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November 23, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Jamison Hensley

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:01 PM)

Thank you for stopping by our pre-Thanksgiving chat. Let's kick it off.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What will be the Best NFL Game on Thanksgiving this season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:03 PM)

There are actually some really good choices this year. The Lions are tough at home and should give the Packers a game. I'm a little partial to the Ravens-49ers game at night since that's the one I'll be attending. Here's my ranking: 1. Packers-Lions. 2. Ravens-49ers. 3. Dolphins-Cowboys.

Cedric Benson (CINCY)

Im mot having the best year and at times Scott makes me look like crap. What do you think my chances are of having the bengals resign me? maybe the browns will sign me :(

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:05 PM)

Benson has had a solid yet not spectacular season. He still gets some tough yards. That said, I feel like the Bengals will look to get a younger back this offseason. That would be the final skill position on offense that the Bengals don't have set for the future.

Gene (Cincinnati)

What do you feel the Bengals biggest weakness is right now? Who would you pick in round one of the 2012 draft to shore up the weakness?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:06 PM)

Gene: The Bengals' biggest weakness has been giving up big plays in the passing game. You saw it last year and you saw it Sunday. And like I said in the previous comment, running back could get addressed in the draft. Wow, some early Bengals questions. Let's keep that coming.

TheTooSmooth aka TheSmoothTroll (Las Vegas, NV)

What's going on Hensley? Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I've noticed that Antonio Brown tries a little too hard on punt/kick returns. Sometimes his trying to make a big play actually ends with a few lost yards. Has Coach Tomlin or Al Everest commented on this? I think he should be less concerned with taking every one back for a touchdown and more concerned about good field position. Your thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:10 PM)

Hey there TooSmooth. Happy Thanksgiving to you! Well, do they celebrate Thanksgiving in Vegas? As far as your question, I agree that Brown presses too much at times. Returning kicks relies on three factors: Speed, instinct and mindset. Brown definitely has speed and instincts. It's the third one that he has to be more consistent with.

David (Florida)

Dalton have a good week vs. Browns? Seems to be progressing well in 1st year!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:11 PM)

David: If A.J. Green doesn't play, Dalton will be as good as the other receivers. If Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell decide to show up, Dalton will be successful. But they are very inconsistent.

Adam Krell (Des Moines IA)

It feels like no one is picking the Ravens, Even though every shred of history says they should win. (the 49's are above .500, its in Baltimore, And I read a stat all time teams that have to play a short week and travel more then 15oo miles are 0-11.) whats your thought

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:12 PM)

Adam: The travel aspect is a major factor. Four days of rest in addition to a cross-country flight presents a major challenge to the 49ers. Make this a Sunday game and it's more competitive. That's why I give the edge to the Ravens.

Joe (Columbus Ohio)

Jamison.. Can you tell me why the Ravens are below the Steelers in everyone's power rankings? Do you guys not consider the Ravens Offensive (which many considers a stuggling O) have scored more points than Pittsburg AND the Ravens D have given up less points than the Steelers D. Not to mention the grown man beat-down followed by losing AT HOME AGAIN to the Ravens when revenge was solely on the minds of everyone wearing Black & Yellow. Please Explain... And we dont want to hear Seattle

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:14 PM)

Joe: I understand the argument of head-to-head, and I would usually side with giving a team the edge over the other if it involves a sweep. But the Ravens didn't lose to Houston or Cincinnati. They fell to Jacksonville and Seattle. Baltimore should be penalized for not showing up. That's why I would put Pittsburgh above Baltimore if I had a vote in the power rankings.

Brad (Berkeley, CA)

So if the servers on the site will let my question through, I'm going to ask a playoff question. I know it is far too early to ask this, but I was wondering what your opinion is of the current playoff structure. Is winning your division more important than a better record? I have a feeling we will see an AFCN team that is better than an AFCW division winner have to play in Denver or Oakland. I've been undecided about this for awhile.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:17 PM)

Brad ... I'm still in favor of division winners over better records. Wild cards should remain the 5th and 6th seeds. If you do it another way, it diminishes winning a division title. I'm a traditionalist that way.

Joseph (Tokyo, Japan)

Konnichiwa JH! I was wondering if the Bengals will go 10-6 this season?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:19 PM)

Joseph: I don't know if I'm more impressed that I'm getting a question from Tokyo or that the question is about the Bengals. Well, I see the Bengals beating the Browns, Rams and Cardinals. So, my predicted finish is 9-7.

