Maybe Woody Johnson’s coin-flip gasket-blowing worked.
The Jets, not the Giants, will be hosting a Thanksgiving night game at the stadium the two teams will share, according to Gary Myers of the New York Daily News.
The announcement of the Thanksgiving games and the Week One prime-time games will be made Monday, in conjunction with the league meetings in Orlando.
For Kickoff Weekend, the Saints will host the opening game on Thursday, September 9. (If it’s the Vikings, I’ll be in New Orleans, infiltrating the Minnesota broadcast booth with Paul Allen and Pete Bercich. Apparently, my compensation will be a PlayStation 3, so that P.A. and I can thereafter play Madden online and he can taunt me whenever I throw an interception by shouting, “This isn’t Detroit!“)
It’s unknown who’ll host the Sunday night game or the second half of the ESPN doubleheader on Monday night. Typically, the late Monday game goes to a West Coast team, who hosts another team from a time zone other than Eastern.
In recent years, the Monday night twin-bill exclusively has featured division rivals. In 2009, the Patriots hosted the Bills and the Raiders hosted the Chargers. The prior year, the Packers hosted the Vikings and the Raiders hosted the Broncos. Before that, the Bengals hosted the Ravens and the 49ers hosted the Cardinals.
Our guess? It’ll be Dolphins-Jets in Week One, ten years after the two teams got together on a Monday night for one of the all-time classic prime-time games.
The fact that the Jets will be hosting a Thanksgiving night game means that the Patriots will be traveling to Detroit earlier in the day. Because CBS will be televising the game hosted by the Lions, the road team must be from the AFC, and the only AFC teams playing in Ford Field this season will be the Pats and the Jets.
For the late-afternoon game, the Cowboys will be hosting one of the NFC teams on their schedule — the Eagles, Redskins, Giants, Bears, or the Saints. (The Lions are the sixth NFC team who’ll play in Cowboys Stadium.) Though Saints-Cowboys is the obvious choice, history tells us that the NFL rarely wastes a great game on the captive audience that comes with Thanksgiving Day.
So we’re bracing for the Bears.
As to the Jets, the Thanksgiving night game could very well entail a return visit from the Bengals, who helped close out Giants Stadium. Other possibilities are the Packers, Vikings, Ravens, Texans, and one of the three AFC East rivals.