Thursday Thanksgiving Day Games
Lions – 34 (8-4), Bears – 17 (5-7)
Heroes – Matthew Stafford (390 PaYd, 2 TD), Joique Bell (91 RuYd, 16 ReYd, 2 TD), Calvin Johnson (146 ReYd, 2 TD), Golden Tate (89 ReYd), Martellus Bennett (109 ReYd), Alshon Jeffery (71 ReYd, 2 TD)
Zeroes – Eric Ebron (23 ReYd), Matt Forte (6 RuYd, 52 ReYd), Brandon Marshall (42 ReYd)
We all knew it was coming, right? Calvin Johnson wasn’t expected to be held in check too much longer, whether by injury, defense or poor play, so it was only a matter of time before he exploded. Megatron netted 11 catches on the day for a dominant showing after being wrangled fairly well over his last few games. Quarterback Matthew Stafford emerged from his personal slump, while the Lions took advantage of a Bears team that can’t win on the road. The Bears only rushed the ball seven times in the entire game, with Matt Forte shut down by the Lions’ rush defense (ranked No. 1 in the NFL). Stafford was 22-for-26, throwing for 275 yards in the first half alone.
Interesting Game Fact: Calvin Johnson’s TD in the second quarter was the first for the Lions since Week 10.
Eagles – 33 (9-3), Cowboys – 10 (8-4)
Heroes – LeSean McCoy (159 RuYd), Jeremy Maclin (108 ReYd), Jordan Matthews (51 ReYd, 1 TD), Cody Parkey (4 FG), DeMarco Murray (73 RuYd, 40 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Darren Sproles (13 RuYd, 19 ReYd), Riley Cooper (32 ReYd), Brent Celek (7 ReYd), Tony Romo (199 PaYd), Terrence Williams (38 ReYd)
His numbers may not be dominating, but Mark Sanchez is proving that he should be an NFL starting quarterback. Sanchez, who is only signed with the Eagles through the 2014 season, played extremely well off play-action plays and followed Chip Kelley’s game plan extremely well. Along with Sanchez’ success, the Eagles were able to amass 162 rushing yards before contact as LeSean McCoy had one of this best games of the season. The Eagles defense kept DeMarco Murray under the 100-yard mark as his longest run on the day was only nine yards, while Tony Romo was only 18-of-29 as he threw two interceptions.
Interesting Game Fact: Tony Romo had his 38-game TD pass streak ended as he did not throw a TD pass against the Eagles.
Seahawks – 19 (8-4), 49ers – 3 (7-5)
Heroes – Marshawn Lynch (104 RuYd, 7 ReYd), Robert Turbin (8 RuYd, 47 ReYd, 1 TD), Steven Hauschka (4 FG)
Zeroes – Doug Baldwin (28 ReYd), Colin Kaepernick (121 PaYd, 2 INT), Frank Gore (28 RuYd, 8 ReYd), Anquan Boldin (18 ReYd), Vernon Davis (13 ReYd), Michael Crabtree (10 ReYd), Brandon Lloyd (6 ReYd), Stevie Johnson (28 ReYd)
If you were looking for a bunch of offense in this game, which you shouldn’t have been, then you were highly disappointed. The Seahawks defense, which only allowed 164 total yards to the 49ers, was unbelievably good as they won the turnover battle by a landslide (3 to 0). Colin Kaepernick was stifled by Richard Sherman and others as he had zero success in the air and on the ground. Tough-guy go-to players like Anquan Boldin couldn’t even help the Niners case on Turkey Day. The Niners only had 71 yards at halftime, which was actually better than the 62 yards they put up in the first half against the Seahawks in Week 2 of the 2013 season. Other than a first quarter TD pass from Russell Wilson to Robert Turbin, the Seahawks relied on four Steven Hauschka field goals.
Interesting Game Fact: The 49ers have only scored 33 points in the four quarter this season, which is the worst in the league in 2014.
