Thanksgiving football features three division winners from the past season and two contests with divisional implications.
The remaining two games boast the traditional Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys home slates. The Lions host an NFC North rival in the Chicago Bears, who won the division in 2018, for a second straight year, while the Cowboys, winners of the NFC East last year, welcome the Buffalo Bills to AT&T Stadium.
This matchup has two second-year coaches on display with the Bears' Matt Nagy and the Lions' Matt Patricia. Both experienced different results last year, though. Under Nagy, the Bears enjoyed a 12-4 record and return to the top of the NFC North, which came at the expense of the Lions, who lost the two annual meetings against Chicago last year. Patricia's Lions went on to finish the season last in the division with a 6-10 record.
In the 2018 Thanksgiving matchup, the Bears and Lions treated audiences to a thrilling fourth quarter. With the game tied at 16-16 midway through the final period, Bears safety Eddie Jackson picked off Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and returned it 41 yards for the game-winning touchdown. The Bears lead the all-time series with a 99-74-5 record.
Buckle in for a contest that should be regarded as one of the more underrated rivalries in the league. While the Falcons own a 51-48 all-time edge in the regular season in the series, there's something about the Falcons that simply brings out the best in Saints head coach Sean Payton, who holds a remarkable record against Atlanta. Since taking over in New Orleans in 2006 and not counting the 2012 season when Payton served a year-long suspension, the Saints are 17-7 against their rivals over that span, which includes three straight wins.
The Saints-Falcons games also tend to produce offensive fireworks between two of the league's top units and close affairs, as both teams know each other well. In the past eight matchups, six were decided by 10 points or less. If excitement and a busy scoreboard are what the league wanted to cap off Thanksgiving, the NFL certainly picked a good one to showcase to a prime-time audience.