Finally Some Meaningful Thursday Football
Gone are the days of Thursday Night Football just being for Thanksgiving. Instead, we’re stuck with boring Thursday games all season long. But now, with the season winding down these games are finally starting to mean something, and Thanksgiving Football brought along plenty of excitement this year.
First, the Vikings held on to beat the Lions 30-23, although the game didn’t end without some controversy. It looked like the Lions had tied the game after blocking and returning a Kai Forbath field goal attempt for a touchdown which would have brought them within an extra point of tying the game. But it was all for nothing, as the refs called Darius Slay for jumping offside before blocking the kick, allowing the Vikings to take a knee to end the game. With the win, the Vikings moved to 9-2 and have complete control of the NFC North.
(Skip to 8:41 to see the blocked field goal)
In the second game of the day, the Cowboys and Chargers were both looking to keep their playoff hopes alive, but the teams have been trending in opposite directions. The Cowboys have struggled without Zeke, losing two in a row and sitting at 5-5 before Thursday’s game. On the other hand, the Chargers were coming off a blowout win against the Bills and sitting at 4-6, but still within reach of the Chiefs for the top spot in the AFC West. Despite throwing for some big yards in the the first half, Phillip Rivers was only able to lead the Chargers to a 3-0 lead at halftime after kicker Nick Novak missed a 35-yarder and hurt himself on the same play. But Rivers and the Chargers came out of halftime looking like a different team, and Rivers torched the Cowboys secondary for 434 yards and 4 TDs en route to a 28-6 win.
The last game of the day started much like the second, with neither team able to generate much offense throughout the first half. The Giants and Redskins played through a scoreless first quarter, then traded field goals in the second before heading into halftime. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Kirk Cousins and the Redskins were able to pull away to win 20-10.
The Redskins improved to 5-6 on the year, but it’s starting to look like it’s too late for Washington to fight their way into a playoff spot this year. While their disappointing season continues, so do the rumours surrounding where Cousins ends up next season. The Redskins could decide to franchise tag him for the third year in a row, but that brings a cap hit of $34.5 million, or ultimately let him walk in free agency. It seems like the Redskins have already ruled out the option of using the transition tag on him, which would allow other teams the chance to negotiate with Cousins, but giving the Redskins the chance to match. But for now, the Redskins will look towards finishing this year strong, starting with their Week 13 game against the Cowboys on Thursday night.
Despite the big NFC East matchup on Thursday, the biggest news coming out of that division is from the 2-9 Giants, who have for some reason gone in favour of starting Geno Smith over Eli Manning, ending his streak of 210 consecutive games started. Needless to say, it caused a lot of current and former NFL players to speak out regarding the
While some current players have voiced their opinions over how this situation was handled, it were the former players who decided not to hold back when talking about the treatment of the face of the Giants. It’s hard to understand what McAdoo sees in this decision, because there’s absolutely no chance the Smith gives the Giants a better chance to win than Eli does. The biggest issue people have with the decision is the way the Giants have treated the quarterback that brought two Super Bowl rings to New York. The fact that a quarterback with the resume that Manning has is just relegated to the bench is stunning, and despite everything this guy has down against the Patriots I almost feel bad for him.
In case you missed it, check out last week’s recap here.