Colts – 49 (8-4), Redskins – 27 (3-9)
Heroes – Andrew Luck (370 PaYd, 20 RuYd, 5 TD, 1 INT), Daniel Herron (88 RuYd, 8 ReYd, 1 TD), Donte Moncrief (134 ReYd, 2 TD), Coby Fleener (127 ReYd, 2 TD), T.Y. Hilton (62 ReYd, 1 TD), Colt McCoy (392 PaYd, 12 RuYd, 3 TD), Alfred Morris (67 RuYd, 16 ReYd), DeSean Jackson (84 ReYd, 1 TD), Roy Helu (61 ReYd, 1 TD), Jordan Reed (123 ReYd), Logan Paulsen (16 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Reggie Wayne (31 ReYd), Trent Richardson (12 RuYd), Pierre Garcon (9 ReYd)
Andrew Luck was able to take advantage of the long ball, as he completed 4-of-7 passes for 182 yards and three TDs on balls that traveled more than 20 yards downfield. The Redskins defense couldn’t keep up with Luck and the Colts offense, although the Skins did provide some solid offensive production out of Colt McCoy who was able to capitalize against the blitz when the Colts came at him. Even so, McCoy, who started for the recently benched Robert Griffin III, wasn’t able to help his defense control Luck and the Colts passing game. The Colts offensive line did a solid job as they only allowed Luck to be sacked once in the game.
Interesting Game Fact: Luck broke Peyton Manning’s old franchise record, and now has ten 300-yard passing games in one season.
Texans – 45 (6-6), Titans – 21 (2-10)
Heroes – Ryan Fitzpatrick (358 PaYd, 6 TD), Arian Foster (79 RuYd, 26 ReYd, 1 TD), DeAndre Hopkins (238 ReYd, 2 TD), Andre Johnson (53 ReYd, 1 TD), Ryan Griffin (8 ReYd, 1 TD), J.J. Watt (1 ReYd, 1 TD), Kendall Wright (132 ReYd, 1 TD), Nate Washington (61 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Alfred Blue (6 RuYd), Zach Mettenberger (184 PaYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Jake Locker (91 PaYd, 1 TD, 2 INT), Bishop Sankey (42 RuYd), Justin Hunter (18 ReYd), Delanie Walker (6 ReYd)
The headline story will read how Ryan Fitzpatrick did a fantastic job in his return to a starting role against the Titans as he threw six TD passes, but what really mattered for the Texans was getting Arian Foster back in action. Sure, Fitzpatrick arguably played his best game of his career as he connected with receiver DeAndre Hopkins for 238 yards, but without the presence of Foster in the backfield the Texans offense almost always goes nowhere. The Titans defense gave up 457 total yards to the Texans and were never really a factor in the game as they fell behind 24-0 at the half.
Interesting Game Fact: J.J. Watt has three offensive TDs and two defensive TDs in 2014.
Bills – 26 (7-5), Browns – 10 (7-5)
Heroes – Dan Carpenter (4 FG), Fred Jackson (70 RuYd, 27 ReYd), Robert Woods (71 ReYd), Marqueis Gray (71 ReYd), Chris Hogan (8 ReYd, 1 TD), Miles Austin (86 ReYd), Josh Gordon (75 ReYd)
Zeroes – Kyle Orton (190 PaYd, 1 TD, 2 INT), Anthony Dixon (25 RuYd), Sammy Watkins (11 ReYd), Scott Chandler (2 ReYd), Brian Hoyer (192 PaYd, 2 INT), Terrance West (32 RuYd, 4 ReYd), Isaiah Crowell (29 RuYd, 15 ReYd), Andrew Hawkins (24 ReYd)
Johnny Manziel, who ran for his first NFL touchdown after replacing an ineffective Brian Hoyer, tried to ignite the Browns offense, but the Bills defense squashed any idea of a comeback victory for Manziel. The Bills played a field position game as they relied on their stout defense (one fumble return for a TD) and the leg of kicker Dan Carpenter, who had four field goals on the day. Josh Gordon was targeted heavily by Browns’ quarterbacks, as he was targeted 17 of his 34 game routes. Gordon, who caught seven balls, now has 15 receptions in two games since his return from a 10-game suspension.
Interesting Game Fact: Three of Brian Hoyer’s five INTs over the last two games were targeted to Josh Gordon.
Chargers – 34 (8-4), Ravens – 33 (7-5)
Heroes – Philip Rivers (383 PaYd, 3 TD, 1 INT), Keenan Allen (121 ReYd, 2 TD), Ryan Mathews (38 RuYd, 6 ReYd, 1 TD), Malcom Floyd (85 ReYd), Antonio Gates (83 ReYd), Eddie Royal (81 ReYd, 1 TD), Justin Forsett (106 RuYd, 17 ReYd), Torrey Smith (65 ReYd, 2 TD)
Zeroes – Steve Smith (2 ReYd)
There are folks in San Diego that love Philip Rivers, and there are some that despise the guy. It’s like that everywhere, but as a San Diegan I can attest to the Rivers hate. Today was a special day for Rivers, the Chargers and Chargers fans alike – they beat the Ravens in Baltimore which is nearly an impossible task. Rivers, who completed 34-of-45 total passes, was 8-for-8 on third-down passes for 156 yards. The Ravens pass defense isn’t nearly as good as it has been in seasons past, as Rivers was able to spread the ball around efficiently. The Chargers quarterback connected with four receivers (Antonio Gates, Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd and Eddie Royal) who were able to put up 80 yards or more in receiving yards.
