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 other two games weren’t nearly as interesting. Dallas watched any chance of the postseason circle the drain in a 28-6 blowout loss at the hands of the Chargers. Philip Rivers racked up 434 passing yards and three touchdowns, while the entire Cowboys offense combined for 247 yards.
Then Washington beat the Giants in a 20-10 dud in the nation’s capital.
Here are the big moments you missed while you were eating turkey and spending time with your family on Thanksgiving Day.
The Vikings Thanksgiving dinner celebration
You probably sat down with your family to enjoy a lovely meal on Thanksgiving. Case Keenum didn’t want to wait until after the game to enjoy the holiday.
Keenum ran in a 9-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Then he had his teammates join him in the end zone for the most perfect celebration of the day.
The Vikings never disappoint with their celebrations, but this one may be their best of the season.
Kyle Rudolph had himself a day
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.
— NFL (@NFL) November 23, 2017
You should feel bad for anyone who had Rudolph on their fantasy team’s bench. That probably put a damper on their Thanksgiving.
Everson Griffen requested help in naming his son
Vikings DE Everson Griffen’s son was born on Thanksgiving morning. While he had to go play a football game in Detroit, Griffen had a message requesting help:
.@EversonGriffen celebrated Thanksgiving with the birth of his son.
Now he’s wearing a shirt that says “I just had a baby boy. What should we name him?” pic.twitter.com/O5uu0DdOlr
— SB Nation (@SBNation) November 23, 2017
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.
Oh no he didn’t …
— NFL (@NFL) November 23, 2017
Up next for the Chargers are the Browns in Week 13, Washington in Week 14, and then a big AFC West matchup on the road against the Chiefs. Look out: The Chargers are coming.
The Chargers had to deal with an emergency kicker
It’s unfortunate that Nick Novak suffered a back injury early, but there’s something really fun about a team asking someone else to do such a specialized job. The Cowboys turned to a safety earlier this year when Dan Bailey got hurt, the Eagles turned to a linebacker to replace Jake Elliott last week, and the Chargers had to turn to a punter Thursday.
From a distance, that seems like a better situation than a defensive player, but nope. In warm-ups, punter Drew Kaser completely missed the kicking net.
That convinced the Chargers it was a good idea to just send a hobbled Novak back out, but he missed an extra point. So it was back to Kaser who made his first extra point but missed the next two.
It probably would’ve been smart to just go for two if the emergency option is so unreliable. Not every team can be lucky enough to have a kicking defensive tackle like Ndamukong Suh.
Ben McAdoo kid made an appearance in Washington
Ben McAdoo Kid burst onto the scene last season when McAdoo was sporting a different haircut. On Thanksgiving, he made his return with an updated look, as well as a partner who was dressed like Giants OC Mike Sullivan:
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.
Vernon Davis reminded us of his love for SWEET POTATO YAMS
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:
Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2017, and Davis reminded us of his favorite dish:
— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) November 24, 2017
It didn’t have the same zest as the first one did. But much like movies, the sequel is never as good as the original.
Also much like movies, it doesn’t mean we can’t geek out over it.
Matthew Stafford, Jason Witten, Eli Manning hit new milestones
Three different players reached new milestones on Thursday, all in losses.
First up, Stafford broke Tony Romo’s record for passing yards in Thanksgiving games.
In the second game, Jason Witten added to his Thanksgiving record collection by becoming the holiday’s all-time leader in receiving yards.
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.
A happy Morgan Moses used turkey legs as drumsticks
After Washington secured its win, NBC rewarded the team with some turkey legs to celebrate. While Kirk Cousins and two other players were supposed to be showcased, other members of the team showed up.
That included Morgan Moses, who stole the show by taking a huge bite of one of the legs:
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) November 24, 2017
Then, just as your parents would not like, he played with the food by using them as actual drumsticks:
Moses certainly had a happy Thanksgiving, and we hope you did too.
Vikings 30, Lions 23 (recap)
Chargers 28, Cowboys 6 (recap)
Washington 20, Giants 10 (recap)