Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you're getting some wonderful time with family and friends and taking in everything the holiday has to offer: turkey trots (I'm not ashamed to admit I'm doing one), parades, good food and, oh yeah, a delectable sports schedule that includes NFL, the World Cup, college football and college basketball.
I won't take up too much of your time, so we have a special, shortened holiday edition of the newsletter today, but I promise it's a good one.
Let's get right to it.
Good morning to everyone but especially to...
Ah, Thanksgiving football. There's nothing like it. We play turkey bowls in the morning and plan our Thanksgiving dinner around it in the evening (I highly suggest in between the early game and the afternoon game). And there's good reason: There are three intriguing games, each with playoff implications.
- We start with the Lions the Bills, though the Bills will feel at home in Detroit after "hosting" the Browns there Sunday when . The Bills look to keep pace in the AFC East while the Lions look to stay on the fringes of playoff contention and win four straight for the first time since 2016. .
- Then comes Cowboys and the Giants, who have the same record but are heading in different directions. Dallas beat Minnesota 40-3 over the weekend while New York fell to Detroit at home. NFL betting expert Jordan Dajani says to ride the momentum (or lack thereof) for both teams in . between the
- The Vikings and the Patriots , and there's opportunity for both defenses to feast after both offenses struggled mightily in Week 11. Our NFL scribe Jeff Kerr .
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And not such a good morning for...
For the first time in over a decade, the Jets are in the playoff race at the end of November. And for what seems like the millionth time in franchise history, the Jets have major quarterback issues.
On Wednesday, head coach Robert Saleh announced that Mike White against the Bears, and Zach Wilson will be inactive. The decision comes after the Jets lost to the Patriots, 10-3, after which Saleh . He's not wrong. The Jets gained two yards in the entire second half.
- Wilson went 9-for-22 for 77 yards. He dug himself a deeper hole by saying "no" when asked if he felt he let his defense down.
- It will be White's first game in over a year. His last start came in a 45-17 loss to Buffalo last year. Joe Flacco -- who started the first three games of the year while Wilson recovered from a knee injury -- will be White's backup.
Wilson's had an up-and-down start to his career, but this is a definite down. Still, Saleh called the decision a "reset" for the young quarterback, and our NFL guru Garrett Podell.
- Podell: "If Wilson takes care of business and gets back onto the football field in 2022 like Saleh said, five of the six potential opponents the 23-year-old quarterback would face from Week 13 on currently rank in the bottom half of the NFL in pass coverage, according to Pro Football Focus, meaning the opportunity for a comeback is possible. All Wilson needs to do now is put his head down and get to work."
Should the Jets feel the need to go quarterback hunting this offseason, Jordan has.
Not so honorable mentions
- Davis Mills . Kyle Allen will start for the Texas.
- Matthew Stafford . Bryce Perkins will start for the Rams.
- Aaron Rodgers has been .
- Bryce Harper .
- Seven Michigan State players for their roles in the brawl with Michigan.
- The Devils' winning streak .
World Cup recap: Japan shocks Germany, Spain scores a touchdown ⚽
Another day at the World Cup, another stunner: After dominating for 75 minutes, Germany fell to Japan, 2-1, with Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano nabbing late goals. While the players produced the result, Japan's coach, Hajime Moriyasu, deserves plenty of praise, writes our soccer reporter James Benge.
- Benge: "This was a game won in the Japan dressing room in the half time interval. ... Switching out winger Takefusa Kubo for Takehiro Tomiyasu... gave his players the maximum opportunity to exploit Germany's weakness. Moriyasu kept adding fresh legs, not only using the maximum number of substitutes, but also the most moments available to him to add something to the team. Match winner Asano was a pressing dynamo more than willing to chase lost causes… and turn them into something in the case of Japan's second goal."
In other Wednesday action...
- Spain scored seven goals -- yes, seven -- in a shutout win over Costa Rica
- Belgium beat Canada, 1-0.
- Morocco and Croatia drew, 0-0.
Early this morning, Switzerland topped Cameroon 1-0 thanks to an historic goal by Breel Embolo. Meanwhile, with Argentina and Germany both going down, Roger Gonzalez has .
What we're watching Thursday 📺
🏈 We're also watching all three NFL games. Here's the schedule.
🏀 No. 8 Duke vs. Oregon State, 3 p.m. on ESPN
🏈 Mississippi State at No. 20 Ole Miss, 7 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 No. 18 Alabama vs. No. 12 Michigan State, 10:30 p.m. on ESPN