NFL Thanksgiving Games 2022: When and How to Watch Teams Play

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The Bills are the more complete team and are viewed as a consensus Super Bowl favorite by most sports books. But Buffalo gave up their spot atop the A.F.C. East by losing back-to-back games against the Jets and Vikings in which careless turnovers by Josh Allen proved costly. Allen, who ranks second in the N.F.L. in interceptions (10), played with no turnovers in last week’s win and can keep the ball safe by picking up running yardage himself.

The unexpectedly successful season for the Giants has hinged heavily on the running attack, with Saquon Barkley’s resurgent season and Daniel Jones adding a few yards on the ground. But the receiver group has been below average all season and took another hit with news that Wan’Dale Robinson, the team’s third-leading receiver, will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last week.

To recap: Sterling Shepard tore his A.C.L. earlier this season and the Giants last month traded Kadarius Toney, a first-round draft pick, to Kansas City. Kenny Golladay, one of the team’s highest-paid players, has battled injuries and has also been periodically benched by Coach Brian Daboll.

There’s reason to think the Giants can run effectively in Dallas: The Cowboys rank 26th against the rush, allowing 136.1 rushing yards per game. But that’s likely not enough for a win, given the efficacy of Dallas’s offense. In last week’s win over Minnesota, the Cowboys amassed 458 total yards, led by Tony Pollard’s 189 yards from scrimmage. Dak Prescott and company should feast against a Giants defense that will miss top cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, out for at least four weeks with a knee injury.

This prime time game has a number of compelling matchups that should postpone that after-dinner nap. The first: Kirk Cousins vs. Matthew Judon. Judon, a Patriots linebacker, leads the league in sacks (13) and should be salivating over facing a Vikings line that allowed seven sacks of Cousins in last week’s loss to the Cowboys. Playing on short rest, Cousins’ protection may be even weaker without offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw, who is in the league’s concussion protocol.

The second: Justin Jefferson vs. Bill Belichick’s defense. Jefferson, a Minnesota receiver, ranks second in the league in yards (1,093) and has made miracle catches to bail Cousins out, including a dazzling one-hander against the Bills two weeks ago. But the Patriots’ defense is the N.F.L.’s fourth best against the pass and allows few big plays.

The Vikings are at home and look to make up for an atrocious showing against Dallas last week, but the Patriots may have a greater sense of urgency. New England holds the A.F.C.’s sixth seed and needs every win it can get to make it out of the treacherous A.F.C. East. Cousins’ prime time performances have historically been comically dreadful, and though the Vikings are modest betting favorites, this one could go either way.