Welcome to the Black Friday edition of the Week 12 grades!
For the first time ever, the NFL held a game on Black Friday and if you spent the day shopping, you didn't miss much. Actually, yes you did. Although the Dolphins ended up blowing out the Jets 34-13, the game still had a few wild moments, including that came on a Hail Mary attempt by the Jets at the end of the first half.
That was one of two pick-sixes in the game.
The Dolphins' victory continued the trend of dominant wins in Week 12. On Thursday, the Packers, Cowboys and 49ers all coasted to Thanksgiving Day victories. We're going to grade all four of those games, starting with Miami's win over the Jets.
Miami 34-13 over N.Y. Jets (Friday)
|The Dolphins defense is almost always overshadowed by Miami's high-flying offense, but not in this game. The defense stole the show by beating up on Jets QB Tim Boyle, who was making his first start since 2021. Not only did they sack him five times -- with two of those coming from Christian Wilkins -- but Jevon Holland also came up with the play of the game when he returned a pick 99 yards for a TD on the final play of the first half. The Dolphins surrendered just 159 yards, marking the first time since 2003 that they've given up under 160 yards in a game. Offensively, not many teams have had success attacking the Jets' secondary this year and Tua Tagovailoa found out why. Tua threw two interceptions, including a pick-six in the first half. Despite those mistakes, the Dolphins were still able to move the ball through the air with Jaylen Waddle (eight receptions for 114 yards) and Tyreek Hill (nine catches, 102 yards, 1 TD) both hitting the 100-yard mark. We didn't learn much from the Dolphins in this game, but if you're a good team in the NFL, you need to take care of business against bad teams and that's what Miami did here.
|The Jets offense was pretty bad with Zach Wilson running it, and things actually somehow got worse with Tim Boyle under center. The Jets punted on six of their first seven possessions and the only drive in that span that didn't end with a punt was ended when Tim Boyle threw a 99-yard pick-six on a Hail Mary attempt at the end of the first half. The Jets only had 50 yards through three quarters before adding to that total in garbage time. The only reason this grade isn't an 'F' is because the Jets defense did its best to keep New York in this game. The unit came up with two interceptions, including a pick-six by Brandon Echols that had the Jets within 10-6 late in the first half. If there was any hope of Aaron Rodgers returning to save the season, that seems out the window now with the Jets now sitting at 4-7.
Dolphins-Jets grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Green Bay 29-22 over Detroit
|It seems that something has finally clicked with Jordan Love, because he suddenly looks like one of the best quarterbacks in football. After dicing up the Chargers in Week 11, Love followed that up with an even more impressive performance against the Lions. Love opened the game with a 53-yard pass to Christian Watson on the first play from scrimmage and he only got better from there on a day where he threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns. The Packers had seven different receivers catch at least one pass, including Watson, who finished with five catches for 94 yards and a TD. As good as the offense was, the defense was even better. Jonathan Owens had a breakout game: Not only did he lead the team in tackles, but he also returned a fumble for a TD in the first quarter that allowed Green Bay to jump out to a 20-6 lead. The Lions couldn't figure out how to slow down Rashan Gary, who sacked Jared Goff three times. This was a wildly impressive performance for a Packers team that is suddenly very much alive in the NFC playoff race.
|After looking nearly invincible through the first 11 weeks of the season, the Lions suddenly look like a very beatable team and a lot of that has to do with the play of Jared Goff. The Lions QB lost three fumbles, including one that was returned for a Packers TD in the first quarter. Goff now has six turnovers over his past two games, which is almost impossible to believe when you consider that he only turned the ball over five times in Detroit's first nine games. Goff didn't get any help from an offensive line that struggled against the Packers' pass-rush. The Lions also went 0-for-4 on fourth down. The most questionable fourth down call came on a fourth-and-3 in the third quarter when Dan Campbell called for a fake punt from his own 23-yard line with the Lions only trailing 23-14 (The Packers would score a TD three plays later that effectively iced the game). Defensively, the Lions looked confused by almost everything the Packers did. It's possible they underestimated Jordan Love, but whatever the reason was, they got diced up for 268 yards and three touchdowns by the Packers QB. The Lions might want to ask the NFL to stop scheduling them for Turkey Day, because the holiday has turned into a total disaster for Detroit. Including the loss to the Packers, the Lions have now lost seven straight games on Thanksgiving.
Packers-Lions grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Dallas 45-10 over Washington
|If Ron Rivera wasn't on the hot seat before this week, he almost certainly is now after watching his team get blown out in Dallas. Riverboat Ron wasn't wearing his riverboat hat in the first half. During the first quarter, the Commanders had a chance to take charge of the game, but they ended up punting twice from inside of Cowboys territory. In the second half, the Commanders went for it three times on fourth down, but they were already down double-digits by that point. The Commanders simply got outcoached, but it also didn't help that their defense got diced up by Dak Prescott. Offensively, the Commanders had SEVEN drives that reached Cowboys territory, but they only came away with 10 points. With five losses in their past six games, it feels like the Commanders' season is over.
|The Cowboys might not need to eat Thanksgiving dinner this year, because they feasted on the Commanders. The star of the show was Dak Prescott, who torched Washington's defense for 331 yards and four touchdowns. The Cowboys QB, who didn't get sacked, had a lot of time to throw and he utilized that by hitting TEN different receivers with eight of those guys finishing with at least 20 yards. Defensively, the Cowboys didn't fully shut down the Commanders, but they stopped Washington on nearly every big play, including holding the Commanders to an 0-for-3 showing on fourth down. Johnathan Hankins (2 sacks) and Micah Parsons (1.5 sacks) led a pass-rush that gave Sam Howell fits. DaRon Bland also iced the win when he came up with his NFL-record setting fifth pick-six of the season in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys are looking more and more like a legit Super Bowl contender every week, and if they keep playing like this, this might be the season where they end their 28-year big game drought.
Commanders-Cowboys grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
San Francisco 31-13 over Seattle
|After losing three games in a row heading into their bye, it's safe to say that the 49ers are officially back on track, and a big reason for that is because of Christian McCaffrey. The 49ers running back had a huge night with 139 total yards and two touchdowns. The Seahawks couldn't figure out how to slow him or Deebo Samuel, who tacked on 94 yards and a TD for the 49ers. Except for a small lull in the third quarter, the 49ers basically did anything they wanted on offense. The 49ers defense was equally impressive. Not only did they sack Geno Smith six times, including two from Nick Bosa, but they didn't surrender a single touchdown in the game (Seattle's only TD came on a pick-six thrown by Brock Purdy). The 49ers might not have the best record in the NFC, but right now, they look like the best team in the NFC.
|The Seahawks apparently forgot they had a game on Thanksgiving, because they didn't show up for the first half. With two minutes left to play in the second quarter, the Seahawks had just 15 yards of offense and that really summed up the night for a team that scored a single touchdown. The Seahawks offensive line got overwhelmed by a 49ers pass-rush that sacked Geno Smith six times. On the defensive side of the ball, things weren't much better. Although Jordyn Brooks had a pick-six, that was one of the few highlights in the game for the defense. The Seahawks were even bad on special teams with a missed field goal and a fumbled punt return. The Seahawks have now lost three of four and it feels like their season is slowly falling apart.
49ers-Seahawks grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)