The twelfth week of the NFL season started on Thursday, November 22nd, which was also Thanksgiving. Since 1933, it has been a tradition for NFL football to be played on Thanksgiving, which was started by the Detroit Lions (formerly the Portsmouth Spartans). Every year the Lions and the Dallas Cowboys play on Thanksgiving, although they do not play against each other. There is also one other game played, but this varies by year. This year’s games were the Houston Texans @ the Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins @ the Dallas Cowboys, and New England Patriots @ the New York Jets. The Texans beat the Lions in a very hard-fought game that went into overtime. The final score was 34-31. Texans’ running back had a big game, rushing for 102 yards on twenty carries and two touchdowns. The Lions’ quarterback, Matthew Stafford, had an outstanding game throwing for 441 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions drop to four wins and seven losses while the Texans prove they are one of the best teams in the NFL with a record of ten wins and one loss. The second game on Thanksgiving day was the Redskins @ the Cowboys. The ‘Skins won this game 38-31, and they outscored the Cowboys 28-0 in the second quarter. The Cowboys eventually came back in the fourth quarter scoring 18-10, but it was not enough to get the win. The Redskins’ quarterback, Robert Griffin III, had the one of the best performances on Thanksgiving going 20-28, 311 yards and four touchdowns while Cowboys’ quarterback went 37-62, 441 yards, and three touchdowns. The ‘Skins improve to five wins and six losses while the Cowboys drop to five wins and six losses. Both teams are tied at second in the NFC East division. The final game of Thanksgiving was the Patriots @ the Jets. The Pats destroyed the Jets winning 49-19, and they outscored the Jets 35-3 in the second quarter. Pats’ quarterback, Tom Brady, threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns. The win also gave their coach his 200th win.
On Sunday, teams look to bounce back after losses, and some try to get closer to making it to the playoffs. One notable game of the noon session was the Minnesota Vikings @ the Chicago Bears. The Bears won this game 28-10, breaking a two-game losing streak, but at the expense of injuries. The Bears’ quarterback, Jay Cutler, threw for 188 yards and one touchdown after missing last week’s game due to a concussion, while the Vikings’ quarterback Christian Ponder threw for 159 yards and one touchdown. Another notable game from the noon session was the Atlanta Falcons @ the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Falcons won this game 24-23. Falcons’ quarterback, Matt Ryan, threw for 343 yards and one touchdown while ‘Bucs quarterback, Josh Freeman, threw for 256 yards and zero touchdowns. The last mentionable game from the noon session of games was the Seattle Seahawks @ the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins won this game 24-21, and Dolphins’ quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, threw for 253 yards and one touchdown, as Seahawks’ quarterback, Russell Wilson, had 224 yards and two touchdowns. The game got a little crazy though when the field sprinklers came on while they were playing, which resulted in a stoppage in play for fifteen minutes. One game from the 3:30 PM session of games was the Baltimore Ravens @ the San Diego Chargers. The Ravens won this game 16-13 in overtime. Ravens’ quarterback, Joe Flacco, threw for 355 yards and one touchdown, while Chargers’ quarterback, Philip Rivers, threw for 228 yards and one touchdown. Another game from the 3:30 PM session was the San Francisco 49ers @ the New Orleans Saints. The ‘Niners won this game 31-21. The big story of this game is that the ‘Niners were going to use Colin Kaepernick as their starting quarterback rather than their usual starter. He threw for 231 yards and one touchdown, while Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns. The Sunday night game was between the Green Bay Packers @ the New York Giants. The Giants won this game 38-10. Giants’ quarterback, Eli Manning, threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns, while Packers’ quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, threw for 219 yards and one touchdown.
After week twelve, the playoff picture looks like this: on the NFC side the division leaders are the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, and the New York Giants. The two wildcard spots belong to the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks. On the AFC side the division leaders are the Houston Texans, New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, and Denver Broncos. The two wildcard spots belong to the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Junior David Jin said “The Bears will win the division and my Super Bowl pick is still Houston.”