Archives for category: Thanksgiving

You know who your team was going to play.

You know where your team was going to play.

As far as the when, you had to be patient and wait.

Last Thursday night, your wait was over, thanks to the National Football League. The league announced its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2017, which kicks off on Thursday night, September 7 in New England and concludes on Sunday, December 31 with 16 division games.

The season begins with the NFL’s annual primetime kickoff game. The opener on September 7 on NBC at 8:30 p.m. in Foxboro will spotlight the defending champion New England Patriots hosting the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.

Week 1 is a FOX national weekend with the key doubleheader game on Sunday, September 10 at 4:25 p.m. when salmon and Starbucks travels to the land of beer, cheese and bratwurst as Seattle takes on Green Bay at Lambeau Field. Week 3 is the first CBS national weekend with the key doubleheader game showcasing the Cincinnati Bengals facing the Packers at Lambeau Field.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football gets underway on September 10 when NFC East foes Dallas and the New York Giants square off at 8:30 p.m. in the Lone Star State at AT&T Stadium.

For those of you wondering if there are going to be two games on the first Monday of the season, the answer is yes. Kickoff Weekend concludes on Monday, September 11 with an ESPN Monday Night Football doubleheader. Minnesota hosts the New Orleans Saints at 7:10 p.m. in the first game followed by the Los Angeles Chargers visiting the Denver Broncos in the nightcap at 10:20 p.m.

ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.

The league will have a select number of games that will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests were announced as well, including the Seahawks at the Giants in the Meadowlands at 4:25 p.m. on CBS in Week 7 and the Vikings traveling to the Tar Heel State for a meeting with Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers at 1 p.m. on CBS in Week 14. Other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season.

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, December 31. For the eighth consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications.

Other contests include…

In Week 2, the Atlanta Falcons will open their new home – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – on Sunday, September 17 in primetime  at 8:30 p.m. on NBC when they host the Packers in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game. Earlier that day, the Chargers will make their return to Los Angeles as they host the Miami Dolphins at the StubHub Center at 4:05 p.m. on CBS.

The Patriots will host the Falcons in Week 7 on Sunday night, October 22 at 8:30 p.m. on NBC in a rematch of Super Bowl LI, the first Super Bowl in NFL history to go into overtime.

Will there be football on Thanksgiving?

Is the Pope Catholic?

Thanksgiving will feature a tripleheader on Thursday, November 23 and yes, the Lions and Cowboys are at home. The first game will be an NFC North contest in the Motor City as Detroit hosts the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field at 12:30 p.m. on FOX. As for Dallas, they are the late afternoon contest in the Lone Star State when they host the Los Angeles Chargers at 4:30 p.m. on CBS and the Turkey Day trifecta concludes in Landover with an NFC East contest as Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants make their way to Landover in prime time to face the Washington Redskins at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.

In Week 16, NBC’s Sunday Night Football game as NFC North foe Minnesota and Green Bay meet at Lambeau as that contest will move to Saturday night, December 23 at 8:30 p.m., due to Christmas Eve and is not subject to flexible scheduling. Christmas Day will feature a doubleheader on Monday, December 25 with the Houston Texans hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers at 4:30 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon Prime in the first game and Oakland traveling to the City of Brotherly Love, visiting the Philadelphia Eagles at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN in primetime.

There are contests with an international flavor, so break out the fish and chips and tequila! The NFL’s international slate includes four games in London – the first time the league will play four games in the United Kingdom and one in Mexico City. On Sunday, September 24, the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Baltimore Ravens at London’s Wembley Stadium at 9:30 a.m. with distribution to be announced at a later date(set those VCRs NOW!).

The next weekend, on Sunday, October 1, Jacksonville’s neighbor to the South, the Miami Dolphins, will host Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints at Wembley at 9:30 a.m. on FOX, In Week 7, it’s an NFC West matchup in Merry Ole England as the Los Angeles Rams host the Arizona Cardinals at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, October 22 at 1 p.m. on FOX. The following week, the Cleveland Browns will host the Vikings at Twickenham on Sunday, October 29 at 9:30 a.m. on NFLN and the league heads back South of the Border as the Oakland Raiders take on Tom Brady and the Pats at 4:25 p.m. on CBS on Sunday, November 19 at Estadio Azteca.

The NFL has partnered with Amazon Prime this season and will once again use a “Tri-Cast” distribution model of broadcast (CBS/NBC), cable (NFL Network) and digital (Amazon Prime Video) for 10 Thursday Night Football games and a Christmas Day contest. CBS and NBC will each broadcast five Thursday Night Football games which will be simulcast on NFL Network and streamed to Amazon Prime members worldwide. NBC will also broadcast the Christmas Day game. CBS will start in Week 4 on Thursday, September 28 when the Packers host the Chicago Bears. NBC’s Tri-Cast package begins in Week 10 on Thursday, November 9 when the  Seahawks visit the Arizona Cardinals. Additionally, NFL Network will also  exclusively televise a seven-game schedule comprised of three Thursday Night Football games, three late-season Saturday contests and a Sunday morning London matchup.

The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 5 and end in Week 11.

“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 10-15 and 17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-9, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-15, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 31. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17 but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into prime time.

The playoffs will include four division winners and two wild cards from each conference. The playoffs begin with Wild Card Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, January 6-7. The two division winners with the best records in each conference will earn first-round byes.

Wild Card Weekend winners join the top two division champions in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 13-14. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 21. The winners meet two weeks later on Sunday, February 4 in Super Bowl LII at Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium  on NBC.

The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets. All postseason games are televised nationally.

Westwood One will broadcast on radio all NFL primetime games, the three Thanksgiving Day games and the entire NFL playoffs.

For ticket information, fans may visit http://www.nfl.com/tickets.

2017 NFL SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern and subject to change)

WEEK 1 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, September 7
Kansas City at New England, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Sunday, September 10
ATLANTA at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
New York Jets at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
Baltimore at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Pittsburgh at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tampa Bay at Miami, 1 p.m. on FOX
Oakland at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Carolina at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
New York Giants at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Monday, September 11
New Orleans at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m. on ESPN
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver, 10:20 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 2 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Houston at Cincinnati, 8:25 p.m. on NFLN

Sunday, September 17, 2017
Green Bay at ATLANTA, 8:30 p.m. on NBC
Cleveland at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on CBS
Buffalo at Carolina, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on FOX
New England at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on CBS
Minnesota at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Miami at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Washington at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Monday, September 18, 2017
Detroit at New York Giants, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 3 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, September 21
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco, 8:25 p.m. on NFLN

Sunday, September 24
ATLANTA at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Jacksonville, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. in London), TBD
Denver at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at Chicago, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cleveland at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tampa Bay at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
Houston at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Miami at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at Tennessee, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Oakland at Washington, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Monday, September 25
Dallas at Arizona, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 4 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, September 28
Chicago at Green Bay, 8:25 p.m. on CBS/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, October 1
Buffalo at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Miami, 9:30 p.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. in London) on FOX
Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 1 p.m on CBS
Cincinnati at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Dallas, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Detroit at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
Carolina at New England, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
San Francisco at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Philadelphia at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
New York Giants at Tampa Bay, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Oakland at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Indianapolis at Seattle, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Monday, October 2
Washington at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 5 (Byes: ATLANTA, Denver, New Orleans and Washington)

Thursday, October 5
New England at Tampa Bay, 8:25 p.m. on CBS/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, October 8

Buffalo at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on FOX
Carolina at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Kansas City at Houston, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, October 9
Minnesota at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 6 (Byes: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas and Seattle)

Thursday, October 12
Philadelphia at Carolina, 8:25 p.m. on CBS/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, October 15
Miami at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
New England  at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
San Francisco at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tampa Bay at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Denver, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, October 16
Indianapolis at Tennessee, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 7 (Byes: Detroit and Houston)

Thursday, October 19
Kansas City at Oakland, 8:25 p.m. on CBS/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, October 22
ATLANTA at New England, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on FOX
Carolina at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, 1 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. in London) on FOX
New York Jets at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Baltimore at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Denver at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at New York Giants, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Monday, October 23
Washington at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 8 (Byes: Arizona, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Tennessee)

Thursday, October 26
Miami at Baltimore, 8:25 p.m. on CBS/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, October 29
ATLANTA at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on FOX
Minnesota at Cleveland, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. in London) on NFLN
Oakland at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
Indianapolis at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX
Carolina at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Houston at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Washington, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at Detroit, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, October 30
Denver at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 9 (Byes: Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, New England and Pittsburgh)

Thursday, November 2
Buffalo at New York Jets, 8:25 p.m. on NFLN

Sunday, November 5
ATLANTA at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cincinnati at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX
Denver at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on CBS
Baltimore at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
rizona at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Washington at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Kansas City at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Oakland at Miami, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, November 6
Detroit at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 10 (Byes: Baltimore, Kansas City, Oakland and Philadelphia)

Thursday, November 9
Seattle at Arizona, 8:25 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, November 12
Dallas at ATLANTA, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
New Orleans at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on FOX
Green Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Detroit, 1 p.m. on CBS
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on cBS
New York Jets at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cincinnati at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on FOX
Minnesota at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Houston at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
New England at Denver, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, November 13
Miami at Carolina, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 11 (Byes: Carolina, Indianapolis, Miami, New York Jets, San Francisco and Tampa Bay)

Thursday, November 16
Tennessee at Pittsburgh, 8:25 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, November 19
Detroit at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS
Baltimore at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Houston, 1 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
Washington at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
Kansas City at New York Giants on CBS
Buffalo at Los Angeles Chargers, 1:05 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
New England at Oakland in Mexico City, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, November 20, 2017
ATLANTA at Seattle, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 12 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, November 23
Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Washington, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Sunday, November 26
Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Buffalo at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBs
Miami at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Carolina at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on FOX
Chicago at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX
New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Denver at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, November 27
Houston at Baltimore, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 13 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, November 30
Washington at Dallas, 8:25 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, December 3
Minnesota at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on FOX
New England at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
San Francisco at Chicago, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tampa Bay at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Denver at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Carolina at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
Kansas City at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cleveland at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
New York Giants at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Philadelphia at Seattle, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, December 4
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 14 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, December 7
New Orleans Saints at ATLANTA, 8:25 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, December 10
Indianapolis at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
Minnesota at Carolina, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on FOX
Green Bay at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at Houston, 1 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on FOX
Oakland at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBS
Detroit at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at Denver, 4:05 p.m. on CBs
Washington at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Dallas at New York Giants, 4:@5 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, December 11
New England at Miami, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 15 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, December 14
Denver at Indianapolis, 8:25 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon

Saturday, December 16
Chicago at Detroit, 4:30 p.m. on NFLN
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, 8:25 p.m. on NFLN

Sunday, December 17
Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on cBS
Houston at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cincinnati at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX
Arizona at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
New England at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m. on CBs
Tennessee at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Oakland, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, December 18
ATLANTA at Tampa Bay, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 16 (Byes: NONE)

Saturday, December 23
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore, 4:30 p.m. on NFLN
Minnesota at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Sunday, December 24
ATLANTA at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tampa Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Chicago, 1 p.m. on CBS
Detroit at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on FOx
Miami at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBS
Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on FOX
Denver at Washington, 1 p.m. on CBS
Jacksonville at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Monday, December 25
Pittsburgh at Houston, 4:30 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon
Oakland at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 17 (Byes: NONE)

Sunday, December 31
Carolina at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
Houston at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Buffalo at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Washington at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX
Dallas at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
Kansas City at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
GAME TBD, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

 

 

The turkey’s been eaten, Black Friday has come and gone.

As the calendar turns to December, the NFL playoff picture is starting to take shape. With five weeks remaining in the regular season, there are currently 24 teams either in or within two games of a playoff spot.

Over the past five seasons, the Carolina Panthers (19-5, .792) and Seattle Seahawks (19-5, .792) own the best record in the final month, which also includes regular-season games played in January. The New England Patriots (18-6, .750) lead the AFC.

TEAM (W-L, PCT.)
Carolina (19-5, .792)
Seattle (19-5, .792)
New England (18-6, .750)
Green Bay (17-6, .739)
Pittsburgh (17-6, .739)

“The games in December are the most important regular-season games by far,” says NFL Network analyst and former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci. “It’s extremely important to win in December and to make a run at the playoffs.”

As the NFL season enters the final month, four teams are racing towards the finish line with winning streaks of at least five games – Dallas (10), Miami (six), the New York Giants (six) and Oakland (five).

“The momentum is real for us right now,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten told the Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV. “Our football team is a lot of fun. It’s neat to be a part of this and lead a great group of guys. Ten wins is good but they don’t hang any banners after 11 games. We have to continue to build here going into a critical stretch.”

That critical stretch began Thursday night when Dallas visited Minnesota. The Cowboys enter December with the league’s best record (10-1) and a two-game lead over the Giants in the NFC East. Minnesota (6-5) begins the final month of the regular season just one game behind Detroit (7-4) for first place in the NFC North.

Week 13 Sunday and Monday action in the NFL gets underway Sunday. There are still playoff races to be determined and unfortunately for fans in San Francisco and Cleveland, they didn’t get an invite to the post-season party. Yes, they got lumps of coal in their stockings.

For the rest of the NFL, there’s still life and where’s there’s life, there’s hope. Nothing’s been decided as of yet and there’s still a lot of football on the docket.

CLOSE GAMES: There have been 135 games within one score in the fourth quarter through Week 12, the most such games in the first 12 weeks of a season in NFL history. Three teams – Detroit, the New York Giants and Washington – have had all of their games within one score in the fourth quarter this season.

The most games within one score in the fourth quarter through Week 12 in NFL history:

SEASON – GAMES WITHIN ONE SCORE IN 4TH QUARTER THROUGH WEEK 12
2016 – 135
2013 – 124
2004 – 124
2015 – 123
2011 – 123
2007 – 123

Additionally, there have been 106 games decided by eight points or fewer and 99 games decided by seven points or fewer through Week 12, both the most such games in the first 12 weeks of a season in league annals.

In Week 12, Lions kicker Matt Prater connected on two field goals in the final two minutes of regulation to give Detroit a 16-13 win over Minnesota. The Lions are the first team in NFL history to have each of its first 11 games decided by seven points or fewer.

The most games decided by eight points or fewer through Week 12 in NFL history:

SEASON – GAMES DECIDED BY EIGHT POINTS OR FEWER THROUGH WEEK 12
2016 – 106
2015 – 97
2012 – 95
2011 – 94
2003 – 94

The most games decided by seven points or fewer through Week 12 in NFL history:

SEASON – GAMES DECIDED BY SEVEN POINTS OR FEWER THROUGH WEEK 12
2016 – 99
2015 – 91
2011 – 89
2003 – 89
2013 – 86
2012 – 86
1988 – 86

FOURTH-QUARTER COMEBACKS: Through Week 12, there have been 52 games in which a team that trailed in the fourth quarter came back to win, the second-most such games in the first 12 weeks of a season in NFL history. Five teams – Buffalo, Detroit, Kansas City, New England and Oakland – overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to win in Week 12.

