Highlights: Bills, Cowboys, Vikings earn big wins on Thanksgiving

by Jacob Fuller

Rob Issa, FISM News


The Bills, Cowboys, and Vikings made sure there were no upsets in the NFL on Thanksgiving.

All three teams were favored to win and delivered victories on Thursday, improving their playoff positioning heading down the stretch.

Bills 28 – Lions 25

Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score and Tyler Bass kicked a tiebreaking 45-yard field goal with 2 seconds left to lead Buffalo to a 28-25 win over the Detroit Lions in the first game on Thursday.

Buffalo (8-3) moved ahead of Miami (7-3) in the AFC East.

The Bills won their second game in Ford Field in five days. They beat Cleveland at the same stadium on Sunday after a blizzard in western New York forced them to change venues.

“It was very deja vu-ish,” said Allen, who had 253 yards passing and 78 rushing.

After Detroit tied the score on a 51-yard field goal by Michael Badgley, Allen needed just 23 seconds to make sure there would be no overtime.

Allen, who is playing with an elbow injury, tossed a 36-yard pass to Stefon Diggs and ran twice for 12 yards to set up Bass’ winning kick.

“I’m out there,” Allen said. “If anybody says they’re playing injury-free in this league, they’re probably lying to you. Everybody’s battling injuries, battling bumps and bruises. If I’m going to be the guy that I think I am, I say I am and my teammates think I am, (then) I’ve got to go be that guy, so that’s all there is to it.”

Cowboys 28 – Giants 20

Next, Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes to tight end Dalton Schultz and Ezekiel Elliott ran for a score to help Dallas beat the New York Giants 28-20.

The Cowboys swept the season series from the Giants (7-4) who have lost two in a row for the first time in 2022.

“We’ve got a really good opportunity with big games down the stretch. We’ve put ourselves in a good position. We’re still confident,” Giants quarterback Daniel Jones said. Micah Parsons had two more sacks for Dallas, which routed Minnesota 40-3 on Sunday.

“I said: If you get one, you’ve always got to get seconds,” Parsons said.

While Prescott, Elliott, and Ceedee Lamb get most of the attention on the Cowboys’ offense, the tight ends were the talk of the day. After Schultz caught TD passes on consecutive drives, Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot made their presence felt on the same drive. First, Ferguson hurdled a defender on a 30-yard, catch-and-run. Then, Hendershot scored on a 2-yard run. Afterward, he called the tight ends over to the Salvation Army kettle behind the end zone. Ferguson, Schultz, and Sean McKeon jumped into The Salvation Army kettle and Hendershot pretended to play Whack-A-Mole in one of the most unique TD celebrations in the NFL this year.

“Jake Ferguson put it together,” Hendershot said. “All the tight ends were going to be in there. We knew The Salvation Army bucket was going to be there. So that’s what we came up with.”

Prescott signed off on the idea during the week, telling them to make sure the team has at least a lead of 14 points.

Dallas (8-3) took sole possession of second place in the NFC East behind Philadelphia (9-1).

Vikings 33 – Patriots 26

In a primetime matchup, Kirk Cousins threw three touchdowns, including a go-ahead score to Adam Thielen in the fourth quarter to lead Minnesota to a 33-26 victory over the New England Patriots.

The Vikings and Patriots went back and forth in the final game of the day, changing leads seven times. Cousins connected on TD passes of 1 yard to T.J. Hockenson, 6 yards to Justin Jefferson, and 15 to Adam Thielen for the go-ahead score with 9:34 left in the game.

Jefferson had 139 yards on nine catches, including a few leaping grabs in traffic.

New England, which fell to 6-5, was hurt by poor play on special teams. In the third quarter, the Vikings’ Kene Nwangwu obliterated the Patriots’ lead and momentum earlier in the 3rd quarter with an electric, 97-yard kickoff return for a score.

Minnesota (9-2) remained first in the NFC North.