By: Zack Patraw @ffdynasty_ztp
Thanksgiving Day Preview
As we get ready to feast on some Thanksgiving turkey, we also get ready to watch a whole slate of great NFL games. Week 12 gets kicked off with division matchups, and whole lot on the line for each team. Here’s a few things I will be watching for and what to expect during the Thanksgiving games.
Minnesota Vikings 8-2 @ Detroit Lions 6-4 (12:30ET)
We get a tremendous division rivalry game to watch as we feast on turkey Thursday. The Vikings come into Thursday’s game with a 2 game division lead at 8-2, while the Lions are sitting at 6-4. This game could come down to who will end up with the division lead at the end of the year. There are quite a few headlines to watch for this exciting clash on Thursday. Matthew Stafford has a chance to pass Tony Romo for most touchdowns thrown on Thanksgiving (18) if he has a 4 touchdown game. He will also pass Romo in Thanksgiving day passing yards if he can throw for more than 120 yards. The Lions will have to deal with a 2 headed monster receiving core in Thielen and Diggs. Thielen has had a breakout season this year, sitting 2nd in the league in receiving yards with 916. He’s coming off two big games, in which he combines for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Lions should have their hands full with these two. It will also be interesting to see how the RB situation stacks up for the Vikings. Will McKinnon keep seeing the majority work, and will Murray continue to see goal line carries. On the other side of the ball, the Lions RB, Ameer Abdullah last rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown the last time these two teams faced off this year. By far the best game for him. The Vikings have yet to allow a 100 yard rusher this year, and most recently been one of the best defenses in the game. It should be a great game to watch as you enjoy your Thanksgiving meal.
Los Angeles Chargers 4-6 @ Dallas Cowboys 5-5 (4:30ET)
The Cowboys come into this week with a decimated linebacker core, and a key piece missing on their offensive line. Their Pro Bowl left tackle, Tyron Smith has been nursing and back and groin injury, and Sean Lee with a hamstring injury. With no Zeke to run the ball, the Cowboys have had to rely on their pass game, and without Smith, the Cowboys have struggled in pass protection, allowing 4 sacks last week. The Chargers defense ranks 3rd in sacks on the season with 30, led by Bosa and Ingram, they should be able to disrupt Prescott and the Cowboys offense if Smith remains sidelined. Melvin Gordon could be in for a heavy workload, seeing that Lee is hampered with another injury, the Chargers could look to pound the Cowboys linebackers with the run. Keenan Allen, coming off a monster game last week, has a terrific opportunity with two of the Chargers starting WRs injured, and the Cowboys secondary allowing nearly an average 150 yards and a touchdown per game to opposing WRs in their last 5 games. This game could end up being a shootout, and a matter of what QB can remain upright the majority of the game.
New York Giants 2-8 @ Washington Redskins 4-6 (8:30ET)
This game is going to be huge for the Redskins if they want to remain relevant in the NFC East race that the Eagles seem to be running away with. They lost both their top RBs, with Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson placed on IR. The rookie Samaje Perine has a tremendous chance to step up and prove he’s the guy in Washington. He’s coming off a game in which he torched the Saints for 117 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. With the injury to Pryor and him not performing up to par, the Redskins seemingly found their WR duo in Doctson and Crowder, each posting over 70 yards in receiving last week. We’ll see if they can do that and more against a Giants secondary that gave up over 200 yards to opposing WRs in 3 of their last 5 games. The Giants have relied on Darkwa the last 5 games, receiving the majority of carries, and making the most out of them. He averages 16 carries a game and over 70 yards, and the Redskins have been vulnerable on the ground lately, allowing over 100 yards in 3 of their last 4 games, also allowing 4 touchdowns in that span. With Beckham and Marshall both out for the year, and assuming Shepard is out again Thursday, Darkwa will need to step up in a big way, along with Eli’s best receiving option, TE Evan Engram. He’s been Eli’s go to guy and he will need to have a big game if the Giants want a chance to have the post game feast.