The most games won by a team that trailed in the fourth quarter through Week 12:

SEASON – GAMES WON WHEN TRAILING IN 4TH QUARTER THROUGH WEEK 12
1989 – 54
2016 – 52
2012 – 51
2011 – 51
2015 – 50

Oakland quarterback Derek Carr passed for 315 yards and two touchdowns in the Raiders’ 35-32 win over Carolina. Carr, who orchestrated the game-winning drive which culminated in kicker Sebastian Janikowski’s 23-yard field goal with 1:45 remaining in the fourth quarter, has nine game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime since 2015, the second-most in the NFL (Matthew Stafford, 10).

CLIMBING THE LADDER: New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots’ 22-17 win at the New York Jets. The victory marked Brady’s 200th career win, including the postseason, tied with Peyton Manning for the most all-time.

Brady now has 60,229 career passing yards and became the fifth player in NFL history with at least 60,000 passing yards.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning passed for 194 yards and three touchdowns in the Giants’ 27-13 victory at Cleveland. Manning has 47,089 career passing yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (47,003) for the eighth-most passing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – CAREER PASSING YARDS
Peyton Manning – 71,940
Brett Favre – 71,838^
Drew Brees – 64,490
Dan Marino – 61,361^
Tom Brady – 60,229
John Elway – 51,475^
Warren Moon – 49,325^
Eli Manning – 47,089
Fran Tarkenton – 47,003^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had four receptions in the Cardinals’ 38-19 loss at Atlanta. Fitzgerald, who has 1,096 career receptions, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown (1,094) for the fifth-most career receptions in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in NFL history:

PLAYER – CAREER RECEPTIONS
Jerry Rice – 1,549^
Tony Gonzalez – 1,325
Marvin Harrison – 1,102^
Cris Carter – 1,101^
Larry Fitzgerald – 1,096
Tim Brown – 1,094^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

ROLLING RODGERS: Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 30 of 39 pass attempts (76.9 percent) for 313 yards and two touchdowns for a 116.7 passer rating in the Packers’ 27-13 win at Philadelphia.

The performance marked the 15th time in Rodgers’ career in which he attempted at least 30 passes and completed at least 75 percent of his throws, the fifth-most in NFL history.

The players with the most career games of at least 30 pass attempts and a completion percentage of 75 or higher:

PLAYER – CAREER GAMES WITH 30+ PASS ATTEMPTS AND 75+ COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Drew Brees – 40
Peyton Manning – 26
Brett Favre – 17^
Matt Ryan – 16
Aaron Rodgers – 15
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

HISTORIC HILL: Kansas City rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill had three touchdowns in the Chiefs’ 30-27 overtime victory at Denver. Hill scored on a three-yard run, a three-yard reception and an 86-yard kickoff-return.

Hill is the first player since Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers in 1965 to have a rush touchdown, receiving touchdown and kickoff-return touchdown in the same game. Sayers, who was a rookie in 1965, accomplished the feat on October 17 at Minnesota.

GLORIOUS GINN: You’ve not seen nothing like the Mighty Ginn… Carolina wide receiver Ten Ginn, Jr. had 115 receiving yards, including a career-long 88-yard touchdown catch in the Panthers’ 35-32 loss at Oakland.

Ginn, who has an 87-yard punt-return touchdown and three 100+ yard kickoff-return touchdowns in his career, is the fourth player in NFL history to have a receiving touchdown, punt-return touchdown and kickoff-return touchdown of at least 85 yards each in his career, joining Robert Brooks, Steve Odom and Eddie Royal.

A WINNING COMBINATION: New England quarterback Tom Brady recorded his 200th career victory (including the postseason) in the Patriots’ 22-17 win at the New York Jets last week, tying Peyton Manning (200) for the most wins by a starting quarterback in NFL history.

With a victory against Los Angeles in Foxboro on Sunday, Brady would become the all-time wins leader (including playoffs) in league history.

The quarterbacks with the most career regular-season and postseason wins in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (CAREER WINS)
Tom Brady – New England (200)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (200)
Brett Favre – Atlanta, Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (199)^
John Elway – Denver (162)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Brady (200-61, .766) owns the highest winning percentage among quarterbacks with at least 50 career starts since the 1970 merger. With a victory over the Rams this week, he would become the first quarterback in NFL history with a record 140 games over .500 at any point in his career.

The quarterbacks with the highest winning percentages since 1970 (minimum 50 starts):

PLAYER (SEASONS), W-L-T (PCT.)
Tom Brady (2000-present) 200-61-0 (.766)
Roger Staubach (1969-1979) 95-35-0 (731)^
Russell Wilson (2012-present) 60-24-1 (.712)
Joe Montana (1979-1994) 133-54-0 (.711)^
Peyton Manning (1998-2015) 200-92-0 (.685)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

The Patriots enter Week 13 with a 9-2 record, tied with the Oakland Raiders (9-2) atop the AFC. With a win on Sunday, the Patriots would clinch their 14th consecutive season with at least 10 wins, the second-longest streak of 10-win seasons in NFL history. The 1983-1998 San Francisco 49ers (16) are the only franchise with more consecutive seasons with at least 10 victories.

The franchises with the most consecutive 10-win seasons in NFL history:

TEAM, SEASONS (CONSECUTIVE 10-WIN SEASONS)
San Francisco, 1983-1998 (16)
New England, 2003-2015 (13)*
Indianapolis, 2002-2010 (9)
*Active streak

PRESCOTT FINDING PAYDIRT: Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott leads NFL rookies in passing yards (2,835), touchdown passes (18) and passer rating (108.6).

The most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback in his team’s first 12 games:

PLAYER, YEAR (TEAM, TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Charlie Conerly, 1948 (New York Giants, 22)
Marcus Mariota, 2015 (Tennessee, 19)
Russell Wilson, 2012 (Seattle, 19)
Peyton Manning, 1998 (Indianapolis, 19)
Dak Prescott, 2016 (Dallas, 18)*
*Through 11 games

FITZ AMONG THE FINEST: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald recorded four catches in the Cardinals’ 38-19 loss to Atlanta last week, bringing his career reception total to 1,096.

With seven catches against Washington on Sunday, Fitzgerald would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famers Cris Carter (1,101) and Marvin Harrison (1,102) for the third-most career receptions in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (RECEPTIONS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (1,549)^
Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and Atlanta (1,325)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (1,102)^
Cris Carter – Philadelphia, Minnesota and Miami (1,101)^
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (1,096)
Tim Brown – Los Angeles, Oakland and Tampa Bay (1,094)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

THE COMEBACK KID: Don’t sleep on the Lions! Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford has engineered seven game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime in 2016, while helping the Lions become the first team in NFL history to record seven wins when trailing in the fourth quarter in the team’s first 11 games of a season.

With a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime at New Orleans on Sunday, Stafford would record the most such drives in a single season since the 1970 merger.

The most single-season game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime since 1970:

PLAYER – YEAR, TEAM (GAME-WINNING DRIVES IN 4TH QUARTER/OT)
Matthew Stafford – 2016, Detroit (7)*
Andrew Luck – 2012, Indianapolis (7)
Peyton Manning – 2009, Indianapolis (7)
Jake Delhomme – 2003, Carolina (7)
Peyton Manning – 1999, Indianapolis (7)
Jake Plummer – 1998, Arizona (7)
Don Majkowski – 1989, Green Bay (7)
Brian Sipe – 1979, Cleveland (7)
*Through 11 games

RACKING UP THE YARDS: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees leads the NFL with 3,587 passing yards this season and has passed for at least 3,500 yards in 12 consecutive seasons, the second-longest streak in NFL history. Peyton Manning passed for 3,500+ yards in 13 consecutive seasons from 1998-2010.

With 413 passing yards on Sunday at home against Detroit, Brees would become the first quarterback in NFL history to record 4,000 passing yards through his team’s first 12 games of a season twice in his career, having also accomplished the feat in 2011.

The quarterbacks with at least 4,000 passing yards in their team’s first 12 games:

PLAYER, YEAR (TEAM – PASSING YARDS THROUGH TEAM’S 1ST 12 GAMES)
Peyton Manning, 2013 (Denver – 4,125)
Drew Brees, 2011 (New Orleans – 4,031)
Andrew Luck, 2014 (Indianapolis – 4,011)
Drew Brees, 2016 (New Orleans – 3,587)*
*Through 11 games

ICYMI: New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns – including the game-winner with 1:56 remaining in the fourth quarter – in the Patriots’ 22-17 win at the New York Jets. Including the postseason, Brady has 200 career victories, tied with Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history.

Brady has 60,229 career passing yards and became the fifth player in NFL history to reach 60,000 passing yards, joining Peyton Manning (71,940), Brett Farve (71,838), Drew Brees (64,490) and Dan Marino (61,361).

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 310 yards with four touchdowns (139.6 passer rating) and rushed for a touchdown in the Saints’ 49-21 win over Los Angeles. Brees, who extended his NFL-record streak to 60 consecutive home games with a touchdown pass, has three career games with at least four touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown, the most in NFL history. Brees (30) is also the second quarterback in NFL history to reach 30 career games with at least four touchdown passes (Peyton Manning, 35).

This season, Brees has 30 touchdown passes and extended his NFL-record streak to nine consecutive seasons with at least 30 TD passes. Brees has nine career seasons with at least 30 touchdown passes, tied for the most in NFL history with Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve and Manning.

Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota threw two touchdown passes and had a 126.4 passer rating in the Titans’ 27-21 win at Chicago. Mariota, who is in his second season, has thrown multiple touchdown passes in eight consecutive games. That is the second-longest single-season streak in NFL history by a quarterback in his first two seasons, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO’s streak of 10 games in 1984, his second season.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 269 yards and two touchdowns for a 106.1 passer rating in the Falcons’ 38-19 win over Arizona. Ryan is the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 200 yards in 50 consecutive games.

Arizona running back David Johnson had 161 scrimmage yards (103 receiving, 58 rushing) and a touchdown catch for the Cardinals. Johnson, who has gained at least 100 scrimmage yards in all 11 of Arizona’s games this season, joined Edgerin James (2000 and 2005) as the only players in NFL history with 100+ scrimmage yards in each of his team’s first 11 games of a season.

San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns for a 116.3 passer rating in the Chargers’ 21-13 win at Houston. Rivers, who has 3,128 passing yards this season, recorded his 11th consecutive season with 3,000 passing yards, tied for the fourth-longest streak in NFL history. Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (18), Peyton  Manning (13) and Drew Brees (13) are the only quarterbacks with longer streaks. Brees extended his streak to 13 consecutive seasons last week.

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had a career-high three sacks, a forced fumble and lived a linesman’s dream when he returned fumble 43 yards for a touchdown in the Giants’ 27-13 win at Cleveland. Pierre-Paul, who recorded his 50th career sack, is the first player with at least three sacks and a fumble-return touchdown of at least 40 yards in the same game since 1982, the first year individual sacks became an official statistic.

Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker converted all four of his field-goal attempts in the Ravens’ 19-14 win over Cincinnati. Tucker, who connected on field goals of 57, 54 and 52 yards in the first half, is the first player in NFL history with three field goals of at least 50 yards in the first half of a game. His three 50+ yard field goals are tied for the most ever in a game and Tucker is the ninth player in league annals to accomplish the feat.

Dating back to last season, Tucker has successfully converted 34 consecutive field-goal attempts, the sixth-longest streak in NFL history. He is the only kicker in the NFL to make all of his field-goal attempts (27-for-27) this season (minimum 10 attempts).

As for last week… 12-4 (best.week.ever) For the year… 119-56.

Week 13 got underway in the Twin Cities as Minnesota hosted Dallas and ends Monday night in the Meadowlands as the Colts take on the New York Jets at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN. There’s also a huge Sunday night game in the Pacific Northwest as Seattle hosts Carolina in a NFC Divisional Playoffs rematch at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. Cleveland (0-11) and Tennessee (6-6) have byes this week and will return next Sunday.

Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 13.

Kansas City (8-3) at ATLANTA (7-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. The Kansas City Chiefs travel to the Deep South for an early afternoon contest in the Big Peach, as they are hosted by Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome.

Kansas City went down to the final two seconds of overtime in Denver and came away 30-27 winners over the defending Super Bowl champs. The Chiefs took a 9-3 lead with them to the locker room at the half, only to see Denver chip away in the second half, rallying to tie things back up when QB Alex Smith and WR Tyreek Hill connected on a 3-yard TD pass with 12 seconds left. In the overtime, it was the battle of the kickers as Denver’s Brian McMannus kicked a 44-yard field goal with 8:51 left in their first possession to take the lead. That lead would not last long as the Chiefs’ Chris Santos connected on a 37-yarder with 4:19 left. Denver then got the ball back but could not move the ball after nine plays. That allowed the Chiefs to get the ball back on the Denver side of the 50-yard line and Kansas City marched down the field, using a 4-play, 32-yard drive that used only 61 seconds, allowing Santos to slip the game-winner off the left upright but in for the win.

Denver actually outrushed Kansas City 124-83 and Trevor Siemian outpaced Smith in passing yardage 368-220. Siemian threw three TDs to Smith’s one (which tied the contest up) but both men combined for 11 sacks in the contest (Smith was sacked six times, Siemian sacked five) and neither man threw an interception.

Atlanta maintained first place in the NFC South after their 38-19 win over Arizona last Sunday in the Big Peach. Burning a  10-7 defecit faster than Sherman burned Atlanta, the Falcons re-tied the contest when Matt Bryant connected on a 45-yard field goal with 8:30 left before the half. Atlanta then took the lead back and for keeps when WR/RB Tyrell Gabriel caught the first of two TD passes from Ryan, a 34-yard romp to the end zone for the lead (he would add a 25-yarder in the fourth to all but ice the contest away). Atlanta led 17-13 at the half and never looked back against Arizona, while holding the Cardinals to 58 yards rushing and sacking Carson Palmer twice and picking him off once. Atlanta ran for 116 yards, while Ryan threw for 269 yards, despite being sacked three times.

Kansas City may lead the series 5-3 and they may have outscored the Falcons 206-154 but Atlanta has won the last two meetings, including a 40-24 win at Arrowhead in 2012, while the Chiefs’ last win in the series also came in the Show-Me State in 2004 by a final of 56-10.

The oddsmakers like the Falcons at home as 3 1/2 point favorites and the over/under’s 49 1/2. Both teams know they control their destinies and know that if they continue to play better, the post-season will be in their future. We know that this is the early game but we feel that this one is so “DRILL WORTHY,” it’s not even close to funny. With that… (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

Chiefs make this one interesting but Atlanta continues to lay claim on first in the NFC South takes the win, even though they won’t cover the 3 1/2.

Miami (7-4) at Baltimore (6-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A much-improved Miami Dolphins team travels up I-95 for a meeting with the Baltimore Ravens as Ryan Tannehill and Joe Flacco meet at M&T Bank Stadium in Charm City.

Miami surpassed their win total from 2015 and survived a 31-24 scare from San Francisco last Sunday in the Sunshine State. Leading 24-14 after three quarters at Hard Rock Stadium, the Dolphins saw the 49ers rally to pull to within seven with 2:15 left in regulation on a 36-yard field goal by Pat Dawson. Miami then held off a late San Francsico rally in the final seconds of the game, stopping Colin Kaepernick, who ran for 113 yards and threw for 296 with three TDs, 2 yards short of the goal line that would have tied the contest and sent it to overtime. San Francisco outrushed Miami 193-95, while Tannehill threw for 285 yards and three TDs.

