Because the NFL’s annual Thanksgiving Day tripleheader sets its route, rivalries, subplots and playoff berths are mad about the taking.
The day will launch up with an NFC North tilt with the Chicago Bears (5-6) against the host Detroit Lions (3-7-1) on FOX at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then turkey day motion takes us to an annual Dallas shuttle space as the Cowboys (6-5) host the Buffalo Bills (8-3) on CBS at 4:30 p.m. ET sooner than the final route offers up the Atlanta Falcons (3-8) welcoming the archrival New Orleans Saints (9-2) at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.
Injuries and anxiousness procure derailed Detroit’s hopes for postseason endeavors, nonetheless some salvation is at risk of be display in a take against the Bears, who’re greedy to fleeting hope for the playoffs a season after worthwhile the division. Chicago’s defense remains to be better than formidable, nonetheless its ineffective offense continues to construct up look for the total execrable causes. Nonetheless, the Bears procure obtained three straight within the contention and a fourth in a row is a need to to retain these postseason hopes, no longer seemingly as they is at risk of be, quiet going.
The Cowboys lead the NFC East, nonetheless they’ve yet to beat a team with a worthwhile teach, which the Bills possess. Buffalo brings a staunch defense and burgeoning offense led by 2nd-year signal-caller Josh Allen to Big D, as Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper need to rebound from an abysmal exhibiting against the Patriots in a 13-9 defeat. One in all these teams is walking far flung from Thursday with its ultimate take of the season up to now.
No subject four weeks final within the season, the Saints would possibly moreover be the first team within the NFL to clinch a playoff berth and their division just along with it. A New Orleans take (or a tie coupled with a Panthers loss or tie) will wrap up the NFC South for the Saints and create this a Thanksgiving to celebrate. Added intrigue is the revenge sing, as the Falcons, with exiguous left to play for as antagonistic to reputedly saving coach Dan Quinn’s job, pulled off a extraordinary 26-9 Week 10 upset when the teams first collided.
Receive ready for firsts, seconds and thirds as the NFL offers three helpings.
Here are six issues to glance for on Thursday.
Chicago Bears (5-6) at Detroit Lions (3-7-1)
1. A season within the past at the present, the Bears defeated the Lions, 23-16, on Thanksgiving. Matthew Stafford used to be quarterbacking Detroit and Scramble Daniel used to be quarterbacking Chicago. It be the opposite this time around as the Lions procure backup Jeff Driskel taking the reins as Stafford’s season would possibly perchance effectively be performed. Daniel remains to be the backup and Mitchell Trubisky remains to be the starter, even though it is contain an big helping of scrutiny as the Bears’ offense is Twenty ninth within the the total NFL land. Trubisky has been woeful along with his 80.5 ranking (30th), 5.8 yards per strive (thirty 2nd) and 185.8 yards a recreation (thirty 2nd) offering gargantuan proof of his struggles. Coping with a Lions defense that’s 30th against the pass (Twenty ninth overall), that is a recreation through which Trubisky has to illustrate signs of existence. Aloof, one would be hard-pressed to mediate the Khalil Mack-led defense would possibly perchance no longer lead the come if a take is obtainable. Having allowed just 17.1 points per recreation (fourth within the NFL), the Chicago defense would possibly perchance no longer be as dominant as a season within the past, on the opposite hand it is quiet peaceable. Mack’s 6.5 sacks are getting some look in a negative gentle as extra are anticipated, nonetheless he remains to be impacting the recreation on as regards to every play and tied for the league lead with 5 forced fumbles.
2. Kenny Golladay has been putting forth the breakout season many predicted and/or hoped for with 43 grabs for 792 yards and eight touchdowns. These eight touchdowns are matched by teammate Marvin Jones and tied for 2nd within the NFL. Nonetheless, it needs to be of exiguous surprise that the sidelining of Stafford has moreover stunted. In Driskel’s three begins, Golladay hasn’t caught better than four balls in a recreation and has fully one landing over these three games. Jones has performed reasonably higher, nonetheless hasn’t had better than 5 catches in any of these games, hasn’t had better than 46 yards receiving in every of the final two contests and has two touchdowns – even though scoring in bunches is no longer any longer new to him. Presumably doubtlessly the most definite surprise sooner or later of the Lions’ most most recent travails has been working support Bo Scarbrough. Signed to the sharp roster just the day sooner than making his NFL debut in Week 11, he had a landing and 55 yards in 14 carries against the Cowboys. Final week, he had 98 yards in 18 carries against Washington. Kerryon Johnson has a incandescent future in Motown, nonetheless he is rupture-inclined and Scarbrough has at the least proven he belongs within the NFL along with his performances sooner or later of these murky days in Detroit.
