Posted on: 25 November 2022, 02:50h.
Last updated: November 25, 2022, 2:50 AM.
All the favorites got the job done for the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day lineup, a rarity in a season of underdogs who over-perform. Even more surprising was the performance of the Detroit Lions, who almost stole the game from the Buffalo Bills.
Tyler Bass made a 45-yard field goal for the Bills, this year’s top Super Bowl contender, with almost no time on the clock. That saved OT’s game as Buffalo took the 28-25 lead and the win.
While the Bills didn’t come close to the level everyone expected, they got the job done. They were a long -440 on the moneyline, indicating an emphatic win, but were unable to dominate.
Bills get the job done
QB Josh Allen set the table for the deciding field goal. He connected with wide receiver Stefon Diggs and carried twice to push the ball down the field. Allen finished the day with 253 yards and two touchdown passes en route to the team’s eighth win of the season.
Jared Goff finished with 240 yards and two touchdown passes for the Lions. However, the offense was inconsistent in the red zone. The defense did a decent job of containing the Bills, picking up three sacks on Allen, but Buffalo kept pushing just enough to hold on.
Buffalo (8-3) has won two consecutive games and is now just ahead of the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East race. Detroit (4-7) lost its four-win effort, a feat it hasn’t achieved since the 2016 season. Instead, it suffered its sixth straight Thanksgiving Day loss.
The boys fight in the house
The Dallas Cowboys took advantage of a special performance to defeat a divisional rival in the NFC East. Their 28-20 win against the New York Giants secured second place in the NFC East behind the Philadelphia Eagles and showed they’ve come a long way from where they were last year.
The Giants started strong and took a 13-7 lead in the first half, but failed to maintain the rhythm in the second half. The Cowboys rocked behind solid performances from QB Dak Prescott with two passes TD and 216 yards, who mixed things up with running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. They combined over 150 rushing yards.
Wide receivers CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, along with tight ends Jake Ferguson and Dalton Schultz, were too much for the Giants. They combined over 200 passing yards, of which Lamb shot down 106.
The second half belonged to the Cowboys, who defeated their opponents 21-7. Those seven for the Giants came with about 10 seconds left, and New York had nowhere to go from there.
The Cowboys, like the Bills, were also big favorites in this game around -500. Although they managed it, they missed out on the 10-point spread that almost all sportsbooks offered.
Vikings and Pats put on a show
The Minnesota Vikings defeated the New England Patriots 33-26 in an intense game of offenses. With the win, the Vikings remain in first place in the NFC North, at 9-2, while the Patriots maintain their third-place finish in the AFC East with a 6-5 record.
QB Kirk Cousins had a great game for the Vikings. He threw for 299 yards and made three touchdown passes. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson was his go-to man and he finished the day with 139 receiving yards and a touchdown.
The display of offensive power from both sides continued into the third quarter. New England hit with a 75-yard drive that Mac Jones, who had 359 yards and two scores, closed with another TD pass. This one went to Hunter Henry, who put his teammates ahead 16-23.
This is Justin Jefferson’s world and we just live in it 😤 #SKOL
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 25, 2022
Minnesota didn’t hold back. It responded with a spectacular 97-yard kick return from Kene Nwangwu that cut the game to 23-23.
After an exchange of field goals, the game was still tied heading into the final quarter. However, the Vikings dug in and reached the red zone thanks to the sure hands of wide receiver Justin Jefferson.
His catch put Minnesota on the 15-yard line. On the next play, Cousins found wide receiver Adam Thielen in the end zone to lead 33-26. A few sloppy runs later, the Pats put themselves in a position to tie the game once more. However, the Vikings defense put up a wall that allowed them to hang on.
This was the closest game to the sportsbooks, and the performance of both shows why. The favorites eventually won and covered the spread. The Vikings next take on the New York Jets, a team that recently had a surprise victory against the Bills.