Baltimore held off Cincinnati 19-14 in Charm City last Sunday. The Ravens led 16-3 at the half before the Bengals made things interesting in the second half, outscoring Baltimore 11-3. Cincy would eventually narrow the score to within five as the clock struck :00 when Ravens punter Sam Koch ran out of the end zone for a safety. The contest was not much to watch as far as the running game was concerned, with neither club breaching the 100-yard barrier. However, Baltimore did win that battle, outrushing the Bengals 92-64 and Flacoo threw for 234 yards with a TD and an interception, while the Ravens defense sacked Andy Dalton three times.

While the Dolphins lead the series 6-5, the Ravens have outscored Miami 198-197. Miami won the last meeting with the Ravens last year in the Sunshine State by a final of 15-13, while Baltimore’s last win in the series also came in Miami, with the Ravens coming away 28-13 winners.

They met in week 13 at then-Sun Life Stadium (before yet another name change!) and Miami led 15-3 at the break before the Ravens rallied in the second half, shutting out the home team in the final 30 minutes of action. Tannehill struggled a bit in passing, throwing for only 86 yards but did not throw an interception, while Miami, led by Lamar Miller’s 113 yards, outrushed Baltimore 137-94 in the 2-point win, sacking Matt Schaub (308 yards, TD, two interceptions) three times. The Ravens did manage to win the time of possession battle, holding the ball for 38:09 to Miami’s 21:51.

Baltimore’s a 3 1/2 point favorite in Charm City and the over/under’s 41. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Both teams are bouncing back from bad seasons last year. Quote the Ravens… Baltimore wins in Charm City and covers the 3 1/2.

Houston (6-5) at Green Bay (5-6), 1 p.m. on and DirecTV 707. After a November Green Bay fans would like to forget, the Packers return to the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst to face Brad Oswelier and the Houston Texans at Lambeau.

The Texans came out on the short end of a 21-13 loss to San Diego last Sunday in Houston. Houston trailed 14-7 at the half after they opened  the scoring on a 1-yard run by Oswelier with 11:11 left in the first half (the teams were scoreless at the end of the first quarter). Houston would narrow the gap to 8 with 14 seconds left when Nick Novak kicked a 45-yard field goal late in the game. Osweiler threw for 246 yards and had the one rushing TD but was picked off three times, while the Texans outrushed San Diego 114-67, with San Diego’s Philip Rivers burning the Texans for three TDs and 242 yards to take the win.

Green Bay ended a 4-game losing streak in their 27-13 over Philadelphia last Monday night. Backed by a pair of Rodgers’ TD passes, the Packers took a 14-10 lead at the break and never looked back. Rodgers threw for 313 yards with no sacks or interceptions, connecting with Davante Adams on both TD passes, while Philadelphia outrushed the Packers 81-74, sacking rookie QB Carson Wentz (254 yards) four times, picking him off once.

They’ve met only three times and the Packers have won two of those contests, with the last victory coming in the Lone Star State in 2012 by a final of 42-24, while Houston’s lone win in the series came at Lambeau in 2008 by a final of 24-21. Green Bay’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. At the end of the day, both teams will be at the .500 mark. Packers may not cover the 4 1/2 but they win at home in Lambeau.

Denver (7-4) at Jacksonville (2-9), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The defending Super Bowl champs travel to north Florida for an early afternoon contest with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jacksonville let a 21-20 lead at Buffalo get away from them as they fell to the Bills 28-21 in upstate New York. Buffalo took the lead back for good with 10:46 left in regulation when Tyrod Taylor (166 yards, five sacks) and Jerome Hunter connected on a 16-yard pass in the fourth quarter. Jacksonville actually outrushed the Bills 183-153 but Buffalo RB LeSean Mcoy led all rushers with 103 yards, a pair of TDs and a two-point conversion as part of the Hunter TD.

The defending Super Bowl champs took AFC West foe Kansas City to the final two seconds of overtime in Denver, coming up on the short end of a 30-27 loss to the Chiefs at Sports Authority Field. Denver trailed 9-3 at the half, then rallied to take the lead with 3:00 left on a Bennie Fowler TD pass from Siemian. That lead and Denver’s hopes of beating their AFC West rivals at home came crashing down, when Kansas City’s Alex Smith and WR Tyreek Hill hooked up on a 3-yard TD pass with 12 seconds left in regulation. From there, it was the kicking game that was the star of the show, as Denver’s Brian McManus (from 44 yards with 8:51 left in the OT) and Chris Santos (37-yarder with 4:19 left) each connected on field goals to keep the contest tied up. Denver then failed in their possession of the ball, moving the pigskin only to their 48-yard line, which allowed Kansas City to march down the field. The Chiefs wasted very little time, using only four plays, 32 yards and 61 seconds to allow Santos to kick the game winner with 2 seconds left.

The bright side for Broncos fans? The defending champs actually outrushed Kansas City 124-83 and Siemian outpaced Smith in passing yardage 368-220. Siemian threw three TDs to Smith’s one (which tied the contest up) but both men combined for 11 sacks in the contest (Smith was sacked six times, Siemian sacked five) and neither man threw an interception.

Jacksonville leads the series with Denver 5-4 but Denver has outscored the Jaguars 201-178. Denver’s last win came in 2013 in the Mile High City by a final of 35-19, while Jacksonville’s last win in the series with the Broncos came in 2010 in the Sunshine State by a 24-17 count.

Denver’s favored by 5 and the over/under’s 42. While the Broncos are looking to repeat as champs, the Jaguars are all but on life support and need to win out and get some help in the process. Denver will look to put Jacksonville out of their misery and take the win on the road, covering the 5 in the process.

San Francisco (1-10) at Chicago (2-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of struggling clubs mired in last place in their respective divisions meet in the Windy City as Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers meet at Soldier Field for an early afternoon contest with Da Bears.

San Francisco and Kaepernick came up on the short end of a 31-24 loss to Miami last Sunday in the Sunshine State. The 49ers trailed 24-14 after three quarters at Hard Rock Stadium, before they would rally in the final 15 minutes of play, coming to within seven points on a 36-yard field goal by Pat Dawson wiht 2:15 left in regulation. San Francisco fans then saw their hopes for either tying things up or winning on the East Coast dashed as Kaepernick was stopped two yards shy of the end zone. San Francisco fans had a couple of bright sides. First, Kaepernick rani for 113 yards and threw for 296 with three TDs. Secondly, Miami outrushed the “Fins 193-952 yards short of the goal line that would have tied the contest and sent it to overtime. San Francisco outrushed Miami 193-95, while Tannehill threw for 285 yards and three TDs.

Da Bears’ saw their playoff hopes all but go into hibernation as they fell to Tennessee 27-21 at Soldier Field last Sunday. Trailing the Marcus Mariota-led Titans 21-7 at the half, Chicago managed to get off the deck, using a pair of TD passes from Matt Barkley in the final quarter of play, connecting with WRs Marquess Wilson and Deonte Thompson to make it a 7-point game with 3:06 left to play in regulation. Chicago then had a chance to send the game into overtime and got the ball all the way to the Titans’ 7-yard line before four Barkley passes fell incompelete. While the Titans outrushed Chicago 149-95, Barkley outpassed Mariota (2 TDs) 316-226, throwing three TDs but also threw three interceptions.

The series? Tied 30-30-1 and San Francisco has outscored Da Bears 1,365-1,249. They met in the Windy City last year and the 49ers escaped Chicago with a 26-20 overtime win at Soldier Field (Chicago’s last win in the series came at Candlestick Park, coming away 28-20 winners). The two clubs entered halftime tied at 13-13 at Soldier Field and stayed tied at the end of regulation when Blake Gabbert, subbing for Kapernick, scrambled for a 44-yard TD run with 1:42 left. Both teams got the ball in overtime and both clubs failed in their first attempt. San Francisco then decided to get things over and done with in their second possession, when Gabbert and WR Torrey Smith connected on a 71-yard TD pass with 12:50 in the extra period for the win. Chicago outrushed San Francisco 170-121 and Jay Cutler outpaced Gabbert 202-196 (Gabbert was sacked four times, Cutler intercepted once) and Da Bears ruled the clock, holding the ball for 37:24, while the 49ers kept the pigskin for 24:46.

Da Bears are favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Take a pass on this one and watch that “NCIS” marathon on USA (Ziva smacking Tony over the head is pretty darn funny) or beg the wife, girlfriend or significant other to take you shopping at Victoria’s Secret. Chicago covers the 2 1/2 and wins in the Windy City.

Philadelphia (5-6) at Cincinnati (3-7-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of teams with young arms meet in Cincinnati as the Bengals return home to face off against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles dropped a 27-13 decision against Green Bay last Monday night in Philadelphia. The good news was that the Eagles outrushed Green Bay 81-74. The bad news? Wentz was sacked four times and picked off once, throwing for 254 yards, while Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 313 yards with a pair of TD passes to WR Davante Adams, with no sacks or interceptions in the City of Brotherly Love.

The Bengals’ woes continue as they fell to Baltimore 19-14 last Sunday. Baltimore led 16-3 at the half before the Bengals made things interesting in the second half, outscoring Baltimore 11-3. Cincy would eventually narrow the score to within five as the clock struck :00 when Ravens punter Sam Koch ran out of the end zone for a safety. If you were looking for rushing in the contest, forget it. It wasn’t much to talk about as neither team crossed the 100-yard barrier and the Ravens outrushed Cincinnati 92-64 and Flacoo threw for 234 yards with a TD and an interception, while the Ravens defense sacked Andy Dalton (283 yards) three times.

Cincy leads the series 8-3-1, have outscored the Eagles 328-208 and won two of the last three contests (the lone tie came in the Queen City in 2008 with both teams winding up tied 13-13). The Bengals’ last win came in the City of Brotherly Love in 2012 by a final of 34-13, while the Eagles came away 16-7 winners in 2000 in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under is 41 1/2. Philadelphia is looking to get back in the NFC East hunt, while the Bengals are struggling to keep their somewhat slim playoff hopes alive. Happy Hunting! Eagles take it to the limit in Cincy and covers the 2 1/2.

Los Angeles (4-7) at New England (9-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. The Rams make their way east for a showdown in western Massachusetts with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

The Rams fell to New Orleans 49-21 in the Big Easy last Sunday. Los Angeles kept things close, trailing the Saints 28-21 at the intermission before New Orleans and Drew Brees went on a 21-0 second half run uncontested. New Orleans outrushed the Rams 209-69 (the Saints’ Mark Ingram led all rushers with 146 yards and a TD), while rookie QB Jared Goff, making his second start, was sacked three times, throwing for 214 yards (Brees threw for 310 yards and four TDs and had a rushing TD of his own).

New England returns to Foxboro after they defeated the New York Jets 22-17 in the Meadowlands last Sunday. The Pats broke a 10-10 tie at the half at MetLife Stadium to take the AFC East win. Tom Brady and rookie WR Malcolm Mitchell connected for the game-winning TD with 1:56 left in regulation after the Pats trailed 17-16 late in the fourth quarter. Brady (286 yards) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (269 yards) threw a pair of TDs in the late afternoon contest in upstate New Jersey and neither man threw an interception.

The Pats lead the series 6-5 (which includes contests that took place in Los Angeles and St. Louis) and have outscored the Rams 248-205. New England’s last win in the series came in 2012 on the other side of the Atlantic, taking a 45-7 win in London, while the Rams’ last victory came in Foxboro, when the club was based in St. Louis by a final of 2001 by a final of 24-17. New England’s favored by 13 1/2 (that’s not a misprint!) and the over/under is 44 1/2. The 44 1/2 makes sense. It’s the 13 1/2 that doesn’t. New England has been known to struggle against lesser opponents, while the Rams have somehow kept themselves in contests, even with the seven losses under their belts. New England wins this one but it won’t be as much as 13 1/2.

Detroit (7-4) at New Orleans (5-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Brees vs. Stafford. A pair of top QBs meet in the Big Easy as the Lions, kings of the NFC North mountain, travel to New Orleans for a meeting with Drew Brees and the Saints, sitting in third place in the NFC South behind Atlanta.

Detroit took the Lions’ share of first place in the NFC North by a final of 16-13 at Ford Field against Minnesota in a key NFC North matchup Thanksgiving Day. Detroit trailed 13-10 thanks to a 28-yard field goal by Minnesota’s Kirk Horvath with 12:38 left to play. The Viking lead would not last long as Detroit’s Matt Prather connected on a 48-yard field goal with 1:45 left in regulation to tie the contest. Minnesota then tried to march down the field but the drive fell apart when Detroit’s Darius Slay picked off Sam Bradford with 30 seconds left. That would be all the momentum that Detroit would need as they used only two plays and two yards, using all 30 seconds to allow Prather to kick the game-winning field goal as the clock struck :00. Bradford threw for 224 yards and had the interception that cost them the contest. Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier in the Thanksgiving Day affair and Detroit managed to outrush Minnesota 94-82 in the NFC North contest.

New Orleans manhandled Los Angeles 49-21 in the Big Easy last Sunday. The visting Rams kept things close, trailing the Saints 28-21 at the intermission before New Orleans and Brees went on a 21-0 second half run uncontested. Brees threw for 310 yards and four TDs and had a rushing TD of his own as New Orleans outrushed the Rams 209-69 (the Saints’ Mark Ingram led all rushers with 146 yards and a TD). The Saints defense was not all that kind to rookie QB Jared Goff (making his second start) as he was sacked three times, throwing for 214 yards with an interception.

The series between the two domed teams is tied 11-11-1 and the Saints have outscored Detroit 472-418. Detroit, on the other hand, has won the last two contests, including a 35-27 win in the Big Easy last year (New Orleans’ last win over Detroit came in 2011 by a 31-17 final in the Big Easy).

They met in the Big Easy in week 15 and Detroit led 21-3 at the half in the SuperDome before Brees and the Saints rallied to make the contest closer, outscoring the Lions 24-14 in the last 30 minutes of action. Both Brees (341 yards) and Stafford (254 yards) threw three TDs in the contest and Detroit outrushed the Saints 150-69 (Stafford was sacked three times, while Brees was sacked once).

The Saints are favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 53 1/2. While this one’s not exactly “DRILL WORTHY,” it’s still a pretty good contest to watch. Detroit makes it close but Saints take the win in the Big Easy.

Buffalo (6-5) at Oakland (9-2), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. A pair of teams that had close wins last Sunday at home meet in northern California for a late afternoon affair when Buffalo travels west to face off against the Oakland Raiders.

The Bills erased a 21-20 deficit against Jacksonville last Sunday in Orchard Park and came away 28-21 winners in upstate Noew York. Buffalo circled the wagons and took the lead back for good with 10:46 left in regulation when Tyrod Taylor (166 yards, five sacks) and Jerome Hunter connected on a 16-yard pass in the fourth quarter. Buffalo was outrushed by Jacksonville 183-153 in the 1-point win but Buffalo RB LeSean Mcoy led all rushers with 103 yards, a pair of TDs and a two-point conversion as part of the Hunter TD.

