Cracking the Coad

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:50 AM ET

Indianapolis (7-3) at Detroit (4-6)

The line: Colts by 8 1/2

The skinny: Today, 12:30 p.m. (CBS). If you think this game might be a turkey, you'll definitely cry "fowl" later in the day when the Cowboys and Bears kick off. The major matchup in the Lions-Colts game pits Peyton Manning against Detroit's secondary. To be fair to the Lions, no one has stopped Manning all season. The coltish QB leads the NFL with 2,960 passing yards, 35 touchdown tosses and a 122.2 passer rating. He has thrown for at least four TDs in his last four games, tying Dan Marino's NFL record. He's also on pace to tear up Marino's 1984 record of 48 TD passes in a season. The Lions give up an average of 223.4 passing yards a game, well below the nearly 300 Manning throws for on average. The Lions, who have kick returner Eddie Drummond as a dangerous weapon, have won 10 of their last 15 Thanksgiving Day games. Even though the Colts are 31st in overall defence, they lead the NFL with a plus-12 turnover differential.

Cody's call: Colts 29-20

Chicago (4-6) at Dallas (3-7)

The line: Cowboys by 3 1/2

The skinny: Today, 4:15 p.m. (Fox). The gravy that goes with this not-so-exciting matchup is the battle of rookie quarterbacks: Craig Krenzel of the Bears vs. Drew Henson of the Cowboys. At 23, Krenzel is a year younger but more seasoned. Taken in the fifth round of last year's draft, he is 3-1 as a starter. Henson, who spent three summers playing baseball in the Yankees' farm system, hasn't started at quarterback since his junior season at Michigan nearly four years ago. Cowboys coach Bill Parcells says he's forced to start Henson because Vinny Testaverde injured his shoulder and back against the Ravens Sunday. The Cowboys are tied for last with a minus-16 turnover differential. The Bears offence is 31st and most of what they get comes from running back Thomas Jones, who has 570 yards rushing and 30 receptions.

Cody's call: Cowboys 20-10

Season record

Straight up

Last week: 13-3; overall: 102-58

Spread

Last week: 9-6; overall: 69-76


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