NFL Thanksgiving Day picks.

Football, food and family. What more can an NFL fan ask for?

This year, there are three games, each with some intrigue. First up is a matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions that is sure to consist of some electrifying plays. Then is the main course, where dark horse NFC East contender Dallas looks to climb through a mountain against undefeated Carolina. Closing out the night is one of the NFL’s greatest rivalries, when the Chicago Bears head to Lambeau to face the Green Bay Packers.

Here are my picks for what should be an epic day.

Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) at Detroit Lions (3-7) (12:30/11:30am CT, FOX)

The first game of the day pits two teams who are unlikely to make it to the postseason. The Lions have won two straight, but are still three games out of the final wild card slot. Meanwhile, the Eagles are just a game back of the NFC East lead, but their remaining schedule is far from easy. Still, a win for either team can really help their squad out.

The Eagles, in my opinion, are the better team. However, they are in complete disarray, as expected. Meanwhile, the Lions have won two straight, and finally have some momentum. Superstar receiver Calvin Johnson is healthy, and should be prime for a big game. I see them doing enough to win a close, tough game at home to kick off the Thanksgiving festivities. Prediction: Eagles 17, Lions 23.

Carolina Panthers (10-0) at Dallas Cowboys (3-7) (CBS)

Up next is the game everyone has been clamoring about. The Carolina Panthers coasted through the first half of the season, but are starting to blow teams out now. Cam Newton is on a roll, that defense is making plays, Josh Norman might be the best cornerback in the league, and the team is on a roll. The only competition they have left is the crumbling Falcons, the unreliable Bucs and Giants, oh, and the Dallas Cowboys.

Speaking of those Cowboys, they feel like an ill-fated fantasy football team this year. You know, the kind with a bunch of great players, and a bright future, before injuries and close losses have the squad looking like it’s snakebitten. Then, the team gets healthy, gets on a roll, and starts making a run.

Well, that’s exactly what folks seem to be expecting from the Cowboys. Tony Romo is back, and a gloomy outlook is turning towards a positive detour. Despite being 3-7, “America’s Team” is only two games out of the NFC East lead! If they win today, the amount of attention they will garner will be simply blinding!

Honestly, I believe the Panthers are a bit overrated, as are the Cowboys. However, as bad as the Boys ‘record is, I believe they have what it takes to make things interesting. I won’t be surprised if they get blown out today. However, if they win, I will be far from surprised.

Head pick: Panthers 34, Cowboys 24. Gut pick: Panthers 16, Cowboys 21.

Chicago Bears (4-6) at Green Bay Packers (7-3) (8:30/7:30c, NBC)

The nightcap is a traditional rivalry that spans over eighty years. It has been a fierce and tense battle of attrition over the years, but lately, it’s been anything but. Sure, the Bears might be getting running back Matt Forte and top receiver Alshon Jeffery back. But, I still see the Packers being too much to overcome tonight. Prediction: Bears 17, Packers 27.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Hope all the games are classic, and your feasts be bountiful.



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