We hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving and that you are still blissfully floating somewhere in the time-turkey continuum. This is a scientific phenomenon that occurs every Thanksgiving week — when the days blend together in a foggy state of tryptophan, carbs, adult beverages, extended family interaction, awkward high school reunions, and football.  This writer has never been in a coma before, but if it’s anything like this, he thinks he’s kind of into it.

 

While we’ve already gorged on football earlier this week, we’ve rubbed our bellies, done our breathing exercises, and are prepared for Sunday’s second helping. We are also reminded that while the Monday after Thanksgiving is always a wake-up call, it is especially so in the NFL universe this year, as it marks the turn of the calendar to December. Time for the big boys to prove their playoff worthiness.

 

Thursday delivered a hard dose of December reality to two NFC contenders, the Cowboys and 49ers, who were poised to flex their muscles on their home turf. Instead, they are now very much in danger of slipping into the outside-looking-in classification. Conversely, the Eagles and Seahawks used the holiday as a platform to re-insert themselves into the legitimate contender discussion. It was pure dominance by the visitors and pure devastation for the hosts. We caution against over-reaction to a single game, but we have serious questions about Dallas and San Francisco’s ability to recover.

 

Clearly, the most intriguing December thematic will be the ongoing tussle for the NFC Wildcard slots, and both of those teams will point to Thanksgiving as missed opportunities. We’ve repeatedly issued the caveat that every squad has a stinker or two during the course of the season, but those need to surface earlier in the season — not on your home turf against a thirsty division rival in deep autumn. We suddenly have lots of questions for the Cowboys and 49ers, and they will be reminded that Thanksgiving week is so much more enjoyable when you simply show up, take care of business and take a four-day nap.

 

Here’s what we’ll be keeping our droopy eye on, as we lay drooling on the couch in prone position on Sunday.

 

Pure Awesomeness:
W-O-W, OMG, DDC (Discount Double Check), MCB (Man Crush Brady)…choose your three letters for this one, because it’s all sorts of epic. The Pats are so good that even their owner, Bob Kraft, has a signature shoe with Nike. Baller status, anyone? Packer fans deserve their own signature shoe as well, but they’d probably want to stuff it with cheese and deep fry it. Dare we mention (again) how New England has fared against division leaders this season? Let’s just say that 43-17, 43-21, 42-20 and 34-9 are not Nicki Minaj’s measurements.

 

Chiefs Crossroads:
If Packers vs. Pats is Sunday’s main event, Broncos vs. Chiefs is a worthy secondary showcase. These are quietly desperate times for Kansas City, which tends to happen when you lose to the Raiders. The Broncos, themselves, are still reeling a bit, and if the Chiefs can’t corral them now, their season could be slipping away. Drama. We like it.

 

Look Out B-Lo:
As much as we may be inclined to deny it, there’s a lot of spunk in this game. It should be a wild atmosphere in Buffalo, as they finally dig out from Snow Bonanza 2014. Watching Kyle Orton is inherently unsettling, but we love the fight in these Bills. We sort of feel that way about Cleveland, but they still seem to do everything they can to almost lose games – and often they succeed.

 

Woe is Washington:
A funny thing happens when you ask the rhetorical question, “Can things get any worse?” The answer, as always, is yes. Is Colt McCoy really better than RGIII? The fact that we’re forced to pose the question in the first place is simply mind-blowing. The downward spiral continues. Well done, Washington.

 

San Diego Re-Charge?:
We hesitate to say anything at all about the Chargers, since they are the proverbial waste of space/ink/energy. The Ravens can put them out of their misery once and for all. Should San Diego win, however, they will succeed in mucking up the whole AFC playoff picture, which is such a San Diego thing to do.

 

Were you watching on Thanksgiving? What do you think about the standings as we head into the end of the NFL season? Let’s talk here, or find me on Twitter @endbadly