The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys have annually alternated between AFC and NFC opponents for their Thanksgiving Day games. With the Lions hosting (and beating the crap out of) the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day 2013, the pattern dictates the Lions will host an AFC opponent on Thanksgiving Day 2014.
While the NFL television contract that went into effect in 2012 theoretically allows for the Lions and Cowboys to both host NFC opponents, it is unclear if that will actually ever happen. If it does, it won’t be in 2014.
The Lions released season ticket renewal information today that confirms the Lions will host an AFC opponent on Thanksgiving Day next season. Based on the NFL’s rotating scheduling procedures, the Lions are to host the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, meaning one of those two will be the Lions’ next Thanksgiving opponent.
Which will it be? We’ll find out in a couple months when the NFL releases the 2014 schedule but either could be intriguing. The Dolphins initially figured to be the most likely choice by being the better team but that was before the Bills hired Jim Schwartz as their defensive coordinator. Schwartz’s return is sure to be a strong story line heading into the game and may play better with a national audience than an otherwise vanilla matchup between the Lions and Dolphins.