Sportress of Blogitude

S.O.B.’s Scrumtrulescent NFL Weekend Preview (Sponsored By T.G.I. Friday’s)

This series is brought to you by T.G.I. Friday’s, where every Sunday means Food, Fun & Football! Hut, hut, hut!

For those of you out there who don’t know how to read a calendar or have no concept of the passage of time (or perhaps both), since last Sunday’s NFL action, the calendar has been flipped and has turned from spooky October to anticipatory November, meaning that we are headed into the latter stages of the NFL season as teams prepare to make the stretch run. Some teams are in pretty good shape, while others have fallen woefully short of preseason expectations. Nevertheless, the coming games in the coming months are huge, whether it be to get back in the race, hold off oncoming challengers in the division or setting your franchise up for a high draft pick by tanking the rest of the way.

While every game on tap is sure to be a scrumptious exercise, tantalizing our football palate, let’s take a look and highlight a few of the tastier games that the NFL has prepared for us on this crispy crisp autumn November weekend.

New England Patriots (6-1) at Cleveland Browns (2-5)
Cleveland Browns Stadium
1:00 p.m. ET  (CBS)

Outlook: The mentor once again meets his corpulent protege in a showdown between the surging Patriots and the woeful Browns, although it should be pointed out that Cleveland is coming off a bye week and that they performed admirably in their last game, a convincing 30-17 Week 7 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Mangini was an underwhelming 2-5 against Belichick as coach of the Jets, but this is his first go-round against his slovenly former master as coach of the Dawgs, so who knows what will happen. That is why they play the game. And afterward, no matter who wins or loses, it’s always with great anticipation that we wait and see how the midfield handshake will go between the now bitter rivals.

Prediction: The Patriots roll, 38-17, Belichick gives Mangini an atomic wedgie, much to the chagrin of the Dawg Pound. Or would it be delight? Hard to say.

Dallas Cowboys (1-6) at Green Bay Packers(5-3)
Lambeau Field
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Outlook: While these two storied franchises have had their share of battles over the years, at this point, the Cowboys are merely playing out the string of this nightmare of a season – despite what Roy Williams says. Tony Romo ain’t playing and this team has all the structural integrity of a dandelion set to disperse its seed. Jerry Jones can then mercifully fire poor old Wade Phillips and bring in yet another marionette posing as an NFL coach which he can haphazardly and egotistically pull the strings on, making him dance, dance, dance away…right into another under-performing, underwhelming season.

Green Bay, on the other hand, despite having been decimated by injuries this season, are coming off a dominating performance of the New York Jets, although Gang Green gave no indications the entire game that they came ready to play. The Pack have lost some heartbreakers, but heading into a primetime game at Lambeau and in control of their own destiny in the miserable NFC North, the Pack will be ready to play in spite of head coach Mike McCarthy’s questionable coaching acumen.

Prediction: The Packers’ potent offense runs it up against the couldn’t-care-less Cowboys, 38-6, a dejected Wade Phillips exits Lambeau and keeps walking until he gets to Wisconsin Dells for some much-needed relaxation and splish-splashy revelry at the tourist destination’s many indoor waterparks. Whee!

Arizona Cardinals (3-4) at Minnesota Vikings (2-5)
Mall of America Field
1:00 p.m. ET (FOX)

Outlook: Speaking of dejected coaches, is there anyone in the NFL having a worse go of it than Brad Childress? The fans hate him, the owner is mad as all get out at his handling of the Randy Moss situation and even quaint rock clubs in Minneapolis are taking potshots at him. His personality (or lack thereof) has always rubbed Vikings fans the wrong way, and the way in which the Vikings’ season has went south so horribly may serve to be the death knell of Childress’ coaching tenure. Although all is not lost. In the atrocious NFC, the Vikings, with the schedule opening up a bit after a brutal stretch in October, still have time to turn it around: Pro Bowl wide receiver Sidney Rice could be back as soon as next week and as long as Brett Favre can figure out Brad Childress’ beloved “system” and the Purple’s coaching staff finally figures out that there are two halves of a football game where they can hand the ball off to the NFL’s leading rusher, Adrian Peterson, there might still be time to make a run.

Which brings us to the Cardinals. Sitting at 3-4, they are only one game out of the equally terrible NFC West and despite uncertainty and experience at quarterback (Max Who?), the Redbirds could be a surprising team in the NFL playoff race. Better yet, the Cardinals have previous experience of breaking Vikings fans hearts and knocking them out of the playoffs – they have done it literally once before, now they could do it figuratively.

Prediction: The Vikings win in a squeaker, 24-21, thus temporarily prolonging the hopes of Vikings fans in this nightmarish season.

Enjoy the games, everyone.