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As every good American knows, Thanksgiving is a time for family, food, and thoughtful reflection on all we have to be thankful for football, football, football! NFL football has been a Thanksgiving tradition since way back in 1934, when -- fun fact -- people ate saber-toothed tigers instead of turkeys. It's also on TV all day Thursday, making it the perfect way to kill time with your racist uncle without discussing anything serious, as long as nobody mentions Colin Kaepernick. Now then, a quick catch-you-up on the football season so far, and a preview of each of the Thanksgiving games.

College football roundup in 300 characters, in case that comes up: College football's Selection Sunday -- in which a committee decides with four teams advance to the playoffs -- is December 2. There will be plenty of arguing before and after their choices, and then five weeks of Bowl Games culminating in January 7's national championship. The eternal question: will this year's champion be Alabama... or someone else?

NFL roundup in slightly more characters: The NFL must be having a funky season, because the top teams are KC and the Sunshine Rams -- or, to be more precise, the Kansas City Chiefs and the L.A. Rams. (There's also one more squad in the top tier we'll tell you about in the game previews -- ooh, teaser!) Those two teams just played the best Monday Night Football game ever last night (Monday Night Football is a big deal: as opposed to Sunday's chaos, there's usually just one game, so everyone's watching) -- it was the first NFL game to ever see both teams score over 50 points (the Rams won 54-51).

The Chiefs are led by second-year phenom quarterback Patrick Mahomes (subscribe, subscribe, subscribe here for a deep dive on that guy) and an elite offense, while the Rams have superstars on offense and defense -- Jared Goff is the star QB, and sack machine Aaron Donald is one of the league best defenders.

You should also know that the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles are on track to miss the playoffs, and after haters everywhere danced with hater glee at the New England Patriots' 1-2 start, old man Tom Brady led them back to a comfortable division lead with a 7-3 record.

Thanksgiving Game Previews
We've got the potential for some good games this year -- they're all intra-divisional showdowns, each featuring a division-leading team.
  • 12:30 PM ET, Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears. The Lions are, as usual, hosting a Thanksgiving Day game, and are also, as usual, bad. The fun part will be watching Bears' linebacker and athletic freak Khalil Mack continue to push the limits of how much one defensive player can impact a game.
     
  • 4:30 PM ET, Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins. It's 2018, and we're still trotting out a team with a blatantly racist name for some reason. Oh well, at least the division they're leading is arguably the worst in the league? And the Cowboys will catch them for the division lead with a win here. One reason to watch this game is Cowboys' running back Ezekiel Elliot, who just last week hurdled clear over a guy.
     
  • 8:20 PM ET, New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons. The Saints are that third elite team we alluded to earlier. They're the hottest team in the league with nine straight wins, and their legendary quarterback -- Drew Brees -- just broke the career record for passing yards. On the other side of the ball, the Falcons still have a shot at making the playoffs for the third straight year if they can string together a few wins.
 
 
"The Bears' Khalil Mack is stronger and has faster acceleration than most cars. Watch him take over this game."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As Drew Brees now knows, when you break the all-time NFL passing yards record, they stop the game for you so you can celebrate with your family. Fun! (Watch to the end to see a grizzled, bearded man cry tears of joy.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
That Thanksgiving Day NFL schedule again:
  • 12:30 PM ET, Lions vs. Bears on CBS
  • 4:30 PM ET, Cowboys vs. Washington on FOX
  • 8:20 PM ET, Saints vs. Falcons on NBC
 
 
 
 
 
 
Want to talk about football more fluently than a real life U.S. Senator? When a team tries to score by kicking and hasn't scored a touchdown on their possession already, that's called a "field goal," not a "3 pt kick." (So many people made fun of this tweet that Rubio had to explain his choice of terminology in a follow-up days later.)
 
 
 
 
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