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NFL: The best performances during Thanksgiving

NFL: The best performances during Thanksgiving

Ah! The famous American “Thanksgiving” classic. Football all day, turkey, worse turkey.

Thanksgiving games in the NFL are part of a tradition that dates back to 1920, exactly 102 years ago! It inspired us to retrace the best performances that took place on this festive day.

A brand from 1929 that still stands

Ernie Nevers (Youtube / Pro Football HOF)

If you don’t know Ernie Nevers, I forgive you.

Wearing the uniform of the Chicago Cardinals (the ancestor of the Arizona Cards), Nevers set a record that still stands. He scored the 40 points of his team, in order to crush the Dayton Triangles (ancestor of the Colts), by the score of 40 to 6.

While his scoring mark was untouched, Nevers has since been joined by Alvin Kamara, who equaled his record 6 rushing touchdowns in a single game in 2020.

Was Barry Sanders human?

The question arises, because Sanders is one of the most dominant running backs in NFL history.

At the time of his retirement, Barry was ranked 2nd (now 4th) in history for rushing yards. It is also his performance of Thanksgiving in 1997, against the Bears, which holds the attention. 3 touchdowns, 167 rushing yards, and a resounding 55-20 win!

Here are Sanders’ best plays this “Thanksgiving”:

Randy Moss’ Big Day

A classic from 1998. Moss was highly motivated to face his former favorite team, the Cowboys, who had decided not to select him in the draft of the same year. Let’s just say he spoiled himself when he first visited them, with the Vikings.

Much like Michael Jordan in “The Last Dance,” Moss took it personal. Randy is confirmed to have earned his post-game pestle.

Peyton stuffs the Lions

Yes, you read that right. Thanksgiving 2004, Peyton Manning threw more touchdowns than incomplete passes! The poor Lions couldn’t respond to the fireworks of the man with the big forehead.

Manning shares the record for most touchdown passes at Thanksgiving with Bob Griese, who accomplished the feat in 1977.

A certain Tom Brady stands out

You thought you’d run away from old Tom, but no, never.

In 2010, also against the Lions, His Majesty Brady amassed 341 passing yards, in addition to throwing 4 touchdown passes.

Even more impressive, Brady received a perfect pass rating of 158.3. It’s a somewhat complex calculation, which takes into account the percentage of completed passes, interceptions, average accumulated yards, in short. Only 74 such games have been recorded in history by a quarterback, Tom has 3, including one on Thanksgiving.

Honorable Mention: Jason Garrett in Relief

Jason Garrett/Getty Images

He marked us a lot more as head coach of the Cowboys, from 2010 to 2019, but yes, Jason Garrett had the game of his life during the “Thanksgiving” of 1994.

3rd in the Cowboys quarterback hierarchy behind Troy Aikman and Rodney Peete, Garrett had to jump into the fray when Peete, replacing Aikman, fell in action.

The future coach of the “Boys” led a rise in his own. Trailing 17-3 at halftime, Garrett threw 2 touchdown passes and racked up 311 passing yards. Dallas defeated Brett Favre’s Packers 42-31.

That’s all well and good, but the real moment was when Richard Sherman ate turkey on the 49ers logo:

Richard Sherman/Associated Press

With that, good turkey, but above all, good football!

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