Carolina scored four TDs in 12:07 of the second half but it wasn’t enough as the defending NFC champs fell to Oakland 35-32 on the West Coast. The Panthers and Newton trailed 24-7 at the half before taking the lead, scoring three TDs in the third quarter, two of them from RB Jonathan Stewart but missed all three point after tries. Newton threw for 246 yards, throwing for a pair of TDs and ran for two TDs of his own. Carolina outrushed Oakland 129-55, while David Carr threw for 315 yards and a pair of TDs, despite dislocating a finger on his throwing hand. Oakland eventually evened the score at 32-32 with 8:37 left in the final quarter when Carr and TE Clive Walford connected on a 12-yard TD pass and took the lead for good when K Sebastian Janikowski connected on his second field goal of the day, a 23-yarder with 1:45 left to play. For Janikowski, the second field goal was the 200th of his career at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Including contests that were played at old War Memorial Stadium and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Raiders lead series 20-17 and the Silver and Black have outscored Buffalo 855-778. Oakland won the last meeting with the Bills, coming away 26-24 winners on the West Coast in 2014, while the Bills’ last win came in Orchard Park in 2011 by a final of 38-35. Oakland’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 50. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams are a lot better than what they were last year. Oakland “just wins, baby” and covers the 3.

Washington (6-4-1) at Arizona (4-6-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of teams looking to return to the post-season party limp into he desert as Washington takes on the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Washington fell to Dallas 31-26 last Thursday in Arlington in an NFC East showdown. Although the ‘Skins trailed 17-6 at the intermission, they managed to rally late in the second half, outscoring Dallas in the last 30 minutes of play 20-14. Kirk Cousins burned the Cowboys for 449 yards and three TDs, easily outpacing Dallas rookie QB Dak Prescott, who had 195 yards and a passing TD. (Prescott had a rushing TD in the contest for the Cowboys). The contest was not without some controversy as Dallas WR Dez Bryant and Washington CB Josh Norman exchanged words and got into each other’s faces during the game and after the game was over.

Arizona got their wings clipped in Atlanta last Sunday, falling to the Falcons 38-19 in the Big Peach. The Desert Angry Birds let a 10-7 lead get away from them as Atlanta re-tied the contest when Matt Bryant connected on a 45-yard field goal with 8:30 left before the half. Atlanta then took the lead back and for keeps when WR/RB Tyrell Gabriel caught the first of two TD passes from Ryan, a 34-yard romp to the end zone for the lead (he would add a 25-yarder in the fourth to all but ice the contest away). Atlanta led 17-13 at the half and never looked back against Arizona, while the Cardinals found themselves being held to 58 yards rushing, with Carson Palmer being sacked ttwice and picked off once. Atlanta ran for 116 yards, while Ryan threw for 269 yards, despite being sacked three times.

Washington leads the series 74-45-2 (which includes contests that were played in Boston when the Redskins were known as the Braves and the Cardinals called Chicago and St. Louis home) and the defending NFC East champs have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 2,687-2,254. Arizona won the last meeting in 2014 in the desert by a 30-20 count, while the ‘Skins were 22-21 winners in Landover in 2011.

Arizona’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under is 49 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Arizona’s trying to keep its head above the bird bath and catch Seattle in the NFC West, while the ‘Skins are trying to catch Dallas in the NFC East. “Hail To The Redskins!” Washington pulls the upset in the desert and covers the 2 1/2.

New York Giants (8-3) at Pittsburgh (6-5), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Eli. Ben. Manning. Roethlisberger. The two Super Bowl winning QBs and their teams meet in western Pennsylvania as the Steelers host the New York Giants at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

The Giants, led by rookie had coach Ben McAdoo, have won six consecutive games and have the NFC’s second-best record at 8-3. Last week, the Giants knocked off the Browns 27-13 at Cleveland. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had a career-high three sacks, a forced fumble and a 43-yard fumble-return touchdown in the win. He is the first player with at least three sacks and a 40+ yard fumble-return touchdown in the same game since 1982, the first year individual sacks became an official statistic. New York led the winless Browns 14-6 at the half along the shores of Lake Erie as Odell Beckham Jr. and Manning connected on a pair of TDs. Big Blue outrushed Cleveland 104-58 and Manning threw for 194 yards and three TDs, while Cleveland’s Josh McCown threw for 322 yards with a TD but was sacked seven times.

Pittsburgh manhandled Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium 28-7 Thanksgiving night in the Hoosier State. The Steelers, who led 21-7 at the half, shut out the Colts in the final 30 minutes of action as Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown connected on three TD passes and RB LeVeon Bell ran for 120 yards and scored the game’s first TD from five yards out. Pittsburgh outrushed the Colts 148-91 and picked off backup QB Scott Tolzien (in for Andrew Luck – concussion) twice and sacked him three times.

The Giants lead the series 44-29-3 (which includes games played at Yankee Stadium and during the years of the 2nd World War when the Steelers were known as the Pittsburgh Pirates) and have outscored the Steelers 1,500-1,270. Pittsburgh won the last meeting between the clubs, when they came to the Meadowlands a week after Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012 and came away 24-20, while New York’s last win came in 2008 in the Steel City by a final of 21-14.

Pittsburgh’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 49 1/2. These are numbers we can live with. Both QBs are capable of reaching the over/under by halftime. Steelers keep pace with Baltimore in the Steel City and covers the 6.

Tampa Bay (6-5) at San Diego (5-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. Winston vs. Rivers. They meet in southern California as the Buccaneers pay the San Diego Chargers a late afternoon visit to Qualcomm Stadium.

Tampa Bay pulled to one game over the .500 mark and kept pace with NFC South foe Atlanta as they took a 14-5 win over Seattle at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs on the strength of a pair of Jameis Winston TD passes to WR Mike Evans gave them a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter before Seattle broke Tampa’s bid for a shutout, as they got their points thanks to a safety and a 43-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka with 10:39 left before halftime and the teams then went on to play scoreless football in the final 30 minutes of play. While Seattle did outrush Tampa Bay 127-117, Winston threw for 220 yards with the pair of TDs and an interception, while Russell Wilson threw for 151 yards, while being sacked six times and picked off twice.

The Bolts were 21-13 winners in Houston last Sunday. San Diego trailed 14-7 at the half after the Texanas opened the scoring on a 1-yard run by Oswelier with 11:11 left in the first half (the teams were scoreless at the end of the first quarter). Houston would narrow the gap to 8 with 14 seconds left when Nick Novak kicked a 45-yard field goal late in the game. Houston managed to outrushed San Diego 114-67 but Rivers burned the Texans for 242 yards and three TDs, while Osweiler threw for 246 yards and had the one rushing TD but was picked off three times.

San Diego leads the series 8-2 and the Bolts have outscored the Bucs 279-184. Tampa Bay won the last meeting in the series, coming away 34-24 winners in the Sunshine State, while San Diego were 41-24 winners in the Sunshine State in 2008. San Diego’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 48. While this one is not a great game to watch, it’ll be a decent one. San Diego wins this one but expect Tampa Bay to make it closer than 4 1/2.

Carolina (4-7) at Seattle (7-3-1), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. Carolina and Cam Newton make their way up I-5 to face off against Seattle and Russell Wilson in the land of grunge, Salmon and Starbucks.

The defending NFC champs let a 32 24 lead at Oakland get away from them as they fell to the Raiders 35-32 on the West Coast. Carolina and Newton trailed 24-7 at the half before taking the lead, scoring three TDs in the third quarter, two of them from RB Jonathan Stewart but missed all three point after tries. Newton threw for 246 yards, throwing for a pair of TDs and ran for two TDs of his own. Carolina outrushed Oakland 129-55, while David Carr threw for 315 yards and a pair of TDs, despite dislocating a finger on his throwing hand. Oakland eventually evened the score at 32-32 with 8:37 left in the final quarter when Carr and TE Clive Walford connected on a 12-yard TD pass and took the lead for good when K Sebastian Janikowski connected on his second field goal of the day, a 23-yarder with 1:45 left to play.

For Seattle, who outrushed Tampa Bay 127-118, they played in their third game without scoring a TD and once again, the Seahawks lost, this time at Tampa Bay 14-5 at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay led 14-0 on a pair of first quarter TD passes from Jameis Winston to WR Mike Evans before Seattle got their points thanks to a safety and a 43-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka with 10:39 left before halftime and the teams then went on to play scoreless football in the final 30 minutes of play. Winston threw for 220 yards with the pair of TDs and an interception, while Russell Wilson threw for 151 yards, while being sacked six times and picked off twice.

The Seahawks lead the series 5-3 and have outscored the defending NFC champs 131-125. They’ve met four times in the last two seasons (once in the regular season and once in the postseason) and each team has taken wins in the last two meetings. Seattle’s last win in regular season play came in 2014 in Charlotte by a 13-9 final and they came away 31-17 winners in the NFC Divisional Playoffs that year. Carolina won the two meetings last year, taking a 27-23 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and a 31-24 win in the Tar Heel State in last year’s NFC Divisonal Playoffs.

Round one … Seattle in week six. The Seahawks led 10-3 at the intermission at CenturyLink Field, before Newton and the Panthers rallied in the second half to come away winners on the West Coast. Carolina outrscored Seattle 20-10 in the final 30 minutes of action on the road and held off a late Seattle rally for the win. Carolina outrushed Seattle 135-115 and Newton, who ran for a TD, outpassed Wilson 269-241, with both men combining for seven TD passes (three by Newton, who was picked off four times, four by Wilson)

That was round one….

Round two … Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium in the NFC Divisonal Playoffs. Carolina led 31-0 at the intermission and then needed to hold off Seattle in the second half, as the Seahawks owned the final 30 minutes of play in the Tar Heel State but still came out on the short end of the 31-24 loss. Wilson (366 yards, two interceptions) threw three TDs in the rematch to Newtown’s one (Newton threw for 161 yards), while RB Jonathan Stewart ran for 106 yards and a pair of TDs as Carolina outrushed Seattle 144-78.

Seattle’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. The Panthers are trying to keep pace with Atlanta in the NFC South, while the Seahawks want to stay king of the mountain in the NFC West. Long live the king. Seattle wins this one in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks but expect Carolina to make it closer than the 6 1/2.

Indianapolis (5-6) at New York Jets (3-8), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 13 closes out in upstate New Jersey as a pair of teams, trying to make the playoffs, meet in the light. Andrew Luck and the Indiapolis Colts pay a visit to MetLife Stadium for a Monday night contest with the New York Jets.

For Indianapolis, it was not a good Thursdsay night at Lucas Oil Stadium as they fell to Pittsburgh and Ben Roethlisberg 28-7 Thanksgiving night. The Steelers took a 21-7 lead at the half, then shut out the Colts in the final 30 minutes of action as Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown connected on three TD passes and RB LeVeon Bell ran for 120 yards and scored the game’s first TD from five yards out. The Colts were led by backup QB Scott Tolzien, who took over for Andrew Luck (concusssion) and got their only score of the contest when he and WR Donte Moncrief connected on a 5-yard TD pass in the second quarter. Pittsburgh outrushed the Colts 148-91 and Tolzien was picked off twice and sacked three times.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! fell to AFC East foe New England 22-17 in the Meadowlands last Sunday. New England broke a 10-10 tie at the half at MetLife Stadium to take the win. New England outrushed GangGreen 91-64 and Tom Brady and rookie WR Malcolm Mitchell connected for the game-winning TD with 1:56 left in regulation after GangGreen led 17-16 late in the fourth quarter. Brady (286 yards) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (269 yards) threw a pair of TDs in the late afternoon contest in upstate New Jersey and neither man threw an interception.

The Colts lead the series 40-28 (which includes contests played in Baltimore and at Shea Stadium) but GangGreen has outscored the Colts 1,403-1,366 and have won the last three regular season meetings, including a 20-7 win in the Hoosier State (ironically on a Monday night) (The Colts’ last win in the series came in 2006 in the Meadowlands, when they were led by Peyton Manning, coming away 31-28 winners).

GangGreen led 10-0 at the half at Lucas Oil Stadium and after a scoreless third quarter, turned on the afterburners when WR Brandon Marshall and Fitzpatrick connected on a 15-yard TD pass and K Nick Folk iced the game away with a 46-yard field goal with 56 seconds left (Indy’s lone score came in the fourth, when Luck and WR Donte Moncrief connected on a 26-yard strike to open the scoring in the fourth). While the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! outrushed Indy 101-93, Luck outpassed Fitzpatrick 250-244 but was picked off three times (Fitpatrick was picked off once and was sacked once).

On Monday night, the Colts are 22-16 but lost their two MNF contests last year, while the Jets fell to 21-30 with their 28-3 loss to Arizona in week six. The Colts are favored by 1 and the over/under’s 49 1/2. If for some reason you decide that watching “Two Broke Girls” and “Scorpion” is a better idea, we’ll understand. Colts crash the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! in the Meadowlands and covers the 1.

It’s Thanksgiving.

It’s time for your Aunt Katie’s mashed potato casserole.

It’s time to listen to your brother-in-law’s bad jokes for the 10,000,000th time.

It’s time to sit at the kid’s table with that cousin you can’t stand.

It’s also time for football.

The NFL’s annual football feast gets underway Thursday as play in week 12 gets started. While there’s football on the field and food on the table, there’s also playoff spots on the line as well.

Three games. Not one. Not Two.

Three.

Think of it as “Black Friday” for football fans.

It’s a short week for six teams that will take the field Thursday afternoon and evening and all six teams are or have a share of first place in their respective divisions.

An early game as the appetizer takes place in the Motor City as Minnesota takes on Detroit in as first place is on the line in the NFC North. Then, in the middle of the afternoon, it’s your chance to go for seconds (food and football wise) as a pair of NFC East foes meet in a week two rematch in Arlington. Game number three (yes, there’s a third game) can be thought of as taking home leftovers or dessert as Pittsburgh travels to Indy for a late evening primetime AFC contest in the Hoosier State.

ICYMI (Thanksgiving Edition): Last year, Detroit’s Matthew Stafford set a team record with five touchdown passes on Thanksgiving in Detroit’s 45-14 win over Philadelphia and became the first quarterback in team history to throw for five touchdowns with no interceptions in a game. Detroit defensive end Ezekiel Ansah tied a Thanksgiving Day record with 3.5 sacks in the victory.

The Lions have won their past three Thanksgiving Day games by a combined score of 119-41. In six career games on Thanksgiving Day, Stafford has passed for 1,987 yards (331.2 per game), the third-most in NFL history. He aims for his fifth consecutive Thanksgiving game with at least 330 passing yards.

The players with the most career passing yards and touchdown passes on Thanksgiving:

PASSING YARDS

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES – PASSING YARDS)
Tony Romo, Dallas (10 – 2,338)*
Troy Aikman, Dallas (10 – 2,174)^
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (6 – 1,987)*
Danny White, Dallas (10 – 1,545)
Bart Starr, Green Bay (8 – 1,345)^
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

TOUCHDOWN PASSES

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES – TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Tony Romo, Dallas (10 – 18)*
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (6 – 14)*
Bobby Layne, Detroit (8 – 14)^
Danny White, Dallas (10 – 14)
Troy Aikman, Dallas (10 – 11)^
Brett Favre, Green Bay (4 – 11)^
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Tight end Jason Witten, who will play in his 14th Thanksgiving Day game this week, has 70 catches on the holiday, the most all-time. His 776 receiving yards trail only Herman Moore (834) for the most on Thanksgiving.

