Chow down on Thanksgiving Day football
It's been a long time since the NFL offered such a promising roster of Thanksgiving football games. Juicy storylines abound on Thursday: There's the clash of NFC North top dogs, as the undefeated Green Bay Packers take on the upstart Detroit Lions. The Dallas Cowboys, who need a win to keep the pressure on the Giants in the NFC East, take on the Miami Dolphins, winners of three straight. Finally, Jim Harbaugh's 9-1 San Francisco 49ers take on his brother Jim's 7-3 Baltimore Ravens in the first-ever match-up of sibling head coaches. Here's a guide to the games, complete with a themed food suggestion for each.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
12:30 p.m. FOX
When the 2011 schedule was released, no one expected the Packers (10-0) to face much of a threat from the Lions (7-3) on Turkey Day. Yet, head coach Jim Schwartz has turned the moribund Lions franchise around. Expect a shootout on the turf in Detroit, as the Lions average 30.1 points per game, third most in the league, and the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers' average of 35.5 points tops the charts.
Recommended food: Enjoy a nice cheese plate in honor of Wisconsin.
Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys
4:15 p.m. CBS
The Dolphins (3-7) are on fire right now, having whipped the Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills in succession thanks to the solid play of QB Matt Moore and RB Reggie Bush and a defense that hasn't allowed a touchdown in November. The Cowboys (6-4), who are fighting the Giants for NFC East supremacy, have reeled off three straight wins of their own.
Recommended food: Try a turducken for legendary broadcaster John Madden.
S.F. 49ers at Baltimore Ravens
8:30 p.m. NFL Network
History will be made at the "HarBowl," as brothers Jim and John Harbaugh become the first sibling head coaches to compete against each other. Don't expect any fun and games from the brothers until after the contest is over: With a suffocating run defense and an offense fronted by high-powered RB Frank Gore, Jim's 49ers (9-1) pose a tough test for John's Ravens (7-3), who hope to have injured star linebacker Ray Lewis back in uniform.
Recommended food: Kick back with a bottle of Baltimore beer National Bohemian (Natty Boh).