Yesterday had a lot of high-scoring games, with three teams scoring over 50 points and five more with over 30. But let’s do a brief recap of the Thursday games before we dive in.
We got three division games on Thanksgiving Day, and they were pretty much all blowouts. First up were the Bears against Detroit. Chicago ran up the score early with two touchdowns in the first quarter, but that 14-3 lead evaporated as the Lions scored three touchdowns in the second quarter alone and only allowed three more points for the rest of the game. 34-17 win for the Lions, bringing them to 8-4 and just one game behind the Packers in the NFC North. Playoff hopes are alive and well in Detroit.
Up next were the Eagles and Cowboys. This game was a Very Big Deal, as the teams had identical records coming into the day. Since the 4:30 kickoff coincided with sitting down for Thanksgiving dinner, I recorded the game and demanded a media blackout for as long as we were at the table. I even put my phone on airplane mode, so as to avoid any texts containing game spoilers.
Turns out I was in zero danger of ruining my dinner with bad news. My cousins’ kids had spent the day working on a Thanksgiving play (written by the two oldest) and kept asking when the game would be over so they could perform for all of us. This was when we decided to turn off the TV.
Final score: 33-10 Eagles. The rematch in Philly is in just two weeks. Can’t wait!!
The Thursday night game was Seattle at San Francisco, but honestly, I barely remember this game. This should explain why.
On to the Sunday games. Ryan Fitzpatrick had the biggest day of his career, throwing for 358 yards and SIX touchdowns. His favorite receiver was DeAndre Hopkins, who had 238 yards on nine receptions and two TDs. Fitzy’s sixth TD went to…you guessed it.
That’s J.J.’s fifth TD this season, and his third receiving one. Needless to say, the Texans won 45-21 over Tennessee.
If you don’t live in the DC metro area – and therefore aren’t subjected to daily updates on the drama of the Washington Football Team – you might have been surprised to see Colt McCoy start in place of RGIII. You shouldn’t have been surprised, however, to see Washington lose 49-27 to the Colts. Despite the loss, McCoy threw for 392 yards and 3 TDs, a performance that solidified Bobby as a has-been in Washington.
Washington put some pressure on Andrew Luck at the start of the game, with the Colts’ first two drives ending in a fumble and interception, both by Luck. Then Caveman Andrew got his groove back and threw for five touchdowns, including a career-long 79-yarder to Donte Moncrief. Moncrief had 134 yards and 2 TDs on just three receptions. He was pretty psyched about that.
The Vikings special teams had a big day, returning not one but TWO blocked punts for touchdowns in their 31-13 win over Carolina. Minnesota hasn’t returned a blocked punt for a touchdown since 1986.
The Rams shut out the Raiders 52-0, which is a non-story except that, holy shit, 52 points is a lot. St. Louis can thank Tre Mason for his contribution of 164 total yards and three total TDs.
The Rams should also thank the Raiders for blocking their own punt returns.
The Falcons beat the Cardinals, giving the 5-7 team their very first win outside the NFC South this season, which may be the saddest thing I've written about a division leader all season. The 9-3 Cardinals are still one game ahead of Seattle in the NFC West, but they finish out the season against Kansas City, St. Louis, Seattle, and San Francisco. Rough December for them.
The game of the week was, as expected, New England at Green Bay. The Packers looked way better than the Patriots, scoring on their first five drives and leaning heavily on the run game (read: Eddie Lacy) to keep the Pats’ time of possession to just 23:25.
New England missed a 47-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, keeping Green Bay’s lead at 26-21 and giving the Packers the ball with just 2:40 on the clock. The Pats used their two remaining timeouts and the two-minute warning to buy as much time as they could, but the defense failed to force a punt, and Green Bay got to kneel on the ball to win. Brady was NOT happy about that.
Also, this happened.
The Broncos beat the Chiefs in the night game, which I admittedly slept through. Denver took an early lead and never looked back, letting up just 16 points. That’s fewer points than Broncos kicker Connor Barth – who I’d never heard of before today – scored by himself in the 29-16 win. The biggest news of the night for the Chiefs was Travis Kelce being less than pleased with a hit on his QB Alex Smith.
Kelce clarified on Twitter that the gesture was directed at Von Miller and not the ref, which is...marginally more acceptable. Still might want to avoid vulgar gestures on national TV.