The most career receptions and receiving yards on Thanksgiving:

RECEPTIONS

PLAYER – TEAM (GAMES, RECEPTIONS)
Jason Witten – Dallas (13, 70)*
Calvin Johnson – Detroit (9 -55)
Herman Moore – Detroit (10 – 51)
Michael Irvin – Dallas (10 – 49)^
Emmitt Smith – Dallas (13 – 42)^

*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

RECEIVING YARDS

PLAYER – TEAM (GAMES, RECEIVING YARDS)
Herman Moore – Detroit (10, 834)
Jason Witten – Dallas (13, 776)*
Calvin Johnson – Detroit (9, 769)
Michael Irvin – Dallas (10, 722)^
Tony Hill – Dallas (9, 622)

*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

For generations of Americans, the tradition of Thanksgiving Day and NFL football are historically intertwined.

On Thanksgiving in 1925, a crowd of 36,000 – then the largest in professional football history – watched the Chicago Bears play the Chicago Cardinals to a scoreless tie at Wrigley Field. In 1934, the Detroit Lions and the defending world champion Bears squared off on Thanksgiving in the first NFL game nationally broadcast, with NBC radio on the call. This year, the three holiday games will be played inside stadiums with a combined capacity of over 200,000 and will be aired to millions across the country and around the world.

The 2016 installment of Thanksgiving Day football will feature a tripleheader for the 11th consecutive season.

All six teams playing on Thanksgiving have a .500 or better record. It is only the second time in NFL history – and first since 1935 – in which the Thanksgiving schedule has at least three games and every team has a .500 or better record.

1935 THANKSGIVING GAMES – New York Giants (6-3) at Brooklyn Dodgers (5-4), Green Bay Packers (7-3) at Chicago Cardinals (5-3-1), Chicago Bears (5-3-1) at Detroit Lions (5-3-2)

2016 THANKSGIVING GAMES – Minnesota Vikings (6-4) at Detroit Lions (6-4), Washington Redskins (6-3-1) at Dallas Cowboys (9-1), Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5) at Indianapolis Colts (5-5)

And, for only the third time in the past 20 years, every team playing on Thanksgiving won its preceding game (1998 and 2011).

Be sure to say grace before you eat (you can even pray that the turkey your cousin Sarah made doesn’t kill you), wear the stretchy pants, mind your table manners and get ready to watch some football.

Here are the games for Thursday’s action in week 12.

Minnesota (6-4) at Detroit (6-4), 12:30 p.m. on CBS. They meet again. This time, first place in the NFC North is on the line. Minnesota and Detroit take the field in the Thursday afternoon Thanksgiving Day opener in a week nine rematch, with the setting this time being Ford Field in downtown Detroit.

Both teams took wins at home last Sunday. The Vikings got a 100-yard interception return from Xavier Rhodes and a 104-yard kickoff retrun from WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson to take a 30-24 win over Arizona in Minneapolis last Sunday. Minnesota, who forced two turnovers, picking off Carson Palmer twice, led 20-17 at the half at U.S. Bank Stadium before the Vikings opened the second half scoring with the long return. Although Sam Bradford threw for 169 yards and a TD, it was the Cardinals running game that almost stole the show as Arizona would outrush Minnesota 135-72 (with David Johnson accounting for 103).

Once again, the Lions found themselves trailing at home and this time against Jacksonville and managed to come away 26-19 winners at Ford Field. Although they were tied with the Jaguars 9-9 at the break, Detroit found themselves on the short end of a 19-16 tally after 45 minutes of play, before they would go on to score the last 10 points of the game in the fourth quarter and do it unchallenged. TE Eric Ebron gave Detroit the lead back on a 1-yard run with 10:03 left to play and K Matt Prater added a 43-yard field goal with 22 seconds left to ice the contest away. The contest as far as rushing yardage was concerned? Not a lot to write about, as neither team came anywhere near the 100-yard barrier (Jacksonville did manage to outrush Detroit 83-14). Matthew Stafford’s 278 yards in the air was good enough to outpace Blake Bortles, who threw for 202 yards with a pair of TDs (Jacksonville sacked Stafford three times, while the Lions picked off Bortles twice).

They met in week nine in the Twin Cities and the Lions needed overtime at US Bank Stadium to come away 22-16 winners. Detroit led 10-3 at the intermission in the Land of 10,000 Lakes before the Vikings took the lead on a 1-yard TD run by Rhett Ellison with 23 seconds left in regulation. Minnesota’s lead did not last very long as Prather would send the contest into overtime with a 58-yard field goal as the clock struck :00. Detroit then won the toss in overtime and went to work on the Vikings and proceeded to use an 11-play, 87-yard drive that ate 6:39 of clock to take the win when Stafford and WR Golden Tate connected on a 28-yard TD pass with 8:21 left in the extra period. Neither club in the first meeting breached the 100-yard barrier but Detroit did manage to outrush Minnesota 97-78, while Stafford threw for 219 yards with a pair of TDs, while Sam Bradford threw for 273 yards with a TD but was sacked twice.

The Lions have won their last three games on Turkey Day, taking a 45-14 win over Philadelphia last year and overall, the Lions are 36-38-2. Minnesota on Turkey Day? 5-1, with their last win coming in 2000 when they beat Dallas 27-15 in Irving. The Vikings have played Detroit three times on Thanksgiving Day, all in the Motor City and they come away winners in two of those contests (Minnesota’s last meeting with Detroit came in 1995 and the Lions were 44-38 winners, while the Vikings’ last win came in 1998, when they shut out the Lions 23-0).

In the week nine contest in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Vikings were favored by 5 and the over/under was 42 1/2. Detroit covered the spread, winning by 6 but both clubs combined for 38 points, missing the over/under. In the Thanksgiving Day rematch in the Motor City, the oddsmakers like the Lions (wonder if they like dark meat?) as 2 1/2 point favorites with a 43 over/under. First place on the line… a pair of NFC North rivals going at it… Detroit may not cover the 2 1/2 at home but they win in the Motor City.

Washington (6-3-1) at Dallas (9-1), 4:30 p.m. on FOX. Capulets vs. Montagues. Dogs vs. Cats. Hatfields vs. McCoys. The NFC East feud travels to the Lone Star State and the first-place Cowboys play host to the defending NFC East champs in Arlington in a week two rematch.

Both teams took wins at home last Sunday afternoon as they enter the late Thanksgiving afternoon contest at JerryWorld (aka AT&T Stadium). Washington took apart a struggling Green Bay team last Sunday night in Landover 42-24. Washington led the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers 13-10 and outscored the Packers 29-14 the rest of the contest. Redskins RB Robert Kelly ran for 137 yards and three TDs in the Sunday night affair at FedEx Field, while Washington held Green Bay to 84 rushing yards. Kirk Cousins threw for 375 yards, while Rodgers had 351 for Green Bay (both men threw three TDs and both were sacked twice).

Dallas manhandled Baltimore 27-17 in Arlington Sunday afternoon. The Cowboys erased a 7-0 lead after the first quarter and broke a 10-10 tie at the intermission to take the win in the Lone Star State. Dak Prescott and all-Pro WR Dez Bryant connected on a pair of TD passes in the second half to help them take their ninth win in a row. Dallas outrushed Baltimore 118-101, with rookie RB Ezekiel running for 97 of those yards, while Prescott threw for 301 yards with three TDs (two of them to Bryant, the other to WR Cole Beasley).

They met in week two in Landover and the Cowboys held off Washington 27-23 at FedEx Field. Dallas led 13-10 at the intermission, then trailed Washington 23-20 with 4 seconds left in the third quarter before Alfred Morris gave them the lead back for keeps with a 4-yard TD run with 4:45 left to play in regulation. Dallas outrushed Washington in the first meeting 102-82 and Prescott threw for 292 yards but was sacked four times, while Cousins threw for 364 yards with a TD, sack and interception (Each club turned the pigskin over once).

Despite losing Romo and being blown out of the gravy by Cam Newton and the Panthers last year (they have lost their last two contests), the Cowboys are 29-18-1 in games played in Dallas, Irving and Arlington on Thanksgiving Day. Dallas’ last win on Thanksgiving Day came in 2013, when they beat Oakland 31-24. Dallas and Washington have met on Thanksgiving Day seven times and the Cowboys have won five of those meetings (the Cowboys were 27-20 winners in 2002, while Washington’s last victory over their NFC East foes came in 2012 by a final of 30-27. Washington on Thanksgiving Day? 2-6)

In their first meeting at Landover, Washington was favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under was 45. Dallas covered the spread with their 27-23 win, winning by four and both clubs covered the over/under, combining for 50 points. Dallas is favored this time by 7 and the over/under’s 51. Hail to the Redskins? Not this week. Dallas’ been on a hot streak and it’ll stay that way. Washington’ll make this one close but Dallas comes away with the win in Arlington.

Pittsburgh (5-5) at Indianapolis (5-5), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. A pair of 5-5 teams close out the Thanksgiving footballfest in the Hoosier State as Pittsburgh travels to Lucas Oil Stadium for a Thursday night contest with the Colts, who will more than likely be without Andrew Luck.

Pittsburgh manhandled Cleveland 24-9 along the shores of Lake Erie. The Steelers led 14-0 at the break and after struggling on two-point tries against Dallas at home, connected on a try when Ben Roethlisberger and TE David Johnson connected on a two-point try after LeVeon Bell (146 yards rushing) gave them a 12-0 lead as time expired in the first half. Chris Boswell connected on three field goals in the contest, that was lopsided from the start. Pittsburgh held Cleveland to a somewhat dismal 33 yards on the ground and sacked Browns QB Josh McCown and Cody Kesler four times each.

The Colts evened their record with a 24-17 win over Tennessee last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indy led 21-7 at the half before the Titans outscored the Colts 10-3 at the intermission. The AFC South rematch was not much of a rushing affair and neither club breached the 100-yard mark and that was the bad news (Tennessee outrushed the Colts 97-76). The Colts got more bad news when Luck (262 yards, two TDs, while Marucs Mariota threw for 290 yards with a pair TDs and five sacks) was knocked out of the contest with a concussion and will in all likelihood miss the Thursday night contest with the Steelers.

The Steelers lead the series 16-6 (which includes games played in Baltimore), have outscored the Colts 556-386 and won the last three meetings in the series, including a 45-10 win in the Steel City last year at Heinz Field (Indy’s last win in the series came in 2008 in the Steel City by a final of 24-20.

Leading 21-10 at the break, Pittsburgh shut out Indianapolis and the Luckless Colts 24-0 in the final 30 minutes of action, while Roethlisberger (364 yards) threw four TDs without an interception in the lopsided win in the Steel City. Pittsburgh outrushed the Colts 158-54 (De Angelo Williams led all rushers with 134 yards) and forced three turnovers at Heinz Field.

Pittsburgh has never played at home on Thanksgiving and has not done well on Turkey Day, going 1-6, with their last win coming in 1950, when they beat the Chicago Cardinals 28-17 in Chicago. Their last contest was in Baltimore in 2013 and the Ravens were 22-20 winners. Indy’s last Turkey Day win came in 2007 (their overall record on Thanksgiving Day is 2-0-1), when a young man named Peyton Manning, went into Atlanta with his team and took the Falcons to task 31-13 in the Georgia Dome.

While the Steelers may the road team, the boys and girls in Vegas have them as 3 points favorites with a 53 1/2 over/under. Even without Luck in the lineup, Indy makes this one interesting but Pittsburgh comes away with the win.

Broadcast Information

Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. on CBS: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter). Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Ross Tucker, Hub Arkush (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 83 (Minnesota), 82 (Detroit). XM: 83 (Minnesota), 82 (Detroit).

Washington at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter). Westwood One: John Sadak, James Lofton, Scott Kaplan (Field reporter). SIRIUS:83 (Washington), 82 (Dallas). XM: 83 (Washington), 82 (Dallas).

Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 8:30 p.m. on NBC: Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Tony Boselli. SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Pittsburgh), 82 (Indianapolis). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Pittsburgh), 82 (Indianapolis).

Officials
Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. – Carl Cheffers
Washington at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. – Craig Wrolstad
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 8:30 p.m. – Walt Coleman

Injury Report

Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 p.m.

Minnesota
OUT: DT Sharrif Floyd (Knee), CB Marcus Sherels (Rib)
DOUBTFUL: CB Terence Newman (Neck)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Stefon Diggs (Knee), S Harrison Smith (Ankle), LB Eric-Nathan Kendricks (Hip), CB Captain Munnerlyn (Ankle)

Detroit – Detroit reported no injuries

Washington at Dallas, 4:30 p.m.

Washington
OUT: LS Nicholas Sundberg (Back)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Christopher Baker (Hamstring), WR DeSean Jackson (Shoulder), T Attauyo Nsekhe (Ankle)

Dallas
OUT: S Barry Church (Forearm), CB Morris Claiborne (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Dez Bryant (Back), T Charles Green (Foot), DE Demarcus Lawrence (Back), DT Terrell McClain (Thigh), T Tyron Smith (Back)

Pittsburgh at Indianapolis

Pittsburgh
OUT: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Foot), S Shamarko Thomas (Groin), RB DeAngelo Williams (Knee), TE Xavier Grimble (Quadricep)
QUESTIONABLE: S Jordan Dangerfield (Groin)

Indianapolis – Indianapolis reported no injuries

Weather Forecast
Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. (Game indoors)
Washington at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. (Game indoors; if roof is open, mostly sunny and 68 degrees)
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 8:30 p.m. (Game indoors; if roof is open, mostly cloudy and 41 degrees)

Broadcast information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football Leauge, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel.

Parades, Black Friday Sales, inlaws grousing about the food and picky eaters.

There’s always football on Thanksgiving. This year, NFL fans will get a chance to shove food in their faces and watch football. The schedule makers have once again given football fans a pigskin buffet with not one, not two but three games on the tube.

How did all of this get started, you ask?

Glad you asked.

We’re about to explain it to you.

In 1920, there were a total of six games that were played on Turkey Day. While we will never know who liked dark meat or light, we can tell you that the home teams that day did quite well, going four for six.

The idea of professonal football on Thanksgiving Day? It came as a way to make money and for the new league we know now as the National Football League a chance to get some recognition. The NFL Historians and the good folks at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio tell us that the Chicago Bears introduced their newest star, Illinois RB Red Grange – “the Galloping Ghost” to a standing room-only crowd at Wrigley Field of 36,000 fans in a contest against their cross-town rivals the Chicago Cardinals. Even though the two teams fought to a 0-0 tie, they had their star, the league got its much-needed recogniition and the rest, they say is history. Even though he got a black eye for his effort (probably from either being tackled or reaching for the mashed potatoes before the prayer was said), Grange tallied 92 yards rushing, 56 yards on punt returns, throwing six passes and had an interception to stop a Cardinals drive. Newspapers reported that he took home a whopping $12,000 for his day of work, most of which went to his manager C.C. “Cash and Carry” Pyle.

Grange would travel the nation over the next several months on a barnstorming tour. More than 400,000 spectators – from coast to coast – saw the fabled All-America from the University of Illinois display his athletic talents on the football field.

