NFL

Cowboys, Vikings, Bills all feast in Thanksgiving Day wins | Plus, previewing Michigan vs. Ohio State

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Let’s get right to it.

Good morning to everyone but especially to…

THE DALLAS COWBOYS…

The Cowboys‘ offense has been up and down all year. If the last two weeks are any indication, though, they’re headed in the right direction. Dallas had all aspects of its offense working in a crucial 28-20 victory over the Giants.

  • Dak Prescott overcame two first-half interceptions to throw a pair of touchdowns, both to Dalton Schultz. It was Schultz’s third career multi-touchdown game.
  • CeeDee Lamb had six catches for 106 yards and has gone over 100 yards in two of his last three games after not doing so in any of his first eight games this season.
  • Ezekiel Elliott ran for a season-high 92 yards and a score, and Tony Pollard added 60 more yards on the ground.
  • On defense, Micah Parsons had two sacks. It was his sixth multi-sack game this season, most by any player through his team’s first 11 games (since sacks became official in 1982). 

Both Dallas and New York entered this game 7-3, and not only does the win give the Cowboys a one-game lead over the Giants, but they also own the tiebreaker, having swept the season series.

Just as impressively, the Cowboys reversed a couple of recent trends. They won on Thanksgiving after losing four of their last five on Turkey Day, and they won despite losing the turnover battle by multiple turnovers. Entering Thursday, they had been just 2-14 in those games under Prescott.

… AND ALSO A GOOD MORNING TO THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Better late than never… especially for the Vikings defense. After going nearly two entire games without a sack, the Minnesota pass rush came through late to support a strong offensive performance, and the Vikings bounced back with a 33-26 win over the Patriots.

  • With his team leading by a touchdown late and the Patriots driving, Danielle Hunter got a huge sack on a 3rd and 7. The Patriots would get no closer to the end zone, and Ross Blacklock had another sack late.
  • Kirk Cousins had season highs in passing touchdowns (three) and completion percentage (81.1), with scoring strikes to Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson and Adam Thielen, who caught the game winner early in the fourth quarter.
  • After taking seven sacks in a 40-3 loss to the Cowboys last week, Cousins took just one Thursday. He improves to 11-18 in primetime games in his career.
  • Jefferson passed Randy Moss for most receiving yards ever in a player’s first three seasons and finished with 139 yards on nine receptions.

Eight of the Vikings’ nine wins this season have been by one score, and that’s largely because neither the offense nor the defense is consistent enough to help the Vikings pull away and stay there. But Thursday, on a short week and coming off an embarrassing loss, the Vikings made enough plays in the pivotal moments, and that was enough for an important win.

Honorable mentions

  • After a 36-yard completion from Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs with just seconds remaining, Tyler Bass knocked through a game-winning field goal as the Bills beat the Lions, 28-25.
  • Here are our takeaways from PK85, where UNC and Duke survived close ones.
  • Kansas beat Wisconsin in an overtime thriller, 69-68.

Not so honorable mentions

U.S. men’s national team takes on England in massive World Cup match ⚽


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The United States. England. The World Cup. Get hyped.

After an opening draw against Wales, the Stars and Stripes take on the Three Lions and are major, major underdogs at +500 according to Caesars Sportsbook. So, how can the U.S. shock the world? Our soccer scribe Chuck Booth has three keys for Gregg Berhalter’s squad, including…

  • Booth: Persist with Josh Sargent at striker. Sargent managed to drag defenders out of position and create space for Tim Weah and Christian Pulisic to run into. Looking back at Weah’s goal against Wales, it starts with Sargent… It’s tempting to play Haji Wright as an over the top option for crosses, but the United States will need a grinder against England.”

As for England’s striker, Harry Kane is available after taking a knock to the foot in England’s 6-2 win over Iran. Kane needs just two goals to become England’s all-time leading scorer.

Our experts have made picks for all four matches today, and their outlook for the U.S. is… well… I’ll let you see for yourself.

