The NFL at Thanksgiving, a Tradition that Never Gets Old

Our resident NFL writer Liz Bhandari from NFLGirlUK returns with a special preview of Thanksgiving football, including the high-flying Cowboys versus the Raiders.

Dallas Cowboys players celebrating an interception.

Whilst we may not celebrate in here in the UK, I think this Stateside celebration is the perfect opportunity to have a Sunday Roast on a Thursday night. What’s not to love?

Thanksgiving football in the NFL has been around for decades. Nowadays everybody tunes in to see a few of the staple teams play on this holiday. Since the beginning of the tradition, the Detroit Lions have played a game every single season on this date. Since then, the Dallas Cowboys have emerged as a regular on the holiday also! With the league now putting together a third game on Thanksgiving each year, we could be witnessing the start of a new staple team in the league. This year is primed to be another exciting year of football on the holiday, with both the Lions and Cowboys making appearances yet again.

Game 1: Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions

The Chicago Bears are a mixed bag of talent. On one hand, you have a struggling Justin Fields. However, he doesn’t really have much help around him to get him situated on the team. Their offensive line is horrible, and outside of Darnell Mooney he doesn’t have any chemistry with anybody else. At least their backfield is very strong overall though. The same goes for their defense, they would be even better if they weren’t left out on the field for the entire game as well. The Lions aren’t much better themselves though. Jared Goff is yet again mediocre at best, and they have virtually zero wideouts on the roster. TJ Hockenson and D’Andre Swift are essentially the only positives that the Lions offense has to talk about. Their defense is also below average though they have had some great games. I definitely believe that the Lions have a shot at upsetting Chicago this week, but with the way that this season has gone I have to pick the Bears.

Game 2: Las Vegas Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys

The Raiders offense forgot how to play football the last couple of weeks. They have seriously come to a standstill. Their pass game is mediocre, and they just don’t really attempt to run the football as much as they should with Josh Jacobs. Their defense is alright, but way too young to be consistent at the NFL level. They have a bad matchup with the Cowboys this weekend. Dallas looks like a genuine Super Bowl contender right now with a stacked offense led by Dak Prescott. Couple that offense with a defense that forced a ton of turnovers, and the Raiders are in trouble. Trevon Diggs alone has eight interceptions right now for Dallas. If the Raiders didn’t have as much media trouble right now, they might be better off. However, that isn’t the case as Dallas will win this game.

Game 3: Buffalo Bills @ New Orleans Saints

The Bills are one of the best teams in the league, no question about it. Their offense, led by Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs, are cruising past any defense that comes their way. Outside that Jacksonville game of course. They get it done no matter what happens on the field and their defense is just phenomenal overall. They are a top three group in the NFL with an insanely fast secondary with terrific linebackers and strong defensive line. The Saints have a similar defense. A group that is the best run stoppers in the league but one of the worst through the air. Although they could be able to cause some problems for Allen and company. Offensively though is where things get bad. Trevor Siemian is not a bad quarterback, but the Saints literally have no consistent weapons outside of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Going up against an excellent Bills defense won’t make their jobs any easier. I would roll with Buffalo on this one, just a far better matchup for a Saints team that could make a late playoff push.

Liz is an American Football writer and podcast host. She is the host of the Cleats Off podcast and co-host of the End Zone Scoop. Liz has followed the sport since 2012 and has since featured on the BBC, Talk Sport, and other reputable outlets to discuss key events and news.
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