The Thanksgiving football games are as much of a Thanksgiving tradition as turkey itself. Every year, the Thanksgiving football games give Detroit and Dallas the chance to host their own turkey day festivities. Nowadays, there are three NFL games this Thanksgiving, thanks to the NFL Network getting into the act. However, this year’s Thanksgiving football games leave something to be desired, at least at first glance. Unless there are any more surprises like there were this past Sunday, the NFL may have an ugly day ahead.
Detroit and Dallas are the traditional homes for Thanksgiving football in the NFL. But the problem with that tradition nowadays is that the Lions are pretty awful, and the Cowboys have struggled to be the Cowboys of old. This year, the Thanksgiving slate doesn’t look that appetizing, as the 2-8 Lions face the Packers, and the Cowboys host the Raiders.
The Packers are fighting to get in the playoffs, though they can be great or awful at any time. The Cowboys are trying to hold on in the NFC East, and get their offense to wake up again. So there are playoff implications in the Thanksgiving football games today – just not good matchups.
However, these two games look a little more appealing after last week. The Lions actually played the game of the year in beating the Browns – and new Detroit hero Matthew Stafford is playing today after all. The Raiders have been pathetic almost all year- except for when they shocked the Eagles last month, and the Bengals last week. Can they shock a Cowboys team that’s been asleep on offense the last two weeks?
But the Thanksgiving football games have a third clash on tap tonight. Since the NFL Network was born, they insist on broadcasting a primetime football game outside of Detroit and Dallas for Thanksgiving. This year, it’s a match up between two teams that looked great early on, but are fighting for their lives now.
The Giants and Broncos face each other in dire straits, as the Broncos have lost four in a row after starting 6-0, and the Giants nearly lost five in a row after starting 5-0. This could have been a showdown between Super Bowl contenders, and now it’s a game between two slumping teams just barely making the playoffs. But at the least, the Giants managed to snap their losing streak last week, unlike the Broncos.
The Packers, Cowboys, Giants and Broncos have a lot on the line this Thanksgiving, while the Lions and Raiders are just trying to play spoiler. At first glance, this year’s Thanksgiving football games consist of two possible blowouts, and one game between disappointing pretenders. Will this day turn out to be a football buffet after all, or barely be a distraction from dinner?
The Packers and Lions will answer that question at 12:30 p.m. eastern time on FOX, while the Cowboys and Raiders suit up at 4:15 on CBS, and the Giants and Broncos clash at 8:20 pm on the NFL Network.
1070 The Fan- “Thanksgiving NFL Football Is the Worst of the Year”
Washington Times- “The Way It Was: Is this last serving of Lions?”
ESPN- “Report: Stafford, Johnson starting for Lions”