Eli Manning is just the 8th quarterback in NFL history with 100 regular season losses
It’s kind of a badge of honor when you think about it.
Finding a way to lose 100 regular season games as an NFL quarterback isn’t a black mark — it’s a testament to durability. On Thanksgiving night, Eli Manning joined a list of passers that includes Drew Brees, Brett Favre, Fran Tarkenton, and even his own father in the triple-digit failure club.
The Giants’ 20-10 loss to Washington brought Manning’s career record down to 110-100, making him just the eighth quarterback in league history to lose 100 games or more. Despite the ignominious honor, he can at least take solace that he’s had nearly three times as many NFL wins as his father:
NFL QBs with the most regular season losses, all-time
Regular season wins
Regular season losses
Regular season wins
Regular season losses
Manning will likely pass Moon and gain some ground on Brees before 2017 is over — New York is in the midst of a 2-9 season. With New Orleans trending upward, it’s possible Manning and Brees will head into 2018 all tied up and ready to take aim at Brett Favre at No. 2.
9 things we loved from the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day games
The Vikings had the most appropriate group celebration of the day, and a kid dressed like Ben McAdoo.
The NFL on Thanksgiving Day is a time-honored tradition. But we also understand if you were too wrapped up in family obligations to watch Thursday’s slate featuring Vikings vs. Lions, Chargers vs. Cowboys, and Giants vs. Washington.
So let us catch you up.
The Vikings put a damper on the Lions’ playoff hopes with a 30-23 win in the early game. It looked like Matthew Stafford might lead the Lions to one of his signature late-game comeback wins. But he threw a fourth-down interception on the Lions’ last possession, handing the win to Minnesota.
The Vikings tight end had only four targets all day. He caught all four of them, and he took two of them in for touchdowns.
Rudolph racked up 56 of his 63 yards on a single touchdown drive. First Keenum hit him with a dime for 34 yards. And then he found him in the end zone to give the Vikings a 20-3 lead late in the second quarter.
Griffen pulled up his jersey to reveal the question on his shirt after sacking Stafford. The sack and the newborn are certainly things to be thankful for, if you’re Griffen. That’s a good Thanksgiving.
Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen have the Chargers in the playoff hunt
The only team to ever make the playoffs under the current format after an 0-4 start was the 1992 Chargers. Twenty-five years later, the Chargers have a chance to repeat history and become the second.
A 28-6 demolition of the Cowboys was the fifth win in seven games for Los Angeles and bumped the team to 5-6. That puts the Chargers right in the thick of the race for an AFC Wild Card berth and in reach of the 6-4 Kansas City Chiefs, who are struggling right now.
The reason for the Chargers’ success has been the strong play of their defense and an explosive offense with Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen leading the way. Rivers finished with 434 yards and three touchdowns, and Allen made the Cowboys secondary look like children as he racked up 11 catches for 172 yards and a touchdown.
The real McAdoo hasn’t been doing so hot lately and even got the dreaded vote of confidence from ownership within the past two weeks. The Giants won last week but came out flat in their 20-10 loss in Washington, and you have to think about how sad these two kids might be when the Giants likely clean house.
One of the internet’s favorite NFL videos every year since 2014 has been Vernon Davis saying his favorite Thanksgiving dish is “YAMS. SWEET POTATO YAMS.” He says it in a way that makes you watch it over and over again:
Then in the final game, the milestone was a little more ignominious: Eli Manning earned his 100th regular season loss as a starting quarterback. But there’s a silver lining for Manning. Not that many quarterbacks play long enough, or are durable enough, to find themselves on that list. And he still has more wins (110) than losses.
Chargers safety Desmond King correctly predicted his first NFL INT would be a pick-6
He fulfilled his own prophesy on Thursday against the Cowboys.
Desmond King probably didn’t know his first interception as a pro would come against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. But he apparently did know he’d run it back for a touchdown, which is exactly what happened.
But he didn’t stop there. King ran it all the way back for a 90-yard score. Dak Prescott tried to cut him off, but he misjudged the angle. There were no other Cowboys remotely nearby to try to slow King down, and he just jogged right into the end zone.
The rookie has been used as an in-the-box safety by the Chargers this season. He’s got two sacks and three pass breakups so far this year. But his first pick as a pro was pretty memorable, and he totally called it.
Jerry Jones thinks the Cowboys can turn things around
With Ezekiel Elliott off the field until Week 16 and the defense floundering, it’s a tall order.
Jerry Jones said what everyone else was thinking after his Cowboys got embarrassed by the Chargers on Thanksgiving Day.
“We’re not a good team right now,” Jones said.
The Cowboys are fresh off of their third brutal loss in a row. Dak Prescott’s having the worst stretch of his career, and the team is desperately missing suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott. Dallas has been outscored 92-22 during this skid. Jones doesn’t think all is lost.
“We can be a good team,” the Cowboys owner said.
But several factors are standing in the way of the Cowboys bouncing back.
Prescott hasn’t thrown for more than 200 yards or a single touchdown over the past three games. He’s also taken 14 sacks over that span. He took just 10 sacks over the previous eight games.
