By Ron Johnson
Gobbles Up! These are the last two words that The Captain said prior to going on Thanksgiving break. But we all know the three Fs of Thanksgiving: Family, Food and Football. And while some teams stepped up to honor traditions…
…there were those who didn’t the memo.
NFL Thanksgiving Recap
Packers Establish Dominance vs. Lions
In traditional Turkey Day Fashion, the Green Bay Packers embraced their inner John Madden on his favorite day. They did this by making the Detroit Lions one-dimensional. While Barry Sanders brought them tons of joy on Thanksgiving, it was the complete opposite for the Lions today as they waited too late to make it a game.
In the end, the defense caused problems for Jared Goff and made the duo of David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs nonexistent to a point as the Packers held on to defeat the Lions 29-22 to get back in the postseason conversation. Jordan Love finished with 268 yards on 22/32 passing and three touchdowns, while Goff had a career day with 332 yards on 29/44 passing and two touchdowns for the Lions.
While everything started clicking for Detroit like last week, they failed to recover the onside kick as the refs got the last laugh, Love got a turkey leg and Madden was able to smile a little bigger in the skies above.
Up next for the Packers will be a rematch of the very first Super Bowl as they host the Kansas City Chiefs on December 3rd. As for the Lions, they pack it up and pack it in as they prepare for some Gumbo and possibly some Mardi Gras fun in New Orleans.
Bland, Dallas Feasts on Washington for Daksgiving
It is said that history tends to repeat itself in the most bizarre ways. For the Dallas Cowboys, it was about history getting a reality check of its own. Dak Prescott threw for four touchdowns, and DaRon Bland made NFL history with his fifth pick-six of the season as the Dallas Cowboys embarrassed yet another sub .500 team in the Commanders, 45-10.
Now while the score may not show it, Sam Howell had a decent outing up to the pick-six that practically sealed the deal for the Cowboys. Howell finished with 300 yards on 28/44 passing with zero touchdowns and the one pick to Bland, while Prescott finished with 331 yards on 22/32 passing and those four touchdowns. Despite my wife’s concern about the running game, Tony Pollard did more than enough to keep the ground game invigorated with 79 yards on 13 carries.
But the story of the game will be DaRon Bland.
On an out route, Howell threw it towards the left, when Bland jumped in front of the pass and ran it back 63 yards for the history breaking pick-six. As Bland celebrated, even this guy was happy for his performance. However, this is not the time for Cowboys fans to start making their travel plans for Vegas. On the night that Jimmy Johnson is finally inducted into their Ring of Honor, December 10th, the Eagles will also be there which may trigger an old clip of Jimmy telling a cameraman to “Get that damn camera out my face!”
For Dallas, next week comes quick as they will host Seattle in the second of three consecutive home games. For Washington, they prepare to bounce back against a dangerous Miami team prior to their bye week.
McCaffrey, Deebo Carry San Francisco to Beatdown Victory
The bye week is the time for teams to refocus their attention and aggression. For the San Francisco 49ers, it was the perfect time to pull their head out of their backside and get back to winning.
In the Emerald City, they did just that.
Christian McCaffrey shined like his father on Thanksgiving night with a pair of touchdowns to go with his 19 carries and 114 yards, while Deebo Samuel was the hands of the hour with 79 yards on seven catches as the Niners defeated division rival Seattle Seahawks 31-13 to remain atop the NFC West at 8-3.
Geno Smith was whackluster at best for the Seahawks as the injury he suffered against the Rams (and the decision to put him back in for a chance to win that game) came back to bite him and the Hawks. He finished with 180 yards on 18/27 passing, zero touchdowns and one interception. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett were on an ‘Uso Penitentiary’ style lockdown the entire game as the duo were only able to catch a combined six passes for 62 yards.
It is safe to say that the Niners are ready to take this winning streak further, and they will get a chance next Sunday as they prepare for a rematch of their own, this time against the Philadelphia Eagles at The Link. As for Seattle, they have a full week to lick their wounds, but it doesn’t get easier as they will travel to Dallas to face the red-hot Cowboys, who have proven to be unstoppable at home.
Your MVPs for Thanksgiving are Jordan Love (Green Bay), DaRon Bland & Dak Prescott (Dallas) and Christian McCaffrey & Deebo Samuel (San Francisco). The Ultimate MVP of Thanksgiving is the man who gave us all a reason to celebrate Thanksgiving with the television close: John Madden.