Thanksgiving is almost here, and it’s a day that celebrates the first time a pilgrim threw a stuffed turkey 40 yards into the end zone for a tough touchdown catch in heavy coverage. That is why it’s tradition to watch football all day and all night on Thanksgiving; the family time and turkey dinner were added to the holiday later.
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 2-7 Texans take on the 4-5 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 2-7 and on the bottom of the embarrassingly dreadful NFC East, with Dallas coping with key injuries and Washington being Washington. 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 (6-3) heading to their undefeated arch rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0). Baltimore will be playing angry after a disappointing start to the season, 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.