Interesting Game Fact: Ravens running back Justin Forsett went over 1,000 yards in a season for the first time in his career.
Jaguars – 25 (2-10), Giants – 24 (3-9)
Heroes- Jaguars Defense/Special Teams (2 TD), Blake Bortles (194 PaYd, 68 RuYd, 1 TD), Marqise Lee (75 ReYd, 1 TD), Rashad Jennings (91 RuYd, 2 TD), Odell Beckham, Jr. (90 ReYd), Preston Parker (6 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Denard Robinson (44 RuYd, 10 ReYd), Allen Hurns (42 ReYd), Eli Manning (247 PaYd, 1 TD)
The Jaguars picked up only their second win of the season as they beat the Giants by the skin of their teeth. The Jags were down 21-0 before things started to kick in gear for them as rookie quarterback Blake Bortles used his legs (68 yards rushing) and arm to beat the Giants, while accepting the help of the Jags defense who picked up three turnovers and scored twice for the club. The Giants, who completely ruled the first half of the game, couldn’t get anything done in the second half. They lost Rashad Jennings on the final two drives of the game as he left with an ankle injury.
Interesting Game Fact: Odell Beckham Jr. now has 609 yards receiving through seven games.
Bengals – 14 (8-3-1), Buccaneers – 13 (2-10)
Heroes – A.J. Green (57 ReYd, 1 TD), Doug Martin (58 RuYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Andy Dalton (176 PaYd, 1 TD, 3 INT), Giovani Bernard (49 RuYd, 4 ReYd), Jeremy Hill (40 RuYd, 12 ReYd), Mohamed Sanu (19 ReYd), Jermaine Gresham (33 ReYd), Mike Evans (49 ReYd), Vincent Jackson (24 ReYd), Josh McCown (190 PaYd, 1 INT)
The Bengals walked away lucky, but victorious. Andy Dalton threw three first-half interceptions, although he was able to overcome his game mistakes as the Buccaneers shot themselves in the foot too many times to pull the game out. Dalton, who was dealing with flu-like symptoms, was obviously not at this best, but he did connect with A.J. Green once in the third quarter and ran the ball in for a 5-yard score before halftime. The Bengals couldn’t get much done on the ground, however, as Jeremy Hill and his 4.9 yards per rush were squashed by the Bucs defense.
Interesting Game Fact: Doug Martin scored his second TD of the season.
Rams – 52 (5-7), Raiders – 0 (1-11)
Heroes – Tre Mason (117 RuYd, 47 ReYd, 3 TD), Tavon Austin (25 RuYd, 11 ReYd, 1 TD), Stedman Bailey (100 ReYd), Shaun Hill (183 PaYd, 1 RuYd, 3 TD), Cory Harkey (12 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Kenny Britt (13 ReYd), Jared Cook (0 ReYd), Darren McFadden (27 ReYd, 18 ReYd), Derek Carr (173 PaYd, 2 INT)
The Rams couldn’t be stopped, or at least the Raiders had no problem letting the Rams have their way against them on Sunday en route to one of the most lopsided losses in Oakland team history. The Rams defense forced five turnovers overall, while netting three sacks in total, as the Raiders were destroyed on both sides of the ball. Tre Mason ended the day with over 150 combined yards, while finding the end zone three times one of which was an 89-yard dash for the score.
Interesting Game Fact: The Raiders have lost 12 straight games against NFC teams.
Saints – 35 (5-7), Steelers – 32 (7-5)
Heroes – Drew Brees (257 PaYd, 5 TD), Mark Ingram (122 RuYd), Kenny Stills (162 ReYd, 1 TD), Nick Toon (17 ReYd, 1 TD), Marques Colston (16 ReYd, 1 TD), Ben Watson (15 ReYd, 1 TD), Erik Lorig (4 ReYd, 1 TD), Ben Roethlisberger (435 PaYd, 2 TD, 2 INT), Le’Veon Bell (95 RuYd, 159 ReYd, 1 TD), Antonio Brown (97 ReYd, 2 TD), Heath Miller (82 ReYd)
Zeroes – Pierre Thomas (21 RuYd, 16 ReYd), Jimmy Graham (0 ReYd), Martavis Bryant (23 ReYd)
In a game where tight end Jimmy Graham was nowhere to be found, the Saints kept their NFC South division-leading playoff hopes alive by beating the Steelers on Sunday. Brees threw five TD passes to five different receivers on Sunday, as he didn’t even target Graham once on the day. The Steelers secondary couldn’t keep Brees corralled as receiver Kenny Stills dominated with 162 yards receiving as he stepped up for the injured Brandin Cooks. Big Ben Roethlisberger tried to bring the Steelers back from a 35-16 deficit in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough as the Saints held tight to their late-game lead.
