NFL 2011 Season – Thanksgiving Day Games Recap
Green Bay 27 – Detroit 15
Aaron Rodgers threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns, and the Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions 27-15 on Thanksgiving Day. The Packers (11-0) remained unbeaten in part by intercepting Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford three times and turning those turnovers into 17 points. Detroit (7-4) tried to intimidate Green Bay’s offense and rough up Rodgers, but that strategy only resulted in personal foul calls and the ejection of Ndamukong Suh after he stomped on offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith.
Rodgers connected with Greg Jennings on a 3-yard touchdown with less than five minutes before halftime to give Green Bay a 7-0 edge. The Packers scored 17 third-quarter points to take a commanding 24-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Green Bay’s James Jones had 94 receiving yards, with 65 of those on a touchdown pass from Rodgers in the third.
The Lions’ first points came on a 16-yard touchdown run from Keiland Williams with 13:11 left to play. Stafford completed 32 of 45 passes for 276 yards, a touchdown and the three interceptions. Maurice Morris caught nine passes for 81 yards for Detroit.
Dallas 20 – Miami 19
Dan Bailey kicked a 28-yard field goal as time expired, and the Dallas Cowboys beat the Miami Dolphins 20-19 on Thanksgiving evening. Tony Romo led Dallas (7-4) on a 10-play, 54-yard drive to set up Bailey’s kick, which gave the game its fifth, and final, lead change.
Miami (3-8) had gone ahead on Shayne Graham’s 23-yard field goal with 7:14 to play. Romo’s second touchdown pass of the game to Laurent Robinson had given the Cowboys a 17-16 lead earlier in the fourth quarter. Romo finished with 226 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Robinson caught seven passes for 79 yards and the two scores for Dallas. Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray had 87 yards rushing, including several key carries on the final drive.
Matt Moore led the Dolphins offense with 288 yards passing and a touchdown to receiver Brandon Marshall, who caught five passes for 103 yards on the game. Graham, signed last week when starter Dan Carpenter was injured, kicked four field goals for the Dolphins.
Baltimore 16 – San Francisco 6
Baltimore recorded nine sacks of San Francisco’s Alex Smith, as the Ravens beat the 49ers 16-6 on Thanksgiving night. Baltimore’s head coach John Harbaugh defeated his brother Jim, of San Francisco, in the first NFL game to feature brothers as opposing head coaches.
The Ravens (8-3) snapped a 6-6 tie when Joe Flacco threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta with 14:56 remaining in the game. Flacco finished with 161 passing yards and the touchdown. Baltimore’s Ray Rice rushed for 59 yards, and Anquan Boldin caught four passes for 63 yards. Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs had three of the nine sacks for his team.
Smith threw for 140 yards with an interception for San Francisco (9-2). He appeared to have thrown a 75-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn in the first half, but the play was called back on a chop block penalty on Frank Gore. The 49ers’ Michael Crabtree caught six passes for 54 yards.