The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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My Perfect Thanksgiving NFL Schedule

My whole life, Thanksgiving has been a not so subtle reminder of the Detroit Lions complete and total ineptitude. What if you were given the chance to free yourself of memories of Wayne Fontes, Scott Mitchell and Erik Kramer? To prevent our children from associating Thanksgiving with turkey, stuffing and Matthew Stafford?

What would the perfect Thanksgiving tripleheader look like for you?

Before we get to my matchups, let’s rank the time slots in terms of importance.

The morning game is the most disposable but also the tone setter for the entire day. It’s the kind of game that if it’s a good one, you’re sucked in with no remorse abandoning your family knowing you’ll be stuck with them for the next 8 hours anyway. If its bad, you’ll pretend to watch it while mostly flipping back and forth to (hopefully) a Thanksgiving classic like Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

The mid afternoon game is in the sweet spot of the Thanksgiving feast for most West coast families. It’s going to be on, it’s going to be a welcome distraction and it doesn’t matter who is playing or what is happening, you are definitely watching. Instead of making awkward conversation with Thanksgiving guests, you can speak the common language of sports and be thrilled to do so.

The night game is the gem. You’re stuffed, done with human interaction and ready to zonk out watching football. You deserve a great game.

Here are the three games I’d have for my perfect Thanksgiving of football.

Morning game - Kansas City at Green Bay

Mahomes vs. Rodgers and a rematch with a healthy Mahomes. What better way to get you into the football mood than two gunslingers trying to outdo each other? In my mind, these two QB’s would compete against each other like two stars in an NBA Dunk contest. One trying to outdo with other with ridiculous throws from ridiculous angles, no look passes and dropping dimes 58 yards down the sideline off their back foot, It’s in Green Bay, it’s snowing but in a pleasant way and the combined point total is north of 70. 

Afternoon game - New England at New Orleans

Brady vs. Brees. Belichick vs. Payton. New Orleans crowd vs. the world. This is the game that gets everyone watching. A potential Super Bowl preview with two lions reminding us of their all time greatness in Brady and Brees. The debates that could pour out of this game are endless and just the right touch for Thanksgiving like: Is Brees overrated or underrated? How many Super Bowls does Brady win with Sean Payton as his head coach? Which scandal was more over-covered or under-covered in Bountygate or Deflategate? Could Brees win this game outside in Foxboro? Which QB is showing more signs of their age? Is Michael Thomas the best player on the field? Would you rather have an in-their-prime Gronk or Jimmy Graham? Now I’m pissed the NFL DIDN’T give us this game.

Night game - San Francisco @ Baltimore

We’re getting this game this week, it’s just the wrong day and time. Instead of burying the most anticipated matchup of the year in the early Sunday window, give it to us in prime time on Thanksgiving! The NFL’s two hottest teams with an epic clash between offense and defense and the most exciting player in the league in Lamar Jackson deserves this kind of platform. Throw in the potential Super Bowl ramifications, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth and this is a matchup that will prevent you from drifting into the old sleep/wake up/sleep/wake up routine on the couch.

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