Interesting Game Fact: This is the second time this season that Graham was held without a catch (Week 7 and now Week 13).
Vikings – 31 (5-7), Panthers – 13 (3-8-1)
Heroes – Vikings Defense/Special Teams (2 TD), Greg Jennings (45 ReYd, 1 TD), Kyle Rudolph (7 ReYd, 1 TD), Jonathan Stewart (85 RuYd, 25 ReYd), Philly Brown (34 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Matt Asiata (52 RuYd, 5 ReYd), Ben Tate (15 RuYd), Cam Newton (194 PaYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Cordarrelle Patterson (0 ReYd)
It didn’t matter who the Vikings had rushing the ball for them on Sunday, it was all about their defense giving the support needed to lock down the team victory in a game where the kickoff temperature was only 12 degrees. Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater played mistake-free football, although his statistical performance was anything but spectacular. Before Bridgewater connected with Greg Jennings on a 17-yard TD pass at the end of the first half, the Vikings defense blocked two punts which lead to two returns for TDs to give the Vikes a 28-6 halftime lead. Cam Newton and the Panthers only threatened once more in the game as Newton was only 6-of-18 for 120 yards on passes five yards or deeper downfield.
Interesting Game Fact: Kelvin Benjamin was targeted 12 times in the game by Newton.
Falcons – 29 (5-7), Cardinals – 18 (9-3)
Heroes – Matt Ryan (361 PaYd, 2 TD, 1 INT), Steven Jackson (101 RuYd), Julio Jones (189 ReYd, 1 TD), Harry Douglas (116 ReYd), Levine Toilolo (15 ReYd, 1 TD), Jaron Brown (75 ReYd), Stepfan Taylor (3 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Andre Ellington (12 RuYd), Michael Floyd (53 ReYd)
Julio Jones has been anything but consistent for the Falcons this season, but his 189 yards receiving, along with Steven Jackson’s 100-plus yard rushing game, pushed their club to victory as they stayed tied with the Saints as NFC South division leaders. The Cardinals, who saw running back Andre Ellington leave the game in the first half to a hip injury, were without receiver Larry Fitzgerald who missed time due to a left knee injury. The Cards’ normally stout defense couldn’t keep the Falcons out of the end zone, as Matt Ryan was 7-for-8 for 167 yards and a TD on balls thrown 15 yards or more downfield.
Interesting Game Fact: Steven Jackson had the Falcons first 100-yard rushing game since Michael Turner did so in Week 9 of the 2012 season.
Packers – 26 (9-3), Patriots – 21 (9-3)
Heroes – Aaron Rodgers (368 PaYd, 22 ReYd, 2 TD), Eddie Lacy (98 RuYd, 17 ReYd), Davante Adams (121 ReYd), Mason Crosby (4 FG), Randall Cobb (85 ReYd), Jordy Nelson (53 ReYd, 1 TD), Richard Rodgers (35 ReYd, 1 TD), Brandon Bolden (17 RuYd, 1 TD), Rob Gronkowski (98 ReYd), Brandon LaFell (38 ReYd, 2 TD)
Zeroes – Andrew Quarless (17 ReYd), Shane Vereen (6 RuYd, 26 ReYd), Jonas Gray (4 RuYd), Danny Amendola (0 ReYd)
Aaron Rodgers’ success against the Patriots secondary on Sunday can be partly attributed to his ability to find receivers in tight spaces, but the real thanks goes to the Packers’ offensive line who only saw their superstar QB pressured six times in 43 dropback pass attempts. Tom Brady played neck-and-neck football as he stayed on pace with Rodgers as far as the scoreboard is concerned, although it was obvious that Brady was outclassed in Week 13 even with the Packers attempts to give the game away at times.
Interesting Game Fact: Rodgers has thrown 20 TD passes and no INTs at home this season for the Packers.
Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you for Week 14! And, don’t forget that you can catch me on Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy