Turkey Day is finally upon us, and we have been busy this wonderful holiday, working hard to guide you through all three of Thanksgiving Classic NFL matchups.
Whether one of your favorite teams is involved or not, it’s a cherished tradition to watch the games in your household or you are just looking to escape the monotony of your family for a few hours, we have you covered.
Keep reading to find out a bit about each of the Thanksgiving contests, including where to watch, a live stream link, injury reports, predictions and much more.
Houston Texans at Detroit Lions
When: Thursday, November 22 at 12:30 p.m. ET
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
Live Stream: NFL.com
Radio: NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line: Texans -3.5, Over/Under 49.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
RB Ben Tate, QST, Hamstring
DB Johnathan Joseph, QST, Hamstring
NT Shaun Cody, PRB, Ribs/Back
TE Owen Daniels, PRB, Back
WR Kevin Walter, PRB, Groin
DB Drayton Florence, QST, Concussion
DT Ndamukong Suh, QST, Knee
DE Cliff Avril, QST, Back/Concussion
WR Calvin Johnson, QST, Knee
WR Titus Young, OUT, Disciplinary
S Louis Delmas, DBT, Knee
OT Jeff Backus, QST, Hamstring
Key Player: Andre Johnson
After the Texans' 31-year-old wideout turned back the clock this past Sunday (14 catches for 273 yards and a game-winning catch in overtime), expectations have been significantly raised for this upcoming matchup against Detroit.
The Lions are being touted as a top 10 passing defense, but we believe that an elite receiver such as Johnson will be able to find a way to put up big numbers and help his team win.
With QB Matt Schaub throwing the ball at a high level and RB Arian Foster able to cut, bulldoze and generally keep defenses honest, we believe Johnson is in store for a second-straight monster performance.
Prediction: Texans 27 – Lions 20
While the Texans are coming off that exhausting overtime affair on Sunday vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Lions were also involved in a tough showdown with the Green Bay Packers and have had just as little rest.
Who will win?
For that reason, we are giving the edge to the Texans, who are better coached and have more experienced, hungry players in what should come down to a battle of wills.
Unfortunately for Lions fans, this means yet another Thanksgiving without a football miracle—as the team hasn’t been able to win on the holiday since beating the Packers back in 2003.
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
When: Thursday, November 22 at 4:15 p.m. ET
Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Tex.
Live Stream: NFL.com
Radio: NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line: Cowboys -3, Over/Under 48 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
DT Sean Lissemore, OUT, Ankle
CB Mike Jenkins, DBT, Back
RB Lawrence Vickers, PRB, Knee
DT Jay Ratliff, PRB, Ankle
RB DeMarco Murray, DBT, Foot
T Trent Williams, PRB, Ankle
CB DeAngelo Hall, PRB, Groin
WR Pierre Garcon, QST, Foot
S Brandon Meriweather, QST, Knee
CB Josh Wilson, PRB, Shoulder
Key Player: Robert Griffin III
Many fans are going to get a chance to see RGIII up close and personal for the first time, as this is the first nationally televised game for the Redskins in 2012.
He’s an absolute blast to watch and the Cowboys are going to have their hands full dealing with the 2011 Heisman winner in the first of two matchups this year. Griffin is capable of beating them with either his arms or legs, and is coming off a blistering performance in Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
With RGIII having already racked up 2,193 yards and 12 touchdowns on 186-of-277 passing attempts (and just three interceptions), plus 93 rushing attempts for 613 yards and six touchdowns, it’s clear he’s already one of the most dynamic players in the league just a few months into his rookie season.
Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is going to have his hands full trying to cook up a game plan to stop this beastly signal-caller on Turkey Day.
Prediction: Dallas 24 – Washington 17
There is no doubting that RGIII is going to cause matchup nightmares, but Dallas has been the better team in 2012 and should be able to pull out the win.
Which team will win?
Washington’s defense is simply lackluster and won’t be able to force Tony Romo into making numerous turnovers and bad decisions. In fact, when Romo is given time, he’s one of the better passers in the entire NFL.
This game will certainly be close, but we're giving the edge to Dallas, especially with DeMarco Murray preparing to be set loose on Washington’s defensive backfield. We predict a late RGIII sack and fumble followed by a game-winning TD pass from Romo to Dez Bryant.
New England Patriots at New York Jets
When: Thursday, Nov. 22 at 8:20 p.m. ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Live Stream: NBCSports.com
Radio: NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line: Patriots -7, Over/Under 48.5 (via ScoresAndOdds.com)
TE Rob Gronkowski, OUT, Forearm
TE Aaron Hernandez, QST, Ankle
WR Wes Welker, QST, Ankle
DE Chandler Jones, QST, Ankle
LB Jerod Mayo, PRB, Elbow
LB Bart Scott, QST, Toe
LB Calvin Pace, QST, Shoulder
WR Jeremy Kerley, QST, Heel
QB Mark Sanchez, PRB, Back
WR Stephen Hill, PRB, Illness
Key Player: Tom Brady
This game is going to be a test for the Pats' signal-caller, as he will be without one of his favorite targets and safety net, Rob Gronkowski.
Brady to Gronk has been a consistent connection to move the chains, get big yards and score TDs, and it’s unlikely we’ll see that again until the playoffs now that the youthful TE is out with a broken forearm.
Fortunately, Aaron Hernandez, a dynamic player that can catch like a wide receiver and rush like a running back, is likely to be active and will likely see targets early and often from Captain Tom.
We honestly feel that Brady isn’t going to skip a beat, but make sure to observe his looks when he gets near the end zone. Gronk has been a favorite target, so it’ll be interesting to see who steps up.
Prediction: Patriots 35 – Jets 10
The last time these two AFC East rivals met, the Jets managed to take the Pats to OT as a double-digit underdog. We aren’t predicting this one will be nearly as close, and coach Bill Belichick will easily outwit his counterpart across the field, Rex Ryan.
We may be predicting a blowout, but anything can happen on the field—especially in a primetime game during a national holiday.
Make sure you tune in after your Thanksgiving feast and catch all the exciting action in this showdown between mortal rivals.
Keep it tuned to B/R for the latest news, updates, opinions and analysis on all things NFL. Have a great Thanksgiving!