With Grange as his star attraction, Pyle organized a rival league called the American Football League in 1926. Grange starred for the New York Yankees. While the Yankees had moderate success, the league failed. Grange rejoined the Bears in 1927 but suffered a serious knee injury that sidelined him through the entire 1928 season. He came back in 1929 and played with Chicago through 1934. While known as a runner, Grange was better as a defensive back. More importantly for the NFL, the name recognition of Red Grange was instrumental in attracting large crowds for the professional game. His signing with the Bears helped the league succeed and grow to a new level in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

As for the two major teams that play at home on Thanksgiving Day… Detroit and Dallas?

The Lions began playing on Turkey Day in 1934 when they played the Chicago Bears and lost to Da Bears by a final of 19-16. We’re still not sure who got the drumstick or if the Lions liked dark or white meat and we’re not even sure if the Bears liked gravy on their dressing. Detroit did find the win column the next year, as they would beat Chicago and gain some revenge, taking a 14-2 win.

The Lions and Bears (sorry, no tigers… oh my!) would play Chicago three more times from 1936 to 1938, when that Hitler guy ruined the party and would eventually force America and the rest of the world into the Second World War. While America was out saving the world from a madman that was bent on killing 6 million people because of their religion, Thanksgiving Day football went into hibernation, plus it was kind of hard to throw a football when you’re trying to throw a grenade.

The war ended, Hilter’s dead (probably from overeating, if the Russians didn’t get him first) and things did get back to normal in 1945 when the Lions once again took the stage, losing to the Cleveland Rams (yes, the Rams were in Cleveland before they loaded up the truck and moved to Los Angeles and then to St. Louis before coming back to Tinseltown) by a 28-21 final. Things didn’t go well for Detroit for four more seasons (probably due to over-eating before, during and after the game) before beating up on the New York Yanks 49-14 in 1950.

Detroit with their game against Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day will have played a grand total of 75 games on Thanksgiving Day and even when the team was bad, fans still come to the game. Why? Probably because their fathers brought their kids to the games and they in turn brought their kids. A whopping total of 4,233,461 have seen the Lions at home in the 75 games played, either at Tiger Stadium, the Pontiac SilverDome or Ford Field, averaging a little over 56 thousand a contest. Even when the team was bad, fans still came out and to watch their team. Some came before they sat down to eat and some leaving early to get home to eat.

While the Lions have been the home team on Thanksgiving, their opponents have changed from year to year. 27 teams have played the Lions and the most common opponent is Green Bay. The second most common opponent? Da Bears.

There have been blowouts and there have been some really good games in the series. Have there been shutouts, you ask? Yes, just as sure as your aunt Grace is going to serve that orange and rum cheesecake for dessert. (Pack the Pepto, it’s gonna be a long day). Seven contests have been shutouts but the Lions only have won one contest where they did the deed, a 24-0 win over Chicago in 1979 and three games have gone into overtime (think of it as going for seconds of your sister’s mashed potatoes). The first overtime contest took place in 1980, when Chicago beat Detroit 23-17 on a 95-yard kickoff return by David Williams. The last overtime game in the series was last year against Houston, as the Texans would win it on a 32-yard field goal by kicker Shanyne Graham.

As for the Cowboys… America’s Team didn’t make it onto the Thanksgiving Day Stage until 1966, when their first contest took place in the Cotton Bowl against the St. Louis Cardinals. They won that contest 46-21 in the Lone Star STate that day. The Cowboys have always played their games later in the afternoon. Think of it as dessert after you’ve cleaned your plate while being forced to sit at the kids’ table with your ugly cousin Terri (although she’s gotten a lot better looking lately). They started out winning their first six contests before finally losing to San Francisco in 1972. The only year America’s Team did not grace the nation’s TV screens was in 1975 but they came back the following year before skipping the 1977 season but returned the following year and they’ve been with us ever since… think of that really bad gravy your cousin Marge made three years ago. It’s that bad (we’re speaking of the gravy, not the football). The Cowboys have played 45 games on Thanksgiving, winning 30 of them with 15 losses.

Is this the end of football on Turkey Day? Far from it. In 2006, the NFL decided that if two games on Thanksgiving Day were good, then three must be great and that was the case when they when prime time for football fans. It’s like going back and making a turkey and ham sandwich with cranberry sauce as a snack.

2016 will give football fans three chances to watch as much football and shove as much food in their faces as they can do so (use your common sense when eating, no elbows on the table and watch out for your cousin Connie. She’s the one that turned 57, dates a 42-year old football coach and once wiped out your Super Bowl party last year by eating an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?” The girl’s a bottomless pit!).

Minnesota and Detroit get things underway on the Turkey Day gridiron at 12:30 p.m. on CBS. After you’ve had the first plate, Washington and Dallas square off at AT&T Stadium (aka JerryWorld) at 4:30 p.m. on FOX and be sure to make room on the football plate, because at 8:30, Pittsburgh travels to the Hoosier State for a meeting with Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts on NBC.

Minnesota at Detroit: The Lions have won their last three games on Turkey Day, taking a 45-14 win over Philadelphia last year and overall, the Lions are 36-38-2. Minnesota on Turkey Day? 5-2, with their last win coming in 2000 when they beat Dallas 27-15 in Irving. The Vikings have played Detroit three times on Thanksgiving Day, all in the Motor City and they come away winners in two of those contests (Minnesota’s last meeting with Detroit came in 1995 and the Lions were 44-38 winners, while the Vikings’ last win came in 1998, when they shut out the Lions 23-0).

Washington at Dallas: Dallas and Washington have met on Thanksgiving Day seven times and the Cowboys have won five of those meetings (the Cowboys were 27-20 winners in 2002, while Washington’s last victory over their NFC East foes came in 2012 by a final of 30-27). Despite losing Romo and being blown out of the gravy by Cam Newton and the Panthers last year (they have lost their last two contests), the Cowboys are 29-18-1 in games played in Dallas, Irving and Arlington on Thanksgiving Day. Dallas’ last win on Thanksgiving Day came in 2013, when they beat Oakland 31-24. The Redskins’ record on Turkey Day? 2-6.

Pittsburgh at Indianapolis: Pittsburgh has never played at home on Thanksgiving and has not done well on Turkey Day, going 1-6, with their last win coming in 1950, when they beat the Chicago Cardinals 28-17 in Chicago. Their last contest was in Baltimore in 2013 and the Ravens were 22-20 winners. Indy’s last Turkey Day win came in 2007, when a young man named Peyton Manning, went into Atlanta with his team and took the Falcons to task 31-13 in the Georgia Dome. Indy’s record on Thanksgiving Day is 2-0-1.

In case you’re wondering how your team has done on games on Thanksgiving Day, here are the standings for the current NFL franchises. The records do include games that were played in the AFL (American Football League) but it doesn’t include games that were played in the All-America Football Conference, the precursor to the National Football League.

Team (Record, Last Game)
Baltimore (2-0, 2013)
Carolina (1-0, 2015)
Houston (1-0, 2012)
New Orleans (1-0, 2010)
Philadelphia (6-1, 2015)
Indianapolis (2-0-1, 2007)
Minnesota (5-1, 2000)
Los Angeles (3-1, 1975)
Miami (5-2, 2011)
Tennessee (5-2, 2008)(including games when the Titans were known as the Tennessee Oilers)
San Diego (2-1-1, 1969)
Dallas (29-18-1, 2015)
New York Giants (7-4-3, 2009)
New England (3-2, 2012)
Chicago (17-15-2, 2015)
Kansas City (5-5, 2006)
New York Jets (4-4, 2012)(which includes games that took place when the Jets were the Titans from 1960 to 1962)
San Francisco (2-2-1, 2014)
Seattle (2-2, 2014)
Atlanta (1-1, 2007)
Detroit (36-38-2, 2015)
Buffalo (3-4-1, 1994)
Oakland (3-4, 2013)
Green Bay (14-20-2, 2015)
Denver (4-7, 2009)
Arizona (6-15-2, 2008)
Washington (2-6, 2012)
Pittsburgh (1-6, 2013)
Cincinnati (0-1, 2010)
Tampa Bay (0-1, 2006)
Cleveland (0-3, 1989)

Who hasn’t played on Thanksgiving Day? Just two teams have yet to join the Turkey Pigskin Party. Jacksonville, who became a card-carrying member of the NFL in 1995 and the Cleveland Browns, who came back to the NFL in 1999, are the only two teams to NOT be on the field on Thanksgiving Day. The longest drought? San Diego. Their last appearance took place in 1969 and that is one year before the AFL and NFL merged.

Since 2010, the league has made efforts to end the longest droughts. New Orleans, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Houston, and Carolina all played their first Thanksgiving games during this time frame. San Francisco likewise played their first Thanksgiving game since 1972 in 2011.

Food and football. The NFL and Thanksgiving. The only other holiday that joins food and football? Super Bowl Sunday (which technically is not a holiday but some think it should be). It seems that the powers that run the National Football League knows what they’re doing. Mind your manners, no belching at the table and try not to cheer with your mouth full, k?

Here’s a history of football on Thanksgiving (source: the National Football League)

November 25, 1920
AKRON PROS 7, Canton Bulldogs 0
Decatur Staleys 6, CHICAGO TIGERS 0
ELYRIA (OH) ATHLETICS* 0, Columbus Panhandles 0
DAYTON TRIANGLES 28, Detroit Heralds 0
CHICAGO BOOSTERS* 27, Hammond Pros 0
All-Tonawanda (New York) 14, ROCHESTER JEFFERSONS 3

November 24, 1921
Canton Bulldogs 14, AKRON PROS 0
Buffalo All-Americans 7, CHICAGO STALEYS 6

November 30, 1922
Buffalo All-Americans 21, ROCHESTER JEFFERSONS 0
CHICAGO CARDINALS 6, Chicago Bears 0
RACINE LEGION 3, Milwaukee Badgers 0
Oorang Indians 18, COLUMBUS PANHANDLES 6
CANTON BULLDOGS 14, Akron Pros 0

November 29, 1923
CANTON BULLDOGS 28, Toledo Maroons 0
CHICAGO BEARS 3, Chicago Cardinals 0
GREEN BAY PACKERS 19, Hammond Pros 0
Milwaukee Badgers 16, RACINE LEGION 0
AKRON PROS 2, Buffalo All-Americans 0

November 27, 1924
AKRON PROS 22, Buffalo Bisons 0
Chicago Bears 21, CHICAGO CARDINALS 0
FRANKFORD YELLOWJACKETS 32, Dayton Triangles 7
CLEVELAND BULLDOGS 53, Milwaukee Badgers 10 at Canton, Ohio
Green Bay Packers 17, KANSAS CITY BLUES 6

November 26, 1925
CHICAGO BEARS 0, Chicago Cardinals 0
Kansas City Cowboys 17, CLEVELAND BULLDOGS 0 at Hartford, Connecticut
Rock Island Independents 6, DETROIT PANTHERS 3
POTTSVILLE MAROONS 31, Green Bay Packers 0

November 25, 1926
New York Giants 17, BROOKLYN LIONS 0
Los Angeles Buccaneers 9, DETROIT PANTHERS 6
CHICAGO BEARS 0, Chicago Cardinals 0
FRANKFORD YELLOWJACKETS 20, Green Bay Packers 14
POTTSVILLE MAROONS 8, Providence Steam Roller 0
CANTON BULLDOGS 0, Akron Pros 0

November 24, 1927
Chicago Cardinals 3, CHICAGO BEARS 0
POTTSVILLE MAROONS 6, Providence Steam Roller 0
Green Bay Packers 17, FRANKFORD YELLOWJACKETS 9
Cleveland Bulldogs 30, NEW YORK YANKEES 19

November 29, 1928
Providence Steam Roller 7, POTTSVILLE MAROONS 0
DETROIT WOLVERINES 33, Dayton Triangles 0
FRANKFORD YELLOWJACKETS 2, Green Bay Packers 0
CHICAGO BEARS 34, Chicago Cardinals 0

November 28, 1929
New York Giants 21, STATEN ISLAND STAPLETONS 7
FRANKFORD YELLOWJACKETS 0, Green Bay Packers 0
Chicago Cardinals 40, CHICAGO BEARS 6

November 27, 1930
STATEN ISLAND STAPLETONS 7, New York Giants 6
BROOKLYN DODGERS 33, Providence Steam Roller 12
Green Bay Packers 25, FRANKFORD YELLOWJACKETS 7
CHICAGO BEARS 6, Chicago Cardinals 0

November 26, 1931
Green Bay Packers 38, PROVIDENCE STEAM ROLLER 7
STATEN ISLAND STAPLETONS 9, New York Giants 6
CHICAGO BEARS 18, Chicago Cardinals 7

November 24, 1932
CHICAGO BEARS 34, Chicago Cardinals 0
Green Bay Packers 7, BROOKLYN DODGERS 0
STATEN ISLAND STAPLETONS 13, New York Giants 13

November 30, 1933
Chicago Bears 22, CHICAGO CARDINALS 6
New York Giants 10, BROOKLYN DODGERS 0

November 29, 1934
CHICAGO CARDINALS 6, Green Bay Packers 0
Chicago Bears 19, DETROIT LIONS 16
New York Giants 27, BROOKLYN DODGERS 0

November 28, 1935
New York Giants 21, BROOKLYN DODGERS 0
CHICAGO CARDINALS 9, Green Bay Packers 7
DETROIT LIONS 14, Chicago Bears 2

November 26, 1936
DETROIT LIONS 13, Chicago Bears 7
New York Giants 14, BROOKLYN DODGERS 0

November 25, 1937
Chicago Bears 13, DETROIT LIONS 0
BROOKLYN DODGERS 13, New York Giants 13

November 24, 1938
DETROIT LIONS 14, Chicago Bears 7
BROOKLYN DODGERS 7, New York Giants 7

November 23, 1939
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 17, Pittsburgh Steelers 14#

November 28, 1940
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 7, Pittsburgh Steelers 0#

November 22, 1945
Cleveland Rams 28, DETROIT LIONS 21

November 28, 1946
Boston Yanks 34, DETROIT LIONS 10

November 27, 1947
Chicago Bears 34, DETROIT LIONS 14

November 25, 1948
Chicago Cardinals 28, DETROIT LIONS 14

November 24, 1949
Chicago Bears 28, DETROIT LIONS 7

November 23, 1950
DETROIT LIONS 49, New York Yanks 14
Pittsburgh Steelers 28, CHICAGO CARDINALS 17

November 22, 1951
DETROIT LIONS 52, Green Bay Packers 35

November 27, 1952
DETROIT LIONS 48, Green Bay Packers 24
DALLAS TEXANS 27, Chicago Bears 23 at Akron, Ohio

November 26, 1953
DETROIT LIONS 34, Green Bay Packers 15

November 25, 1954
DETROIT LIONS 28, Green Bay Packers 24

November 24, 1955
DETROIT LIONS 24, Green Bay Packers 10

November 22, 1956
Green Bay Packers 24, DETROIT LIONS 20

November 28, 1957
DETROIT LIONS 18, Green Bay Packers 6

November 27, 1958
DETROIT LIONS 24, Green Bay Packers 14

November 26, 1959
Green Bay Packers 24, DETROIT LIONS 17

November 24, 1960
DETROIT LIONS 23, Green Bay Packers 10
(AFL) – NEW YORK TITANS 41, Dallas Texans 35

November 23, 1961
Green Bay Packers 17, DETROIT LIONS 9
(AFL) – NEW YORK TITANS 21, Buffalo Bills 14

