After holiday, every game counts

For teams like the Ravens, Bengals and Seahawks, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the playoff drive.

Updated: November 26, 2003, 9:54 AM ET
By Randy Mueller | ESPN NFL Insider
Thanksgiving is near, and we have sorted out the haves from the have-nots in the NFL. What's left to sort out is home-field advantage and certain playoff teams.

If asked, most NFL front offices will tell you the same -- position yourself at .500 or above by Thanksgiving and you have a chance to make a run in December. Not that anyone has a goal of being .500 this time of year, but if you are, it will make for an exciting final month. If not, you're probably thinking about next year or the scenarios in which you can get a lot of help.

It's also why the first thing I used to do when the schedule came out in April or May was look at our games after Thanksgiving.