Left tackle Tyron Smith is arguably the best in the league at that position, and he was sidelined for the Cowboys’ games against the Falcons in Week 10 and the Eagles in Week 11 with back and groin injuries. Any replacement would be a downgrade, but it was disastrous for Prescott to have Smith out for two games. Making matters worse, the Cowboys lost right guard Zack Martin in the second quarter of Thursday’s game with a concussion. But the absence of Ezekiel Elliott is an even bigger factor for Dallas.
The Cowboys have averaged 134.5 yards per game on the ground this season. But they’re averaging 102.7 yards per game with Elliott out of the lineup. Removing the threat of Elliott on the ground makes it easier for defenses to pressure and attack Prescott. It’s limiting his ability to create scores and forcing him into more mistakes.
Dak needs more from his defense
Prescott needs some help from his defense, especially with Elliott off the field for the next three games.
The Cowboys gave up 434 yards and three touchdowns to Philip Rivers on Thursday. A pass rush that started out the season looking like one of the league’s best didn’t land a single sack on Rivers all day.
Last year, with a dominant line and Elliott getting things done on the ground, the Cowboys were able to control the clock and rely on the defense to do just enough. That’s changed. The Chargers had the ball for over 36 minutes in Thursday’s win.
With Elliott out especially, the Cowboys need much more from the defense than they’re getting.
The Cowboys came into this season fresh off of a 13-3 finish in 2016 and favored to win the NFC East and make some noise in the playoffs. Now they’re sitting at 5-6 and trailing the 9-1 Eagles in the division. And Jones isn’t happy.
“Candidly, I’m really not shaken,” Jones said. “I’m disappointed, but there’s no shake.”
But he’s still optimistic that the team can turn it around.
The Cowboys aren’t out of the postseason hunt, but those odds get longer with each loss. The playoff race in the NFC is a tight one. The Cowboys are currently behind the 6-4 Seahawks, the 6-5 Lions, and the 5-5 Packers, all of whom are on the outside looking in for the postseason at this time.
Elliott can’t return until Week 16 against the Seahawks. And unless the defense can slow down opponents and give Prescott a chance to get ahead, the playoffs are a pipe dream for the Cowboys this year.
On Saturday, one day before a Week 12 game against a divisional rival, Indianapolis’ physician and an independent neurological consultant medically cleared him to play on Sunday.
During the fourth quarter against the Steelers, Brissett took a huge hit to the head and was slow to return to his feet. The Colts’ medical staff went on the field and checked on him. A few moments later, they ushered him to the sidelines and put him through concussion tests, which he passed. Brissett threw for 222 yards to go along with two touchdowns and an interception in that 20-17 loss.
He developed the concussion-like symptoms after the game, which caused the Colts to place him in the NFL’s concussion protocol. But luckily for Indianapolis, it had a bye week in Week 12.
On Monday, November 20, Colts head coach Chuck Pagano told Zak Keefer of indystar.com that Brissett “should be OK.” Brissett took “the lion’s share” of snaps during Monday’s practice, and Pagano said he looked good. Even though Brissett was still in the concussion protocol, Pagano said the Colts “should be fine.”
Brissett was a full participant in each of the Colts’ practices this week, and the team can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The team doctor and neurologist medically cleared him, so he will line up under center against the Titans.
Why does this matter?
The Colts dodged a huge bullet. This team already lost Andrew Luck, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, for the season. The Colts’ offense wouldn’t pose much of a threat without Brissett.
At 3-7, the Colts are trying to end their season on a high note, although their chances of making the playoffs are slim. The team as a whole has been hard to watch this year, but Brissett was one of the few bright spots. If the Colts want to knock off the Titans, they have to protect Brissett, who was sacked three times against the Steelers and a total of 35 times this season.
Brissett has thrown for 2,172 yards to go along with nine touchdowns and five interceptions this season. He also racked up 154 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Outside of receiver T.Y. Hilton, Brissett has been the Colts’ lone threat on offense.
Cardinals host awkward reunion of all 3 Jaguars QB busts
The ghosts of Jaguars quarterback past will all have a hand in the Week 12 matchup.
When Blaine Gabbert faces the Jacksonville Jaguars defense Sunday, it’ll be the first time he’s played against the team that drafted him in the first round six years ago. Now with the Arizona Cardinals, Gabbert is the starter again with Carson Palmer nursing a broken arm and backup Drew Stanton dealing with a knee injury. Gabbert is also coached by Byron Leftwich — a first-round pick for the Jaguars in 2003.
Gabbert, Leftwich and current Jaguars starter Blake Bortles are the only three quarterbacks the team has ever taken in the first round. And all three will have a significant hand in a Week 12 game between the Cardinals and Jaguars.
It’s the Jaguars’ zombie apocalypse.
Each was a top-10 pick and fell firmly into the bust category for Jacksonville, making Sunday an awkward reminder of a long era of futility for the Jaguars.
Leftwich struggled with injuries in his four seasons with the Jaguars before he was released in 2007. After bouncing around the league as a backup, he entered the coaching ranks as a Cardinals intern in 2016 and quickly rose to become the team’s quarterbacks coach earlier this year. Sunday will be his first time coaching against the Jaguars.
