Thanksgiving day will consist of three NFL games, non of which include the New England Patriots. Despite the reigning Super Bowl champs not playing on the holiday, there's still reason to watch the slate of games with the 10-1 football team in mind.
Let's go over the three football games that will take place on Thanksgiving day and why you should root for certain outcomes from those games as a Patriots fan.
1) Lions/Bears - Root for the former Pats against the lowly Bears
While the Detroit Lions-Chicago Bears game kicks off at 12:30 and features two teams that have already seen their playoff hopes diminish for the 2019 season, you can watch that game with a little bit of nostalgia.
Detroit's head coach, Matt Patricia, wideout Danny Amendola, and defensive end Trey Flowers all were part of the Patriots organization at some point in their careers and played a pivotal part in the team's success over the past decade. While getting a win won't help the Lions' (3-7-1) playoff aspirations, nor will a win help the Bears' (5-6), getting a win on a nationally broadcasted game on Thanksgiving day would be a good look for Patricia, who has struggled in his first two seasons as Detroit's head coach.
As a Patriots fan, watching a disciple of Bill Belichick succeed in the NFL outside of New England should be wanted, as it will solidify how much of an impact Belichick has had and will continue to have on the league around him. Amendola and Flowers were and continue to be great team-first players, which is why Patricia opened the bank for Flowers last season and made sure he locked up Amendola when he became Detroit's new head coach.
Here's to the former Patriots defensive coordinator, playoff Danny, and the former best player on New England's defense finding success against Chicago. If Patricia can squeak out a win with third-string QB David Blough it would be a very good look for him.
2) Bills/Cowboys - Let's hope America's team bounces back and beats an AFC East opponent
The most highly anticipated game on Thanksgiving day will be the 4:30 pm ET matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys.
The Bills (8-3) have impressed so far this season, playing great football despite being in a division with the one-loss Patriots team. The Cowboys (6-5) have disappointed this season despite having a roster loaded with talent. Dallas is hoping they can bounce back from an ugly 13-9 loss to New England in Week 12, and New Englanders should hope they bounce back as well.
As of right now, Buffalo has a steady two-game lead in the AFC Wild Card race. Facing any division opponent in the playoffs will be a tough matchup for the Patriots, which is why fans of New England should hope that the Bills gather as many losses as possible in the remaining five games of the regular season. Week 13 would be a perfect opportunity to start with a loss, as Buffalo then faces the Ravens, Steelers, Patriots and Jets to finish off the season, which are all teams the Bills are capable of losing to.
Buffalo's defense will likely show up against Dallas, as it has consistently showed up time-in and time-out this season. But a couple turnovers from Bills quarterback Josh Allen could help the Cowboys bounce back this week, get a win at AT&T Stadium and put the Bills one game closer to missing the playoffs.
3) Saints/Falcons - It's always nice to see the Falcons implode
Thanksgiving night's football game is the perfect matchup for the petty Patriots fan.
The night game consists of an NFC South matchup between the New Orleans Saints (9-2) and the Atlanta Falcons (3-8). While the game has very little impact on either team's playoff chances, it will undoubtedly be a game filled with talented players and a tough, division matchup. However, New Englanders would get much pleasure out of watching Atlanta drown in their own failure during their primetime matchup.
As a team that lost at the hands of an epic comeback courtesy of New England in Super Bowl LI, the Falcons haven't seemed to bounce back from that miserable loss nearly three years ago. This year's squad in Atlanta has been the worst performing team since they lost in the Super Bowl, and playing against a top-contending Saints team in Week 13 should highlight their incredibly disappointing season.
Sit back and chuckle with your Patriots gear on as Falcons head coach Dan Quinn tries to save his job against Sean Payton and Drew Brees Thanksgiving night. And make plenty of 28-3 references in the process.