NFL on Thanksgiving: Schedule features three games, five teams with winning records
Happy Thanksgiving, NFL fans.
Three games – an appetizer, entrée and dessert, sticking with the holiday's theme – are on the Turkey Day slate. Five of the six teams playing Thursday have winning records and, if the season ended today, would make the playoffs.
The Detroit Lions are the lone team in action that does not belong in that category. As is custom, they host the first game of the day in a matchup against the Buffalo Bills.
Then the Dallas Cowboys will host division rival New York Giants, while the Minnesota Vikings face the New England Patriots in the nightcap.
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Detroit Lions vs. Buffalo Bills
12:30 p.m. ET, CBS, Ford Field, Detroit
The Lions have won three in a row, and head coach Dan Campbell appears to have the team trending in the right direction coming off an upset win against the Giants. In three of the last four games, the Lions have scored at least 27 points. Running back Jamaal Williams leads the NFL with 12 rushing touchdowns.
That makes for a potential offensive explosion in this game with Josh Allen and the Bills on the other side. This is the third time in four seasons Buffalo is playing on Thanksgiving, and Allen is 2-0 with wins against Dallas (2019) and New Orleans (2021).
Plus, Allen and the Bills are already comfortable in Ford Field's confines – their game last week against the Cleveland Browns was moved there after nearly six feet of snow blanketed their home field. They won 31-23.
Lions record on Thanksgiving: 37-43-2
Bills record on Thanksgiving: 5-4-1
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
4:30 p.m. ET, FOX, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Both teams enter with 7-3 records; the Cowboys hold the tiebreaker thanks to their Week 3 victory in New York.
The Cowboys are coming off a 40-3 win against the Vikings, while the Lions had the Giants struggling in all three phases. Cowboys running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard look like the most formidable 1-2 backfield punch in the league.
Dallas has lost three straight Thanksgiving games and would tie its longest losing streak on the day with a loss.
"You remember when you’re a kid, sitting down and watching television and the games and (John) Madden and turducken and all those type of things," first-year head coach Brian Daboll said.
Cowboys record on Thanksgiving: 31-22-1
Giants record on Thanksgiving: 7-5-3
Minnesota Vikings vs. New England Patriots
8:20 p.m. ET, NBC, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
The defenses will be licking their chops heading into this one – last week, the two offenses of both teams combined for a total of six points; the Patriots scored a touchdown on a punt return. But the Vikings' defense may still be licking their wounds after Dallas torched it.
New England, meanwhile, will be four days removed from an emotional, last-second victory over the New York Jets. This is the Patriots' sixth Thanksgiving game – all have been on the road.
Patriots record on Thanksgiving: 3-2
Vikings record on Thanksgiving: 6-2
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.