Archives for posts with tag: Thanksgiving Day Football

The NFL announced Thursday the following schedule change for Week 12 on Sunday, November 25:

The Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts game originally scheduled for 1 p.m. on CBS will move to 4:25 p.m. on CBS.

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

Thursday, November 22
ATLANTA at New Orleans, 8:20 p.m. on NBC
Chicago at Detroit, 12:30 p.m on CBS
Washington at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. on FOX

Sunday, November 25
Oakland at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on CBS
Jacksonville at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
New England at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Arizona at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Miami at Indianapolis, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Minnesota, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, November 26
Tennessee at Houston, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

The inlaws and other relatives have taken over the house and your Aunt Roxanne has made her green been and bacon casserole (it’s so bad even the dog won’t touch it!). It’s Thanksgiving, the leaves are changing and falling, temperatures are getting cooler and Friday sales are going on.

It’s also a football feast, as week 12 gets underway in the National Football League. There are three games on the docket for the Thursday where we overdo on the food and listen to Uncle Harry’s bad jokes again. It’s two of the teams that have tradionally played on Turkey Day taking the stage first, as Detroit and Minnesota meet in the Motor City at 12:30 on FOx to start things off (think of it as the grazing food, the snacks, the nuts and cheese, cookies if you will). Then in the middle of the afternoon, Dallas hosts the Los Angeles Chargers at 4:30 p.m. on CBS (it’s the main course) and things conclude on Thursday night as the New York Giants and Washington meet in Landover at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.

Some Turkey Day numbers submitted for your approval (it’s a lot better than your cousin Cathy’s Egg Nog Cookies! Those things are so bad even the squirrels won’t touch them!)

The Thanksgiving Day records of the teams playing this Thursday:

TEAM (W-L-T)
Dallas (30-18-1)
Detroit (37-38-2)
Los Angeles Chargers (2-1-1)
Minnesota )5-2)
New York Giants (7-4-3)
Washington (2-7)

The most consecutive wins on Thanksgiving:

TEAM (SEASONS; CONSECUTIVE WINS)
Philadelphia (1939-2014; 6)
Dallas (1980-85; 6)
Detroit (1950-55; 6)
Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans (1979-present; 5)*
Chicago Bears (1930-34; 5)
Detroit (2013-present; 4)*
*Active streak

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)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (7 – 2,219)*
Troy Aikman, Dallas (10 – 2,174)^
Danny White, Dallas (10 – 1,545)
Bart Starr, Green Bay (6 – 1,345)^
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

TOUCHDOWN PASSES

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES – TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Tony Romo, Dallas (10 – 18)
Matthew Stafford, Dallas (7 – 15)*
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

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

TEAM (W-L-T, WINNING PCT.)
Philadelphia (6-1, .857)
Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans (5-2, .714)
Miami (5-2, .714)
Minnesota (5-2, .714)
New York Giants (7-4-3, .636)

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

TEAM (SEASONS; YEARS BETWEEN THANKSGIVING DAY APPEARANCES)
San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (1969-2017; 48)
New York Giants (1938-1982; 44)
San Francisco (1972-2011; 39)
Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders (1970-2009; 39)
Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts (1965-2004; 39)

The most career receptions and receiving yards on Thanksgiving:

RECEPTIONS

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES, RECEPTIONS)
Jason Witten, Dalals (14, 73)*
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 (14, 809)*
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (9, 769)
Michael Irvin, Dallas (10, 722)^
Tony Hill, Dallas (9, 622)
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PLAYER, TEAM (DATE – PASSING YARDS)
Troy Aikman, Dallas (November 26, 1998 – 455)^
Kirk Cousins, Washington (November 24, 2016 – 449)
Tony Romo, Dallas (November 22, 2012 – 441)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (November 22, 2012 – 441)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

If you can somehow get yourself away from having to deal with the inlaws and make sure that the bird is fully cooked and that Uncle Chuck doesn’t tell any dirty jokes in front of the kids, there’s football to be watched. Make sure there’s plenty of food and watch 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?”