Erik (Silver Spring)

Happy Thanksgiving Jamison! How do you think the Ravens will address their inconsistency in Offense during the off season? What do you think is in Cam Cameron's future?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:21 PM)

Erik: Barring an offensive collapse in the playoffs (like last year in Pittsburgh), Cam Cameron returns. To address the inconsistency, the Ravens need to address the offensive line. Birk is likely gone at center, left guard Ben Grubbs is a FA and left tackle Bryant McKinnie is just a stop-gap. When the Ravens offensive line plays well, the offense plays well.

Bold Predictor (Baltimore)

Will the Ravens win #1 seed in the AFC...and why?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:22 PM)

New England will get the No. 1 seed. Soft schedule for Brady and the boys helps them big time.

kathy (atlanta ga)

I don't know if the stats would support that but I think Big Ben plays better when he's hurt. Agree?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:23 PM)

Kathy: I wish I had the stats to back that up. But it sure seems that way. Perhaps the injury causes him to focus more. There has to be some reason, right?

Rob (San Antonio)

Do you think Pgh. would be better off resting Woodley and using Ben as a back up this week? They should be able to be KC without them.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:24 PM)

Rob: Rest Woodley. Pittsburgh needs him in the playoffs. Start Roethlisberger. The thumb injury really isn't that bad. He's played with it before. Just go shotgun and he can put up 300 yards passing in Kansas City.

James (Jackson, MS)

Do you think the Steelers are the best team in the AFC? What is the word on Lamar Woodley?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:26 PM)

James: The Steelers and Ravens are the best teams I've seen in the AFC this year. The word on Woodley is that he won't play unless he makes progress this week. Typically teams don't rush guys back with hamstring injuries. Have to be patient.

Matt (sun, md)

Jamison, you are penalizing Baltimore for their losses, but not giving credit for their wins. By your thinking, Pittsburgh should be penalized for not having the amount of wins against good teams that Baltimore has. Thoughts?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:28 PM)

Matt: Steelers have beaten New England, which will probably be the top seed. They also won at Cincy. You shouldn't discount the Steelers' quality wins. Outside of that disaster in the season opener, Pittsburgh was competitive in losses to Houston and Baltimore. No embarrassing losses like Seattle and Jacksonville.

Jimmy (Xenia)

If the Browns contain CB and with having the #1 pass defense do you think they have a chance for the upset? GO BROWNS!!!!!!!

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:29 PM)

Jimmy: The biggest problem is how do the Browns score against the Bengals. Cincinnati's weakness is giving up the big play in the passing game. The Browns struggle with getting the ball deep. That's why I don't see an upset.

Drew (Baltimore)

How do you think the ravens will implement Lee Evans going foward now that Torrey Smith has been playing well and they use their tight ends in various sets.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:30 PM)

Drew: When Lee Evans gets healthy, I see the Ravens going with a lot more three wides. I still see Evans having an impact this season. Just look at how he played in the preseason.

CWW (Naples, FL)

Jamison,Do you think that given the possibility that Pittsburgh could earn a wild card spot, that the Ravens could beat the Steelers a third time?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:32 PM)

CWW: Ravens don't want to see the Steelers again this season. They would prefer to see the playoff road go through Oakland, Houston and New England.

Justin Nalley (Canton, Ohio)

Is the fact that Colt McCoy not having a true #1 WR and having seemingly a hundred different Running Backs this year the reason why everyone in the Browns Organization is down on McCoy? I for one love the kid and think he is better than what his stats show.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:33 PM)

Justin: I agree that McCoy has been put in a bad situation. I think he's found a rhythm with the offense the past two games. I'm still not sold on McCoy's ability to stretch the field. The other three QBs in the AFC North -- Roethlisberger, Flacco and Dalton -- all can get the ball deep. To succeed in this division, you have to go over the top of these stingy defenses.

Adam (Cbus)

Is AJ Green back this week and if he remains healthy do you still think the Bengals won't win in Pitt or at home against the Ravens?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:35 PM)

Adam: I think Green comes back (although the week is still young). If he plays, the Bengals have a much better chance to beat Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Cincy has to beat either the Steelers or Ravens to reach 10 wins and make the playoffs.

Michael (Cincinnati)

Happy Thanksgiving Jamison. The Browns OL is finally starting to protect Colt as they turn toward division play. What are the chances the Browns get a division win or two down the stretch?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:37 PM)

Happy Thanksgiving Michael. Not sure if I see the Browns getting division win this year. Their best shot was the season opener when they had the Bengals at home. Pittsburgh and Baltimore will have a lot riding on the games against Cleveland down the stretch. Of course, you can't ever predict the Ravens, especially on the road. So maybe the Browns will get one.

