Happy Thanksgiving, New York Giants fans!
I hope you and yours have managed to navigate one of the toughest travel days of the year safely, and are ready for a holiday full of family, food, and football.
The NFL is giving us their traditional offerings of the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, but they won’t be playing each other this year. Today the Lions will start the festivities against the division rival Bears, the Cowboys will take on the Raiders, and the night finishes with the Bills and Saints squaring off in New Orleans.
So, what can a Giants’ fan watch for in these games?
Chicago Bears (3-7) at Detroit Lions (0-9-1)
FOX - 12:30 p.m.
(CHI - 3)
I’m not sure anyone actually predicted that this was going to be game between teams with post-season aspirations, or even between division rivals looking to potentially play spoiler. But I sincerely doubt that the schedule makers envisioned a matchup between two teams with a combined record of 3-16-1 on one of the biggest “football” days of the year.
But even so, it’s still football, and the only game on TV. Even fans who don’t have a rooting interest will probably be watching unless they’re outside playing in a family or neighborhood game of their own.
Giants fans should be pulling for the Detroit Lions to upset the Bears and get their first win of the season. Every Bears loss helps the Giants at this point, as New York owns the Bears’ first round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Potentially being able to land a “blue chip” player could go a long way toward helping the Giants build their franchise for the future.
Las Vegas Raiders (5-5) at Dallas Cowboys (7-3)
CBS - 4:30 p.m.
(DAL - 7.5)
This game is pretty cut and dried from the Giants perspective: Root for Dallas to lose, and I suspect that Giants’ fans have a handle on that.
The Cowboys are going through a rough patch at the moment, and are dealing with injuries to some of their most important players. Left tackle Tyron Smith dealing with an ankle injury, WR CeeDee Lamb is in the concussion protocol, fellow WR Amari Cooper is in the COVID-19 protocol, and RB Ezekiel Elliott has been dealing with a knee injury. As of this writing, Smith and Elliott are listed as “questionable” but could play barring a setback.
The Raiders are trying to right the ship and get back to their winning ways after dropping their last three games. Over that stretch, the Raiders have put up 16, 14, and 13 points, while giving up 41 and 32 the last two weeks.
This could wind up being an exciting game if both of these teams are able to regain some traction. Of course, Giants fans are probably more interested in a Dallas collapse than a great game.
Buffalo Bills (6-4) at New Orleans Saints (5-5)
NBC - 8:20 p.m.
(BUF - 5.5)
I’m going to assume that my dear readers aren’t deep in a turkey induced slumber by this point and are still awake to watch the last game of the day.
This game doesn’t have any direct implications for the Giants, so that makes finding a rooting interest a bit harder. On the one hand, you could stay with the regional angle and root for the team from New York. But on the other hand there’s a sentimental connection between the Manning family and the Saints, not to mention Sean Payton’s history as a former New York Giants coach.
If you’re looking for one possible angle as a Giants’ fan, a New Orleans loss will lower the Giants’ strength of schedule, which could help them in draft order tiebreaker situations.
The Bills are the favorites despite playing on the road, but they’ve suffered tough losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts over the past three weeks. They’re also looking to retake the AFC East lead after being jumped by the red-hot New England Patriots.
The Trevor Siemian lead Saints, meanwhile, are still clinging to the last NFC wildcard spot. A win could help get them some much-needed breathing room and could make the difference come season’s end.