Detroit Lions quarterback Tim Boyle walks off the field after the Cleveland Browns won an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

This Thanksgiving, I have so much to be thankful for. My job allows me to cover athletes in a wide array of sports. I’m the aunt to four awesome humans, and after some health challenges, my dad is home and healthy to celebrate the holidays with our family. My husband and dog are really cool, and I’m spending Thursday cooking for people I love.

But I need to be honest, NFL. I am not thankful for this lineup of Thanksgiving games. It should be a day of must-watch games that I have on, first as I cook a delicious feast, and then more must-watch football as I fall into a food coma on the couch.

But this is what we get instead:

Bears at Lions, 12:35 pm ET: The Bears are 3-7, and half of the players you would normally tune into see are on the injured reserve. Khalil Mack is out for the season, Allen Robinson and Akiem Hicks missed Sunday’s game, and Justin Fields left the game early with a rib injury and isn’t expected to play on Thursday. Bears coach Matt Nagy is on the hottest of seats, and we haven’t even gotten to the Lions yet. Detroit hasn’t won a single game this season. The biggest sign to the unwatchability of this game? The Lions could win. I realize that Detroit on Thanksgiving is a tradition, but traditions can be stopped. It’s OK. We don’t need to do this again until the Lions earn a national television audience.

Raiders vs. Cowboys, 4:30 pm ET: On paper, the Raiders are 5-5 and still in contention in the tight AFC West. In reality, the Raiders haven’t won a game since October, and are just trending to a bad place. Dallas, another tradition on Thanksgiving, have been all over the place. The last three games were losses to Denver and Kansas City and a win over Atlanta.

Bills vs. Saints, 8:20 pm ET: The night game on Thanksgiving needs to be a thriller. We’re all filled up on turkey and many, many carbs, so to keep us from slipping to sleep too early? We need a feast for the eyes. The Bills have scored a total of 34 points in their last three games, losing to the Colts and the Jaguars. The Jaguars! And the Saints haven’t won since losing Jameis Winston to a torn ACL.

This is what we get on Thanksgiving, NFL? Part of the reason we’re subject to the bad games is the inflexibility of the NFL’s scheduling. Unlike the NBA, which chooses the Christmas Day games based on strength of matchups, we’re stuck with the Cowboys and Lions, regardless of what they look like.

So, no. Sorry, NFL. I can’t say I’m thankful for these games.

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