There’s nothing quite like waking up on Thanksgiving morning to a house full of delicious smells emanating from the kitchen, and NFL games to look forward to for the rest of the day.
We already know that the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys will be involved on November 26 this year, because they always are.
The Lions started playing on Thanksgiving in 1934 because their owner at the time, a man named George A. Richards, wanted to monopolize the holiday to garner attention for his new franchise. The Cowboys started playing on Thanksgiving Day in 1966, for a similar reason as the Lions did. Dallas general manager Tex Schramm wanted to put his team in the national spotlight, because prior to that season, they had not been a very competitive team.
Today, the Lions and Cowboys show up on Thanksgiving as consistently as mashed potatoes at dinner and pie for dessert.
Which matchups can we look forward to this Thanksgiving?
Houston Texans at Detroit Lions
12:30 p.m. EST (CBS)
Coming into the season, most fans probably believed that it would be the Texans fighting for a playoff spot in the AFC, while the Lions would be playing out the string amidst chatter that head coach Matt Patricia would not be retained.
Instead, it’s Detroit who is very much in the mix for an NFC wild card spot at 4-5, while Houston is looking for any redeeming positives to their 2020 campaign after starting 2-7 and having parted ways with head coach Bill O’Brien a month into the season.
Texans star QB Deshaun Watson could do something special on the Thanksgiving national TV stage, but he's got an uphill climb ahead of him.
Washington at Dallas Cowboys
4:30 p.m. EST (FOX)
In a historically woeful NFC East, this matchup between teams who are currently 2-7 will go a long way in determining which franchise keeps their hope alive to make the playoffs as a division winner.
After a recent injury to QB Kyle Allen, Washington has basically been forced into naming veteran Alex Smith their permanent starter. Smith has had a difficult road back to the NFL, but will get to showcase his comeback on national TV.
The Cowboys will hope to have QB Andy Dalton back by Thanksgiving—he suffered a concussion against the Washington earlier this season.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
8:30 p.m. EST (NBC)
If the Texans-Lions game is the cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, and the Washington-Dallas game is the stuffing, then the Ravens-Steelers game is the turkey right out of the oven with gravy poured all over it.
The Steelers and Ravens already played a game that came down to the wire on Nov. 1, with Pittsburgh fighting off Baltimore’s last-ditch efforts to defeat their rivals 28-24.
The Steelers could very well come into this game 10-0, which will raise the interest level of this game to the casual fan even more. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson had four turnovers in that first matchup, and will look to take better care of the ball this time around.