November 22, 1962
DETROIT LIONS 26, Green Bay Packers 14
(AFL) – New York Titans 46, DENVER BRONCOS 45

November 28, 1963
DETROIT LIONS 13, Green Bay Packers 13
(AFL) – Oakland Raiders 26, DENVER BRONCOS 10

November 26, 1964
Chicago Bears 27, DETROIT LIONS 24
(AFL) – Buffalo Bills 27, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 24

November 25, 1965
DETROIT LIONS 24, Baltimore Colts 24
(AFL) – SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 20, Buffalo Bills 20

November 24, 1966
San Francisco 49ers 41, DETROIT LIONS 14
DALLAS COWBOYS 26, Cleveland Browns 14
(AFL) – Buffalo Bills 31, OAKLAND RAIDERS 10

November 23, 1967
Los Angeles Rams 31, DETROIT LIONS 7
DALLAS COWBOYS 46, St. Louis Cardinals 21
(AFL) – Oakland Raiders 44, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 22
(AFL) – SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 24, Denver Broncos 20

November 28, 1968
Philadelphia Eagles 12, DETROIT LIONS 0
DALLAS COWBOYS 29, Washington Redskins 20
(AFL) – OAKLAND RAIDERS 13, Buffalo Bills 10
(AFL) – KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 24, Houston Oilers 10

November 27, 1969
Minnesota Vikings 27, DETROIT LIONS 0
DALLAS COWBOYS 24, San Francisco 49ers 24
(AFL) – KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 31, Denver Broncos 17
(AFL) – San Diego Chargers 21, HOUSTON OILERS 17

November 26, 1970
DETROIT 28, Oakland 14
DALLAS 16, Green Bay 3

November 25, 1971
DETROIT 32, Kansas City 21
DALLAS 28, Los Angeles Rams 21

November 23, 1972
DETROIT 37, New York Jets 20
San Francisco 31, DALLAS 10

November 22, 1973
Washington 20, DETROIT 0
Miami 14, DALLAS 7

November 28, 1974
Denver 31, DETROIT 27
DALLAS 24, Washington 23

November 27, 1975
Los Angeles Rams 20, DETROIT 0
Buffalo 32, ST. LOUIS 14

November 25, 1976
DETROIT 27, Buffalo 14
DALLAS 19, St. Louis Cardinals 14

November 24, 1977
Chicago 31, DETROIT 14
Miami 55, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 14

November 23, 1978
DETROIT 17, Denver 14
DALLAS 37, Washington 10

November 22, 1979
DETROIT 20, Chicago 0
Houston 30, DALLAS 24

November 27, 1980
Chicago 23, DETROIT 17 (OT)
DALLAS 51, Seattle 7

November 26, 1981
DETROIT 27, Kansas City 10
DALLAS 10, Chicago Bears 9

November 25, 1982
New York Giants 13, DETROIT 6
DALLAS 31, Cleveland 14

November 24, 1983
DETROIT LIONS 45, Pittsburgh 3
DALLAS 35, St. Louis Cardinals 17

November 22, 1984
DETROIT 31, Green Bay 28
DALLAS 20, New England 17

November 28, 1985
DETROIT 31, New York Jets 20
DALLAS  35, St. Louis Cardinals 17

November 27, 1986
Green Bay 44, DETROIT 40
Seattle 31, DALLAS 14

November 26, 1987
Kansas City 27, DETROIT 20
Minnesota 44, DALLAS 38 (OT)

November 24, 1988
Minnesota 23, DETROIT 0
Houston Oilers 25, DALLAS 17

November 23, 1989
DETROIT 13, Cleveland 10
Philadelphia 27, DALLAS 0

November 22, 1990
DETROIT 40, Denver 27
DALLAS 27, Washington 17

November 28, 1991
DETROIT 16, Chicago 6
DALLAS 20, Pittsburgh  10

November 26, 1992
Houston 24, DETROIT 21
DALLAS 30, New York Giants 3

November 25, 1993
Chicago 10, 6
Miami 16, DALLAS 14

November 24, 1994
DETROIT 35, Buffalo 21
DALLAS 42, Green Bay 31

November 23, 1995
DETROIT 44, Minnesota 38
DALLAS 24, Kansas City 12

November 28, 1996
Kansas City 28, DETROIT 24
DALLAS 21, Washington 10

November 27, 1997
DETROIT 55, Chicago 20
Tennessee 27, DALLAS 14

November 26, 1998
DETROIT 19, Pittsburgh 16 (OT)
Minnesota Vikings 46, DALLAS 36

November 25, 1999
DETROIT 21, Chicago 17
DALLAS 20, Miami 0

November 23, 2000
DETROIT 34, New England 9
Minnesota 27, DALLAS 15

November 22, 2001
Green Bay 29, DETROIT 27
Denver Broncos 26, DALLAS 24

November 28, 2002
New England 20, DETROIT 12
DALLAS 27, Washington 20

November 27, 2003
DETROIT 22, Green Bay 14
Miami 40, DALLAS 21

November 25, 2004
Indianapolis 41, DETROIT 9
DALLAS 21, Chicago 7

November 24, 2005
Atlanta 27, DETROIT 7
Denver 24, DALLAS 21 (OT)

November 23, 2006
Miami 27, DETROIT LIONS 10
DALLAS 38, Tampa Bay 10
KANSAS CITY 19, Denver 10

November 22, 2007
Green Bay 37, DETROIT 26
DALLAS 34, New York Jets 3
Indianapolis 31, ATLANTA 13

November 27, 2008
Tennessee 47, DETROIT 10
DALLAS 34, Seattle 9
PHILADELPHIA 48, Arizona 20

November 26, 2009
Green Bay 34, DETROIT 12
DALLAS 24, Oakland 7
DENVER 26, New York Giants 6

November 25, 2010
New England 45, DETROIT 24
New Orleans 30, DALLAS 27
NEW YORK JETS 26, Cincinnati 10

November 24, 2011
Green Bay 27, DETROIT 15
DALLAS 20, Miami 19
BALTIMORE 16, San Francisco 6

November 22, 2012
Houston 34, DETROIT 31 (OT)
Washington 38, DALLAS 31
New England 49, NEW YORK JETS 19

November 28, 2013
DETROIT 40, Green Bay 10
DALLAS 31, Oakland 24
BALTIMORE 22, Pittsburgh 20

November 27, 2014
DETROIT 34, Chicago 17
Philadelphia 33, DALLAS 10
Seattle 19, SAN FRANCISCO 3

November 26, 2015
DETROIT 45, Philadelphia 14
Carolina 33, DALLAS 14
Chicago 17, GREEN BAY 13

November 24, 2016
Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 on CBS
Washington at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 8:30 on NBC

* Non league team. Games between league teams and non league teams counted in standings in 1920.

# In 1939 and 1940, President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving one week earlier. Various states celebrated on the date declared by the President, while other states recognized the traditional fourth Thursday of the month. In 1941, Thanksgiving was sanctioned by Congress to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, which it has been ever since.

There’s a change a-coming…

The NFL announced Monday scheduling changes for Week 12 on Sunday, November 27.

The New England Patriots at New York Jets game will be played at 4:25 p.m. on CBS and the Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos game moves to 8:30 p.m. on NBC.

Following is the final Week 12 NFL schedule (all times Eastern):

Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving Day)
Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. on CBS
Washington at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Sunday, November 27
Arizona at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Baltimore, 1 p.m on CBS
Jacksonville at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tennessee at Chicago, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on FOX
San Diego at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
San Francisco at Miami, 1 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at Tampa Bay, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
New England at New York Jets, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Carolina at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Kansas City at Denver, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Monday, November 28
Green Bay at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Philadelphia at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Mark Malone, Ross Tucker (field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Philadelphia), 82 (Detroit). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Philadelphia), 82 (Detroit).

Carolina at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. on CBS: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter). Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, James Lofton, Scott Kaplan (field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Carolina), 82 (Dallas). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Carolina), 82 (Dallas).

Chicago at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Tony Boselli, Laura Okmin (field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Chicago), 82 (Green Bay). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Chicago), 82 (Green Bay).

Injury Report

Philadelphia at Detroit

Philadelphia
OUT: TE Zach Ertz (Concussion), RB RYan Matthews (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: C Jason Kelce (Knee), T Jason Peters (Back), QB Sam Bradford (Concussion)
PROBABLE: LB Kristian Alonso (Ankle), LB Connor Barwin (Quad), LB DeMeco Ryans (Hamstring), DE Cedric Thronton (Ankle), S Walter Thurmond (Hamstring)

Detroit
QUESTIONABLE: WR Calvin Johnson (Ankle), DT Caraun Reid (Ankle), CB Darius Slay (Neck), DT Gabe Wright (Ankle)
PROBABLE: CB Crezdon Butler (Teeth), TE Eric Ebron (Quad), S Don Carey (Back)

Carolina at Dallas

Carolina
DOUBTFUL: CB Charles Tillman (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Corey Brown (Shoulder)
PROBABLE: DT Dwan Edwards (Ankle), WR Ted Ginn (Knee), G Andrew Norwell (Hamstring), LS Jeffery Jansen (Head)

Dallas
OUT: CB Morris Claiborne (Hamstring), DE Ryan Russell (Abdomen)
PROBABLE: WR Brice Butler (Hamstring), S Barry Church (Ankle), DT Nicholas Hayden (Ankle), LB Anthony Hitchens (Ankle), DE Demarcus Lawrence (Back), LB Rolando McClain (Foot), WR Dez Bryant (Foot), CB Brandon Carr (Shoulder), S Jeffery Heath (Shoulder), CB Byron Jones (Ankle), RB Darren McFadden (Groin), QB Tony Romo (Back), LB Kyle Wilder (Toe)

Chicago at Green Bay

Chicago
OUT: RE Ka’Deem Carey (Concussion), WR William Royal (Knee), TE Martellus Bennett (Ribs)
QUESTIONABLE: S Antrel Rolle (Knee), RB Matt Forte (Knee), WR Alshon Jeffery (Groin), S Jerald Martin (Neck), LB Pernell McPhee (Knee), LB LaRoy Reynolds (Knee)

Green Bay
OUT: WR Jared Abbrederis (Rib), WR Ty Montgomery (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: C Corey Linsley (Ankle), S Micah Hyde (Hip), DE Michael Pennel (Quad), CB Damarious Randall (Hamstring)
PROBABLE: S Morgan Burnett (Ankle), LB Jayrone Elliot (Ankle), RB Eddie Lacy (Ankle), RB Aaron Ripkowski (Ankle), WR Davante Adams (Ankle), T David Bakhtiari (Knee), T Bryan Bulaga (Knee), G Thomas Lang (Shoulder) LB Clay Matthews (Ankle), G Josh Sitton (Knee)

Weather Forecast
Philadelphia at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. (Game Indoors)
Carolina at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. (Game indoors; if roof is open, cloudy with a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms and 72 degrees)
Chicago at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m. (Cloudy with a 100 percent chance of rain and 37 degrees)

Broadcast information and injury report courtesy the National Football League, weather courtesy The Weather Channel.

It’s that time again.

Time to go to the in-laws and listen to Uncle Harry’s bad jokes for the 20th time.

Time to eat gravy so thick you could use it for motor oil and turkey so dry it could be used for paper. (That’s probably why your cousin Carlie is still single!)

Time for the screaming kids that don’t like green beans.

Time to sit next to your girl cousin that you can’t stand at the kids’ table.

And yes, it’s time for Thanksgiving Day football, courtesy of your friends at the National Football League.

The NFL is giving you and football fans a pigskin feast. No cooking or shopping involved. Three games, two of them featuring traditional Thanksgiving games in Detroit in the early afternoon and Dallas in the late afternoon. They’ve also thrown in an extra game for good measure in prime time as Green Bay hosts the Chicago Bears at Lambeau, where they will retire Brett Farve’s number 4.

The Detroit game? Think of it as the early part of the meal, the white meat on the turkey, if you will. As for the Dallas game? They host Carolina is like going back for seconds and the prime time game between Green Bay and Da Bears? A late night snack.

Three games. It’s an early Christmas present that doesn’t need to be wrapped, put in a box and you don’t even have to stand in line. No sizes or colors to worry about and it’s better than the ugly sweater your sister-in-law got for you last Christmas (and she wonders why she’s still single).

As far as the football menu goes, the NFL opens week 12 in the Motor City as the Lions host the Philadelphia Eagles in the early afternoon contest at Ford Field. Then, as most of America is either digesting their food from the early meal or going back for seconds, Dallas welcomes Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers at AT&T Stadium.

Is the feast over, you say? “Please, sir, I want more,” as Oliver Twist said. You get your wish as the Packers return home to the land of cheese, beer and bratwurst to face off against their NFC North foes, Da Bears.

The Lions will play their 76th Thanksgiving Day game dating back to 1934, while the Cowboys will play in their 48th since 1966. The Packers and Bears will play in their 36th and 34th games, respectively. The Eagles will play in their seventh and the Panthers will play in their first Thanksgiving game.

The Thanksgiving Day records of the teams playing this Thursday:

TEAM, W-L-T
Carolina, 0-0-0*
Chicago, 16-15-2
Dallas, 29-17-1
Detroit, 35-38-2
Green Bay, 14-19-2
Philadelphia, 6-0-0
*First game on Thanksgiving this week

The players with the most career touchdown catches on Thanksgiving:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES-TOUCHDOWN RECEPTIONS)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (8-8)
Cloyce Box, Detroit (5-7)
Michael Irvin, Dallas (10-6)*
Many tied with 5
*Pro Football Hall of Famer

The active franchises with the highest winning percentage on Thanksgiving Day (minimum five games):

TEAM (W-L-T, PCT.)
Philadelphia (6-0-0, 1.000)
Minnesota (5-1-0, .833)
Tennessee (5-2-0, .714)
Miami (5-2-0, .714)
New York Giants (7-4-3, .636)

Note: tie games prior to 1972 do not count in winning percentage

The most career passing yards and touchdown passes on Thanksgiving Day:

PASSING YARDS
PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES – PASSING YARDS)
Tony Romo, Dallas (9 – 2,232)
Troy Aikman, Dallas (10 – 2,174)*
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (5 – 1,650)
Danny White, Dallas (10 – 1,545)
Bart Starr, Green Bay (8 – 1,345)*
*Pro Football Hall of Famer

TOUCHDOWN PASSES
PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES – TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Tony Romo, Dallas (9 – 18)
Bobby Layne, Detroit (8 – 14)*
Danny White, Dallas (10 – 14)
Troy Aikman, Dallas (10 – 11)*
Brett Favre, Green Bay (4 – 11)

*Pro Football Hall of Famer

The most career receptions and receiving yards on Thanksgiving Day:

RECEPTIONS
PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES, RECEPTIONS)
Jason Witten, Dallas (12, 66)
Herman Moore, Detroit (10, 51)
Michael Irvin, Dallas (10, 49)*
Calvin Johnson, Detroit, (8, 47)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (13, 42)
*Pro Football Hall of Famer

RECIVING
PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES, RECEIVING YARDS)
Herman Moore, Detroit (10, 834)
Jason Witten, Dallas (12, 740)
Michael Irvin, Dallas (10, 722)*
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (8, 676)
Tony Hill, Dallas (9, 622)

*Pro Football Hall of Famer

Witten also ranks second all-time amongst tight ends with 994 receptions and needs six catches on Thursday to join Tony Gonzalez (1,325) as the only tight ends in league annals with 1,000 career receptions.

