NFL Thanksgiving Needs A Shakeup


Nov 24, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Thanksgiving is here once again, that means lots of food and of course three NFL Thanksgiving games. Once again though you will be forced to watch the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys play their respective opponents. Isn’t it about time the NFL starts scheduling meaningful games on Thanksgiving? Something for everyone to be excited about on a day the ratings are sky high?

Every year the Lions are awful, yet every year Fox pumps up the game like it has any sort of relevance. This season the Lions are playing the 5-5-1 Green Bay Packers, a struggling Packers team after the loss of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. These two teams have met twice on thanksgiving the last 5 years, both times thePackers winning convincingly. Detroit has won one thanksgiving game in the last ten seasons.

Now don’t get me wrong Detroit needs all the help they can get, its a wonderful city that has potential but has absolutely nothing going for it at the moment. A Thanksgiving game is great for them, national attention, a place to showcase their city. Unfortunately their team is just not competitive. Today’s game has little importance, Green Bay is still in the hunt but Detroit while still mathematically in the race does not have a lot of hope.

While Detroit has played in 70 Thanksgiving day games, the Dallas Cowboys are second with 43 games on Thanksgiving. Dallas has been known as “Americas Team” for the last 20 years or so, obviously they need to play on Thanksgiving. Do they though? Does America really want to watch two mediocre teams play generally more competitive opponents? I don’t think so.

For decades there were only two games on Thanksgiving, starting in 2006 the NFL added a third game. It appeared first on the NFL Network changing more recently to NBC. The third game takes non-traditional teams but even that game has not been all that competitive.

What the NFL should do is get away from the Lions and Cowboys every season, both teams have great histories but both teams have not done anything relevant in terms of winning in decades. Get away from those two teams, schedule good divisional games for the CBS and FOX match ups. The NBC game being in primetime should be a flex game, after week six the NFL flexes in a game from this week that could potentially be a good matchup.

Thanksgiving is about family and football, while your family may annoy you, your football games should not. Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone and enjoy watching the Lions and Cowboys kick the ball around the field.