By Austin Payne
As for the Thanksgiving day NFL action that isn’t kicking off at noon, and the ones you may or may not be awake for, we’re being given one game you could probably skip, paired with a mutually important game for both teams on each side.
The hapless Falcons will host the inevitable NFC south playoff representative, the New Orleans Saints, in a game that will assuredly be unnecessarily competitive for the sake of divisional rivalry. As a former Falcons fan i can’t help but ask, “why bother?” at this point. Sitting at 3-8 after oddly blowing out the Panthers before proceeding to lose to the Bucs, the Birds really don’t have much to look forward to at this point. Devonta Freeman is done for the season after he and the run blocking appeared utterly incompetent early in the year, Matt Ryan has been hurt, Sanu is gone, and does Julio Jones still do the touchdown thing? Like, is there a rule in the playbook that says don’t throw it to Julio in the red zone?
The point is, the Falcons have been cancelled, as should offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter be. The Saints should win this game, and the Bird Gang has no reason not to pursue tanking.
Aside from the second of two division rivalries, we have a cross conference matchup when Buffalo goes to Texas to play in the Billion dollar Jones sta-AT&T Stadium. Buffalo has been suspiciously good this year, and i say suspiciously for a reason. Though they’re usually the bad team themselves, this year they have preyed on below average franchises, racking up most of their wins against them. After a controversial and tough defensive loss to the Patriots Sunday, the Boys’ will undoubtedly be looking to please their lord & savior, Jerry Jones on this short week.
One of these matchups is fairly meaningless, although assuredly the Saints and their fanbase will be looking to lock up that first round bye, and the other is actually very important to both Dallas and Buffalo. The Cowboys will be looking to take a stronger hold on the NFC East division lead, and the Bills will continue to hunt for that wildcard spot, since we all know the Patriots will be winning the division yet again.
The likely outcome? Cowboys and Saints run a clean sweep on their inferior opponents this Thursday. The fun outcome though…the Falcons uselessly upset the Saints, making it unlikely they obtain one of those coveted top NFC seeds, and the Bills go into Dallas to hand them back to back losses. This of course is fun for everyone, and gives us plenty of new Stephen A. Smith memes to come from First Take on Friday.
Happy Thanksgiving and hope for Chaos.