Welcome to week 12 of the 2022 NFL season, which opened on Thanksgiving Thursday with three games.
The Detroit Lions have been playing Thanksgiving games for 88 years but have not had much success lately. The Buffalo Bills completed a late comeback by beating the Lions, who have won just six Thanksgiving games since 2000.
The Dallas Cowboys, who like the Lions play a Thanksgiving game every season, snapped a three-game losing streak at the holiday by defeating NFC East rivals the New York Giants.
Our NFL Nation reporters respond to the most important findings and unresolved questions from this week’s matches and look forward to what’s next. Let’s get down to business.
Go to match:
BUF-DET | NYG DAL
What you need to know: There are some issues with the Bills offense, but their stars came out when they were needed, which is an important step. Coming into play, Buffalo has been down 1-9 in the fourth quarter for the past two years. But quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stephon Diggs led the squad in two straight hits, hitting five targets in 65 yards and scoring on the last two hits to win the game. But improving in the red zone remains a priority for offense.
What’s next? Corner Tre’Davius White has been active for the first time since tearing his ACL on Thanksgiving last year, but has only played the first two series (15 snaps). After that, Buffalo mostly played newcomers Christian Benford and Dane Jackson. Coach Sean McDermott said White played within the range of snaps they were expecting. Ahead of a big game against the Patriots, White’s availability could be key as the defense continues to allow No. 1 receivers to go 100 yards in games. — Alena Getzenberg
Next game: at the Patriots (Thursday, 8:15 pm ET)
What you need to know: The Detroit Lions proved they could compete with the best players in the league after a close loss to the Buffalo Bills. Now they need to find a way to win these intense games through better time management and decision making throughout the game. The Lions are 2-7 against teams currently at .500 or better. All of their games have been against teams currently .500 or higher, with the exception of their wins against the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears.
Is linebacker James Huston’s debut performance real? To some extent, but let’s not get carried away. He’s not expected to fumble two sacks every game, but the Lions can find a role for him. He became the first two-sack player in his NFL debut since 2017 (Miles Garrett and TJ Watt). No one is asking him to be that type of player, but the Lions defense, which has the last pass win rate (29.1%), could use a playmaker guard next to rookie Aidan Hutchinson. — Eric Woodyard
Next game: vs. Jaguars (Sunday 1:00 pm ET)
What you need to know: It could be the 12 days that define Cowboy season. After losing to Green Bay in overtime on November 13, the Cowboys responded with two wins in four days, defeating the Minnesota and New York Giants. They were almost perfect against the Vikings and less so against the Giants, but they went 8-3 and outclassed their division rival. “It was a win,” said Duck Prescott, who recovered from two interceptions in the first half and touched down twice in the second half. “It was a win over a divisional rival and sometimes all that matters is the win.”
Should the Cowboys sign Odell Beckham Jr.? Maybe they don’t. CeeDee Lamb has had two 100-yard receiving games in the last three games. Michael Gallup is showing signs that his surgically repaired knee is no longer a problem. And the tight-and-squad of Dalton Schultz, Jake Ferguson, Peyton Hendershot and Sean McKeon show they can play an important role on offense. Beckham may be a Cowboy, but they don’t need him as a lead receiver. He can come after a long break due to a torn ACL and make his contribution. — Todd Archer
Next game: vs. The Colts (Dec 4, 8:20 pm ET)
What you need to know: So maybe making the playoffs will be a problem for this Giants team, especially with all the injuries. They don’t have enough talent or depth, and it shows when they play against the best opponents. New York (7-4) outperformed the first half of the season, but now it’s a losing streak and their schedule isn’t about to get any easier. Matches with Washington will be massive. They seem to be the giants’ biggest threat for the latest NFC wildcard space.
Will giants be healthy before stretching? After Thursday’s loss, coach Brian Daball said he didn’t think any of the recent injuries would be long-term. The Giants were already expecting starting outside linebacker Aziz Ojulari, left back Ben Bredeson, and right tackle Evan Neal in their next game against Washington. Dabol’s comments hint that defender Fabian Moreau could also return. Those are four pretty important players who should be returning to the Giants relatively soon. — Jordan Raanan
Next game: vs Commanders (Sunday 1:00 pm ET)