For generations of Americans, the tradition of Thanksgiving Day and NFL football are historically intertwined. Turkey and the NFL. They’re BFFs.

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 (they probably ate durning halftime and got full). 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 and the rest, they say was history (we’re still not sure if the Lions or Bears liked dark meat or white or if they went back for seconds). This year, the three holiday games will be played inside stadiums with a combined capacity of over 230,000 and will be aired to millions across the country and around the world.

The 2017 installment of Thanksgiving Day football will feature a tripleheader for the 12th consecutive season. The Lions will play their 78th Thanksgiving Day game dating back to 1934, while the Cowboys will play in their 50th since 1966. The Giants and Redskins will play in their 15th and 10th games, respectively, on the holiday. The Vikings will play in their eighth and the Chargers will play in their fifth Thanksgiving game.

As for last week’s picks,

Two of the three contests for Thursday are divisional matchups, which could have a bearing in the post-season. There will be a lot of eating, a lot of bad jokes and someone getting stuck at the kid’s table with their ugly cousins. That’s life. It’s also the start of week 12 in the National Football League. Here’s hoping the food is good, the family is healthy and the football is to your liking (just watch out for Connie… she’s been known to wipe out a buffet!). Here are the Thursday picks for week 12.

Minnesota (8-2) at Detroit (6-4), 12:30 p.m. on FOX. Thursday’s matchup marks the second consecutive Thanksgiving meeting between the Vikings and Lions, and the fifth overall meeting on the holiday. Last season, Detroit cornerback DARIUS SLAY intercepted a pass with 30 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and kicker Matt Prater converted the game-winning 40-yard field goal as time expired in the Lions’ 16-13 win.

The Vikings lead the NFC North with an 8-2 record and have won six consecutive games. Detroit, who has won three in a row and is 6-4 on the season, trails Minnesota by two games in the division.

Detroit enters Week 12 following a 27-24 win at Chicago last week. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 299 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions and Matt Prater converted the game-winning 52-yard field goal with 1:35 remaining in the fourth quarter in the team’s win. Detroit trailed 21-17 at the intermission at Soldier Field before they rallied to take the win on the road in the Windy City. Chicago rushed for 222 yards, outrushing Detroit, who tallied 65 (Chicago’s Jordan Howard led all rushers with 125 yards and a TD) in the NFC North matchup. The Lions were 3 of 10 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 30:36, while Da Bears held on to the pigskin for 29:24, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down. In seven career games on Thanksgiving Day, Stafford has passed for 2,219 yards (317 per game) and 15 touchdowns, both the second-most in NFL history.

Minnesota also picked up a win last Sunday, taking the Los Angeles Rams 24-7 at US Bank Stadium. Minnesota broke a 7-7 tie at the half as the Vikings scored their final 17 points in the fourth quarter and did it unchallenged. Minnesota outrushed the Rams 171-45, while Case Keenum threw for 280 yards with a TD and no interceptions. For Los Angeles, Jared Goff threw for 225 yards but was sacked twice in the road loss. The Vikings on third down in the Land of 10,000 Lakes went 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 37:22, while the Rams were 3 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:38.

The Lions have won their past four Thanksgiving Day games by a combined score of 135-54. With a win on Thursday, Detroit will tie the Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers (five consecutive wins, 1979-present) and Chicago Bears (five, 1930-34) for the fourth-longest winning streak on Thanksgiving Day. Minnesota has won five of its seven games on Thanksgiving Day and ties for the second-highest winning percentage (.714) on the holiday (minimum five games).

