Tonight final Thanksgiving Day NFL football game probably looked a lot better on paper before the season began than it does today. The 7-3 New England Patriots have lived up to expectations placed upon them and continue their march toward an imminent playoff berth. The New York Jets, however, have stumbled hard this season, but begin a stretch of easier opponents after facing the Patriots tonight.
The big story is on the New England side where tight end Rob Gronkowski has been sidelined and will miss several weeks. Gronkowski is not only the leading receiver for the Patriots, but is tied for the league lead with 10 touchdown catches. The Patriots other stellar tight end, Aaron Hernandez, has missed most of the season, but could be back tonight after limited practice earlier this week.
Tom Brady may have to rely more on Wes Welker tonight, especially if Hernandez is unable to play. Welker hasn’t been quite as productive with Gronkowski stepping up, but he should become the primary target tonight after catching eight touchdowns so far this season, second behind Gronkowski.
The Jets will need another one of their patented late-season runs to have any hope of making the playoffs. Pulling off the upset and defeating the Patriots tonight would be a fantastic first step, especially considering their next games are all against teams with losing records: Arizona, Tennessee, San Diego, Buffalo, and Jacksonville.
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez managed to shrug off calls for his benching to lead his team to a big win over St. Louis last week. He didn’t turn the ball over, a theme that goes along with wins for the Jets. He has turned the ball over via interceptions or fumbles thirteen times this season through only nine games.
Those of you without television access for tonight’s final Thanksgiving Day game between the New Englad Patriots and New York Jets on NBC can watch the official free live online streaming option here. My prediction is the Patriots give the Jets defense fits and Sanchez returns to his turnover ways in a 27-10 Patriots win. Tonight’s final NFL Thanksgiving Day game kicks off at 8:20 pm EST. Happy Thanksgiving!