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Senior NFL Columnist

NFL Power Rankings: Pats head to Lambeau for clash of two best teams


The holiday season officially begins this week.

So does the playoff push.

Thanksgiving is a time for turkey, tradition and a gluttonous amount of NFL football games that mean a lot. I can't wait.

The NFL week starts with three good games Thursday, including two really good ones, and then will be highlighted Sunday by the Green Bay Packers playing host to the New England Patriots in a battle of the league's best teams.

With the Arizona Cardinals losing to the Seattle Seahawks this week, it moves the Patriots up to the No. 1 spot here in my Power Rankings and the Packers into the second spot.

It's Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers, a battle of two of the four elite passers in the league. But I have a sneaky suspicion that the defense that plays best will be the one that decides this one.

The Turkey Day slate includes the Philadelphia Eagles at the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East lead and the Seattle Seahawks playing at San Francisco against the 49ers in what is a huge game in terms of playoff implications. Oh, and let's not forget the Richard Sherman-Michael Crabtree sideshow.

When we were teenagers living at home, one of the things we used to do was try and get my mother to schedule Thanksgiving dinner between the early game and the kickoff of the late game. My mother would work hours cooking the meal, including those damn Brussels sprouts that nobody ate, and we would tear through it in a half hour.

She never complained. She loved football too.

And that's what this holiday week is about: Family, friends, traditions and loads of good football.

Enjoy the holiday and everything about it. The playoff push has officially begun.


Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.

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