NFL | Nov 25, 2022

2022 NFL Week 12: Thanksgiving TFN Recap

By Harry Bazley

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Three one-score games graced our screens this Thanksgiving, as the Cowboys, Bills and Vikings came out on top to kick off Week 12.

Bills 28 - 25 Lions

Buffalo crashed Detroit's Thanksgiving Day party in style, as Tyler Bass made a last-second field goal to bag a walk-off win, after the Lions tied things up just moments earlier.

Josh Allen led the game-winning drive-in a similar style to the rest of the game. After scrambling twice to gain some much-needed yardage, Allen found Stefon Diggs for a 36-yard completion which took the Bills within field-goal range.

This was the play that won them the game.

Devin Singletary played a back-up role in the Buffalo run-game as Allen clocked 78 yards on the ground and rushed for a touchdown earlier in the matchup. You could say this was the deciding factor in the close matchup, as Buffalo out-rushed Detroit 164 yards to 96.

Diggs may have been Allen's favourite wide receiver with 15 targets, but Isaiah McKenzie racked up the most yards on the day. McKenzie caught 6 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown, while Allen looked relatively unphased by his shoulder injury in the passing game.

Jared Goff threw for just 13 less passing yards than Allen, as Amon-Ra St. Brown led Detroit's air raid offense. St. Brown logged 122 yards and a touchdown - continuing to shine as Goff's go-to route runner.

He even gave us a Thanksgiving themed celebration on his end zone reception.

Meanwhile, Jamaal Williams struggled to move the ball beyond the Lions injured offensive line. With both guards missing from the lineup, Williams took more handoffs up the middle, limiting his ability to make explosive plays. Sure, he still racked up 66 yards and found the end zone too, but this is nothing compared to the triple-touchdown performance he put in last week.

A few turnovers certainly made an impact in this three-point win for Buffalo - as they forced four fumbles and recovered 2 to outweigh Allen's interception on the night - but the key difference was Josh Allen's ability to get things done when the game got down to the wire.

Of course, credit where credit is due. Tyler Bass held his composure to sail a 45-yard field goal through the uprights and take the Buffalo Bills to the top of the AFC East (although they do have a game in-hand ahead of Miami..), while the Detroit Lions fall to 4-7 behind Minnesota.

Giants 20 - 28 Cowboys

The scoreline may make this game seem closer than it actually was, as the New York Giants only managed to come within 8 points of the Dallas Cowboys with just 8 seconds on the clock. Not to mention, Brett Maher missed a field goal a few moments before the scoring drive. Dallas should have won this 31-13.

With that being said, Dan Jones did put up some solid numbers against a Cowboys defence that held the Vikings to just 3 points last week.

Jones threw for 228 yards and 1 touchdown with most of his success being found in the first half. But Jones struggled to get things going after the break, failing to put up points until the clock came down to just 8 seconds.

A few fourth-down stops from Dallas gave them an extra touchdown (and should have given them the field goal that was ultimately missed). Perhaps Brian Daboll's stint of going for it on 4th is over?

One difficulty for the Giants offense, which is usually a reliable source of yards, was their run game.

Saquon Barkley only logged 39 yards on the ground, as New York were out-rushed 169-90, while Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard tore up the turf on Thursday Night.

The passing games were fairly even, with Dak Prescott throwing for 261 yards versus Jones' 228, but the big difference maker was CeeDee Lamb, who repeatedly made big-tie catches to set up scoring plays. Lamb caught 6 passes for 106 receiving yards and almost found the end zone himself but was ruled out of bounds.

So, Prescott and company continue to chase the Eagles as they move one step closer towards the top of the table. I can't see many teams slowing down Jalen Hurts, but the Washington Commanders proved it was at least possible. If Dak continues playing this way, Dallas may just have a shot at topping the NFC East.

Patriots 26 - 33 Vikings

This game was as back and forth as it gets. Each team had 11 possessions as the lead changed on four separate occasions. Both Mac Jones and Kirk Cousins put together scoring drive after scoring drive, both racking up the passing yards. This was a simply great display of offensive football (minus the run games).

Jones threw for a whopping 382 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris ran for just 52 total yards. The usual battering ram that is Stevenson, instead took the passing game to catch 9 passes for 76 yards to fall just 4 yards short of being the leading Pats receiver.

In similar fashion, Cousins threw 299 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Dalvin Cook put just 42 yards on the board.

The offenses played so similarly it's hard to see exactly what the differences were. That is until you notice Justin Jefferson.

Jefferson is making a case for best receiver in the league right now, and it's hard to deny. No.18 caught 9 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown - hauling in more than a third of the Vikings passing yards, all by himself.

Jefferson now leads the league in receiving yards with a ridiculous 1,232 yards in 11 games...

All in all, Jones didn't deserve to lose this one. I see calls for Bailey Zappe's return all over social media, but New England fans should appreciate the quarterback they have after this game.

I mean, Jones threw for an average of 10 yards per attempt... What more do you want? Give this man a Justin Jefferson and see what can happen. (Probably not much after Belichick leaves)

In a 6-point game, you could argue that this play was the game-winner when both offenses were pretty much unstoppable (and Cousins even threw an interception).

Anyway... the New England Patriots fall to the bottom of a competitive AFC East despite having a winning record, while the Minnesota Vikings soar to 9-2 and are well clear of any divisional competition.

And that wraps up our 2022 Thanksgiving games.

All eyes look to Sunday night as we have a flurry of great matchups taking to the turf - Tom Brady will face off with Jacoby Brissett in Cleveland and Justin Fields will look to teach Sam Darnold a lesson in putting points on the board as the Bears take on the New York Jets. Sadly, we'll have to wait until Monday Night to see if Aaron Rodgers can slow down the scoring machine that is Jalen Hurts.

But not to worry, I'll be recapping it all right here...