyr.dyndns.org. While I'll mostly be idling (cooking for the in-laws' visit), feel free to stop by and discuss football and/or Nintendo.

by Mnatr (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 2:51pm

I have a question:

How many fewer people will actually not be watching the Broncos-Chiefs game than usual? If this were a Sunday game, wouldn't most areas show only their local game and that's probably not the Chiefs game, is it?

KC and Denver will still get the game. I have to wonder what markets are actually missing out here.

by Dagagad (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 3:11pm

Orlindo Mare's wife is hot.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 3:16pm

I know that play was negated by a PF. But to negate a safety doesn't the offense have to get the WHOLE ball out of the end zone? To think another way, if the defense tackels the ball carrier with the ball breaking the goal plane, it is a safety. Otherwise, the length of the field plays more than 100 yards.

by RobM (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 3:18pm

My fav catch has always been from Hart Lee Dykes in a OSU/OU game where he reached up with his right hand and flicked it down and caught it with his left.

I think I have a new one now.

by Kalyan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 4:22pm

A quick question: Was there a sighting of Mike Williams in the first half?

by What (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 4:34pm

one catch iirc

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 4:39pm

woah woah woah, too many comments here. How many FOers are actually watching, like a dozen? To extrapolate across the USA, that means, about like 50 people per state watching the Lions, not counting the players' families and powerful folks Matt Millen may have blackmailed.

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 4:55pm

Yes! The first "Fire Millen" chant that I heard. Naturally, the CBS crew refuses to comment on it.

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 4:56pm

and yes, Mike Williams got his first catch of the season in the first half.

by Moridin (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 5:18pm

Man, this is just embarasing to watch. I'm happy that Joey gets to be on the other side the normal Detroit ass kicking, if only because maybe the 'Fire Millen' signs will be the only thing visible in the stands one of these days.

by rollo (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 5:21pm

It must be alot of fun as a Detroit fan to watch your former "franchise" QB put up go 19/28 for 213 and a 3/1 TD/INT ratio on national TV. But the rest of football America has alot to be thankful for! Fire Millen, indeed.

by Michael David Smith :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 5:29pm

Yes, folks, this is what it's like to be a Lions fan. I wonder if Dre Bly still thinks Joey Harrington was the team's only problem.

by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 5:34pm

Bly is right. The Lions giving up 181 yards rushing (so far) was Harrington's fault, too.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 5:59pm

It was enoyable to see Simms stumble over himself talking about Kitna in the 1st quarter and then basically not mention him the rest of the game... or talk about how bad the Detroit line is.

Kitna reminds me of Jake Plummer without scrambling and throwing on the run ability. Half the time I was screaming, "Throw the ball away!" at the TV... I thought Martz's offense was all about getting rid of the ball quickly? (So did the Detroit line).

Good times... and now we've got Bruce Gradkowski to look forward to.

At least you know Galloway will probably torch the Dallas secondary badly for a TD... another player coming back to his stomping grounds after being rejected.

by RecoveringPackerFan (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 7:13pm

I hate Joe Buck. That is all.

by Stereochemistry (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 7:42pm

So Dallas calls time out with 2:10 on the clock to stop it before the two minute warning. Tampa punts, the clock goes down to 1:58 before the ball stops, and it's Dallas ball after the two minute warning.

Is there a reason that I just don't see for calling the time out? If you don't, the clock goes to the 2 min warning before the punt. The ball is punted, the clock stops after the change of possesion (probably around 1:42) and you have three timeouts.

Is saving 18 secs on a change of possession that much more valuable than having the ability to thrown down the middle of the field 3 times instead of 2?

by chuangtzu (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 7:47pm

Buck is your daddy, Aaron Rodgers.

Also, why must T.O. betray his fantasy owners all the time. Bastid.


by queequeg (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 7:51pm

i've gotten the chance to see gradkowski play in 3 full games so far, and he is a college quarterback without any real upside. i don't see him improving at any time in the future.

by Tighthead (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:05pm

Vandy is 3 for 3 on the day.

by Aaron Boden (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:23pm

I am following this game on NFL.com Gamecenter. They are awesome with the detail

On that last Dallas TD they noted that there was a fake hand off and roll out. Earlier in the game on a long Williams run, they noted he broke 3 tackles on the run. They are really stepping it up for this game with thier descriptions.

by Bill (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:23pm

Hm, at NFL.com:

"this game will feature two first-year quarterbacks. Bruce Gradkowski and Tony Romo"

Apparently the fact checkers have the day off today too.

by JMK (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:27pm

Anyone notice how bad the talking heads were at FOX during halftime?

by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:27pm

Dammit, I hate Dallas with the intensity of 10,000 exploding suns. When does the late game start?

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:36pm

I'd like to point out that Indy's maligned D allowed only 14 pts to Dallas's O. And TB has given up 4 TD passes by the 3rd qtr.

Oops, make that 5 TDs for Tony "The New Peyton" Romo.

Aye caramba!

I like Barber's receiving yards line: 2 rec, 3 yds, 2 TDs. He's the Bus of receiving RBs.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:37pm

This just in: Vandy has yet to shank a kick in five tries.

