One of America's most beloved sports traditions is here!
It's Turkey Day in the NFL and, as there have been all season long, there are plenty of compelling story lines that will accompany many family get-togethers and potential food comas throughout the day and into the evening.
It will be hard to separate the game action from all of the drama that has plagued the league off the field this year. Donald Trump, who has made pro football a target of several Twitter rants in the wake of many players kneeling during the National Anthem in protest, criticized the league's attempt to change its policy. This switch would have all players, coaches and other personnel stay in the locker rooms during the singing of the anthem to avoid any other public embarrassments, in the eyes of the owners anyways.
Nevertheless, there are games still being played on this day and, for those flipping on the TV or streaming service before dinner starts, the earliest match-up of the Thanksgiving Slate is the most interesting one, pitting the Minnesota Vikings against the Detroit Lions. The 6-4 Lions are trying to keep their NFC North title hopes alive against the division leading Vikings, who are 8-2 and have won 6 games in a row. Despite injuries at quarterback, Case Keenum has filled in marvelously and looks to have another strong game against a Lions team that is looking to make that leap into the NFL's postseason.
Elsewhere, the embattled Dallas Cowboys are also taking the field against the Los Angeles Chargers. The 'Boys recently lost in a blowout to the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagles, clearly missing the added dimension that suspended running back Ezekiel Elliot brings to their offense. That defeat turns this tilt against the Chargers into arguably the most important game in either team's season. Even though the former San Diego franchise sits at just 4-6, they're second in the weak AFC West and are looking to make a late-season push towards a potential wild card spot.
Finally, we have the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins squaring off in the last game of the day. Neither team looks likely to make it to the playoffs at this point, so let's just bask in the glow of Thanksgiving Day three years ago, when the Giants' Odell Beckham Jr. gave football fans one of the greatest catches the league has ever seen.