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11-20-2007, 09:54 PM
I don't think this guy knows what he's talking about. Not for his rankings but for his comments.


Power Rankings: Turkey and football in Motown is sweet

Pete Prisco By Pete Prisco
CBSSports.com Senior Writer
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Instead of my usual Thanksgiving Day fare, which would be stuffing my ample gut to the max, then unbuttoning the pants for comfort and spending the day wishing I hadn't devoured so much food and watching plenty of football, I'll be working Thursday.

Thanksgiving in Detroit? Who can resist. (Getty Images)
Thanksgiving in Detroit? Who can resist. (Getty Images)
For the first time in my years covering the NFL, I will be in Detroit for a Turkey Day affair. I can remember many a day in my 20s watching the Lions play the early game, a severe hangover from the night before (after all, Thanksgiving Wednesday is one of the best drinking days of the year, at least when you're young) thinking how cool it would be to be there.

I can remember my brothers and father imploring my mother to time our turkey feast between the early and late games. I can remember my wise-guy brothers and me making fun of John Madden as he gushed over turducken and we wondered if he really wasn't Brett Favre's father.

Now I'll actually be in Detroit. I did Dallas on Thanksgiving a few years back, and that was a fun experience. But Detroit for the early game is what it's all about. Get those damn parades off and let's see some football.

We can only take so much of watching blown-up balloons go passing by. Give me blown-up offensive tackles instead.

What's even better about this year's game is there is a really good team involved, maybe the best in the NFC. Favre plays his last Thanksgiving Day Game Thursday -- unless, of course, he plays into the next decade. Watching him is always a treat, but it's even better when his Green Bay Packers are playing so well.

At 9-1, they're the best team in the NFC right now, in my opinion. Yes, better than the Dallas Cowboys and here's why: They can cover.

Jason Campbell showed that the Cowboys have some issues defending the pass Sunday and the Packers can counter with the best pair of corners in the league in Charles Woodson and Al Harris. They'll be on the Detroit receivers like Madden on a turkey leg.

Those two are a big reason I've kept the Packers ranked ahead of the Cowboys in the CBSSports.com Power Rankings. They're also a big reason why I think the Packers might be able to match up with New England. I said "might," so don't stone me, New England fans.

The Packers didn't get a good hand dealt them by the schedule-maker, though. They play a desperate Lions team on the road Thursday and then come back a week from Thursday to play the Cowboys at Texas Stadium.

If they can win the next two, the division will be over and they will put themselves in a good position to have the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Unreal.

So it's off to Detroit this week for a Turkey Day tradition that will be a first-time event for me. And I promise, I won't unbutton my pants until I get back to my hotel later that night after I tear into my turducken, whatever the hell that is.
Power Rankings
Current Team Previous
1 Patriots Trends 1
They're on pace to break the scoring record. Want to bet they do it? The scary thing is the defense is getting better by the week.
2 Packers Trends 2
They have a tough two-game stretch with the Lions this Thursday and the Cowboys next week. By December, they could be the kings of the NFC.
3 Cowboys Trends 3
Don't you just love watching their offense? They get two Thursday games the next two weeks to show it off.
4 Colts Trends 5
This banged-up team needs to hang on until they get some key players back, especially Marvin Harrison. They have a big one with Jacksonville in two weeks.
5 Giants Trends 6
Going on the road and beating the Lions is a good way to stop the here-we-go-again talk about a late-season fade. The loss of Mathias Kiwanuka will hurt the defense.
6 Jaguars Trends 7
This is a team that believes it can catch the Colts in the AFC South. Not likely. But they do play them in two weeks and have a good chance for a wild-card spot.
7 Steelers Trends 4
In terms of seeding, losing to the Jets could hurt come late December. We'll call it a mulligan. This is still a good football team. The offensive line has to play better.
8 Buccaneers Trends 11
They have a two-game lead in the division with six to go. That's a great coaching job by Jon Gruden. I thought they'd win six games tops.
9 Browns Trends 12
Speaking of great coaching jobs, what about Romeo Crennel? He has done a heck of a job. This team has a playoff look.
10 Titans Trends 8
The good thing about their loss at Denver on Monday night was that Vince Young showed he's capable of throwing the football. They'll need that down the stretch.
11 Chargers Trends 10
It just isn't right this year. Is it all about coaching? Probably not, but it has a lot to do with it.
12 Lions Trends 9
Are they frauds or just going through a midseason lull? We'll know more Thursday when they play host to the Green Bay Packers. If they lose, the division race is over.
13 Seahawks Trends 19
They've turned to the passing game and it seems to be working. Matt Hasselbeck played well against the Bears. The defense needs to tighten it up some.
14 Cardinals Trends 15
That was an enormous road victory at Cincinnati and might be something this young team can build on. The division can still be theirs.
15 Broncos Trends 21
They're right back at the top of the AFC West. And they seem to be gaining some momentum. Jay Cutler is growing as a quarterback.
16 Eagles Trends 20
They're back in the thick of the playoff chase, but now come the New England Patriots. Good luck.
17 Redskins Trends 14
The secondary was gashed in Dallas, and that has to change if they want to be a wild-card team. Jason Campbell is improving, which is a good sign.
18 Bills Trends 13
Nothing like the Patriots to smack a team back to reality. They have another tough game this week at Jacksonville -- and their season may be on the line.
19 Texans Trends 23
This 5-5 team is still alive in the playoff hunt. Getting Andre Johnson back really livens up the offense. They'll need it this week to try and keep up with the Browns.
20 Chiefs Trends 16
The Brodie Croyle era opened looking a lot like the Damon Huard era: Not a lot of good throws down the field. That has to change.
21 Saints Trends 17
Just when it appeared they were back, they've lost two consecutive games. Poor Jason David. If he were a bedspread he couldn't cover the bed.
22 Vikings Trends 24
Just when you're ready to bury this team, they stay alive. They face a tough one this week in New York against the Giants.
23 Bears Trends 18
Super Bowl hangover? They've had a severe one. What the heck has happened to that defense?
24 Panthers Trends 22
They just don't seem to have it this year. And it's not just the quarterback issue. The defense is having major lapses.
25 Ravens Trends 25
Doesn't 13-3 seem like years ago? In the summer some thought this was the best team in football. Now they're near the bottom of their division.
26 Jets Trends 30
That was a nice victory against the Steelers. At least they haven't quit. Kellen Clemens could be a nice player in a year or two.
27 Falcons Trends 26
Does it really matter who plays quarterback behind that line? They have a Thanksgiving night game at home against the Colts. Will they get 30,000 there to see it?
28 Bengals Trends 28
Memo to Marvin Lewis: The heat is on. If it isn't, it should be. They are one of the biggest disappointments in the league this season.
29 Rams Trends 31
The past two weeks we've seen the Rams team we expected to see. Too bad it's too late.
30 49ers Trends 27
Oh, how they yearn for the days of Joe Montana and Steve Young. Heck, they'd take Jeff Garcia now.
31 Raiders Trends 29
Please. Make the move. Put the kid in at quarterback. It's time for JaMarcus Russell.
32 Dolphins Trends 32
They made the move to John Beck like I asked for the past month, but it didn't do much. Let's wait until his first home start to grade him, however.