... of course they were all PATs....

by James C (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:39pm

When did Joe Buck's role expand from announcer to general pontificator about anything in the NFL that he wants to touch upon. He now talks so much that Aikman can hardly get a word in edgeways. He just spent a whole play talking about the Bucs drafting stratergy. No one tunes in to hear what Joe Buck thinks. I hate the git, why do they keep giving him a bigger role? Isn't there some kind of pettition that you can sign to get rid of the guy. He is starting to ruin my enjoyment of the games. No viewer gives thanks for Joe Buck's interjections. Except they aren't interjections because he is the only one speaking.

by James C (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:41pm

Sorry for the rant but the guy just pisses me off (you may have noticed).

by Tighthead (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:45pm

I quite like Aikman, but being matched with Buck is a tough assignment.

by Tally (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:47pm

Uh, gag me. I didn't need to hear singing from the booth.

by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:49pm

No apology needed, James. I think I speak for a lot of us here when I say I'd like to see that unctuous preppy ass-raped by Ted Washington and Gilbert Brown.

by Tighthead (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:52pm

... with Randy Moss doing commentary

by Randy Moss (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 8:56pm

That's the most disgusting thing I've ever seen!!!

by Pippin (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 9:44pm

What's up with Romo? I know he's riding on the "first five games" rule of teams not having enough tape, but five passing TDs? Surely the TB defence (even missing various starters) doesn't suck that much?

by Randy Moss (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 10:05pm


Firstly some of those Tampa starters are important players to their scheme; Rice, Quarles etc

Secondly every single QB who plays well as a youngster is surrounded by top talent at the skill positions, a good line and a solid scheme on offense together with a good defense which takes away the pressure to score points. This year you have Rivers with LT, Gates, a good line and Wade Phillips' 3-4; Romo with Owens, Glenn, Witten and a good D lead by Ware.

In short great young quarterbacks always come from good teams. But the talking heads never say it.

by James C (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 10:07pm

Sorry forgot to change my name back.

by Stereochemistry (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 10:16pm

Re 37 and Joe Buck's opinions:

What's even worse is, he basically took that directly from a recent article down here in Tampa: the 1 defensive player in the top 50 picks in seven years line. Sadly, had he looked more into it and had mentioned that the Bucs had only had 5 picks in the top 50 in the past seven years, I would have given him a bit more credit as the football analyst he was going for.

Instead, he's just a guy that reads the local papers and regurgitates what they say.

by asg (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 10:17pm

Aaaaaaaaaand Plummer with the pick! Not making his case, is he.

by MSZ (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 10:21pm

Can anyone remember the last time you watched a non-high school football game without the yellow first down line?

by MSZ (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 10:30pm

Never mind, they now have the line

by hector (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 10:42pm

You'd think this was Bryant Gumble's first ever game. He's made a bunch of mistakes and weird calls. Choppy.

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 10:43pm

WTF does the first five games rule have to do with the numbers Romo is putting up? Seriously, can we let that rest already? There've been plenty of new starters in recent memory, and I don't recall ever seeing so much mention of this frickin' first five games rule. The guy is good.

by chris chen (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 10:45pm

Is anybody watching the KC/Denver game? I don't get NFL network (curse you Time Warner!). Who is Chad Mustard and why isn't Plummer throwing to Walker?

by Raj (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 10:51pm

Chad Mustard is the tight end of Den. Normally they use him for blocking, but they threw a couple to him today.

by Raj (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 10:54pm

Adam Meadows, starting RT for Denver is out of the game (hamstring)

by Israel (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 11:07pm

The Denver broadcasters just said that Lary Johnson has deceptive speed.

by zerlesen (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 11:10pm

Apparently even having the NFL Network isn't enough to ensure that you'll be able to, um, watch the NFL Network; some old NFL Films thing is showing right now, together with a scrolling message at the top of the screen saying (words to the effect of) "Your cable provider has decided that you shouldn't get to see live NFL action! Call your cable provider and complain! It's all their fault!" Is there anyone in the damn country who *is* getting to watch this game?

by Raj (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 11:18pm

Denver has some questionable calls go against them. They stopped KC twice on their scoring drive only to extend the drive on some borderline calls. They get a decent kickoff return and it was called back on some holding penalty.

by Anger...rising (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 11:21pm

It's better that I don't get to watch my team extend an opponent's drive twice by committing stupid third down penalties. Probably keeps me from hurting someone.

by Anger...rising (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 11:29pm

Why waste a down stopping the clock that close to the end zone with that much time left? My god.

by Raj (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 11:37pm

#59 If it makes any better, i thought both the calls were bad. The offisde call - they said he lined up in neutral zone. It seemed like he was behind the red line. It's hard to tell on TV so he might have been a inch into the neutral zpne. The roughing the passer call was a joke Ekuban barely touched him.

by Paul (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 11:39pm

Okay, Fogerty twice in one day?

What is this crap?

Plus, doing his 30-year-old CCR hits?

