Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (Nov. 22, 2016), we chat about the Green Bay Packers’ continued struggles and ponder what might turn their season around. We then move to Thanksgiving Day football, which this year — for the first time since 1935 — features three games in which all teams are .500 or better. In anticipation, we explore the history behind which NFL teams play on Thanksgiving Day and debate the merits of trying to make the Thanksgiving schedule more like the NBA on Christmas. Finally, ESPN insider Mike Goodman joins us to discuss the firing of Jurgen Klinsmann, the U.S. men’s national soccer team coach; the return of coach Bruce Arena; and whether we should expect the USMNT to make it to the World Cup in 2018. Plus, FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Casselman drops by with a significant digit — and a warning!
- ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports that despite Green Bay’s “disappointing” losing streak, it doesn’t seem that team President Mark Murphy will make coaching changes.
- ESPN tells you which NFL players to keep your eye on this Thanksgiving.
- Neil Paine questions whether Thanksgiving football should be more like Christmas in the NBA.
- Mental Floss breaks down the Detroit Lions’ and Dallas Cowboys’ history with Thanksgiving football.
- Neil Paine takes a look at the ups and downs of the USMNT’s Elo rating during the Klinsmann era.
- Mike Goodman writes on how U.S. soccer may shift under new coach Bruce Arena.
- Significant Digit: 549, which is the rough number of Americans 25 and older who landed in the emergency room because of football injuries on Thanksgiving in 2014. That’s actually pretty good compared with other years — the average is about 1,000 people per Thanksgiving since 2009.