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2014 NFL Schedule: No AFC teams on Thanksgiving Day

For the first time since the 1970 merger no AFC team will be represented on the NFL's Thanksgiving Day slate of games.

The league announced that the triple-header on Turkey Day will feature NFC divisional rivals:

Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears -- 12:30 p.m. ET

Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles -- 4:30 p.m. ET

San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks -- 8:30 p.m. ET

The all-NFC lineup is an example of the NFL utilizing what Around The League first reported as the "cross flex" mechanism, which allows select games to be flexed between CBS and FOX. In the past, a game with two NFC teams had to be on FOX and a game with two AFC teams had to be on CBS.

The Lions' Thanksgiving Day game is slated to air on CBS in 2014.

With the ability to place an all-NFC game on CBS during one of the league's most popular football days of the year, it's possible the NFL believed the Bears were a better matchup for Detroit's annual holiday game than the two AFC teams scheduled to visit Ford Field this season -- Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills.

Pitting divisional opponents during Week 12 adds to the intrigue and likelihood of the games having added importance on playoff races (read: ratings).

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The Bears last played the Lions on Thanksgiving back in 1999. The Eagles haven't faced the Cowboys on Thanksgiving since 1989 -- though Philly did play the Arizona Cardinals on Thanksgiving in 2008.

Mid-April Thanksgiving Day warning: Do NOT eat too much Turkey.

You don't want to fall asleep before the night matchup between heavyweight rivals San Francisco and Seattle. One of the most highly-anticipated matchups of the 2014 season, the Niners-Seahawks rivalry debuts on Thanksgiving

While it lacks the tradition of having an AFC representative, this season's Thanksgiving schedule look like it will be the perfect side dish to your turkey feast.

The "Around The League Podcast" NFL Schedule Extravaganza will change the way you look at everything.

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