The 2015 Thanksgiving football games featured three quality matchups. The first one of the day was the struggling Philadelphia Eagles visiting the Detroit Lions. The second one was the undefeated Carolina Panthers visiting Jerry’s World to face the Dallas Cowboys. The prime time matchup of the day was the Chicago Bears visiting Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers. Also that night the Packers would have a ceremony for Brett Favre, and retire his number 4.
With starting quarterback Sam Bradford injured, the Eagles would turn to Mark Sanchez to try and lead them to a win. But they would have to get by Matthew Stafford and the Lions, as the two remaining quarterbacks from the 2009 draft would face off. The game started off competitively, with the game being tied 7-7 into the second quarter, but then the Lions would start to pull away. By the end of the first half Matthew Stafford would have over 200 passing yards and three touchdowns, and the Lions would have a 24-7 lead. The second half was more of the same for Detroit. They opened up the second half going on a 80 yard drive, and it would be capped off by Calvin Johnson’s second touchdown of the game. The Lions ended up winning the game 45-14, behind Matthew Stafford’s 335 passing yards and 5 touchdowns, to end up leading the Lions to their third straight Thanksgiving day win.
The next game on the schedule was the 10-0 Carolina Panthers against the struggling Cowboys. But, the Cowboys did have Tony Romo back for the second straight game, and they know they needed a win to stay in the playoff hunt. The game did not start off well for the Cowboys. Tony Romo threw an interception to Kurt Coleman, and he returned it for a touchdown to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead one minute into the game. And the Panthers would not look back from there. The Panthers were holding on to a 13-3 lead late into the second quarter, and the Cowboys were looking to get back into the game But with two minutes left in the first half, Luke Keuchly intercepted Romo’s pass and returned it for a touchdown to give the Panthers 20-3 lead, and they would go into the half with a 23-3 lead. In the third quarter Cam Newton would lead the Panthers on another touchdown drive, and that would cement the win. The Panthers won by a score of 33-14, and they would extend their franchise record best start, as there record would go to 11-0.
The night cap was the best rivalry in football, the Bears visiting the Packers. The Packers are coming off an awful loss to the Lions, who won their first game in Lambeau Field since 1992. The game started off well for the Packers, as they went on a quick one minute and forty four second drive in the middle of the first quarter, and it was capped off by a 25 yard touchdown pass to Eddie Lacy. But that was all the offense the Packers would have in this game. The Bears would then answer back with a touchdown drive of their own, and would tie the game up at 7. After the Packers got a field goal, the Bears would go on another touchdown drive to have a 14-10 lead. Then to end the first half, the Packers got another field goal to go into the half trailing 14-13. At halftime, the Packers would honor legendary quarterback Brett Favre, and retire his number 4. To cap it all off, Bart Starr would return to Lambeau to be alongside Brett Favre for this momentous occasion. Then it was back to football. The story of the second half was defense. Both defenses would hold the other offense for the whole entire second half, with the only exception being a field goal by Robbie Gould early in the fourth quarter. But of course, Aaron Rodgers would find a way to make things interesting. With two minutes and forty five seconds left in the game, the Packers had the ball on their own 20, needing a touchdown to get the lead. Rodgers would lead the Packers down to the 8 yard line, and it was fourth and goal with 29 seconds left. Rodgers threw a pass down the middle to Devante Adams, but it was incomplete and the Bears would hold on to squeeze out a win in Lambeau.
Even though two of the games were blowouts, there will still all competitive games between great teams, with great performances throughout the day.