The Thanksgiving Day contest in the Motor City is a rematch from week three when they met in the Twin Cities and Detroit left US Bank Stadium with a 14-7 win. Minnesota led 7-3 at the break before the Lions would go on to score their final 11 points of the contest in the third quarter unchallenged. Detroit’s Ameer Abdullah gave the Lions the lead for good when he would score from 3 yards out with eight minutes left in the third. Then Stafford and WR T.J. Jones connected on the two-point conversion for the 7-point lead. Abdullah rushed for 94 of his team’s 97 yards, while Minnesota ran for 87 in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Stafford, inspite of being sacked six times, threw for 209 yards, while Minnesota’s Case Keenum, who took over for Sam Bradford (knee) threw for 219 yards. In the first meeting, Detroit went 3 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 36:27, while the Vikings held the ball for 23:33, while going 3 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week three contest in the Twin Cities, Minnesota was favored by 2 1/2 and Detroit covered, winning by 7. As for the 43 over/under? It stayed safe, as both clubs combined for only 21 points. The Vikings are favored by 2 on the road and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams are fighting for a playoff spot and possibly win the NFC North. Lions pull off the upset in the Motor City and feast on the Vikings, covering the 2.

Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) at Dallas (5-5), 4:30 p.m. on CBS. The Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys meet for the 11th time in series history and the Thursday contest in the late afternoon in the Lone Star State marks the first Thanksgiving Day meeting between the two teams. It’s a contest between two teams trying to hang on in the playoffs in their respective divisions.

Los Angeles had five interceptions – all in the first half – in the team’s 54-24 win over Buffalo last week. The Chargers are the first team with five interceptions in the first half of a game since the 1973 Miami Dolphins (December 3 vs. Pittsburgh).
The Bolts led 37-7 at the break at Stub Hub Center and never let the foot off the gas, even though they were outrushed by the Bills 173-146 (Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD) in a contest that saw the Bills turn the ball over six time (five Nate Peterman interceptions) and Chargers QB Philip Rivers throwing for 251 yards and a pair of TDs. The Chargers on third down were 7 of 14 and held on to the ball for 36:05, while the Bills were 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 23:55.

The Chargers are making their fifth appearance on Thanksgiving Day and the first since defeating the Houston Oilers 21-17 at the Astrodome on November 27, 1969. In that contest, the Chargers overcame a 10-point second-half deficit, punctuated by a fourth-quarter interception-return touchdown by defensive back Kenny Graham. The Chargers’ 48-year gap between Thanksgiving Day appearances is the longest in NFL history.

The Cowboys began their home life without RB Ezekiel Elliott (suspenson) and look to rebound in Week 12 following a 37-9 loss to Philadelphia last week at AT&T Stadium. Dallas let a 9-7 halftime lead get away from them in the Lone Star State as the Eagles, leading the NFC East, scored 30 second half points unchallenged. The Eagles rushed for 215 yards in the Sunday night affair, while Dallas tallied 112. Dak Prescott threw for 145 yards in the contest but was sacked four times and picked off three times, while Carson Wentz threw for 168 yards and a pair of TDs with no interceptions or sacks. Philadelphia, who played turnover-free football against their NFC East foes, went 5 of 14 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:29, while the Cowboys ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:31, going 3 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Dallas leads the series 6-4 (including games that took place in San Diego and at Texas Stadium) and the Cowboys have outscored the Bolts 250-233. However… luck has been on the side of the Chargers, as they have come away winners in their last two meetings, including a 30-21 win in San Diego in 2013. Dallas’ last win in the series also came on the West Coast, as they were 28-24 winners in 2005. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Cowboys as a 1-point favorite in the Lone Star State and the over/under comes in at 48. Right now, both teams are playing with house money and need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Dallas covers the 1 and takes the win at home.

New York Giants (2-8) at Washington (4-6), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. A pair of NFC East rivals close out the all-day football feast as the Redskins host the New York Giants in Landover in prime time on Thursday night. Washington and New York face off for the 171st time in series history (including the postseason). Both teams are coming into the contest with overtime contests under their belts from action last week.

