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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 10:05 AM




Pass the gravy ... and the remote control too! It’s the always wonderful Thanksgiving Day holiday this week and we’re truly blessed to have an NFL Week 13 triple-header on the docket with all NFC teams getting into the mix and only one of ‘em -- sorry Chicago Bears - sporting a losing record at this late stage of the season.

Plus there’s a pair of fun under-the-lights College Football games on Thursday night too - that’s TCU at Texas and LSU at Texas A&M -- and so this is gonna be a really fun and football-filled holiday, eh?

My handicappers and bloggers are in the holiday spirit and so we’ll be piling up the profits with our Annual Jim Hurley Turkey Shoot all week/weekend long and so that means lots of winners in NCAA Football, NFL Week 13 action plus on the hardwood too with all the NBA and NCAA Hoops. Don’t get left out in the cold - win all week and cash in big with both Football and Basketball when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network either here online or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.

Remember to get the Thanksgiving Day/Night winners on Thursday after 9am. ET and then check back with us Friday morning after 11 a.m. ET as there are a whopping 15 College Football games plus a ton of hoops action on the day-after-Thanksgiving menu. Then bang out even more winners this Saturday/Sunday/Monday as we blast away on one of the most important sports weekends of the whole year ... we’re ready to chow down and win big!


Okay, so here’s something you may not have known about this year’s Thanksgiving Day matchups - for the first time since the merger way back in 1970 there won’t be a single AFC team playing on Turkey Day as the TV networks “opted” for three divisional matchups instead ... so here’s what to watch:

CHICAGO (5-6) at DETROIT (7-4) - 12:30 p.m. ET, CBS
The Lions have lost nine of their last 10 Thanksgiving Day games - the Motowners snapped a nine-game losing skid on this holiday with last year’s rollicking 40-10 win against an Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay gang - but it’s not exactly as if Jim Caldwell’s club is heading into this tilt with “positive momentum”.
In fact, the Lions have failed to score a single touchdown in recent back-to-back losses at Arizona and at New England and at press time we’re awaiting word on what will happen to Detroit C Dominic Raiola for his bone-headed play late in Foxboro. Can Detroit QB Matthew Stafford - who completed just 39 percent of his passes last week (see 18-of-46) -- snap out of it or will the start of this three-game home stand look a lot like these recent road losses at Arizona and New England?

PHILADELPHIA (8-3) at DALLAS (8-3) - 4:30 p.m. ET, Fox
Okay, so in our earlier-week edition of Jim Sez we sang the praises of Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo and wondered if this was indeed “The Year” for Dallas ... well, don’tcha think the Philly Eagles may be thinking that it’s “their year”? After all, the Birds have rebounded to win two-of-three games after the apparent season-ending injury to Pro Bowl QB Nick Foles and you know things are going right when your team has scored 10 non-offensive touchdowns in a year and you’re not even through November! If the Cowboys kick it to rookie Josh Huff (see 107-yard KO return to start things last weekend against Tennessee) or don’t protect their punter here than shame on Jason Garrett’s guys! One X-factor to watch: We say the Eagles must get the ball in the hands of RB Darren Sproles 12-to-15 times here (only 39 yards on 9 touches against the Titans).

SEATTLE (7-4) at SAN FRANCISCO (7-4) - 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Holidays are - after all - about spending time with loved ones and who loves each other more in NFL-land than the Seahawks and 49ers, right? The first of two head-to-head meetings these next three weeks is special on many fronts: The Seahawks’ vaunted defense is “coming around” after holding the WR Larry Fitzgerald-less Arizona Cardinals to a mere 204 offensive yards in last Sunday’s 19-3 win while the Niners - short-handed all year long on “D” have surrendered 13 points or less in three of their last four games and even the well-publicized internal problems have not kept San Fran from making some big fourth-quarter stands the last two weeks against Washington and the NY Giants. Let’s see if Seattle is better able to protect QB Russell Wilson who was sacked seven times last Sunday - yes, sometimes he just didn’t want to throw the ball away - and let’s see if San Fran QB Colin Kaepernick (just one TD pass in each of his last two games) can find ultra-dependable WR Anquan Boldin (9 catches for 137 yards and a score in the 17-13 non-cover win against Washington last weekend) at crunch time. Here’s a refresher on last year’s three Seahawks-49ers matchups (note all home teams are in CAPS below):

S. 15SEATTLE- 3San Fran29-3
D. 8SAN FRAN- 2.5Seattle19-17
J. 19SEATTLE- 3.5San Fran23-17

Of course, that final matchup from a year ago was in the NFC Championship Game where Seahawks CB Richard Sherman famously deflected a pass intended to WR Michael Crabtree which was intercepted. Remember?


