Thanksgiving NFL Preview

Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions 12:30 pm EST

The Detroit Lions’ annual tradition of playing on Thanksgiving began in 1934 as an effort to attract more fans to the game. Though, Thanksgiving has not been kind to the Lions. The Lions are 37-41-2 all-time on Thanksgiving and have not won on Turkey Day since 2016. This year the Lions will face off against the 3-7 Houston Texans. The Lions are coming off a shutout loss to the Carolina Panthers. Both offenses were banged up as Carolina was without starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (Knee), and star running back Christian McCaffery (Shoulder) and the Lions were without wide receiver Kenny Golladay (Hip) and running back D’Andre Swift (Concussion). As for the Texans they are coming of a 27-20 win over the New England Patriots. Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson picked apart the Patriots’ defense throwing for 344 yards and 2 touchdowns, and adding a rushing touchdown. In a game that truly could go either way, I have more confidence in Deshaun Watson and Romeo Crennel than I do in Matt Stafford and Matt Patricia. I like the Texans in this one.

Washington Football Team @ Dallas Cowboys 4:30 pm EST

The Dallas Cowboys began their tradition of playing on Thanksgiving Day in 1966, when they followed the lead of the Detroit Lions in an attempt to gain more national publicity. Since that year, the Cowboys have played every Thanksgiving except for two. Thanksgiving day has been better for the Cowboys than it has for the Lions, as the Cowboys are 31-20-1 all-time on the Holiday. This year, the 3-7 Dallas Cowboys will face off against the 3-7 Washington Football Team in a crucial NFC East battle. The Cowboys come into this game coming off a big win on the road over the Minnesota Vikings. Cowboys’ tight end Dalton Schultz hauled in the go-ahead 2 yard touchdown with 1:37 remaining in Andy Dalton’s first game back since the last time these two met just a few weeks ago, when Washington defeated Dallas 25-3. The Cowboys have been playing better football as of late, taking the now 10-0 Pittsburgh Steelers down to the wire, and defeating the Vikings on the road on Sunday. The Cowboys have one of the bet backups in the league in Andy Dalton. He is no Dak Prescott, but he is an experienced veteran who has the right offensive weapons around him. Dalton is coming off a great performance in Sunday’s victory, and I think he will follow it up with another good game and will lift the Cowboys to a victory over Washington in this one.

Ravens @ Steelers 8:20 pm EST

The NFL added a third prime time game to the Thanksgiving slate in 2006. The night game usually features a divisional game. This year, it will be the 10-0 Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the 6-4 Baltimore Ravens. Unfortunately, the Ravens had to close their facility after multiple members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. Among those that tested positive were running backs JK Dobbins and Mark Ingram. The impact on Thursday’s game is still unknown. Assuming they play, the Ravens will come into this game following an overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans. Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson has struggled in his 3 starts against the Steelers as he is 1-2 in those games and 0-2 in his career against Big Ben Roethlisberger. Pair that with little to no practice and preparation time because of their COVID out break, I like the Steelers in this one.