Thanksgiving Football: The NFL Games to Watch on Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is a day that in the United States has become synonymous with two things: turkey and football.

From devotees of the NFL to those tuning in purely because there is nothing else on TV, this year’s Thanksgiving Day football lineup is sure to not disappoint.

Houston Texans at Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m. EST on CBS

Thursday marks the first ever Thanksgiving day game for the Houston Texans who are looking to improve on their franchise-best 9-1 start with a win over the Detroit Lions.

Currently retaining the top spot in the AP Pro32 NFL power rankings, the Texans are tied for the NFL's best record.

Texans Coach Gary Kubiak said playing four days after an overtime game on Sunday, "is tough, but I think that's what builds the character of your team."

Now the Texans face the NFC's top offense in the form of the Lions and wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who leads the league with 1, 117 receiving yards.

Even though Detroit (4-6) is in last place in the NFC North, a win over the Texans could revive their dwindling playoff hopes.

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys, 4:15 p.m. EST on Fox

A day of Thanksgiving pigskin is not complete without the classic rivalry game. On Thursday afternoon the embattled Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Tony Romo will take on rookie quarterback phenom Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.

This game marks RG3’s first time playing as a professional in the Lone Star state since winning the Heisman Trophy as the quarterback for Texas’ Baylor University.

The Cowboys are 1-1 against rookie quarterbacks.

Griffin is fresh off the Redskins’ 31-6 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles were RG3 went 14 of 15 for 200 yards with four touchdowns.

If the Redskins (4-6) are truly serious about making a playoff push, they can't rest after a runaway victory over an Eagles team in disarray. They need to put together a streak, and a victory over the Cowboys (5-5) followed by another against the New York Giants (6-4) would get Washington to .500 and truly make the team a legitimate contender for the NFC East title.

New England Patriots at New York Jets, 8:20 p.m. EST on NBC

Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets will take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a quarterback battle between these two AFC East division rivals.

The Jets are tied with Buffalo and Miami at 4-6 for second place — or, last place, depending on how you look at it — in the division, with the Patriots holding a three-game lead.

While it appears likely New England will win its 10th AFC East title in 12 years, the Jets haven't given up on getting back to the playoffs after missing out last season.

New York is 4-6 for the first time since 2009, when the Jets went on a roll and went all the way to the AFC championship game. While it may seem unrealistic to some that the Jets could produce a similar type of run, none of their remaining five opponents after the Patriots — Arizona (4-6), Jacksonville (1-9), Tennessee (4-6), San Diego (4-6) and Buffalo (4-6) — currently has a winning record.

With reporting by The Associated Press.

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