DETROIT (Sporting Alert) — Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks all scored wins on Thanksgiving Day to start Week 13 in the league on Thursday.
In the opening game of the day, quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 34-of-45 for 390 yards and threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions and the Lions (8-4) scored a comeback 34-17 victory over Chicago Bears (5-7) to boost their playoff hopes.
In his fourth game back from an ankle injury, Calvin Johnson finished with 11 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns on his way to topping the list for the most receiving touchdowns in NFL history on Thanksgiving, according to Elias Sports.
The wide receiver also moved past the 10,000-yard receiving mark on the day.
Johnson reached the standard in his 115th game — the fastest in NFL history, as he improved the old record of Torry Holt, who got there from 116 games.
“I felt great,” said Johnson. “To get us going, get us back in sync and make some big plays for the team, all the guys contributed today and we had a big day.”
Joique Bell ran 23 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns for Detroit, which trailed 14-3 at the end of the first quarter before rallying to end a two game skid.
The Lions were winning their seventh game in the last 10 outings.
“Every single week there’s a new challenge,” Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said. “We have a new one next week.
“The minute you get comfortable at any stage in our league you’re going to have problems.”
Jay Cutler went 31-of-48 passes for 280 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Alshon Jeffery for Chicago, while Martellus Bennett had nine catches for 109 yards in the defeat.
However, Matt Forte was limited to jut six-yards on five carries for the Bears, which had its two game win streak snapped.
“I don’t know that they really did anything that we didn’t expect,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said after the game.
“Although they didn’t have the drops that we’ve seen on film, or make the other mistakes that shut down offenses.
“We were the ones that had those, especially penalties that took us out of good positions.”
In the second game on Thursday, running back LeSean McCoy ran 25 times for 159 yards and a touchdown and the free scoring Philadelphia (9-3) picked up a 33-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
The Eagles, who are first in the NFC East, were picking up their fourth win in five games, while Dallas’ (8-4) had its two game win streak ended.
“It is a team win, that’s all it’s about,” McCoy told reporters after the game. “We’ve been criticized all year, all the doubters, but no matter who is in there they give 110 percent and that’s what it is about.
“It doesn’t matter what anybody says, it’s all about what goes on in the locker room.”
Philadelphia scored 23 first half points and then held the Cowboys to just three-second half points in the dominating victory, but head coach Chip Kelly wasn’t getting too carried away.
“We’re not into statements,” said Kelly, the Eagles coach.
“We’ve given ourselves the opportunity to play meaningful football in December, and in this league, every week is a whole different deal, a whole different animal.”
Mark Sanchez, starting his fourth game since Nick Foles went down injured, finished with 20-of-29 completed passes, including 9-of-11 for 99 yards in the first quarter — had a total of 217 yards and ran for a touchdown for Philadelphia, who are 3-1 in the last four contests.
In the final game on Thanksgiving Day, defending Super Bowl champions Seattle Seahawks (8-4) beat the San Francisco 49ers (7-5) by a score of 19-3, the same result they had over first-place Arizona Cardinals four days earlier
The win saw the Seahawks moved within a game of the NFC West-leading Cardinals, while ending a five-game skid at the 49ers, who had its three game win streak snapped.
“It’s a hard thing to do, winning on their turf,” Russell Wilson, who passed for 236 yards on 15-of-22 attempts, said.
“The NFC is not easy to win against. We are excited about that opportunity.”