Giants WR Roger Lewis, Jr. made an acrobatic 34-yard reception in overtime and kicker Aldrick Rosas converted the game-winning 23-yard field goal two plays later in the Giants’ 12-9 victory over Kansas City in Week 11. New York led 6-3 at the half, with WR Orleans Darkwa scoring the game’s only TD in the first quarter. Kansas City’s Hal Butker would eventually tie contest into overtime before Aldrick would send the Giants to their second win of the season, booting a 29-yard field with 1:59 left in overtime. Kansas City outrushed the Giants 134-112, with Eli Manning throwing for 205 yards, while the Chiefs’ Alex Smtih threw for 230 yards. The Chiefs on third down went 3 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:16, while the Giants kept the ball for 30:50, going 3 of 13, 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

The Giants will play on Thanksgiving for the first time since 2009 and the 15th time overall. The Giants made their first appearance on Thanksgiving Day in 1926, when they defeated the Brooklyn Lions 17-0 at Ebbets Field and were one of the earliest teams featured on Thanksgiving, playing 11 games on the holiday prior to 1939.

Last week, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins passed for 322 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions but it wasn’t enough as the Rediskns fell to New Orleans 34-31 in overtime at the Superdome. Cousins has nine career games with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen and Joe Theismann for the most such games in franchise history. The Redskins let a 15-point lead in the contest in the Big Easy get away from them as Drew Brees (385 yards) connected on a pair of TD passes late in the fourth quarter (one to TE Josh Hill, the other to rookie RB Alvin Kamara) to send the game into overtime, where K Will Lutz sent Saints fans home happy campers with the 3-point win. New Orleans outrushed Washington 160-156 and it was a battle of running backs, as Washington’s Samajie Perine (117 yards) and New Orleans’ Mark Ingram (134 yards) each led their teams with 100-yard days (each had a rushing TD in the overtime contest). Both clubs were 4 of 12 on third down tries (on fourth down, the Redskins were 2 of 2, while the Saints were 1 of 1) and the Redskins ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:11 to New Orleans’ 30:24.

Washington plays on Thanksgiving for the second consecutive season and will host a game on the holiday for the first time in franchise history. Last season, Cousins completed a franchise-record 41 passes for 449 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 120.7 passer rating in Washington’s loss to Dallas. Cousins’ 449 passing yards are the second-most in a single game on Thanksgiving, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, who passed for 455 yards on November 26, 1998.

Including games that were played in Boston, when the Redskins were known as the Braves, games played at Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, the Yale Bowl, Giants Stadium and RFK Stadium, the Giants lead the series 98-66-4 and the Giants have outscored Washington 3,406-3,015. The two NFC East rivals split their two meetings last year, each winning in the other team’s building.

They met in the Meadowlands in week three and Washington erased a 21-16 deficit at the half to take a 29-27 win on the road. Washington would outscore the Giants 13-6 in the final 30 minutes of action and took the win with 1:51 left to play in regulation when K Dustin Hopkins connected on a 37-yard field goal. New York then got as far as their 39-yard line after the Redskins kicked off but Manning was picked off by Su’a Cravens. That turned the ball over to Washington, who ran out the clock and left New Jersey with the win. The Giants outrushed Washington 120-90 and Manning threw for 350 yards and a TD strike to WR Sterling Shepherd, while Cousins threw for 296 yards and a pair of TDs. Washington was 7 of 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Redskins ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:26, while the Giants were 4 of 9 on third down, holding the ball for 26:34.

The Giants would get their revenge in week 17 in Landover, taking a 19-10 win at FedEx Field. The Giants led 10-0 at the half, then held off a late Washington rally in the second half, as the Redskins responded to tie the game 10-10 on a one-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Jordan Reed in the fourth quarter. After a 40-yard go-ahead field goal by Robbie Gould, the Redskins’ potential game-tying or go-ahead drive ended with an interception by Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and New York pulled out the victory as the clock struck :00 when Tevin Wade picked up a fumble and ran it back 11 yards for the game-winning score. In the win that sealed a playoff spot for the Giants, New York outrushed Washington 161-38 and the Giants’ Paul Perkins led all rushers with 102 yards on the ground, while Manning threw for 180 yards and Cousins threw for 287 yards, with a TD, four sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Giants were 6 of 17 on third down in the revenge matchup (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and Big Blue held the ball for 35:52, while Washington went 4 of 12 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 24:08.

