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Week 13 Picks, Part I

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Great Game, Lame League
NFL Network Fiasco Rivals 'Heidi'

So less than 40 percent of the country can see the Green Bay at Dallas game because it's available only on the NFL Network. So what? It's not like anyone really wants to see a historic matchup between a pair of 10-and-1 teams. Just because it's never happened before, what's the attraction?

After all, not that many people were upset that they missed the last 1:05 of the Oakland Raiders' 43-32 win over the New York Jets on Nov. 17, 1968, were they? After all, those teams were both 7-2 heading into that game. And so what that the Jets were leading 32-29 when NBC broke for commercial before show the made-for-TV "Heidi".

Some people will never learn.

Here's tonight's pick:

Thursday, Nov. 29
Green Bay Packers (10-1) at Dallas Cowboys (10-1), 8:00 p.m.
This should be one heck of a game. It could be a completely different game in Green Bay, where it's 22 degrees as opposed to the mid-50s in Dallas. Dallas and Green Bay are second and third respectively in total offense. The Cowboys are second in scoring, and Green Bay is fifth. The Pack has a slight edge in points allowed, ranking fifth, while The 'Boys are tied for 10th.

As it's expected to be a matchup of the "aging warrior" versus the new kid on the block (one of my defining moments for the week, it could come down to which defense can contain opposing quarterback. In that case, Dallas has the edge looking at their personnel (pass pressuring front seven and hard-hitting d-backs) while Green Bay has the paper advantage, ranked 18th to Dallas's 21st (though that difference is just a couple yards per game.

But what it really could come down to is the rushing games. Dallas is 11th in the league with Julius Jones and the more devastating Marion Barber. Meanwhile, Green Bay's Ryan Grant, who has come on strong the last few weeks, is nursing an ankle injury, and the Packers are ranked last in rushing.
Prediction: Cowboys, 34-24.

By the way, both sites have some good reading leading up to the game, and you can track fans' opinions during the game in their respective open threads. (Click the team links above.)