Though no official announcement has been made, by process of elimination, all signs point to a Thanksgiving Day game featuring the Detroit Lions and the visiting New England Patriots.
From left, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Jets owner Woody Johnson and Giants Co-Owner John Mara might have a few awkward moments the next time they are all in the same room.
With the New York Daily News’ report that the New York Jets will accept the NFL’s offer to host the Thanksgiving Day night game, the only other possible opponent for the Lions is New England.
As Mike Florio of NBC Sports explains, per network contracts, at least one AFC team must be playing in the Lions’ Thanksgiving game, to be broadcast on CBS. The only AFC opponents the Lions will play at home next season are the Patriots and the Jets, pointing to a Tom Brady-Matthew Stafford matchup at Ford Field on Nov. 25.
It will be the third Thanksgiving Day game between the two teams since 2000. The Lions won the first meeting 34-9, with the Patriots evening the score by beating the Lions 20-12 in 2002. The official announcement, including the Jets’ opponent on Thanksgiving, will be on Monday. The NFL will release the full regular season schedule in mid April.
Until then, here are the Lions’ 2010 opponents:
Home: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams
Away: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers