The NFL this Thanksgiving was going to be a lot like the photos of plates of food people post on social media during the holiday. Mostly gross looking, not very appetizing, but at least one item that looked kinda good. That delicious morsel was going to be Ravens vs. Steelers, but circumstance took it away.
We were left with a bunch of slop. Let’s see if we can salvage anything from this unmitigated mess.
Winners: DeShaun Watson and Will Fuller.
Unquestionably the best performances of Thanksgiving were from the Texans’ quarterback and wide receiver. The Texans have really been a mess by no fault of the players, and the sad reality is that with DeAndre Hopkins this team would likely be pushing for a playoff spot. But, at least some good came from the mess and that was getting rid of Bill O’Brien.
Watson and Fuller were sensational. Everyone looks good against the Lions, but still — throwing for 318 yards and four touchdowns without a blemish isn’t normal. Nor is catching six passes for 171 yards and two scores. There have been sporadic rumors the Texans have thought about trading Fuller, and hopefully this game put that notion to bed. Taking away yet another weapon for Watson would be beyond stupid, and the pair are proving they can work well together.
Loser: The Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving.
I know this is a tradition, but it’s an ass tradition. Since drafting Matthew Stafford the Lions are 4-8 on Thanksgiving. They barely give us good games to watch, and right now this team is rightfully in full crisis mode. I don’t know what they can do to right the ship — and this is going to need a full rebuild in order to give the people of Detroit something watchable again.
If there’s a bright side to all this it’s that the Lions turning the ball over three times sends a great message to the kids about the importance of giving.
Winner: Adrian Peterson … kind of.
I don’t really know how to categorize this one. On the one hand he scored two touchdowns on thanksgiving … that’s good. He carried the ball 15 times for 55 yards, which is not a great rate. Still though, he was basically the only bright spot on the Lions, so kudos.
Winner: Antonio Gibson.
The best rushing performance of the day came from Washington’s Antonio Gibson, who obliterated the Cowboys for 136 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. Offensively he was the biggest difference maker for WFT, and showed some signs that the team might be starting to really respond to Ron Rivera’s run-first, defensive heavy offensive style.
This is still very much a work in progress, but fans have to be happy their team is showing more progress. There’s still a chance they could win the division now. Even if that’s some cold comfort because of how bad the NFC East is.
Loser: Literally everything about the Cowboys.
Another tragic loss. More injuries. There’s nothing left to say.
Winner: Washington’s defense.
A serious bright spot for WFT this season has been their sensational defensive front. That was really on display Thanksgiving, with five different players registering sacks and holding Ezekiel Elliot to a sad 32 yards rushing.
The longest drive Dallas managed all game was 11 plays. Think about that. They were just unable to get anything out of WFT on the ground, or really through the air. There’s a lot of promise on the defensive end for sure.
And with that, I will big you all a happy long weekend. Hopefully the games on Sunday will be a little kinder to us.