Depending on who your family is (and how crazy they are), Thanksgiving can be a momentous day to just sit in front of the TV and watch NFL football to distract yourself from all that family time. The biggest, widest-felt result of the day came as the Dallas Cowboys defeated rivals Washington Redskins 31-23 at Jerryworld to move themselves to 6-5 and a tie with Washington for the lead in the NFC East. With the Redskins fielding backup QB Colt McCoy under center, they struggled, with him throwing for three INT’s (and two TD’s), while Dak Prescott got back to the kind of performance he seemed to always make a couple of seasons ago. He threw for 289 yards and two TD’s himself, though one of them was a 90 yard completion to Amari Cooper for a TD. Cooper himself had a monstrous 180 yards and two TD’s as he stood out and showed just why they made the big move to bring him in to the team.
Elsewhere, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints remained on fire to win their tenth consecutive game by defeating the Atlanta Falcons 31-17 in New Orleans. While Brees ‘only’ had 171 yards total on the night, he still went 15-22 and had four touchdowns, all of which went to inexperienced receivers. Julio Jones had a big game at wide out for the Falcons, but his 147 yards on 11 receptions was nowhere near good enough to help the Dirty Birds remain in contention for the win into the fourth quarter. The Saints had already ran away with it by that point, and now owner Arthur Blank is trying to assure the fans and the media that a coaching change is not needed.
It had been a while, but for the first time in five years, the Detroit Lions lost a football game held on Thanksgiving, dropping to the Chicago Bears by a score of 23-16. They got a lot of help from veteran, journeyman Chase Daniel under center, who was filling in for missing QB Mitchell Trubisky. Daniel took his chance to shine, throwing for two touchdowns on 27 of 37 and reaching 230 yards. But it was once again the vaunted Bears defense that won them the game, with Eddie Jackson intercepting a pass and taking it to the house to put them up by the final score mentioned earlier, 23-16. Another INT of Stafford would come with just over a minute left, and it allowed the Bears to win the game and improve to 8-3. It’s the seventh loss of the season for the 4-7 Lions as well, tying their number of losses in the season prior.