All Three Home Teams Lost to the Visitors on Thanksgiving
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Thanksgiving is all about food, family, and, of course, football. There were three games that ushered in Week 12 on Thursday with the Bears-Lions, Raiders-Cowboys, and Bills-Saints.
Every game had a host of injuries to at least one team. The Bears started their backup Andy Dalton, Jared Goff was coming off an oblique injury, CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and three assistant coaches were absent for the Cowboys, and the Saints were missing 14 starters including starting running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Teams are usually banged up this time of year, but those are key pieces that are not easy to replace.
Bears Pull Out Victory As Time Expires In Detroit
The winless Lions took on the Bears at home in Detroit to kick off the Thanksgiving football slate of games. Despite the lack of wins, the Lions are going through a culture transformation and the team isn’t acting like they have a zero in the win column.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears have been dealing with some controversy after a report came out that Matt Nagy was told he was going to be fired after the game. The idea that that could be true is ridiculous and he had to address his team and the media to refute the claims.
After the Lions scored on a 39-yard pass to WR Josh Reynolds in the first quarter, the offenses completely stalled on both sides for most of the half. At one point, the Lions were within field goal range but three penalties backed them up 20 yards. Dan Campbell opted for a run play on 4th down and 32 that elicited a raucous boo from the Detroit crowd. The Bears took the lead just before halftime with a long play to Darnell Mooney that set up a touchdown pass to TE Jimmy Graham. It only took 52 seconds for the Bears to go 69 yards and score.
Things took a turn for the worse for the Lions who had to finish the game without star RB D’Andre Swift. He hurt his shoulder early after logging only three carries for zero yards and three receptions for nine yards. Then, after T.J. Hockenson scored a touchdown in the third quarter, he was taken back to the locker room.
The touchdown gave the Lions a 14-13 lead and they held it all the way down to one second left on the clock. But, it was enough time for Cairo Santos to make a short field goal to take the win and break the hearts of the Lions and Detroit once again.
Raiders Improve to 6-5 in Overtime Win Against the Cowboys
The game started off with a bang for the Raiders with three plays that went 71 yards for a touchdown by newly acquired WR DeSean Jackson. His touchdown catch was on a bomb from Derek Carr for a 56-yard score. On the ensuing drive, the Cowboys marched right down the field to score but missed the extra point. All of that action happened in just three drives in the first quarter.
The injury bug wasn’t contained in the first Thursday game. TE Darren Waller, arguably the best talent on the Raiders, went down in the first half with a knee injury. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game after catching two receptions for 33 yards.
Tony Pollard, RB2 for the Cowboys, had himself a game. In addition to helping out a hobbled Ezekiel Elliott, he returned a kick for a 100-yard touchdown in the third quarter. It cut the Raiders lead down to five points (24-19) with a quarter and a half left to play.
The Cowboys would not go quietly into the night, but the Raiders held a lead of eight points twice. With 2:54 seconds left to go, Prescott hit TE Dalton Schultz for a 32-yard touchdown. A previous two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, which led to one of the eight-point deficits. This time, the two-point conversion was good and the Cowboys tied the game 30-30.
The Raiders kicked a field goal to take the lead 33-30 and it was up to Prescott to get the Cowboys a win with less than two minutes left to play. He took Dallas down the field and Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein kicked a field goal to tie the game and head into overtime.
The Cowboys were called on a critical defensive pass interference that put the Raiders within field goal range inside the 30-yard line in overtime. Daniel Carlson’s 34-yard field goal attempt was backed up five yards after a Raiders’ false start. Then a neutral zone infraction on the Cowboys actually brought the kick back to the original 34-yard distance. Unbelievably, the Cowboys were called for encroachment so the kick turned into a 29-yard attempt. Finally, Carlson was able to kick a field goal without a whistle and the Raiders took the win in overtime.
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Bills Blowout the Saints in 31-6 Victory in New Orleans
If the Cowboys thought they had it bad with injures, the Saints could certainly take the cake. They had to rely on Ty Montgomery and Tony Jones Jr. as their main running backs in place of Kamara and Ingram. That was just the tip of the iceberg for New Orleans missing pieces that included three coaches who tested positive for COVID-19.
The Bills were poised to take advantage of a beleaguered team and have a get-right performance after a bad loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11. It was up to the Saints defense to make a statement on Thursday night against the 6-4 Buffalo Bills at home in New Orleans.
Interestingly, RB Zack Moss was a healthy scratch and the Bills relied on Devin Singletary and Matt Breida. Breida had an excellent game in Week 10 against the Jets with a rushing and a receiving touchdown.
New Orleans put up a good defensive fight in the first half, held the Bills to 10 points, and intercepted Allen twice, but their offense couldn’t put any points on the board. In the second half, however, the Bills cracked open the Saints’ tired secondary with a touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs and another touchdown to TE Dawson Knox in the third quarter. Breida tacked on another score in the fourth quarter bringing the score to 31-6. Allen’s night ended with under seven minutes left to play when the Bills opted to put in Mitchell Trubisky to finish out the game.
You may have a leg-up in Week 12 heading into Sunday, but if you relied on Swift or Waller, you may be in a hole. It’s time to search the waiver wire or get in some last-minute trades to prepare for them to miss time.
Quick Hits/Injury Updates/COVID-19
Cowboys WRs CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper were not in Thursday’s game due to a concussion (Lamb) and COVID-19 (Cooper). … Bears QB Justin Fields was unable to play due to hairline fractures in his ribs. However, they are optimistic he will play in Week 13. WR Allen Robinson did not play on Thursday due to a hamstring injury. … Packers RB Aaron Jones will be a game-time decision dealing with a knee injury. … Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown is moving better according to head coach Bruce Arians. They are hopeful he will be able to go in Week 13 against the Falcons. Mike Evans missed a second practice with a quad injury. … Saints RBs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram were ruled out ahead of Thursday night’s game. … Miami Dolphins claimed RB Phillip Lindsay off of waivers. He was released by the Texans earlier this week. … Browns RB Kareem Hunt has been designated to return from IR. QB Baker Mayfield practiced in full on Thursday. … Falcons RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson was limited at practice with a lingering ankle injury. … Lions RB D’Andre Swift left the game in the first half with a shoulder injury. … Giants WR Kadarius Toney did not practice for the second day in a row and Sterling Shepard is still not practicing with a quad injury. … Jets WR Corey Davis was not at practice with a groin injury.