It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without NFL football, and this year’s trio of Turkey Day games kicks off Thursday with a matchup between two potential playoff teams, as the 6-4 Detroit Lions host the 8-2 Minnesota Vikings.
Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on FOX. If you don’t have cable or you’re stuck with family away from a TV, you can still watch the game on your computer or another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch today’s game at no cost:
FuboTV: Fox (live in 70-plus markets) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package, which is $19.99 per month for the first two months and $39.99 per month after that. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
DirecTV Now: Fox (live in 39 markets) is included in all four channel packages, ranging from $35 to $70 per month. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: Fox (live in 17 markets) is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package for $25 per month. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via the Sling website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
This one opened as a pick ’em, but early money rushed in on Minnesota, moving the Vikings to three-point favorites. Considering they’ve reeled off six straight wins and are fresh off a 17-point drubbing of the NFC West leading Rams a week ago, it’s not surprising most are favoring the Vikes, even on the road.
Ranked seventh in yards per play (5.7) and third in yards per play allowed (4.7), the Vikings have established themselves as one of the most balanced teams in the league. The run game is clicking behind the two-headed attack of Latavius Murray and Jerrick McKinnon, the passing game is dangerous with Adam Thielen emerging as one of the league’s best wideouts, and the defense just held the Rams–who were the No. 1 scoring offense at the time–to a meager seven points.
“We’re on fire and we have to keep it on fire,” said Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, who is tied for fourth in the NFL with 10.0 sacks.
If the Lions are going to extinguish that fire, the offense, which is averaging 31.67 points and 6.4 yards per play (for reference, the Saints lead the NFL with 6.4 yards per play on the year) during their current three-game winning streak, is going to have to continue that level of efficiency. Of course, those three games have come against the Packers, Browns and Bears, so keeping it up against the Vikings elite defense is another story.
Nevertheless, despite beating up on lesser teams over the last several weeks, the Lions shouldn’t be written off as a fluke. They beat the Vikings in Minnesota back in early October, and while they have four losses on the year, that might be a little misleading, as three of them (against the Falcons, Panthers and Steelers) have come by an average of 4.0 points.
Put it all together, these are two very good teams playing their best football of the year. Throw in the added stakes atop the NFC North, and this makes for the best matchup on Thanksgiving–if not all of Week 12.