In the week three contest, New York was favored by 4 1/2 and the Redskins came away with a 2-point win. As for the 46 1/2 over/under? Both clubs took care of that, tallying 56 points in the Jersey Meadowlands. Washington was favored by 8 in the week 17 contest in Landover and the Giants covered, winning by 9. The 44 over/under? It was untouched, as both clubs combined for 29 points. Washington’s favored by 7 and the over/under’s 44. The Redskins are somewhat in the playoff hunt in the NFC East, while the Giants are looking to somehow stay alive if not relevant in the race. Will Washington fans sing “Hail to the Redskins” this week or will they sing “Hell, it’s the Redskins” this week? Hail yes. Washington wins in Landover but expect the Giants to make things closer than the 7.

Broadcast Information (All times listed are Eastern)

Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: WestWood1: Kevin Kugler, Ross Tucker, Hub Arkush (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 82 (Minnesota), 83 (Detroit) | XM: 88 (WW1), 82 (Minnesota), 83 (Detroit)

Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: WW1: John Sadak, Tony Boselli, Ed Werder (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 82 (Los Angeles Chargers), 83 (Dallas); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 82 (Los Angeles Chargers), 83 (Dallas)

New York Giants at Washington, 8:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: WW1: Ian Eagle, Mike Mayock, Laura Okmin (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 82 (New York Giants), 83  (Washington); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 82 (New York Giants), 83 (Washington)

Thursday Referees
Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 p.m.: Tony Corrente
Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas, 4:30 p.m.: Jerome Boger
New York Giants at Washington, 8:30 p.m.: Terry McAulay

Injury Report

Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 p.m.

Minnesota
QUESTIONABLE: T Mike Remmers (Concussion), DE Brian Robison (Back), S Andrew Sendejo (Groin)

Detroit
OUT: CB Jamal Agnew (Knee), RB Dwayne Washington (Hip)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Ezekiel Ansah (Back), LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (Ankle)

Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas, 4:30 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers
QUESTIONABLE: LB Hayes Pullard (Neck), T Joseph Barksdale (Foot), WR Travis Benjamin (Abdomen), DT Corey Liuget (Toe), T Russell Okung (Knee), LB James Onwualu (Quadricep), WR Michael Williams (Knee)

Dallas
OUT: LB Sean Lee (Back/Groin)
QUESTIONABLE: K Dan Bailey (Groin), T La’el Collins (Back), DT Maliek Collins (Foot), LB Anthony Hitchens (Groin), T Tyron Smith (Back/Groin)

New York Giants at Washington, 8:30 p.m.

New York Giants
OUT: G Justin Pugh (Back)
DOUBTFUL: LB Calvin Munson (Quad)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Jonathan Casillas (Neck), LS Zak DeOssie (Trapizoid), DT Damon Harrison (Ankle/Elbow), WR Sterling Shepherd (Illness), LB Kelvin Sheppard (Groin), DE Vernon Oliver (Shoulder)

Washington
OUT: DL Terrel McClain (Toe), S Montae Nicholson (Concussion), TE Jordan Reed (Hamstring), C Chase Roullier (Hand)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Ryan Anderson (Knee), LB Zach Brown (Achilles), WR Ryan Grant (Calf), DL Matt Ioannidis (Hand/Thigh), DL Anthony Lanier II (Knee), T Ty Nsekhe (Core Muscle), RB Samjae Perine (Finger), G Brandon Scherff (Knee), LB Martell Spaight (Ankle), T Trent Williams (Knee)

Weather Forecast
Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 p.m.: Game indoors
Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas, 4:30 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, sunny and 66 degrees
New York Giants at Washington, 8:30 p.m.: Clear and 35 degrees

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

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.