Thanksgiving is a time for the four F’s: Family, Friends, Food and Football. The Thanksgiving games have been a staple of the NFL since its inception. The Lions have hosted a game every year since 1944 and the Cowboys have hosted since 1978, the NFL added a third game five seasons ago and have made Thanksgiving a veritable cornucopia of football. Its made doubly satisfying that for the first time since 1993 all the teams are at least .500 or better with the initial game being a struggle for the NFC North division lead. So pull up a chair, don’t let the tryptophan get you too drowsy and save me a piece of sweet potato pie as you enjoy these games. Odds provided by Westgate Sportsbook via ESPN for entertainment and comparison purposes only. If you end up having to do everyones dishes because you took the lines and got took, the dish towel hangs on the refrigerator door and don’t complain about dishpan hands. From this side of the keyboard to yours, Enjoy the games and have a happy, filling and safe Thanksgiving.
Vikings (6-4) at Lions (6-4)
Ford Field, Detroit 12:30 (CBS)
Lions by 2 ½
Last Week Vikings defeated Cardinals 30-24; Lions defeated Jaguars
Fast Fact The Lions have trailed in the fourth quarter in every game this season
The first of three highstakes turkey day games begin with a Motown Showdown for NFC North Supremacy. The Vikings got back to their basics, defense and special teams to stop their losing skid and beat the Cards. The Lions should have really blown out the Jags but let them hang around and actually trailed in the 4th before rallying to win. The Vikings are still sore from giving up a game tying field late and never getting the ball in OT to lose to the Lions three weeks ago. The Lions have been uneven at best but have been in every game as each of their contests have been decided by 7 points or less. Playing a high wire act like that is tough on the nerves to be sure. The Lions seem to get up more for their annual Turkey Day matinee and I think a good game is on tap. I will likely regret this pick but I think the Vikings are itching for pay back and a game that they let slip away.
Pick Minnesota (upset of the week)
Washington (6-3-1) at Cowboys (9-1)
AT&T Stadium; Arlington, TX 4:30 (FOX)
Cowboys by 7
Last Week Washington defeated Green Bay 42-24, Cowboys defeated Ravens 20-13
Fast Fact The Cowboys 9 game win streak is their longest regular season streak since 1978-79
The middle game of the day is a real treat. THe Pokes are rolling deep and face a Washington club that is would be the talk of the league if they weren’t in a super deep NFC East. The Pokes just seem to keep finding way to make winning look easy with super rookies Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott putting up stellar numbers but many think that their defense is a bit suspect and they will get a serious test from Kirk Cousins throwing to a bevy of talented receivers and a sudden emergence of a running game. This might be the tightest game of the day and if you aren’t terribly drowsy from the tryptophan from the turkey you might be able to see a real classic between these two storied rivals, The pick? As much as I would think Washington will bring the Pokes down a notch, they are rolling.
Steelers (5-5) at Colts (5-5)
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 8:30 (NBC)
Steelers by 9
Last Week Steelers defeated Browns 24-9, Colts defeated Titans
Fast Fact The Colts have won both times that they have played on Thanksgiving but this is their first time hosting a Turkey Day game.
The Colts are not in the best shape to face a Steelers team that is coming off a badly needed win over the sad-sack Browns. With Andrew Luck shelved due to a concussion, the unheraled Scott Tolzien will make the start for the Colts. Tolzien was Aaron Rodgers back up in Green Bay for three seasons and started two games in 2013 for the Pack. The Steelers defense is nowhere near as fearsome as it once was but it will look like it to the normally clipboard and headset wearing Tolzien who would is doubly handicapped facing the Steelers on a short week. The Colts defense is pretty ragged and Ben Roethlisberger should have no problems putting points up and putting Tolzien in a bind. This will be a game that the desert tray will look pretty appealing because this matchup isn’t.