Keep Your NFL Plate Full

A Look at the 2014 Thanksgiving Day Games



San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin catches a touchdown pass over Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas during the NFC Championship playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 in Seattle, WA. The Seahawks and 49ers will meet again on Thanksgiving. Photo courtesy of The Associated Press (Tom Hauck)

D.J. Hudson, Sport Editor

The NFL season is almost over, but it wouldn’t be complete without one of the most exciting days of the football season: Thanksgiving Day. Taking the field this year are the Bears versus the Lions, the Eagles versus the Cowboys, and the Seahawks versus the 49ers.

The NFC North rivals Bears and Lions are up first at noon on Thanksgiving. The 4-6 Bears have had a rough season; they are third in the North, tied with the Vikings. Many believed that the Bears might be able to run away with the division if they could hold off the Lions and Green Bay. With quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall  starting to play like they did in their three years together in Denver, this could be enough to make a last-minute push.

The 7-3 Lions, on the other hand, are a bit of a surprise. Their team is finally clicking with quarterback Matthew Stanford, finally healthy and playing well. This could be the year of the Lion. Their balanced offensive attack with running back, Reggie Bush, and wide receiver Calvin Johnson, combined with one of the best defenses in the league anchored by defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, the Lions are a sleeper Super Bowl contender.

The second game of the day will start at 4:30 pm and will feature the Eagles and Cowboys, which both have a 7-3 record. The Eagles are one of the hottest teams in the league. After losing quarterback Nick Foles to injury, they have been able to win game a few games under backup Mark Sanchez. This came as a surprise to many who remember Sanchez in the last 2 years for the New York Jets. Many forget Sanchez led the Jets to two straight AFC championship games. The Eagles need to hold on if they want to stay number one in their division.

The Cowboys might be the most surprising team of the year. Quite a few people believed that the team was going to be at the bottom of the NFL by this point in the season. Little did NFL enthusiasts know, the Cowboys would be one of the best teams in the league. Lead by early MVP candidate DeMarco Murray, who has over 200 yards rushing more than anyone else in league the Cowboys, they are a force that is difficult to stop. It will be fun to see if the Cowboys could hold off Eagles to lock in a first place finish.

Last but not least the Seahawks and 49ers will play at 8:30 pm. Without a doubt, this has been the best rivalry in the league over the last few years. The 49ers have been to the last three NFC championship games and the Seahawks are the defending Super Bowl champions. However, with the way Arizona is playing, they both could miss the playoffs. This game could decide who is playing in January and who is sitting at home. The Seahawks have promise. If they can clear out their locker room problems and get on the same page, they could continue to defend their championship. If the 49ers tight end Vernon Davis becomes as productive as we have seen him in years past, they will be all right.

Even with no AFC teams, the NFL still has some good games on Turkey Day. For the first time in several Thanksgivings, these games will strongly affect the rest of the season and the playoffs.