NFL on Thanksgiving Day: Food & Football [Preview]


Football is as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey and awkward family moments. Unfortunately, the two teams required by the 28th Amendment to host games on Thanksgiving, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, haven’t provided too many memorable match-ups in recent history. But this Thanksgiving, five out of the six teams in action are in the playoff mix, and at least two of the games should be very entertaining.


Let’s take a look at what’s on tap.

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions 12:30 pm EST

After a 5-0 start, everybody loved the Detroit Lions and the bandwagon was full of believers. But after losing three of their past five, the Lions are a questionable team in a deep NFC. Once a lock for the playoffs, the Lions now find themselves on the verge of not making the postseason. The Lions have a tough schedule going forward, but beating the Packers would give them some seriously needed momentum heading into the season’s final six weeks.

The Packers meanwhile are on a roll. Aaron Rodgers and his crew are firing on all cylinders. The Packers are undefeated and are winning most of their games comfortably. They can often be seen on the sidelines late in games, laughing and smiling while destroying yet another opponent. They look like they are having more fun than the people in the Olive Garden commercials.

Prediction: The Packers on turf are too explosive. The Detroit downfall continues. Packers 31-20.

Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys 4:15 pm EST

Up until a couple of weeks ago, this game looked like a dud. Miami started the season by dropping their first seven games. Dallas couldn’t find any consistency and started 3-4. But both teams have recently hit their stride and each are currently riding a three game winning streak.

The Dolphins somehow improved when backup quarterback Matt Moore took over the reins for injured starter Chad Henne. The defense has been a big part of that success, having allowed just 20 points over the past three games. Also, Reggie Bush has run the ball well over the past three weeks and has found his way into the end zone four times during that span. The Dolphins are definitely improving, but still are not that great of a team.

The Cowboys offense has clicked since the emergence of running back DeMarco Murray in Week 7. Even without top wide receiver Miles Austin the lineup, Tony Romo shouldn’t have too many problems beating up on the Dolphins’ secondary.

Prediction: Cowboys feast on the Dolphins. 27-13.

San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens 8:20 pm EST

The San Francisco 49ers travel east to play the Baltimore Ravens in the Thanksgiving nightcap. Unfortunately the battle on the field, between two good teams, will take a backseat to the “Harbaugh Bowl” storyline. Between now and Thursday, there will be approximately 73,455 references to the fact the two head coaches, Jim and John Harbaugh, are in fact brothers.

The Ravens are tough to figure out. One week they look like one of the elite teams in the league, the next week it’s tough to imagine them as a playoff team. They’ve beaten the Steelers twice, but have lost to the Seahawks, Jaguars and Titans.

The 49ers have become a solid football team under Jim Harbaugh and have won eight straight games. With a punishing defense, a solid running game, and a surprisingly adequate Alex Smith behind center, the 49ers have become a front runner to represent the NFC in this year’s Super Bowl. Whether it’s a west coast bias, or just the fact that a lot of football “experts” have no idea what they’re talking about, many have been reluctant to give the 49ers credit. (I neither am an expert nor know what I’m talking about.) Perhaps this game will be the one that finally convinces the remaining skeptics that the 49ers are for real.

Prediction: The TV broadcast will include 13 shots of the Harbaugh parents in their luxury suite. Jim wins the Harbaugh Bowl. 49ers 20-17.

Please note that these predictions are simply guesses and I do not condone using them as any sort of guide should you be in the vicinity of a casino.


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