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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 23 September 2020
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NFL set to serve up a feast of football for Thanksgiving

Two out of three ain’t bad when it comes to today’s match-ups.

Minnesota Vikings (6-4) @ Detroit Lion (6-4) – 5.30pm

Source: Andy Clayton-King/AP/Press Association Images

IT’S NOT A stretch to say the Detroit Lions could be coming into this crunch NFC North fixture with an 0-10 record having trailed in the fourth quarter of every single game this season.

However, credit to Matthew Stafford and the Lions passing offence — they haven’t produced a 100-yard rusher in a game since Jim Caldwell was hired as coach back in 2014 — for getting the job done, even if every game has been decided by a touchdown or less.

Last weekend, the Vikings arrested a slide that saw them lose four games on the bounce but had to rely on special teams and defence to get the job done against an underwhelming Cardinals team.

Verdict: The Lions are -1.5 favourites for this game which sounds about right. Detroit by 2.

Washington (6-3-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (9-1) – 9.30pm

Source: AP/Press Association Images

If Washington are to have any chance of winning this game, they need to do exactly what they did back in week two and hold Ezekiel Elliott to under 100 rushing yards and the signs are there that they could, having held opposing running backs to double digits in four of the past five weeks.

However, even that wasn’t enough to secure the W back in week two and it might not be enough at Thanksgiving as the Ravens found out last week that stopping the rookie running back is just part of solving the Dallas conundrum.

Dak Prescott is one the hottest quarterbacks in the league right now and became the first rookie in NFL history to throw for 300+ yards, multiple passing touchdowns and no interceptions in back-to-back games over the past two weeks.

Verdict: Washington needs the win to stay in contention for the NFC East title but it is such a big ask to stop this Cowboys juggernaut and that’s reflected in the seven point spread. Dallas by 5 in a shootout.

Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (5-5) – 1.30am, Friday

Source: Don Wright/AP/Press Association Images

The worst game of the Thanksgiving slate is also the late one so if you want to head off to bed early because you’ve work tomorrow morning, that’s fine.

With Andrew Luck out with concussion, Scott Tolzien will start as an NFL quarterback for the first time since 2013 for the Colts who remain in contention in the (awful) AFC South.

The Steelers — as their record suggests — have had an up-and-down season with Ben Roethlisberger throwing for just 167 yards last week against the Browns, his lowest total since 2013.

Verdict: The Browns defence is awful and the Steelers did just enough. The Colts passing defence is ranked 30th in the league and that is reflected in the 10-point spread. Pittsburgh by 13.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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