But without question, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, and why shouldn't it be? It's got parades, food (in particular, my wife's homemade apple pie), the always-appreciated afternoon nap and, of course, football.
I'm sure plenty of NFL players are giving thanks this year, too. For instance, Nick Foles is grateful his agent got him a two-year extension from the St. Louis Rams before the season even started, while the Eagles are thankful they couldn't strike a deal with Sam Bradford before their season started.
Boy, I sure do love the holidays. Now, let's get to the ratings.
Moving On Up
How's this for a stat: Through nine games, Adrian Peterson has four more rushing yards than he did through nine games in 2012 when he rushed for 2,097 yards and took home the MVP award. I'm not saying he'll eclipse the 2,000-yard mark again this season, but that 203-yard performance last week against Oakland was a thing of beauty. He's up three points this week to 92 OVR.
Julian Edelman is up a point this week to 92 OVR. I thought he should at least make one appearance in the Madden ratings piece this year...
Moving On Down
Nick Foles got benched this week (seems like the trendy thing to do right now to starting quarterbacks). It's about time, too. After throwing for 297 yards in Week 1, Foles failed to reach the 200-yard mark again until last week when he threw for exactly 200 yards. It's hard to believe that this is the same guy who threw for 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions two years ago. Not sure if, or when, we'll see him back in the starting lineup this season. Thank goodness for Todd Gurley.
Just how bad have things gotten for Peyton Manning? Well, not only has he been benched, but he's also down two points to 86 OVR. That might not seem so bad, but then you take into account the fact that Eli Manning is up a point to 85 OVR. We may reach a point this season when Eli actually surpasses Peyton in the Madden ratings. Bill and Ted, your thoughts?
Great Caesar's Ghost
Kirk Cousins only got a one-point bump after he threw for over 300 yards with 4 touchdowns and posted a perfect passer rating of 158.3? It's the biggest insult to cousins since the cancellation of "Perfect Strangers" (wait, different kind of cousins). The Redskins quarterback is up to a 79 OVR. Something tells me, he doesn't like that.
Six bold predictions for Week 11
6. To say the Dallas Cowboys have suffered since Tony Romo went down in Week 2 would be the understatement of the year. The team cut ties this week with "prettiest thrower in all the land" Brandon Weeden, hoping to erase as many memories as they can from the past two months. Romo will give the Cowboys the offensive spark they've been looking for since ... well, since he went down with his injury. He'll throw four touchdowns and Dez Bryant surpasses 100 yards as the Cowboys pull out the win in Miami.
5. Since the season started, Peyton Manning has gone from Christopher Nolan's Batman to Joel Schumacher's bat-nipple Batman. The future Hall of Famer is going to sit out this week's game while he deals with plantar fasciitis. That means former second-round pick and Robert Pattinson look-alike Brock Osweiler will be the man under center. At 6-foot-8, Osweiler is currently the tallest quarterback in the NFL (if that means anything to you). But this game isn't just about the debut of Brock. There are other juicy storylines, too. For instance, John Fox and Jay Cutler both get to face off against their former team for the first time. The Bears have been playing solid football lately, and surprisingly, Cutler has been a source of stability in that offense. Most people are going to pick Denver thinking that offense will be rejuvenated with Osweiler, but I'll take the Bears in this one.
4. Seattle's playoff hopes are dwindling fast. When the Seahawks started 2-3, we tried to convince ourselves that they'd find a way to turn things around. After all, they started 3-3 last year before going 9-1 the rest of the way en route to their second-straight Super Bowl appearance. But this squad has some serious flaws, namely protecting Russell Wilson. A visit from the San Francisco 49ers should offer the remedy needed to get the offense clicking again (at least for this week). I expect Wilson to have a career day, surpassing his career high of 339 passing yards in a dominant win.
3.Kirk Cousins has been looking more and more like Captain Kirk as of late. In his last three games the Redskins are 2-1 and Cousins has thrown eight touchdowns and just one interception. In fact, last week he became the first Redskins quarterback to pass for 300-plus yards and post a rating of 150 or better in a game since Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh did it in 1948 (the same year Carl "Got A Stew Going" Weathers was born). The bad news for Cousins is that he's yet to win back-to-back games as a starter. So, this weekend's game in Carolina should be an easy win for the Panthers, right? Well, we saw last week how unpredictable the game of football is thanks to the Lions and Texans pulling off huge upsets on the road. I'll go with Washington to do the same in Week 11.
2.Andrew Luck may be down, but the Colts aren't out of the playoff picture yet ("The AFC South: We matter, too!"). The loss of Luck hurts big time, especially when you look at the fact that the Colts are coming off a big win against Denver. Whether or not that win would've jump-started that offense remains to be seen. In the meantime, though, Matt Hasselbeck is leading the charge for Indy, and he's been more than serviceable in his two starts this year. I expect the veteran leader to come up big in Atlanta and help Indy pull out the win.
1. Just how bad were the Cincinnati Bengals last Monday night against the Texans? Well, they became the first team since the 1934 Lions (10-0) to be 8-0 or better and fail to score a touchdown in a game. The good news? Andy Dalton's hair still looks fantastic. But seriously, Cincinnati looked dreadful for an undefeated team. Maybe they were too busy looking ahead to their Sunday night game against the Cardinals to focus on the Texans. This Week 11 showdown in the desert will say a lot about this Bengals team. Will they have the resiliency to bounce back from an embarrassing loss to win big on the road, or will that loss be the catalyst that sends them into a downward spiral the second half of the season? I'll go with the former and say Cincy gets it done in Arizona.
For all you Madden gamers out there, now is a good time to tell you about the upcoming EA Sports Madden NFL LIVE Challenge. It's a tournament for all Madden players looking to prove their mastery over the competition and have a chance to be crowned champion at the Madden Bowl venue at Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco. For more details and to sign up, click here.