RGIII to impress on Thanksgiving
Robert Griffin III can score a touchdown for Washington on his return to Texas on Thanksgiving Day says our NFL expert David John.
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The Texans could secure the first play-off berth of the season with a win and othe results going their way but they are going to need a vastly superior effort from their defense.
Blown assignments and missed tackles saw them give up a season-worst 458 yards against a previously insipid Jacksonville as Chad Henne came off the bench to throw for 354 yards and four touchdowns and rookie wideout Justin Blackmon helped himself to 236 yards in receptions.
But the Texans somehow managed to win 43-37 in overtime as quarterback Matt Shaub and the offense stepped up to dig Gary Kubiak's men out of a huge hole and move them to 9-1.
This is obviously a tough turnaround for teams on such a short week but it gives Wade Phillips and his defense a quick opportunity to redress the balance and rediscover the form that saw them hold Chicago to six points, no touchdowns and only 249 yards of total offense at Soldier Field.
My feeling is that normal service will be resumed. You don't suddenly become a terrible unit overnight and I am inclined to treat last week's effort as an aberration from a team that is one of the best in the AFC.
Expect them to work out any of their frustration on a Detroit offense that is much more talented than Jax but has looked out of sync.
The latest internal wrangling has seen receiver Titus Young sent home from practice and told he will play no part on Thursday as they come off a painful defeat to divisional rivals Green Bay that leaves them two games adrift at the bottom of the NFC North.
The total points line for Detroit is set at 23.5 and going short of that looks the way to play as the Texans show a national audience which is their real defense.
The Redskins produced their most complete performance of the season last week but that is not saying a great deal as they thrashed a Philadelphia side with a rookie quarterback making his first start on a team that has little fight in it at the moment.
But it should be a confidence boost nonetheless ahead of a battle with their big NFC East rivals with second place in the division up for grabs.
This will be a sterner test and they will have to face the Cowboys without safety Brandon Merriweather, who tore his ACL and is done for the rest of the campaign.
But it is to the offense and quarterback Robert Griffin III that we look towards for a bet and the Redskins' quicksilver rookie can score a touchdown at any time.
He is 11/10 with Paddy Power to get into the end zone and I expect a big show from him as he makes his return to Texas - where he went to college at Baylor.
RGIII's ability to find paydirt has dried up somewhat in recent weeks but he has six already on the season and Washington's most potent weapon can get back on the scoring trail.
The outcome is tougher to predict so we shall give it a swerve.
I think Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo has been fighting a losing battle behind this ropey offensive line for a couple of seasons and he took another seven sacks last week against Cleveland.
I doubt he will be looking forward to this one much either as left guard Tyron Smith - and Dallas' best lineman - has a high-ankle sprain and is a doubt to make it back in time.
While America sits stuffed full of turkey and pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving Day draws to a close in the Big Apple - well, New Jersey.
This has become quite a rivalry in recent years with little love lost between head coaches Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick.
It is normally Ryan who whips up a storm as he tries to wind up his opposite number but the sniping has been all but absent as the Jets try to get their own house in order.
They did manage to end a three-game losing streak against St Louis after a week of fending off the media delving into players anonymously criticising back-up quarterback Tim Tebow.
They played some good defense against the Rams as they moved to 4-6 on the season but that still leaves them three games behind the Pats - who will try and put them all but out of the AFC East picture here.
That could well happen, but they will have to do it without star tight end Rob Gronkowski, who fractured his forearm playing special teams on a PAT at the end of a 59-24 rout of Indianapolis.
He could be done for 4-6 weeks - so could make a return if the Pats make the play-offs - but Belichick has come under fire for using one of his very best players in a virtually meaningless play.
So in great New England tradition, expect the team to rally round and overcome the loss. Quarterback Tom Brady has proven time and again his ability to move the ball around the field to different receivers and there is more than enough talent on the roster to compensate.
The Pats are after the sweep on the season over the Jets after a 29-26 overtime win in October but they look capable of covering a heftier handicap of 6.5 - even with no Gronk on the field.