NFL Thanksgiving Games: 10 Storylines To Follow
10 NFL Storylines to Follow on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is almost here. That of course means that we're just days away from stuffing out faces with delicious food, but it also means that NFL week 13 will get underway with three games instead of the usual one on Thursday.
Football on Thanksgiving is almost as big of a tradition as turkey these days. I know that's not the case for all families and those who celebrate the holiday, but to me, Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without the NFL.
There's just something about football on Thanksgiving. It just has a different feel to it. We used to get two games (Lions and Cowboys), but now it's thankfully been expanded to include a night cap game as well. There's enough football to carry each and every fan all the way into a food coma once the final whistle blows.
As for the matchups this year, we'll be treated to: Packers vs. Lions, Raiders vs. Cowboys and Steelers vs. Ravens. The Lions aren't the most popular team, but at least for one for day each year, most people across America root for them. However, the Cowboys are still no doubt 'America's Team'. You may not like it, but they statistically have the most fans.
The night cap game is one that people have split feelings on. If you're a huge fan offensive football with little defense, Steelers vs. Ravens is not for you. When the two AFC North rivals throw down, it's as old school as it gets these days.
So with all of that in mind, here are 10 storylines to follow on this NFL Thanksgiving Thursday. Enjoy the action on the gridiron while you enjoy your turkey:
Can the Packers Finally Win a Game Without Aaron Rodgers?
It's been ugly in Green Bay since Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone. The Packers haven't won a game (0-3-1) and it's been down right hard to watch. No. 12 is likely to be on the sidelines once again this Thursday as the Packers' season hangs in the balance. Can they finally get it done without their leader?
Will the Lions Take Control of the NFC North?
Will some team please step up and take control of the NFC North? For crying out, the once-solid division is now a complete mess. The Lions are still in position to rise up and stake their claim, but a win at home on Thanksgiving is an absolute must.
Who Can Be a Difference-Maker for the Packers?
It's been a game of musical QB chairs for the Packers since Rodgers went down. It looks like Matt Flynn will get the nod on Thanksgiving against the Lions. Can he break through with another huge game for the Pack and keep their playoff hopes alive?
Will Matt McGloin Earn Another Start for the Raiders?
Matt McGloin is set to start his third straight game for the Raiders on Thursday. It once seemed like Terrelle Pryor was going to be the man in Oakland, but McGloin is making things interesting. Are they competing for the starting gig in 2014? Or will the Raiders look back to the draft for a franchise QB in May? We'll know a lot more after McGloin's performance on Thanksgiving.
Can the Cowboys Take Care of Business?
If we're going to take the Cowboys seriously this season, they have to take care of business at home on Thanksgiving against the Raiders. If Dallas can get to 7-5 while tightening some things up on defense, they'll be in good shape for the stretch playoff run.
Steelers vs. Ravens: Who Will Get Back To .500?
It's going to be a battle of 5-6 teams from Baltimore on Thursday night. Sure, they're not the most appealing of records, but the winner will still be in business to make a run at the playoffs this season. Therefore, this game means as much as ever.
Old School Football
If you like low-scoring, defensive-minded football, Steelers vs. Ravens may not be for you. The Thanksgiving night cap will no doubt be an old school battle where late field goals could make the difference.
Can Ben Roethlisberger Stay Hot?
Big Ben has been on fire over his last four games. The veteran QB has tossed 11 touchdowns to only three interceptions and he has the Steelers right back in the thick of things in the AFC. Can he keep it going against the NFL's 11th ranked pass defense?
Will Ray Rice Continue To Struggle?
Ray Rice has fallen off a cliff in 2013. To date, he's averaging a by far career-low number of 2.9 yards per carry. Will he finally break through with a big game against his arch rivals?
Can the Lions Win on Thanksgiving For the First Time in 10 Years?
It's been since 2003 - can the Lions break their decade-long losing streak on Thanksgiving?
The Top Five Winningest Teams on Thanksgiving:
Dallas Cowboys: 28-15-1 (.636)
Chicago Bears: 16-13-2 (.548)
Detroit Lions: 33-37-2 (.472)
Green Bay Packers: 14-18-2 (.441)
Arizona Cardinals: 6-15-2 (.304)
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