Thanksgiving has always been a bit of a football holiday, and it will certainly be highlighted on the menu this year since we are in the midst of a global pandemic and won’t be able to spend as much time as we’d like with our loved ones. Not to worry, however, as we have a pretty incredible slate of games on Nov. 26, which will provide us with plenty of entertainment to as we woof down our turkey and stuffing. This year’s Thanksgiving matchups will be between the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions, the Washington Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys and finally, for desert, we have the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Things would obviously be a bit better if DeAndre Hopkins was still with the Texans and if Dak Prescott had not suffered his season-ending ankle injury, but there are still plenty of storylines to pay attention to. Deshaun Watson and Matthew Stafford are two of the best quarterbacks in the league, the Cowboys are looking to avenge the 25-3 loss they suffered to their bitter rival last month and then of course, the Steelers and Ravens are both jockeying for playoff positioning.
Below, you’ll find more details about the three Thanksgiving games. Just keep on scrolling.
Texans at Lions, 12:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
It’s never a bad thing when a Thanksgiving game features two of the best quarterbacks in the game. Watson certainly misses having Hopkins out wide, but he has been warming up to Brandin Cooks as of late and Will Fuller is doing everything he can to be the new No. 1 wideout. The Lions allow around 400 yards of total offense per game, so this Houston offense could have a chance to find some success on Turkey Day. As for the Lions, they are down, but they may not be out of the playoff race just yet. Rookie running back D’Andre Swift will likely be licking his chops heading into Thursday, as the Texans have the worst run defense in the NFL.
Unlike the other two games, the early game won’t be a rivalry game. The Lions and Texans have only faced each other four times with the Texans leading the series 3-1. This will be their first matchup since 2016, so it’ll mark Watson’s first-ever game in Detroit. The Lions haven’t beaten the Texans since 2004.
Washington at Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
This Thanksgiving, Andy Dalton and the Cowboys will be out to avenge the 22-point loss they suffered to Washington in October. Dalton was knocked out of the game after suffering a concussion, and the Cowboys’ season appeared to have hit a low point in Week 7. In that matchup, Kyle Allen passed for 194 yards and two touchdowns, but Alex Smith has now taken over at quarterback for Washington after Allen’s ankle injury. After replacing Allen in Week 9 against the New York Giants, Smith passed for 325 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, and then passed for 390 yards in the following week against the Lions. Believe it or not, it actually marked the first time in his NFL career that Smith had passed for 300 yards in consecutive games!
As for the Cowboys, hopefully inserting Dalton back into the starting lineup will do something for this offense, because they have been struggling as of late. CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Dalton Schultz and Michael Gallup are also going to have to record big games if they want to get back in the NFC East race. This is one of the best rivalries in the sport! It should be a fun one.
Ravens at Steelers, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
The NFL is leaning into divisional rivalries for this year’s Thanksgiving slate. After getting treated to a Washington-Cowboys matchup, we’re going to polish off Thanksgiving with a juicy AFC North matchup between the Ravens and Steelers in Pittsburgh. This is, quite clearly, the headliner.
It remains to be seen if the Ravens can catch the undefeated Steelers in the AFC North, but at the very least, John Harbaugh can try to end the season series in a wash. Despite being up 10 points at halftime, the Ravens eventually fell to the Steelers, 28-24 earlier this month. Baltimore racked up an astounding 457 yards of total offense on Pittsburgh’s defense, but scored just three touchdowns. Lamar Jackson’s pick six on the Ravens’ first drive certainly proved costly, in fact, all four of Baltimore’s turnovers did. Expect another close, gritty matchup come Thanksgiving.
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