Gabbert was in his third season in Jacksonville when he was replaced in the starting lineup by Chad Henne in 2013. He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers the next offseason — two months before Bortles was drafted — and joined the Cardinals three years later as a free agent.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Gabbert told reporters this week. “I’m a firm believer in that, and it didn’t work out there. There were things in my control, some things out of my control, but for whatever reason, it just didn’t work. I wouldn’t change it at all. I learned a lot, met a lot of great people there.”
His matchup against the Jacksonville defense may not go as smoothly as his solid showing against the Texans in Week 11, though. The Jaguars are 7-3 on the back of a dominant defense that is No. 1 in the NFL in points allowed, yards allowed, passing yards allowed, and turnovers forced.
The team has won four straight in spite of Bortles — a fourth-year quarterback who has been turnover prone throughout his career and looks like a long shot to be the Jaguars’ starter in 2018.
The Patriots ran a fake punt for the 1st time in 13 years, and it worked perfectly
Nate Ebner snapped a long streak for the Patriots with his 14-yard fake punt Sunday.
The New England Patriots only picked up two yards on the first three plays against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12, but the drive still ended in a touchdown after the team ran a fake punt for the first time in 13 years.
A direct snap to special teams ace Nate Ebner led to a 14-yard gain that kept the Patriots’ offense on the field.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, the play resulted in a knee injury for Ebner that was serious enough to immediately rule him out for the remainder of the game.
But the play eventually led to a 2-yard touchdown run for Rex Burkhead that gave New England an early 7-0 lead. The clever fake that the Dolphins couldn’t stop might not have even been Bill Belichick’s call, but Ebner’s at the line of scrimmage.
Ebner made a call before the snap. Looks like he ordered the fake on the field because, I’d guess, the Patriots saw a vulnerability in film study that they could expose with the right look.
The last fake for the Patriots? An unsuccessful direct snap to Larry Izzo on Dec. 12, 2004. Izzo played 13 seasons of special teams in the NFL and is now the special teams coordinator for the Houston Texans.
DeShone Kizer cleared to return for Browns after getting evaluated for concussion
DeShone Kizer went to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion.
DeShone Kizer headed to the locker room Sunday in the second quarter to be evaluated for a concussion, but he returned for the team after one drive when he was cleared. The Cleveland Browns turned to Cody Kessler against the Cincinnati Bengals for just one series.
Kizer, 21, has struggled in 2017, but he started Sunday with four completions on five passes with 65 yards before he left the game. Kessler took over in the second quarter with Cleveland trailing, 10-3. On his first and only drive, the Browns went three-and-out with Kessler getting sacked on third down.
The Browns need Kizer in action because Kessler is the only other quarterback option for the team with Kevin Hogan inactive.
During his tumultuous rookie season that has featured a league-leading 14 interceptions and just five touchdowns, Kizer has been benched twice by the team and dealt with migraines earlier in the year.
Browns turned to emergency punter Zane Gonzalez, who shanked his first try
With Britton Colquitt sidelined, the Browns didn’t have another capable punter.
The Cleveland Browns relied on kicker Zane Gonzalez to handle the punting duties after Britton Colquitt took a helmet-to-helmet hit while trying to make a tackle on a punt return. Unfortunately for the Browns, Gonzalez doesn’t look like he’s good at the job.
On the first punt try for Gonzalez, he shanked it off the side of his foot for just 16 yards.
Colquitt was taken to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion, but he returned to the field for the last play of the first half as a holder for Gonzalez. That appears to mean Colquitt will be back for Cleveland in the second half, which looks like really good news for the Browns.
There have been a few examples of teams turning to emergency kickers in 2017, but Gonzalez is the first emergency punter of the year. The rookie kicker never attempted a punt in his four seasons at Arizona State.
Browns’ chances for a comeback tanked by a questionable call on Jabrill Peppers
Jabrill Peppers appeared to give the Browns a chance at a game-tying drive. Instead, he got a shaky personal foul.
Cleveland Browns safety Jabrill Peppers appeared to end a drive for the Cincinnati Bengals when he delivered a huge hit on wide receiver Josh Malone that jarred the ball loose and forced a fourth down. Instead, it drew a personal foul for a hit on a defenseless receiver and extended a drive for Cincinnati.
But the penalty on Peppers was questionable, at best. Malone was taking his third step down the sideline before he was drilled by Peppers in the chest.
Browns coach Hue Jackson wasn’t happy with the call after the game.
Hue Jackson on the call on Jabrill Peppers: “That’s a huge call in the game. You’ve got to get it right … I stand behind [Peppers].”
Instead of punting, the Bengals got a fresh set of downs and finished the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run for Joe Mixon that pushed the lead to 14 and sealed a big win for the Bengals.
Cleveland fell to 0-11 and struggled offensively again, so it’s far from a guarantee that DeShone Kizer could’ve led the Browns to another touchdown in the final minutes. Last week, the rookie had the chance to do so against the Jacksonville Jaguarsbut fumbled twice.
Still, in a frustrating and fruitless season for the Browns, it doesn’t help when they’re not getting the calls either.