Thanksgiving Day NFL Preview


A Cowboys player raises his arms in celebration after getting a sack on his Thanksgiving day game. Photo courtesy of CBS Sports

Andrew Sands, Assistant Ad Manager

Thanksgiving Day lets us look back on all the things we are thankful for, but arguably the best part of the holiday is the football. Let’s go through the games and see what to expect out of what’s going to be on television this Thanksgiving.

The first matchup will be the Houston Texans facing off against the Detroit Lions, and this game will start at 11:30 AM. These are two teams going through some rough seasons. 

The Texans, after starting the season at 0-5, had fired head coach Bill O’Brien in hopes of getting on the right track. Nothing seems to have worked this season as they are a measly 2-7. 

The Lions playoff hopes don’t get much better, sitting in last place in the NFC North at 3-5. This Lions team had big hopes to start the season, but these hopes were quickly quieted by their 1-3 start.

The player to watch in this matchup will be Deshaun Watson, a pro bowl quarterback who seems to have lost his touch this season. He’ll definitely be looking to get back on track against a mediocre Lions defense.

The second matchup will be the Washington Football Team trying to take down the Dallas Cowboys at 4:30 PM. While these teams are struggling so far this season, with a few wins they could easily secure a playoff spot as the division leader. 

Looking at the last time these two teams faced, Washington won this game by a margin of 25-3. Since then, things have only gotten worse for the cowboys, now sitting at 2-7. Down to their 4th string quarterback, and their workhorse running back Ezekiel Elliott underperforming, a team who already lacks defense has become stagnant on offense. 

Washington has had more of the same. Despite being 2-7, they are only a game and a half away from becoming division leaders. The only real change since Week 7 is the promotion of the player to watch this week in Alex Smith. Once a solid veteran quarterback, Alex Smith underwent a life-saving surgery on a brutal leg injury. Nearly two years later, he has worked his way back to the big stage and could do great things against a weak Dallas pass defense.

To conclude the Thanksgiving matchups, arguably the top team in the league sitting at 9-0, the Pittsburgh Steelers, will be taking on a Baltimore Ravens team with reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson. This is very likely to turn out to be the most interesting game this Thanksgiving, and there’s a reason for that. 

Both of these teams are considered top defenses, and have weapons on the offensive end. Last year’s MVP Lamar Jackson, and Wide Receiver rookie phenom Chase Claypool are two of many names featured in these matchup. 

Last outing between the Ravens and the Steelers went down to the wire, with Pittsburgh prevailing 28-24 in a back and forth game. A win here could move the Ravens closer to winning the division over the Steelers, and provide payback for a diminishing loss in Week 8. 

The player to watch in this game will be Lamar Jackson. Last time against the Steelers defense, he was heavily contained, and forced to make throws down the field. This matchup will show if he can capitalize on those throws and emerge as the top Quarterback in the NFL.

While we don’t know much about what to expect of these games, it is for sure that they will be exciting, as Thanksgiving games always are. So, while you’re at your dinner table, talking about what you’re thankful for, don’t forget to mention Thanksgiving Day Football.