All six teams that will play on Thanksgiving are heading into the holiday on winning streaks. So it’s time to fire up the oven to roast the turkey, break out the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green bean casserole, and prepare for a wonderful dining experience to go alongside some competitive football.
The Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers—or the six teams scheduled to play this coming Thursday—all scored wins on Sunday, adding intrigue to three games that figure to be hugely important for the playoff chase in both conferences.
According to NFL Research Media, the Thanksgiving games haven’t featured six teams coming off wins since 2011, when the Lions, Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers all won the week before the holiday games.
Get ready for an important trio of Thanksgiving games.
The early game in Detroit will determine the leader in the NFC North. The Lions and Vikings both enter Week 12 with identical 6-4 records, although Detroit currently holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Minnesota.
The afternoon contest features the Cowboys, who are 9-1 and leading the NFC, and the 6-3-1 Redskins. Dallas needs a win to hold its lead over the Seattle Seahawks for the conference’s top seed, while Washington must keep winning to hold off the various challengers for the wild card spots in the NFC.
The Colts and Steelers cap off the holiday games with a night game in Indianapolis. Both the Colts and Steelers are 5-5 and in second place in their respective divisions, and neither can afford a loss as they chase their current division leader.
The three Thanksgiving games will all have an impact on the NFL’s playoff race. The fact that all six teams are coming off wins in Week 10 only adds to the intrigue of the important holiday games.