In a showdown between two 8-3 teams, the co-leaders in the NFC East and the two active Mexican-American quarterbacks, the Philadelphia Eagles and Mark Sanchez came out gunning and smoked Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys, 33-10, in one of three Thanksgiving Day NFL games.
Both teams were playing on only four days rest, but the Eagles made it look like the Cowboys had already had second helpings of turkey in the early going, putting together drives of 80 and 88 yards in the first quarter to take a 14-0 lead.
The Dallas defense was visibly winded, while the Eagles, running coach Chip Kelly’s high-octane hurry-up offense, looked unstoppable.
Sanchez scored the first on a 2-yard sneak and threw a perfect pass to Jordan Matthews for a 27-yard strike for the second. He finished 20 of 29 for 217 yards and no interceptions.
Quite a turnaround for a guy who just two years ago on Thanksgiving - while playing for the New York Jets - ran into the back end of his own lineman and fumbled the ball in a 49-19 demolishing by the New England Patriots.
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"It is like my favorite holiday, so that's not cool," a smiling Sanchez told reporters after the game. "It was a bummer. The game plan was to try not to do that. And we accomplished that."
Romo went 18 for 29 for 199 yards and was picked off twice in the game. His string of 38 straight games with a passing touchdown was also snapped.
Asked if the short turnaround—kickoff took place approximately 90 hours after the conclusion of the Cowboys’ dramatic 31-28 win over the New York Giants on Sunday—affected Dallas, Romo said, "I don't really think that had much to do with the outcome of the game. I think they just played better."
The game also featured two of the best running backs in the league in the Eagles’ LeSean McCoy and the Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray.
McCoy gained 159 yards on 25 carries, including a 38-yard third-quarter touchdown run that put the Eagles ahead, 30-10, while Murray was held to less than a hundred yards for only the second time this year, finishing with 73 yards on 20 carries and one TD.
Tellingly, Murray was unable to bust out for a run longer than 9 yards.
In other action, Seattle's do-everything, unguarded cornerback, Richard Sherman, certainly earned his turkey day feast after a two-interception night that kept the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks (8-4) right in the NFC West race with a 19-3 win against the San Francisco 49ers (7-5) on Thursday night.
Sherman set up the only touchdown of the game with another key defensive play in this heated rivalry, then made a second interception with the 49ers driving late, and the Seahawks ended a five-game losing streak on San Francisco's home field.
In the early game Thursday, Matthew Stafford threw for 390 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Calvin Johnson, helping the Detroit Lions (8-4) beat the Chicago Bears (5-7) at home on Thursday, 34-17. Johnson had 11 catches for 146 yards in perhaps his best performance of the season.
Detroit gained a season-high 474 yards in its highest-scoring game since a 35-point showing in the season opener against the New York Giants.
"We came home and handled business. That's what we wanted," center Dominic Raiola said. "We're in a good spot right now but we know there's a lot of work ahead."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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