Week 12 is not over, but despite this, I decided to split the recap into two parts, with this story centering on the Thanksgiving games, as well as the NFL's first-ever Black Friday game. One reason is that it'll be easier to cover each portion of the week, as everyone played this week, though because of the holidays, only 12 games are played on Sunday and Monday. Another reason is because I wanted to put a special spotlight on the four games, especially the Black Friday game.
A third and honest reason is a simple one: I'm still giddy over the Packers!
The Green Bay Packers defeated the first place Detroit Lions to kick off Thanksgiving, and I'm dead serious, you would have had to chisel the smile off my face. I was so so happy! The Packers dominated the Lions from the get-go, literally! Jordan Love started his Turkey Day with a long bomb to Christian Watson, and it was nothing but smooth sailing from there. The offense was delivering big time, and so was the defense. This included a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown, and the player who scooped up that fumble was Jonathan Owens, who is married to gymnast Simone Biles, and he had one hell of a Thanksgiving. The Lions did strike back for the whole game, but it wasn't enough. Unlike their game against the Bears, they could not come back from Jared Goff's miscues, and the Packers won 29-22.
The warm and fuzzy feeling in every fiber of my Green and Gold being still hasn't left. This was the biggest win in Jordan Love's young career, and for the Packers, this was the biggest win of the season by far. It was a win that we needed, and we definitely got it against a strong Lions team. It was a win that saw the Packers step of on offense; scoring had been a bit of a problem, especially in the first half. As for the Lions, even with the new and improved team, the Thanksgiving woes continue. The Lions have now lost seven straight Thanksgiving games, and for the first time this season, they look a tad suspect. Just a tad.
Jordan Love's getting respect now, but let's face facts, a majority of the Packers fans who are now giving Love his flowers are the same ones who called him a bust after about a month. We know who the true diehards are. I'm one of them. I've said this whole season that we need to be patient with Love. See what happens when you wait?
One thing I really loved about this year's Thanksgiving games is that they were all divisional and they were all in the NFC. The North was represented by the Packers and Lions, and next up was the East, represented by the Washington Commanders and the Dallas Cowboys. Unlike the North battle, though, the East game was pretty much over when it started. The Commanders had so many problems entering this game, and the Cowboys absolutely pounced on them, en route to a 45-10 home win. Dak Prescott dominated as usual, but the true star of the game was DaRon Bland, who caught his fifth Pick Six of the season, an NFL record.
The Commanders responded quickly by firing Jack Del Rio as their defensive coordinator, and while I am elated that a racist January 6 supporter doesn't have a job in the NFL anymore, he's actually not the only one who needs to go. I've said for a long while that Ron Rivera's on borrowed time as Commanders head coach. He's been there for a long while and only reached the playoffs once, and honestly, ever since that presser during Week 17 of last season where he stated that he didn't know his team could be eliminated from playoff contention (they were hours after that presser), I've felt that he'll be gone as HC soon. A theory I have is that Eric Bieniemy, who is in his first year as Commanders offensive coordinator, could be the new HC should they can Rivera.
After the North and East had their fun, it was the West's turn, as the primetime game pitted the San Francisco 49ers against the Seattle Seahawks. While it wasn't as lopsided as the East game, it definitely wasn't as thrilling as the North game, as the Niners went back to basics and dominated the Hawks in this outing. We saw touchdowns from Christian McCaffrey (two of them), Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk, which pleased this fantasy owner (I have all three of them in separate teams). The Niners defense dominated, as usual, and it all resulted in a 31-13 win over the Seahawks.
The Seahawks are in trouble. They were actually in trouble entering this game, as they were coming off losing to the Los Angeles Rams. With this loss, the Hawks are 1-3 against divisional opponents, which includes losing twice to the Rams. Even worse, they have to face the Niners again, and worse than that, they have to go to Santa Clara. The Seahawks are trying to prove that last year wasn't a fluke, but they are definitely making it hard on themselves.
As mentioned before, this season featured the first Black Friday game in NFL history, and it was an AFC East battle between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets. I remember this was announced because of Aaron Rodgers being with the Jets, but with Rodgers being sidelined, a lot of the luster was gone. It became even less prestigious when Tim Boyle was announced as the starter, as they had enough of Zach Wilson. Honestly, after that performance, I feel the Jets owe Zach Wilson an apology. Boyle absolutely stunk that day, and the centerpiece of his terrible play was a Hail Mary that was not only intercepted, it was returned all the way from end to end. And this was in front of the Hail Mary king himself, Aaron Rodgers. Ugh.
The Dolphins won 34-13, with touchdowns coming from Tyreek Hill and Raheem Mostert, the latter scoring twice. As for the Dolphins defense, they had a field day. On fantasy, the Dolphins defense racked up 21 points: seven sacks (7 points), an interception (2 points), a touchdown (6 points), and only gave up seven points to the offense (4 points). A great Black Friday showcase for the Dolphins, while the Jets found another way to embarrass themselves on Thanksgiving weekend.
Overall, the Thanksgiving and Black Friday games were a great way to start Week 12, and there is much more to come! Week 12 continues on Sunday with 11 games, main evented by Sunday Night Football between the Baltimore Ravens and the Los Angeles Chargers. After that, the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears will clash on Monday Night Football.
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