Cowboys WR Lamb ‘hasn’t missed a step', on track to play in Thanksgiving game
Week 12 of the NFL season gets underway on Thursday with a tradition that is unmatched.
Three NFL games to get you through the day.
For Canadians, is there a better way to get us through the workday than sweating over a Detroit Lions game at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Or how about the reward of getting through traffic on your commute home to turn on the TV to watch the Dallas Cowboys take on the Las Vegas Raiders at 4:30 pm et / 1:30 pm pt.
For dessert, we’ll see if Josh Allen and his Buffalo Bills can respond from the beatdown they received in Week 11 as they travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints.
Any day when there’s NFL football on my television is a great one, but having three games to watch on a Thursday in November is a beautiful sight.
Let’s dive into my best bets for the action on American Thanksgiving.
David Montgomery Over 75.5 rushing yards
The opening game on Thanksgiving Thursday is a dynamite matchup between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.
Since returning from injury in Week 9, Bears running back David Montgomery has regained his role as the feature back.
Montgomery rushed 27 times in those two games for 121 yards, and with quarterback Justin Fields out due to a rib injury, I expect even more volume coming Montgomery’s way.
Chicago has run the ball 46 times since their stud running back was reinstated in Week 9 and Fields took 12 of those attempts.
On top of the expected volume, Montgomery takes on a Lions rush defence that has been exposed in recent weeks.
Last week, Cleveland’s Nick Chubb rushed 22 times for 130 yards against Detroit. The week prior it was Pittsburgh’s Najee Harris running for 105 yards on his 26 attempts, and in Week 8 the Philadelphia Eagles ran the ball 45 times for 236 yards.
The Lions have allowed an average of 140.5 yards per game on the ground this season, and with Montgomery expected to get a Lion's share of the work, I like him to go over 75.5 rushing yards for the third time in seven games this season.
In 2019, Montgomery rushed 16 times against the Lions on Thanksgiving for 75 yards. Let’s hope he grabs at least one more yard this time around.
Darren Waller Over 69.5 receiving yards
Not a lot has gone right recently for the Las Vegas Raiders.
But Darren Waller is a bright spot.
The tight end had seven catches for 116 yards last week in the team’s 32-13 blowout loss at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals and is averaging 5.8 receptions and 72.8 yards per game over his last four starts.
Waller should also benefit this week when the Raiders take on a Dallas Cowboys team that has struggled to contain tight ends this season.
Tight ends are averaging a ninth-best 11.62 yards per reception against Dallas in 2021 which bodes well for Waller and his high work rate.
Despite missing a game earlier this season due to injury, Waller still leads the Raiders with his 79 targets and 610 receiving yards.
In his three games with Henry Ruggs out of the lineup, Waller has been targeted 26 times while averaging six receptions and 77.3 yards per game.
Believe it or not, this will be the fourth prime-time game for Vegas this season and their star tight end has totalled 18 receptions for 179 yards in those games.
Last season, he exploded for 455 yards on 35 catches in four prime-time games.
Waller is the focal point of this offence that hopes to win their first game in more than a month. If the Raiders are going to have a chance to win on Thursday, Waller will be a key reason why.
Buffalo Bills -4 at New Orleans Saints
The Buffalo Bills got demolished on Sunday 41-15 at home against the Indianapolis Colts.
They were beaten in every phase of the game and for a team like the Bills, their next game simply couldn't come fast enough.
Fortunately for Josh Allen and Buffalo, the team only had to wait four sleeps before getting back on the field.
The Bills have been great this season following a loss and are a perfect 3-0 both straight up and against the spread.
Following a Week 1 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Bills bounced back with a 35-0 win in Miami over the Dolphins.
In Week 8, they beat the Dolphins 26-11 once again following their Week 6 loss to the Tennessee Titans and picked up a 45-17 win over the New York Jets in Week 10 following a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Now, following their fourth loss of the season they take on a Saints team led by Trevor Siemian at quarterback.
New Orleans is just 1-2 at home against the spread this season, largely due to the 27 points per game they have given up in those three games.
Meanwhile, the Bills game has travelled very well this season on both sides of the ball.
Buffalo is 3-2 on the road this season, but eclipsed the 30-point mark in four of those games, while averaging 31 points per game.
On defence they have allowed more than 20 points just once on the road this season.
In a season full of momentum swings, I like Josh Allen and this Bills offence to get back on track this week in a big win over the Saints.