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NFL Thanksgiving Preview

Thanksgiving Game Ratings

Aside from the Super Bowl, Thanksgiving day football games are arguably the highlight of a football fan’s season. There’s great food, quality time spent with your family, and amazing football (except if you are a Lions fan). With the exception of 2019, ratings for NFL games have decreased year after year since 2010, but Thanksgiving day ratings skyrocket in comparison to a “normal” regular-season game. Last year’s Thanksgiving game between the Washington Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys reeled in 30.3 million viewers, a number much higher than the average 17.3 million viewers per regular-season game.

Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears

Why do the Lions play a Thanksgiving game every year? That is a question most NFL fans ask themselves as they scream at their televisions from their couches. The dreadful Lions are back once again but with newly acquired quarterback Jared Goff leading the team. Goff has not looked great this year, starting the first nine games of the season with eight touchdown passes, six interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 26.8 (https://www.pro-football-reference.com). On the other side of the field, the Chicago Bears will be led by backup quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton has played in four games this year due to Justin Fields’ injuries and acclimation into the NFL. Expect to see a lot of turnovers and miscues tomorrow because neither of these teams are playing great football. The highlight of this game should be on running backs D’Andre Swift and David Montgomery, two young studs who are poised to have big games on Thursday. Overall, the matchup is expected to have the lowest ratings of the three games today as both teams are far below winning records and fail to provide much excitement.

Prediction: Bears 20, Lions 14

Las Vegas Raiders vs Dallas Cowboys

Probably the most exciting matchup of the day, the Las Vegas Raiders travel to AT&T Stadium to face the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys, coming off a demolition at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, are looking to bounce back without star receiver Amari Cooper who was recently placed on the COVID-19 Reserve List. The Cowboys are still heavily favored in this matchup due to their plethora of stars in Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Ceedee Lamb, Trevon Diggs, and Micah Parsons. Opposing them are the Derek Carr-led Raiders, losers of three straight games and swamped by off-field turmoil. This game projects to be the most-watched of the evening because of the Dallas Cowboys’ repertoire of being America’s Team.

Prediction: Cowboys 30, Raiders 21

Buffalo Bills vs New Orleans Saints

In another lopsided game, the Buffalo Bills look to go into New Orleans and dominate the Saints. Compared to the beginning of the season, the Bills have not looked as polished as we expected them to be. In the past five weeks, they have lost three games to the Titans, Jaguars, and Colts. If the Bills want to get back on track, they should look to star receiver Stefon Diggs to spark their stagnant offense. Facing Buffalo is the injury-riddled New Orleans Saints. With Jameis Winston tearing his ACL and Alvin Kamara’s knee injury, the Saints will turn to veterans Trevor Siemian and Mark Ingram to lead their offense. This game is huge for the 5-5 Saints, as they are coming off a three-game losing streak and look to bounce back. This game starts at 8:20 PM ET, and you might want to go to sleep early if you are a Saints fan.

Prediction: Bills 35, Saints 10