Welcome to the Thanksgiving edition of the Week 12 grades!
The Lions have been playing on Thanksgiving since 1934, but they might want to ask the NFL to stop scheduling them for Turkey Day, because the holiday has turned into a total disaster for Detroit. Going into 2023, the Lions had lost six straight games on Thanksgiving and that streak is now up to seven following the Packers' dominating 29-22 win over Detroit.
The Lions haven't won on Thanksgiving since 2016.
The Packers' win came in the first game of a Thanksgiving Tripleheader. In the second game, the Cowboys rolled to a history-making 45-10 win over the Commanders. The Cowboys have played five home games this season and they've won them all by at least 20 points, which marks the first-time in NFL history that's ever happened. Going into Week 12, there had been five previous teams that had won their first four homes games by at least 20 points, but none had ever done it five times in a row.
Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland also made history when he recorded his fifth pick-six of the year, which is the now the NFL record for the most pick-sixes in a single-season. The mind-blowing part is that Bland just set the SEASON record in Week 12.
in the final game of the night, we got another blowout with the 49ers beating the Seahawks 31-13. Thanks to the win, the 49ers now hold a two-game lead in the NFC West.
Alright, let's get to the Thanksgiving grades, starting with the game in Detroit.
Green Bay 29-22 over Detroit
|It seems that something has finally clicked with Jordan Love, because he suddenly looks like one of the best quarterbacks in football. After dicing up the Chargers in Week 11, Love followed that up with an even more impressive performance against the Lions. Love opened the game with a 53-yard pass to Christian Watson on the first play from scrimmage and he only got better from there on a day where he threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns. The Packers had seven different receivers catch at least one pass, including Watson, who finished with five catches for 94 yards and a TD. As good as the offense was, the defense was even better. Jonathan Owens had a breakout game: Not only did he lead the team in tackles, but he also returned a fumble for a TD in the first quarter that allowed Green Bay to jump out to a 20-6 lead. The Lions couldn't figure out how to slow down Rashan Gary, who sacked Jared Goff three times. This was a wildly impressive performance for a Packers team that is suddenly very much alive in the NFC playoff race.
|After looking nearly invincible through the first 11 weeks of the season, the Lions suddenly look like a very beatable team and a lot of that has to do with the play of Jared Goff. The Lions QB lost three fumbles, including one that was returned for a Packers TD in the first quarter. Goff now has six turnovers over his past two games, which is almost impossible to believe when you consider that he only turned the ball over five times in Detroit's first nine games. Goff didn't get any help from an offensive line that struggled against the Packers' pass-rush. The Lions also went 0-for-4 on fourth down. The most questionable fourth down call came on a fourth-and-3 in the third quarter when Dan Campbell called for a fake punt from his own 23-yard line with the Lions only trailing 23-14 (The Packers would score a TD three plays later that effectively iced the game). Defensively, the Lions looked confused by almost everything the Packers did. It's possible they underestimated Jordan Love, but whatever the reason was, they got diced up for 268 yards and three touchdowns by the Packers QB.
Packers-Lions grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Dallas 45-10 over Washington
|If Ron Rivera wasn't on the hot seat before this week, he almost certainly is now after watching his team get blown out in Dallas. Riverboat Ron wasn't wearing his riverboat hat in the first half. During the first quarter, the Commanders had a chance to take charge of the game, but they ended up punting twice from inside of Cowboys territory. In the second half, the Commanders went for it three times on fourth down, but they were already down double-digits by that point. The Commanders simply got outcoached, but it also didn't help that their defense got diced up by Dak Prescott. Offensively, the Commanders had SEVEN drives that reached Cowboys territory, but they only came away with 10 points. With five losses in their past six games, it feels like the Commanders' season is over.
|The Cowboys might not need to eat Thanksgiving dinner this year, because they feasted on the Commanders. The star of the show was Dak Prescott, who torched Washington's defense for 331 yards and four touchdowns. The Cowboys QB, who didn't get sacked, had a lot of time to throw and he utilized that by hitting TEN different receivers with eight of those guys finishing with at least 20 yards. Defensively, the Cowboys didn't fully shut down the Commanders, but they stopped Washington on nearly every big play, including holding the Commanders to an 0-for-3 showing on fourth down. Johnathan Hankins (2 sacks) and Micah Parsons (1.5 sacks) led a pass-rush that gave Sam Howell fits. DaRon Bland also iced the win when he came up with his NFL-record setting fifth pick-six of the season in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys are looking more and more like a legit Super Bowl contender every week, and if they keep playing like this, this might be the season where they end their 28-year big game drought.
Commanders-Cowboys grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
San Francisco 31-13 over Seattle
|After losing three games in a row heading into their bye, it's safe to say that the 49ers are officially back on track, and a big reason for that is because of Christian McCaffrey. The 49ers running back had a huge night with 139 total yards and two touchdowns. The Seahawks couldn't figure out how to slow him or Deebo Samuel, who tacked on 94 yards and a TD for the 49ers. Except for a small lull in the third quarter, the 49ers basically did anything they wanted on offense. The 49ers defense was equally impressive. Not only did they sack Geno Smith six times, including two from Nick Bosa, but they didn't surrender a single touchdown in the game (Seattle's only TD came on a pick-six thrown by Brock Purdy). The 49ers might not have the best record in the NFC, but right now, they look like the best team in the NFC.
|The Seahawks apparently forgot they had a game on Thanksgiving, because they didn't show up for the first half. With two minutes left to play in the second quarter, the Seahawks had just 15 yards of offense and that really summed up the night for a team that scored a single touchdown. The Seahawks offensive line got overwhelmed by a 49ers pass-rush that sacked Geno Smith six times. On the defensive side of the ball, things weren't much better. Although Jordyn Brooks had a pick-six, that was one of the few highlights in the game for the defense. The Seahawks were even bad on special teams with a missed field goal and a fumbled punt return. The Seahawks have now lost three of four and it feels like their season is slowly falling apart.
49ers-Seahawks grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)