- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It would have been bad enough for the Detroit Lions if the Tennessee Titans were 11-0 coming in for the traditional Turkey Day feast on Thursday. It may be worse that the Titans are 10-1 because now they want to get rid of the sting of their first defeat.

That’s the scenario for the first game of the annual Thanksgiving tripleheader. It’s not an attractive one for Lions fans, who could be on the verge of watching an NFL team finish a season winless for the first time since Tampa Bay went 0-14 as an expansion team in 1976.

Tennessee is favored by 11, a fitting line for playing an 0-11 team, although it would be even more fitting if the Titans were 11-0.

It’s hard to envision Detroit winning.

On Sunday, it took the Lions all of a quarter to fritter away a 17-nil lead to Tampa Bay. By halftime, they were down 21-17 en route to a 38-20 loss.

That’s how bad the Lions are, which actually might be their best chance. Few teams can take them seriously, no matter how much their coaches remind them that the Lions are filled with NFL-level players and budding superstars such as Calvin Johnson who can hurt them if they are not alert.

Coming off a 34-13 loss at home, the Titans won’t have to be reminded.

TITANS, 34-13

Seattle (plus 12 1/2) at Dallas (Thanksgiving II)

This is like the final game of the preseason for the Cowboys. The next three are against the Steelers, Giants and Ravens.

COWBOYS, 38-12

Arizona (plus 3) at Philadelphia (Thanksgiving III)

Donovan McNabb is back at QB after being lifted at halftime in Baltimore last week. Where can the Eagles’ morale be right now?

CARDINALS, 24-20

Pittsburgh (plus 1 1/2) at New England

Matt Cassel won’t throw for 400 yards this week. Neither will Ben Roethlisberger

PATRIOTS, 16-14

Denver (plus 7) at New York Jets

The Broncos can win at Atlanta and lose at home to Oakland. Confusing team? No kidding.

But they won’t win here.

JETS, 34-24

New York Giants (minus 3 1/2) at Washington

The Giants let down in Cleveland five weeks ago. They don’t look like they have another letdown in them. Certainly not in a division game.

GIANTS, 24-16

New Orleans (plus 3 1/2) at Tampa Bay

Drew Brees won’t put up 51 points on the road against the Tampa Two defense.

BUCS, 24-23

Carolina (plus 3) at Green Bay

Both teams tend to lose on the road. Hence …

PACKERS, 27-23

Chicago (plus 3 1/2) at Minnesota

Let’s get away from the home trend here.

BEARS, 17-16

Atlanta (plus 5 1/2) at San Diego

Only in the AFC West would San Diego still be alive.

CHARGERS, 31-30

Indianapolis (minus 4 1/2) at Cleveland

The Colts aren’t in Super Bowl form yet, but they’re far better than the Browns.

COLTS, 33-20

Miami (off) at St. Louis

Some Dolphins think the Patriots ran up the score on them. They can do the same. “Off” because Rams QB Marc Bulger has a concussion.

DOLPHINS, 41-10

Baltimore (minus 7) at Cincinnati

Ed Reed will return an interception 109 yards for a TD after Marvin Lewis pulls Ryan Fitzpatrick for Jordan Palmer, Carson’s brother, at halftime.

RAVENS, 27-12

Jacksonville (plus 3 1/2) at Houston (Monday night)

The Jaguars allowed four points in the first minute-and-a-half last week. The Texans blew a 17-point lead to Indy in the last seven-plus.

TEXANS, 17-14

San Francisco (plus 7) at Buffalo

West Coast teams don’t win on the East Coast and the Bills are better anyway.

BILLS, 30-13

Kansas City (plus 3) at Oakland

It would be just like the Raiders to win in Denver and lose at home to the Chiefs.

But they won’t.

RAIDERS, 10-3

LAST WEEK: 10-5-1 (spread); 11-5 (straight up)

SEASON: 87-85-4 (spread); 107-68-1 (straight up)

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