Green Bay Packers (10-0) at Detroit Lions (7-3)
Kickoff: Thursday, 12:30 ET, FOX, Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver.
Game plan: Lions RB Kevin Smith gained 201 total yards last week, giving Detroit a threat it hasn't had with Jahvid Best (concussion) missing the past four games. QB Matt Stafford needs the crutch facing a blitz-reliant defense. The Lions can sting Green Bay, using TEs Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler as primary reads to limit Stafford's risks - he doesn't shy away from forcing the ball into tight coverage. That's a tendency the opportunistic Packers readily attack, and the Lions can't set Green Bay up with the gift of a short field. QB Aaron Rodgers' uncanny precision gets a test from the Lions' penetrating defensive line, but he's been on target facing heavy pressure in recent games and should be able to pick his spots using three-receiver sets. RB James Starks (knee, ankle) is likely a game-time decision, and Ryan Grant hasn't been a threat, though he hasn't gotten a chance to get into a groove, either.
Need to know: This is the third Thanksgiving meeting in five years and 20th all-time on the holiday. ... The Lions are the first team in NFL history to win three games in a season in which they trailed by at least 17 points.
Miami Dolphins (3-7) at Dallas Cowboys (6-4)
Kickoff: Thursday, 4:15 ET, CBS, Jim Nantz, Phil Simms.
Game plan: The Dolphins' underrated front seven will scheme to take away the Cowboys' most important weapon in RB DeMarco Murray. The chess match is between QB Tony Romo and the Dolphins' secondary. Miami's back four is playing with more confidence but has been riddled by quarterbacks with the bravado to hang in the pocket for receivers to separate. Both tight ends are critical, and Dolphins QB Matt Moore's on-the-move passing often leads him to RB Reggie Bush and TE Anthony Fasano. Dallas' secondary lacks star quality and will double Brandon Marshall unless he lines up in the slot. Bush has been a find in the red zone and his more decisive running has balanced the offense.
Need to know: Romo has 11 touchdown passes and one interception in the past five games. ... Moore is second in the NFL in passer rating behind Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers in November.
San Francisco 49ers (9-1) at Baltimore Ravens (7-3)
Kickoff: Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network, Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan.
Game plan: The Ravens won't know if ILB Ray Lewis (toe) will play until Thursday. Lewis could be invaluable against the powerful 49ers offensive line and RB Frank Gore (4.6 yards per carry). Baltimore will unleash a vicious blitz package to test the resolve of QB Alex Smith and the communication of a line burned for 14 sacks in a three-game stretch in September -- but only 10 total since. Smith must accurately gauge S Ed Reed's intentions before the snap to avoid being baited into a game-turning pick, but with average receivers outside TE Vernon Davis is often the target to move the chains and in the red zone. The Ravens need to be wary of getting away from RB Ray Rice, even against the NFL's top-ranked rush defense, as it clears windows to hit lightning-fast WR Torrey Smith (20.3 yards per catch).
Need to know: The 49ers' Jim Harbaugh and the Ravens' John Harbaugh are the first brothers in NFL history to face each other as head coaches. ... The 49ers can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a loss or tie by Seattle. ... Rice has a team-high 51 receptions, and at least five grabs in eight games this season.
-- By Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange