It's not Thanksgiving without football.
Sure, it's great to see all of your family together, and it's cool to catch up with them and be grateful for what you have. But, what would Thanksgiving be without football? Seriously, I wonder how the pilgrims even got by without a Green Bay-Detroit matchup to go with that wild turkey.
Then again, I understand some are less fortunate than me and don't have a family that is grateful for a nice flat screen television and the hard-hitting action that only Americans can truly love. To make up for that and spread the football love, here's a quick preview for how the Turkey Day games will transpire.
Is there a greater tradition than these two on Thanksgiving? Yes, the Cowboys, but we'll get there later. Second to that, this game always tends to serve up a hot dish of drama-filled football (sorry, that'll be the only food pun, I promise.) Both teams come in off some disappointing endings last Sunday. The Lions lost to, of all teams, Tampa Bay, while the great stand-in Scott Tolzien could only give enough to lead Green Bay to one of the most frustrating results in the sport, a tie, against the hapless Vikings.
I always like Detroit on Thanksgiving, especially when the opposing team's starting quarterback is crocked up. Matt Stafford is having a top year, Calvin Johson continues to deliver, and Joique Bell is so far serving as a fantastic goal-line back. The Cheesehead receiving corps has been inconsistent all year, and they'll be even more so with Tolzien throwing.
The hot-cold-hot again-mild temperature until the very end-Cowboys may be a tad inconsistent (sarcasm), but surely even they can't screw this one up.
I know Oakland is a "new team" and all, and they sit in the same division as the resurrected Peyton Manning's Denver and the Andy Reid special Kansas City, which makes life difficult for anyone. But, they're coming off a loss to Tennessee and coming too Dallas.
Having grown up with the Cowboys, it's tough for me to say they'll win since they just got one up in frigid New York that could prove crucial in the vastly mediocre NFC East. Since it's Oakland, I'll give them a pass.
I feel bad for the Steelers, which is a tough thing to do. The terrible start, plus this current existence sputtering on from week-to-week has to be a culture shock to fans used to an easy ride to playoffs and possible Super Bowl contention.
It's not like Baltimore's done much better. As far as defending champions go, they're struggling with the best of the wannabes. In what I would call a perfect game in which to fall in a turkey coma, the Ravens are my favorite on the march to a wild card spot.