The Thursday passing leaders in the NFC since 2009 (minimum three games played and 50 attempts):

PLAYER – TEAM, COMPLETION PCT.
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay, 70.9
Matt Ryan – Atlanta, 69.4
Eli Manning – New York Giants, 67.4
Drew Brees – New Orleans, 66.8
Tony Romo – Dallas, 65.6

PLAYER, TEAM (PASSING YARDS)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2,236)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (1,650)
Tony Romo, Dallas (1,605)
Matt Ryan, Atlanta (1,578)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (1,531)

PLAYER, TEAM (TD PASSES)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (13)
Matt Ryan, Atlanta (12)
Tony Romo, Dallas (11)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (9)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (9)

PLAYER, TEAM (PASSER RATING)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (113.4)
Matt Ryan, Atlanta (108.9)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (96.6)
Eli Manning, New York Giants (94.0)
Tony Romo, Dallas (93.8)

The rookie running backs with the most touchdowns in 2015:

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING TD; RECEIVING TD; RETURN TD, TOTAL TD)

Karlos Williams, Buffalo (5; 2; 0, 7)
David Johnson, Arizona (3; 3; 1, 7)
Todd Gurley, St. Louis (6; 0; 0, 6)
Jeremy Langford, Chicago (5; 1; 0, 6)
Matt Jones, Washington (3; 1; 0, 4)

Here are Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day contests. Be sure you have plenty of food and watch out for your cousin Connie. She may have turned 56 and dates a 42-year old football coach at the local high school but the old girl’s been known to wipe out Super Bowl parties.

Philadelphia (4-6) at Detroit (3-7), 12:30 p.m. on FOX. Week 12 opens in the Motor City on Thanksgiving afternoon as the Detroit Lions host the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field.

Philadelphia was manhandled by Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday in Philly, dropping a 45-17 decision that left most of their fan base upset and crying in their cheesesteaks and beer. The Eagles trailed Tampa Bay 28-14 at the break and could never really recover in the contest and were outscored 17-3 in the final 30 minutes of play. RB Doug Martin accounted for 235 of Tampa Bay’s 283, while the Eagles ran for 136. Tampa Bay forced four Philadelphia turnovers, a fumble and three Mark Sanchez interceptions, while Winston threw five TDs with 246 yards and no interceptions. The Eagles went 7 of 15 on third down tries and kept the ball for 24:06, while Tampa Bay went 10 of 16 on third down and found success in their only fourth down try, keeping the ball for 35:54.

“I think everyone understands how bad that was,” says Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin. “It was disappointing. We’ll go watch the film and evaluate. We have to get it fixed and play better on Thursday against Detroit.”

Philadelphia running back Darren Sproles had a 35-yard touchdown reception in the game, his first touchdown reception as an Eagle and the 28th of his career. Sproles is the only player in NFL history with at least 25 touchdown receptions (28), 15 rushing touchdowns (18) and five punt-return touchdowns (six).

“You have to be a pro and move on,” says quarterback Mark Sanchez. “We are going to get another chance to play on Thanksgiving, which is going to be great. You get to have your family back at home watching and then get a mini-bye the week after that. This could be the start of something good. We’ll figure it out and try to get a win on Thursday.”

Sanchez completed 20 of 29 passes (69 percent) for 217 yards and scored two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) in his start on Thanksgiving last season. Eagles running back De Marco Murray, who has played in three career games on Thanksgiving, aims for his fourth in a row with at least 100 scrimmage yards.

Philadelphia, who is undefeated in Thanksgiving Day games, plays on the holiday for the second consecutive season. Last season, the Eagles defeated the Dallas Cowboys 33-10 at AT&T Stadium. Philadelphia has the highest winning percentage among active NFL franchises on Thanksgiving (minimum five games).

Detroit, coming off their huge win over the Packers two weeks ago in Green Bay, took a 16-13 win over Oakland last Sunday in the Motor City. The Lions led 9-0 at the half and held Oakland to 50 rushing yards at Ford Field last Sunday, while rushing for 109 of their own, with QB Matthew Stafford rushing for Detroit’s only TD, a 5-yard run with 11:04 left to play. Detroit got some more luck in the final period of play as they got a sack of Raiders QB David Carr for a safety after Oakland was called for holding in the end zone. Detroit on third down conversions went 6 of 14 and kept the ball for 36:02, while Oakland went 4 of 18 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 23:58.

Thursday’s matchup marks the second time that Philadelphia travels to Detroit on Thanksgiving Day. On November 28, 1968, the Eagles defeated the Lions 12-0 behind four Sam Baker field goals at Tiger Stadium.

“This was a tough, hard-fought game,” Lions head coach Jim Caldwell told the Detroit Free Press. “We knew it was going to take a great effort to win and we got that. This is positive to build upon. “It’s hard enough to win one game in this league, let alone two. Now we have to see if we can make it three against a really tough team with a short week on Thanksgiving Day.”

The Lions aim for their third consecutive victory this week when they face Philadelphia.

Stafford has passed for 1,650 yards in five career games on Thanksgiving Day, the third-most in NFL history. In his past three games on Thanksgiving, Stafford has seven touchdown passes and only two interceptions for a 98.4 passer rating. He aims for his fourth consecutive Thanksgiving game with at least 330 passing yards.

Johnson aims for his seventh Thanksgiving game in row with a touchdown catch. Johnson is the all-time leader with eight career touchdown receptions on Thanksgiving. Johnson also seeks his fourth in a row on Thanksgiving with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown, following last season’s 146-yard, two-touchdown performance against Chicago.

The Eagles lead the series 15-13-2, has outscored the Lions 617-577 (which includes games that were played when the Lions were in Portsmouth and known as the Spartans) and won the last meeting that they and Detroit had, with the Eagles taking a 34-20 win in Philly in 2013. Detroit’s last win over the Eagles came in 2012, also in the City of Brotherly Love, by final of 26-23 in overtime. Detroit is favored by 1 and the over/under comes in at 47. Both numbers make a lot of sense in the Thursday week 12 opener. Philly could make this one interesting but the Lions won on Turkey Day last year and they’ll do it again, covering the 1 in the Motor City.

Carolina (10-0) at Dallas (3-7), 4:30 p.m. on CBS. An unbeaten Carolina and Cam Newton travel to the Lone Star State for a contest with the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington.

Carolina won their 10th game in as many tries as they took Washington to the woodshed last Sunday in Charlotte, making short work of the Redskins in their 44-16 win at Bank of America Stadium. Leading 31-14 at the half, Carolina would go on to outscore Washington and Kirk Cousins 13-2 in the final 30 minutes of action, giving up a safety when P Brad Nortman was tackled in the end zone with 16 seconds left to play. Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart ran for 102 yards (the Panthers ran for 142, while Washington was held to 14) and Newton threw for 246 yards and five TDs without being picked off, while Cousins had 207 yards in the air with TD and five sacks. Carolina was 7 of 14 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth) and kept the ball for 38:07, while the Redskins stumbled on third down tries, going 2 of 9 (1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 21:53.

“10-0 feels great,” says Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. “Usually we have 24 hours to celebrate but the fact that we have a short week upcoming, we need to come back and be ready for Dallas on Thanksgiving.”

Newton tied the franchise single-game record with five touchdown passes (Steve Beurlein, January 2, 2000) in the victory. Newton, who now has 102 passing touchdowns and 39 rushing touchdowns, is the only player in NFL history with at least 100 passing touchdowns and 25 rushing touchdowns in his first five seasons.

“It’s exciting for our players to be able to compete on Thanksgiving Day,” says Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, who played on Thanksgiving Day in 1992 as a linebacker for the Chicago Bears. “Every season presents challenges, regardless of when the games are played. We have to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Carolina prepares to face Dallas with the third ranked defense (322.8 yards per game) in the NFC. Linebacker Thomas Davis is only player in NFL with at least three sacks and three interceptions this season. He also leads the team with 69 tackles. Safety Kurt Coleman and cornerback Josh Norman are tied for first in the NFC with four interceptions this season. Linebacker Luke Kuechly, who is second on the team with 68 tackles this season, had 15 tackles and a fumble recovery in his only career matchup against the Cowboys.

Dallas broke a 7-game losing streak and got QB Tony Romo back under center last Sunday in Miami, as the Cowboys completed their Sunshine State swing, taking Miami at Sun Life Stadium by a final of 24-14. After a scoreless first quarter, Dallas led 14-7 at the half and rallied in the final quarter of play, tied at 14 after 45 minutes of play. Dallas outrushed Miami 166-70 and Cowboys RB Darren McFadden accounted for the majority of his team’s offense with 129 yards. In his return, Romo threw for 227 yards with a pair of TDs (one to his favorite target, WR Dez Bryrant) and a pair of interceptions. Dallas went 7 of 14 on third down conversions, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 38:50, while Miami was 1 of 10 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 21:10. The touchdown marked the 50th between Romo and Bryant, the most by a quarterback-wide receiver tandem in franchise history, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin (49).

“Romo gives everybody some extra juice,” says Bryant about Romo, who returned to the starting lineup following an injury he sustained in Week 2. “His play just shows how much he really means to the team. We all know who our leader is. Tony is outstanding. He just makes good things happen.”

“We just have to get back to work,” says Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett about preparing for a quick turnaround. “We’ll go to work because that’s what we do. We love playing football, we love coaching football. These guys love playing with each other. We are excited about the opportunity we have. We have a game on Thursday. The Carolina Panthers are coming to town. They are a darn good football team.”

The Cowboys enter their matchup against the Panthers having won six of their past nine on Thanksgiving.

Romo has led the Cowboys to six wins in eight Thanksgiving starts. For his career, Romo has passed for 2,232 yards and 18 touchdowns on Thanksgiving, both the most all-time on the holiday.

Tight end Jason Witten, who will play in his 13th Thanksgiving Day game this week, is currently the all-time leader on Thanksgiving with 66 catches. His 740 receiving yards trail only Herman Moore (834) for the most all-time on Thanksgiving.

They’ve met 10 times and the Cowboys have taken the last nine meetings, including a 19-14 win in Charlotte in 2012, while the Panthers’ lone win came in 1997 in Irving, winning by a final of 23-13. Carolina’s a 1-point favorite and the over/under is 47. Carolina’s played some really good football so far, while the Cowboys are looking to be at the very least a Wild Card team and save Jason Garrett’s job in the process. The Panthers may be in the Lone Star State this week but Carolina’s finer and takes this one, covering the 1.

Chicago (4-6) at Green Bay (7-3), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the land of cheese, beer and bratwurst meet in a week one rematch as the Packers host Chicago and retires Brett Farve’s number 4 into the Packers ring of honor.

After taking two in a row, Da Bears fell to Denver 17-15 at Soldier Field and the Broncos did it without Peyton. As in Manning. His replacement? Brock Osweiler. Think of him as football’s answer to Wally Pipp. Chicago trailed 10-6 at Soldier Field last Sunday before rallying to make it a closer contest when rookie RB Jeremy Langford scored on a 2-yard run but they missed the two-point try that would have tied things up. Chicago found themselves outrushed by Denver 170-86 (Denver’s Ronnie Hillman led all rushers with 102) and Osweiler threw a pair of TD passes in the game, including one to WR Demaryius Thomas, which went for 48 yards to open the scoring in the game. Denver on third down conversions went 6 of 14 and on fourth down was 0-1, keeping the ball for 33:13, while Da Bears on third down were not that much better, going 4 of 12 (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the pigskin for 26:47.

“We can’t afford to hang our heads,” Chicago guard Matt Slauson told the Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV. “We aren’t out of this by any stretch. We just need to keep on fighting and keep working.”

The Bears will play on Thanksgiving in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1980-81 after losing to Detroit on Thanksgiving last season. The Bears played on Thanksgiving during the franchise’s first 19 years of existence (1920-38) and are 16-15-2 all-time on the holiday.

“We have to come in and flip the switch pretty quickly,” says Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. “We have to move on. It is part of the game. We have a Thursday night game against Green Bay and hopefully we’ll be energized for it this week on Thanksgiving.”

Cutler aims for his fourth straight game on Thursday with at least two touchdown passes. Wide receiver Alson Jeffery, who has 15 catches for 166 yards and three touchdowns in his past two games on Thursday, seeks his third consecutive Thursday game with a touchdown catch.

Bears rookie running back Jeremy Lanford has five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving) in his past five games. His five rushing touchdowns are tied for the second-most among NFL rookies this season.

“I think it’s great, and it will be great for our fans,” says Packers head coach Mike McCarthy about hosting a Thanksgiving Day game at home. “The first time we’ve had a Thanksgiving night game here at Lambeau Field. I think it will definitely be a special night.”

Adding to the excitement, the Packers will honor former quarterback Brett Farve during a halftime ceremony. Favre’s name and retired No. 4 jersey will be unveiled on Lambeau Field’s north facade during halftime of Thursday’s game. Favre, who played in four Thanksgiving Day games in his career, is one of six Packers legends to have their number retired, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Don Hutson (No. 14), Tony Canadeo (No. 3), Bart Starr (No. 15), Ray Nitschke (66) and Reggie White (92).

Heading into this week’s matchup, Rodgers has led the Packers to a 5-1 record when he starts on Thursdays, including a 4-0 record against NFC North opponents. Since 2009, Rodgers is among the leaders in many passing categories on Thursdays, ranking first in the NFC in completion percentage (70.9), touchdown passes (13) and passer rating (113.4). He is also fifth in the NFC with 1,531 passing yards on Thursdays during that span.

Green Bay returns to Lambeau, breaking a three-game losing streak and taking Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings 30-13 at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. The Packers broke a 6-6 tie after the first 15 minutes of play and took a 16-6 lead with them to the intermission, holding Minnesota off in the second half for the win. Packers RB Eddie Lacy ran for 100 yards on 27 carries and Aaron Rodgers threw for 212 yards and a pair of TDs, while Bridgewater was sacked six times (the Vikings ran for 94, with RB Adrian Peterson accounting for 45 and a TD but had a key fumble late in the contest). Green Bay was 6 of 16 on third down conversions, holding the ball for 30:22, while the Vikings kept the ball for 29:38 and went 5 of 13 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

They meet in week one in the Windy City and the Packers took Chicago to the woodshed at Soldier Field, coming away 31-23 winners.  Green Bay trailed the Monsters of the Midway 13-10 at the half before rallying to take the lead for keeps. Although they were out-rushed by Chicago 189-133, Rodgers lit up the Bears with three TD passes in the first meeting. Green Bay and Chicago did quite well on third down tries in the season opener, with the Packers going 6 of 10 and kept the ball for 28:08, while Da Bears were 11 of 17, keeping the ball for 31:52 (Green Bay on fourth down found success in their only fourth down try, while Chicago was 2 of 3).

 

The oddsmakers must really like cheese, beer and bratwurst because they’ve made the Packers a 9-point favorite at home with a 48 over/under. Sorry, Bears fans. It’s going to be like an ugly sweater your sister got you (that’s why’s she’s still not married!). Packers may not covered the 9 but they win at home at Lambeau.