🏈NFL Off-field Drama
Where to start?: The undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0) had their highly anticipated Thanksgiving game against the Baltimore Ravens (6-4) postponed to yesterday and then again to tomorrow night due to ongoing COVID-19 issues with both teams.
- As of yesterday, the Ravens had 22 players on the COVID-19 reserve list. For their part, the Steelers have placed four players, including running back (RB) and cancer survivor James Conner, on the list, too.
Yikes: Yikes is right. In other COVID-19 news, all four Denver Broncos quarterbacks (QBs) were put on the COVID-19 reserve list after one of them tested positive last week and the other three interacted with him without masks, leaving the team QB-less heading into yesterday’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
- The NFL chose not to postpone the game (cue eye roll), leaving the Broncos with little choice but to promote practice squad wide receiver (WR) Kendall Hinton to starting QB. The Broncos also tried to sign offensive assistant coach Rob Calabrese as back-up, but the league wouldn’t allow it.
- To no one’s surprise, NOLA won 31–3. Guess they won’t be making a Keanu Reeves movie about this game.
Is the NFL trying to fix this mess?: Apparently, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Moving in the right direction, the Saints and New England Patriots are the latest teams to be fined for protocol violations, and the league is also looking at bubbles for the playoffs.
🏈NFL Sunday Recap
Here are our favorite history-making highlights from yesterday’s games:
- Take it on the Chinn: Carolina Panthers (4-8) rookie linebacker/safety Jeremy Chinn made history as the first defensive player to notch back-to-back fumble returns (in a mere 10 seconds of game time!). On top of those two touchdowns, he also added seven tackles for good measure, but it wasn’t enough for a win over the Minnesota Vikings (5-6).
- King of the Hill: With 203 yards in the first quarter alone, Kansas City Chiefs (10-1) WR Tyreek Hill became just the third player in 30 years to record over 200 yards in a single quarter. Hill ended the 27–24 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) with 269 yards, three TDs and one backflip. But let’s not forget: being a good football player doesn’t make you a good person.
- #CoachLikeAGirl: The Cleveland Browns (8-3) made herstory yesterday when Callie Brownson subbed in as the tight ends coach, becoming the first-ever female positional coach to work an NFL game. And, of course, the Browns won 27–25 over the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10).
Awesome. What’s up next?: The Seattle Seahawks (7-3) are in the City of Brotherly Love to face the Philadelphia Eagles (3-6-1) tonight for Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. ET, and that Steelers-Ravens game is still supposed to happen tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET...but who can really say?
The GIST: It’s Thanksgiving in America, which means two great things for Canada: tomorrow’s Black Friday deals, and today’s NFL games.
Sweet! When does it start?: Thanksgiving football kicks off as it always does: with a Detroit Lions home game at 12:30 p.m. ET. The Lions have been hosting Thanksgiving games since 1934 (save for a hiatus during WWII), and they’re joined this year by the Houston Texans.
- Neither team has had a particularly stellar season so far, with the Texans at 3-7 and the Lions at 4-6. The Texans are coming off a clutch win over the New England Patriots on Sunday and will look to carry that momentum to give the Lions yet another Thanksgiving Day loss. Fun fact: the Lions own a pretty meh 37-41-2 Thanksgiving record.
Nice. Keep ’em coming: The Dallas Cowboys are the other Thanksgiving Day staple, competing during almost every feast since 1966. While they have an impressive holiday record of 31-20-1, the Cowboys and their fellow NFC East division opponents, the Washington Football Team (WFT), have matching 3-7 records this season.
- The Cowboys will be playing with heavy hearts as they mourn the death of their strength and conditioning coach, Markus Paul. Paul, who won five Super Bowls as a member of the Patriots’ and New York Giants’ coaching staff, suffered a medical emergency during team practice on Tuesday and passed away yesterday.
- We expect this one to be a messy matchup between two below .500 teams, but we think the Cowboys will continue their holiday tradition and take the win in honor of Coach Paul. Kick-off is set for 4:30 p.m. ET.
Any other games?: Unfortunately, that’s it. The undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers were supposed to host the 6-4 Baltimore Ravens in primetime but, of course, 2020 had other plans.
🏈Any given Sunday
The GIST: It’s been a good few days for Canadian football. First the CFL gave us hope for a 2021 season, then Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver (WR) John Metchie III caught this touchdown (TD) for his NCAA-leading team and Pittsburgh Steelers rookie WR Chase Claypool scored his 10th TD in 10 games, setting an NFL record. There must be something in the
water maple syrup.
Sweet. And in the rest of the NFL?: Here are some more highlights from the NFL’s Week 11:
- King of overtime: We don’t get to see overtime very often in football (though there were two yesterday!), so Tennessee Titans running back (RB) Derrick “King” Henry took full advantage of the extra time with this game winner over the Baltimore Ravens.
- One-and-done: Why use two hands when you can use one? That’s all Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen needed to catch this unreal TD.
- Chase the dream: Defensive plays don’t always get the love they deserve, but check out this forced fumble by Chase Young, the second pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, on No. 1 pick Joe Burrow (who later suffered a nasty ACL tear...so awful.)
Just touched down in London town
⚽️Teamwork makes the dream work: Arsenal striker and WSL top all-time scorer Vivianne Miedema set up her teammate Beth Mead with a beautiful assist. Arsenal’s London derby matchup versus Chelsea ended 1–1.
Bend it like Tobin: Manchester United midfielder (and newly drafted member of the NWSL’s Racing Louisville FC) Tobin Heath defied physics with this rocket of a goal in the Manchester derby, which finished in a 2–2 draw.
🏈Fancy footwork: Perhaps inspired by Heath’s rocket, Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers set a franchise record when he delivered this incredible 61-yard field goal. Myers’ kick just cleared the goal posts, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Seahawks, who lost 23–16 to the LA Rams.
Livin’ on a prayer: Arizona Cardinals quarterback (QB) Kyler Murray threw a jaw-dropping Hail Mary TD pass to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who made the catch through not one, not two, but three (!!!) defenders. The miraculous catch sealed the Cardinals’ 32–30 victory over the Buffalo Bills.