The NFL’s Thanksgiving football games get off to a bang this year, as the Green Bay Packers take on the Detroit Lions in an NFC North showdown of teams fighting for playoff positioning. The Packers have been playing poorly of late, but with quarterback Aaron Rodgers practicing this week in advance of the Lions game, the team’s bound to be emboldened. The Lions, meanwhile, have lost two games in a row for the first time this year and look to turn things around in this Thanksgiving rivalry game against Green Bay. With playoff hopes hanging in the balance for both teams, this is a great game to start today’s trio of NFL games. So, if you’re not sitting in front of your HDTV waiting for the turkey to finish cooking, you can watch Packers vs Lions free online using one of several different methods.
The big news out of Packers game this week was quarterback Aaron Rodgers practicing for the first time in three weeks after going down with a broken collarbone against the Chicago Bears. The star quarterback took part in individual drills Tuesday and worked on drop-back drills, throwing short passes (read: collarbone-friendly ones) to his receivers, and getting in some quarterback-center exchanges. Having Rodgers take the field for the Packers would be a huge win for Green Bay, as he’d been having a monster season before going down. Leading up to that ill-fated Bears game, Rodgers had gone 168-251 for 2,218 and 15 touchdowns. Backup quarterback Scott Tolzien has taken the reins with Rodgers out, and although he’s put in a yeoman’s effort, the Packers have gone 0-3-1 since Rodgers’ injury.
Packers QB Matt Flynn will get the start today though, as Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday that Rodgers’ chances of playing are not likely. Although Tolzien started the past two games, Flynn actually led the Packers to their come-from-behind tie Sunday against Minnesota. “It does not look like Aaron is going to make it,” McCarthy told reporters. As a result, Flynn took the starter reps for the Packers in Tuesday’s practice. There’s still an outside chance Rodgers could play for a few snaps, particularly in light of the Packers’ playoff hopes, but it’s more likely that he’ll watch this game from the sidelines and look toward a return in a couple of weeks, when the Packers face the Atlanta Falcons.
It’s not like Green Bay will be the only team with its eyes on the playoff prize, though. When you watch Packers vs Lions free online you’ll see two teams battling for what’s essentially a three-way battle for one spot in the NFC North. If the Lions win today’s Thanksgiving NFL game over the Packers, they’d be 1.5 games ahead of Green Bay with four games remaining. A win also would put them at 4-1 in the division, with a chance to clinch all division tiebreakers if they beat the Vikings four weeks from now.
The Lions will need to play better than they have the past two weeks, though. Detroit has lost consecutive games for the first time this year, and they’ve come against lowly Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. And Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who’d been having a solid year, threw four interceptions for the first time since 2011 in Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers, after having thrown just eight total in the Lions’ first 10 games of the season. The performance was likely an aberration, as Stafford for the season has gone 274-465 for 3,495 yards and 24 touchdowns. His quarterback ranking is just 12th in the league, but those are impressive numbers, and they’ve led the Lions to the NFL’s third-rated passing game and fifth-ranked overall offense so far this season. Presuming he and the Lions turn it around, their fans will certainly have something to be thankful for tonight.
You can watch Packers vs Lions free online on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with MAX package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game, including today’s 12:30 EST / 9:30 PST Thanksgiving NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. It’s unclear whether Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will actually take the field, but the sheer prospect of it is reason enough to watch.