Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011

There's Finally a Good Football Game Airing on Thanksgiving

For millions of Americans, sinking into the couch in a tryptophan-induced twilight state to watch professional football is as hallowed a Thanksgiving tradition as the meal itself. But as NFL games go, the Thanksgiving Classic too often leaves something to be desired. There have been a few gripping spectacles in recent years — 2010's nail-biter between the Saints and the Cowboys springs to mind — but rarely have two closely contested games been played on the big day. Why? Because for most of the past decade, the Lions, who host one of the Thanksgiving games every year in Detroit, have stunk. The last time the franchise won was in 2003, and it hasn't closed out a game within a single score of victory since then. This year, however, the cornucopia of playoff-caliber football runneth over. The suddenly resurgent Dolphins will challenge the division-leading Cowboys in the afternoon, followed by a great matchup between the Ravens and 49ers, two of the league's best, on Thanksgiving night. But the main event will be the first game of the day, when the undefeated Packers face off against a drastically improved Lions squad that's very much in the postseason hunt and hungry to take a bite out of the reigning champs. Our stomachs are growling with anticipation.