Buffalo Bills (8-3) at Dallas Cowboys (6-5)
1. Chasing the Patriots within the AFC East and following their lead after New England confounded Dallas per week within the past, the Bills defense will design to shut down the Cowboys offense per week after it used to be held to 9 points. Ranked third in total defense, Buffalo’s energy is on that side of the ball, nonetheless its offense continues to enhance. 2nd-season quarterback Josh Allen’s betterment continues to be stress-free to glance and he is produced 22 total touchdowns up to now (team-excessive seven speeding rankings). But it is in fact the working recreation, which Allen’s an big fragment of, that’s settling in and complimenting the defense so effectively. With 1,531 yards speeding, the Bills procure the fifth-ranked speeding ****** and boast three avid gamers – Frank Gore (541 yards), Devin Singletary (490) and Allen (387) with better than 300 yards speeding. Singletary put of residing career-highs with 21 carries and 106 speeding yards in his team’s take over Denver final. And, indubitably, as the Bills stir back and forth to face the Cowboys, one other wrinkle is Buffalo receiver Cole Beasley, who will seemingly be having fun with his used team after seven seasons in Dallas. It be no longer just defense that’s resulting in wins in Buffalo.
2. Though they accumulate a one-recreation lead within the awful NFC East, the Cowboys are no longer discovering this time of the season to be elated. With Dallas’ failure to defeat a worthwhile team having change into a calling card, its most recent failure used to be a 13-6 loss to the Patriots. The offense used to be held in examine with receiver Amari Cooper going with out a lift and Dak Prescott going with out a landing throw for the third time this season (all losses). Aloof, the Cowboys’ offense is No. 1 within the NFL and it is faced with a worthwhile team that boasts the No. 3 defense. Nothing will seemingly be clinched with a Cowboys take and questions will quiet exist. But a take against a worthwhile team with the offense defying a excessive-ranked defense is exclusively what Dallas wants just now. That lies largely on the shoulders of Prescott, who is 5-2 against prime-5 defenses, nonetheless has misplaced the final two such matchups. Though he did no longer accumulate any final week, Prescott has 21 scoring throws this season (tied for fourth) and the Bills procure given up just seven (2nd-fewest). In opposition to formidable competition this season, Dallas has backed down. Now’s the time through which the Cowboys procure to support up their space as being higher than just the frontrunners within the NFL’s weakest division.
New Orleans Saints (9-2) at Atlanta Falcons (3-8)
1. By all accounts, the Saints are a balanced team and a bona fide Wide Bowl contender – therefore why they are going to moreover be the first to cinch up a playoff space. But as quarterback Drew Brees faces off with a Falcons team that he is passed for 8,511 yards against (doubtlessly the most of any QB against Atlanta), it is wide receiver Michael Thomas who’s the MVP candidate on this New Orleans team. Exact the 2nd player in NFL yarn to haul in 100 catches in his team’s first 11 games, Thomas’ 104 receptions lead the NFL and procure him on tempo to put of residing a brand new single-season league teach. He’s moreover main the league in targets (124), receiving yards (1,242) and first-down catches (63). Though-provoking the chains and making some noise, Thomas has stood out whether or no longer it is Brees or Teddy Bridgewater throwing to him. Though the Saints misplaced to the Falcons in honest sort earlier this season, Thomas quiet had 13 catches for 152 yards. Translation, nothing’s slowing down the NFL’s simplest wide receiver this season.
2. Exact as Drew Brees has thrown for added yards against the Falcons, Matt Ryan has performed the equal against the Saints. Ryan’s 6,536 yards sit as the long-established against the Saints, as possess his 41 touchdowns. No subject a seeming abundance of skills on paper, the Falcons procure struggled this season, nonetheless Ryan has largely remained his impressive, overpassed self. Ryan’s averaging 293.4 yards per contest with 18 touchdowns in 10 games. Nonetheless, he is coming off an awful exhibiting in a loss to Tampa Bay through which he accomplished just 50 p.c of his throws, had no touchdowns and an interception. Ryan has had loads of success against the Saints and no subject the Falcons’ struggles, he retains on producing.