Thanksgiving week is no exception to the rule when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting NFL games. The Sunday evening game and the best matchup of the day was postponed between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Several players on the Ravens tested positive for the virus including both of the Ravens top running back Mark Ingram Jr. and J.K. Dobbins. The Ravens have seven players who have either tested positive or have come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
The Steelers have already had a game postponed because of another team being inflicted by the virus. It hasn’t affected them in the win column though. Their game against the Tennessee Titans was postponed nearly a month and they went on to win. The Steelers already had their bye week move up because of that postponement. Any future delays and the NFL will have to add a Week 18 at the end of the season to make up any games. This is the 13th game of the season that has been moved. But it is not cancelled.
The game has been moved to 1:15 p.m. ET and still be televised on NBC so we will still preview it. The Ravens will play on three days rest to the Cowboys next week because of this delay. They’re going to need all the rest they can get too because they are in jeopardy of losing three games in a row for the first time since Lamar Jackson became quarterback. They already lost to the Steelers once this season.
They lost in OT last week to the Titans in a game which they should have won. They were up 21-10 in third quarter but Derrick Henry turned on the jets. The Titans were just more physical than the Ravens. Something that is very uncharacteristic of this spectacular Baltimore defense. It helps that the Cowboys are 3-7 so even if they lose on Sunday again to the Steelers, they still have a good shot at making the playoffs.
For the Steelers, this is just more frustrating than anything. They’ve been good about their COVID-19 protocol and have had relatively few cases. It seems that they are getting punished again with their Sunday Night primetime game getting taken away. But this team is still the only undefeated team left in the NFL and with a win against the Ravens and a loss by the Dolphins and the Raiders, they’re already in the playoffs. This team is great and not much will inhibit them from getting into the playoffs.
Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys
FOX - 4:30 p.m. ET
That makes the Washington Football Team at the Dallas Cowboys the primetime game on Thanksgiving. This game is surprisingly interesting for two teams in the bottom of the NFC East with 3-7 records. The crazier thing is that both of these teams are still in the playoff hunt with the conference-leading Philadelphia Eagles losing bad last week to the Cleveland Browns bringing their record to 3-6-1. This is still anyone’s guess about who will win this dumpster fire of a conference.
Washington and Dallas may be turning a corner by gaining relative stability at the quarterback position after many injuries. Washington is starting Alex Smith after a remarkable comeback after breaking his leg. It’s not just a feel good story either. He is putting up monster numbers in the first two games he has started this season. They won last week against the lowly Bengals who lost their rookie sensation QB Joe Burrow after he tore both his ACL and MCL. The Cowboys will start Andy Dalton again after he went down with a concussion and tested positive for COVID-19 in a matter of weeks.
These two clashed in Week 7 in Maryland (Fun Fact, Washington plays in Maryland) in Week 7 and the Football Team destroyed the Cowboys 25-3. This is the same game where he was concussed on a cheap hit by linebacker Jon Bostic. Through concussions and COVID, Dalton deserves a break. The Cowboys played great coming back against a resurgent Minnesota Vikings team. This is a better Cowboys team then in Week 7 and this has the potential to be a close one.
Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys Betting Odds
Washington Odds: +3
Dallas Odds: -3
Money Line: Washington +130 - Dallas -150
Houston Texans at Detroit Lions
CBS - 12:30 p.m. ET
These two teams are so terrible that you might see more competition between Snoopy and SpongeBob in their respective floats, battling it out at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Both interim Texans head coach Romeo Crennel and Lions head coach Matt Patricia will likely not be there next year.
The Texans "improved" last week to 3-7 while the Lions are at 4-6. To be fair, the Texans upset the Patriots last week to put New England's playoff chances on the ropes. The Texans were good more recently, so we'll give them the edge in this one.
Houston Texans at Detroit Lions Betting Odds
Houston Odds: -3
Detroit Odds: +3
Money Line: Houston -160 - Detroit +140