Print Edition: November 30, 2011
Packers fans had much to be thankful for last Thursday on American Thanksgiving. Packers quarterback (QB) Aaron Rodgers threw for just over 300 yards and two touchdowns as the Green Bay Packers improved to 11-0 on the season.
However, not all the credit can be given to Rodgers. The Packers defence came up big, intercepting Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford three times, turning two of those interceptions into touchdowns. The big event to transpire from this game was Lions superstar defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh being ejected from the game for stepping on Packers Evan Dietrich-Smith after a play. Suh argued after the game and on the sidelines that he stumbled and did not mean to have his foot land on the Packers player. At 11-0, the Packers are just five wins away from joining the 2007 New England Patriots as the only teams to finish 16-0. However, the Packers have a few tough tests ahead of them including a rematch with the Lions.
The Dallas Cowboys kept their slim playoff hopes alive by squeaking out a one point 20-19 win over the Miami Dolphins on a last second field goal. Cowboys QB Tony Romo had a mediocre game, throwing for just over 200 yards and two touchdowns along with two interceptions. Dolphins QB Matt Moore who has been playing well lately continued that play on Thanksgiving Thursday, throwing for almost 300 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys improved to 7-4 and took over the lead in the NFC East division but the New York Giants are right on their heels.
The third game on Thanksgiving Thursday showed the Baltimore Ravens hand the San Francisco 49ers just their second loss this season. The Ravens QB Joe Flacco had a poor game by his standards, throwing for just 160 yards and one touchdown. However, it was the Ravens defence that stepped up big, despite playing without the heart and soul of the team, Ray Lewis for the second week in a row. The Ravens sacked 49ers QB Alex Smith an astounding nine times which impacted his play immensely. Smith threw for just 140 yards and an interception with no touchdowns. 49ers ground and pound runner Frank Gore was held to just 39 yards on 14 carries, his worst performance of the season. The loss snapped the 49ers eight-game winning streak.
The Houston Texans are poised to make the playoffs courtesy of Peyton Manning not playing this season. However, they’ll be playing in the post season with a third string rookie QB at the helm. Starting QB and team captain Matt Schuab was injured two Sundays ago and was ruled out for the rest of the season. The team turned to back up Matt Leinart, a former first round pick, to continue the path Schuab had paved. However, on Sunday Leinart also sustained a season-ending injury. Early in the game versus Jacksonville, Leinart was hit and landed awkwardly on his shoulder. The team announced following the game that Leinart had a broken collarbone. Third stringer and rookie QB T.J. Yates came into the game for the Texans and running back Arian Foster rushed 22 times for 65 yards, which earned the Texans a 20-13 win.