Get your expandable pants ready because football fans are being served a feast this Thanksgiving Thursday. Sure, we’ll all be filling our faces and stomachs with turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing, but we’ll also have an amazing tripleheader of football action. First, the upstart Lions have a shot at handing the Packers their first loss of the season. Then the suddenly red-hot Dolphins will take on the first place Cowboys. At night, we get to see two brothers face-off when Jon Harbaugh’s Ravens host Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers. Between all of that food and football, I might need to nap for the rest of the holiday weekend just to recover. Now, on to Week 11.
FIRST AND GOAL
The four biggest stories in football this weekend. As always, use the comments section below to answer my questions!
Let me give you a quick recap of how things went down Sunday night on the Professor’s couch. Bears win! Yay! Chicago’s in a great spot to make the playoffs with six weeks left in the season! Wait, why does my phone keep getting texts? The game’s over and I already talked with all my friends. Wait…Jay Cutler’s hurt…it’s an injury to his throwing hand…he needs surgery…he’s going to miss at least 6 weeks…NOOOOOOOOOO! All the Italian beef sandwiches in the world could not cheer me up right now. What do you think: can the Bears still make the playoffs with Caleb Hanie playing quarterback?
The other huge QB injury news this week was Michael Vick’s sore ribs in Philly. But look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Vince Young! Young did not have great stats against the Giants, but he delivered what might have been the most impressive drive of the weekend. With the game tied at 10, Young took the Eagles on an 18-play, 80-yard, game-winning touchdown drive. He converted all six of the third downs on the drive with a variety of throws on the run. It wasn’t pretty, but it kept Philly on the outside of the playoff race. What do you think: can Vince Young keep Philly afloat and winning until Michael Vick comes back?
BREAK UP THE ‘FINS!
Who are these Miami Dolphins and what have they done with the team that started the season 0-7? Poor Andrew Luck went from getting a chance to play in beautiful Florida and start right away to now looking at holding a clipboard behind Peyton Manning in freezing cold Indianapolis. But back to the Dolphins. During the team’s three-game winning streak, Miami has outscored its opponents 86-20. They’re only the third team in NFL history to follow up an 0-7 start to the season with a three-game winning streak. They’re also, however improbable as it may seem, still alive in the playoff picture. What do you think: can the Dolphins run the table and make the most amazing playoff appearance ever?
BYE, BYE BILLS
Close your eyes and cover your ears, Bills fans, this looks like the end of the road. Buffalo has completely lost its mojo from the beginning of the season and I’m not sure it’s coming back. After their 4-1 start, Buffalo is 1-4, and nothing is going their way. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t had a QB rating higher than 51 in their last three games, Fred Jackson hasn’t scored a touchdown in four games and a defense that had 12 interceptions in its first five games only has three since. What do you think: is it all over for Buffalo this season or can they turn it around?
HEROES AND ZEROES
Who excelled and who came up short this week. Nominate your own in the comments below!
Michael Bush, RB, OAK: 109 rushing yards, 1 TD
Torrey Smith, WR, BAL: 6 rec, 165 yards, 1 TD
Von Miller, LB, DEN: 9 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 FF
Mark Sanchez, QB, NYJ: 24-for-40, 252 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 3 sacks, 67.9 rating
Chris Johnson, RB, TEN: 13 rushing yards (FOUR YARDS FEWER THAN MATT HASSELBECK, A 36-YEAR OLD QB WHO GOT INJURED DURING THE GAME), 0 TDs
Sam Bradford, QB, STL: 20-for-40, 181 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 5 sacks, 60.5 rating