Tomorrow marks Thanksgiving, which is no doubt the greatest of all holidays in my humble opinion. There’s the obvious—the turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce (from a can…I want to see ridges), and of course the family. But then there’s what’s really important—football.
I don’t know about you, but I thoroughly enjoy the timeless tradition of the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys playing each and every Thanksgiving Thursday. It’s also no doubt been a special honor to play on Thanksgiving for those teams that have gone to the Silverdome and Ford Field, along with Texas Stadium and Cowboys Stadium. And now that the NFL has blessed us all with a third game the past few years, there’s literally a game for when you cook, when you eat, and when you’re about to pass out from your turkey-induced coma.
And if you’re not sure about all the storylines, fear not—we’ve got you covered.
Game one: Houston Texans (9-1) at Detroit Lions (4-6)—12:30 EST, CBS
The Texans are considered by some to be the best team in football, and the Lions have taken a step back after a great playoff season in 2011. But based on Houston’s performance against Jacksonville—literally the worst team in football—last weekend, if Detroit comes out firing and executes well, they could have a chance.
There are a couple good head-to-head matchups in this one, most notably between two of the top wide receivers in the league. Calvin “Megatron” Johnson currently leads the NFL in receiving yards with 1,117, and Andre Johnson isn’t too far behind at eighth place with 870.
But watch out for those defenses, too, as both teams rank in the top-10 in total defense. Houston’s J.J. Watt comes in at third in the NFL with 11.5, and the ever-dangerous Ndamukong Suh could come in and stomp someone yet again.
Game two: Washington Redskins (4-6) at Dallas Cowboys (5-5) —4:15 EST, FOX
Now this one should be great—the classic battle between Cowboys and Indians. It’s RGIII’s first go-round against Dallas, and it’ll also be his first time in the massive Cowboys Stadium. The rookie had perhaps his best performance last week against the Eagles, completing 14 of his 15 passes for 200 yards and four touchdowns, and added 84 yards on the ground.
He’ll be taking on a Cowboys team that barely escaped with a win against the Browns on Sunday in a game neither team seemed to want to win (trust me, I watched it. myself). And even though Dallas’ defensive coordinator Rob Ryan likes to run his mouth about as much as his brother Rex, the Cowboys rank in the middle of the pack against the run. And who knows whether good Romo or bad Romo will show up to play quarterback?
Either way, this game should probably be the best of the day.
Game three: New England Patriots (7-3) at New York Jets (4-6)—8:20 EST, NBC
The Jets and Patriots usually do play each other tough, but this one should be on blowout alert. Even without tight end Rob Gronkowski, New England has more than a formidable enough passing attack to compensate with Tom Brady at quarterback.
As for the Jets offense…well, let’s just say Tebow ain’t the savoir, and I’m glad the Browns traded that 6th pick in the 2009 draft to the Jets for Mark Sanchez.
And for a team that is supposedly built on defense, the Jets sure haven’t played that well. They rank middle of the pack at 14th in total defense, and all the way at 24th in points allowed. New England trounced Andrew Luck and the Colts last week, scoring 59 points.
Yes, the game will be played at MetLife Stadium, but this one could still get ugly quickly.