I have a confession to make: I missed Thanksgiving football this year. It’s not like I wasn’t looking forward to Green Bay-Detroit because I was. It’s not like I don’t have relatives just as into football as I am either because I most certainly do. It’s just that it was really kind of nice out so we played pickup basketball and before I knew it, the Green Bay-Detroit game was over and it was time to eat.
In retrospect, this might not have been the worst thing. While Ndamukong Suh created controversy yet again with his style of play, which is rough even by NFL standards and the Lions did manage to make the score respectable by the end of the game, a 27-15 Packers victory just isn’t the instant classic I hoped the game would be, even if Aaron Rodgers’ play at QB is tantamount to football art these days.
As for the other afternoon game on Thanksgiving Day, I have to admit I’ve never been particularly fond of the Dallas Cowboys or the Miami Dolphins and while the end of the Cowboys’ 20-19 victory was fairly compelling, it didn’t change the fact that the first three quarters of the game were ridiculously sloppy. This wasn’t exactly Game 6 of last month’s World Series in terms of an exciting finish to a game totally redeeming a lackluster start.
The one Thanksgiving game that really most closely matched expectations was the NFL Network matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers with brothers John and Jim Harbaugh facing off in the league’s first ever fraternal coaching battle. The result? A 16-6 Ravens victory.
That’s not to disparage either team involved. The Ravens and 49ers are both very talented teams. Alex Smith has finally come into his own and Joe Flacco’s definitely the best QB the Ravens have ever had and one of their few quality starters at that position. Ray Rice and Frank Gore are great RBs, the Harbaugh brothers are both smart coaches and as a Buffalo Bills fan, I’ve got to admit I wouldn’t mind having either team’s defense. It’s just not exactly Drew Brees vs. Aaron Rodgers in terms of an exciting matchup.