Though the Oakland Raiders won’t play until Sunday, here are five things to watch in the three NFL games that will be played on Thanksgiving in Week 12.
Thanksgiving is centered around three things predominantly on the fourth Thursday of every November: turkey, family and football. Though the Oakland Raiders are not one of the six teams playing on Turkey Day, there is still plenty of good NFL football to watch on tv, or at least distract you from certain relatives.
As you may or may not know, there are two NFC teams that play at home on Thanksgiving annually: the NFC East’s Dallas Cowboys and the NFC North’s Detroit Lions. In recent years, the NFL has added a primetime game acting as a second Sunday Night Football game on NBC. While we get Thursday Night Football every week, Thanksgiving is just the best.
The three games that will be on the slate for Thanksgiving 2017 are the Minnesota Vikings (8-2) at the Lions (6-4), the Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) at the Cowboys (5-5) and the New York Giants (2-8) at the Washington Redskins (4-6).
Vikings at Lions will be on FOX at 9:30 a.m. PT, 12:30 p.m. ET from Ford Field in Detroit. Chargers at Lions will be on CBS at 1:30 p.m. PT, 4:30 p.m. ET from AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Giants at Redskins will be on NBC at 5:30 p.m. PT, 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC. From a Raiders perspective, here are the five things to watch in these three nationally televised games on Thanksgiving.
Does Matthew Stafford have the firepower to run the table?
At 6-4, the Lions are vey much in the NFC playoff mix. Though they don’t have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Atlanta Falcons to currently occupy the No. 6 seed, the Lions have an incredibly favorable schedule the rest of the way. This one against the Vikings at home is easily their toughest game remaining.
In recent years, Detroit has owned the Vikings. This is one team that Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford tends to play his best ball against. Should Stafford play very well at home versus Minnesota, we might see him lead the Lions on a magical run to the end of the season.
After Minnesota, the Lions’ next five games are at the Baltimore Ravens, at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, home for the Chicago Bears, at the Cincinnati Bengals and home for the Green Bay Packers. Unless Aaron Rodgers can go for Green Bay in Week 17, Stafford will be the best quarterback in all of Detroit’s remaining games. For that reason, yes, Detroit could theoretically run the table.
If the Lions win out, they will be 12-4. All they would need is Minnesota to drop one of their five remaining games and Detroit would be hosting its first home playoff game since 1993. Nobody is paying attention to the Lions, but if they handle the Vikings at home on Thanksgiving, the NFL world will have to start taking them seriously at 7-4 with a season sweep of Minnesota.