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Thanksgiving Day Football Schedule 2012: Power Ranking NFL's Turkey Day Lineup

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 10:  Calvin Johnson #81 and Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions celebrate connecting for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on October 10, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2012

Every year, families get together over the holidays to enjoy each others company, and of course watch football.

Thanksgiving Day is always stacked with some intense football games, and the 2012 season is no different. 

We may have to wait several months for them to begin, but there's certainly nothing wrong with getting pumped up about the games on Turkey Day. 

That said, here's my preseason ranking of the NFL's slate of games on Thanksgiving Day. 

 

No. 3: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys 

This NFC East rivalry should continue to heat up, but that's only if the Redskins do the expected and draft Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. 

Scheduled for 4:15 p.m. ET on FOX, this will be the first time these two teams go head-to-head on the year. The second time is in Week 17 to end the regular season. 

With both teams having a short week, there could be some rust in this game. Washington has to play a brutal game against the Eagles the Sunday before, and on the same day Dallas goes up against Cleveland. 

Still, this will be a fun battle because both teams despise each other. Assuming Griffin heads to Washington, it will be very fun to see him return to Texas and play in Jerry World. 

 

No. 2: New England Patriots at New York Jets 

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots and Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets walk off the field after the Jets defeated the Patriots 28 to 21 their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 i
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

This AFC East rivalry is rarely a disappointment, as both teams hate each others guts so much they'll do just about anything to win. 

Scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC, the Jets and the Patriots will meet for the second time on the year on Turkey Day. 

By this point, we could possibly see Tim Tebow as the starter over Mark Sanchez, which would certainly spark ratings for this game. 

Tom Brady and company should have beaten the Jets earlier in the year, but winning on the road against New York is much more difficult. This is a game that fans will be on the edge of their seats all night long. 

 

No. 1: Houston Texans at Detroit Lions 

The Lions are a staple team for Thanksgiving Day, and now that they're good again it will be much more entertaining to watch them. 

Scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET on CBS, this cross-conference battle will be the perfect thing to watch while your turkey dinner is being prepared. Even if you do a turkey lunch, you'll want this game on while you're chowing down. 

Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are incredibly fun to watch, and it will be even better to see if they can out duel Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson. 

Both teams are steadily improving their game and this early afternoon Thanksgiving Day will easily be the best game of the holiday. 

 

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