And then there are the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.
All times Eastern
Bears (3-7) at Lions (0-9-1), 12:30 p.m., Fox
Raiders (5-5) at Cowboys (7-3), 4:30 p.m., CBS
Bills (6-4) at Saints (5-5), 8:20 p.m., NBC
Bears at Lions: Hoo, boy. The day kicks off with a game between teams with a combined 3-16-1 record, and both are hurting at quarterback. Chicago’s Justin Fields left Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens with bruised ribs, and the turnaround for Thursday was deemed too short for him to play. That means the Bears will turn to Andy Dalton, as they did Sunday when he passed for two touchdowns but completed only 11 of 23 passes. Matt Nagy will be coaching after calling a report that he would be fired after the Thanksgiving game “not accurate.” This is the second game for the Bears since they lost star pass rusher Khalil Mack for the rest of the season to a foot injury.
Meanwhile, Jared Goff’s status for Detroit is uncertain because of an oblique injury. In Goff’s place Sunday, Tim Boyle got his first NFL start and passed for 77 yards on 23 attempts, with two interceptions, in a loss to the Cleveland Browns. The Lions still haven’t won a game without Matthew Stafford under center since 2010, and they are 5-15 over the past 20 years on Thanksgiving.
Raiders at Cowboys: In the midst of a stretch of three games in 12 days, the Cowboys will be without wide receiver Amari Cooper again because of coronavirus protocols, and they may be without wideout CeeDee Lamb because of concussion protocols. In a stinker of a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the Cowboys’ offensive line was missing left tackle Tyron Smith, who is expected to return from an ankle injury. Without him, Dallas could offer no protection for Dak Prescott, who didn’t complete a pass of 20 or more air yards and had only three that traveled 10 or more yards in the air. The running game never got on track, either, with 82 yards rushing against an improved Kansas City defense. Ezekiel Elliott, who has an ankle injury, rushed for only 32 of those yards. Tony Pollard accounted for the other 50.
The Las Vegas defense is coming off a game in which it gave up only one touchdown to the Cincinnati Bengals, holding them to three field goals through three quarters and briefly into the fourth. The Raiders limited Cincinnati to fewer than 300 yards, but their offense offered little support until the fourth quarter — when it was too late. The Raiders were hurt by seven penalties and converted on only 1 of 7 third-down opportunities. “I’m fed up. I just want to be a part of the moment it changes. I want that so bad,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “It shouldn’t always end like this.”
Bills at Saints: There was a time when “Bills” and “Super Bowl” were being uttered in the same sentence, but that seems to be fading as the season unfolds. The Indianapolis Colts, particularly Jonathan Taylor, ran roughshod over the Bills, who fell from the top spot in the AFC East into second behind the New England Patriots. Not all hope is lost, though, for Buffalo, which next plays the Patriots in the first of their two meetings in a Dec. 6 Monday night game in Orchard Park, N.Y.
The Saints, who are one of five five-win teams in the mix for the final two NFC wild-card spots, gave up 242 rushing yards on 50 attempts (with three touchdowns) in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles after coming into the game with the NFL’s No. 1 rushing defense (allowing 72.9 yards per game). With quarterback Jameis Winston out, Trevor Siemian has been at the controls for three straight losses and was intercepted twice by Philadelphia. As the Colts’ Taylor showed with 185 rushing yards and four touchdowns (plus a touchdown reception), the Bills can be vulnerable against the run, so the status of Saints running back Alvin Kamara bears watching after he missed the past two games with a knee injury. Also of interest will be the presence of Drew Brees in the NBC broadcast booth, providing color commentary on his former team.