Rodney Dangerfield Said It Best: I Get No Respect

We all learned a valuable lesson in Week 11 of the NFL. Do not, under any circumstances, bench your starter after one (maybe two) bad games in favor of an unproven rookie on the road in a hostile west coast environment. Enter: da Bills. I don't know what they were thinking benching Tyrod in lieu of Nathan Peterman (who??), but it quite simply made no sense. The Chargers felt disrespected and picked off the poor kid five times. Lesson learned? I don't think we should overreact to one game. The Chargers are a mediocre football team at best. But clearly you shouldn't stoke the beast. I think this trend continues. I'm buying the half-point and riding with the Los Angeles Chargers (+4).

The Cowboys are coming off a blowout loss to their division rival from the city of brotherly love. The Boys were able to keep it close for the first half, slowing down the most potent offense in the NFL. But Philly broke it open early in the third quarter and never looked back. The Cowboys just aren't the same team without Ezekiel Elliott and, perhaps more importantly, linebacker Sean Lee. In six full games this season with the pro bowler, the Cowboys allowed an average of 80.3 rushing yards. In their previous three losses with Lee inactive or limited, that number almost doubles to 153.3 yards. Who would have thought that it wouldn't be Zeke but Lee that Cowboys Nation would miss most?

The X-Factor in this one is how both teams will react to the short week and the national prime-time slot. Thanksgiving in 'Murica means three things: family, gluttony and football. Now, this isn't the Super Bowl, but the extra attention might give these rookies a few jitters. Philip Rivers shines in the spotlight and I'm not expecting any issues for Dakota either. But the extra-short week for the Cowboys might wreak havoc with their preparation. This is a team that has dealt with off-the-field controversy all season and Thursday's game will be no different. Now, the lid has completely blown off with an explosive report from ESPN detailing the Civil War between Jerry Jones and Roger Goodell. At some point, these distractions will become problematic. On a short week, everything is magnified.

On the field, it's looking like the Chargers are starting to come together. After a winless September, the Chargers have won four of their last six. That being said, have they really beaten anyone? Nope. All of the Chargers' wins come against teams with a losing record. Speaking of which, the Cowboys have only beaten one team above .500: the Chiefs (i.e. pretenders?). Both teams reek of mediocrity, which is why I'm taking the points and betting on the hotter team.

This should be a high-scoring affair so if you don't like anything on the spread, you could do worse than sprinkling a little something on the over. I'm just hoping for a good game for the holidays. Then again, with the Zeke-less, Lee-less Cowboys, the most interesting action may be taking place off the field. Keep your eyes on Jerry. Like the Chargers, he doesn't like to be disrespected.