Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has been so good for the Dallas Cowboys that Tony Romo hasn't gotten his job back since his recovery from a preseason back injury.
Dallas, with an NFL-best 9-1 win-loss record, is looking for its first 10-game winning streak in the same regular season from its matchup with the Redskins on Thanksgiving Thursday. The run started with Prescott's first career victory at Washington in Week 2.
Prescott led a fourth-quarter comeback in that 27-23 win after fellow rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliott was benched because of two fumbles.
Now Prescott is the leading rookie passer in the NFL, and Elliott is the league's top rusher at 1,102 yards.
Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Elliott: "He's been bottled up from time to time in the first quarter, but as the game goes on, that offensive line can wear you down and he gets chunks of yardage. And Dak has just been very poised under pressure."
Elliott hasn't had fewer than 92 yards since getting 83 before the benching at Washington.
Also on Thursday, Detroit hosts Minnesota, and Indianapolis welcomes Pittsburgh.
Kirk Cousins and the Redskins are trying to keep up with the Cowboys in the surprisingly strong NFC East. Their 42-24 win over Green Bay last weekend was their sixth in eight games since starting 0-2.
The Lions have been playing on Thanksgiving since 1934, and this is their most significant match on the holiday in decades.
They and the Vikings are tied for first in the NFC North. It will be the first time the Lions are in first place on the holiday since 1993, which is also the most recent year the franchise won a division title.
"I love it," Lions cornerback Darius Slay said. "We know the risks, and the stakes."
If the Lions beat Minnesota for the second time this month and sweep the season series, they would win the head-to-head tiebreaker if both teams are tied at the end of the regular season.
If the Vikings win, they will move into first place with a favorable schedule that includes only one team that currently has a winning record.
The Colts have won two in a row, but the most recent victory was costly, particularly with the four-day turnaround for their game with the Steelers. Quarterback Andrew Luck has been ruled out because of concussion.
The backup quarterback is Scott Tolzien, who is in his fourth NFL season, thrown 91 passes (all with Green Bay when Aaron Rodgers was hurt), and has not taken a snap this season.
The Steelers are no powerhouse, especially on defense, but they should have more than enough talent for the Luck-less Colts.
This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings