The 2014 week-by-week NFL schedule has yet to be released, but the Buffalo Bills appear to have spilled the beans when it comes to Turkey Day.
Buffalo and Detroit will meet for the 10th time in the regular season in 2014. The Bills have played in eight previous Thanksgiving Day games (4-4) in team history with their last appearance on Turkey Day coming in 1994.
On paper, it may not sound like all that enticing of a draw, as the two teams have combined for one playoff appearance since the turn of the century.
Many, such as Bloguin.com's Matt Zemak, were quick to joke about the matchup:
Non-college sports tweet: Bills-Lions on Thanksgiving? Good--we can all spend more time with our loved ones. Relationships might be mended.— Matt Zemek (@MattZemek) April 8, 2014
Still, it makes plenty of sense.
Former Lions head coach Jim Schwartz, who was fired in December, will be making his first return to Ford Field as the Bills' new defensive coordinator.
Moreover, former Bills owner and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ralph Wilson, who passed away a couple of weeks ago, grew up in Detroit and served as a minority owner of the Lions for a while. With the Bills possibly having a new owner by then, there are plenty of storylines and narratives for the NFL to enjoy during this marquee holiday matchup.
How would you grade this Thanksgiving Day matchup?
As Florio points out, the only two AFC teams—the game is on CBS, so the opponent will be an AFC team—that visit Detroit in 2014 are Buffalo and the Miami Dolphins, so the choice of the Bills is certainly understandable.
The Lions looked like a playoff team until a late-season collapse last year and have added wide receiver Golden Tate to an explosive offense. Led by Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and a strong running game behind Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, they always have the potential to put on a show.
The Bills, meanwhile, have a lot of intriguing young talent—including EJ Manuel, Robert Woods, Stephon Gilmore, Kiko Alonso and Marcell Dareus—and will be looking to improve on a six-win season under second-year head coach Doug Marrone. Buffalo hasn't made the postseason since 1999, which is the longest active playoff drought in the NFL.
Lions vs. Bills may not have the same ring as Lions vs. Packers, but you might just want to bring your plate of turkey to the couch for this one.