We’re back with the latest Installment of the 2014 Heisman Trophy Watch List where we offer up our top five weekly contenders for college football’s most coveted individual award:

MARCUS MARIOTA, QB, OREGON - For a second straight week, we’ve kept this Ducks’ do-it-all star atop our Heisman Trophy Watch List following another magnificent showing in last weekend’s 44-10 win/cover against Colorado, Mariota threw for 323 yards and 3 TDs and rushed for 73 yards and a “touch” and so the season-long stats now read thusly: 3,103 yards passing with 32 TDs and 2 INTs plus another 597 yards rushing with 9 ground scores and sure looks like Oregon’s headed to the College Football Playoffs.

MELVIN GORDON, RB, WISCONSIN - One week after “temporarily” breaking the NCAA single-game rushing record with 407 yards against Nebraska, this speedy Badgers’ back cranked out 200 yards and two TDs in a scary 26-24 non-cover win at Iowa. So, Gordon enters this Saturday’s rivalry game against Minnesota with 2,109 yards rushing (an amazing 8.3 yards per carry average) with 25 TDs. Send the guy the Doak Walker award already, will ‘ya!

DAK PRESCOTT, QB, MISS STATE - We flip-flopped Prescott with Florida State’s Jameis Winston this week ... otherwise our Jim Sez Top 5 is exactly the same - and the slight boost to the versatile Bulldogs star is thanks to his three TD passes and one TD rush in the 51-0 slaughter of SEC “rival” Vanderbilt. Now, Prescott enters this weekend’s Egg Bowl bash with Ole Miss having thrown for 2,714 yards and 23 TDs while chipping in another 891 rushing yards with 12 TDs.

JAMEIS WINSTON, QB, FLORIDA STATE - Doesn’t look like we’ll have an Archie Griffin repeat in this year’s Heisman Trophy race but right now we believe last year’s winner deserves an invite to New York City if the balloting was held today. Winston’s 11-and-oh Seminoles keep pulling games out of the fire with last Saturday’s 20-17 triumph against 16.5-point dog Boston College the latest chapter in this death-defying season - so Winston enters Saturday’s game against Florida with 3,125 yards passing with 19 TDs and 13 INTs.

TREVONE BOYKIN, QB, TCU - The Horned Frogs “sat tight” last weekend with a bye and so we decided to keep this star slinger right there at the same #5 Heisman spot he occupied a week ago. Boykin’s numbers to this point: 3,021 yards passing with 24 TDs and 5 INTs plus 548 yards rushing and 7 ground scores for 9-1 TCU.



ILLINOIS (5-6, 2-5 Big 10) - Can last week’s win against Penn State and perhaps a “W” this Saturday against archrival Northwestern save Tim Beckham’s job? Not likely as this third-year boss-man is toast in Champaign.
Leading candidate ... Dino Babers (current Bowling Green head coach)

INDIANA (3-8, 0-7 Big 10) - Here’s the next Big Ten program that will have a vacancy in a couple of weeks as fourth-year boss Kevin Wilson won’t be back for 2015 even if his Hoosiers defeat Purdue this weekend and last year’s 56-36 win against the Boilermakers was Indy’s last-ever “W”.
Leading candidate ... Mike Denbrock (Notre Dame offensive coordinator)

MICHIGAN (5-6, 3-4 Big 10) - The Brady Hoke Era has been an utter disaster with one bowl win (see 2011 Sugar Bowl OT triumph over Virginia Tech) and now this team needs to beat mighty Ohio State just to get a bowl invite this winter ... forget-about-it!
Leading candidates ... Jim Harbaugh (San Francisco 49ers head coach) if he wants it or maybe TCU head coach Gary Patterson.

NOTE: Lots more gridiron goodies in the next edition of Jim Sez.

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