I love CCR, but he sounded about like the Lions played earlier today.

by MSZ (not verified) :: Thu, 11/23/2006 - 11:42pm

Is this the Super Bowl - or just a week 12 game? This is asinine, just play the dang game!

by Raj (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 12:05am

That's totally silly makeup call for denver. Is NFL becoming NBA now...

by MSZ (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 12:05am

that weak ass bump by the KC defender just saved Plummer's behind

by Raj (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 12:10am

That's not a foul and I am a den fan.

by Anger...rising (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 12:20am

27 pass attempts, a sack and two scrambles versus eleven called rushes.

Passing offense ranks twentieth. Rushing offense ranks fourth.


by Mike (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 12:27am

Ive only been able to watch about 10 minutes of the game so far but I have already realized this is the best football broadcasting crew I've ever seen. Defensive scheme explaination, formation description, etc, its great!

by Joon (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 12:37am

Re: 51

i agree, gumbel has been bad. he's consistently off spotting the ball, which is a pet peeve of mine (which is possibly shared only by dr Z). aggravating this deficiency is his tendency to qualify every spot with the word "maybe" or "possibly": "and that's a loss of possibly two yards." it's as if he admits he has no idea, really, where the ball is.

there was also a weird moment in the first half where denver jumped offsides and green took a free shot down the field which was dropped by eddie kennison. bryant chimed in with "why in the world would you throw at champ bailey there?" but it was pretty obvious even to me watching at home that the flag was offsides and that the chiefs had a free play.

i've never heard gumbel call a game before but i'm very much underwhelmed. collinsworth is pretty keen, though.

by Randy S. (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 12:52am

Gumbel sucks. I mean, I prefer Tirico. Tirico!

Collinsworth is always good.

by Erasmus (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 1:06am

The Lions suck all life out of being a football fan.

Millen man up and resign you worthless piece of trash.

by hector (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 1:08am

Excellent critique, 69. I think I'm going to have trouble with these Gumbel games.

Denver getting out the seasonal Cutlery? Looks like that's the case.

by hector (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 1:09am

What's the crazy design on/in the left side of LJ's head? Is that a 27?

by Pippin (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 1:13am

#52: Well, I think the tape argument does make sense in general.

But what I was wondering about in my original post was whether it should be put aside at this point, with the level of success Romo has had.

i.e. Yeah, if he wasn't (apparently) a very promising looking quarterback, he wouldn't be doing this well, five-game rule or no.

Having endured so many deeply mediocre seasons, I remain a tiny bit reluctant to get my hopes up on the Cowboys. I wish all the media would stop paying homage to them all the time, it creeps me out. Playing the "smiling" song over clips of Romo was sickening, even for a fan.

by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 10:48am

RE: Playing the “smiling� song over clips of Romo was sickening, even for a fan.

Agreed, that was truly awful.

And I guess I've developed a knee-jerk reaction to any mention of Romo and enough game film. Sorry if I didn't consider tone there.

It is nice to finally have a Cowboys team doing well in DVOA. Maybe it will help draw in more fans who were initially resistant to FO's metrics.

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 11:19am

I think my ideal announcing team would have either Cris Collinsworth or Troy Aikman for color commentary and Dick Vermeil for play by play. Bryant was not good. Greg Gumbel isn't too bad, so he'd probably make my B-team. If I could somehow get Merrill Reese away from Eagles radio and put him on as the play by play guy, he would also be a good pick.

#34 - I'm with you, Harris. If Dallas somehow ends up going to/winning the Super Bowl this year, I may have to kill myself.

by Kamiyu (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 11:32am

34 carries today, AGAIN?

Herm Edwards will gonna kill LJ, for god sake.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 2:41pm


Al Michael is the best play-by-play guy in the business. He always gets the calls right, and keeps a good flow of what is going on the game.

Gumbel needs work.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 2:46pm


Surely the TB defence (even missing various starters) doesn’t suck that much?

Apparently you missed Brian Westbrook running 52 yards for a touchdown with 30 seconds left through the arms of 6 (SIX!!!) Tampa Bay defenders to almost win the game a few weeks ago. Tampa Bay really does suck that bad.

by Joon (not verified) :: Fri, 11/24/2006 - 11:08pm

Re: 78

i agree. michaels is outstanding. he's so consistently correct (with calls, player identification, and ball spotting) that it's surprising and noticeable when he makes a mistake. plus, he actually has interesting commentary to add from time to time. the only problem i have with him hasn't come up this year, and that's when he loses interest in the game and starts to talk about something else. on a related note, i think madden is also back in top form. there was a little too much LT-deification in the last game, but for the most part, madden this year has been really good--a minimum of vacant maddenisms and a healthy amount of actual football analysis. it's been a breath of fresh air.

by Rocco (not verified) :: Sat, 11/25/2006 - 12:19am

Michaels and Madden are great when the game is close. When the game is boring or a blowout though they tend to drift badly and talk about anything but football. Generally they're enjoyable though.

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Sat, 11/25/2006 - 1:04pm

I'll give you Al Michaels as a pick for the A team but he's not my favorite - although he was awesome on "The Scramble" play - "Aaaaaannnndddd...Freddie Mitchell making the catch!"

Poor Freddie, probably the last time in his life he was mentioned in connection with something good.