Thanksgiving Day: 3 NFL Games, All Teams Battling for a Playoff Spot
The Thanksgiving holiday is best defined by the three F's: family, food, and football. NFL fans got their fill this Thursday with three contentious games —each between division rivals, and all of the teams battling for a playoff spot.
SEAHAWKS 19, 49ERS 3
Richard Sherman set up the only touchdown with another key defensive play in this heated rivalry, then made a second interception with the 49ers driving late, and the Seattle Seahawks ended a five-game losing streak on San Francisco's home field with a 19-3 win Thursday night.
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Steven Hauschka kicked four field goals and the Seahawks' stout defense held Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree in check as Seattle (8-4) overcame 14 penalties for 105 yards, including an offensive pass interference that negated a touchdown.
Russell Wilson passed for 236 yards and thoroughly outplayed Kaepernick, who had one of his worst performances for the 49ers (7-5).
After his second pick, Sherman looked at those fans still remaining in half-empty stadium on a Thanksgiving night and gave them the hush sign with his pointer finger to his mouth, then waved goodbye. The Seahawks won by the identical score they beat first-place Arizona five days earlier.
Kaepernick was 16 for 29 for 121 yards.
EAGLES 33, COWBOYS 10
LeSean McCoy ran for 159 yards and a touchdown, Mark Sanchez had his first scoring run in almost three years and Philadelphia beat Dallas in a battle of NFC East co-leaders.
The Eagles (9-3) opened with quick drives of 80 and 88 yards for touchdowns. They took sole possession of the division lead with four games remaining, including a rematch in less than three weeks.
Tony Romo looked ragged in the first quick turnaround for his surgically repaired back as the Cowboys (8-4) lost their third straight home game.
McCoy, who led the NFL with 1,604 yards last season, had his fourth 100-yard game in the past seven after going without one the first five weeks and secured his fourth 1,000-yard season since 2010.
Although his deficit to Dallas' DeMarco Murray in the rushing race is probably insurmountable, McCoy outgained Murray, who was held under 100 yards for just the second time this season.
McCoy averaged 6.4 yards on 25 carries on the same field where he clinched the rushing title last December while the Eagles beat the Cowboys in a playoffs-or-bust finale. Murray finished with 73 yards and Dallas' only touchdown on 20 carries.
Making his fourth start since Nick Foles was sidelined by a broken collarbone, Sanchez was 9 of 11 for 99 yards in the first quarter. That included a 27-yard scoring pass to Jordan Matthews when Sanchez hit the rookie in stride on a crossing route for a 14-0 lead. Sanchez finished 20 of 29 for 217 yards with a touchdown.
LIONS 34, BEARS 17
Calvin Johnson caught 11 passes for 146 yards and two first-half touchdowns and Detroit beat Chicago to boost its postseason hopes.
After losing at Arizona and New England and falling out of first place in the NFC North, the Lions (8-4) spotted Chicago a 14-3 first-quarter lead before rallying with relative ease in the second.
Joique Bell ran for two touchdowns for the Lions, and Jay Cutler threw two scoring passes for Chicago (5-7). Detroit's Matthew Stafford went 34 of 45 for 390 yards with the two touchdown passes to Johnson.
Detroit had not scored this many points since a 35-14 win over the New York Giants in the season opener.