Thanksgiving Day Recap

Ryan McDowell
Rotoworld

As you recover from your turkey coma, catch up with the latest news you might have missed on a busy Thanksgiving Day. 

 

Chicago Bears- 24

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Detroit Lions- 20

 

The Thanksgiving opener started strong as both teams scored on their initial drive and the home underdog Lions even added another touchdown in the opening quarter to take the lead. After the first quarter though, the scoring opportunities were rare.

Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky was slinging the ball around on the first drive, ending with a quick 10-yard strike to WR Allen Robinson for the score. Making his first career start in place of Lions QB Jeff Driskel, rookie QB David Blough made a great first impression. On the first pass attempt of his career, Blough unleashed and connected with WR Kenny Golladay over the top for a 75-yard touchdown to tie the game. Just a few minutes later, Blough was dealing again and RB Bo Scarbrough was doing his part in a scoring drive that ended with an eight-yard score to WR Marvin Jones.

The teams exchanged field goals before the half as the Lions claimed a 17-10 lead at the break. Trubisky looked like a different player in the second half, spreading the ball around with precision. He led a pair of touchdown drives, hitting TE Jesper Horsted for an 18-yard score and RB David Montgomery from three yards out to overcome the double-digit deficit and claim a much-needed win to stay in playoff contention.

Trubisky finished with 338 passing yards and three touchdowns. Not only was it his first 300-yard game of the season but it also represented the embattled signal caller's best fantasy performance of the year. Montgomery totaled 87 yards and a score while WR Anthony Miller led the team with 140 yards on nine catches. Robinson chipped in with a very solid 8/86/1 stat line.

Blough certainly started hot but quickly slowed down against the Bears formidable defense, finishing with 280 yards and two passing scores. Golladay posted 158 yards and the touchdown on only four catches while Jones had a 3/40/1 line. Scarbrough continued to see the bulk of the backfield work for Detroit but with a low fantasy ceiling due to no passing-game role. Scarbrough rushed 21 times for 83 scoreless yards.

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Buffalo Bills- 26

Dallas Cowboys- 15

 

Prior to the Cowboys’ annual turkey day game, a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter suggested that no matter the results of the final weeks of the season, owner Jerry Jones would stick with HC Jason Garrett, who has come under fire during Dallas’ recent struggles. We’ll see if Jones is able to stick to that after another maddening performance by the Cowboys and their coaching staff.

After taking the early lead, scoring on the game’s opening drive, Dallas then allowed 23 unanswered points to QB Josh Allen and the Bills. Allen hit WR Cole Beasley, the former Cowboy, for a 25-yard score to tie the game before WR John Brown fooled Dallas with a touchdown pass of his own to RB Devin Singletary. Buffalo took a 13-7 halftime lead and then added 10 more points in the third quarter. Allen scrambled for a 15-yard score and the rout was on. Dallas added a late touchdown and two-point conversion, but it was too little and far too late.

QB Dak Prescott struggled all day, committing multiple turnovers and dealing poorly with the Buffalo pressure. Prescott finished with 355 yards and two touchdowns. RB Ezekiel Elliott was mostly held in check on the ground, finishing with 71 yards on only 12 carries but he did add 66 yards on seven receptions, boosting his fantasy bottom line. WR Amari Cooper bounced back from his Week 12 goose egg with an eight-catch, 85-yard performance but also took a shot to his knee, which reportedly required a post-game X-ray. Uh oh.

Allen continues to improve, and this strong all-around performance was one of the best of his career. He finished with 231 passing yards and a touchdown, along with 43 yards on the ground and another score. In a “revenge game,” Beasley led the team with 110 yards and a touchdown on six receptions, while rookie RB Devin Singletary totaled 101 yards and a score. 

 

New Orleans Saints- 26

Atlanta Falcons- 18

 

In a game that was not nearly as close as the final score would indicate, the Saints got revenge for their home loss two weeks ago, taking out the Falcons in Atlanta. It didn’t help that the Falcons were playing without superstar WR Julio Jones, who missed the game after testing out his injured shoulder during pre-game warmups.

Backup QB and gadget guy Taysom Hill stole the show in the first half and then the Saints held on for the win as the Falcons tried to claw back into the game. Hill blocked a punt on the Falcons’ opening drive and then just a few plays later, caught a three-yard touchdown pass from QB Drew Brees to take the lead. In the second quarter, Hill scored again, this time on a 30-yard run and now New Orleans led 17-6. The Falcons scored on an 18-yard pass from QB Matt Ryan to TE Jaeden Graham and added a field goal before the half.

Atlanta added another Ryan touchdown, this one to WR Russell Gage, but a trio of Will Lutz field goals was enough to keep the Saints in front.

Ryan threw the ball 50 times, good for 312 yards and two scores, as well as a pair of interceptions. Ryan clearly missed his favorite target Jones, as he struggled through a terrible performance, taking nine sacks and fumbling twice. Ryan was even embarrassingly stiff-armed to the ground after one of his interceptions. The Falcons had RB Devonta Freeman back on the field, but you might not have noticed. He finished with 51 rushing yards on 17 carries. With no Jones, WR Calvin Ridley saw WR1 work, turning 10 targets into eight catches for 91 yards.

Drew Brees got the win, but fantasy players were not satisfied as he passed for just 184 yards and one score. RB Alvin Kamara was also mostly quiet, totaling 84 scoreless yards. Even WR Michael Thomas, who entered the week with five straight games as a top-five fantasy wideout, had an ugly performance, catching six balls for 48 yards. TE Jared Cook led the Saints with 85 yards on three grabs. 

 

Injury Updates

Patriots K Nick Folk (appendectomy) is out for Week 13. The Pats signed K Kai Forbath to take his place. … Chiefs RB Damien Williams (ribs) missed another practice. Obviously in danger of missing the game with the Raiders, Williams would be replaced by some combination of LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams. … The Colts ruled out WR T.Y. Hilton with a calf injury. Hilton returned last week after missing three games with the injury but suffered a setback in practice this week. His absence will mean increased work for Zach Pascal, Chester Rogers and Marcus Johnson. … Giants TE Evan Engram (foot) missed another practice and is looking very iffy to return to the field this week. His backup, TE Rhett Ellison (concussion) is also unlikely to play, leaving rookie TE Kaden Smith to see the bulk of the work. … Giants TE Golden Tate (concussion) missed another practice and is in danger of missing the game this week. … Titans RB Derrick Henry (hamstring) returned to practice and is ready to suit up this week. … After suggesting earlier in the week that he was not ready to return, Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) got in a limited practice. We’ll check the Friday practice report to learn more about his status. … Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) remained sidelined on Thursday. … Eagles TE Zach Ertz was listed as a DNP on Thursday’s practice report. This is another situation to closely monitor as we near the weekend. … Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) was limited, according to Minnesota’s practice report. His status is unclear, and he plays on Monday night, making it difficult for fantasy players to wait for him when setting lineups. … Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle) was limited in practice and has a chance to return to the field after missing Week 12. … Rams TE Gerald Everett (knee) missed another practice. It appears that Everett is in danger of missing the ideal matchup against the Cardinals. … 49ers TE George Kittle (ankle) was limited at practice, but is expected to play this week. … San Francisco also reported WRs Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and Deebo Samuel (shoulder), along with RB Matt Breida (ankle) as limited and all are expected to suit up on Sunday against the Ravens.

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