Tonight is the biggest game of the NFL season

Tonight is the biggest game of the NFL season

By Bill Foley

The Thursday night game between the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys at Jerry’s House is the biggest game of the season.

Without question.

Our enjoyment of the rest of the NFL campaign hangs in the balance as the 10-1 Saints put their 10-game winning streak on the line against the 6-5 Cowboys.

Dallas, which seemed destined for a top-10 draft pick a month ago, has rolled off three straight wins. The latest was the Thanksgiving win over the Redskins, who played with a colorblind quarterback and a bunch of defensive backs who couldn’t stay on their feet.

Before that, South America’s team knocked off Philadelphia and Atlanta on the road.

With a win Thursday night, the Cowboys, who overtook first place in the NFC East with the Thanksgiving win, will be 7-5 and pretty much a lock to go to the playoffs.

You know what that means, don’t you? It means the Great Cowboy Fairweather Bandwagon will be coming. The 1980s Starter jackets will be brought out of the closets. We’ll hear people yelling, “How ’bout them Cowboys.”

To say they will be insufferable is an understatement. It would be like saying the Booger McFarland is kind of annoying on Monday Night Football.

Chris Berman says nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills. Well, nobody circles the bandwagon like Cowboys’ fans. They are the best. Or the worst.

Luckily, we’ve only had to put up with the bandwagoners a couple of times over the last 20 years or so, and it was short lived each time. The last time was two years ago when the Cowboys earned home-field advantage in the playoffs, only to pee down their legs against the Packers in the division round.

If the Cowboys can knock off the Saints, they will prove that their recent run is the real deal. And the Dallas fans will bombard us until Jason Garrett chokes in the first round.

If Drew Brees and Co. can deliver for the rest of us, we will be spared for a week or two of the kind of people who think the hole in the roof of Texas Stadium really was put there so God could watch His or Her favorite team play.

Actually, there might be something to that old joke because the favorite team of any God worth His or Her salt is whichever team is playing against the Cowboys. Especially this week.

Unfortunately, He or She won’t be able watch because the roof on AT&T Stadium will probably be closed for the night game.

Speaking of divine, last week was a very good week for yours truly. I went 12-3 straight up and 10-5 against the spread. It should be noted that I picked the exact victory margin for the Bills, Bears and Eagles.

That right there is very bandwagon worthy.

Last week brings me to a respectable 108-68 straight up on the season. I am 83-91-2 against the spread. I’m one really good week away from pulling even with eeny meeny miny moe.

Following are my Week 13 picks. The lines are from ESPN, which won’t be able to handle the Great Cowboy Fairweather Bandwagon because the network gave Ed Werder his walking papers.

Thursday night
New Orleans (minus 7.5) at Dallas

Lock up the women and children and cover your ears. They’re coming.


Cowboys by 1

Chicago (minus 4.5) at New York Giants

After racking up 94 yards rushing and two total touchdowns in the first half against Philadelphia last week, Saquon Barkley got just five touches in the second half.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is called tanking for a draft pick.

Bears by 14

Baltimore (plus 1) at Atlanta
Rookie Lamar Jackson is expected to start again for the Ravens. So, we have at least one reason to watch this game.

Ravens by 4

Denver (minus 5) at Cincinnati
Things were already heading south in Cincy before the Red Rifle suffered a season-ending injury. The Broncos are on fire after wins over the Chargers and Steelers.

Broncos by 9

Los Angeles Rams (minus 10) at Detroit
The Rams are coming off a bye, which isn’t really a bye, and the Lions are, well, the Lions.

Rams by 24

Arizona (plus 14) at Green Bay
Don’t you get the feeling that Aaron Rodgers is just trying to stick it to Mike McCarthy?

Packers by just 6

Buffalo (plus 4.5) at Miami
The Pride of Wyoming is back for the Bills. It won’t be enough.

Dolphins by 5

Carolina (minus 3.5) at Tampa Bay
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston passed for three bills and two touchdowns in a win over the lowly 49ers. Then, the quarterback settled a lawsuit for sexually assaulting an Uber driver.

That’s just your weekly reminder that Winston is a creep.

Panthers by 10

Indianapolis (minus 4) at Jacksonville
The you know what has hit the fan in Jacksonville.

Colts by 13

Cleveland (plus 5.5) at Houston
Baker Mayfield is giving us reason to watch the Browns — on the field and in the postgame press conference.

It’s only going to get better.


Browns by 3

New York Jets (plus 7.5) at Tennessee
Sam Darnold is returning for the Jets, and the Titans face a must-win situation at home.

That doesn’t bode well for the J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets.

Titans by 10

Kansas City (minus 15) at Oakland
This game has upset written all over it.

Just kidding.

Chefs by 39

Minnesota (plus 5) at New England
FiveThirtyEight tells us the Patriots “aren’t quite their usual dominant selves this year.”

FiveThirtyEight also told us Hillary Clinton had virtually no chance of losing to Donald Trump. You’ll have to excuse me if I never listen to anything FiveThirtyEight tells us again.

Patriots by 11

San Francisco (plus 9.5) at Seattle
The Seahawks are on a roll, and they play four of their last five games at home. Two of those games are against the 49ers, and one is against the Cardinals.

That hardly seems fair to the other playoff contenders.

Seahawks by 17

Sunday night
Los Angeles Chargers (plus 3.5) at Pittsburgh

The Steelers have looked like hot garbage in their last couple of games. Philip Rivers threw one incomplete pass last week.

And the Steelers are favored? Take this one to the bank.

Chargers by 6

Monday night
Washington (plus 6.5) at Philadelphia

The outcome of this one is only going to fuel the Great Cowboy Fairweather Bandwagon.

Eagles by just 3

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