MIAMI, FL — Some interesting battles are expected in Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day fixtures, as teams begin to focus on their chances of earning a playoffs place this year.
The kick-off match-ups in Week 13 will be between teams that have shown their abilities to win games and do so consistently both at home and away throughout the 2014-15 year thus far.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Ford Field at 12:30 on CBS
The Chicago Bears (5-6, 3-3 away) are sitting 3rd in the NFC North right behind Detroit Lions and take two game winning streak into the clash after ending a three game skid that saw them allowing over 50pts in each of the last two defeats in that poor run.
Chicago beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21-13 on Sunday for their second back-to-back win on the season and will seek to grab its longest win streak of the campaign.
On this turkey day, expect Matt Forte — just 178 yards shy of a 1,000 yard season and coming in as the number 7 rusher in the league — to continue his high running yard production, as he becomes.
The Bears will also try to protect quarterback Jay Cutler more against a very tough defense, as they seek to give him more room and time to keep the passing game going.
The Lions (7-4, 4-1 home), come into the fixture desperate to shake off the embarrassing 34-9 defeat New England Patriots and 14-6 loss to Arizona the week before.
“If I knew what was wrong, I would have already fixed it,” wide receiver Calvin Johnson said, following the last defeat.
And behind their high passing yards total – sitting at 10th in the league – their high interceptions total throughout the year and their No. 1 rush defense in the league, the Lions are not too worried about the slide.
At least not at the moment.
“We still have time to get things going in the right direction,” Johnson noted.
Coach Jim Caldwell added: “I’m not worried about (the) big picture to be honest with you.
“I’m worried about our next game and we’ll deal with the big picture later on.”
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
AT&T Stadium at 4:30 pm on FOX
Both these teams top the NFC East with 8-3 records.
The fast paced Chip Kelly Philadelphia offense — number 4 in the league in total yards — and the Cowboys – not too far behind – sitting at No. 6, will collectively contribute to an exciting offensive game to watch this Thanksgiving Day.
This contest will surely get the scoreboard ticking over.
According Elias Sports, the battle between the Dallas Cowboys (8-3, 2-3 away) and the Philadelphia Eagles (8-3, 2-3 away) will linked two teams with 5 games over .500 together in Thanksgiving fixtures for the first time since 1998.
On that date, a 8-3 Cowboys was beaten 46-36 by a 10-1 Minnesota Vikings.
“It’s going to be a great game,” Philadelphia defensive end Fletcher Cox was quoted as saying ahead of the game.
“I’m really excited, man. I’m looking forward to it. We’re ready to roll. We’re ready for Thursday.”
This is the first time these two teams will clash this season, but it won’t be the last, as the reversed fixture in the series will be on Dec 14.
Last year the two teams split their two meetings, with each getting their respective win on the road.
Expect a range of impressive offensive strikes by both teams to light up the scoreboard in an amazing way.
Both DeMarco Murray and Lesean McCoy can put up excellent rushing numbers, as both are one of the top 5 running backs in the league this season.
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers.
Levi’s Stadium at 8:30 pm on NBC
Defending Super Bowl champions Seattle Seahawks enter this contest at Levi’s Stadium on high after their display in the last outing which saw them cutting-down an inform Arizona 19-3 — a result that ended the Cardinals’ impressive six-game win streak.
These two NFC West rivals squared off last year in the NFC Championship with the Seahawks (7-4) coming out on top 23-17 on that day.
Two meetings in 18 days will make this series even more enticing, but both coaching admit that the focus in trying to get the first out the way in a positive note.