The NFL is making history on Thanksgiving this season. After the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys host their annual Turkey Day contests and in between your tryptophan trip and sweet potato plunge, one team will host a Thanksgiving Day game for the first time in its franchise history.
The Washington Redskins will host their NFC East rivals New York Giants in the third game on November 23. The ‘Skins are no stranger to Thanksgiving games — this will be their 10th appearance — but they often played at Texas Stadium or AT&T Stadium.
Now, Thanksgiving will be good for four things: football, food, family and — in the case of Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman — friendly fireworks.
Here’s a quick preview of this year’s Thanksgiving slate:
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m. ET, FOX
The first divisional game of the day, this will be the Vikings and Lions’ second straight Thanksgiving Day tussle and their second meeting of the 2017 season; they first face off in Minneapolis in Week 4. Detroit swept the two-game set last year, best remembered for Golden Tate’s game-winning overtime spin-and-score. The clubs have only split their season series twice in the past nine seasons. A Sam Bradford-Matthew Stafford duel might not be the flashiest way to start your holiday Thursday, but it should make some high-stakes display of passing efficiency.
Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS
If this matchup appears on face value rather unusual, it is. The transplanted Chargers haven’t played on Thanksgiving since the merger in 1970; the Cowboys haven’t played an AFC team on Turkey Day since 2013 when they beat the Raiders, 31-24; and this will be just the 11th meeting between the two teams. Philip Rivers vs. Dak Prescott. Melvin Gordon vs. Ezekiel Elliott. Keenan Allen vs. Dez Bryant. Prepare for points. (This game will also mark the return of former Cowboys QB and recently hired CBS color man Tony Romo to Jerrahworld. Tune in for some verbal gymnastics.)
New York Giants at Washington Redskins, 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
The night’s marquee matchup will rehash one of the league’s oldest rivarlies and dive into some intradivisional beef. Last year, the Redskins’ playoff bid was thwarted by Big Blue at FedEx Field in Week 17, when Kirk Cousins threw a late pick to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Late in the season and in prime time, Cousins will need to make a statement to overcome last year’s demons and prove he’s Washington’s QB of the future. And then there’s OBJ vs. Norman, Episode IV: A New Hope. With more Giants receiving weapons to account for this time around, we might not see as many fireworks from Norman, but you never know.