As for yesterday’s action…

  • Cristiano Ronaldo became the first man to score in five World Cups, and Portugal beat Ghana, 3-2.
  • Brazil beat Serbia 2-0, but Neymar got hurt.
  • Switzerland beat Cameroon1-0.
  • Uruguay and South Korea drew, 0-0.

This morning, Iran picked up three points in Group B with a 2-0 win over Wales.

Week 12 NFL picks: Bengals visit Titans in key AFC showdown 🏈


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We’re into the final weekend of November, and no matchup looms larger than Bengals-Titans when it comes to the AFC playoff picture. There’s also revenge at play: In last year’s Divisional Round, Cincinnati picked off Ryan Tannehill three times, and Evan McPherson hit a walk-off 52-yard field goal to send the Bengals to the AFC Championship. Here’s how our NFL senior writer Pete Prisco sees the rematch going down.

  • Prisco: “The Bengals have played much better lately, but they are playing consecutive road games, while the Titans will be rested after playing last Thursday. Derrick Henry wasn’t himself when they played in the playoffs last season. He is now. … Pick: Titans 27, Bengals 21

Then, on Sunday night, the Eagles host the Packers in a key battle for both. After a loss to the Commanders and a narrow win over the Colts, Philadelphia hopes to get back to its previous form, while the Packers — at 4-7 this season — need to pull off a shocker to save their season. Here are John Breech’s thoughts.

  • Breech: “There are a lot of reasons to like the Eagles in this spot, but Aaron Rodgers is 13-2 in his past 15 prime-time games and with the Packers season on the line — and possibly his career — I’m going to roll with Green Bay. If the Packers lose here, it could be the unofficial end of an era in Green Bay and I don’t think Rodgers is ready to think about that just yet. The pick: Packers 27-24 over Eagles

Here are all of our experts’ picks:

Pete Prisco | John Breech | Jordan Dajani | Tyler Sullivan

Previewing huge college football weekend, headlined by Michigan-Ohio State 🏈


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The final full weekend of the regular season is here, and The Game is at the center of it all. Michigan visits Ohio State with the Big Ten East title — and, more importantly, a likely College Football Playoff berth — on the line.

After winning last year’s meeting, the Wolverines are looking to win two straight in the rivalry for the first time since 1999-2000. And a win would mean much more than that, writes college football reporter Barrett Sallee.

  • Sallee: “If Michigan is able to win the biggest game in series history since 2006 and earn another Big Ten East championship, it will be considered the class of the East. It would show that while it’s perceived as the lesser team, by many accounts, it has what it takes to overcome those deficiencies to reach the ultimate success not only in The Game but throughout the season with a target on its back.”

The loser of this game could have a tough time making the Playoff, and a potential beneficiary would be USC — if the Trojans can get by Notre Dame. Here’s our preview of that one.

For more on a huge rivalry weekend:

What we’re watching this weekend 📺

We’re watching the World Cup all weekend. Here’s the schedule.

Friday

🏈 Baylor at No. 23 Texas, 12 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Florida at No. 16 Florida State, 7:30 p.m. on ABC
🏀 Nuggets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. on NBA TV

Saturday

🏈 Georgia Tech at No. 1 Georgia, 12 p.m. on ESPN
🏈 No. 3 Michigan at No. 2 Ohio State, 12 p.m. on Fox
🏈 Auburn at No. 7 Alabama, 3:30 p.m. on CBS
🏈 Iowa State at No. 4 TCU, 4 p.m. on Fox
🏈 No. 5 LSU at Texas A&M, 7 p.m. on ESPN
🏈 No. 15 Notre Dame at No. 6 USC, 7:30 p.m. on ABC

Sunday

🏈 Here’s the NFL Week 12 schedule.
🏀 St. Louis at No. 13 Auburn, 3 p.m. on SEC Network
🏀 Mavericks at Bucks, 8 p.m. on NBA TV



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