Thanksgiving weekend came and went with great food and great NFL football. Here’s a Genius Sports Report recap of the week 12 NFL action.
Not Coming Home for the Holidays
For the third straight year every home team has lost on Thanksgiving Day. The Lions and Cowboys host every year and failed to give their home fans a holiday victory. The Lions are now 0-10-1 and still searching for their first win. Their 16-14 defeat to the Chicago Bears allowed Chicago to snap a five-game losing streak and keep Head Coach Matt Nagy in the seat for at least a little longer. This game marks the fifth game this season where the Lions finished within three points of their opponent (including their 16-16 tie to Pittsburgh).
The Cowboys didn’t fare any better in the afternoon game, losing 36-33 in overtime to the Las Vegas Raiders. Derek Carr led an impressive offense, starting off with a 56-yard touchdown pass to newly acquired veteran WR DeSean Jackson. Carr finished with 373 yards passing, making him 6-0 this season in games he has passed for over 300 yards. The Cowboys were without their two top wide receivers in Amari Cooper (COVID) and CeeDee Lamb (concussion). Despite the missing production, the Cowboys scored over 30 points for the sixth time this season, their first however in a losing effort. Dallas still holds a lead in the division, but has lost three of the last four games and needs to get back on track soon.
The New Orleans Saints hosted the Buffalo Bills for the Thursday night game and struggled on both sides of the ball. The Saints lost the contest 31-6 and dropped their fourth straight to fall below .500 for the season. The Saints are without QB Jameis Winston due to a torn ACL and have struggled with Trevor Siemian under center. Siemian threw for only 163 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. The Saints will hope to get All-Pro running back Alvin Kamara back in the lineup to help spark the offense.
Madness in the AFC
The whole NFL has been unpredictable this season. The Arizona Cardinals (bye last week) lead the league with a 9-2 record, three teams follow with three losses and seven teams behind that with four. The AFC has had multiple conference leaders, with the Baltimore Ravens currently leading after defeating the Cleveland Browns 16-10 on Sunday Night. The Bills, Chiefs, Patriots and Bengals are all coming off wins and positioned in playoff position.
Despite the slow start, the Kansas City Chiefs are one of those four-loss teams that now sits in first place in the AFC West and the fourth seed in the AFC playoff picture. However, their position isn’t firm as every other team in the AFC West is above .500 with a 6-5 record. The Chiefs face the Broncos on Sunday Night in Week 13 in a battle for first place in the division.
The Patriots defeated the Titans to jump into first place in their division pending their Monday Night match against the Bills. As the NFC seems to take clearer shape this far into the season, the AFC has a lot still up for grabs and the team that takes advantage of opportunities and peaks at the right time will find themselves with home field advantage throughout a difficult playoff run.
Moment of the Week
Despite the loss on Monday Night Football, the Seattle Seahawks turned in one of the best and rarest plays of the year. The Washington Football Team lined up for the extra point after a touchdown put them up 9-7. However, Seattle’s defensive end Rasheem Green blocked the PAT, picked up the live ball and returned it to the endzone for a 2-point conversion tying the game 9-9. Green became the first person to block, recover and score a defensive conversion since the rule made it possible in 2015.