With travel restrictions in place for Thanksgiving this year, there are less things holding you back from parking your keister on the couch and watching football all day. It’s one of America’s greatest traditions of slothfulness, and with Aunt Bernice not demanding you watch the third rerun of the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade, you can catch some overpaid athletes running around on grass guilt-free.
This year features the usual teams who always host NFL games on Thanksgiving: the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys. But because the two teams are experiencing some off years this season (I’m being kind), it’s the primetime matchup between AFC North rivals that’s the metaphorical turkey centerpiece in this pigskin buffet.
Here’s who’s playing in and how to watch the Thanksgiving NFL games in 2020.
Houston Texas at Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT on CBS
It’s OK to stay in bed a little longer and miss the opener, as the 3-7 Texans take on the 4-6 Lions in a matchup that means very little except to eternally hopeful Lions fans, who I’m fairly certain do not exist as I have only spoken with perennially miserable Lions fans. Detroit has hosted Thanksgiving games since 1934, with a 37-40-2 record.
Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT on Fox
This is a great matchup… for a Thanksgiving in the 1980s. Both Dallas and Washington are 3-7 and on the bottom of the embarrassingly dreadful NFC East, with Dallas coping with key injuries and Washington being Washington. However, both teams are coming off rare wins heading into their matchup, and one will be the new division leader when it’s all said and done. It will be a good day for backup quarterbacks, as both teams are sending out slingers who started the year holding clipboards. This is the game gambling was invented for to keep it interesting. “America’s Team” has hosted Thanksgiving games almost annually since 1966.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:20 p.m. ET/5:20 p.m. PT on NBC
The primetime Thanksgiving game has been a tradition since 2006, with new teams, usually division rivals, playing. This year’s matchup is a juicy one, with the Baltimore Ravens (6-4) heading to their undefeated arch rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0). Last year’s AFC favorite Baltimore will be playing angry after two losses in a row, while Pittsburgh will rely on a stout defense to keep Ravens QB Lamar Jackson in check. This is going to be old-fashioned, gritty football. Don’t go into a turkey coma during this one.
The rest of the week’s NFL games continue on Sunday, Nov. 29 and Monday, Nov. 30.