Food, football, and family – the three pillars of Thanksgiving. While you wait for the turkey to cook, here’s what will be going down on the field:
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions (11:30 AM ET)
Thanksgiving football is guaranteed to start off with a bang as division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions, battle it out on Turkey Day. Ford Field, in Detroit, will be the battleground for this Thanksgiving classic.
Detroit and Minnesota are familiar with Thanksgiving Day games - Detroit’s played in one every year since 1934 - and Minnesota has matched up against Detroit several times in the past 40 years. This year, the Thanksgiving showdown could have serious implications as Minnesota and Detroit both jockey for first place in their division and potential playoff spots.
Matchup to Watch: Lions’ Receivers vs. Vikings’ Secondary
The likes of Anquan Boldin, Golden Tate, and the rest of the Lions’ receivers were too much for the Vikings Secondary to handle when the two teams met up in Week 9 this year. Look for Matthew Stafford to target his receivers early and often as he tries to continually attack the Vikings secondary.
Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys (4:30 PM ET)
Another Thanksgiving game and another classic rivalry. The Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys make up one of the longest, most fierce rivalries in all of football, and the next installment will be played this Thanksgiving. The Cowboys will undoubtedly try to put more room between themselves and the Redskins in the division, and Washington will try to close the gap on claiming first place in the NFC east.
Matchup to Watch: Cowboys’ Running Backs vs. Redskins’ Linebackers
The Redskins and the Cowboys last played each other in Week 2 this year, and Ezekiel Elliot proved to be too much to handle as he busted multiple runs into the Redskins secondary. Look for the Cowboys to continue this heavy running attack on Thanksgiving. The Washington linebackers will need to stop the run game early if they want to end this game on top. Stopping the run game early could make the Cowboys one-dimensional and give the Redskins a much needed advantage.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts (8:30 PM ET)
If someone would have said that both the Steelers and the Colts would not have a winning record by Thanksgiving before the beginning of this year, everyone would have laughed at them, but now that is exactly the position both of these teams find themselves in. Pittsburgh is just behind the Baltimore Ravens in their division, and the Colts are fighting to regain ground in the AFC South. This matchup could prove to be pivotal for both of these teams going forward, as they look to make a playoff run.
Matchup to Watch: Pittsburgh’s Receivers vs. Indianapolis’ Secondary
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the top 5 in passing this far in the year and the Indianapolis Colts rank in dead last for passing defense. Look for the Steelers to rely heavily on the pass as they look to attack a shaky Indianapolis secondary.