Thanksgiving games promises a feast of action

Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:19pm EST
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The National Football League is as much a part of the Thanksgiving tradition in the United States as roasted Turkey and cranberry sauce.

With hundreds of millions of people at home for the annual feast, American football has been played on the holiday for their captive audience since the 1890s.

For this year's Thanksgiving, on Thursday, the NFL has offered up three blockbuster games, collectively known as the Thanksgiving Classic, in Detroit, Dallas and New Jersey.

Detroit began hosting games on Thanksgiving in 1934. The Lions' opponents this time are the Houston Texans, who boast the equal best record in the NFL this season.

In Dallas, which has been hosting Thanksgiving Day games since 1966, the Cowboys will entertain their NFC East divisional rivals, the Washington Redskins.

The third and final Thanksgiving Day game, which has no traditional fixed team, is an AFC East divisional clash between the New York Jets and visiting New England Patriots.

The Lions have not won on Thanksgiving Day for nine years and face a tough task ending their drought this time.

They have lost their last two games to fall to 4-6 at the bottom of the NFC North standings while Houston (9-1) are on a four-game winning streak and closing in on a berth in the playoffs.   Continued...