Gary (Orlando)

why are you so surprised to be getting Bengals questions?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:38 PM)

Gary: Because I've been doing this chat for nine weeks and I rarely get them. It's usually dominated by questions from the Steelers and Ravens. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

James (Brooklyn, NY)

Hey Jamison, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I am a huge Steelers fan and I beleive that they have the best crop of young WR in the game. Do you invision Wallace hitting around 1,400 and 10 Tds and Brown being able to hit 1,100 and around 70 receptions for the year??

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:40 PM)

James: I wish I had more time to break down the numbers. I will say this: Wallace and Brown should be 1,000-yard receivers for years to come. Dangerous combination there with the strong arm of Roethlisberger. And Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Jason (Cincy)

So you don't see the Bengals able to beat Houston or Baltimore @ home? I would think 10-6 is very likely, disagree?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:41 PM)

Jason: I've seen the Bengals twice at home (San Fran and Pittsburgh) and they've lost both times. Not much of a home-field advantage, unfortunately. Maybe they do better at sold-out stadiums.

Tball (cincy)

If Bengals make the playoffs, do you she Marvin Lewis as coach of the year??

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:42 PM)

Tball: Lewis has done a great job and would be a strong candidate. But Jim Harbaugh already has that award wrapped up (along with the NFC West title).

TheTooSmooth aka TheSmoothTroll (Las Vegas, NV)

And just to answer your question, yes we do celebrate Thanksgiving here in Vegas. It just involves gravy in an entirely different, non child friendly way. least that's what I've heard.

Michael (Cincinnati)

Matt is forgetting Baltimore doesn't show up on the road. How many more games are at home for the flying rats?

Anderson (Altoona, PA)

Has Max Starks really been the answer to the Steelers O-line troubles or are there other factors at play here?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:45 PM)

Anderson: No doubt that Starks has been a major reason in stabilizing the offensive line. Pouncey has gotten healthy after getting banged up early. Also, the development of Foster and Gilbert has been huge, too. So, Starks should get a lot of credit but there are other reasons, too.

Tony (Cincy)

Why is Michael from Cincinnati asking a Cleveland question?

jsbrendog (ny)

just traded nicks/tebow for roddy white/tolbert in an 18 team league. fair trade?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:46 PM)

Don't ask me any fantasy questions. Not being rude. I'm just terrible at it. You can ask my friends.

Michael (Cincinnati)

If the Bengals WIN a playoff game, give Marvin Lewis some credit.


Happy Thanksgiving. Here's a reason Ben seems to play better when he's hurt. He's a drama queen thats not really hurt. Funny that he has a broken thumb on his throwing hand and it's no big deal, while Cutler has the same injury and may be out for the rest of the season.

Michael (Cincinnati)

I'm a Browns fan...

James (Jackson, MS)

Is Ray Lewis going to play Thursday night? With a toe injury I just can't see him playing until next week at the earliest?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:47 PM)

James: I expect to see Ray Lewis doing his dance coming out of the tunnel Thanksgiving night and playing.

jjstemmer (Suisun City)

Do you think 10 wins will be enough to get into playoffs?Also do you think Hawkins should see more time than Caldwell this week?With Schaub out, I believe the Bengals have abetter chance of beating the Texans.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:49 PM)

JJ: I think 10 wins gets you in this year in the AFC. I agree that the Schaub injury increases the Bengals' chances of beating the Texans. And I prefer Hawkins over Caldwell. He is a shifty receiver who gets open more consistently underneath. I see Hawkins as a better complement to the other receivers.

D-Bo (st pete, fl)

"Drama Queen" the guy played a game with a broken foot and a broken nose

TheTooSmooth aka TheSmoothTroll (Las Vegas, NV)

Hensley, you are on a roll today.

Rob (San Antonio)

Did you expect this much drama from fans when you took the job?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:50 PM)

Not really. But I enjoy the passion from fans. Makes the job more interesting.

Paul (Virginia Beach)

Three posts from Michael in Cincinnati... What's a man got to do to get some love around here?

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:50 PM)

Sorry, didn't notice that. I usually just post the question and look at the name later.

Jamison Hensley (ESPN)
  (2:52 PM)

Well, I have to run. If you have time, take a look at my column on the Harbaugh brothers. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Eat lots of turkey and enjoy the football. Talk to everyone same time next week!