Thanksgiving Football Winners and Losers

Quinn Walsh, Contributer

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Thanksgiving football has been a tradition in America since 1920, when the Chicago Tigers and the Decatur Staleys challenged each other to a Thanksgiving day match. This game, in the first year of the NFL, began a long tradition of Thanksgiving football. Since 1934, the Detroit Lions have hosted a Thanksgiving game, as have the Dallas Cowboys since 1966. Since 2006 there has always been another Thanksgiving day game, mostly to boost the NFL’s ratings. This year, the holiday kicked off with the Detroit Lions losing to the Chicago Bears, the ancestor of the Decatur Staleys, at 12:30 PM. At 4:30, the Buffalo Bills traveled to Jerry World to beat the Cowboys. Lastly, at 8:20 Thanksgiving night, the New Orleans Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons. As the season comes to a close, these in-conference games become increasingly important. Which teams and players were winners, and which were losers? Who was the most impacted by the developments on Thanksgiving. That said, lets dive in:

 

Winners

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Mitch Trubisky

The Bears QB has had a rough season so far, topping 300 yards for the first time on Thursday. This game was a breakout of sorts for him, though he was a Pro-Bowler last season. Throwing three touchdowns, Trubisky  tied his season high there. He lead his team to a win against a Detroit Lions team that is a bit underrated. In doing so he kept the Bears’ slim playoff hopes alive.

 

David Blough

Blough came in to this game a relatively unknown player, being the Lions 3rd-string QB. After injuries to Matt Stafford and Jeff Driskel, Blough became the starter. To begin the season, he was a 48 overall in Madden, third lowest among all players. However, Blough threw for 280 yards and 2 TDs. Blough may have won himself the starting job for the rest of the season.

 

Buffalo Bills

The Bills have been a revelation this season, sitting at 9-3 and one game behind the New England Patriots. The Bills went into Dallas on Thanksgiving and beat a good-not-great Cowboys team. Nonetheless, that game on national TV legitimized the Bills. They do nothing great, but do everything good. The quarterbacking is for real, the running game is for real, and the defense is definitely for real. They are doing this all with over $25 million left in cap space.

 

Stiff-arms

After throwing an interception to defensive tackle Shy Tuttle, Matt Ryan tried to chase him down for the tackle. As seen above, he got destroyed. Shy Tuttle has 80 pounds on Matt Ryan. He wasn’t tackling him anyway.

 

 

 

Losers

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Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys came into Thursday looking to distance themselves from division opponent Philadelphia. Up one game, they faced a team the Eagles had beaten earlier in the season. The Cowboys lost, unable to score consecutively while Jason Garrett clapped away on the sideline and Jerry Jones looked disgusted from his box. The Cowboys now become Dolphins fans, hoping they can beat the rival Eagles this Sunday and keep them at an arm’s length.

 

Atlanta Falcons

On Thursday the Falcons watched as the Saints celebrated clinching the NFC South on their turf. Even worse, the Falcons had repeated chances to win the game. After recovering 2 onside kicks, the Falcons were in prime position to win, but couldn’t capitalize. They threw interceptions, fumbled, and got sacked. Furthermore, they were officially eliminated from the playoffs.

 

Matt Ryan

See “Stiff-arms” under Winners section.