Before the release of the 2013 NFL schedule, Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys fans always anticipate the Thanksgiving Day games. For the Lions, there were a few teams that were candidates to face them in this game. Since the Lions will be on FOX in the regular rotation, they will have to face an NFC team after they faced the Houston Texans on CBS in the 2012 season.
This season, the Cowboys, New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings are the NFC teams set to play in Detroit. The NFL decided to schedule the Packers over the other eligible NFC teams to play the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. The Packers are a good team and are Super Bowl contenders led by QB Aaron Rodgers, but we’ve seen the Packers face the Lions too many times on Thanksgiving Day in the past 15 years.
The Cowboys were not eligible since they host a Thanksgiving Day game of their own. Out of all the teams besides the Packers, the Giants are the best team the Lions will face. The Giants are coming off of a recent championship and still have a dynamic and explosive offense led by QB Eli Manning. Combine that with going up against the Lions QB Matthew Stafford, it definitely makes for an entertaining matchup.
The Vikings and Bears wouldn’t have been a bad choice either since both teams finished the 2012 season at 10-6. However, there isn’t anything to suggest a matchup with either the Bears or Vikings would have much national appeal. The ones responsible for scheduling on Thanksgiving Day were most likely not in their right mind, as they scheduled the Cowboys to play the Oakland Raiders instead of the Denver Broncos.