Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday. It has all my favorites: gluttony, drinking, football, DFS, gambling, and basic sloth-like behavior for an entire socially acceptable day. What more could you ask for? While I haven’t the time to dive into all of these exclusively, here we will explore the football aspect of this festival of days.
GAME 1: Houston Texans vs. Detroit Lions
As always, the early game features the Lions as they take on the Houston Texans. What better way to ease into the Thanksgiving festivities than watching an inept Detroit team fumble their way through another meaningless matchup. Both teams enter with losing records and no real hope of succeeding in any meaningful way this season. My kind of game!
Texans Keys To Victory: Pressure The Quarterback
The only way I see the Lions coming out of this one with a victory is Matthew Stafford going off. Their defense scares no one. Their head coach scares no one and their most exciting position player, rookie running back D’Andre Swift, is currently in concussion protocol making his status murky at best. If J.J. Watt and the rest of a mediocre Texans defense can dial up the pressure and hit Stafford early and often, they should have no issue putting up plenty of points to get the job done.
Lions Keys To Victory: Stop Cooks And Fuller
If the Lions want to leave turkey day with a W they need to contain the Texans’ downfield passing attack. Houston is without RB David Johnson and if you have to choose between dealing with the pass or the run, you take your chances with Duke Johnson beating you every day of the week. Obviously easier said than done with Deshaun at quarterback but not getting beat deep is going to be the Lions’ only hope here.
If it wasn’t obvious before, I’m leaning Texans hard in this one. I have no quarrel for the Lions, much like that asteroid had no quarrel with the dinosaurs. Deshaun keeps doing Deshaun things and they go on to win big. I’m taking Houston to easily cover the 2.5 they are giving and I don’t hate that over of 51.5 either. Always cheer for points, always.
GAME 2: Washington Football Team vs. Dallas Cowboys
Okay, where to begin. The NFC East is a mockery of professional football. Having two teams from said division playing on a national stage is really just offensive. BUT. This is Thanksgiving, and much like arguing with “that conspiracy theory subscribing, Facebook posting, definitely from a state you never visit unless someone gets married or dies” relative of yours, it is a holiday tradition. The Cowboys must play.
Football Team Keys To Victory: Feed Terry
Terry McLaurin is an absolute beast. It’s really a shame he has to play for this putrid franchise. Regardless, the quickest way to victory is getting this man over 10 targets. The Football Team should be scheming ways to get this man the ball each and every week. If he has anything less than a dime’s worth of touches this will be an unmitigated disaster. He is the most talented player on either side of this matchup and it’s not really that close. Also, side note, I absolutely love that Washington is just the Football Team. I hope this never changes. Long live the Football Team.
Cowboys’ Keys To Victory: Feed Zeke
Coming off a win over the pitiful Vikings, the Cowboys are the toast of this garbage pail of a division. The Red Rifle, Andy Dalton, has this team running on all cylinders and ready for that playoff push! It’s really unbelievable that this late in the season that that last sentence isn’t completely a joke. Every team in this division has only 3 wins. After 10 games. It’s baffling. Whatever. Zeke, right? That’s the Cowboys’ best shot at this one. He may not be worth the Brinks truck Jerry unloaded in his front yard but he is still the guy this team needs to ride in order to take the lead (!) in this division. Feed him early and often.
I like the Football Team in this one. Am I picking against the Cowboys because they just embarrassed my favorite team on Sunday in the Fox NFL Game of The Week? Who’s to say. All I know is I will take Alex Smith with one robotic leg over Andy Dalton with both of his god given legs every single time. That and Terry – I love me some Terry. Take the Football Team getting 3 and, it pains me to say, but this one is staying far under 46.5. I cannot in good conscience advise to ever not go with the over but I feel I’ve made myself pretty clear. This is a great game for an after dinner nap.
GAME 3: Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
To the nightcap! Long gone are the days where we were only given two Thanksgiving games. We have cemented the random night triple feature as part of this holiday tradition and the nation is better off for it. This particular game is no exception. The somehow unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers host the I don’t know if they are good or frauds Baltimore Ravens and serve as our visual dessert for the evening. Go back for seconds and plant yourself back in front of the TV because this is easily our main event.
Ravens’ Keys To Victory: Send Ben Home In His Walking Boot
This current iteration of Steeler football has evolved. They are no longer the run first team that will pound you into submission. The Ravens will need to hit Big Ben early and often. If Roethlisberger is not seen in his faithful walking boot in the next 3 days they have done something wrong. Make them beat you on the ground. Take that big dumb neanderthal out of the equation. Pittsburgh is never short of receiving talent and this year is no different. James Conner is no slouch, but make him beat you. A much more accomplishable task.
Steelers’ Keys To Victory: Contain Lamar
While this is a fairly ‘no shit’ answer, it doesn’t make it wrong. We all know the Ravens love to run the ball down your throat. Anyone who has ever drafted a Ravens RB in fantasy knows they have a stable of them and you never know which will be the bell cow that day. Well, Thursday might be that day. Both rookie J.K. Dobbins and veteran Mark Ingram have tested positive for COVID. If I am the Steelers the only thing that now worries me is Lamar’s incredible ability to not only extend broken plays but straight up gash you with his speed. He is far from incompetent throwing the ball but if I am picking my poison, the choice has been made all the more easy with this recent news.
It’s the Steelers for me. They just have more weapons. The two RBs going down to COVID certainly help but even before that, I was leaning Pittsburgh. They just keep finding ways to win this year and until they don’t I’m riding them. I like them to cover the 4.5 too but in reality, that’s a “stay away”. Hit the over of 45.5 as your get right chaser for the night. Points are fun, always points.
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